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Dr. Mary-B. (Mosley) Swearengen Ed.D.

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Dr. Mary-B. Mosley Swearengen, Ed.D., formerly of Las Cruces, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2010, at age 99 in Andrews, Texas.
She was the first of what would be four children born to Garrett Benjamin and Nancy Ann Margaret Eubanks Mosley in Lacasa, Texas. Her mother died when she was only 8 years old, leaving four little children, the youngest not quite 1 year old.
Two years later, her father married Sarah Delilah Gandy and three sons were born to that union. Mary-B started college at age 17 on borrowed money and began teaching school at age 18 (in l929) in a one-room schoolhouse in the Texas Panhandle, where she chopped wood, built the fire and swept the room each morning before class started.
She lived with a rancher's family. She and all 15 of her students rode horses to school.
In l930, while teaching two grades in another Texas school, she married Alvin Henry Swearengen, who was working and attending college at Wayland Baptist Junior College in Plainview, Texas. They became engaged in July of that year.
In October 1930, the schools were closed for two weeks for cotton picking season, so wanting to spend that time together, they decided to get married. Since Texas required a three-day wait after obtaining a license, they went to Lovington, N.M., to be married in a minister's living room on Oct. 11, 1930. Neither owned a car, so Alvin hitchhiked to see her once a month. They claimed they never had a disagreement the first year they were married.
They spent the next seven years putting Alvin through college. Mary-B said, "People say they worked their way through college. Well, we starved Alvin's way through college" as it was during the Great Depression and they were often hungry.
Mary-B took college classes whenever they lived near a college, finally acquiring her bacehlor's degree in education in 1950 from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. She continued her education in classes while teaching, in summers and evenings, earning a Master of Arts and Education Specialist degrees from New Mexico State University. After taking a one-year sabbatical from her job, she earned her doctorate degree in education in 1966 from the University of New Mexico, two days before her 55th birthday.
She taught at many schools in Texas and New Mexico as she accompanied her husband as he answered calls from various churches.
In Las Cruces, she taught at West Picacho (now Fairacres), Court Junior High and Mesilla. She taught college classes at NMSU, McGill University (in Canada) and Tulsa, Okla., before retiring from her final position at Texas Region 19 Education Service Center in El Paso.
She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and was listed in "Who's Who of American Women" in 1966. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Las Cruces. In 2008, she was moved to Andrews, Texas, to be taken care of by her grandson, David Basler as her daughter in Las Cruces had a chronic illness and was no longer able to look after her.
She is survived by her daughter Marilyn Elizabeth Basler (James J.); grandchildren John Thomas Basler (Deborah), of El Paso, David Garrett Basler (Virginia), James William Basler, of Las Cruces, and Janna Masryanne Basler, of Chattanooga, Tenn.; great-granddaughter Michelle Basler Macias and Mellanie, of Midland, Texas, and Marissa Basler, of Albuquerque; great-great grandchildren Damien, Lilly and Alysia all of Midland; and former granddaughter-in-law Diane Wolfe, of Albuquerque; and several step-descendants.
She is also survived by a sister, Alvarine Peach, of Cherry Hill, Calif.; brothers Wayne Mosley of Amarillo, Texas, and Gordon Mosley, of Seattle; and numerous nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her husband Alvin Swearengen, in 1996; her parents; two brothers, J.W. and his wife, Foy Jean Mosley, and Warren and his wife, Margaret; sister Marion Shoemaker and her husbands James Case and Joseph Shoemaker.
A memorial service will be held in Las Cruces at a later date.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from July 11 to July 12, 2010
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