Mary Canty, who helped restore Myrtle Beach Colored School, dies Tuesday

Mary Canty, the woman who is credited with helping to save the Historic Myrtle Beach Colored School, died Tuesday night from complications after suffering a stroke. She was 81.

Canty, who suffered the stroke more than a week ago, had a living will asking that she not be resuscitated. She underwent surgery following the stroke but was not getting better, said family friend April Johnson.

Canty attended the Myrtle Beach Colored School, which was the first public school for black students in the Myrtle Beach area, beginning in 1939 when she was 6 years old. She worked with a group former students for more than 20 years to ensure the school, which closed in 1953, was not destroyed.