Williamsburg is mourning the loss of Lois Saunier Hornsby, a woman who championed education, equality, and diversity.
Lois, the mother of musician Bruce Hornsby, died peacefully at her home in Williamsburg on Wednesday, according to her obituary.
She was 92.
“She poured her soul into the causes of public education, racial reconciliation, and the arts, and spent much of her personal time in a ministry of healing prayer for those requesting it, according to her obituary.
Throughout her life she championed education, equality, justice and chaired numerous PTA councils and was directly involved in minority teacher recruitment for the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. She was a founding member of All Together Williamsburg, a community organization bridging racial, ethnic, and cultural lines.
Lois S. Hornsby Middle School in Williamsburg was named for her in 2010.
“Mrs. Hornsby was a role model for our students, an advocate for equity, and a compassionate supporter of our school,” said Jessica Ellison, principal of Hornsby Middle School. “Her legacy of service and respect for others will live on at our school and in the hearts of all who learn and work at Lois S. Hornsby Middle School.”
Throughout her 92 years, Hornsby’s “actions were led by faith and her commitment to making her community a better place for all people, young and old,” according to a statement from WJCC Public Schools.
For 20 years she worked with her husband Bob counseling students at William & Mary as advisers to the Christian Science college organization. They hosted many foreign students from the countries of Chile, Argentina, Sweden and Japan. Their children cite this hospitality as one of the most enriching parts of their lives.
“On behalf of the school board and the entire WJCC Schools family, I would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Hornsby family,” said WJCC School Board Chairwoman Lisa Ownby in a prepared statement. “Lois S. Hornsby was an unwavering advocate for public education and the arts in our community. She personified the motto ‘service before self,’ and we are all deeply saddened by her passing. We are proud that one of our schools bears the name of this great woman and we remain committed to the issues of equality, bridging racial gaps, and the recruitment of minority teachers that Mrs. Hornsby championed throughout her life.”
Hornsby is survived by her sons and their wives: Bobby and Ann of Williamsburg, Bruce and Kathy of Williamsburg, and Jonathan and Paige of Charlottesville. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and a great grandchild named for her.