Cover photo for Mary Joyce (Safford) Toney's Obituary
Mary Joyce (Safford) Toney Profile Photo
1940 Mary 2023

Mary Joyce (Safford) Toney

February 16, 1940 — April 23, 2023

Mary Joyce (Safford)Toney, passed away on, Sunday, April 23, 2023, at St. Mary Health Care Center in Worcester, MA.  

Mary, born in Crenshaw County, AL., the daughter of the late Missie (Frazier) Safford and Willie H. Safford. Mother of four Gloria Toney of Worcester, MA, Nadine Toney (predeceased), Adaline Toney of Worcester, MA and Wanda Toney-Poteat (husband Timothy Poteat) of Barre, MA.  Mary’s siblings: Wille N Safford (predeceased), Lonnie J Safford (predeceased), Jennett Collins (husband Charles Collins) of Goldsboro, NC, Texanna Simpkins (predeceased), Willie Faye Safford of Kinston, NC, Sarah F Safford (predeceased), John Safford of Kinston, NC, Pauline Gassaway of Goldsboro, NC, Marvin Safford of Burlington, VT and Douglas Safford of Goldsboro, NC. Mary was a proud grandmother to (Gloria’s children) Quaheim Toney, Akida and DeVondre Cooper, and Chantelle Toney, (Nadine’s children) Sheranda (Toney) White (husband James White), and Aisha Toney, (Adeline’s children) Tiffany, Paulette, Andrew, and Malichi Toney, (Wanda’s children) Olajuwon and Naseef Parker, Zakiya and Niya  Poteat. Mary also, has great-grandchildren, lots of nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends that she cherished. 

A very special mention of her closest lifetime best friend, sister, and confidant Lorener (Toney) McClain. 

Mary was a trailblazer, a matriarch, and an amazing role model to many. Barely 21 years old, she worked to relocate her mother and siblings from Alabama to Worcester, MA for a better opportunity in life. Chester (Chet) Herwitz owner of Davey’s Handbag hired a young Mary, who later he promoted her as the Production Manager when he observed her leadership and skill set. Mary had an amazing ability to communicate and possess the respect and support of her employees. Mary would say, “you get more bees with honey”. Mary was also a licensed hairdresser servicing her clients after her long days at Davey’s. Chet and Mary became best friends he was a big support to her and her family. When Chet passed away Mary retired from Davey’s and the business closed. 

Mary was a longtime active member of the Church of Christ until she couldn’t attend due to her health. She raised her children and grandchildren in the church, she sometimes provided transportation for those who couldn’t get to church to worship. Mary though small in stature she was bigger than life. 

Mary gained many friends, she never met a stranger, her heart was huge, and she loved to love. 

Relatives and friends are invited to Celebrate Mary Joyce’s Life on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Church of Christ, 89 Beaver Brook Parkway, Worcester, MA,  01603, a Memorial Service will be held from 1:00pm until 2:30pm.

Flowers can be sent directly to the church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Joyce (Safford) Toney, please visit our flower store.


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