Terrie Dean values the art of good conversation. One of her favorite holiday pastimes is gathering around the kitchen table with relatives and simply talking for hours on end.
All I want for Christmas is normal.
Mary-Jane Earle Hensley, 87, died on Oct. 1, 2012, in Fairfax, Va. She was born Oct. 28, 1924, in Springfield, Mass., to the late Charles William and Esther May Withee Earle of Agawam.
While attending Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, she met Reece Verlaine Hensley, a physicist and aerospace engineer, whom she married on Aug. 15, 1949, in Agawam. They lived in Berea, Ohio, where their children were born, then Huntington, N.Y., and Princeton, N.J., before settling in Potomac, Md. She was treasurer of the Potomac Methodist Church, president of the Potomac Garden Club and a Brownie leader. She worked part time at The Surrey, a gift shop in Potomac, for 40 years.
Mary-Jane had two great passions. She loved people of every age, every background: they captured her heart and she shared their smiles, their laughter and their tears. She also dedicated herself to honoring those who went before through her extensive work in genealogy, learned at the hands of her mother.
Active in numerous hereditary organizations, she loved the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and was an honorary state regent of Maryland having served as Maryland state regent, vice regent, recording secretary and chair of many committees. Nationally, Mary-Jane served on the National Board of Management, as national chairman of State Regent Dinners, national chairman of National Board Dinners, as national vice chairman of the Finance, Program, and Motion Picture and TV Committees, as a museum docent, and was a fixture at their annual meeting, Continental Congress, for over 40 years and at their headquarters, DAR Constitution Hall. She was the senior national registrar, senior national assistant organizing secretary, honorary senior national vice president, national chairman of credentials and senior state vice president of the Children of the American Revolution. She published a book on Thomas Rogers, Mayflower Pilgrim, in 1980, and, in 2010, authored a history of Maryland DAR.
Mary-Jane was an active member the Colonial Dames of America, the Mayflower Society, and a founding member and president of the Thomas Rogers Society. She also enjoyed membership in the National Society Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, National Society of New England Women, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, Daughters of the Barons of Runnemede, First Families of Maine, First Families of Connecticut, Flagon and Trencher, Daughters of Colonial Wars, Daughters of American Colonists, and Associated Daughters of Early American Witches. She aided countless people in tracing their genealogy and helping them join numerous organizations.
Her husband died on Nov. 1, 1992. She leaves to cherish her memory two daughters, Barbara Hensley Carpenter (Mrs. William Alfred) and Jan Hensley of Great Falls, Va.; her beloved brother, Henry Clay Earle III of Agawam, Mass.; treasured cousins and countless friends.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Agawam Congregational Church, 745 Main St., Agawam, MA 01001, the Evangelical United Methodist Church, 513 E. Spotswood Ave., Elkton, VA 22827, or the Kate Duncan Smith DAR School, 6077 Main St., Grant, AL 35747.
The service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Evangelical United Methodist Church, Elkton, Va. A private burial will be held at Elk Run Cemetery, Elkton.