Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma October 2, 1923, to James Dick Bell and Ida Mae Bell. Mary was a resident of Prince George’s County for over 77 years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers James Dick Jr, Samuel Langford, Joe Malquis, Richard Golden, Bruce Courtney, sister Catherine Doris Bell Snoddy, ex-husband John Henry Arrington Jr., and her granddaughter Robin Juanita Moore.
She is survived by her children John Henry III (Jeanette), Marvelle McIntyre-Hall (John), Zita Johnson Betts, Joel Malquis, Manuel Andre (Wanda), a host of nieces and nephews, 9 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Mary attended Booker T Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated in the class of 1942. While there, she played the drums in the renowned Drum and Bugle Corps. She completed a semester at Langston University but had to return home to assist in supporting her mother and younger siblings.
She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, California to work in the defense industry during World War II. There she met her husband John Henry, Jr., who was serving in the U.S. Army. They would later marry and settle in Chapel Oaks, MD, the first planned housing development in Prince George’s County for Black veterans returning from WWII. The family eventually moved to Glenarden Woods, MD, where the fifth of the Arrington children was born.
Mary was so much to so many. She was a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother, active member of the PTA, President of the Band Parents Club and a charter member of the Zeta Amicae of Prince George’s County Maryland.
She was a daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, wife, friend, leader and trailblazer.