Eva E. Braxton, a homemaker who taught Sunday school at Cherry Hill United Methodist Church for about 36 years, died of breast cancer Wednesday at Harbor Hospital Center. She was 80.
Mrs. Braxton, who lived in Cherry Hill in southern Baltimore for nearly 50 years, also taught after-school classes in arts and crafts to neighborhood children, said her daughter Beverly Y. Joyce of Virginia Beach, Va.
"She did a good job with the young children and was active in the women's ministry," said Nathaniel Perry of Baton Rouge, La., retired pastor of Cherry Hill United Methodist.
Mrs. Braxton also was a Scout leader for her daughters' Brownie and Girl Scout troops.
Despite her breast cancer, she never stopped working to help her family and others in the community, Mrs. Joyce said.
After Mrs. Braxton's death, her children found a box of letters, poems and songs that she had written, some dating from the 1950s. Her son Francis C. Braxton Jr. of Randallstown found a poem by his mother about an individual's search for God, similar to one he has written.
Her gift for writing was passed to grandson Michael C. Braxton Jr. of Pasadena, who has written several songs on a soon-to-be released compact disc by his sister, rhythm and blues recording artist Toni Braxton.
Family and friends referred to Mrs. Braxton's Cherry Hill home, which survived four fires, as the "do drop inn" because friends and neighbors were always welcome.
"She always took care of everybody," said Joyce F. Hall of Glen Burnie, Mrs. Braxton's other daughter. "If somebody needed a place to stay, they could come stay at my mother's."
For the past few years, Mrs. Braxton cooked and ran errands for her friend and neighbor of 40 years, Doris Obie, who died of cancer Aug. 21.
"They were real close. You could mistake them for sisters," said Doris Burris of Cherry Hill, Mrs. Obie's niece.
The family said that Mrs. Braxton's compassion for people experiencing hard times stemmed from her childhood when, after being abandoned by her parents, she was forced to find shelter before she was taken in by her grandparents.
She was born in New York City and raised by her grandparents in Calvert County.
Her husband of 30 years, Francis C. Braxton Sr., died in 1972.
Services are scheduled for 11: 30 a.m. today at Cherry Hill United Methodist Church, 3225 Round Road.
Mrs. Braxton is also survived by another son, Michael C. Braxton Sr. of Bowie; a cousin, Margaret Shelley of Baltimore; 17 other grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.
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