LLOYD, Mary Ellen, 87,
of Blacksburg, Va., departed this life on Friday, January 18, 2013, surrounded by family at her home. She was born to the late Jean Dayton West, a portrait artist, and Leonard Albert West, a physician, on October 20, 1925 in Des Moines, Iowa. Mary Ellen majored in history at the University of Iowa, where she elected Phi Beta Kappa. She and her husband have lived in the Blacksburg area since 1958. She served her community in many ways throughout her life. She taught middle school and worked with human services agencies such as Community Action, legal aid, a battered women's shelter, and at New River Community College. She was an innovative, patient and committed tutor for children and adults in homes, schools and colleges. She took particular interest in working with the elderly by leading wild flower walks, line dances and sing-alongs while playing the auto harp. She was nicknamed "Monk" (short for Monkey) in childhood because of her extensive tree climbing and carried that adventurousness into adulthood through her love of hiking and exploring new places. She loved long walks and sharing the marvels of her wild flower garden with friends and family. No matter the activity or vocation in which she was involved, Mary Ellen was present to each person's needs. She touched many people's lives by providing guidance and encouragement. She will be remembered by her sparkling eyes, engaging smile, easy laughter, clever word play and wit. Mary Ellen is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, B. Lloyd; sister, Betty Alexander of Winston-Salem; and was preceded in death by sister, Phyllis West. Mary Ellen is also survived by daughter, Mary Cameron Spain and son-in-law, Mark Spain, of Virginia Beach; son, Robey Baldwin Lloyd of Blacksburg; daughter, Becky Lloyd of New Orleans; granddaughters, Keri Lloyd of San Diego and Gabrielle and Lindsay Lloyd of Abingdon. The family would like to thank Good Samaritan Hospice for their support and guidance as well as Mary Ellen's caregivers, Jeanie, Angi and Diane. For those wishing to make a contribution, the family suggests that donations be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org;
334-956-8200), Good Samaritan Hospice (www.goodsamhospice.com;
540-381-3171), or a . A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 Church St. NE, in Blacksburg, Va., on Wednesday, January 23, at 4 p.m. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.