Cover photo for Mary Grile's Obituary
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1930 Mary 2019

Mary Grile

February 6, 1930 — February 15, 2019


Mary Lynne Yerger Grile of, as late, Arden, North Carolina, passed away in peace on February 15, 2019 after an extended illness that had zapped away her energy and vitality for life that she lived to the fullest.

Mary Lynne, as she was called, born on February 6, 1930 in Apollo, Pennsylvania to Claude and Bertha Yerger; married Lucas Fredrick Grile on February 16, 1951, and were happily bonded til his death on March 10, 2005; together they had three children, Charles Claude, Deborah Lynne, and Rebecca Anne, and adopted a fourth child George G.

Mary Lynne, as her husband promised her father she would, after acquiring credits at numerous colleges and universities across the mid west, graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida in 1968, and continued her teaching career that started in Pennsylvania (before graduation) and extended to over 35 years in Ohio and Florida teaching courses from Home Economics, to elementary school (multiple grades), to special education classes, and 7th grade Social Studies. Later she taught at the Duval Home for Retarded Children in Glenwood, Florida.

Mary Lynne was a pioneer in the Civil rights movement of the 60’s, as she and her husband were quite active in Florida in support of equality for all men and women. She was one of the very first to volunteer to teach at a segregated school in Florida. Later, along with her husband, she taught at Mary Holmes College, in West Point, Mississippi.

Mary Lynne though was not content to just be a great mother (prepared dinner for her family every day) and a teacher, a life long member of the United  Presbyterian Church, USA and ruling elder in the church, she became a leader in the Presbyterian Church Women by holding the office of Moderator of the Presbyterial Women in Florida in the 60’s, Moderator of the Synodical of the South (southern states), and held high office on many boards over the span of the United Presbyterian Church USA on its national counsel well into the 1990’s.  In these capacities she visited many countries in Africa, and also the country of Jamaica, in addition to attending and speaking at, numerous conferences throughout the United States.  And yes, all while she was an attentive wife, raised four children, and taught school full time, and oh yes, pursued her love of ceramics, that was another life long passion in creativity and talent.

In her retirement years, she kept busy with not only her ceramics, but participating for many years in the annual Craft Festival in Burnsville, along with her late husband; she was a member of the International Lions Club service organization in Burnsville, and additionally volunteered at numerous charities, including the Reconciliation House,                   Burnsville, when she lived here. Still later, along with her daughter, she kept busy making use of her time for the benefit of others, by volunteering at the North Carolina Arboretum, her present church in Arden, helping the Boy Scouts, providing meals for veterans, and playing the piano at assisted living homes, well into her 80’s. Mary Lynne also participated in the “Red Hat Ladies” social group, and loved the color red, and later purple! She said she was a “red hat lady that loved purple”.

If this was not enough of a busy life, after retirement to their little farm on Banks Creek in Yancy County, North Carolina, Mary Lynne and Luke traveled the country in their travel trailer, seeing such places as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and the entire eastern half of the United States and Canada. Together, they also, along with their daughter, Becky and her family, sojourned to Hawaii, and after the death of her husband, Mary Lynne completed her life long quest to visit every state in the United States (with Becky’s help) by seeing Oregon, Washington, and even her last big trip, a cruise to Alaska. Yes, Mary Lynne visited every state, and every province in Canada in her life span, just as she planned.

This would not be complete if it was not mentioned, that beside a great love of life and laughter, and loving everyone she met, Mary Lynne loved holidays, especially Christmas…and especially Santa Claus. Year round you could visit her home, and many Santa Claus figures (many her own ceramic work) would be in appearance, just as they were at her passing.

She is predeceased by her parents and only sibling, Jean Yerger Hileman, along with her husband, the late Reverend Lucas Fredrick Grile, who retired from the United Presbyterian Church of Burnsville in the mid 1990’s.

This wonderful lady leaves a living legacy with her three children, Chuck, Debbie (Ric)and Becky (Ted), along with 10 grandchildren, and 6, soon to be 7, great grandchildren, and not to be left out loved by her numerous nieces and nephews, and Uncle Bill (Joyce).

A celebration of the fulfilled Life of Mary Lynne Yerger Grile shall take place at the Avery Creek United Methodist Church on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 2:00pm, followed at a later time by her internment next to her husband at the Western Carolina Veteran’s Cemetery in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, any remembrances can be made in her name to the North Carolina Arboretum or to the Avery Creek United Methodist Church, Arden, North Carolina.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Grile, please visit our flower store.


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