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Obituary Nila Saylor

By Staff | Mar 23, 2012

Nila La Verne (Ash) Saylor of Front Royal, Va passed away on Saturday, Mar. 17, 2012. Born on Oct. 1, 1923 in Philadelphia, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Nettie (Lanham) and Dr. Irvin Oda Ash of Sheperdstown, who authored West Virginia Educators (1936). Her husband of 62 years, Capt. Philip George Saylor (USN/Ret.) and her brother, Robert Irvin Ash of Plymouth/Boston, Mass. preceded her in death.

Nila, valedictorian of Shepherdstown High School’s 1940 graduating class, attended Shepherd College (Shepherd University) and graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Secondary Education. She was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

Following a year of teaching in Harpers Ferry, Nila attended Columbia University in New York while working at Chase Bank. By the time of her marriage in 1945, she had completed most of the course work for a M.A. in International Studies.

In the 1960’s, Nila was instrumental in drafting one of the first protocol booklets for Navy wives on naval social customs during her husband’s tour of duty in Newport, R.I. She also enjoyed serving various public school systems as a classroom substitute teacher and a teacher for homebound students.

Nila will be fondly remembered for her lifelong friendships she dearly cherished, her devotion to education, her enthusiastic support of political candidates and prominent religious leaders, and her love of wildlife and grandeur of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Nila is survived by her three daughters, Nan Alin Saylor of Front Royal, Va., Jo Anna Chapman of Smithfield, Va. and Lou Alice Sykes of Edenton, N.C.; two sons-in-law, Lt. Col. Frederick W. Chapman, Jr. (USAF/Ret.) and Ollin B. Sykes; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She also leaves two sisters-in-law, Dr. Barbara Lee Ash of Plymouth/Boston, Mass. and Joan (Saylor) Andrews of Pacific Grove, Calif.; three nieces; one nephew; and grand nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Friday, Mar. 23, 2012 from 5 until 7 p.m. at Turner-Robertshaw Funeral Home in Front Royal, Va. A graveside service will be conducted on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2 p.m. in Arlington National Cemetery with Reverend John Keep officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations in Nila’s memory may be made to the Dr. Irvin Oda Ash Memorial Scholarship, Shepherd University Foundation, P. O. Box 5000, Sheperdstown, WV 25444 , (304) 876-5397 [cnevy@shepherd.edu].