Mary Ellen Nuzum
Funeral Time: Thursday, June 14th at 1:00PM
NUZUM, Mary Ellen, 90, passed away peacefully into her heavenly home on May 27, 2018. She was born August 25, 1927 in Baltimore, MD to the late Charles W. and Ellen Bowers. She was married more than 50 years to the late James Robert “Bob” Nuzum. Though she lived most of her life in Charleston, W.V., she became an avid U.K. Wildcat fan through her associations with the other residents and staff of Brookdale Richmond Place Independent Living Center of Lexington, KY. She and her daughters felt very fortunate to find a caring and safe environment at the Willows of Hamburg nursing facility when her health declined significantly in May of 2017.
Mary Ellen graduated from West Virginia University where she was President of Alpha Phi Sorority. She taught both at the middle school and primarily at the high school level in Kanawha Co., W.V. for over 30 years. She was a devoted English, Literature and Journalism teacher and tried to instill the love of reading and writing in all her students. Never afraid of a challenge, she was Faculty Editor and Advisor for decades of the South Charleston High School (Black Eagles Newspaper). Her daughters remain amazed that she could balance the demands of teaching with always providing nutritious meals for her family. She also was a Sunday School teacher and piano player for the adult classes at First United Methodist Church of South Charleston. Mary Ellen served as President and various other leadership roles of her Church Women’s Circles and the Garden Clubs of Churchill and Weberwood subdivisions in Charleston, W.V. She and her late husband were also members of the Kanawha Trail Club and she instilled a love for nature and birds in her three daughters. Her relaxation passions were playing the piano for the pure joy of music and remaining an avid swimmer into her mid-eighties.
Her daughters would like to express their appreciation to her Lay Pastor Jim Eastburn who taught her Sunday School at Brookdale Richmond Place. He continued to visit Mary Ellen weekly to nourish her unshakable faith, read, and pray for her throughout her 10 year residency in various health care settings in Lexington, KY. The family would also like to recognize and thank the staff and wonderfully capable private duty caregivers from Alliance Medical and Home Care in Lexington, KY. Particular love and admiration is given to Priscilla Coffey from Alliance who was a regular caregiver to Mary Ellen for more than 2 years and who was committed to being her advocate, engaging her in activities, enjoying her bird feeder visitors, and accompanying Mary Ellen and daughters to doctor visits. Additionally, the family appreciated the interdisciplinary team member visits and comfort care interventions provided by Bluegrass Care Navigators and 10 years of office and on-site visits by her internal medicine physician, Dr. Danny Corales.
Mary Ellen is survived by her daughters, Mary Beth Vallance (Lexington, KY), Ellen Parrott (Norcross, GA), and Linda Graff (Lexington, KY); one granddaughter, Sarah Houghton (Morgantown, WV); three grandsons, Dan DiCristina (Bradenton, FL), Andrew DiCristina (Trenton, NJ) and Dr. Ryan Vallance (Newbury Park, CA). Her five great grandchildren were her joys to watch them grow. A graveside Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, June 14th in the mausoleum at Cunningham Memorial Park, 815 Cunningham Lane, St. Albans, WV. Jim Eastburn will officiate the services. In Lieu of flowers, friend may wish to make a donation to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, C/O P.O. Box 2942, 1422 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25330 or First United Methodist Church of South Charleston, 905 Glendale Ave., South Charleston, WV 25303.