Streaming Funeral Service For Agnes Rita Napier

Please Join Us For A Streaming Celebration Of Life Friday, April 21 at 2pm EST

Agnes Rita Napier, age 93, of Stuart, Florida passed away on Wednesday, April 5, 2023..

Entered into eternal rest on April 5, 2023, in Stuart, Florida.

Agnes enjoyed her 93 years of life with a kind smile and an encouraging spirit towards all the people she knew and loved.

Agnes was born on March 31,1930 in Canton, Ohio to the late William and Eleanor Mary (O’Malley) Cross. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Lewis Napier, brother Joe Cross, sisters Adelaide Kile and Eleanor Pope, and nephew Michael Hicks.

She is survived by nieces Shirra (Shelden) Glucksman and Deidre (Hank) Ventry, nephew David Hicks, Godson Steven DeFrank and many great nieces and nephews.

Agnes was most blessed to be welcomed into the home of Mardi and Dan Edwards. They shared their love, home, family, and friend community with Agnes in the later years of her life. Agnes could have never imagined that the teacher she hired in 1983, Mardi Edwards, would become her care giver and “daughter” to her in her later years. Their motto was “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Agnes also enjoyed the love of the extended Edwards family, JD & Mary Ann Edwards, Jared and Jordan Edwards, and grandson’s Jackson and Blake Edwards.

Agnes was dedicated to serving others in public education for 40 years in teaching and administration. She was a strong, incredible, selfless woman. She started her career journey in 1948 after graduating from Canton Central Catholic High School. She attended and graduated from Lady Cliff College in Highland Falls, New York in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

She married Lewis Napier on June 28, 1952. She began her teaching career at Washington Elementary in Canton City School and taught at Waco Elementary in Canton Local District. While teaching she attended Kent State University and earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Administration. She was the first woman hired as a teacher in the Jackson Local School District at Jackson Elementary and Lake Cable in 1956 and the first woman hired as Curriculum Director. It was ironic that on the first Women’s Liberation Day she attended her first Stark County Ohio Administrator’s meeting with 145 men! It was a Good Day for Women in Education. In 1975 she was hired as Principal for Amherst Elementary in the new building. She supervised 20 teachers and over 400 students. She retired from Amherst in 1987 and was deeply missed by her staff. Agnes was a source of encouragement to her staff to achieve their degrees in higher education. She also taught for 5 years at then Walsh College in Canton, Ohio as an adjunct professor for student teachers.

Retirement did not stop Agnes. She was a world traveler. She would tell stories of the places she visited on cruises with friends. She sent postcards and pictures to teachers for the students to enjoy of the animals on her African Safari and the Pyramids of Egypt. She was blessed with her health and was able to see all the Continents except Australia. Her favorite country was Italy, especially Rome, where she did receive a blessing from the Pope

She was a volunteer in many groups and clubs which helped her stay social and active. In Florida she helped in the kitchen to serve the homeless at Love and Hope in Action; LAHIA, with Mardi. When living in Canton, Agnes enjoyed volunteering at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and serving on the bereavement committee. She was a member of the Stark County Education Board; the Kent State Stark County Board in Jackson Township; the Walsh College Women’s Committee; the International Society for Key Women Educators Delta Kappa Gamma and Delta Tau Chapter of Stark County, Ohio for many years. She liked to attend the Red Hats Society group and take trips with them. Agnes loved to swim, golf, dance and keep herself physically fit.

Agnes was truly a ray of sunshine no matter where she was living. “It was a beautiful life,” she would say! “God has blessed me and I am happy to have lived so long and feel so loved.”

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to or the Alzheimer’s Association memorial donation.

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