Marjorie K. Mays, our beloved Mother and Nana, died Sunday, December 19, 2021, just one week after her 98th birthday. She was born in Williamsport, PA on December 12, 1923 to Alfred S. Kaufman, Sr. and Laura Hayes Kaufman. She and her brothers, Alfred S. Kaufman, Jr. and Teddy A. Kaufman, spent their early years on the family farm in Steam Valley, PA. Marjorie loved telling stories about her idyllic childhood attending the one room schoolhouse and the little church there. The family later moved "to town" where she graduated from South Williamsport High School in 1941.
She married Paul G. Mays in 1942 and they raised their daughters Paula and Tana in Garden View where life centered on family, Franklin Elementary School, and Trinity EUB Church. Marjorie was active in the church 'singing' (in her unique breathy way) in the choir and especially enjoying her friends in the Jolly Workers Sunday School class. She is also remembered as a fun and patient Brownie and Girl Scout Troop Leader.
Marjorie was the Public Health Educator at the Williamsport District Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 27 years, covering a 16 county area in central PA. She managed publicity and news releases for the local Health and Environmental offices. Marj coordinated Public Health staff on routine and emergency public health issues from setting up chronic disease screening sites to environmental and public health outbreaks such as the Johnstown flood of 1977 and the AIDS global pandemic. Her creative leadership and boundless energy was unending no matter what public health issue she was tackling. She was awarded commendations on the local, state and federal levels. The K-12 AIDS curriculum that she developed during the beginning of the global pandemic was recognized by the CDC as one of the first comprehensive teaching tools on this subject. But it was the mentorship that she freely offered her colleagues for which she will be most remembered. Whether it was public health issues or life issues, Marj was always available to give her sage advice - and is still quoted widely. Her Health Department career resulted in her colleagues becoming lifelong friends who will miss her dearly.
Marjorie was a "lovable character who always spiced up the room with both her conversation and her appearance", wrote one of her former Girl Scouts. She loved fashion, fast cars, her family and friends. She could often be seen sporting attire to match her car - champagne suede pantsuit to match the Porsche, gray suede for the Jaguar and a black leather blazer for the RX-7. She even had hot pink luggage to coordinate with her Fiat convertible. In the last weeks of her life she was still shopping and looking for the next fabulous sweater or that great pair of pants. And, of course, she died with her lipstick on.
Marjorie is survived by her daughter Paula (Jerry) Gapp of Carlisle, PA, daughter Tana (Bob) Miller of Sherwood, OR, grandchildren Christopher (Diane) Carvell, Taneen Laura Carvell, Heather (Peter) Myerson, Brett (Eric) Beyerle, Bradley Miller, great-grandchildren Elizabeth Carvell, Hannah Myerson, Castor Beyerle and Lucas Beyerle. She was preceded in death by her husband Paul, her brothers Alfred and Ted and her great-granddaughter Emily Myerson.
At her request there will be a private burial service.
Gifts in memory of Marjorie Mays may be made to Lycoming Animal Protection Society (LAPS), 630 Wildwood Blvd., Williamsport, PA or on their website: lapsshelter.org.
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