Mary J. Richards

Mary JoAnn McNemar Richards, born Aug 4, 1931 near Weston, passed away May 26, 2019, at home in Falling Waters after a brief illness.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years (m. April 10, 1952) Rev. William Eugene “Bill” Richards; her parents Franklin Cure McNemar and Georgia Lloyd McNemar; her brothers: Robert Edwin McNemar and Frank David McNemar; and grandson John Wesley Hardy.

She is survived by her 4 daughters, Rev. Judy Richards (Burgoyne) Vetter of Bloomington, Md.; Jann Richards-(Hardy) Weltman (Lenny) of Fairfax, Va.; Jill Richards O’Regan (Kathleen) of La Quinta, Calif.; Jinni Lue Richards of Los Angeles, Calif.; grandchildren, Stacey Jo Burgoyne Funkhouser (Andy), Holly Burgoyne Branch (Butch), and William Richards Hardy; and great-grandchildren, Justus Branch and Sophia Funkhouser.

JoAnn spent her formative years on Curtis Run in Lewis County, where she attended the Bott Elementary School and graduated from Weston High School class of 1949. While in high school she was active in the marching band playing first chair flute. She graduated from Glenville State College, Glenville (1952) earning her Bachelor of Science in Education, then went on to West Virginia University and earned her Masters in Reading (1965) and later a Masters in Learning Disabilities (1970).

JoAnn was an educator teaching in Carroll County, Md.; Ferrum College, Ferrum Va.; Hyndman High School, Hyndman Pa.; substitute teacher Calhoun and Preston counties, Emerson Elementary, Parkersburg; Franklin Elementary in Pendleton County. She was the Director of Early Childhood Education for RESA VIII in the Eastern Panhandle of WV for 33 years that included Head Start and Birth-Three programs.

Community involvement and achievements: the educational fraternity Phi Delta Kappa; W.Va. Association of Young Children, United Methodist Women, Glenville State College Alumni Association, Safe Sanctuary Policy for Trinity UMC, member of the WV Silver-Haired Legislature, and a champion for young children. 

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 220 West Martin Street, Martinsburg, WV, 25401, followed by an ice cream social.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hospice of the Panhandle, 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV, 25430, or to any charitable organization that supports children’s causes (Kidz Power Pacs, POB 2805, Martinsburg, WV, 25402-2805; Burlington United Methodist Family Services, CBS Office, 2115 Kelly Island Road, Martinsburg, WV, 25404; Children’s Home Society, 653 Winchester Ave, Martinsburg, WV, 25401).

Brown Funeral Home in Martinsburg is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at

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