Beloved family matriarch Mary Anner Baskett, 103, was resting peacefully at her Florida home surrounded by family when she ascended to heaven on July 19. A celebration of her life will be held on July 28 at McCourt and Trudden Funeral Home in Farmingdale, N.Y. She will be laid to rest with her husband and sons at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale.

Baskett was born in Norlina on Sept. 20, 1917, to John and Delia Davis and was one of 10 children. Growing up, she dreamed of teaching. She eventually married Hence Baskett, and the couple moved to New York, settling in Queens with their four children. Baskett, who read the Bible daily, was born Baptist, but converted to Catholicism and was an active member of St. Pascal Baylon Church.

The couple worked for the City of New York with Baskett at the Department of Hospitals. She raised her two sons and two daughters to be independent and pressed the importance of education and property ownership to her children as something that “can never be taken away” from them. 

Called “Nana” by grandchildren and neighborhood kids, she was at the bus stop every day after school to walk them home, fixed their favorite snacks and helped with homework.

Baskett and her older sister, French, hosted annual family reunions at their childhood home in Norlina. Long lines would form for Baskett’s famous fried chicken, corn pudding and desserts. She was known for big home cooked meals and neighbors eagerly awaited their annual Christmas gift — a pan of homemade lasagna.

Baskett was preceded in death by her husband, Hence; sons, David and George Baskett; and her nine siblings. She is survived by her daughters, Mary Ann Baskett and Hazel Moorer; her grandchildren, Lancey Baskett, Kyle Lee (Christy Lee), Janay Lee, (Glenn McGee); great-grandchildren, Brittany Burk, Brandon Burk, Kaelyn Lee and Krysten Lee; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.