Mary M. Sponseller, businesswoman

January 23

Mary M. Sponseller, who helped her husband and brother-in-law operate the Frozen Dairy Bar in Falls Church for 24 years, died Dec. 6 at her home in Arlington County. She was 92.

The cause was a heart attack, said her daughter, Diane Boiler.

Originally at Route 50 and Annandale Road, the Frozen Dairy Bar was opened in 1950 by Mrs. Sponseller’s husband, Guy, and his brother, Walter. It was housed in an art-deco style road stand noted for its six-foot-tall neon ice cream cone perched on the roof, and it drew customers from all over the metropolitan area.

Local artists drew and painted pictures of it, and newspapers published stories and pictures of it. Washingtonian magazine once called it the “best treat in town.”

The Sponsellers sold the business and retired in 1974.

Pizza was later added to the menu. In 2007, it opened in a new location on Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church.

Mary Moore was born in Washington and graduated in 1939 from Roosevelt High School. She attended Wilson Teachers College and George Washington University. During the 1940s, she was clerk at the State Department.

For 70 years, Mrs. Sponseller was a member of the First Baptist Church of Washington, where for 60 years she taught Sunday school. President Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy, was among her students.

Her husband of 43 years, Guy R. Sponseller, died in 1993.

Survivors include a daughter, Diane Boiler of Arlington, and a sister.

— Bart Barnes

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