MaryJanice (MJ) Doak Neprash died peacefully Monday, September 28. She is survived by her husband Serge Neprash, son and daughter-in-law Randy Neprash and Sara Barsel of Roseville, Minn., granddaughter Hannah Neprash in Cambridge, Mass. (currently a graduate student and instructor at Harvard University) and a sister Lois Faunce in Pennsylvania. MJ was predeceased by her daughter Cindy Neprash who died in 1989 at age 40. MJ was born in Sistersville, West Virginia, February 5, 1926. As a young girl she and her two sisters and one brother helped staff the family business, the Hotel Wells in Sistersville. She lived with her aunts in Philadelphia while studying at Drexel Technical College. In Philadelphia, she renewed her friendship with Serge Neprash, an athlete and graduate student at University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. They married in Sistersville in 1947. As Serge’s career took them to Connecticut and later Atlanta, MJ completed her bachelor’s degree at Southern Connecticut State College and earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Columbia University. She taught art for 35 years in public schools from elementary to college level in the New Haven area. MJ and Serge enjoyed the rich arts environment of New Haven, especially Yale University, and found the same in Atlanta centered around Emory where Serge was a docent at The Carlos Museum for 26 years. MJ was a painter, mainly oils, and also creative in other media. She designed the Lent banners used for two decades in the sanctuary at Central Congregational UCC, where she and Serge were active members for more than 25 years. Her last public exhibit was at LeGiverny restaurant in Atlanta in 2011. Painting was one way she coped with her nearly lifelong struggle with Bipolar Disorder and in later years Parkinson’s Disease. But it was in organizing and hosting parties and meetings that she experienced her greatest joy. Guests often found the color of the front door had changed since their last visit. Many enduring friendships among neighbors, colleagues, and church members began and were nurtured by the hospitality at the Neprash home in Stone Mountain. “Cindy’s Garden” at Central Church was a memorial gift from the Neprashes. In 2013, with the blessings of MJ and Serge, it was transformed by the church’s garden team into a lush pollinator garden. A memorial service will be held 3 PM Saturday, October 17 at Central Congregational UCC, 2676 Clairmont Road, Atlanta 30329. In lieu of flowers, Serge has requested that memorial gifts be made to The Carlos Museum or Central Congregational UCC.

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  1. Dear Family,

    May Jehovah God comfort you during this time of loss. Though there may be little that can be said or done to ease your pain, may you find comfort in knowing that many care and sympathize with your sadness. Always know that Jehovah God is with you to strengthen and guide you. May your trust in his promise of a resurrection bring you peace. – Acts 24:15

    Warm Regards,
    K. L. Banks

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