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Millicent Majure Van Dyke

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Millicent Majure Van Dyke Obituary
Millicent Majure Van Dyke

Memphis, TN

Millicent Majure Van Dyke died Sunday, April 9, 2017 at the Methodist Hospice of complications from cancer. She spent her last days surrounded by family, friends and loving caregivers. She was 89.

Millicent grew up in Gadsden, AL with her sister Mary Clifford, the daughter of Sybil and Colquett Majure. Mary Clifford and Millicent would ride their horses almost daily in their youth. Millicent's horse's name was Bob.

She attended Ward-Belmont College in Nashville then graduated from University of Alabama and married Robert "Bob" Deaderick Van Dyke III of Memphis.

Millicent was a pioneer in many ways. The "Marriage Bars" an old rule, which prevented educated married women from working, were becoming obsolete after WWII when Millicent took a job with Shelby County Schools as a teacher.

When Memphis City Schools absorbed her school, she volunteered, along with five other teachers, to integrate Geeter Elementary School. Later when the school district built one of the nation's first , "open space schools," she volunteered to teach at the new Manor Lake Elementary School near Geeter. She liked the open space concept.

Before free school lunches, Millicent would take a giant container of "Big Chief," peanut butter and jelly along with loaf of bread everyday to feed her students. She always said, "Kids cannot learn if they are hungry."

Besides the births of her children, her proudest moment was the day a former student knocked on her door to thank her for being his teacher. This young man had just graduated from Harvard and praised her for helping him get there.

She is survived by her daughter Mary Van Dyke Roudnev, and three sons, Robert Deaderick Van Dyke IV, Colquett Majure Van Dyke and McDonald Pope Van Dyke along with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Alexis, Majure, Maria, Andrei, Scarlett, Mackenzie, Parker, Kennis and Alexander, and Baby Luke. She had the uncanny ability to make all of us feel like we were her favorite.

Millicent was a member of the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) of her beloved Calvary Episcopal Church and volunteered at the Waffle House, Calvary Street Ministry and the Emmanuel Center. She was also a lifelong member of the Thursday Girls.

Millicent, like Bob, donated her body to the Genesis Program for the advancement of science. Millicent requested that no funeral would be held in her honor.

A memorial at Calvary Episcopal Church Great Hall at Second Street and Adams will be held on the Friday, May 5 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers please give to the Emmanuel Center,
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Apr. 16, 2017
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