Mary died of multiple causes on February 14 at the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock. She was the only child of the late Dr. James T. Browning and Alma Ledford Browning. Dr. Browning was a Methodist minister who served churches in Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and Mary became a lifelong Methodist who began support of the church by helping her father with office tasks before she was ten years old.
She taught herself touch typing and learned to operate all the machines in her father’s office while her father was a district superintendent without any hired help. In turn in her youth, Mary became a member of churches in Bluefield, Wheeling, and Huntington, West Virginia as her father changed appointments. By the time they lived in Huntington, Mary became a student at Marshall University and graduated in 1956. She continued to serve the church as a volunteer teacher and director of the youth choir. At Marshall, she wrote her Master’s Thesis about the influence John Wesley’s ministry had in preventing a revolution in England like occurred in France.
After her graduation from Marshall, she married Theodore (Ted) Ferrell in March 1957, and the couple moved to Charleston, West Virginia, where he was employed by the telephone company and she became a teacher in the public schools. She also taught for a short time at the University of Charleston, then known as Morris Harvey College.
The couple joined St. Mark’s United Methodist in Charleston, and shortly Mary became a teacher of adult church school classes.
In 1963 Ted was transferred by his company to Washington, and he and Mary joined Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where both of them became very active. Mary was a longtime member of the choir, worked in a variety of programs, and for over 16 years served as an administrative assistant.
In addition to her husband, Mary is survived by two sons, James C. Ferrell of Mary Lake Florida, and Scott J. Ferrell of Jeffersonton, Virginia. Jim is an engineer with an electrical consulting firm in Florida, and Scott is a Pastor of a church in Warrenton, Virginia. Mary is also survived by five grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are expected to be private for family and very close friends. Anyone wishing to honor Mary’s life is asked to make a contribution to the Woodstock United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers.