Lucille Joyner Seely

November 7, 1914October 21, 2020

Mary Lucille Joyner Seely passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at Transitions Lifecare Hospice in Raleigh. She was born in Nash County on November 7, 1914. She often repeated the story of her birth as told to her. Due to an unexpected and late evening snowstorm, she was delivered by Susan Leona Floyd Barbee, her maternal grandmother and local midwife. She had three sisters and four brothers, one of whom was killed in action in World War II. Lucille could recount in great detail growing up on her large farm with her wonderful and loving family that also included nearby aunts, uncles, and cousins. Over the years she regaled us with the many antics she fondly remembered growing up with her siblings and cousins.

Lucille graduated from Spring Hope High School and received a scholarship to King’s Business College in Raleigh where she graduated with a business degree in 1935. She became both secretary and bookkeeper for Dr. E. E. Randolph in the Chemical Engineering Department at North Carolina State College. She quickly became a favorite of Mrs. Randolph as well, spending many nights in their home and assisting Mrs. Randolph with various social functions. She soon met John Frank Seely, a graduate student in the department. They courted, but Frank took a job in Texas with an oil firm. Love prevailed, and Frank sent Lucille a diamond via US Mail. They were married September 11, 1941 in New Orleans. They returned to Raleigh to live where Frank became a Professor of Chemical Engineering until his retirement in 1982. Lucille was a Red Cross worker during World War II and trained as an ambulance driver. After the birth of their first child Ann, Lucille became a full time wife and mother, a role for which she was perfectly suited. The births of John and Eric soon followed.

Lucille and Frank were early and active members of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. She loved her church family and served in many capacities, a few of which were Elder, Sunday School teacher, circle chairman, flower guild chairman, Fellowship Secretary, active member of the Alice Broome Sunday School class, and Lifetime Member of the Women of the Church. She delivered Meals on Wheels until the age of 90. She was always first to deliver a meal, send a card, or to help in any way she could among family and friends. Lucille was devoted to and much loved by her children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren. She was a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, PTA officer, and ardent supporter of all school and musical events. She encouraged them all regarding the importance of education. Lucille strived to stay active.

She was a member of several clubs, including the NCSU Woman’s Club, University Club, and three bridge clubs. Lucille and Frank enjoyed traveling together in their Airstream. In later years they took cruises as well as traveling to several countries. They played bridge as a couple and loved time spent with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After Frank’s death on January 19, 1991, she continued to travel with siblings. Her final and favorite cruise was to the Greek Isles at the age of 90 with her youngest sister.

Lucille is survived by her daughter, Ann Seely Sealey ( Robert Ivan Sealey ), their children, Cristie Anne Sealey, her children, Thomas Robert Plasay ( Miriam Trafford Plasay ), of Plumas Lake, CA, Wesley Conner Sealey and Stacy Gannon Sealey of Springfield, MO; Robert Eric Sealey ( Robin Powell Sealey ), and their children, Briner Grace Sealey and Robert Penn Sealey, of Raleigh; Ivan Cameron Sealey of Raleigh, who predeceased her on March 14, 2013. She is also survived by many nieces, great-nieces, nephews, and great-nephews. Lucille is survived by her son, John Francis Seely (Janet Seely) of Holden Beach; granddaughter, Adrienne Melissa Seely of Chicago; granddaughter, Laurel Kristin Seely Voloder (Emin Voloder) of Washington DC; great-granddaughter, Peri Voloder; She is also survived by her sister, Josephine Joyner Creason of Columbia SC; and her brother, Roscoe Joyner of Raleigh.

Lucille’s son, Eric Julian Seely preceded her in death on June 17, 1963.

We will all miss our beloved Matriarch who blessed each of us in so many ways.

There will be a private family interment at Raleigh Memorial Park.

Memorial donations may be made to the Lucille Joyner Seely Scholarship Endowment, NC State College of Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 8118, Raleigh, NC 27695; or to West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, 27 Horne St. Raleigh, NC 27607;

Arrangements are by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home on Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh.

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  • A private graveside service with live streaming begining at 11:50 am

    Saturday, November 7, 2020


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Van Jones

October 24, 2020

I've know Mrs. Seely since I was in the 4th grade. She drove us to the planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC that year and I was sitting next to her in the front seat. My sorry goes out to daughter Ann for her lost.


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