Mary-Frances Allsbrook Fisher, a bright, compassionate spirit in this world and community passed away at the age of 90 in her home surrounded by family on October 8, 2022.
Born December 16, 1931, to the late Julian R. Allsbrook and Frances Brown Allsbrook, she lived most of her life in Roanoke Rapids and dedicated many years of service to this town.
After graduation in 1950 from Roanoke Rapids High School where she was active as a majorette and forward on the girls’ basketball team, she attended Women’s College in Greensboro for two years.
After a serious illness, she convinced her father to allow her to transfer as a “co-ed” to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She pledged Delta Delta Delta and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Education. She later completed her M.A. in Education at East Carolina University.
Mary-Frances’s life-long love for children guided her to a career in teaching and a life of public service.
She taught second and third grades at A.E. Akers and Manning Elementary School for 32 years and then served on the Roanoke Rapids Schools Board of Trustees for 18 years, and, for a period of time, was the Board Chairman. She genuinely loved, and believed in every child she taught and to her they always remained “her children.” Those students know this to be true.
She was honored as a regional teacher of the year. She was an active member of the Halifax County Arts Council, serving as a board member. She enjoyed fifty years of membership in her teaching sorority, ADK, where she made many lifetime friends.
For thirty- five years, Mary-Frances was married to her beloved husband, Marion. They were dedicated to one another and worked together on many community-service projects, including bringing Right Start to Halifax County.
As a faithful member of First United Methodist Church, she served on and often chaired every committee of the church: United Methodist Women, Nurture and Membership Care, and as member of the Church Council. She has been active in the weekly Monday Bible Study for 20 years. She spearheaded a summer feeding program for community school children which later grew to include several area congregations. She also supported the Bethlehem Food Pantry. In later years, she strongly stood for progressive change within her church, especially encouraging diversity and inclusivity. Mary-Frances always advocated for those who felt they had no voice – something she often attributed to the legacy of her father Senator Julian R. Allsbrook.
In February, 2016, she was conferred as an Ambassador Extraordinary, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award in North Carolina for having made significant contributions to the state and community through exemplary service and accomplishments. She was the only member of her family to ever receive this award.
In May of this year, Mary-Frances became a Silver Member of the 1776 Guild, Phi Beta Kappa Society “for dedication to knowledge, critical inquiry and the pursuit of wisdom.”
Mary-Frances was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Marion L. Fisher, Jr, brothers Julian R. Allsbrook, Jr. and Judge Richard B. Allsbrook and his wife, Barbara, son-in-law, James David Burroughs, and great nephew, Bobby Reames.
She is survived by her daughter, Janice Presnall Burroughs, granddaughter Sarah Delaney Burroughs, her sister Alice Allsbrook, Auchmoody (Blake), nieces Alison Allsbrook, Gigi Robson (Ken), nephews Richard B. Allsbrook, Jr. ( Stephen), Blake P. Auchmoody, Jr. (Kelly), godson William R. Auchmoody (Meredith) and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Family will receive at Wrenn Funeral Home Tuesday, October 11, 2022 from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First United Methodist Church in Roanoke Rapids, October 12, 2022 at 2:00 pm.
Interment will be private.
Covid 19 precautions will be observed and masks required at all times.
Memorial contribution suggestions:
Online condolences can be made to: www.wrennclarkehagan.com