Mary Wilmoth Barber Boyette

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Mary Wilmoth Barber Boyette

BOYETTE, Mary Wilmoth Barber Mary Wilmoth Barber Boyette, wife of Dr. Edward Gerock Boyette (d. June 24, 2009), died on the morning of October 5, 2017. She was ninety-three years old. Mrs. Boyette was living at Heritage Estates Nursing Home in Gering, Nebraska near her younger daughter, Cynthia Callahan, at the time of her death. Mary Boyette, known to her friends as Mary Wilmoth, was born on October 30, 1923 in Winston Salem, North Carolina, to Edgar Fletcher Barber and Lucy Raine Burton Barber. She spent her childhood in Winston Salem. In 1945, Mary Wilmoth graduated from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (which later became UNC – Greensboro) with a major in Spanish and a minor in French. Immediately following her graduation, she was scheduled to begin her career with the U.S. State Department as a Spanish translator, but with the end of the war in Europe the job was cancelled. Shortly afterwards, she answered a newspaper ad which led to a teaching position in LaBelle, Florida. In addition to her teaching duties, Mary Wilmoth was named the girls’ basketball coach although she'd seen only one basketball game in her life. The following summer, 1946, she witnessed her first hurricane. In 1948, Mary Wilmoth returned to Raleigh to teach at Needham Broughton High School. Six months later a fellow teacher arranged a blind date with an Emory University dental student from Ahoskie, NC named Edward Boyette. In December 1950, Edward and Mary Wilmoth were married in Raleigh. Until Edward‘s final year of dental school, the newlyweds lived apart during the school year—Edward in Atlanta, Mary Wilmoth in Raleigh where she continued to teach high school. During the summers, in order to be together, Edward would find work as a dentistry assistant and Mary Wilmoth would find a position in the same town. During Edward’s final year in dental school, Mary Wilmoth was able to find work teaching in Atlanta, where they lived until Edward’s graduation in May of 1953. Following graduation, Edward and Mary Wilmoth returned to North Carolina where Edward opened his first dental practice in Enfield, near Edward's boyhood home of Ahoskie. In 1957, Edward and Mary Wilmoth began a family. Five years later, with their two young daughters, they moved to Butner, North Carolina, where Dr. Boyette became Chief of Dental Surgery at John Umstead Hospital. In Butner, Mary Wilmoth was very involved with her church, the school activities of her children and in starting the community library. She also served as a substitute teacher in the Granville County School system for many years. In 1982, Edward retired from John Umstead and he and Mary Wilmoth enjoyed a decade of worldwide travel. In 1994, after wintering in Arizona for several years, the Boyettes permanently relocated there to be near their younger daughter and their 2 young grandchildren, as well as to be closer to their older daughter in Nevada. They spent many years there in the sun and warmth of the Southwest and flourished there, seeming to regress in age. Not until their mid-eighties did their health begin to fail. In 2009, they moved to Nebraska to be closer to their daughter Cynthia, who had left Arizona for the Midwest. Mary Wilmoth leaves behind two daughters: Cynthia Boyette Callahan of Crawford, Nebraska and Kathleen Burton Boyette of Las Vegas, Nevada; a son-in-law, Stephen Callahan; and two granddaughters: Stephanie Callahan Watson, of Petaluma, CA, and Katherine Callahan of Cheyenne, WY. Since Edward’s death, Mary Wilmoth had longed to be with her husband again. Now we know that they will once again garden and bike, walk a dog and continue to love each other dearly. We will forever miss her, as we do Edward. Oh Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen. Prayer for the Holy Rest. Anonymous.
Published on October 29, 2017
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