Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend Mary Ellen Gazley Frier, 87, of Hendersonville, NC, died July 22, 2021. For her, family came first, always. Mary Ellen was born in Washington, DC, on August 29, 1933, to the late Richard Charles and Josephine Agnes Lynch Gazley. She graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a major in Journalism. As a volunteer and a professional writer, she wrote features, press releases, and other materials for the Hendersonville Times-News, the Girl Scouts, the League of Women Voters, Women Helping Women, and the committee to restore Hendersonville’s historic courthouse, among other organizations. The national Girl Scouts magazine published her interview with Mrs. Carl Sandburg about Mrs. Sandburg’s prize-winning goats. For 19 years, she was a technical writer for General Electric. She walked along the Nile in Cairo with photographers to get pictures of an important building her husband John, a GE Lighting Engineer, was floodlighting. Her article appeared in Monogram, the international GE magazine.
She and John co-authored the book Industrial Lighting Systems (McGraw-Hill 1980). Mary Ellen typed and edited the whole book on a typewriter.
Mary Ellen was an active volunteer all her life, in scouting, education, and at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hendersonville. She was proud to be a member of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), an organization that raises money for women’s education. She served as treasurer and wrote the newsletter for the local Chapter O.
She loved singing and sang in her church choir, in the Hendersonville Chorale, and in the Lake Pointe Landing chorus. She and John performed in Gilbert & Sullivan productions at the Hendersonville Little Theatre. She was also an avid reader. Mary Ellen was a long-time member of a book club of treasured friends and made new ones in the Lake Pointe Landing book club. She enjoyed many bridge groups over the years. She delighted in being outside and playing golf at Hendersonville Country Club.
Mary Ellen loved travelling. She and John visited 31 countries. Most of all, she loved going to see family. She and John showed up for every birth, graduation, wedding, crisis, or celebration. Even when she used a cane, Mary Ellen could be counted on to appear on the dance floor with John. The numerous relatives and friends who mourn her now keep commenting on how positive Mary Ellen always was, and how loving, and on her wonderful laughter.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, John Frier, whom she called her “one true love.” She is also survived by her brother, Richard Gazley; her five children and their spouses, Jean and Jim Polster, Ken Frier and Gretchen Tai, Catherine and John Korzen, Susan and Ron Wiltsie, and Ann and Marc Bachrach; 13 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and her deeply cherished Frier and Gazley extended family.
Mary Ellen brought love and light wherever she was. Please join us for an 11:30 a.m. memorial mass on Wednesday, July 28, at Immaculate Conception Church at 208 7th Avenue West, Hendersonville. In her honor, please be kind to someone who needs it. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to her local P.E.O. to help young women in need in Henderson County achieve their college goals. Please make checks to P.E.O. Chapter O and mail them to P.E.O. Chapter O, 32 South Creekside Court, Hendersonville, NC 28791.