Mary Stevens Backels, age 89, of 1709 Ridgevue Avenue, Clifton Forge, Virginia died Monday, December 21, 2020 at The Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation Center in Low Moor following a brave six month fight as the result of a stroke on July 1.
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She was born March 9, 1931 in Hillsborough, New Hampshire to the late William B. and Beatrice Card Stevens. She was a graduate of Weare (NH) High School and Concord (NH) Hospital School of Nursing. As a Registered Nurse, she worked at hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI, Long Beach, CA and Tallassee, FL.
In addition to spending time with family and friends, Mary had numerous interests including gardening, reading, travel, baking (perhaps you sampled her wares at the annual Chocolate Festival) and sports (rumor has it that she and Jack changed television services so she could watch the ACC Network).
Mary was an active volunteer in the community upon her move to Clifton Forge in 1968. The Girl Scouts, Red Cross Bloodmobile, American Cancer Society, Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, Clifton Forge Public Library, and various committees at Central United Methodist Church were among the organizations to which she gave of herself.
Friendly, empathetic, humble and in possession of a quick, droll New England wit, she was loved by all, especially Jack – her loving husband of 67 years and best friend for almost 70 years – and by her children and grandchildren.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brothers, Edward Holden, Walter Holden and Richard Holden and a son, Timothy William Backels.
She is survived by her husband, John Franz Backels of Clifton Forge; a son, Steve Backels and wife Kelsey of Millersville, PA; two daughters, Kristine Mary Girard and husband Bob of Earlysville, Va and Karen Louise Gioia and husband Bob of Demarest, NJ; seven grandchildren, Adam Backels, Parker Girard, Charlie Girard, Kerry Moomaw, Mitch Gioia, Trevor Gioia and Meredith Gioia; a brother, William Harrington Stevens of Nikiski, AK; and a number of nieces and nephews.
A family-only, private graveside funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 1:00 PM in Alleghany Memorial Park, Low Moor with Reverend Lynn Wright and Reverend Marion Sortore officiating. There will be no visitation. However, friends may call any time at Nicely Funeral Home. A celebration of life service will be conducted in the future.
The family suggests memorial tributes take the form of contributions to the Tim Backels Memorial Scholarship Fund @ Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, 1000 Dabney Drive, Clifton Forge, Virginia 24422.