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Mary Lemuel Blalock
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Obituary for Mary Lemuel Blalock

One month after ceasing all treatments and declaring, “It’s been a hell of a ride”, Mary Lemuel Blalock, 73, of Dunn, NC, passed away at her home early Thursday morning, August 2, 2018. Mary Lemuel, the daughter of the late George Franklin Blalock and Mary Louise Ward Blalock, was born in the Dunn Hospital, December 12, 1944.  She is the granddaughter of the late James Lemuel Ward and Pearl Louise Harris Ward and James Alfred Blalock and Eleese Pope Blalock of Dunn.  Mary Lemuel was also preceded in death by her brothers, Fletcher Franklin Blalock and George Alfred Blalock, Sr. 

Mary Lemuel grew up in Dunn and graduated from Dunn High School in 1962. She attended Wake Technical Community College and Campbell College. 

As a child, Mary Lemuel was baptized and confirmed in Divine Street United Methodist Church in Dunn and remained a member throughouther life. She was active in the MYF as both a participant in her youth and a leader in her younger adult years. She taught Sunday school, was active in the Methodist Women, played in the hand bell choir before becoming the choir’s director. Under her direction and talent, the church expanded the program to five different choirs ranging from kindergarten chimes to special occasion all men’s choir.   

She was the first chairman of the alumni association of the former Dunn High School. She helped organize, was a charter board member, and served in various capacities of the resulting DHS Friends, Inc. Since its beginning, DHS Friends has funded over $153,000 in scholarships and $40,000 in student aid.  In addition, they have established FOUR perpetually giving scholarship endowments—now totaling nearly $250,000.  These endowments will continue to provide scholarships to deserving graduates long after DHS Friends is gone.   

Mary Lemuel was a charter member of the Dunn-Erwin Rotary Club and served in various capacities including president. Like with DHS Friends, education has been a primary focus of the club and Mary Lemuel.  As Program Chair, Mary Lemuel instituted the “Student of the Week” program. This unique program recognizes seniors who rank in the top 10% of their class academically and show leadership ability in school, community, and church. She was also involved inthe 4-Way Test Coloring Book Program. She and other members of the Club went into the classroom for several weeks and recognized second graders at Harnett and Gentry Primary Schools.  At the end of the program kids utilize the 4-Way Test in their everyday life, sing a Rotary song, and feel a sense of achievement from ribbons and prizes received for exceptional essays and drawings pertaining to the four questions of the test. Even 25 years after her participation, she had students that recognized her from this program. She is a Paul Harris Fellowwhich acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. 

Mary Lemuel also served her community as member of the Junior Woman’s Club, board member and past president of the American Cancer Society/Harnett Chapter, and board member and past president of the Harnett County Arts Council. 

Mary Lemuel’s talents were many. She was a baker, a photographer, a poet, an artist, a musician, floral designer, office administrator, and an encyclopedia of knowledge about the people of Dunn and their relationships and familial ties. This unique talent will never be duplicated. 

From 1963, when a group of would-be musicians got together and formed a group known as the Cavaliers. Mary Lemuel’s destiny as “Number One Fan”, was sealed. Donald, Charles, Walt, Tommy, Paul, Sonny and Billy were HER guys. Players would come and go, the band name would change several times, but Mary Lemuel’s love and devotion would never lessen. Robert Honeycutt became the manager of William’s Lake 1965. The pavilion was enlarged, and a bandstand was built. “The Williams Lake Dance Club” was organized and Mary Lemuel had a second home and family. “Be Young, BeFoolish, But Be Happy” was now The Lake’s atmosphere and was the place to be on Saturday nights. Even almost 50 years after The Lake’s closing, ties are strong. Williams Lake reunions have served to keep the memories alive and Mary Lemuel’s most cherished moment was her induction into the Williams Lake Hall of Fame. There is no higher honor she would want to achieve. 

Mary Lemuel is survived by her sister, Anne Eleese Blalock Marsh of Dunn;nieces, Michelle Eleese Blalock Sumerlin (Jonathan Tim Sumerlin) of Mobile, AL and Kristin Ann Blalock Treadway, of Huntsville, AL; nephews, George Alfred Blalock, Jr (Melissa Rae Parker Blalock) of Saraland, AL and Benjamin Clark Marsh of Virginia Beach, VA; sisters-in-law, Betty Jo McKinnell Blalock of Mobile, AL and Carol Ann Collins Blalock of Huntsville, AL; great-nieces, Lacey Hope Sumerlin of Mobile, AL and Southern Mississippi University and Ashtin Danielle Treadway of Huntsville, AL; great nephews Nicholas Chase Sumerlin of Mobile, AL, Parker Dylan Blalock, and Evan George Blalock of Saraland, AL; "heart" daughter, Tsaiman Clare Ho of Taiwan; "heart" niece, Krista Marie Sherman of Virginia Beach, VA. and “heart” nephew, James Brian “Biscuit” Mason of Bunnlevel; and many “heart” brothers and sisters including Virginia Woodall Ennis Sills, who traveled these last few weeks alongside Mary Lemuel. Mary Lemuel is also survived by beloved, but pain in the butt, Schwarzen. 

Special “thank you” to Sandy of Kindred Home Health and Rhonda, Robbie, and Ann of Community Hospice for their compassionate care and support. 

A Service of Remembrance will be held in Dunn at 2 P.M., on Saturday, August 25, at Divine Street United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Beth Gaines and the Rev. Hank Dunbar officiating. A Celebration reception will follow at the Howard House (Dunn Woman’s Club). Burial will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to DHS Friends, Inc., PO box 4, Dunn, NC 28335; Friends Fighting Cancer, Inc., 321 Cambridge Court, Dunn, NC 28334; or Divine Street United Methodist Church, 400 West Divine Street, Dunn, NC 28334.  

Arrangements by Skinner & Smith Funeral Home.


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