Mary Lenell Grice Secrist

April 2, 1940July 8, 2018
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Mary Lenell Grice Secrist, age 78, of Wilmington NC went to be with the Lord Sunday, July 8, 2018.

She was born in Marion, SC on April 2, 1940 to the late William (Bill) Thomas Grice and Betty Lee Disher.

Mary had several successful careers in her lifetime including working at Coble Ward- Smith Funeral

Home, The Salvation Army, and Belk’s. She was also extremely active in ABWA and was named Woman

of the Year in 2003. She was always an exemplary employee.

Mary was known for her focus on others in everything she did. Many friends and family members share

stories of the gifts she would give to them with no prompting. She was also affectionately known for her

love of clothes, shoes, handbags and cats! This was evident in the many things she owned with a CAT

theme! She leaves behind the love of her heart, a long haired black cat named Precious.

Mary is predeceased by her parents and her husband, Clarence “Zeek” Secrist and a favorite aunt, Sarah

Disher. Sadly, Mary also has two children that passed, Thomas Eugene Hare, and Michael Hopkins.

She is survived by her brother, Cape Grice and his wife Brenda, of Prosperity SC, her sister Trisha Frost

of Little River, SC, her sister Libby Webb, of Wilmington NC, her daughter, Neil Roberts and her husband

Parks, of Wilmington NC, her son, Brevin Hopkins of Arlington, Texas, and a cousin who is like a sister to

her, Faye White and her husband, Jim of Richmond, VA, as well as many grandchildren, nieces,

nephews and FRIENDS!

The family would like thank EVERYONE for their love of Mary. While there are so many we would want to

recognize, a special thank you goes to her friends: Mammie Johnson, Carol Watters, Joyce and Bill

Paschall, and Edith (Hap) Rogers.

A visitation is set for Saturday morning, July 14, 2018 at Coble Ward –Smith Funeral Home on Oleander

Drive at 10:00am. The memorial service will follow in the chapel at 11:00am. Following the chapel

service, those that wish may join the family at the grave side. There is limited parking, so carpooling is

recommended. Mary will be buried in Winter Park Cemetery on Dixie Avenue in Wilmington. The family

will receive guests on Saturday afternoon following the graveside at the home of Mary’s daughter, Neil

Roberts at 1220 Williamsburg Court, Wilmington, NC

Many thanks go out to Lower Cape Fear Hospice for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, it would

be a blessing to Mary for one to donate to the Salvation Army, The Humane Society or the church of your

choice to further the gospel of Jesus Christ.



  • Visitation Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, July 14, 2018


  • Interment

Mary Lenell Grice Secrist

have a memory or condolence to add?

Harvin Quidas

July 14, 2018

To the dear family of Mary, I did not know of her passing or services until minutes ago.
Mary, as you know was a good person, a fighter and a "cracker jack". Those marvelous qualities endeared her to her ABWA friends. She had open arms, and lovely open heart, We know she loved you dearly.
Our loving sympathy to each of you for your loss,
Our peaceful farewell to our friend,
ABWA - Friend

Angela Whaley

July 14, 2018

I will always remember Mary for the kindness, support and love she always shared with my son and I and family. I always called her little bit. Such a sweet soul. We will keep the family in our prayers......

Johnnie Whaley

July 14, 2018

I will never forget all our talks at Belks. She was amazing woman. God gave me a good friend. I was lucky to have her part of my life.
RIP my friend I will miss you.

Lisa Hollowell-Strickland

July 13, 2018

Ms. Mary was an inspiration to everyone around her! Always on the go, always helping others, always brightened your day!

Pam Breedlove

July 12, 2018

Ms. Mary was an absolutely delightful lady. She will be missed.