Family hour will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 535 Cathay Street with the funeral service commencing at 11:00 a.m. Pastor P. David Saunders will officiate with interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the Evans & Browne's Funeral Home on Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
After a number of health problems, Mattie Sue Erwin (Mommy) peacefully left this earth on Sunday, April 8, 2012 (Easter). Mommy was born on March 17, 1926 (St. Patrick's Day) from the holy union of Jeff Atwater and Leora May Atwater in Jackson Tennessee. Both parents preceded her in death. Mattie was a long time devoted member of Bethel A.M.E. Church and a member of the Busy Bee and the Retiree Clubs.
Mattie came to Saginaw as a young adult. She met and married James Erwin in the 1940's. This holy union produced six children, the first being born in 1947. All her children survive her. They are L. Fallasha Erwin, Detroit, MI, Beatrice King (Stanley S. Roberts), Clarkston, MI, Yvonne (Randall) Flowers, Bridgeport, MI, James Erwin, Jr., Brenda and Belinda Erwin and an adoptive daughter, Judy Barton, all of Saginaw, MI. One of the special qualities that made Mommy unique was she became the surrogate mother to many, including the children of her late sister, Mary Beemon Doster and the siblings of her children, Timothy Grays, Jacqueline (Darren) Nash, Billy James Erwin, and Stacy (Michael) Erwin Oakes.
Together with her children, Mattie is also survived by a loving brother Joe (Cora) Atwater, her dedicated and faithful brother, Charles Atwater, and her only surviving sister, Doris (John) Hinton. She leaves 13 grandchildren; Sharawin Erwin, Chandra Morgan, Kielen King, Schlar Erwin, Michael Horton, Quayshun King, Jennifer Copeland, Ashley Erwin, Jalen Flowers, Kiera Erwin, Kylie Erwin, James and Semaj Erwin; four great-grandchildren along with countless nieces and nephews.
In addition, Mattie had a large cadre of special friends and assistants including, Ann Madison, Angie Dugan, Carolyn Clayton, Brenda Palmer, Kevin Jordon and John Clark (Old Folks). A "Special Thanks" to the Fresenius Medical Care, Dialysis Center in Saginaw, MI and the Lahser Hills Nursing Center in Southfield, MI. She leaves a dear longtime friend, Josephine Brown; her best friend and long time companion, Edward Akins preceded her in 2003. Mommy is also preceded by one brother, Willie B. Hutch, and one sister, Mary Beemon Doster.
Mommy in her early Saginaw life worked as a cook at Porter's Restaurant and the Ramada Inn. She developed a reputation as a cook without equal with her legendary barbeque sauce, blackberry and peach cobblers and butter rolls. Mommy cooked for the NBA Washington Wizards and many other hungry individuals who were fortunate enough to grace her presence and enjoy her culinary art.
After 28 years of devoted service, Mommy retired from GM's Malleable Iron Plant as an inspector operator in the Finishing Department. Few may remember that Mattie was an outstanding softball player. She hit with power and played a wicked first base. She loved baseball and basketball, especially the Detroit Pistons; she was passionate about fishing. When she got a fish on the line, you better watch out.
Many have asked why people called Mattie, "Mommy." Her children called her Mommy because of her motherly love. Initially, others laughed at adult kids calling their mother Mommy. But after experiencing the sweet and wonderful woman who loved all God's children, they too began calling her Mommy. In Saginaw and every other place that she may have traveled. Mommy means LOVE!