Beverly Valine Boswell Mayer of Bryant passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.
She was born Sept. 17, 1929, in Little Rock to the late Mabel Lawson and Dean Boswell Sr.
Valine moved to Bryant with her family in November 1929.
She loved Bryant from the bottom of her heart. She graduated a year early from Bryant High School in 1946, briefly attended Arkansas State Teachers College and then graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial art.
Her extensive career in commercial art included serving as a layout artist and copywriter at a variety of prominent Little Rock businesses such as M.M. Cohn and the Phillip G. Back Agency in Little Rock.
She relocated and was employed as art director for Mayfair Associates Advertising Agency in Dallas, Texas. She also worked as a freelance artist for the Bud Biggs Art studio.
Valine then returned to Arkansas in 1959, working as art director for Blass Department stores. She remained on staff during its transition to Pfiefer-Blass and eventually Dillard’s. Valine was a mainstay in Dillard’s advertising department, where she worked with an incredibly talented group who remained close and treasured friends for all of her life. She retired as advertising layout director from Dillard’s after a career of 35 years.
Valine had so many good qualities, one of which was her willingness to be active in her church and her beloved Bryant community. As a member of the Bryant First United Methodist Church, she served as a member of the official board (vice chairman for two years), the Board of Trustees, the Altar Guild, the Shepherds' Program and the Violette Johnson Sunday School Class.
She put together an extensive scrapbook on the history of the church that is still on display today. Valine helped establish the Mabel and Dean Boswell Sr. Prayer Garden located on the grounds of the church.
Valine learned from her parents about the importance of community service and took it to heart as a lifelong activist. She inspired and then led the organization of the first Bryant Folk Festival. She worked with the Saline County Art League on special projects. She served on the Bryant Parks Commission and Natural Heritage to set up and protect a natural preserve for rare and endangered wildflowers in Mills Park in Bryant.
She served on the board of directors of the Gann Museum of Saline County. Along with her mother, Mabel Boswell, she co-wrote and illustrated the book “Bryant Profiles” in 1976 to chronicle the history of Bryant during the period of 1828-1976. In 1986 “Bryant Profiles plus Ten” was published as an addendum to the book. As a member of the Bryant Historical Society, Valine was well aware of the incredible heritage that her small town possessed. She was a second-generation member of the Bryant Study Club and was a member of the board of Bryant House for six years.
She helped set up “The Farmstead” as an example of historical living in the Bryant area and assisted in having the cabin moved to its present location at Bryant High School.
She organized and led a community effort to block the construction of an unpopular truck stop at the Bryant exit. Without a doubt, Valine loved Bryant and the wide circle and variety of dear friends that she cultivated during her life.
Valine was a gifted artist, not only in her professional career, but in her personal life as well. She loved to paint and would do so any time she had spare time. Among her most cherished works is a series of various historic Bryant landmarks.
Others include landscapes from her travels and the beauty of the Oaklawn racing horses. Although talented in many mediums, watercolor was her favorite.
Valine was a special and loving soul. She would go out of her way to help anyone in need and anyone who asked for help was rarely turned down. She felt one of her greatest gifts was her family and friends. She cherished each and every member of her family. She and husband Bill chose to live their lives in Bryant, raising their daughter on the same street with her parents, her brothers, beloved sisters-in law, nieces and nephews. She could not have been happier.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 51 years, William W. “Bill” Mayer, and an infant son, David Boswell Mayer. Also preceding her in death were her brother and sister-in-law, Dean and Inez Boswell.
She is survived by her daughter, Laine, and son-in-law, Mark Holleran; two beloved grandchildren, Matt and Annie; a brother, Ted Boswell, and sister-in-law, Joyce.
Valine was dearly loved by nieces and nephews, Mike and Anne Boswell, Jeff and Laura Boswell and children, Brady and Charlotte, Ashley and Blair Van Dyne and children, Shane and Presley; Merideth Boswell and David Sloan; Britt and Amanda Boswell and children Camille, Marley, Logan, Madelyn; Kyle Boswell and Jon Mourot; Blair and Lee Tompkins and children Caroline, Emma and Jackson.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at Bryant First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Hammett Evans officiating. Burial will be at Bryant Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Mabel and Dean Boswell Sr. Prayer Garden at Bryant First United Methodist Church.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Ashby Funeral Home.
Online guest book: ashbyfuneralhome.com.