Anne Mae Toussaint Gorrell Greene, also known as Lady Mae, departed this life on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois with her children at her bedside.
She was born to Reverend Earnest J. Toussaint and Gertrude Milburn Toussaint on May 15, 1933. Lady Mae was one of eleven siblings and was raised in a Christian home where her father was a Baptist preacher and mother was the matriarch and housewife. Growing up with a father as a pastor, the Toussaint children were reared and groomed in knowing God and participated in various church functions and activities. Worship and church attendance was a part of the family’s lifestyle, so Lady Mae and her siblings got to know God at a very early age. Education was an integral part of Lady Mae’s life and she grew to desire knowledge and completed her high school education at St. Landry Parish High School, in Opelousas, LA. She later was the first amongst her siblings to attend college at Leland College, in Baker, Louisiana. During this time, Leland was only one of four higher learning institutions for blacks chartered in the state either during or shortly after the Reconstruction. Lady Mae decided she’d pursue her degree in Education, desiring to be a teacher amongst teachers. As time passed, Lady Mae met a distinguished gentleman, Elgee W. Gorrell Sr. and began dating during their educational studies at Leland College. Lady Mae and Elgee were married after their college education was completed. To their union eight children were born. Lady Mae took a teaching job and taught grade school at Poland School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Lady Mae later relocated to Chicago and began working in the educational system as a teacher and later in education administration. Lady Mae’s love for education continued and she returned to school, receiving her Masters Degree in Education from Roosevelt University, in Chicago, Illinois. She taught and helped to shape the minds of young people at Mt. Hope Missionary Baptist Daycare Center, New World Christian Ministries, Faulkner Elementary School, many school in the Archdioceses of Chicago and Catholic Charities network, as well as Liberty Temple Full Gospel Academy.
After 42 years in the Education system, Lady Mae retired. Lady Mae enjoyed reading stories to children and would do so at any time. Lady Mae raised her children in a God-fearing home, just as she did growing up. She did not send her children to church, she drove them there herself. Lady Mae was a faithful choir member, singing in the choirs at Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church, Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, Mt. Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Gethsemane Garden Missionary Baptist Church, Christ Church Baptist and Third Baptist Church of Chicago. Additionally, being named as the President Emeritus of the Greater Shiloh District Association Women's Auxiliary, after years of service. Lady Mae loved her family, her church and her God-given work in administration. Lady Mae later married Rev. Melvin Greene Jr. and was married until his passing. To this union, she shared her love to four additional children. Lady Mae was the matriarch in her family and shared her heart and wisdom with anyone willing to listen. Lady Mae took special care for those who were without or going through rough times. She always found enough to be able to give of what she had, knowing that God would supply all her needs. Lady Mae was known for making sure to prepare a plate for that neighborhood person who was without and sharing her home with a relative that needed a place of shelter. She never made anyone feel bad even though they were experiencing a bad situation. She’d feed you, shelter you and love you back to health. She did this countless times and never said a word to anyone about her good deeds. She moved through life, even while facing tough times herself, moving as though the grace of God was carrying her all the way. She referenced two scriptures often “I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25) and “God will take care of me” (1 Pet. 5:7). Her words resounding in the ears and lives of those she was surrounded by. Mourning her departure, yet cherishing her precious memory is her seven beautiful children, Carolyn Ann Ford, of Indianapolis, Indiana; Elder Elgee Wayne Gorrell, Jr. (Valerie), of San Diego, California; Darlene Denise Gorrell Galloway (Calvin) of Chicago, Illinois; Fitzgerald Craig Gorrell, of Chicago, Illinois; Elder Dedra Denee Gorrell Smith (Kenneth), of Chicago, Illinois; Gwana Renee Gorrell Blanton (Candace), of Chicago, Illinois; and Rev. Michael Dwain Gorrell (Melanie) of Chicago, Illinois; three beautiful step-children, Melvin Scott Greene, III of Lansing, Michigan; Gregory Hawkins, of Lake Charles, LA; and Rosalind Denise Hawkins, of Lake Charles, LA; 31 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild, one sister, Edna Ruth Toussaint Simmons; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents: Rev. Earnest J. and Gertrude Milburn Toussaint; seven brothers: Edward Toussaint Sr., Raymond L. Toussaint, Earnest Toussaint, Roger Toussaint, Sr., Herbert M. Toussaint, Rev. James V. Toussaint, and Rev. Lee A. Toussaint; two sisters: Beatrice Levier, Ada Madeline Jones; husband and father of her eight children, Elgee W. Gorrell, Sr.; late husband, Rev. Melvin Greene, Jr.; son, Paul E. Gorrell, step-sons, James Perks Greene and Clayborn Perks Greene.
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Rev.14:13) Every person’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he/she lived and how he/she died that distinguish one person from another.”
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