A Legacy of Welcoming All
Mary Rivers LeGree’s life has come full circle.
Born in the Coffin Point community on St Helena Island, Mary now lives a short distance from the bridge that connects downtown Beaufort with Lady’s and St. Helena Islands. Mary’s life has taken her on a journey through Harlem in New York City to Detroit and back home.
Mary moved to New York when she was 9 years old. Later, life took her to Detriot. The Detroit riots of 1967 led to the launch of many African American businesses. Mary worked for the president of First Independence Bank of Detriot, founded in 1970 and African-American owned. Her career path continued and landed her a position at Ford Motors, where she worked for 16 years. While with Ford she earned her B.A. at the University of Detroit. She later moved on to work for the UAW for another 10 years. Then in 2005, she had the opportunity to take a golden parachute and retire.