DURHAM - Mary Porter-Jeffries, age 52, died Thursday, August 12, 2004, in Durham Regional Hospital, following complications from surgery. Mary was born August 20, 1951, in Cincinnati to Lee and Elizabeth Timmons porter. A Durham resident since age 4, Mary graduated from Durham High School and North Carolina Central University, where she received the Bachelor's degree in criminal justice. She most recently earned a second undergraduate degree from NCCU in art education. Mary's particular talent was in ceramics, and she was looking forward to teaching art at the secondary level.
With a curious and fertile mind, Mary had a zest for expanding her intellect, and was a life-long student and teacher. For a time she worked in the advertising department of the Durham Sun, where she met her husband of 25 years, Charles Jeffries. Mary began teaching at the Wright School as a resource teacher, later accepting a teaching job in art and music at Greenbriar Academy. She was also public relations director at the N.C. Museum of Life and Science.
Mary's interests and endeavors were diverse, spanning mystery novels to art, to broadening her knowledge of words. She developed a fascination for on-line gaming in backgammon, resulting in a vast community of internet friends. Mary's exuberant, bubbly personality gave her the knack of making friends and easily striking conversation with strangers. She approached her life with a keen focus on planning and organizing, and was a "quick study" involving new skills and tasks. Mary Porter-Jeffries was, above all else, a wife and mother, who conveyed unfettered love for her children and encouragement on their journey toward adulthood.
Surviving are her husband, Charles J. Jeffries; her children, Nicholas Alexander Jeffries and Hannah Elizabeth Jeffries; her mother, Elizabeth Porter in Maryland; her siblings, Lee B. Porter, Jr. in Maryland, Richard F. and Gerald A. Porter in Virginia, David V. Porter of Durham, Maria T. and Veronica A. Porter in Maryland; and by a special friend and mentor, Isabel Chicquor of Chapel Hill and special friend, Carmen Holman of Atlanta. Her father, Lee B. Porter, died Thursday, just hours following Mary's death.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Monday, from Immaculate Conception Church, with Fr. Steven Patti, OFM presiding.
Friends may visit the family in church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday. Cremation will follow the funeral, with private interment in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery on Tuesday.
Donations in Mary's memory may be made to the Durham School of the Arts, 400 N. Duke Street, Durham, NC 27701. Arrangements are with - Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Cremation. E-mail condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org.