Mavis Fitzgerald

SCRIPTURE: 2 Timothy 1:16-18

The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.


Onesiphorus was a friend of the apostle Paul, who Paul mentions twice in his second letter to Timothy. Onesiphorus whose name means “Profit bringer” was a dear freind from Ephesus who made the long voyage to Rome to visit Paul while he was in prison. Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. He risk his life in more ways than one to get to Paul. [1] Travel was treacherous and [2] Nero was persecuting Christians. Onesiphorus took the risk and came to Paul.

His visit and presence was a huge encouragement to Paul who says of his friend, “He often refreshed me.” This word refreshed is a compound word that I think Junior Hill has translated well, Onesiphorus was a “breath of fresh air.” He had the gift of encouragement. He had the ability to make you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. This means he was positive and up beat, a happy fellow.


  • Most Danvillites are introverted: very introverted but Mavis and Hugh were the exception. They would not allow you to stay a stranger. They were meeters and greeters. Mavis was a ball of sunshine. She had an radiate personality, she had a glow of joy, she sparkled with hope. No matter what the circumstance, when you asks Mavis how she was doing, her patented answer was W O N D E R F U L.
  • Mavis was a positive thinker: encouraging others seemed to come natural to her. Just a few months into our ministry hear, I became very discouraged and Hugh invited me to come eat super with them after church. That night, he and Mavis had a talk with me and I will never forget the kindness they used to correct my negative thinking. MAVIS WAS AN ENCOURAGER.
  • The only problem with eating with Hugh and Mavis was her continual encouragement…she would say again and again…EAT…like I need encouragement in that area.
  • She was also a joker: she had a great sense of humor. For years Mavis was one of my two designated laughers {Joe Eaton was the second}. When I said something remotely funny, Mavis cackled. I love folks who laugh at my jokes. I love my children in spite of the fact they don’t laugh. You can spot my children, they are the ones whose face is buried in their hands. MAVIS WAS UNASHAMED TO LAUGH at my jokes.
  • Mavis worked with me as we planned our Centenieul Celebration. She pulled a good one on me. She talked me in to calling a former pastor who had been dismissed. His wife answered and she gave me a good old fashing chewing out. Mavis was on the other side of the room laughing. I think she knew what would happen.
  • Mavis was a school teacher and she was very intellectual. She had an expansive knowledge of the facts. She could work a cross word puzzle with an ink pen. She would work the Sunday puzzle. She had an unbelievable vocabulary. I have never heard one of her fomer students speak ill of her. When I was growing up, school teachers were not popular. MAVIS WAS THE EXCEPTION BECAUSE SHE WAS EXCEPTIONAL.
  • Mavis was a fun person to be with: she knew how to have a good time. I thank God for all our memories of good times with Mavis.
  • Mavis was a huge Alabama fan. Even though Bradley graduated Florida State, Mavis was a tide fan. Of course Bradley is a tide fan also. She loved Nick Saban and had an autographed picture of him. Up until a year ago, she watched all the BAMA games, even the late Saturday night games that I don’t watch. SHE WAS A ROLL TIDE ROLLER.
  • There is no way I can do justice to the memory of MAVIS FITZGERALD. Each one of you has a story about Mavis. If we had the time, we could spend days talking about this sweet and precious lady. When God calls a man to preach, it often means that he leaves his mother and father. June and I married in August and left for New Orleans in October. Danville is as close to home as we have been in these last 48 years BUT in each church, GOD GAVE US PARENTS. Someone who took us in and loved us. Some one who made us feel like family. Hugh and Mavis were those people here in Danville. I spent a lot of time with these boys when they were in their 20’s [playing ball]. Then Bradley moved to Florida and that really hurt our Basketball Team.
  • My family [wife and children] love the FITZGERALDS. Joe is an icon at our house. I miss Hugh as much as I miss anyone but when I see Joe, I see Hugh, just a kinder, gentler version. Boys I want you to know in behalf of the BAILEY’S we love your mom and dad. We appreciate all they did for us.
  • Last but not least: MAVIS LOVED JESUS. She has been promoted to a far better place. We did the best we could to care for her here but she is under better care than we could ever give her.
    • Mavis understood that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
    • Mavis understood that selfishness is the essense of sin
    • Mavis understood that Jesus died because of our sin and for our sin.
    • Mavis is in heaven because she trusted Jesus as her savior.
    • Have you trusted HIM? She would want you to do so.

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