Mary Ellen Ash Warfield strolled through the gates of Heaven on Friday, September 8, 2017. She was 85 years old. Born May 12, 1932, to Arvil Albert and Mary Louise Webner Ash, she was the youngest of five children.
Mary Ellen attended West Fairmont High School and Fairmont State College, where she caught the eye of a handsome young man, married and worked to help put him through dental school. Her beauty, grace and domestic skills won her the title of Mrs. West Virginia in 1951 and the homemaker trophy at the Mrs. America pageant at Palisades Park, N.J.
Mary Ellen gave birth to three children before the family settled in Fayetteville in 1961. As her children grew, she was actively involved in their lives as a home room mother, Girl Scout leader, Boy Scout den mother, band trip chaperone and youth leader at the Fayetteville Presbyterian Church. Her piano playing and singing often filled the house, instilling in her children a love of music in all its forms. She lent her lovely singing voice to the church choir and even dabbled in musical theater, appearing in a Curtain Callers production of "Little Mary Sunshine" in Beckley. A devout Christian, Mary Ellen journeyed to the Holy Land with her daughter Karin and others, where she was baptized in the River Jordan. She had a lively spirit, a ready laugh and an open heart, and was loved by all whose lives she touched.
After raising her children (and being like a second mother to many others), Mary Ellen returned to college in her 40s, graduating with honors from West Virginia Institute of Technology with a nursing degree. She worked as a dedicated and caring Registered Nurse for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Beckley for 25 years. Her faith was an inspiration to many of her patients who asked her to pray for and with them, and she never declined an opportunity to help lead someone to God.
In retirement, Mary Ellen enjoyed spending time with her family and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, until she suffered three strokes and had to move to an assisted living facility and later to the Fayette Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The staff at the center spoiled her rotten, giving her treats, showering her with love and even singing with her when she was feeling down. Mary's family is grateful for the tender loving care she received while living there.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings, brothers Uriah "June" and Harold Ash and sister Florence Drake.
She is survived by her brother George Ash (Glenda) and sister-in-law Dorothy Ash; children Dawn Warfield (Michael Knight), Karin McGraw (Gary) and Edwin "Tiger" Warfield II; grandchildren Amanda Hollister (Nathan), Laura McGraw, Andrew Knight (Sarah) and Rachel Knight; great-grandchildren Mary Louise, Bradley and Sophia; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mary Ellen's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 15, at the Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at the family plot in Mannington.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 338, 401 W. Maple Avenue, Fayetteville, WV 25840.
Online condolences at www.pivontfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Pivont Funeral Home, Hinton, W.Va.