Mary Lean Farr was born in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, on August 30, 1921 to Dempsey and Martha Elizabeth Davidson Farr. She was one of seven children. At the age of eleven, she went to live with her aunt and uncle, Reverend and Mrs. William Henry Davidson, in Columbus, Mississippi so that she could take advantage of educational opportunities not available in Sparta. She graduated from Union Academy High School. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling from Tennessee State University. She married Roscoe Jerome Hamby in 1942 and to their union two children were born.
Mrs. Hamby enjoyed a successful career with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Mrs. Hamby never planned to be an educator; she always wanted to become a social worker and help people. While she was teaching the sixth grade, she was approached about becoming a counselor, which she did, breaking the color barrier for elementary school counselors in the Nashville public schools. After impacting the lives of hundreds of children, she retired in 1986. She served as a substitute guidance counselor for several years after she retired. Many students stayed in touch to let her know that she made a difference in their lives.
In addition to her family, the church always played a central role in Mrs. Hamby’s life. Her faith helped to sustain her throughout her life and especially when she lost her husband of 51 years, Roscoe in 1993 and her beloved son, William in 2009. A member of Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church since 1943, Mrs. Hamby served her church family in a variety of roles including services as a Trustee for twelve years, Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School and Chair of revival and homecoming committees. She taught Vacation Bible School, as well as Class #3, and served on other committees over the years. Also, Mrs. Hamby served as President of the Ladies Aid Society for several terms.
An avid bridge player, Mrs. Hamby relished the fellowship and camaraderie of fellow club members. She was a member of the Orchidettes Bridge Club for 50 years and the 700 Bridge Club for 45 years. Additionally, she a member of the Casualettes Club, Metropolitan Nashville Retired Teachers’ Association, and Pi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.
Mrs. Hamby peacefully transitioned from this life, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, leaving to cherish her memory, a loving son, Roscoe and his wife, Geraldine Hamby, daughter-in-law, Dr. Edwina Hamby; and brother, Derrick Farr. Also, grandchildren, Cicely Garnett, William Hamby, Jr., Traci (Michael) Badon, and Darius Hamby. She also doted on her nine great-grandchildren, Diamond Deja Garnett, Darius Thomas, Jerome Fisher, Ameara Celeste Hamby, lyanna Charise Hamby, Ahmad Darius Hamby, William Xavier Hamby, Darrian Oujanai-Christina (Dontae) Norman, Cydni Elizabeth Glenn, and Brian Fredrick Glenn, Jr.; and four great-great grandchildren, Dario Norman, Sevyn Norman, Rylin Fisher, and Nyelle Fisher. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and other relatives.
Mrs. Hamby will be conveyed to the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, 1410 Jefferson Street, Nashville, Tennessee for viewing Friday, June 5, 2020 from 11:00AM till Noon, followed by the Visitation from Noon till 12:30PM, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Rites from 12:30PM till 1 PM. Funeral Rites will commence at the striking of 1PM conducted by her Pastor, Dr. E. Christopher Jackson. Private Interment, Greenwood Historic Cemetery. CDC Social Distancing guidelines will be strictly adhered to and Visitors will be required to wear a mask during the walk-through visitation. Services directed by A. Brandon Starks, 615-329-9880 “Celebrating Life with Dignity”
Photo by James Vincent Photography