On Thursday, July 7, 2022, Mary Beth Blackwell gained her wings, but she left a legacy behind. She lived a good life with 81 years of beautiful memories. A loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandma, aunt, friend and although she only birthed two children, she raised hundreds. She loved everyone and put her heart into helping many people. She was a caregiver who wanted to help children and people in need to make a difference… She enjoyed family, children, cooking, sewing, quilting, reading, animals and giving to the community.
Mary Beth Blackwell was born August 1, 1940, in Memphis, Tennessee in Shelby County to Eleanor Rhea Landis and John Charles Schroll Sr. and was one of four siblings: Dorothy Schroll, John Schroll Jr., Robin Landis.
She was already a natural caregiver from an early age. Even though times were hard, she took care of her family when her mother had pneumonia and she tried to help in any way she could, from cooking and cleaning to taking care of her family.
Education was especially important to her; she was a consistent honor roll student. She attended Amarillo High. Ms. Blackwell studied at Amarillo College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University.
She was married to Bobby Wood Blackwell on September 2, 1964. She gave birth to Elizabeth Anne Blackwell in 1965 and Bonnie Carol Blackwell in1968. She started her career as a teacher and then became a social worker for CPS, where she rescued children from bad situations. For many years she was the Director of Opportunity House, for struggling teens in Amarillo, Texas. She had a heart of gold and as a diligent worker she shaped a lot of lives for the better. She was never judgmental, and it was inspiring to see how she handled teens with love. She always had the best solutions to problems and handled herself with such dignity, patience, composure, and kindness, yet firmness.
Later in life, she volunteered at the Quilt Museum of Golden, Colorado. She made quilts with her students, who came from all over the world. She really enjoyed making quilts for countless people’s families for their memorials. Some of her quilts are still hanging in the museum today.
Her cooking was heavenly, and she made more food in a day than most make in a week, and it was so good. Her grandkids and great grandkids loved to come over to help her cook, bake, and knead dough while listening to her amazing stories about her childhood, children, siblings, husband, saving children, work at the children’s home, and the quilt museum. She had quite some amazing stories! She was a true treasure.
Those left behind to cherish those memories are her children, Elizabeth Austin and husband Doug, and Bonnie Blackwell; grandchildren, Amanda and Kim Van Overmeeren; six great-grands, Idaia, Aimon, Aaron, Keeley, Hunter, and Nicola. Additional survivors include a brother John Schroll, and two sisters Robin Landis and Dorothy McGary.
We are saying goodbye to Mary Beth on July 12, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Crossroads Country Church, 14425 FM 1541 South Washington, Amarillo, Texas 79118.