Mrs. Marie Cable Parker
Had he lived in the Deep South of the 1920s Dickens might have written A Tale of Two Cities about Mississippi. It certainly would have been a tale of two cultures: one white and privileged, the other colored and segregated. It was indeed the best of times and the worst of times. It was the Roaring Twenties and the prelude of the Great Depression. It was during these times that Marie Cable was born: July 6, 1926 in Flora, Mississippi. She was the seventh of nine children born to Willie and Andrew Cable, Sr.
Life was good. Marie had loving parents who gave her a solid Baptist upbringing, an appreciation for hard work, and who made education the foundation for the family. In their fruit orchard were peaches, pears, apples, figs, and berries. In their gardens were peas, beans, potatoes, greens, lettuce, okra, and tomatoes. Their lives were simple and happy.
Life was hard. The Family grew cotton – lots and lots of cotton to be picked by hand. They raised pigs, cows, and chickens. They farmed corn, watermelons, and Louisiana-ribbon sugar cane. There were no electric lights, running water, or indoors plumbing. There were no TVs, telephones, air conditioners, or washing machines. Supper was cooked on a wood-burning stove. A day’s work was from sunrise to sunset and no laws were enforced against child labor.
Marie attended Flora Grade school. She later moved to Jackson to stay with her oldest sister, Willie Mae. She attended Lanier High School (1941-45). Her high school records show that she was an above-average student, rarely late or absent.
While at Lanier, Marie met and subsequently, on March 3, 1946, married the late Eddie Robinson. One daughter, Deloris, was born to this union in July 1947. When Marie and Eddie moved to Chicago in 1949, Deloris remained in Flora/Jackson with Auntee and Sis (Willie Mae and Eleanor) who cared for her like their own child.
There had been a great migration of Blacks from the South to the industrialized North during the late 40s and 50s. Marie and Eddie, like so many others, had taken the City of New Orleans train North looking for better opportunities. Their first jobs were as factory workers. Their first residence was a room in an apartment Eddie shared with his foster brother, Lisbon, at 41st and South Park Avenue (now called King Drive). Marie and Eddie became good friends with the famous jazz singer, Joe Williams, who lived in the building with his mom whom they affectionately called ‘Miss Ann.’
Chicago was alive, hopping with talented Black stars and clubs. The Blue Note, the Club De Lisa, and the 411 Club were just a few of the popular spots. The young couple would frequently go out for a night on the town. Sometimes Marie would take the ‘L’ downtown to the subway and meet Eddie who got off work at midnight. (Can you imagine doing this today?)
Marie and Eddie moved into their own apartment on Langley Avenue in 1953. After each completed cosmetology school at the Lydia Adams Beauty College, Deloris came to Chicago permanently. The year was 1956. While staying with Auntee, who was Catholic, Deloris had decided to join Holy Ghost Catholic Church; therefore, Marie and Eddie sent her to St. Columbanus Catholic School. The school required
non-Catholic parents to take instructions in the Catholic faith. Marie later decided to become Catholic and remained a faithful member of St. Columbanus Church until she relocated to Mississippi in 2002.
The young family shared much. Weekend trips and outings were frequent, as were trips to museums, parks, zoos, movies, and concerts. Eddie and Deloris would spend hours playing cards and board games. Much to Marie’s disapproval, he even taught his young daughter how to gamble at cards and play the horses. The two loved to go to racetracks, especially the harness races. Schoolwork, however, always came first, and the standards were very high.
After Eddie’s death in 1961, Marie remained a widow until she married Donley Parker on March 8, 1977. Marie and Don had met through a mutual friend, Bertha Purdie. Their marriage lasted 30 years, until his death in 2007. If you knew Don, you know that he rarely went anywhere without Marie and Marie rarely went anywhere, except to church, without Don. It was just as Marie had told Don about the young girl in Jamaica, who had jokingly talked about marrying him, “The young thing had better make enough money to take care of the three of us because Marie ain’t going anywhere.”
The Parker family treated Marie like a royal member of the family, seemingly forgetting that she was an in-law and not a blood relative. Don himself often acted as if Marie knew more about his family than he did. If she could have had a dollar for every time he asked her who a certain distant relative was, she would have had a small fortune.
Due to complications with asthma, Marie retired from the beauty-culture profession in 1985. Retirement kept her busier than she ever was when working. She devoted many hours to helping the elderly in her Chicago neighborhood. However, she always found time to regularly go bowling with the ladies each Monday and to do some pleasure reading.
After 35 years with his last employer, Don retired in 1987. He and Marie then had time to enjoy relaxing at home and visiting relatives in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It was in 2002 that Marie finally convinced Don to move to Mississippi. They returned to the house on O’Bannon Drive in Jackson. It was the home she had earlier purchased for her parents. It was a move that neither regretted.
Following Don’s death, Deloris returned to Jackson to care for her mom. She built the home on Old Agency Road in Ridgeland for her mom to enjoy. It was there that Marie spent the last thirteen years of her life, enjoying the country and taking it easy.
Marie would say she was just an old-fashioned girl. She was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan who also followed the Chicago White Sox. She enjoyed most sports, except wrestling. (Don could never seem to understand why.) Her favorite TV show was Wheel of Fortune. Her grandsons often kidded her about the old rotary-dial telephone that hung on the wall in her kitchen, but they never wanted to change a thing about the cooking she did there. Her German chocolate cake, pound cake, peach cobbler, fried chickens, candied yams, and collard greens were soooooooo good!
Marie’s greatest accomplishments were centered around family. She lived a life of love and service to others. Perhaps the reason she was able to give so much was because she was loved so much.
Marie was preceded in death by her sisters: Willie Mae Tobias, and Catherine Cable; by her brothers: Andrew Cable, Sr., Floyd Cable, Thomas Cable, and Miller Cable; by her goddaughter, Audrey Moore-Matthew; and by her great-granddaughter, Guya Holman.
She is survived by her daughter, Deloris Holman of Ridgeland, MS; two sisters, Eleanor Cable of Ridgeland, MS and Flora Griffin of Bentonia, MS; a godson, Tyronne (Eugenia) Johnson of Chicago, IL; three grandsons, Gregory Holman of Jackson, MS, Guy (Kimberly) Holman of Dallas, TX, and Garrick (Tamara) Holman of Brandon, MS.; great-grandchildren Avery Horton, Bianca Holman, Guylah Holman, Jeremy Coleman, Keith Davis, Jovan Davis, Warren Wolfe, Bismark Odendahl, and Aubreanna Odendahl; a great-great grandson, Sebastian; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
The Family will be having visitation from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. following the Wake/Rosary Service on Sunday, June 20 from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. here in Peoples Funeral Home Chapel of Jackson.
The Funeral Service will be at Christ the King Catholic Church, 2303 J. R. Lynch Street, Jackson, Mississippi at 11:00 a.m.
Interment: Autumn Woods Cemetery, 4000 W. Northside Drive Jackson, Mississippi.
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