The Guest Book is expired.
Mary Ella Banks Hart Shearer, 97 years old, of Evansville, IN, was born on March 27, 1915 in Henderson, KY. She was the 5th child of Rev. Mitchell and Dora Banks. Mary departed this life on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at the Hospice Unit of Deaconess Hospital.
Mary accepted Christ as her personal Savior at an early age. She was a member of Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church where she worked in Sunday School and the Baptist Training Union (BTU). Mary also sang in the Junior Choir and later organized and directed a larger Junior Choir. She was president of the Faithful Workers Club. She was the Master of Ceremonies for the first Women's Day Conference in Evansville.
Mary received her primary and secondary education in the public schools in Henderson, KY. She earned her Bachelor's Degree at Tennessee A & I State University in Nashville, Tennessee where she was Miss Tennessee State, Miss Personality, and president of a 300-member Elementary Education Teachers' Club. Mary completed a Master's Degree at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN. At age 16, and for five years after, she taught basic education classes at night for the Works Progress Administration. During one of those years, she took courses during the day at Evansville College. In 1949, she began teaching third grade a Lincoln Elementary School. Her teaching career included four years at Lincoln, fifteen years at Chestnut-Walnut, five years at Fulton and ten years at Harper.
She married William L. Hart, Sr. in 1944 and to this union, one child, William L. Hart, Jr., was born. She married James R. Shearer in 1956. After 38 years, he preceded her in death in 1992.
Mary was also preceded in death by her parents, Rev. and Mrs. M.D. Banks; her brothers: William, Mitchell, and Powell Banks; and sisters: Naomi Banks Lawson and Gustine Banks Elliott Henson.
She leaves to cherish her memory a son, William L. Hart, Jr.; a grandson, William L. Hart, III; a nephew, Major Theodore J. Lawson, Jr. USAF Ret., BA, MBA, PhD and his wife Helen; nieces: Karen Banks Mitchell, Jenee Elliott, and Gloria Elliott; her friend, Marquette Marchem; a faithful cousin, Booker Fellows and his wife Betty; her everyday helper, Clara Jackson; her former third grade student and personal representative, Dr. Robert E. Mays and his wife Martharee; and Mary's beloved pastor, Rev. Larry Rascoe and his family.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 17, 2012 at 10:00 am at Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church. Visitation will be 8:30am until service time. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery. Final arrangements are entrusted to Mason Brothers Memorial Chapel.
Published in Courier Press on Aug. 16, 2012