Mary Louise Reed Church, age 79, of Ovid passed away due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident on Friday, January 14, 2022.
Mary was born in Newport, VT on June 9, 1942 and lived in Lyndon Corner, VT., W. Newberry Vt., Bangor, ME and Elsworth Falls, ME where she graduated from high school.
She enjoyed Girl Scouts, Grange, Rainbow Girls (Eastern Star) and Home Ec., where she taught the cooking class as a high school senior. She sang at church and participated in activities like All-State Chorus.
She attended Lyndon Teachers College earning her B.S. in Education, where she was active in drama and the literary society while working in the school kitchen to pay for tuition and room and board. In her junior year she created an innovative reading program using regular children’s books rather than boring Dick and Jane books. It was a new idea at the time and the kids loved it. She was given a private room in the dorm because she was counseling so many younger students and needed the privacy.
Her first year of teaching was High School English at the Hewlet School on Long Island, NY. During that year she enjoyed Broadway plays in NYC. The next year she married Henry and moved to Seiad Valley, California where they taught elementary school for one more year before joining International Schools Services in NYC and Washington, D.C. She taught in South Sumatra Indonesia, Algeria, North Africa, West Pakistan, and Bontang, Borneo, Indonesia. She loved to travel and flew around the world five times and half way around the world 12 to 15 times. She visited five continents, 33 countries and 49 states, but it was great to return to her beloved South Seneca School District.
She helped to set up and taught the Alternative Class Room at South Seneca where she loved the kids and saw them as the most potentially creative members of society who would do just fine as adults who would end up thinking for themselves. She had many friends on the staff, faculty and administration of her beloved South Seneca School District. She will be greatly missed by friends and family.
She was always knitting without looking at her needles. Mary enjoyed being a member of local groups such as Lions Club, the Lodi Historical Society, the 20th Century Club, teaching knitting groups and she was very involved and loved in the Agape Bible Church. Her grandchildren fondly remember “Gramma Trips” to the location of their choosing.
Mary is survived by her husband of 56 years, Henry Church of Ovid; her daughter, Yamini (Trevor) Sibley; her sister, Kaye (Dr. Thomas) Johnson of Sperryville, VA.; four grandchildren, David and Amanda Jensen, Trevor and Adam Sibley; four great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and a large extended family, many of whom Mary adopted as her own. She is predeceased by her parents, Rev. Hugh and Katherine Reed; two brothers, Bill and Paul Reed; and her grandson Ryan Sibley.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Mary Louise Church Scholarship fund for a South Seneca Central School Student. Mail contributions to Mary Louise Church Scholarship Fund - South Seneca Schools 7263 Main Street Ovid NY, 14521.
A Memorial Service for Mary will be held on June 11, 2022 at 11:00am at the Assembly of God Church at 197 Bostwick Road, Ithaca NY.
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