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Gracie Roane, fondly known as “Mag” to family, friends, and loved ones, was
called home to eternal rest on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
Mag was born on March 14, 1935, in Farmers’ Union, North Carolina to the late
Frederick Douglas Phifer Sr. and Ethel Freeman Phifer. She was the third of seven
Mag graduated from Artesia High School in Hallsboro, North Carolina before
relocating to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was in Philadelphia that Mag met the
love of her life, Melvin (deceased). They were quite the pair and the depth of their
love was beautiful. They enjoyed vacationing and cruising, which they did often.
In addition to travel, they also loved family fellowship, and dancing. (Boy, they
could cut a rug!) Mag especially loved dancing to one of her favorite artists, James
Brown. Family fellowship often occurred at their home, which was frequently
opened to family for extended stays, and hot meals, primarily for the purpose of
helping family become established.
Mag loved the Lord! She accepted Christ as Lord and Savior at an early age at
Sandy Plain Missionary Baptist Church, Clarkton, North Carolina. Mag’s
humility, availability and love for others were just some of the ways she lived her
unwavering faith. Her kind, inviting spirit was a safe haven for so many. What is
most encouraging and illustrative of her faith, is how she prayed, spoke the word
and confessed the promises of God throughout her illness. Even on her most
difficult days, she held on to the promises of God and encouraged those around her.
Mag became a devoted member of Bibleway Baptist Church of Mt. Airy,
Philadelphia in 2011, where she was elevated to the Mother Board. Mother Roane
was active in weekly worship and bible study services and actively supported
youth and their scholarship fundraising activities.
Professionally, Mag worked in retail, specifically grocery and home improvement
industries. Her strong work ethic, love for people, and servant’s heart led to a very
successful career, as well as her being a recognizable face and personality in the
community. Faith, family, and fellowship were very important to Mag.
During the last four years of her life, Mag lived in New Jersey with her niece,
Freda. As Mag experienced health challenges, Freda became her loving and
devoted caregiver. The two of them would spend time talking, laughing, and
watching CNN (specifically Chris Cuomo), Mag’s favorite. Although Mag’s body
became weak, her mind remained strong and her faith even stronger.
Mag leaves to cherish her beloved memory, siblings, Carrie Thompson and George
Phifer (Carla); nieces, Stephanie Rhoden, Tangie Davis and Freda Phifer; great-
nephew, Michael Davis and great-niece, Maleana; sisters-in-law, Dorothea Phifer,
and Edna Roane; brothers-in-law, Jadie Slater (Gloria) and George Slater (Sharon),
and a host of other family and friends.