Mary Elizabeth Straight

July 7, 1944November 14, 2018
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Mary Elizabeth Straight, 74, of Hickory, NC lost her valiantly fought battle with cancer on November 14, 2018. She was born on July 7, 1944 in Toronto, Ontario to the late Claude F. Butler and Margaret Goldie Butler. She happily retired from Catawba Valley Medical Center after 29 ½ years as a Third Party Representative in Business Services. She enjoyed her monthly lunches with her “Lunch Bunch” of retired friends from work. She loved to swim in her pool and bask in the sunlight. She loved dogs, was the most loyal fan of “The Young and the Restless”, and watched “Dirty Dancing” a thousand times. She was also a puzzle boss, Crossword expert, and Scrabble master. Mary was most proud of her family. She is survived by her daughter, Deanna and husband Ken Stringfield of Connelly Springs; her son, Philip Straight and girlfriend Heather Bailey of Hickory, NC; stepdaughter Timi Straight Marben and husband Patrick of Arizona; and stepdaughter Bonnie Sullivan and husband of Florida. Her great joy was being “Mia” to her grandson, Robbie Stringfield, and granddaughters Alexis and Krista Straight. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Arizona and Florida. Her grandchildren could also be sure she would never miss the chance to cheer for them at football games, swim meets, Grandparent Lunches, Awards Days, and any event that involved them. She is also survived by her brother, James Butler and wife Nikki of Qualicum, B.C. and nieces Andrea, Amanda, and Linn. She is predeceased by her stepson, David Straight, who she adored. Mary was the kindest, most generous, supportive, and caring soul who never met a stranger and loved to help others. She was loved and blessed by all who knew her and will remain in our hearts and never be forgotten.


  • Deanna Stringfield, Daughter
  • Ken Stringfield, Son-in-law
  • Philip Straight, Son
  • Heather Bailey, Philip's Girlfriend
  • Timi Straight Marben, Stepdaughter
  • Patrick Marben, Son-in-law
  • Bonnie Sullivan, Stepdaughter
  • Robbie Stringfield, Grandson
  • Alexis Straight, Granddaughter
  • Krista Straight, Grandchild
  • James Butler, Brother
  • Nikki Butler, Sister-in-law
  • Nieces, Andrea, Amanda, and Linn


  • Memorial Service Monday, November 19, 2018

Mary Elizabeth Straight

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Carol Pope

November 20, 2018

After a long day at work sometimes Mary would make me smile by singing Show Me the Way To Go Home Show Me The Way To Go Home! My sweet Mary Wednesday you found your way to your eternal home. How beautiful it must be! You will be missed and never forgotten. Thanks for the memories.

Jessica Stringfield

November 19, 2018

Mary was a very kind woman it was a privilege to have known her. She always had a smile on her face when I was around her. She loved cheering her grandkids on, you could just see the joy it brought her! We're gonna miss spending Holidays together and all the fun times we enjoyed. I pray for comfort, strength and peace for the loved ones left here but just remember it is promised that we will meet again one glorious day.

Alfred Thomas

November 16, 2018



Mary Elizabeth Straight was known as many things to many people. She was a loved one, a friend, a loving mother and grandmother, and someone special. To family and friends who knew her best, Mary will be remembered as a very exceptional person.
Mary was born on July 7, 1944 at St. Joseph's Health Center in Toronto, Ontario. She was the daughter of Claude and Margaret Butler. Mary grew up in Toronto, Ontario.
Mary was raised with one younger brother, Jim. Mary was usually involved in all sorts of activities with her sibling. She and her brother were separated by four years, but they shared many life experiences over the years.
As a young girl, Mary had a number of interests. Like most children, she enjoyed playing and making up games. She was curious about the world around her and was often eager to explore it. She enjoyed family trips and weekends at the family’s lake cottage. She was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. In her spare time she liked reading. To Mary, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with her friends.
A typical teenager, Mary had a fairly happy high school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. She graduated from Etobicoke Collegiate High School in 1962. She enjoyed some classes more than others, having favorite subjects and teachers. Her favorite class in high school was English. Graduating from high school was a very memorable accomplishment and a fond memory for Mary.
Mary enjoyed her college years, which may have been a challenge with all of the academics, responsibilities, and the sudden freedom that accompanied them, but Mary was able to manage the balancing act. A memorable experience during her college years was when she met Canadian singer Anne Murray. She was proud of her job working for her father at his publishing company.
Always considered a “good” and “loyal” friend to those she knew, Mary enjoyed a broad group of acquaintances and several very close friends during her lifetime. While growing up, some of her best friends were Rhoda Lamb and Gaye Bushell, Linda and Susan Brybant, Susan Goldie, Judy Parnaby, and Barb Sims. Later in life, she remained friends with Rhoda and Gaye.
In 1966, Mary exchanged wedding vows with Tony Carter at Lambton Kingsway United Church of Toronto, Ontario. Two years later, they welcomed their daughter Deanna. Empathic and loyal, Mary was committed to making her new family happy.
Mary worked hard to be a good mother to her children and she did her best to fulfill their needs. Mary was blessed with two children, one daughter, Deanna and one son, Philip, and three step-children, David, Timi, and Bonnie. Other blessings for Mary were the gifts of three grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren. Robbie, Lexie and Krista are her grandchildren and Anthony, Cheyenna, Molly, Jackie, Josh, Jacob, Courtney and Delaney are her step-grandchildren.
Fortunately, Mary enjoyed what she did for a living. Showing a strong work ethic, Mary worked diligently and did her best to succeed in her career. She found her niche as a Third Party Representative at Catawba Valley Medical Center, where she was employed for 29 ½ years. Mary always sought to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

Mary never met a stranger. She had a special charm that could make instant friends of anyone she met. Mary’s family was her JOY. She loved to spend time with her grandchildren. Whether it was attending football games and swim meets or award ceremonies and school functions, she loved to be there to cheer them on. She was very proud of each of them.
Mary enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. She was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.
She loved activities that challenge your mind. She enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and Scrabble games. She was adept and didn’t hold back – so if you won against her you knew it was genuine. She loved to learn new things and enjoyed being “an encyclopedia of useless knowledge”. You definitely wanted her on your team when playing trivia games.
Mary found pleasure in being out in the sun and swimming in her pool. It was a struggle to get her to wear sunscreen, and she tanned like a native North Carolinian. Mary was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following her favorite events whenever she had the chance to do so. Tops on her list was football, which she used to enjoy watching with her father.
Mary enjoyed traveling and time away on vacations. It was a chance for her to renew and relax, to visit new places and experience new things. She loved trips to Myrtle Beach with her family. She liked to watch the kids build sandcastles and play in the surf while she basked in the sun.
Mary was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. Some of her favorites were her dogs, Dixie, Misty, Snickers, and Ellie. Her family’s newest addition was her cat, Jag.
When Mary’s retirement finally arrived on July 7, 2014, she was well prepared. In retirement, she found new pleasure in spending time with her family, reading, working on puzzles, attending her grandchildren's sporting events, which included football and swimming, and other school events. Even in retirement, Mary continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. Mary looked forward to her monthly lunches with her “Lunch Bunch” friends.
Mary passed away on November 14, 2018 at Carolina Caring, formerly known as Catawba Regional Hospice and Palliative Care in Newton, NC. Mary fought a brave battle against colon cancer. She is survived by her children, Deanna and Philip, her step-daughters, Timi and Bonnie, her brother, Jim, her grandchildren, Robbie, Alexis, and Krista, and her step-grandchildren, Anthony, Cheyanna, Molly, Jackie, Josh, Jacob, Courtney, and Delaney. Services were held at Catawba Memorial Park, Funerals & Cremations on November 19, 2018. Mary was laid to rest in Catawba Memorial Park in Hickory, NC.
Mary was honest, loving and kind. She met animosity with kindness because, as she taught, we should not let the behavior of others change who we are and “two wrongs don’t make a right”.
She had her own quirky versions of nursery rhymes that made us all laugh.
She was positive and helpful, strong and a little stubborn. She loved with her whole being, and you felt it in your soul. She would give a stranger the shirt off her back and would go hungry to feed her family. She loved birthdays and holidays and would do all she could to make them special and happy.
She was deeply loved by many and will be missed terribly.
Simply stated, Mary was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by her family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Mary leaves behind her a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life she touched will always remember Mary Elizabeth Straight.