09/12/1940 to 02/27/2023
Mary Leona Thornes-Smucker was born on September 12, 1940 in Bunker Hill, Harper Maryland County in Liberia, West Africa to Joseph Zoe Thornes and Annie Victoria Thornes. Her family relocated to Monrovia, Liberia when she was a young child. She grew up as the only girl in the family as she shared her childhood years with her two brothers James and Adolph. Mary was affectionately known by her family and friends as “ML”
M.L. attended St. Theresa Convent School in Monrovia. She later worked with the Liberian Intelligence Service, which later became the Special Security Service (“SSS”). She was employed by the Executive Mansion first as a Secretary and later became an Intelligence Officer. She enjoyed being of service to her country and continued in her role for many years. After a Civil War broke out in Liberia, she migrated to Europe, settled in Amsterdam and became a Dutch Citizen.
From her union with Hugh Peabody, M.L. welcomed her only son, Emmett Youmadeh Peabody. They shared an exceptionally close bond and spoke almost everyday by phone no matter the distance of where either resided. After a short courtship, M.L. met and married Jerry Smucker while still residing in Liberia and they remained together until his passing in 2016.
M.L. loved to cook native Liberian dishes and would spend time going to the open markets in Amsterdam in search of special food items. As a child she learned to play the piano and she also had a beautiful voice and sang in the choir at the First United Method Church in Liberia. One of her favorite pastimes was shopping for things to send her grandchild and great-grandchildren. M.L. will be remembered for her strong and feisty personality. She was very opinionated and did not shy away from speaking up on things she felt strongly about.
M.L.was preceded in death by her parents, father Joseph Zoe Thornes and mother Annie Victoria Thornes; her husband Jerry Smucker, her brothers James Melvin and Adolph and her niece Marilyn Thornes.
Mary Leona Thornes is survived by her son, Emmett Y. Peabody & his wife Catherine of Wyncote, PA (USA) ; grandson Alec Youmadeh Peabody & his wife Lindsay of Montpelier, VA (USA) ; great grandchildren, Edward Youmadeh Peabody, Everly May Peabody, Ava Leigh Peabody and Aurora Lynn Peabody of Montpelier, VA (USA); sister-in-law Mamusu Thornes of Liberia; niece Dorothy Passawe & her husband Wilfred; nephew James Melvin Thornes & his wife Kwian along with a host of other relatives.
M.L. also leaves behind her adopted Amsterdam family that includes Kardi Butcher Roojen , her husband Hans and children Michele and Linda. M.L. loved Kardi as a daughter and their bond was unbreakable. M.L. also leaves behind her dear friends Sam & Julie Attey who she viewed as her extended family.
M.L. fought a tough battle against her recent illness and showed her
incredible strength throughout. M.L. will be greatly missed.