“Upon life’s Journey, we are given opportunities to plant seeds of goodness, seeds of kindness, and seeds of blessings that bestow our hearts, our work, and our being. For those that sow the fields with loving generosity, so shall they reap the abundant harvest of eternal life.”
On September 22, 1936 the life of Nancy Mae Parham Tyler began in the countryside of Sussex County, Virginia. She was born to the union of the late Deacon Lawrence L. and Deaconess Ella M. Parham. Nancy received her formal education from the Sussex County School System, graduating from Sussex County Training School.
Family always came first for Miss Nancy, and although she was awarded a scholarship to attend St. Paul College of Lawrenceville, Virginia, and become a Home Economics teacher, her desire to support her parents and siblings outweighed the dream of college. Much later in life Miss Nancy completed the Practical Nursing program at the Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Miss Nancy continued her education through the years with baccalaureate level classes at LaSalle College and Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her love and commitment to the field of nursing extended until 2012.
Nancy was united in Holy Matrimony to Deacon Garfield R. Tyler. This union was blessed with two beautiful girls - Linda and Sheila.
Not only did Nancy enjoy the workforce, but she also enjoyed working for the Lord! Church attendance and participation were integral parts of her family life. Her early church membership included the Morningstar Baptist Church of Jarratt, Virginia. While living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Tyler family joined and maintained active membership with the West Bethlehem Baptist Church, under the pastoral care and leadership of the late Reverend Reuben Stephens. It was there that her spiritual gifts were developed and love for God deepened as she taught Sunday School, sang in the Inspirational Choir and trained to serve as a deaconess. During this time, her husband completed pre-ordination training to serve as a deacon.
Many years later, the family moved their membership to the Liberty Baptist Church in North Philadelphia under the leadership of the late Reverend Redfrick Quarterman. At this church, Sister Tyler’s involvement included that of the Youth Choir and the diaconate ministry as a deaconess. She held this consecration in high regard, as she was often called upon for guidance and wisdom.
Ministry was the focus of the Tyler family. After participating in numerous community events with the Philippian Baptist Church, which was minutes away from the family’s home, the decision was made to join that church family. It was there, that Deaconess Tyler served in the following ministerial capacities: the Sunday School Ministry, the Willing Worker’s Ministry, the Holistic Health Ministry and although her own children were adults, the troop leader for the Girl Scouts. Pastoral care under the late Reverend S. Amos Brackeen continued at Philippian until Deacon Garfield retired and the couple moved back to Virginia.
Upon their return to Virginia, Miss Nancy as she was affectionately called, returned to the Morningstar Baptist Church of Jarratt, Virginia and went right to work. Realizing the importance of being taught the Word of God she yet again embraced the ministry of Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, the Youth Choir Ministry and a lifetime membership in the Sussex County Sunday School Union.
Deaconess Nancy loved unconditionally. Her love was not limited to just family, but throughout the community and the county. Because of her unconditional love, she was known by many as Big Sis, Miss Nancy, Aunt Nancy, Mommy, Mom Mom, Nana and Sister Dear. Mrs. Tyler answered to many terms of endearment while touching the lives of both the very young and those in the autumn years of life. Her pride and joy was working with these age groups. She remarked that “contrary to popular belief, children and senior citizens seemed more eager to try new things than other age groups and were openly appreciative of help.” Year after year, her charitable contributions were consistently faithful. Sister Tyler budgeted for funds that went near and far including her local church, the United Negro College Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Cancer Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the World Wildlife Fund, the Wounded Warriors Project, UNICEF, and many others. She reasoned that since she didn't buy cigarettes or "alcohol" and frequently styled her own hair, she could put that money to good use helping someone else. This was a modest assessment. The cruises she skipped and the clothes she left on the rack funded tuition, books, along with room and board for many college students, and bought groceries for appreciative mothers.
On Wednesday, July 24, following a challenging period of illness, Nancy Mae Parham Tyler yielded to God’s call home. Her seeds are well-sown; her service on earth is complete and she now experiences the victory and triumph of eternal life. She will be welcomed into eternal life in glory by her parents, brother James Lawrence “007” Parham and dear sister Ella Elizabeth “Liz” Steward.
We, who are bound by treasured ties of love and affection as we pass her to God’s keeping, are: beloved husband, Deacon Garfield R. Tyler (aka Honey); daughters, Linda M. Felton (Ron) and Sheila Tyler Smith; grandson, Andrew Felton; granddaughters, Nicole F. Wakefield (Shawn), Brianna M. Smith; great granddaughter, Nolah Wakefield; great grandsons, Olantai Wakefield, O'Cean Wakefield, and O'Zir Wakefield. She also leaves her precious brothers, sisters and their beautiful families: Martha Harper, Ruth Ridley (Alexander), Winnie Neaves (Charlie), Lottie Tyler (Clifton), Essie P. Freeman, Gloria Walker (Phil), Virginia Hayes, Dale Mouldin, Frank Parham (Winnie), Willie Parham, Joseph Parham (Bonnie), Robert Parham (Dianne), the Rev. Mack Parham (Patricia), Roy Parham (Joanne), Donnell Parham (Shawna); also her treasured family united through marriage: Calvin Tyler, Sr. ( Virginia Mozelle), “Big Sister” Marie Tyler (Judge “Brother” Tyler deceased), Claudelle Tyler (Rev. Herman Tyler deceased); a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
The Management and Staff of Knox-High Mortuary, Inc. is privileged to provide
"Distinctive Services, With The Essence Of Excellence"
to the Family of Deaconess Nancy Mae Parham Tyler
We ask that you join us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer.
"Diligent in Business; Fervent in Spirit." - Romans: 12:11