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Funeral Service Is Jan. 13 for Former English Department Faculty Member Ramona Mapp

Ramona Hartley Mapp, a former member of the English department faculty at Old Dominion University, died Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, in a Suffolk hospital. A native of Headland, Ala., she had lived in the Hampton Roads area since 1962, and lived in the Churchland area of Portsmouth from 1971 until she moved to Lake Prince Woods retirement community in Suffolk in 2009.

People may pay respects by signing the Book of Remembrance at Sturtevant Funeral Home at 5201 Portsmouth Blvd., Portsmouth, today and Wednesday. Visitation with the family will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at Churchland Baptist Church, 3031 Churchland Blvd., Chesapeake, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral in the church and burial at the church cemetery, conducted by the Rev. Lawrence Coleman.

Mapp had a diverse education. She attended public schools in Alabama and Florida and began her college education at the University of London, England. She also attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., and Indiana University. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English from Old Dominion, where she taught English for several years and helped found the Delta Sigma Lambda sorority. She earned a doctorate in education from Virginia Tech.

She inspired students and faculty at Tidewater Community College's Portsmouth campus from 1971 to 1995, serving as professor of English, English department chair, and chair of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences. Mapp was active in numerous educational, civic, cultural, political and church organizations. She was president of the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English, of the Tidewater Child Care Center, of Young Audiences of Virginia, and of the Friends of the Portsmouth Public Library. She chaired the Portsmouth Library board, was regent of the Fort Nelson chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and founded and headed the TLC (Tender Loving Care) Committee of Churchland Baptist Church, where she also taught Sunday school and was a deacon.

She was a member of the American Association of University Women, the Poetry Society of Virginia, and the Jamestown Society. She was named an Outstanding Tidewater Professional Woman, received a Friend of the Arts Award and was listed in Who's Who Among American Women.

She co-authored "Portsmouth: A Pictorial History" with her husband of 39 years, Alf Johnson Mapp Jr., who survives her. Her first husband, U.S. Air Force Col. Malcolm C. Hamby, died in 1967. Alf Mapp is an ODU eminent scholar emeritus and Louis I. Jaffe Professor Emeritus of English.

Other survivors include her sister, Sue Hartley Ward, of Headland, Ala., and her sons, Gregory Stuart Hamby of Kitty Hawk, N.C., and Geoffrey Alan Hamby of Falls Church, Va., and her stepson, Alf Johnson Mapp III of Portsmouth.

This article was posted on: January 3, 2011

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