On Saturday, March 15th the Nashville community came out in droves to Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church, 1300 South Street, to bid a final farewell to Mary Alice Yancey Love (June 14, 1930-March 9, 2014). There seemed to be a never-ending line of visitors formed to pay respects to the family prior to the funeral services as well as following the special Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. ceremony.
Mary Alice Yancey Love was born June 14, 1930 on a farm in Somerville, Tennessee to her parents Allen Yancey, Sr. and Martha Hobson Yancey who preceded her in death. Also preceding her death was her husband, Rep. Harold Moses Love, Sr.
Love confessed her faith in Christ at an early age and united with Mt. Olive C.M.E. Church in Somerville, TN.
From the first grade through the eighth grade she attended Alexander Rosenwald Elementary School where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. She then attended Manassas High School in Memphis, TN in ninth grade and her last three years at Fayette County Training School in Somerville, TN where she graduated in May of 1948. She then enrolled in Tennessee A&I College in August of the same year.
While enrolled at Tennessee A & I State College Yancey received recognition in 1949 for having the highest GPA as a freshman in Chemistry. During her senior year, she was listed as Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She participated in the college choir, the campus Sunday School and the Mathematics Club. Mary Alice was president of Beta Kappa Chi National Honorary Scientific Society. In 1950 she was initiated into the Alpha Chi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In May of 1952 she was awarded a B.S. degree in Mathematics with a minor in Physics. She graduated Cum Laude with certification to teach grades one through twelve.
With her certification she began her teaching career by returning to the Elementary school that she graduated from in 1944 and taught grades first through fourth. In 1952 she returned to Tennessee A & I University to pursue graduate work in Mathematics Education. She was also made an offer to teach Physics and Biology at Lincoln High in Paducah, KY. In the summer of 1954 she received an offer to teach mathematics at Wilson High School in Florence, SC. She completed her Master’s Degree in 1956 and was offered a teaching position in the Physics and Math department at Tennessee A & I State University. She was later promoted to an Assistant Professor of Mathematics.
In 1959 she married Harold Moses Love, Sr. To that union five children were born (they were married 36 years until his passing in 1996).
In 1960 she joined Lee Chapel AME Church where she was an active member, especially as a member of the Sunday School Book Club.
In 1973 Love requested to be transferred to work with the TRIO programs as an Instructional Coordinator. As a result, she was hired as the Director of Student Support Services and Upward Bound in 1974 where she remained until November of 2013 when she retired after 57 years of employment at Tennessee State University.
In 1975 Love was a founding member of the Southeastern Association of Education Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP). She was also a member of the TSU Nashville Alumni Association as well as a Life member of the TSU National Alumni Association; member of the Somber Chasers and Talleyette Bridge Clubs and the Ardent Gardeners Club.
In 1996 Mary Y. Love was recognized as a YMCA Black Achiever in Nashville and in 203 was inducted into the TSU Million Dollar Research Club, Hall of Fame for securing several million dollar grants. In 2011 during the TSU homecoming festivities she received the Breakfast of Champions Legacy Award. In 2012 she received the Unsung Hero Award from the 18th Avenue Family Enrichment Center.
Mary Alice Yancey Love leaves to cherish her memories: daughters, Chrystal Cunningham of Nashville, TN; Candyce Love of Laurel, MD; Cheryl (James) Harris of Atlanta, GA; Caralyn Love of Nashville, TN; son Rep. Harold Moses Love Jr. of Nashville, TN; brother, Allen Yancey, Sr. of Somerville, TN; eight grandchildren, Christiane Buggs, Kendall Butler, Terri Cunningham, Samuel Cunningham, Jakari Harris, Matthew Cunningham, DeGreer Harris and Chanel Harris, brother-in-law, Robert Conner of Clarksville, TN, Godson, Fred C. Fielder, Jr. of Nashville, TN; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Reverend Roderick D. Belin, officiated the service and the Reverend Edward Lee Thompson was the eulogist.
Mrs. Love’s interment is at the Historic Greenwood Cemetery.