Mary L. Bouldin

Sunrise: May 17, 1931

Sunset: September 7, 2020

Mary Magdalene Leary Bouldin was peacefully called to the Heavenly skies while resting on Monday, September 7th, 2020 in the comfort of her home surrounded by family. Born in Norfolk, VA on May 17th, 1931, she was the youngest daughter of the late Wallace and Maggie (Burnham) Leary. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings: Harry Bernard Leary, Wallace (Larry) Leary, Naomi Moore, and Elizabeth Cowell.

Mary’s childhood aspirations included attending college, being a majorette, and becoming a teacher, and she was able to achieve them all. She graduated from the Booker T. Washington High School before continuing her higher education at Saint Paul’s Polytechnic Institute in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Education. Mary was a strong advocate of education for herself, her family and her community, and dedicated a 30+ year career as an elementary school teacher for Norfolk Public Schools, where she left a positive mark on all her students. She spent her entire life in the Berkley section of  Norfolk, and was a staple member of the community academically, as well as personally.

With her faith close to her heart, Mary was a lifelong member of the First Trinity AME Church from childhood until her death. As an adult she shared her love of music and joined the choir, and her favorite song was “Take Me to the King.” Her involvement with the wellness of her community extended beyond her career and church activities, as she was a member of the Portsmouth Chapter of Les Gemmes, Inc. for over 50 years, until her sickness, as well as the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Alpha Chi Chapter of Portsmouth, VA; with both organizations holding education and youth mentorship as foundational pillars.

In addition to Mary’s commitment to her neighborhood, she also enjoyed traveling with her family. She spent her formative summers anywhere from North Carolina to New York. However, she always said Ahoskie held a special place in her heart. As an adult, her favorite pastime was getting dolled up and visiting casinos and resorts. She has been to cities far and wide to pull the lever of a slot machine and hear those bells, but most memorably, she loved when her family joined her. With a razor-sharp memory and passion for fashion, Mary “The Diva,” was quite the fan of The Real Housewives franchise, and was always content watching those ladies, or another favorite, The Godfather, all day long with a slice of cake and orange soda. However, if something was awry, she’d say, “Dis ain’t hittin’ on nothin,” and everyone knew something wasn’t right.

Mary’s sweet tooth was a warm presence, along with her sassy wit and humor. She was a devoted wife to her loving Navy man, Roosevelt Bouldin Sr., for 55 years and she cared for him for more than 10 years through his battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease until his passing on August 12, 2010. Together they leave five children to continue their legacy; Kevindene Nightengale (Earl), Roosevelt “The Rose” Bouldin Jr., Nadine Thacker, LaValle “Tracey” Donato (Remick), and Lyndell Bouldin (Barbara); fourteen grandchildren Dr. Tiffany Nightengale , T’Shanda “Tee Tee” Thacker, Richard Nightengale II (Gwendolyn), Brandi Chew (Clayton), Tamara “Tammy” Cherry (Brandon), Magdalyn “Maggie” Akins (Karl), Roosevelt Bouldin III, Briana Bouldin, Bryce Bouldin, Yamani “Mani” Thacker, Deidra Hughes, Lynnette Vargas (John), Matthew Schneider, Kimberly Schneider and sixteen great-grandchildren, as well as her devoted Sister-in-law Rev. Dr. Lessie Leary. “Granny,” as she is affectionately known to most, loved hard and was a matriarchal rock to our family. She leaves a large village of nieces, nephews, cousins, and longtime friends to continue the spread of her memories. Mary “The Diva” herself had the opportunity to partake in a beautiful legacy video in 2018, in which she shared her life story, and the last wish she wanted her for her family and loved ones:


“After I’m gone, I would like for my family to continue being a family; don’t split up. I would like the education to continue, or to get nice jobs, and try to avoid trouble. Remain loving and close.”


Viewing Friday, September 11, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 120 W. Berkley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23523 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Saturday, September 12, 2020 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Berkley Chapel Interment Albert G. Horton Veteran's Cemetery 5310 Milners Road Suffolk, VA 23434 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance.

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  1. reply
    Delicia Hurdle Boakye says

    You are going to be greatly missed auntie. I’m going to miss your style, the unwavering love you have shown me, my mom and siblings and your smile. Thank God for blessing us with your presence. We now have another angel up in heaven watching over us. Say hello to my grandmother for me.

    • reply
      Delicia Hurdle Boakye says

      Prayers to the entire Bouldin family.

  2. reply
    Liz Hansen says

    Our hearts are with the Bouldin family during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. reply
    Wilberta Gibson Carter says

    I am truly going to miss your smile and style. Rest in peace Miss Mary.
    My prayers to the family.

  4. reply
    Sarah Peoples Perry says

    My dear friend and mentor: I will truly miss your laughter, smile, voice and our occasional visits. You were always my solid rock of wisdom. Having known you and your family all of my life has been a joy and a true blessing from God. You are leaving a strong legacy in the footprints of your family. You will be truly missed. My condolences goes out to your family and friends. Looking forward to seeing you again someday.

  5. reply
    Serena Smith says

    My prayers to the family and may the lord keep all of you under his wings to help you through this difficult time.
    Mrs Bouldin I miss you so much words can’t explain I was 13yrs old when you took me under your wing you watch me grow up, get married, divorce go through my up and downs and you always be here for me that ear to listen give me advice and help me through it together. I was your youngest daughter and I feel so alone that my best friend went home. I know the lord only take the best… I can’t question him but I will miss you so much.. But I know you will continue to watch over me… REST IN HEAVEN…. You will always be in my heart…. Live u always Serena.

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    Rev. Michael Kelly & Family says

    Yes, that vivacious smile, your flare, exuberance, and ability to light up any room, we will greatly miss. To the family, stay strong and continue to walk boldly in the faith as she did. After this life for her, there is only more life. Celebrate her uniqueness, and honor her greatness. She was, and is, “a pearl of great price,” still smiling down upon us!

  7. reply
    David Esty says

    We offer out true condolence to your family for your loss. The staff here at Solvere Technical Group are thinking of Maggie Akins and her dear friends and family as you navigate your loss of a loved one. All the Best

  8. reply
    Cynthia (Felton) Pierce says

    Kevindine, Dexter, Nadine, Tracey, Lyndell and the entire family,
    My heart and condolences extend to you all! Ms. Bouldin was truly a lovely lady and a woman of class, style and grace! I will miss her beautiful smile and hospitable presence. She was always encouraging and complimentary and made you feel like family. What a tremendous blessing to have a mother so sweet and endearing. Treasure her memories and know that we are more than friends, we are family. Our prayers are with you.
    Cynthia (Felton) Pierce and Family

  9. reply
    Aristine Young Shirley Taylor and Yvonne Bailey says

    Our deepest condolences for the loss of your mother. May God continue to wrap your family in His Loving Arms as you treasure her memories. Another Angel have received Her wings and is resting in the Loving Arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God bless Love

  10. reply
    Vicki Lamb-Grant says

    To our family, so sorry to here of the loss of cousin Mary. I will always remember her laugh. The clothes she wore were always stylish like she was in a fashion show.
    Sorry we can’t physically be there, but we are there in spirit. We will also watch the service on the computer. We love you all.
    The Olds, The Lambs, The McKies and The Grants

  11. reply
    Angela L. Russell says

    My thoughts, love and prayers are with the Bouldin family has you lay your beloved Mrs. B to rest! I’m so sorry I can’t be with you in person. My school commitments have forced me to focus on them. Please know that I am with you in spirit! Sending all of you a great big hug!!!

  12. reply
    Verna M Walton Bowden says

    My deepest sympathy to the Family! I send love from Essie Mae Williams niece letting you all know we never forgot you! God will keep you all in perfect peace😭🌹❤️🙏🏽

  13. reply
    Emma Cherry Simmons says


  14. reply
    Pamela F Spruill says

    Its always amazing the impression that a person can have on a young life. I spent many hours at your house as a young child and felt so much acceptance and love from your mother.. While in your home, she was my mother too and I will never forget the kind treatment. All of you must be so proud to be a part of someone who made such an impact on so many others. I will always cherish the memories. Much Love,
    Pam Fields Spruill

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