Mary Ann Byas-Drake, 74, of Triangle, Va., born Oct. 15, 1941, in St. Louis, Mo., passed away peacefully on Wednesday Dec. 30, 2015, at her home.
Mary was born to proud parents, Matthew and Ruby Byas. She was the oldest of five children and truly was a "Big Sister" in every sense of the word.
She graduated at the age of sixteen from Lincoln Senior High School with the class of 1958, and was accepted to the prestigious Homer G. Phillips School of Nursing in St. Louis, Mo. Mary graduated from the three year diploma program as a Registered Nurse. In later years, Mary continued her education at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor earning a Bachelor of Science with honors (Cum Laude) as well as a Master's of Science, both in Nursing.
Mary accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized under the late Rev. W. B. Rouse at Mount Zion Baptist Church. As a teenager, Mary was a member of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church choir. At the time of her passing, Mary was a member of Antioch Baptist Church under Pastor Marshal Ausberry Sr. of Fairfax Station, Va.
She worked as a Psychiatric Nurse with the Veterans Administration (VA) until her retirement.
Mary married Willis Drake on April 15, 1960, and to their union three children were born. They had a wonderful fifty-five years of marriage, working together, praying together and enjoying life together.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and a son-in-law, Gordon Zinn.
Surviving are her husband; children, Willis (Marilyn) Drake Jr., Monica Renee Drake-Zinn and Kermit Matthew (Danita) Drake; grandsons, Willis Drake III, and Daren Lake; granddaughters, Adriana Zinn and D‚j… Renee Drake; great-grandchildren, Kevin Wilcox, Aliyana Drake, La'Rae Drake, Maliyah Drake, and Kimiera Drake; a brother, David Byas; two sisters, Romona (Steve) Wooten and Margaret Franklin; sisters-in-law, who were like sisters; and a brother-in-law, Maudean Gill, Shirley (Stanley) Sykes, Jean Drake, Joan (Flarzell) Harris and Melvin (Shirley) Drake; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and other family, friends, and others whose lives Mary touched.
Funeral: Funeral services will held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, at Antioch Baptist Church, Fairfax Station, Va.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Jan. 6, 2016