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Mary Wester O’Neal



Mary Wester O'Neal, 90, of Wake Forest, NC, passed away on Tuesday Morning June 21, 2022 at her Residence. She is now at peace with her Savior Jesus Christ.

Mary is survived by her husband, Royster W. O'Neal of Wake Forest; one nephew, Mark Watson of Durham; two nieces, Tammy L. Newsome of Franklinton and Rebecca Mitchell of Henderson; a great-nephew, Isaiah Mitchell and a great-neice, Dajih Mitchell.

Mary was predeceased by her father, Daniel L. Wester; her mother, Rebecca W. M. Wester; sisters, Nellie Coppedge (Mildred), Daphine Hill (Haywood), Pattie W. Watson (James)and Glathy W. Bullard; one brother, Simon Rogers, Jr. and one nephew, Lewis Hill.

Mary grew up on a farm in Franklin County. She was the fourth of six siblings. She learned to work early in life, hoeing in the field and splitting middles behind an old grey mule (Kit). Mary graduated from Bunn High School in 1952. She grew up wanting to be a nurse, but in the fall of 1950 she met the man of her dreams, Royster O'Neal, on a blind date and married him on Nov. 1, 1952. He was drafted into the US Army Nov. 11, 1952 and was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA for two years. It was during Royster's stay in the army that she fell in love with Fashion Merchandising. Office jobs were hard to come by, so she took a low paying job in Kirvens Department Store. She did some in-store modeling and soon became department Manager for jewelry, handbags and hosiery.

Returning home, she applied for a job at the Old Hudson Belk Store in downtown Raleigh and was accepted in on a one year training program to become a buyer. She began her career as a buyer in 1954, buying for one store, two departments. She ending her career in 1994 buying for eight stores, two departments and all handbags and hosiery. Over the forty years she became one of the top buyers for Hudson Belk traveling to Atlanta, Charlotte and New York City to make sure the Hudson Belk Stores were the first to have the latest fashions.

Mary was a member of Woodland Baptist Church from 1956 to 2022. She served on several different committees and taught Sunday School in the Children and Adult Sunday School Classes.

Mary never got to be the nurse she had wanted to be as a child. She would be quick to tell you that no one has ever been more blessed than she has been helping to care for her parents and five siblings, as she has out-lived them all, and being blessed to share 69 years with the man of her dreams simply tells you how great God really is. Her motto was "Always keep Love, Faith, and Hope in your heart and you will live longer".

A visitation was held Thursday June 23, 2022 from 10-11 A.M. at Woodland Baptist Church, with a funeral service following at 11 A.M. Burial followed in the church cemetery .

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Transitions Life Care Hospice.250 Hospice Cir, Raleigh, NC 27607

Pallbearers were Allen Turnage, Ed Brevoort, Dennis Brevoort, Jimmy Powell, Lance Ward, Dustin Holloman.

A Service of Bright Funeral Home and Cremation Center.