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Remembering Mary Elizabeth Preston

February 27, 2017

It is with very heavy hearts that we must announce the passing of Mary Elizabeth Preston, GFWC International Past President from 1978-1980, on Saturday, February 25, 2017.

Born and raised in eastern Kentucky, Mary Elizabeth was orphaned by age 16 and took the responsibility of caring for her brother and four sisters. Mary Elizabeth joined the Pikesville Women’s Club after marrying and went on to live a life of volunteer service as a member of GFWC for over 75 years. She served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs before leading GFWC as International President from 1978-1980. During her administration, Mary Elizabeth promoted family unity and free enterprise, helped to establish the Korean Federation of Women’s Clubs, and partnered with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program (HOBY). After her term as GFWC International President, Mary Elizabeth worked in the White House, where she served as President Ronald Reagan’s liaison to national social service and volunteer groups. “It’s only in the United States of America that something like this could happen,” Preston said in a January 2005 article printed in the St. Petersburg Times.

She served her country honorably for seven years and then moved to Florida, where she married her second husband, Bill. Mary Elizabeth was an active member of the Family Motor Coach Association, the Brooksville Woman’s Club, the Child Advocacy Council, and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Mary Elizabeth was an exceptional leader and individual who will be greatly missed. You can read more about her remarkable life by clicking here. GFWC.org will be regularly updated with details regarding Mary Elizabeth Preston’s memorial service.

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