Mary L Holland Edmonds was born April 20, 1927 in Nansemond County, Holland, Virginia (now Suffolk, Virginia). She was the second child and the oldest daughter of the late Reverend John Jasper and Iola (Vie) Holland.
Mary graduated from Nansemond Training School, Holland, Virginia and the United States Cadet Nurse Corps at Dixie Hospital and Hampton Training School for Nurses (now Hampton University). She continued her education at Norfolk State College (now Norfolk State University). She was a charter member of the Omega Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. Her nursing career spanned forty-six years (1945 – 1991) with varied experiences including nurse supervisor, staff nurse, assistant supervisor, operating room nurse, public health nurse, and community health aide supervisor. She was the first black registered nurse at Raiford Memorial Hospital and the first black registered operating room nurse at the United States Public Service Hospital.
She was an active member of Laurel Hill United Church of Christ, Suffolk, Virginia. Additionally, she was an associate member of Fellowship United Church of Christ, Chesapeake, Virginia, serving as a Sunday School teacher and member of Margaret G. White Missionary Circle and United Seniors.
She is predeceased by her husband Edward C. Edmonds and son Waymond D. Copeland (Sharon). Mary is survived by her son Timothy C. Edmonds (Karen), grandchildren Drusillia Smith, Courtney Edmonds, Emily Edmonds, Edward C. Edmonds II, great grandchildren Brittany Wright, Bethany Wright, Benjamin Wright, and great-great grandchildren DestinyJones and Jaceion Patterson. She will be lovingly remembered by her brother Waymond olland and sisters Lenora Tiggle and Alice Marie Williams; sisters-in-law Jessie Holland, Lula Holland, and Brenda Holland and Aunt Grizzelle Wilmore. She also leaves her goddaughters Helivi Holland, Esq., and Kim Martin as well as a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbors.