COLUMBIA — Those who worked with Faye Adams Sharp might remember her tradition of giving turkey awards.
Around Thanksgiving, when she was teaching at Hickman High School, Mrs. Sharp made paper cutouts of turkeys and gave them to people if they weren't acting right. The awards showed people there were more important things than what they were griping about, her son, Chip Sharp, said.
"It was one of her main ways of approaching things: life really is too short to complain," Chip Sharp said. "It's easier to laugh and smile than get caught up in small stuff."
Mrs. Sharp died Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, surrounded by family and her physician, Robin Blount, at Boone Hospital Center. She was 76.
Described as independent and strong-willed by her family, Mrs. Sharp waited for her son, daughter and Blount at the hospital before she died, her daughter Kathryn Sapp said.
"She had her own way of leaving us in the sense of she waited for her longtime physician to come," she said.
Mrs. Sharp was born March 15, 1936, to Hartley M. Adams and Marjorie Caldwell Adams in Cedar Bluff, Miss. She married her husband Leroy Sharp Jr. in Camden, Ark., on Sept. 1, 1957. She spent her life smiling around people. She loved to socialize, Sapp said.
Mrs. Sharp earned her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas and a master's of education at MU. She taught math for more than 30 years.
"The good students loved her," her husband, Leroy Sharp said. "I can remember a time at a banquet when three firemen came towards us. They veered straight to Faye. All three of them loved Mrs. Sharp. She had taught them math."
Faye was a good organizer and accomplished a lot, Leroy Sharp said. She was one of the founding sponsors of "Speak your Mind!" at Hickman High School, which is a club that discusses controversial topics.
Her dedication and passion showed as she was the first recipient of the Leroy Sachs Award, which is the highest award given by the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics. At one time, she served as its president.
When they were younger, Sapp and Chip Sharp spent their summers and Christmases with the family in Camden, Ark., at their grandparents' house.
"That is something Faye wanted to continue," Sapp said.
For the past five years, Mrs. Sharp, her husband and their children's families have gone to the Lake of the Ozarks or Branson together every September. This September marked 55 years of marriage Mrs. Sharp and Leroy Sharp, and they had the whole family under one roof to celebrate.
"She was constantly trying to be around people and trying to have a good time whatever she was doing," Sapp said. "She and my dad created a loving family, and we were fortunate to live so close together."
Mrs Sharp is survived by her husband, Leroy Sharp Jr.; one son, Chip Sharp, and wife, Kathy; one daughter, Kathryn Sharp Sapp, and husband, Phil; three grandchildren, Brittany Sharp, Megan Sharp Oberg and husband, Nathan, and Richard Sapp; great-grandchildren, Adleine and Josephine Oberg; brother-in-law Wayne Garman of Gravette, Ark.; niece Cara Garma Hill and husband, Mike, of Conway, Ark.; and nephew Phillip Garman and wife, Amanda, of Dallas.
Her mother, Marjorie Caldwell Adams, father, Hartley M. Adams and sister, Suzanne Adams Garman of Midland, Texas, died earlier.
The visitation will take place Friday 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Missouri United Methodist Church. Services will follow in the at 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 S. Ninth Street, Columbia MO 65203.