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Lela Mae Hackney Marshburn
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Obituary for Lela Mae Hackney Marshburn

Lela Mae Hackney Marshburn of Dunn fell asleep in the Lord early on the morning of Wednesday 29 November 2017 while surrounded by family.  She was 92.

Lela was born at home in Durham, North Carolina, on April 5, 1925, the third and youngest daughter of the late William Floyd Hackney and Flonnie Beatrice Windham Hackney.

Lela married the late William “Bill” Cecil Marshburn on June 16, 1944—each a graduate of the Class of 1943 of Durham High School, where Lela sang in the choir.  Lela worked many years for Home Savings Bank of Durham.  Bill and Lela moved their family from Durham to Dunn in March 1951.

Lela embraced the vocation of wife, homemaker, and mother for Bill and their three girls with duty and enthusiasm.  This enabled Bill to work for the family outside of the home, where he ultimately became president and owner of Bemco Sleep Products; served as president of the National Bedding Association and the Dunn Chamber of Commerce; served on various non-profit boards, like the Presidential Board of Advisors of Campbell University and the Boards of Trustees of Emmanuel College and Heritage Bible College, including terms as chairman of the Boards of Trustees of Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital and the Falcon Children's Home Foundation; served as a trustee of the Christian Action League of North Carolina; organized FellowSHARE, Inc., of Dunn; and served as mayor of Dunn from 1965 to 1971, which period saw the building of Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital, Dunn Public Library, City Hall Complex, and the water plant.

Bill and Lela became charter members of the Gospel Tabernacle Church of Dunn in 1951.  While Bill served as deacon, finance committee chairman, and Sunday School superintendent and teacher, Lela taught Sunday School for over 40 years—more than 30 years as teacher of the Adult Ladies Sunday School Class—and stopped only when her weakening voice sounded the time to pass the baton.  Lela also sang in the choir and was in charge of the Benevolent Food Committee for many years.  Lela became a member of the Women’s Ministries upon its organization in 1953 and served two terms as its president.  The Gospel Tabernacle Church honored Lela as its “Woman of the Year” in 1990.

In the community, Lela participated in a volunteer organization that engaged in auxiliary work on behalf of the gift shop at Betsy Johnson Memorial Hospital and served as its president for two years.  Lela was also a member of The Ideal Homemakers Club and the Hoe & Grow Garden Club of Dunn for many years.

Lela was predeceased by her husband, Bill, who passed into eternal life in 2014—just 15 days shy of the 70th anniversary of their wedding— as well as her two older sisters, Ruby Hackney Gurtner and Mary Lee Hackney Harrington.

Lela frequently quoted from the Psalms, “Children are an inheritance from the Lord.”  Lela lived to receive such an inheritance of three daughters, Celia M. Forehand and husband Bobby of Tarboro, Susan M. Whittenton and husband Terry of Dunn, and Jane M. Potter and husband Charles of Roseboro; seven grandchildren, Samuel Forehand and wife Yasmin, Benjamin Forehand, Anna W. Altman and husband Jonathan, Sarah W. Neral and husband C.J., Daniel Potter and wife Tiffany, Caleb Potter and wife Katie, and Isaac Potter; and six great-grandchildren, William Marshburn Forehand, Ella Anne Forehand, Jackson Baha Forehand, Theodore Samuel Forehand, Canaan Wesley Potter, and Margaret Abigail Potter.  Many nieces and nephews survive Lela, as well.

The family will receive friends Saturday morning at 10 o’clock at the Gospel Tabernacle Church of Dunn, followed by a funeral service at 11 o’clock.  A burial service will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery of Dunn.  The Reverend Bobby Forehand, the Reverend Terry Whittenton, and the Reverend Daniel Potter will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the William C. and Lela H. Marshburn Scholarship at Emmanuel College, P.O. Box 129, Franklin Springs, GA 30639; the William C. and Lela H. Marshburn Divinity School Scholarship at Campbell University Divinity School, P.O. Drawer 4050, Buies Creek, NC 27506; and the SECU Hospice House, P.O. Box 1376, Smithfield, NC 27577.


Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

2

Dec

10:00 AM
Gospel Tabernacle

2105 W. Cumberland St.
Dunn, NC 28334

Funeral Services

Saturday

2

Dec

11:00 AM
Gospel Tabernacle

2105 W. Cumberland St.
Dunn, NC 28334

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