Sara Frances Ferrell Shay, 100, of Linthicum passed away peacefully on June 12, 2019, surrounded by her family after a long and exceptional life. She was born into what has become known as the, "World’s Greatest Generation" in 1918, in Bluefield, West Virginia. She was the only child born into the loving home of the late William M. and Ruth (Whitehurst) Ferrell. She attended Mary Baldwin College, now University in Staunton, VA and the University of Maryland where she graduated with her B.S. in Biology. She married the love of her life, Donald Emerson Shay, who she met while at College Park. In the beginning of their marriage, they moved around following Mr. Shay’s academic career and finally they settled in Linthicum, where they raised their family. After making Linthicum their home, Sara became an integral part of the community. She was a member of Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church and numerous other organizations that were important to her. She was a teacher at Glen Burnie High School, however her greatest job was being a wife, mother and community advocate. With a natural gift of hospitality, she opened not only her heart to those around her, but her home and no visit was complete until she fed you. In 1970 her son Maj. Donald Emerson Shay, Jr. became M.I.A while serving in South East Asia, this led her on a journey of over 40 years working and volunteering with the National League of POW/MIA Families. Sara will be remembered for being loving, generous, devoutly independent and deeply devoted to not only her family but neighbors and the community as a whole. Her contributions to the countless lives she crossed will become a part of an amazing legacy of service she leaves behind.
She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Dr. Donald E. Shay, Sr.; and son, Maj. Donald E. Shay, Jr. She leaves to cherish precious memories her loving daughter, Mary Louisa Rutledge (Henry M.) of Salisbury; grandsons, Don Rutledge (Amber) also of Salisbury; and Macon K. Rutledge of Charleston, SC.
The family will receive visitors at Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, 200 School Ln, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090 on Sat., June 22nd, at 11:00 AM where services will be held. Followed by a reception at the church concluding with her interment at Meadowridge Memorial Park. Memorial Contributions may be made to the National League of POW/MIA Families, 5673 Columbia Pike Falls Church, VA 22041-or-Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church.