JOHNSON CITY - Mary Sue Fitzgerald, age 98, of Johnson City, Tennessee, passed away Saturday, January 16, 2021.

To sit down at a table after Mary Sue Sanders Fitzgerald had cooked was an unparalleled experience. Baked apples with a crispy, sugar crust, buttery mashed potatoes, homemade yeast rolls, yellow squash and broccoli casseroles filled the table. And while you ate, the chocolate and rhubarb pies browned in the oven. These meals were the reason she owned more casserole dishes and pie plates than anyone in Washington County. To Sue, food was love, and it was a gift she gave willingly. And, oh my goodness, she did it so well. When Sue was not feeding those she loved, she could be found tending to her legendary garden.

Sue was a simple woman, who spent all of her 98 years in the Johnson City area. The people she loved brought her tremendous joy. She was blessed with an abundant family, and she loved each and every family member with a singular focus. Anyone who dropped by her home to say hello was greeted with a broad smile, a big hug and the best sweet tea in the county. The Sunday before Labor Day was special for Sue; that was the date for the annual Sanders family reunion. Tables groaned with the weight of all the food, and Sue’s family was all under one roof for a few hours.

In 1992, she greeted her only grandchild, Kathleen Suzanne. That child made her eyes sparkle until the day she died. So dear to Sue was her late sister Gladys. They hopped on buses and traveled America. They were two gals checking out the world, and they had so much fun.

In addition to her parents, Sue was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton John; son, Johnnie Lendell; Sanders brothers, Nathaniel Judson, William Jackson, Haskel Lee, James Dayton, Wallace Ferrell, George Clifton; sister, Gladys Sanders Douglas; and beloved sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

Those left to cherish Sue’s memory include her granddaughter, Katie Fitzgerald Walker and husband, Cameron Walker; daughter-in-law, Sharon Holt Fitzgerald; Sanders brothers, Clifford Glen, Joe Harold; and numerous precious nieces and nephews.

The family would like extend a heartfelt “thank you” to treasured nieces, Stephanie Douglas Poole, Cindy Hodges Douglas, and Diana Gail Sanders Storey, for the outstanding and loving care provided in Aunt Sue’s later years. Sue adored Stephanie’s children: Elizabeth, John, Ella and Jackson.

Family and friends may visit Morris-Baker Funeral Home on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, between noon and 2:00 p.m. to pay their respects and sign the guest book. Family will not be present. A private family service will be held, and it will be available to view online for family and friends under Mary’s obituary page on the Morris-Baker website. This service will be available to view at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 23 and it will be available for 90 days.

A graveside service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, at Monte Vista Memorial Park of Johnson City, Tenn. If you wish to join the family in procession, please assemble at Morris-Baker by 1:50 p.m. The graveside service will be recorded and uploaded to the Morris-Baker website, under Mary’s obituary page, by noon on Monday. Minister Clint Andrews will be officiating the services.

Pallbearers will include: Wesley Storey, Brian Sanders, Jeremy Sanders, Luke Douglas, Chris Sanders, John Poole, and Jay Poole.

In lieu of flowers and in accordance with Sue’s wishes, please send a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of her son, Lendell (https://donate.lls.org/lls/donate), or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/).

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family via www.morrisbaker.com

Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Fitzgerald family (423) 282-1521.