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Mary Ringer Barrow was born to the late Judson Ringer and Emma Lou Jackson Ringer on August 29, 1943, in Chattanooga, TN. The second child and first daughter of six children, Mary was blessed with extraordinary talents and personal qualities that shaped her life for the good.
On December 10, 1966, she married her loving husband, Llewellyn Barrow and this union was blessed with two children, Charita Lynn Barrow and Brian Lamar Barrow. Mary embraced Christianity at an early age and lived with grace and generosity, according to the tenets of her faith. Mary was an amazing mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. On Friday, June 23, 2023, she was welcomed into heaven.
Mary loved learning and excelled academically. She attended Calvin Donaldson Elementary School and graduated from Howard High School in 1961. In 1965 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education at Tennessee State University and in 1977, completed a Master’s degree in Library Science at Middle Tennessee State University with high honors.
Mary enjoyed a varied and successful professional life. From 1965 to 1966, she was employed by the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, TN. Between 1966 until her retirement in 2008, she was employed as an educator in Chattanooga, TN. Mary served as a teacher at Eastside Middle School, Howard High School, and Tyner High School and as a media specialist at Calvin Donaldson Elementary and Tyner High School.
Mary had a passion for her profession and made a positive and lasting difference in the lives of countless student throughout the years. In addition to teaching in the classroom, she also served as a homebound teacher, taking the classroom to students who were confined. Mary was a devoted educator and known by her students and colleagues to be a caring and compassionate person concerned not only about her students’ learning and educational progress, but also about their well-being as individuals.
Mary was courageous yet humble. She possessed a peaceful demeanor, was kindhearted, and soft-spoken. She epitomized the best of a strong and empathetic leader. Her integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, and gratitude toward her peers, students, friends, and colleagues were admired by many. Mary was courteous – a model of discretion in conversation and manner.
Mary was committed to service and helping others. She was twice elected president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pi Omega Chapter; held numerous leadership positions with the Chattanooga Chapter of The Links, Inc.; was an active member of the Chattanooga Chapter of The Carats, Inc. and the Quettes Club; and served as a group leader for Bible Study Fellowship. She did not strive to serve her own desires but to serve others and live a life based on God’s love.
Additionally, Mary served on the Hamilton County Education Association Board of Directors as Treasurer for two terms; was a faculty representative for the National Education Association; and was an active member of the Retired Teachers’ Association.
Mary also had a love and passion for reading and travelling. Her travels took her to Europe, Asia, and across much of North America. Through these experiences, she broadened her horizon and perspective on life.
She was a member of Second Baptist Church. Prior to joining Second Baptist, Mary was a member of Bethel AME Church and previously attended Wiley United Methodist Church.
Mary lived with courage, generosity, optimism, and purpose. She loved and supported her family; she laid foundations for others to build upon; and she left every member of her family a legacy of love and precious memories.
Mary Ringer Barrow made her peaceful transition on Friday, June 23, 2023. She leaves to celebrate her life and mourn her passing her devoted husband, Llewellyn Barrow; beloved children Charita Lynn Barrow and Brian Lamar Barrow (Emily); granddaughter, Ada Marie Barrow; sisters Velma Ringer Jackson (Reginald) Richmond, CA; Thelma Ringer Smith, Atlanta, GA; Willena Ringer Isom Cameron (James) Atlanta GA; brothers Howard Edward Ringer Sr. (Olivia) Chattanooga, TN ; Windon Ringer (Carole) McLean, VA; brother-in-law, Joseph Barrow (Ruth) Washington, DC; aunt, Viola Ringer, Cincinnati, OH; dear friend and caregiver, Lynda McCowan, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
To view the recorded service, please go to https://www.youtube.com/live/lgf4Pd8ky6g?feature=share