Mabel Oliver Schexenider, 94, of Groves, Texas, passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by people who loved her on June 30, 2023, of natural causes. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, laughter, and joy. To know her was to be uplifted by her indominable spirit.
Mabel was born on August 31, 1928 to William King and Millie Ann Foshee in Rosepine, Louisiana. After growing up in and around Leesville and graduating from Pickering High School at 16, Mabel declined a scholarship at Louisiana State University to study radio communications. She moved to Texas temporarily to join a cousin working as a carhop in Port Arthur. That is where she met her first husband, Russell L. Oliver, while he was on leave from the Navy during the World War II. After the war, they were married in Deweyville, Texas. They went on to have four children, Laura, Judy, Larry, and Lynett.
Mabel served her community in many ways. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for more than 50 years at Groves Baptist Church. She was also an active member of the Women’s Mission Union (WMU), served on many church committees, and was a fixture at church activities. In the community, she gave her time and energy to Port Arthur’s United Board of Missions, the Port Arthur International Seafarers Center, Boys’ Haven in Beaumont, and Ladies’ Home Extension Club. With the Ladies’ Home Extension, she raised money selling countless pounds of pecans and pecan pies. She also dominated the club’s pecan pie contest, winning three years in a row, 1976-78, before retiring “so someone else could win.” She was a Girl Scout troop leader for more than a decade, helping give generations of young women a strong foundation of leadership and self-confidence.
Mabel spent as much time outdoors as she could. Her green thumb is legendary and she knew the names of almost all the trees and plants she encountered. In addition to gardening, she enjoyed cooking, spending time with her family, and traveling. With Russell and their kids, they traveled in the US and spent a lot of time at her sister’s cabin on Toledo Bend Reservoir. Once Russell retired, they really took off, driving to every state in the country, much of Canada, and even to Alaska. They also ventured to Europe with friends and visited Laura and her husband, Richard, when they lived in Thailand.
Russell passed away in 1999 and Mabel spent a year traveling to Colorado and Austin, as well as spending time with her sisters in Louisiana. Then she married Roy Schexenider in 2001 and spent 11 happy years laughing, cooking, spending time with their extensive family, and enjoying life.
Mabel moved into Forever Young Home in Groves in February 2017 and spent the remainder of her life with the excellent care of Penny Lee, her amazing staff, and wonderful Hospice nurse, Tasha.
Family Who Went Before
Mabel was preceded in death by husbands Russell Oliver and Roy Schexenider, son Larry Oliver, infant daughter Judy Oliver, sisters Mildred Hebert and Minnie Ruth Hall, and brother Bill Foshee.
Family She Left Behind
She is survived by daughter Laura Schexenider and her husband, Richard Schexenider; daughter Lynett Oliver and her wife, Jennifer Barnier; sister, JoEllen Jordan; and granddaughter Jennifer Schexenider. Great granddaughters include Amber Pellerin and son, Seth; Melanie Monk, husband, Henry, and their children, Avery and Henry IV.; Holly Landry and her partner, Gene Cantrell, and their children, Autumn and Todd.
The family would live to express their heartfelt gratitude to Penny Lee and her staff at Forever Young Home for making Mabel’s final years as full of joy, laughter, and love as anyone could ever hope for. Laura and Lynett were continually comforted by the dedication and caring shown by everyone at Forever Young.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 6, 2023, at First Baptist Church in Groves.
Funeral services will be Thursday, July 6, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Groves. Officiating will be Reverend Charles Miller and Dr. Joe Worley. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Groves.