Cover photo for Mary Alice Nesbitt's Obituary
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Mary Alice Nesbitt

July 23, 1930 — May 13, 2024

Richmond, VA

Mary Alice Nesbitt

Mary Alice (Summers) Nesbitt, 93, died peacefully on May 13, 2024. She has been released from her suffering from dementia. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY to John Will (Jay) Summers and Elgye Marie (Shutt) Summers and grew up in a couple of Kentucky towns until the family moved to Detroit, MI during WWII. They then moved to Springfield, TN where Mary Alice attended high school. She went on to spend two years at Western Kentucky State College before transferring to and graduating from Peabody College in Nashville, TN. 


Mary Alice did some mission work in NYC and met Burns at Lake Junaluska, NC. She taught school at Vashti Industrial School for Girls in Thomasville, GA for a year before following the love of her life to Duke University, where she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching. Charles Burns Nesbitt proposed marriage in the Duke gardens and they were married in 1955. Burns was an ordained Methodist minister who joined the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain. As their family grew, Burns and Mary Alice lived in many places, to include Japan and Hawaii. 


Mary Alice taught English in Japan and worked as an assistant editor and a librarian in Alabama.  Due to her firm belief in the link between spiritual holiness and social holiness, throughout her life, Mary Alice often volunteered her time and talents. She was a Girl Scout leader, a Sunday school teacher, a den mother, a member of a garden club, a leader in Protestant Women of the Chapel and held several leadership positions with United Methodist Women. When Burns and Mary Alice moved to Richmond in 1984, she began serving in the weekly Friday meal program at Centenary UMC, where she and Burns were members. She continued in that ministry for 30 years. She also delivered Meals on Wheels, and worked the polls on election days among other things. She lived a true life educating and serving others. 


Mary Alice loved animals, reading, Duke basketball, her Sherwood Park neighbors, her Centenary UMC family and most of all her children and grandchildren. 


She was predeceased by her parents and beloved husband. Mary Alice is survived by her daughter Rev. Jaye Nesbitt White (Mark), sons Dr. Charles Phillip Nesbitt (Elizabeth) and Christopher Summers Nesbitt (Suzanne Estes), grandchildren Leah Marie White (Colin John), Adam Lewis White (Shay), Emily Elizabeth Nesbitt, and Christopher Burns Nesbitt. 


A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 1, at 2 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church.  There will be a reception following the service.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 E Grace St, Richmond, VA 23219.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Alice Nesbitt, please visit our flower store.

Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Centenary Methodist Church

411 E Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23219

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