Margaret McLean Faw Fonvielle Heyward
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After 96 years of life, Margaret McLean Faw Fonvielle Heyward died peacefully on July 12, 2014. She had a long and amazing life, considering she was born in 1918, and grew up in an era when women were not viewed as having a significant role in the workplace or a strong voice in society or in the political world.
Margaret was born in Wilkes County, NC, to Claude Cicero Faw and Edna McLean Faw. She graduated from Greensboro College in 1938 with degrees in History and English and went on to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, graduating as the only woman in the class of 1943. During her legal studies there, she was elected secretary of the Law Review.
Margaret began her legal career in North Wilkesboro and was the first woman to be sworn in as a member of the Wilkes County Bar. She went on to clerk for Federal Judge I.M. Meekins in Elizabeth City, N.C.
In 1944, she married Wayne Alexander Fonvielle, Jr., a captain in the U.S. Navy. After World War II, they moved from Newport, Rhode Island to Wilmington, N.C. and had five children. In 1969, she returned to her legal career with an appointment as Assistant District Solicitor, prosecuting cases with the District Court of New Hanover County. Later, she opened her own practice and focused on domestic relations and family law.
Public service and political activities were an important part of Margaret's life. She served as co-chairwoman for the gubernatorial campaign of Richardson Preyer in New Hanover County in 1963. She was an executive committee member for Wilmington's Bi-Centennial Celebration and was president of the Junior League of Wilmington. In 1973, she was elected to the first of two terms on the Wilmington City Council and served as Mayor Pro Tem. She served on various boards, including the Family Service-Travelers Aid Society, the Catherine Kennedy Home, the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Wachovia Bank. She retired in 1983 after 40 years of legal, civic, and community service.
Margaret was also devoted to her Christian faith and was a member of St. James Episcopal Church for over 65 years, where she served on the Vestry.
In 1983, Theodore "Ted" Coe Heyward, Jr. and Margaret were married and her family expanded by four daughters and their families. The couple enjoyed a wonderful retirement, living in both Charlotte and Wilmington and traveling the world.
Preceding her in death are former husband Alex Fonvielle, Jr., husband Ted Heyward, Jr.; siblings, Ann Lewis, Corinne Sink, Claude Faw, Jr.; son, McLean Fonvielle; and son-in-law, Jack Aardema. Margaret is survived by a brother, Thomas "Buck" Faw of Mt. Airy; daughters, Maggie Aardema of Wrightsville Beach, and Laura Horne and husband John of Laurinburg; sons, Alex Fonvielle and wife Sherri of Raleigh, and Henry Fonvielle and wife Lee of Alexandria, VA, and daughter-in-law Lanier Fonvielle Blum of Durham; granddaughters, Brockett Horne and husband Chris Tesluk of Baltimore, MD, Hadley Kifner and husband Drew of Chapel Hill, Keaton Fonvielle and husband Daniel Plant of Apex, and Catherine Fonvielle of Alexandria, VA; grandson, McLean Fonvielle of Alexandria, VA; and great granddaughters, Hannan and Ruby Kifner of Chapel Hill.
She is survived by Ted's daughters, Johnsie Canny of Spartanburg, SC, Beth Harrington of Hertford, Emma Apple of Lexington, and Genie Hufham of Charlotte, as well as their beloved spouses, children, and grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
An advocate for equal rights, a voracious reader and an avid tennis player well into her eighties, Margaret leaves a legacy that inspires adventure, hard work, graciousness, and compassion.
The family would like to thank Sarah Barnett, her steadfast caregiver and friend, and the staff of Trinity Grove, who cared for Margaret so lovingly over the past two years.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday morning, July 15th, 2014 at 11:00 at St. James Episcopal Church, 25 South 3rd Street in Wilmington, NC. Following the service, a reception will be held in the Great Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Margaret be remembered by a donation to St. James Parish Foundation, 25 South 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, or Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, 500-B Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206.
Condolences to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com
Andrews Mortuary Market Street Chapel
Andrews Mortuary & Crematory - Market Street Chapel
1617 MARKET ST Wilmington, NC 28401
Published in The News & Observer on July 14, 2014