Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough
Mary E. Yarbrough was the only child of Malowa (deceased) and Lucy Hunter. The daughter of a coal miner, she grew up near Bluefield , West Virginia . She graduated from Bluefield State College with a degree in Business.
She married George Yarbrough on August 31, 1968. She became an adoring wife and mother to him and their son Marcus who was born December 29, 1971. Mary was a beautiful woman. Her philosophy was family always came first.
Mary was very dedicated to her job. She volunteered two years in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights school system before she was hired full time. She spent most of her twenty five years at Heights High. She was also very active in the school’s union until her retirement in 2004.
In 2001 Mary began experiencing most of the known symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. Mary went from specialist to specialist but did not obtain a diagnosis until she had exploratory surgery in 2002. She was very brave the morning after the surgery when she asked what the surgeon had found. Her husband told her that the doctor said she had cancer and that he could not get all of it. “I’ll just have to deal with it,” she said. She meant there was no way she was going to give up. She was ready, with the help of her family, to try and fight this battle.
By then she was in stage three of her cancer. Early stages of this disease cause minimal, nonspecific, or no symptoms at all. As a result, most patients, including Mary, are diagnosed in an advanced stage.
She began chemotherapy and actually went into remission for four months. When the cancer returned she went back on chemo treatments. Mary was a very strong woman whose tough determination helped her family through the process. She wanted to live the rest of her life in her home and not in an institution. Her family lovingly honored her wish.
Mary succumbed to ovarian cancer on December 30, 2004 at the age of 63. Because of her bravery and her resolve to battle this disease, Mary’s family and supporters will now continue the fight, Mary’s Fight, where she left off.