Mary Magdalene Smith Drake Beckwith


Mary Magdalene Smith Drake Beckwith was born on April 4, 1935, to Bena and Rena Smith, in Frozen Creek, Kentucky. She moved north to find work, in Michigan, at age 18, where she met Ross Burton Drake. They were united in marriage, on March 6, 1955. They were married for 16 years and had four children together before he went on to glory.

On Feb. 9, 1974, she married Robert E. Beckwith, and the family joyfully expanded to five children. Many happy years were spent on their small farm, in Ceresco, Michigan.

Mary, also known as Maggie, worked for the Kellogg Company, in Battle Creek, for over 30 years, and then moved to Sparta, Tennessee, when she retired in 1992.

For many years, while working full time and raising a family, Maggie

attended and volunteered in the Nazarene Church, in Battle Creek. She served as a Sunday School teacher for the teen group, Sunday School Superintendent, and was an active Board Member for several years. She enjoyed singing and serving in the church and encouraged her children to do the same.

Maggie was a dedicated Christian, world traveler, hard worker, and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She enjoyed making apple pies, supervising any job nearby, and spending time with her family. She was also a good storyteller, especially when she added a few embellishments!

She is survived by her husband, Robert Beckwith; five children, Alan (Sheree) Drake, of Sparta, TN; Randall (Linda) Drake, of Muskegon, Michigan, Ed (Janet) Drake, of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, Robert Kevin (Di) Beckwith, of Harvest, Alabama, Jeanne (David) Bruce, of Wildwood, Florida; 14 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren (with one on the way!); and a host of nieces and nephews. She has been greatly admired and loved by all of them.

Maggie was preceded in death by her parents, Bena and Rena Smith; her first husband, Ross Drake; and all 11 of her siblings.

Although Maggie will be fondly remembered for her quick wit, sweet smile, and loving heart, it is with confidence and great comfort that her family rejoices, knowing she is with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There will be a celebration of Maggie’s life, on Saturday, June 22nd, with

visitation and viewing at 10 a.m. and funeral at 11 a.m., at Sparta Church of the Nazarene, 1787 Smithville Highway, Sparta, Tennessee 38583.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be made to the Sparta Church of the Nazarene.

Oak Lawn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.