Mavis Estriana Ranglin

Mavis Estriana Ranglin (nee Walker), known affectionally as “Mama” was born on October 20, 1928 in Snowden, St. Andrew, Jamaica. She was the daughter of the late Egbert Walker and Lillian Mignott. Her parents had seven children: Lincoln (deceased), Agatha (deceased), Amos (deceased), Hubert (Jamaica, West Indies), Claire (London, England), and Violet (Rhode Island, US). Mama lived in Snowden during her younger years. Snowden is where her maternal family originated. She later moved to Llandwey, Jamaica, where she lived with her father’s sister, Cousin Vin. She went to Hagley’s Gap Primary School. She was forced to leave school in the 6th grade to help care for her siblings. Mama later became a domestic helper and relocated to Kingston.

After moving to Bull Bay she became a member of the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Mama sang soprano and was a devoted member of the church choir where she would maintain her membership and worship with the congregation during her yearly visits to Jamaica. It was in Bull Bay that Mama would meet her future husband and father of her nine children, Eric Ranglin.

It brought her so much joy when she would reflect on the chance meeting with Eric in the early 1950s. She told the story of her washing clothes at Yallahs River when she was approached by a handsome young man. She recalled the young man asking her to wash a shirt for him. He took off his shirt to let her know how serious he was, but this was all in vain. She refused, telling him there was not enough soap. He would return shortly after with soap, and she obliged. This began their courtship. They were married in December 1963.

Mama and Eric weathered many storms together, including the first literal one, Hurricane Charley in 1951.  Their love and commitment kept them together as their family grew. In 1953 they welcomed their first child whom they named Pearline. The other 8, Ephraim, Valrie, Burchell, Marcia, Basil, Donovan, Desmond and Lisa would all follow.

Family was very important to Mama. She was an exceptional mother to her own children, but also, those that she raised. She also raised her youngest sister Violet until she was 14 years old. After her sister Agatha migrated to England, Mama became a mother figure to Agatha’s 5 children: Linneth, Loretta, Ann, Rudolph, and the youngest, a new born, Desmond who they called “Peter.” Eric and Mama loved their children and those placed in their care. They worked hard to ensure all the children’s needs were met. While Mama was a dutiful housewife, Eric was a farmer. Mama sold fruits and vegetables from the family farm.

In 1963 the couple founded an Elementary School, and church in the front of their two-room home. The church and the school are still operating today as the Windsor Basic School and Eleven Miles New Testament Church of God respectively. It is remarkable that Eric, who could not write his own name, and Mama, who was forced out of school in the 6th grade, could have such passion and vision for educating children. Throughout her life she continued to encourage young people to further their education, and she made time to be present for every graduation.

Until her passing, Mama would provide books and laptops to children in the Bull Bay Community. She was extremely humble, and continued this charity secretly. Today, so many young people in Jamaica are sharing the stories of how Mama helped their families.

Mama lost her husband Eric on October 27, 1982. She was now in charge of running her home. She was a “no nonsense” mother who ran a tight ship; keeping all children under “heavy manners.”  Mama was a hard worker. She did anything she could, including selling fruit to make ends meet. She never stopped working for family.

Mama moved to Rhode Island in 1984 with her youngest daughter Lisa. She found work as a launderer at Cardi’s Nursing Home in Central Falls. She loved the residents and took great care to be at work every single day. Mama tells the story of taking the number 6 bus from Prairie Avenue to Central Falls. One of her favorite and hilarious stories was going to work and climbing over mountains of snow. Rain, shine, or snow, Mama was always at work. She worked hard and saved as much as she could to enable her to sponsor her other 8 children to be brought to the states. She joined the Christmas Club at work and would share how excited she was to get the money, not for gifts, but could to send clothes and food to her homeland of Jamaica.

Mama enjoyed hosting Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner at her home. She loved to cook and entertain, always playing music and dancing. She had a flair for nice dresses and never left her red lipstick. For her, nothing brought more joy than seeing her family in her home enjoying the great food she prepared. Mama is known for her cooking; she would often joke that she has been cooking for over 80 years. Going to her dinner was like going to a royal feast, Jamaican style.

Mama was known to know everything about everyone. In her family, and Jamaican community, she served as an unofficial historian. She had a memory second to none. People would rely on her for historical accuracies. She loved to smile and tell jokes. Her remarks were always filled with wit and humor.

Mama was an ardent reader. She read everything, and without glasses. She was as hip as any teenager. She had her own Facebook account, and loved to Facetime on her iPhone—but she always forgot to hang up. She knew of all the celebrity gossip before anyone else in her family. She loved politics, mostly because she was truly invested in the betterment of people. MSNBC was her favorite news channel and became campaign manager for her daughter Marcia. She also made sure that she requested her mailing ballot for the 2020 election. Mama loved to watch “Judge Judy.” Should always made sure to end calls at 4:00 o’clock because she had to watch. She never missed an episode. I bet she’s still watching right now.

Mama was invested in the well-being of everyone in her family. She kept in touch daily with a phone call. Everyone had their own time slot depending on their work schedule, and she remembered every number in her head.  She did her best to ensure they worked hard and kept God first. For Mama, work and education were extremely important. She saw those as opportunities to prosper in life.  On cold days, she called to remind you to wear your jacket or coat. She often called to say that your voice mailbox was full, in most cases she was the “culprit”, but would remind you to clear them out. Her voice messages always began or ended with “This is Mama.” She called for everything. Mama’s family was her full-time job. She never missed a graduation or a celebration. She was an honest person, who always told people what was on her mind, always sharing her vast knowledge and wisdom to help those who needed a lesson for the day.

Mama had the most amazing qualities. Her most admirable was loving and caring for her family. She would do anything for them, and she did. No matter the age, you never wanted for anything when she was around. If Mama couldn’t do it, she would find the person who could.

Mama went to sleep at home on her 92nd birthday surrounded by her sister Violet, and the rest of her family. She leaves behind her 9 children, 39 grandchildren, and 15 greatgrandchildren. She will be remembered for her love of family and her generous spirit. May her beautiful soul rest forever with the angels.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for your charitable donation to support a library in Mavis’ honor. Please send all donations to RI Business Development Institute, c/o Mavis Ranglin Library Fund, 3 Regency Plaza, Suite 3 East, Providence, RI 02903 or

Her funeral and visitation will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 from 10:00 AM -11:00 AM with a service to follow at 11:00 AM in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, 475 Cranston Street, Providence, RI.  Burial will be private.  The guidelines set forth by the Rhode Island Department of Health will be observed and Face coverings are required at all times.






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22 entries.
Rita Valcorba from East Providence wrote on November 13, 2020 at 11:18 am
Dear Lisa, My thoughts are with you and your family. What beautiful tribute to your mother. May her beautiful memories help heal your broken hearts. Rita
Paul F Newman and Family from Cedar Hill wrote on October 31, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Job well done is always better than job well said. You have done your job very well and are enjoying your rest. Rest in HIS presence and know your fruit will always be much more divine.
Joan from Tampa, Florida wrote on October 31, 2020 at 10:21 am
What a wonderful tribute for an amazing woman. She has earned her wings and is now a guardian angel for her family. Love knows no end.❤
Darryl Smith from East Providence wrote on October 31, 2020 at 8:22 am
Sending my deepest condolences. May God make it easy for the family. Keeping you all in my prayers.
Maxine Walker from East Greenwich wrote on October 31, 2020 at 2:32 am
Dear Ranglin Family, You have used these last few days to celebrate the life of the mother you have loved so much, who is now passed on to Glory. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the entire family. Even as you celebrate her beautifully-lived life, I know the sadness of losing her is nonetheless real, and for that, I pray for strength and God’s guidance for your family. In faith, you know it’s only “goodnight but not farewell.” So until you meet again, enjoy the sweet memories of your dear mother, knowing she is now resting in God’s arm, singing with the angels.
Millicent jenkins from Laurel Marylanf wrote on October 30, 2020 at 9:45 pm
It is with heavy heart that I am sending my deepest sympathy to the Ranglin Family. Mom Ranglin was the corner stone and the spine of the family. May the good Lord continue to guide and bless them. She will surely be missed, May her soul rest in eternal peace.
James Ellis from Warwick wrote on October 30, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Blessed are those that come in the name of the Lord. Mavis Estriana Ranglin helped spread God's love on Earth and will continue that undeniable legacy within God's eternal kingdom. May God bless Mavis Estriana Ranglin and her entire family, now and forever. Amen.
Samuel Cherrington from Maplewood New Jersey wrote on October 30, 2020 at 11:18 am
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ranglin family in this your moment of sorrow
FLO ADENI-AWOSIKA from PROVIDENCE wrote on October 30, 2020 at 9:30 am
May your gentle soul continue to Rest in perfect peace, Mama Mavis Ranglin. My condolences to the entire family in USA, around the world and mostly family in Jamaica.
Lorna McDonald Reid from St Thomas, Jamaica wrote on October 30, 2020 at 8:37 am
Marcia, siblings and relatives, the Lord is your present help in time like these. God will never leave you nor fosake you. God will take care of you so be not dismayed whate'er betide. Your mom have left a legacy. May she sleeps in eternal peace. God loves her best..
Mrs. Manny wrote on October 30, 2020 at 7:49 am
Such a loss to all who knew this special lady, Mama Ranglin. The decades have passed and so has a one of a kind beloved lady. So take comfort in the countless memories that stay, both in our minds and hearts. Mama's love for life kept her going, sharing, and spreading her kindness to others. It's nice to know that she will continue to bring smiles into this world as her memories are shared throughout the years to come. Mama will not be forgotten. John 5:28,29, Psalms 37:29
Aunt Iris and Uncle Eddie. from Fort Myers, Florida wrote on October 29, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Dear Family, we are sending hugs to all and pray that as 'Mama" my dear sister-in-law reunites with my brother, you will find comfort in the memories you shared with them. Remember their bodies may be gone but their love will always be in and around all of you.
Judi Zimmer from East Greenwich, RI 02818 wrote on October 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm
I only met Mrs. Ranglin a couple of times, but I feel know her much better than that in my friendship with Valrie, Lisa and especially Marcia. Condolences to the entire family. I know good memories will comfort you.
Andrea Baylis-Johnson from Providence wrote on October 29, 2020 at 4:05 pm
To Lisa,Marcia and the rest of the Ranglin families and friends my condolences to you guys . Another angel went home to be with her Savior.Be strong in the lord god bless you all 🙏🙏🙏
Vertie Gay from North Providence, RI wrote on October 29, 2020 at 12:46 pm
Lisa and family, Words, however gentle, cannot take loss away. Still, may this note of sympathy help comfort you and your family today.
Daphne Carter from Windsor, CT wrote on October 29, 2020 at 10:57 am
Dear Lisa and Ranglin Family, I am sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you all. I had the pleasure of meeting your mom several years ago at the RIBBA event - the interaction was truly a blessing. May our God of all comfort give you peace and strength during this time and the days ahead. Prayerfully Daphne Carter
Sally Moltimore from Riverside wrote on October 29, 2020 at 10:46 am
Dear Ranglin Family, My heartfelt condolences are with you all. Your mother was very special to me. I enjoyed being in her presence and seeing her dance at the RIBBA Gala's. You are in my thoughts and prayers. With Sympathy and Love Sally Moltimore
Pat OHara from Warwick wrote on October 29, 2020 at 9:16 am
We are so very sorry for your loss. May she Rest In Peace.
Sharon Edwards from Jamaica wrote on October 29, 2020 at 8:53 am
Mar you and your family will continue to be in my prayers. My condolences to you again. Keep strong .Even though I did not get a chance to meet mama through pictures and seeing her on facebook I know she she was a beautiful lady with a loving heart.. RIP mama forever in our hearts
Rose aHaughton wrote on October 29, 2020 at 1:37 am
Hey M, let me express condolences to you and your family on the lost of your mom. I really goinğ to missed