Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

January 4, 2013

Mary Louise Williams McGlothlin

LEBANON,Va. — Mary Louise Williams McGlothlin, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother departed this life peacefully on Jan. 1, 2013, to unite with God. Born in Catlettsburg, Ky., on June 14, 1924, Mrs. McGlothlin was one of five children of the late Said M. Williams and Mary Louise Hatcher Williams.

From her humble beginnings, Mrs. McGlothlin worked hard to better herself, cultivating her talents and her love of knowledge.  Desiring a formal education she put herself through Sullins College in Bristol, Tenn. In 1947, Mrs. McGlothlin married her sweetheart, Donald A. McGlothlin Sr., and in 1953 she and her husband packed their three small children and belongings and moved to Williamsburg, Va. to further their education. Facing the challenges of caring for a family, working, and studying, Mrs. McGlothlin attended the College of William and Mary, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy.

Although her philosophy background stimulated her inquiring mind, it did not pay the bills so she went back to school, this time with a family of five children, to become credentialed in teaching. Thus began a long and distinguished professional career in education that spanned thirty-four years until her retirement in 1991. But, it wasn't the beginning and end of her employment that had its impact, it was what transpired in between.

Mrs. McGlothlin began her career at Grundy High School teaching English literature, incorporating a measure of fine arts to stimulate her students to use their talents of drawing, design, sculpting, woodworking, carving to depict each period of literature they studied. During this time, she also directed the school's three choirs and Glee Club, while producing and directing the school's drama performances.

As rewarding as she found classroom teaching, Mrs. McGlothlin discovered she had a unique talent of interacting and advising students. To develop this aptitude, she again went back to higher education and became a guidance counselor. This was at a time when counseling was more than standardized test scores and grades. Throughout her counseling career, Mrs. McGlothlin used her skills, her knowledge and her love for her students to advise and guide thousands of them through high school and beyond to help them find and prepare for their life's work. She assisted countless young men and women through troubled times with love and compassion. She always tried to raise her students' expectations of themselves and gave them confidence in tackling difficult educational and employment training programs.  

However, Mrs. McGlothlin was not content to remain in counseling because of the limited resources available to her and her students, and because of her intrinsic desire to achieve and be as effective as possible for the students she served. She sought and received her Masters Degree in secondary school administration from Radford University and was selected to serve as principal of Grundy Senior High School. She was the first woman in the history of Buchanan County to serve as principal of a high school. During her tenure there she was known and respected for her common sense, efficient approach and her fairness to the school's staff and students.  

Beyond her professional career, Mrs. McGlothlin found time to pursue her interests in the arts and community service. She was an accomplished vocalist and pianist, and taught music and voice. She enjoyed writing songs and was a prolific song writer and poet. She excelled in the culinary arts - her passion being middle eastern cuisine. Mrs. McGlothlin served her community for many years as a trustee of the Buchanan County Public Library. She was Past Worthy Matron of the Florence Ann Chapter of the Order of The Eastern Star. She was a staunch supporter of community efforts to bring all fine arts to Buchanan County's citizens.  

With Mrs. McGlothlin's passing, there is a peace that comes with her life well-lived in service to others.  

Mrs. McGlothlin was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Donald Allen McGlothlin Sr., Feb. 20, 2000; her son, Sean Patrick McGlothlin, July 10, 1970; her grandson, Donald Ryan McGlothlin, Nov. 16, 2005; two brothers, William Lee Williams and Frederick Auxier Williams; and her twin sister, Dorothy Lucille Grisier.

Mrs. McGlothlin is survived by her children, son, Donald Allen McGlothlin Jr., and daughter-in-law Tracy Fletcher McGlothlin, Lebanon, Va.; daughter, Mary Louise McGlothlin Burton and son-in-law Wayne T. Burton, McCormick, S.C.; daughter, Leah Anne McGlothlin, Grundy, Va.; and son, Kevin Timothy McGlothlin and daughter-in-law Karen Adams McGlothlin, Honaker, Va.; her grandchildren, Sean Patrick McGlothlin II and wife Kelly G. McGlothlin Lebanon, Va., Nathan Stuart McGlothlin and wife Ewelina S.  McGlothlin, Dubai, UAE, Joseph LaPerla, Falls Church, Va., Mary Louise LaPerla Baltimore, Md. and Emily Kathleen McGlothlin, Honaker, Va.; her great-grandchildren, Kathleen Kelly McGlothlin, Bryce Patrick McGlothlin and Emma Ruth McGlothlin all of Lebanon, Va., and Ryan Alexander McGlothlin, Dubai, UAE.; her sister, Lucy Williams Hooper, Fredericksburg, Va.; sisters-in-law, Peggy McGlothlin Durham, Tampa, Fla. and Dorothy Canter Williams, Bristol, Va.; her many nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, and great-great-nephews and great-great-nieces; and by her special friends, June Dye, Lebanon, Va. and Faustino Mendez, Oakwood, Va.

Funeral services will be conducted by the Rev. Ancil Childress and Evg. William L. Neeley on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Grundy Funeral Home Chapel with entombment to follow in Mountain Valley Mausoleum, Big Rock, Va. Friends and family may visit today (Friday), Jan. 4, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Grundy Funeral Home Chapel.

Active pallbearers are Sean McGlothlin, Scott Gilmer, Michael Dixon, Paul Williams, Rodger Williams and Buddy McGlothlin. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Brian Dawson, Dr. Charlotte Ann Townsend, Board of Trustees of Buchanan County Library.

Donations may be made to The Ryan McGlothlin Scholarship / Lebanon High School or The Buchanan County Public Library.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Grundy Funeral Home of Grundy, Virginia is in charge of all arrangements.

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