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Mary Lou Ivey Colvin

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Mary Lou Ivey Colvin Notice
COLVIN, MARY LOU IVEY, passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2012. She was 81. She was born June 11, 1930 on her family farm in Webb, Alabama on the outskirts of Dothan Alabama. Her parents were Rosa Lee and Arthur B. Ivey and she had two brothers who predeceased her, Olaff S. Ivey and Alec Strickland. During her youth, her father farmed while she and her mother ran the family dairy for spending money. In the third grade she suffered a serious illness which caused her to miss the majority of the school year and as a result she ended up repeating that year. She always said the illness was one the best things that ever happened to her because the her teacher that year inspired her to become a third grade teacher. She graduated from Houston County High School and attended Troy State University, obtaining a Bachelors degree in Education. Mary Lou loved teaching and did so for 46 years. She began her teaching career in Lynn Haven Florida and subsequently taught in Savannah Georgia and Norfolk Virginia. In 1962 she returned to Florida to accept a teaching position in Ft. Lauderdale On the drive down her car broke down in Orlando which seemed to be divine intervention. After spending a week here she realized she loved Central Florida and obtained a job teaching at Pineloch Elementary. Mary Lou was recognized over several years by the Orlando Sentinel and local news for a project her classes did on Florida. Taking 1,700 pounds of sand, the class constructed a map of the State of Florida in the center of her classroom. As part of the lesson, the students wrote letters to the various Chambers of Commerce around the State to learn about the different regions, sometimes resulting in changes to the map--always resulting in a tremendous learning experience for the students. Pictures of Mary Lou and her students were featured for several years in the Sentinel Star, along with their giant map of Florida. In 1967, in an era when single women didn't purchase property she bought her first home for her and her son, Gregory. She transferred to Hiawassee Elementary where she taught for the next 36 years. She retired in 2000 after 46 illustrious years teaching. Mary Lou was one of those rare people who truly loved her job...rarely missing a day because she so truly enjoyed every single day with the children. She always said it was one of her greatest honors when a fellow teacher or former student requested that their child be placed in her classroom. Within 5 minutes of meeting Mary Lou, everyone knew she was first and foremost a teacher but also a loving mother and grandmother. Mary Lou raised her son Gregory as a single mother and was an extremely loving mother. During her son's youth she inspired a love of the arts and Gator Football. He ultimately attended the University of Florida from which he received his undergraduate, graduate and Law degrees. Remaining extremely close throughout the years, her son is confident he owes any achievements he has accomplished to her love, support and inspiration. After retiring Mary Lou went from teaching other peoples children to becoming a doting grandmother to her granddaughter, Skylar Colvin. She enjoyed spending as much time with Skylar as possible, continuing to pass along her love of the arts, theater and animals.
Nanna and Skylar spent hours gazing at clouds to find the "animals" in the sky. Fortunately after retirement she was able to spend a great deal of quality time with her family. If a Broadway show came to town, Mary Lou was in attendance with Greg and Skylar at her side. On Sklyar's most recent birthday last month, the family enjoyed the magic of a Disney Cruise--a final event that left each with countless wonderful memories. Mary Lou was an amazing woman, teacher, Mother and Nana who will be greatly missed. A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 11am at First United Methodist Church, 142 E. Jackson Street, Orlando. Arrangements being made by Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home. 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road. Gotha, Florida. (407) 293-1361. Condolences may be offered at www.woodlawnfuneralhomegotha.com

Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Apr. 15, 2012
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