On June 26, 2019, at her home in Vienna, Virginia, at the age of 101. Director and owner of Parkwood School for 64 years, Mrs. Vickery was a pioneer in early childhood education. A founder of the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education, she served on the Executive Board of the VAECE for forty-five years and held several leadership positions. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the VAECE. She was recognized by the Fairfax County Health Department for her “more than six decades of promoting the health and well-being of young children.” Upon her 100th birthday, the Virginia General Assembly and Town of Vienna presented her with resolutions honoring her achievements and they were noted in the Congressional Record. Over 10,000 children, ages three to five, have attended Parkwood School.
Mrs. Vickery claimed, in her words, "only the distinction of having served and loved children."
Mrs. Vickery was a founding member of Providence Baptist Church in Tysons Corner, and a 65-year member of Vienna Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School and held other positions. She was the Greater Vienna Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year in 1987, received recognition for her support of the 100th anniversary of the Town of Vienna in 1990, was President and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Ayr Hill Garden Club, and Grand Marshal of the Vienna Halloween Parade in 2006,
Born May 22, 1918, on a farm near Collins, Mississippi, the oldest of twelve children of the late Melton and Bertha Dickens, she was married to the late Lt. Colonel Raymond E. Vickery, Sr. for 47 years. As a member of the "Greatest Generation", she supported her husband and their family while he fought in the European Theater and served in the military government of Germany. She was the mother of four sons: Raymond, Jr. (former Member of the Virginia General Assembly and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce), Donald (medical doctor and wellness author), Kenneth (Professor at North Carolina State University), and Steven (screenwriter). She is survived by seven grandchildren, four great grandchildren, one brother, and three sisters.
A visitation was held at Vienna Baptist Church July 1, 2019, and a “Gathering in Celebration of Life” was held at VBC July 2. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery with her husband at a later date.
Donations in memorial may be made to the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education http://www.vaaeyc.org/index.html