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Mary Virginia Everhart Koonce

Oct 23, 2015

Mary Virginia Everhart Koonce, 66, of Summit Point died on Oct. 4, 2015.

Koonce was born in Martinsburg on Dec. 15, 1948 to the late Herbert W. Everhart and Virginia Sturgis Everhart and grew up on the family farm in Kearneysville.

She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Stafford H. Koonce; a son, H.S. Leigh Koonce; a niece, Jennifer Everhart King; a nephew, Bryan Van Meter; two great-nephews, Quenton King and Jordan King; and a great-niece, Jada King. She was preceeded in death by her parents and two brothers, William S. Everhart and Herbert Johnson Everhart.

She was a graduate of Shepherdstown High School and received a B.A. in education from Shepherd College in 1970. After spending a year in Washington, DC working for a non-profit organization, Koonce returned to Jefferson County and taught at the Job Corps before working for several years in the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office. After leaving the work force to care for her family and focus on community work, Koonce returned to teaching, spending almost a decade at the Jefferson County Opportunity Learning Center.

Koonce was heavily involved in local, state, and national horticultural organizations. She was a past district director of the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council, a National Council accredited judge, and a past president of Windflower Garden Club, and an active member of Dolley Madison Garden Club.

She devoted much of her time to daffodils, serving as an accredited judge. She traveled extensively throughout the United States to judge at daffodil shows, as well as several trips to England where she was honored to act as a judge at a Royal Horticulture Society Show in Westminster Hall. Koonce also participated as a judge at the Philadelphia Flower Show for a number of years.

Aside from judging daffodils, Koonce also served as a president of the Washington Daffodil Society, as well as a show chairman and was the longtime bulb chairman for the group. Additionally, she served as a regional vice-president of the American Daffodil Society and held leadership positions within a variety of other daffodil related organizations.

Since her college years, Koonce remained involved in local and state Democratic politics, having been elected to a position on the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. Over the years she also held leadership positions within the Jefferson County Young Democrats and the Jefferson County Democratic Association, having served a term as president. Koonce lost a close primary in 2002 for the Democratic nomination for the Jefferson County Commission.

Guests will be received by the family at their home for a memorial service on Nov. 7 from 1-4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution in Koonce’s name may be made to one of her three favorite organizations. The Jefferson County Historical Society, PO Box 485, Charles Town, WV 25414. The Washington Daffodil Society, 3707 Burrows Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030. The Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council, 502 Jonquil Lane, Martinsburg, WV 25401.