Marya DuBose Free

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Dr. Marya DuBose Free, 73, passed away on Monday, April 3, 2017, at Westwood Extended Care in Evans, GA. She was preceded in death by her infant twin daughters, Nicole Elaine and Allison Arnold DuBose, her husband Dr. William J. Free, her parents Wilma Arnold Moseley Gray and Dr. Alfred Moseley, and her beloved maternal grandparents John and Florence Arnold of Lexington, NC.

She will be missed by her brothers R. Zach Moseley (Dorothea) and William Gray (Susan); her sisters Jean Gray Rucker and Rebecca Gray Casey (Christopher); her niece and namesake Marya Rucker; and many other family members, friends and former colleagues.

Marya was born in Lexington, NC on July 8, 1943. She spent her childhood in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Lexington until the family moved to Barnwell, then Belvedere, SC. She graduated from North Augusta High School in 1961. She received a B.A. degree with a major in English from the University of South Carolina, then went on to earn her Ph.D. in English at the University of Georgia, concentrating on Aesthetics and Literary Theory.

After she and her husband Coit DuBose moved to Augusta in 1970, Marya joined the English faculty at Augusta College (later Augusta State University) embarking upon what was to become a distinguished 30-year career.

Marya was a rare and gifted instructor. Believing that intellectual pursuit and the appreciation of beauty give life meaning, she mentored, encouraged, and empowered students who eagerly sought her classes and her advice. One senior class chose her to speak at their graduation ceremony-a signal honor-as was being named Augusta State's Outstanding Faculty Member in 1997.

Dr. DuBose's dedication to the university, her collegial spirit and her broad-based interests led her to work well with faculty and students across campus, not only in the classroom, but also in administrative roles. She served with distinction on several university committees, often as chair. Believing that academic excellence should be recognized, she was, for more than 20 years, Executive Secretary of the Augusta Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. In her retirement, she became Phi Kappa Phi's National Director of Fellowships.

In her last 8 years at ASU, Dr. DuBose was Associate Chair in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Communications, an active multi-disciplinary department, the largest on campus at the time.

A generous, caring and nurturing spirit, Marya enjoyed spending time with her family and a variety of friends. She loved children, and took particular joy in her participation in the upbringing of her niece Marya Rucker.

In retirement, Marya married her long-time friend, retired UGA faculty member William J. Free. They merged their art collections and their beloved pets, traveled to New York and London, and were active in the Athens community. Marya volunteered with the Women's Scholarship Committee of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation. The Frees participated in the Senior Leadership Academy, and for several years, volunteered as docents at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Genuinely committed to learning and the life of the mind, the Frees were voracious readers and enjoyed classical music concerts and plays. Until failing health and caretaking kept them at home, they were regularly seen enjoying lunch in a variety of Athens restaurants.

The family wishes to thank the many people who cared for Marya in her final illness, especially devoted friend and caregiver Michelle Curry, and the generous staff of Pawtropolis who housed and cared for her beloved Cavapoo Nicki.

A memorial service for Dr. DuBose Free will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 471 W. Martintown Rd., North Augusta, SC 29841, with Father Geoffrey Coupland officiating. The family will receive friends at Posey Funeral Home, 1307 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta, SC 29841 on Friday, May 5, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the (P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123), or to Pawtropolis (130 Whitetail Way, Bogart, GA 30622); or to the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Fund (The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, 7576 Goodwood Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70808).

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Posey Funeral Directors - North Augusta
1307 Georgia Avenue
North Augusta, SC 29841
(803) 278-1181
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Published in The Augusta Chronicle on May 3, 2017
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