Ginden, Mary

GINDEN, Mary Kathryn

Mary Kathryn Ginden, 92, of Atlanta, Georgia, died on May 25, 2022 at Emory St. Joseph's hospital in Atlanta, GA.

Mary was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Kalamazoo College and studied for her masters in social work at the University of Michigan. While teaching English on an American Air Base near Paris, France, she met the love of her life, Charles Benjamin Ginden, an officer in the U.S. Airforce.

They were married in 1961 and made the Atlanta area their home, raising two daughters in Dunwoody and then spending their "empty nest" years in the city of Atlanta… in a home where they would relish every minute spent with each of five grandchildren throughout the next 25 years!

Upon arriving in Atlanta, Mary worked as a juvenile probation and child welfare officer in Fulton County. Committed to being a voice for the youth she served, she returned to work after the birth of their oldest daughter, Julie Louise, in 1962. Mary retired from her job in 1965 after the birth of their second daughter, Kathryn Ann, but remained a passionate, generous, and effective advocate for all of those in need.

Whether she was serving in a shelter for women at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, providing meals on wheels, making anonymous donations to first generation college students, or establishing scholarships at Emory and Kalamazoo Colleges, she was always putting others ahead of herself.

As a mother, she was a model of hard work, persistence, and selflessness. When her daughters became passionate about achieving somewhat lofty goals, though they were not her own goals or even ones that she would have chosen for her daughters, Mary became equally passionate in her support role as driver, investor and the world's best listener! And, while the family was interested and engaged in the politics and social issues of the day, there was little talk about gender inequality or systemic limitations in the area of women's rights; it never occurred to Mary and, therefore, her daughters, that their gender was an impediment to what they could do and achieve.

Mary was similarly devoted to her husband of 62 years, cherishing and building up, a rock, even at the most difficult of times and always remembering that "today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." While Charles is known throughout the Atlanta area for his service to the community, his specific contributions of time, wisdom, and other resources reflected Mary's perpetual optimism, faithful wisdom, and extraordinary empathy.

In addition to her husband and daughters, Mary delighted in her summers at the home of her grandparents on Gull Lake, Michigan, her church Disciple Group, and her grandchildren; she was a life long fan of professional baseball, most especially the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves.

Now relieved of her physical limitations and all discomfort, she is reunited with her youngest daughter, Kathryn, and her younger sister, Carol, both of whom predeceased Mary. And, she is, without a doubt, cheering on her Braves from the loving arms of Christ and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

In addition to numerous friends, Mary is survived by her husband, Charles, her daughter, Julie, her cousin, John Rockwell (Linda), her grandchildren Kelsea and Conner Sears, Mary Fletcher, Charlie and James Claffey, their father, Jim Claffey, extended family members Kim Gray and David Dorsey and their respective families, and her best friend, Joanna Jones.

An opportunity to visit with and extend condolences to Charles and other family members will take place on Monday, May 30, 2022 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at H.M. Patterson & Son, Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 4550 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319. A private graveside service will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, GA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare, or the charity of your choice.

Funeral Home Information

H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne

Atlanta, GA