Mary Catheryn Johnson Leeks, 71, peacefully made her transition on March 26 th , 2020 surrounded by family. She was born on October 14, 1948 in Gadsden, AL to Harvey and Zodia Johnson. She was welcomed to her heavenly home by her parents, older brother, Robert Johnson, and beloved granddaughter, Andreana Fleming.
Mary attended school at Gregory High School in Collinsville, AL where she was raised. After graduation, she moved to Atlanta, GA where she attended nursing school at Grady Hospital School of Nursing. She also worked in administration in the Office of the Mayor while in Atlanta. During this time, she became very active in the civil rights movement, specifically with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Mary eventually moved back to Gadsden, AL where she completed nursing school at Gadsden State Community College. Her nurturing spirit was evident as she started her career as a Registered Nurse. Mary worked in hospitals, nursing homes, and with home health all over Northeast Alabama. From delivering babies, working in home health, to serving as Nurse Manager at Gadsden Job Corps, Mary committed her life to medical service with a heart of love. She eventually accomplished her lifelong dream by opening Shepherd’s Heart, residential group homes serving those with intellectual disabilities. She affectionately referred to them as “her babies” and spent the last 13 years making sure they received the attention and care they needed.
Mary received Christ at an early age and was an active member of New Destiny Christian Church in Gadsden, AL. She was joined in matrimony to David Leeks in 1989. Left to continue her legacy include: David Leeks (husband), Tonya Fleming, Zodia (James) Hill (daughters), Anthony Leeks (son), Andrew Fleming, Tayah Edwards, Austin Hill, Teana Edwards, Ethan
Hill, Sydney Hill, Jameson Hill (grandchildren), William (Andrea) Hester (special cousin), Shepherd’s Heart family, and a host of family and friends.
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