GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Originally from Gaston County, Marie Stamey made her mark on Greensboro through her leadership in the Eastside Park area.
Described as a matriarch of the community, granddaughter Asia Stamey said she accepted the neighborhood youth into her home.
“It was in the kitchen and the living room, we had a house full everyday,” Stamey said. “Some tutors from Westminster came over and helped all the children out.”
Her home cooking and tutoring led to the development of the Eastside Park Community Center in 2003 with the assistance of the Rotary Club and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Deputy Chief James Hinson, with Greensboro police, said she encouraged the community to take a stand against crime in the area to create a safe environment for the children.
“She was very instrumental in establishing the after-school program for the kids, got 11 computers in the center and would always try to get other resources, books and just challenging the kids to always do better,” Hinson said.
Hinson believes her efforts shaped the way Greensboro police engage in the community today.
“I remember one time she told the community, ‘If you can remember my phone number, which is seven digits, I know you can remember the police because it's three digits -- 911’. And so she would always encourage the residents to call the police not like you're telling on someone but you're trying to give information to make your community better,” Hinson said. “
Tara Sandercok is the vice president of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and a friend of Stamey for 20 years.
Sandercock said that she inspired the way the foundation works with city.
“We've been really honored to be supporters of her work through building stronger neighborhoods. And also through the community foundation helping with the after-school program,” Sandercock said. "She could make anyone feel as though they had been friends with her for a long time and I know there are so many people who will miss her and yet I believe her vision will carry forward in the future."
Gene Brown, president of Community Housing Solutions, said Stamey was a board member from April 2008 to April 2014. Brown said Stamey was the type of woman to get her hands dirty and do the work only after “finding out what people’s needs were.”
Stamey was taken off life support and passed away Monday at 8:12 p.m.
She is survived by four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.