IRVINGTON—Mary Emma Bell Boyer of Irvington died May 15, 2019.
She was born January 25, 1927, in Lancaster County to the late William Moses and Mollie Ellen Ball Bell.
She also was preceded in death by her brother, Ruffin O’Neal Bell Sr.
Mrs. Boyer is survived by her husband, Harvey P. Boyer; her daughter, Willsonia M. Boyer; and her sister, Martha Ellen Bell Carter.
In 1940, Mary entered A. T. Wright High School and graduated as valedictorian in 1944. Upon completing high school, the following fall, she entered Virginia Union University. Mary earned collegiate certificates from Virginia State College in 1960 and William and Mary College in 1967.
In 1948 she returned to Lancaster County and began her teaching career at New Mt. Jean School, where she taught until 1952. Mary taught at Anna T. Jeans from 1956-1959, Brookvale from 1959-1969, Mantua Intermediate from 1969-1973, and Lancaster Intermediate from 1973-1988.
During her teaching tenure, she was a member of the Virginia Teachers’ Association, the County PTA, the Lancaster County Retired Teachers’ Association. She received the Lancaster County Teachers’ Association Award.
In 1940, Mary joined Sharon Baptist Church. In 1989, after Mary’s retirement, with the help of her husband, Harvey, Faith Waddy and Cheryl Rice, she started a pre-school program at the church for the children of the community. Among her many church activities, she was the church’s first historian, and as a member of the anniversary committee and the Sharon Baptist Church Historical Committee, she was instrumental in researching and compiling the church’s history. This process began in 1983, culminating in the Sharon Baptist Church Centennial Journal, which was published for the celebration of the church’s 100th anniversary in 1998.
A funeral was held Saturday, May 25, at Sharon Baptist Church with interment in the church cemetery.