From the Obituary of Mary May Iles
Mary May Iles embodied the spirit of Ashe County. The spirit of looking out for your family, friends and neighbors; of hard work; of deep faith. Through her devotion to family, friends, church and work she touched many lives.
Born September 19, 1925 to Robert T. and Ethel Graham May in Ashe County, she was to be the second of four children: brothers Carl, Charles and Edward, and a sister, Beryl.
Her dedication to the care of others was evident in her choice of a career. She graduated from Lansing High School, and later went on to Nursing School in Galax, Virginia. She then returned to Ashe County and joined the staff at Ashe Memorial Hospital, where she gave 32 years of devoted service. As a nurse, she was known for “going out of her way” for patients and co-workers. And she volunteered many hours collecting for the Heart Fund, as well as participating in other community projects.
Even after she retired she continued to work part-time at Emerald Health Care. Many coming home. Many residents counted on her home visits to receive necessary injections, dressing changes and countless other services, not to mention Mary’s up-lifting company.
It was this positive attitude that Mary was known for best. Even though she faced man hardships (including suffering from acute asthma most of her life), they never seemed to get in the way of her smile, or to keep her from telling a funny or adventurous story. And she never met a stranger. If she sat down beside someone she did not previously know, by the time she got up she would know their history, and have made a new friend.
Though she led a very busy life, Mary found the time to have several hobbies. She was the type of person who would try things, rather than wishing she could, and she would succeed at what she tried. Some of her many hobbies were basket making, knitting, quilting, painting, cross-stitch and traveling. But flowers were Mary’s main hobby, and she was a skilled gardener.
One of the flower gardens she planted in front of the Lansing Presbyterian Church, where Mary was a member. This was just one of the things she did for her church. Her faith and joy in the Lord.