Harry & Bryant Company

500 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC


Mary Mowiser Cranford

February 29, 1928February 2, 2020

Mary Mowiser Cranford, 91, died February 2 at Southminster retirement community, her home for the past 11 years. She was born to Leonard and Alamo Mowiser on Leap Year's Day in 1928 in Fort Valley, Ga.

The family later moved to Lakeland, Fla., for her father's job with the telephone company. After Lakeland High School, Mary graduated from Florida State University in 1949 with a degree in nutrition. She moved to Charlotte for a job as a dietician at Charlotte Memorial Hospital. In Charlotte, she met Henry Cranford on a blind date and the couple married in 1952. She left work to tend to her family - sons Lee, Mark and Steve, and daughter Mary Anne. Her training in the kitchen - at home and college - made Mary a talented Southern cook, a source of great joy for her always-hungry family.

Mary was a longtime member of Myers Park Baptist Church and its Fifth Dimension Sunday school class. She was particularly grateful to the church for its comfort after Lee's death at age 19. After the kids were out of college, Mary and Henry were active in the Friendship Force, and travelled around the globe, which she diligently recorded with her camera. They enjoyed a loving relationship, marked by a lot of humorous banter, during a marriage of 66 years.

Mary is survived by sons, Mark Cranford of Fort Myers, Fla. and Steve Cranford (Koren) of Charlotte; and daughter, Mary Anne Martin (Fred) of Huntersville. She is also survived by grandchildren Caitlin Byrnes (New York), Caroline Beeson (Charlotte), Will Cranford (Athens, Ga.), Adam Cranford (Charlotte), Lauren Swift (Charlotte), Sam Martin (Charlotte), Matt and Jessica Martin (Matthews) as well as her older sister, Jeanette (Florida). She was predeceased by her husband, Henry Cranford (2018); and her brother, Ed Mowiser.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at Southminster's Great Hall, 8919 Park Road, Charlotte, NC.

The family would like to thank the staff at Southminster, including Dr. Thad Clements and the nurses of Embrace Health, who faithfully tended to her care.

Memorials can be made to the college scholarship fund at Myers Park Baptist Church, the Southminster Foundation or the Urban Ministry Center.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Mary Mowiser Cranford

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