Cover photo for Mary Williams Elder's Obituary
Mary Williams Elder Profile Photo

Mary Williams Elder

March 3, 1940 — January 22, 2024


Mary Williams Elder

Mary Williams Elder, 83, of Lynchburg, passed away Monday, January 22, 2024. She fought a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease for over 8 years.  She was the wife of the late Horace Bernier Elder.  She was preceded in death by her son Gregory Bernier Elder and her sister Doris W. Locke.  

 Mary was born on March 3, 1940, in Charlotte County, Virginia, a daughter of the late Harry Raymond Williams and Helen Tharpe Williams. Mary was a member of Farview Christian Church. Mary spent over 40 years in the grocery business with A&P, Harris Teeter and Kroger.  She ended her working career with Campbell County Schools in the nutrition department.   She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to her family but her most treasured title was Nana to her grandchildren. 

She is survived by her daughter Sheila Gilliam and her husband James of Lynchburg, three sisters: Beatrice Rice of Lynchburg, Shirley Speck of Madison Heights, and June Haley of Chester, six grandchildren: Brice Bhalla and his wife Kimmie, Chad Gilliam, Haley Elder, Cody MacArthur and his wife Caitlin, Krysta Johnson, and Evan Johnson, four great-grandchildren: Grayden Bhalla, Beckett Bhalla, Amelia MacArthur, and Tessa MacArthur and her “four legged kids” Sebastian and Theo. And numerous nieces and nephews.  

A memorial service will be held Saturday January 27, 2024 12 p.m. at Compassion Church of the Nazarene ,1737 Wards Ferry Rd. Lynchburg VA 24502. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.    Pastor Lynn Marstin of Midway Baptist Church officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Carmel United Methodist Church in Brookneal.

The family would like to thank the staff of Forest Health and Rehabilitation for the care and respect of Mary during her last months.  

In lieu of flowers please consider making memorial contributions to Meals on Wheels of Greater Lynchburg at or to the Lynchburg Humane Society at

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Williams Elder, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Mary Williams Elder, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Compassion Church of the Nazarene

1737 Wards Ferry Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502

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