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06/16/18 - NNHS Newsletter -
Mary Ellen Booth Hornsby

Mary Ellen Booth Hornsby
(19 June 1932 - 15 June 2018)

Newport News High School Class of June 1951

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   There is more sad news today.   Mary Ellen Booth Hornsby, Band Sweetheart of the Class of June 1951, passed away at The Chesapeake in Newport News on Friday, June 15, 2018, four days before her 86th birthday.

   Widow of Swanson Hornsby (President of the Student Body of the Class of February '49), she was the sister of William Booth and John Booth, and the sister-in-law of Genis Bird Crowder Hornsby ('54).

From the Daily Press - 06/16/18: 

                      Mary Ellen Booth Hornsby

    NEWPORT NEWS - Mary Ellen Booth Hornsby, passed away on June 15, 2018 at the age of 85. She was born in Newport News, Va., on June 19, 1932.

She graduated from Newport News High School with the Class of 1951. She attended Longwood College and was member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority.

Mary Ellen married her high school sweetheart, Swanson, on November 7, 1953.

  She was a member and sustainer of the Junior League of Hampton Roads, the National Society of the Colonial Dames, and a member and past president of the Shore Park Garden Club. Mary Ellen was a member of The Hidenwood Presbyterian Church, Circle One, and The Hidenwood Shepherds. She was a resident of The Chesapeake Retirement Community.

Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her father, Hugh Miskell Booth, her Aunt Margorie and Uncle Mansell Reed Stevens, her mother Virginia Booth Young, and her beloved husband, Claude A. Swanson Hornsby, Jr.

She is survived by sons, Claude A. Swanson "Chip" Hornsby, III and wife, Lynn, Hugh Booth Hornsby and wife, Beth, Steven Reed Hornsby and wife, Pam; grandchildren: Meagan Brooke Hornsby Morgan-husband Randy, Laura Elizabeth Hornsby Meeker-husband George, Caitlin Sarah Hornsby-fiancée Blake, Hugh "Booth" Hornsby, Jr.-wife Hannah, Aubrey Hornsby-fiancée Chris, Brice Marlin Swanson Hornsby-wife Brigid, Steven "Reed" Hornsby, Jr.-wife Lizz, and Ellen Phillips Hornsby; great-grandchildren: Vivian and Nelson Morgan, Monroe and Hailey Meeker, and Camdyn Ritenour; twin brothers, William-wife Christi and John-wife Robin Young; sister-in-law, Genis Hornsby; nephews, Robert Hornsby, Jr.-wife Sandy, Mark Hornsby-wife Kandy, David Hornsby-wife Patti; niece, Genis Hornsby Brown-husband Ben; and close family friend Rick Nelson-wife Martha.

Mary Ellen was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, as well as a loyal friend to many people. She was the epitome of southern grace and hospitality as she warmly welcomed people of all ages to her home. She and Swanson were known for opening their doors and hearts to friends of their sons, extended family members, and people throughout their community. Mary Ellen made it a point to remember their names so she could greet each personally at the door.

Mary Ellen was never empty handed whenever the grandchildren or great grandchildren visited. She provided all sorts of gifts that she enthusiastically played along with them. For those who lived away she routinely called and would send surprise packages. Her family will remember with fondness the many sheet cakes over the years, the plethora of ziplock bags and the bottomless pocketbook that carried all sorts of amazing treasures.

Mary Ellen's zest for life, love, and deep commitment to her family and friends, and devotion to her faith will serve as her living legacy to those fortunate enough to have known and loved her. She will be deeply missed but lovingly remembered.

Her family is grateful for the kind, compassionate care she received in the Health Care Unit at the Chesapeake. She was tended to by an incredibly devoted staff and we greatly appreciate each of them.

Mary Ellen's life will be celebrated by Pastor Bill Lamont on Monday, June 18, 2018, at 2 p.m., at The Chesapeake. A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hidenwood Presbyterian Church, 414 Hiden Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on June 16, 2018.

View Guest Book

June 16, 2018

Steve, Pam and family, I am so sorry to learn of your loss. I will keep you in my prayers.

~ Marilyn Rilee, Juno Beach, Florida

June 16, 2018

Steven, Pam and all your dear family, I am so sorry to learn of your mom's passing. My heart, thoughts, prayers are with all of you. I am as near as your phone if there is any way I can be of help. Take good care of each other and of yourselves. With Sincerest Sympathy and Love
to all of you, Mrs. Margaret Ann Phillips

~ Margaret Ann Phillips

June 16, 2018

Sorry to learn of your loss, but your mom is with your dad and the Lord !!

What a wonderful woman and mother. She was also so inviting, and so many memories on the river and Hidenwood and Menchville High that she supported!!

Prayers for ALL the Hornsby's

~ Unsigned

June 17, 2018

John and I are so very saddened by Mary Ellen's passing, and had hoped for more time with her. But to have spent even a little time with her was a joy, and greatly healing. We loved her instantly! May your hearts be calmed by her legacy and the sure knowledge of where she is.

~ John and Christi Young, Battle Ground, Washington

June 19, 2018

Your mom and dad were both very gracious people. Your mother was the epitome of a Mother and Grandmother, always caring for other people, and always a kind word. She will be missed, but I know she is in heaven.

~ Tom and Julie Lewis, Newport News, Virginia

June 19, 2018

So sorry to hear of your mom's passing, I only met her a couple of times.
I knew your dad; they were both such great people. Thoughts and prayers for your family.

~ Dee Perry, Maryville, Tennessee

June 20, 2018


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   Our sincerest condolences are extended to Mrs. Hornsby's family and friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Words by Henry W. Baker
Music by John B. Dykes

The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
My ransomed soul He leadeth;
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me;
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill,
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And oh, what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.

"The King of Love My Shepherd Is" midi (sequenced by Brian M. Ames, 1999, and extracted with the kind assistance of my son, Nathaniel Harty of IL)
and lyrics courtesy of - 09/09/10
Thanks, Nathaniel!

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 03/15/05

Flower Bar 35 clip art courtesy of - 01/27/10

Junior League of Hampton Roads Logo courtesy of - 06/20/18 (sic)

National Society of Colonial Dames of America Logo courtesy of - 06/20/18 (sic)

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