Cover photo for Mary Frances Criss's Obituary
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Mary Frances Criss

December 12, 1933 — July 9, 2022

Mary Frances Criss

Forever in Our Hearts
“To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven!”
Book of Ecclesiastes

“A time to be born.” Ecclesiastes 3:2 Mrs. Mary Stricklen Criss was born on December 12, 1933 to the blessed parents of Mr. Herbert & Mrs. Elnora Stricklen in Arkansas. Mary came to Texas in 1946 and attended James E. Guinn Elementary School. She was a proud Alumni of I. M. Terrell High School. Seeking new opportunities after high school, Mary enrolled at North Texas University where she had a passion for occupational education and technology. With a determined mind to help others, Mary was drawn to work with Adult Basic Education for several years.

“They shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 After a romantic courtship, Mary married the love of her life, Mr. Carl Criss, Jr. For more than 5 decades their love for one another was inseparable. To their union was born the love of their lives, Mr. Michael Criss.

“Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.” Colossians 3:23 Obeying the teachings of her parents that were ingrained in her heart at a young age, Mary had a strong belief in her Christian faith. As a young adult she grew up at Mount Gilead Baptist church before it was renamed Beth Eden Baptist Church, under the late Rev. B. R. Daniels, Sr. Mary loved her family dearly and lived a good life not wanting for anything. Mary also loved her friends, especially Marie Connally where they all enjoyed playing card games for hours laughing and eating. Mary was bold and very vocal. She organized community events and worked closely with many politicians such as Former Congressman Martin Frost, Senator Royce West and Congressman Marc Veasey. Mary was instrumental in getting a petition signed for the first red light on Rosedale & Amanda Street, stop signs placed in the area, the streets paved and addressing the drainage problems on Rudd Street. Mary found joy in working with the Voting Act to get those who had never voted and were not registered to vote, involved in the voting process. Mary sought to assist many people who had little or no education to learn to read, write and many received their drivers licenses for the first time. Mary worked with the Fort Worth Community Action Agency known as CCA as a Senior Citizen Coordinator. While engaging in this work, Mary was proud to lead a group of people that helped advocate for a community center in Stop Six. After several months and many days of negotiating with the city of Fort Worth, Mary and others accomplished their goal of having a community center, named Martin L. King Community Center. With a passion to help others and a gift to speak, Mary became heavily involved with politics as a volunteer. She worked with the Democratic party as an Election Judge for over 25 years.

“A time to die.” Ecclesiastes 3:2 “I’m going to put on my robe, and tell the story, how I made it over.” Mary’s earthly journey ended when the Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s, the Master and Maker of life and death called her name for the Heavenly Roll Call on July 9, 2022. Preceded her in death was her beloved spouse Mr. Carl Criss Jr. and only son, Mr. Michael Criss (Carolyn). Mary had three brothers, Eural Stricklen, J.Lee Stricklen, JT Stricklen and two sisters, Betty Lee Garland & Vada Stricklen and her beloved niece she considered the daughter she never had Demerier Lemma-Bess (Charles).

“A good person leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 Mary leaves a legacy of wisdom, knowledge, kindness, memories and love for her family to cherish for a lifetime. To cherish her love forever are her granddaughters Antennille Robinson and Demetrice Eggins (Jonathan). To treasure her smile & enthusiasm are a host of nieces and nephews. To walk proud of a life well lived are her great-grandchildren Kelton Davis, Tre’lyn Robinson and Treniti Moss. Having a heart of gratitude for being an exceptional person is her precious step-daughter, Patricia Robinson. To keep the card games going are her god-children Lavern Macon (Earl), Lenneace Norris (Larry), Donna Bridges (Robert).

When our loved one becomes a memory, the memory is never forgotten!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Frances Criss, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, July 21, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Serenity Funerals and Cremations

4725 Vermont Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76115


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Life Celebration

Friday, July 22, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

McMillan United Methodist Church

509 Hilltop Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610

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