Cover photo for Dr. Mary Frances Briley's Obituary
Dr. Mary Frances Briley Profile Photo
1944 Dr. mary 2023

Dr. Mary Frances Briley

May 2, 1944 — June 12, 2023

June 12, 2023, Mary Frances Briley, 79, of Smithfield, VA moved on to be with the Lord and her loved ones before her. Mary Frances was born May 2, 1944 in Williamston, NC. She was the only daughter of the late Henry Vernon Hardison and Ruby Lee Hardison. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Vernon Allen Briley. She is survived by her daughter, Heather Greer and her husband George Greer. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Carter and Lindsey Greer. Her love knew no bounds as she would do anything for her family. She was known for her generous heart, love for laughter, quick wit and unwavering support by her friends and family. Her happy place was in the Outer Banks: sitting on the beach with her family, listening to Jimmy Buffett, and watching pelicans glide along the waves. Growing up in the rural community called Farm Life near Williamston, NC, Mary Frances developed a tireless work ethic as a farmer’s daughter. An honor student at Williamston High School, she was the first in her family to attend college at University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The summer before she left for college, she met the love of her life, Vernon Allen Briley. The newly married couple moved to Virginia in 1963, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at the College of William and Mary in 1966. Mary Frances was a champion for public education. She had a passion for learning and making a difference in people’s lives, and she developed several life-long friendships throughout her journey as an educator. She started her education career teaching science to grades four through seven at Hidenwood Elementary and Dunbar Elementary in Newport News. Teaching, gifted education and professional development were her passions during her time as a building and central office administrator in Hampton City Schools. After countless predawn hours and a pallet of legal pads, she earned a Doctorate of Education from the College of William and Mary in 1992. Upon her retirement from HCS, she worked with UVA as an adjunct professor, helping numerous teachers get a certification in gifted education. She invested in the future of education through her work on the Board of the William and Mary School of Education. She gave back to her community through Bethany United Methodist Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, the Hampton Women’s Club, as a life-long member of the Smithfield Kiwanis, and numerous charities.

To honor Mary Frances, a Celebration of Life Service with a reception to follow will be held on June 19 at 2:00 at Bethany United Methodist Church in Smithfield VA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Isle of Wight Education Foundation (P.O. Box 113, Smithfield VA 23430). Online condolences may be registered at

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Briley, Mary F..pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, June 19, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Bethany United Methodist Church

13717 Bethany Church Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430

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