Mary Ann Lawrence Frye
Sylva — Mary Ann Lawrence Frye, 66, passed away peacefully at her residence in Sylva Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 after a long courageous battle with Lymphoma and Pulmonary Fibrosis. Born in Buncombe County in Asheville Sept. 22, 1946 she has lived in Haywood and Jackson County since 1963.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James Loyd and Mary Margaret Gaidos Lawrence, and a brother, Corporal James Loyd Lawrence Jr. who was killed in combat June 12, 1968 in South Vietnam.
Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 45 years, Gary Paul Frye; son Phillip Andrew Frye, daughter-in-law Courtney Lindsey Frye and 20-month-old grandson, Davis Daniel Frye of Raleigh; sister Maxine Lawrence Steppleton and brother-in-law Harold David Steppleton of Waynesville; Brother Edward Lawrence III of Galax, Virginia; brother-in-law William (Bill) Elliott Frye and sister-in-law Linda Lou Ledbetter Frye of Hendersonville.
A graduate of Sylva-Webster High School and Western Carolina University with a master’s degree in education, she was a member of the National Education Association and North Carolina Association of Educators. She began teaching in Haywood County at Waynesville Middle School as a seventh grade teacher before returning to Jackson County where she taught math and science at three schools: Sylva Elementary School, Sylva-Webster High School and Fairview Elementary School. She retired in June 2003 after a 31-year career in education.
A lifelong Christian, she was an active member of First Baptist Church of Sylva for 50 years where she taught the Rebecca Sunday School class for more than 20 years and was an assistant teacher of the Ruth Sunday School class for five years. She served as church business recording secretary for many years and was on the church Women’s Missionary Union Leadership Team. She assisted with summer Vacation Bible School for more than 35 years and served on numerous church committees. She also volunteered more than 40 years as a nursery worker during Sunday morning worship service.
She thoroughly enjoyed traveling the world on vacations. Her concern for others and her unfailing generosity was why she volunteered on church mission trips to Brazil, Ukraine, Kentucky and on several occasions to Mississippi for hurricane recovery work following Hurricane Katrina. She was also a longtime volunteer with the Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Box Ministry, Operation Christmas Child in Sylva and Charlotte.
She will be fondly remembered for sending get-well cards, sympathy cards, congratulation cards and birthday cards to members of her church, school, family, friends and community. She was truly an inspiration for many people who knew her.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Sylva with the Rev. Jeff P. Mathis, Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. John T. Bunn, Pastor Emeritus and Dr. Robert A. Holquist, Minister of Music, officiating. The family will receive friends in the church sanctuary two hours prior the service from 1 until 3 p.m. Interment follows in Fairview Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to either the First Baptist Church of Sylva, 669 West Main St., Sylva NC 28779 (for the Mission and Fellowship Center Kitchen Fund or the Dudley Vandiver Frye Memorial Foreign Mission Fund) or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 401 Harrison Oaks Blvd., #200, Cary NC 27513.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for the kindness and support shown by church, education and community friends, medical staff, Medwest Harris Hospice Services and Appalachian Funeral Services.