Priscilla R. Urner, age 96, passed away Tuesday morning, September 9, 2014, at home with family in Erwin, TN. She was born in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston, Massachusetts to the late Arthur R. and Ernestine B. Rabethge.
She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts area and Conway, New Hampshire. She graduated from Jamaica Plain High School and Boston University College of Liberal Arts. While a professor at the University of New Hampshire, she met and married her husband, Donald M. Urner, who was also a professor at the university. They moved to Maryland and had two daughters, moved to the island of Okinawa, followed by Arlington, Virginia, and Miami, Florida, before settling in McLean, Virginia in 1966. She moved to Erwin, Tennessee to live with family in 2012.
She was a traveling sales person and demonstrator for Jordan March and for Kyanize Paint Company. She was the Social Director at Eastern Slope Inn in New Hampshire. She was a professor at the University of New Hampshire, University of Indiana, and University of Maryland. She retired as the Recreation Director at Arlington County Parks and Recreation Department in Virginia.
She was an avid teacher of international folk dancing. She started the New Hampshire Durham Reelers. She started the Northern Virginia Folk Festival. She taught folk dances in Okinawa, the Philippines, and around the United States. She taught ballroom dances to the Boys News Club of Boston, to many church congregations, and at Florida University.
She was active in civic events. She read to the blind in their homes. She volunteered with Eleanor Roosevelt's programs to assist World War II veterans. She placed international students with families to share holidays. She was a Girl Scouts troop leader. She and her husband were founding members of the First Church of Christ Scientist, McLean, Virginia. She was a proud and active lifetime member of the Delta Delta Delta fraternity (sorority).
She lived a full life. She dearly loved her family and friends. She had a beaming smile and spread joy into so many lives. She lived her life knowing God is Love and listened for his guidance in all things. During her final years in Erwin, TN, she was so happy. She lived in a loving home with family and adoring cats. Her days were filled doing whatever she wanted, with family to help with any need or want. She liked gazing at the view of the mountains and valley from the hilltop house, listening for the train whistle and watching the trains, feeding the birds, tending her window flower box, embroidering, reading, praying, corresponding, petting and watching the antics of the cats, napping on the porch, watching ice skating and animal shows on television, visiting with neighbors and friends, sharing regular potluck gatherings beside the Nolichucky River, picnicking in Fishery Park and feeding the ducks, eating her favorite foods prepared by her daughter, dining out whe never she wanted, attending outings to a varieties of events and attractions, riding around on scenic trips in the mountains, vacationing to see far-away family and friends, and visiting her late-husband's grave. She was embracing each day when she passed suddenly and quickly.
In addition to her parents, Priscilla was preceded in death 11 years by her husband: Donald M. Urner; her brother: Alden Rabethge and wives Laura and Jeanne; and her sister-in law: Helen U. Branach and husband Joe.
She leaves behind to cherish memories, two daughters: Heidi U. Rabinowitz and husband, Stu Rabinowitz, Oak Hill, Virginia; Laurel Melody Urner and Alan Anthony, Erwin, Tennessee; two granddaughters: Heather U. Rabinowitz, Fairfax, Virginia, Nicole U. Rabinowitz, Arlington, Virginia; two step-grandsons: Sam Rabinowitz, Texas, Chris Anthony and wife Abigail, San Diego, California; one step-great grandson: Cooper Anthony, San Diego, California; one nephew: David C. Branach and wife Mimi, N. Richland Hills, Texas; two nieces: Karen B. Henry and husband Dan, Springfield,
Pennsylvania, Vali R. Tobias, Pensacola, Florida; one step niece: Tori W. Merrell and husband Dennis,
Whitney, Texas; four great nieces: Casey Branach, Margo Helen Branach, Ashley Henry, Chanda Reis and husband Rob; four great nephews: Connor Branach, Ryan Henry, Matthew Henry; Cameron Tobias; one great-great niece: Sierra Reis; two great-great nephews: Kolton Reis, Hunter Reis; and treasured great cousins and friends around the world.
A time of visitation to share memories will be held Sunday, September 28, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, in the Ledford Funeral Home Chapel, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin Tennessee 37650.
Memorial donations in Priscilla R. Urner's name may be made to the First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1683 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101. A memorial service will be held in northern Virginia at a later date. Priscilla's final resting place will be in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, with her beloved late-husband, Donald M. Urner, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander in WWII and retiree from U.S.N.R.
On-line condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the family through a complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com. Robert Ledford Funeral Home (423-743-1380) is privileged to serve the Urner family.