Mazie Louise Chichester, having said her final goodbyes to family and close friends passed on peacefully in her apartment at Madison House on Bainbridge Island Washington on June 1, 2017 at the age of 98. Her sons David, Lance and Todd and daughter-in-law Hilde were by her side during her last earthly hours.
Our beloved Mother led a full and rich life, gave out much love and received much back. She “never met a stranger” and found joy in conversing with just about everyone. She was sharp and alert until a few weeks before her death.
Known as Amazin’ Maze or Miss Mazie to many of her friends, she was born to Maybelle and Elmer Locke on November 27, 1918 in Detroit Michigan. She grew up with three younger brothers; Bud, Cal, and Bob and attended public school in Detroit. Mazie went on to Michigan State University in Lansing and completed three years, majoring in languages. Then World War II came along, and Mazie went to work as a supply clerk at the Willow Run plant that produced B-24 bombers.
Mazie was a “war bride” having met the love of her life and married Harvey Chichester, in 1944. A Lieutentant in the Army, Dad served in the Philippines and Japan while Mazie lived with her mother in Detroit. Following the end of the war, Mazie and Harvey moved to Brooklyn for 7 years and then Baldwin, Long Island for 20 years. Along the way, four sons were born and raised; David, Lance, Todd and Glen (deceased). Needless to say, these were “exciting” years for Mazie and Harvey; countless baseball, basketball and soccer games, Cub and Boy scouts and a household bustling with activity. She even found time to work part time for a Pre School and a summer camp and serve as a Den Mother.
Mazie and Harvey moved to Oakridge New Jersey in 1972. All the boys were out of the house, and a new phase began; new friends, traveling in the US and abroad and membership in the Echo Lake Baptist Church, a community that became an integral part of Mazie’s life.
In 1981, after 37 years of marriage, Harvey died of cancer, and Mazie began the next leg of her journey. She was an independent and adventuresome soul who traveled the U.S., Europe, Australia, Israel, Canada and other lands. She served for two decades on the Board of Directors of the Baptist Home Society in Newark and its successor, the Cliffs at Eagle Rock in West Orange and on the Board of the Baptist Home at Brookmeade in Rhinebeck NY.
In 1995, Mazie moved to a condo at Bald Eagle Commons in West Milford where she continued to thrive, embrace new friends and enjoy more travels abroad. She dedicated herself to Echo Lake Baptist Church, and its members of all ages became a second home. She served on various committees, reached out to families and became very close to its pastor. Mazie studied the Bible and attended classes regularly. Her personal faith in God carried her through life.
In 2014, Mazie moved to Bainbridge Island, which provided a wonderful opportunity for Hilde and David to spend lots of time with her. She appreciated the mild climate and beauty and viewing from her window the masts of sailboats in Eagle Harbor.
She loved to sing and dance and eat…like a champ and hardly gained a pound. She was resilient, compassionate and loving. Mazie left indelible marks on many lives and is survived by the three sons and their spouses as well as seven grand children and eight great grand children.
A Remembrance is planned for June 24th at Madison House, 235 Madison Avenue at 2:00 and a subsequent service in New Jersey in August. Those wishing to donate in honor of Mazie may do so to Echo Lake Baptist Church, 1355 Macopin Road, West Milford NJ 07480 c/o Judy Skeens.