Mary Jane Winston Roy, age 85, went to be with the lord on Saturday, August 2, 2014, after an extended illness, at Golden Living Center Walnut Creek. Mary Jane was born October 19, 1928, to the late Bardella Vactor Winston Williams and Willie Winston, although was raised by Bardella and Charles Williams in Washington, Pa.
She graduated from Washington High School in 1945. From there, she entered Bennet College for woman in Greensboro, N.C. After two years, she transferred to Penn State University
Main Campus, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Sociology in 1952.
Mary Jane was hired by Morganza Reform School after graduating from Penn State, as the youth activities coordinator. In 1953, she moved to Erie, Pa. to take a job with the URBAN LEAGUE, as the recreational director for girls at the Booker T. Washington Center. There she met and married her husband of thirty-five years Howard D. Roy, in November of 1953. In later years, she worked as a traveling social worker and an early childhood educator, for migrant worker families who were employed by Troyer Farms. Mary Jane then worked at Henderson Methodist Church as a preschool director, and shortly after, she and a group of parents founded the Har-Lin Community Center on Buffalo Rd. In 1970, Doctor LaPenna, the Erie City School Superintendent, asked her if she would start the new title twenty daycare program for the school district. Mary Jane said she would take a leave of absence for a short period of time to start the program for the Erie School district. She started and stayed with the Erie School District for three years. Mary Jane opened ten daycare centers for the district. In 1973, Mary Jane returned to Har-Lin, and continued to provide quality childcare and education for the children of Erie, as well as provided summer jobs for the youth, in the NYC program every summer. Also, Mary Jane was instrumental in establishing the two-year early childcare associates degree offered by Villa Maria College, with lead support of Sister Eunice and Sister Alice Schierberl. Mary Jane retired from in Har-Lin in 1993. Mary Jane Roy was Affiliated with National Black Child Development Institute, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Orpha Chapter #21 (order of the Eastern Stars), Daughter of Isis, ABWA (American Business Woman's Association), and Penn State Alumni Association and PACCA.
Mary Jane attended St. James A.M.E. Church, where she served as a Trustee, a Stewardess, as well as chaired many committees throughout the years.
In addition to her parents, Mary Jane was preceded in death by her husband Howard D. Roy, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Mary Jane is survived by her three children, Howynn Heidelberg (Clarence), Shawn Roy, Wendy Boyd (Steven), all of Erie; seven grandchildren, Patricia Heidelberg, Allison Roy-Bell (Stephen Bell), Samantha Heidelberg, Jonathan Roy, Ethan Heidelberg (Juliza), Shawn Roy Jr., and Dorian Boyd; and three great-grandchildren, Julian, Mia and Treyvon.
Friends may visit with the family today, August 7, 2014, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., at St. James A.M.E. Church, 236 E. 11th Street, and a funeral service there on Friday, August 8, 2014, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Kary Williams Jr. officiating and Rev. Jon Goshay eulogizing. Interment will be at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Funeralization is by Law Funeral Home, 2926 Pine Ave.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Aug. 7, 2014