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Mamie L. "Big Mama" Holliman, a mainstay of Calvary Baptist Church and matriarch of a family spanning six generations, died Thursday (May 15, 2003) of natural causes at her Buffalo home. She was 97.

Born in Georgia, she taught school there before moving to Buffalo in 1943. She joined Calvary Baptist Church, then located on Spring Street, and helped raise money for a new facility on William Street. During the 1950s, she was a practical nurse at Millard Fillmore Hospital.

She held a variety of volunteer positions at the church over the years, including seamstress. She made 100 robes for members of the church's youth department, as well as the only robe worn by the late Rev. Peter Trammell. She was a member of the No. 1 and Mass choirs and served as the church board's vice president, secretary and treasurer over the years. She also organized the Good Samaritan Club.

She is survived by a daughter, Christine Davis of Buffalo; two brothers, the Rev. Charles Holliman and M.C. Holliman, both of Dublin, Ga.; 11 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; 30 great-great grandchildren; and three great-great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at noon Thursday in Calvary Baptist Church, 1184 Genesee St. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.

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