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Mary Lee Kivett Buckner, 85, of 1731 Low Bridge Rd., Liberty, died Thursday, November 22, 2018 at Randolph Hospice House in Asheboro.
A viewing will be held on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at Loflin Funeral Home in Ramseur from1:30 pm to 3 pm. Visitation will be other times at the residence.
Funeral Services, 3:00 pm, Sunday, November 25, 2018, at Loflin Funeral Home Chapel, Ramseur. Graveside will follow immediately following at Whites Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Officiating, Rev. Wayne Dunn, Rev. Jimmy Austin.
Born on August 4, 1933 to a family with small means, Mary Lee Kivett (Buckner) grew up in White’s Chapel near Ramseur. She graduated high school and went to work for Siler City Manufacturing. She worked with someone who introduced her to a man named Gyles (Buckner) and a journey of life began.
They lived with her parents at first, then got their own apartment in Siler City. Mary Lee continued to work for Siler City Manufacturing for 48 years (although the company’s name changed a few times). Her sister Louise and brother-in-law “Doc” worked there as well.
After moving to the apartment, they had a child (Teresa) and it was soon decided Mary and Gyles should build a home next to her parents. And so, the journey continued.
Mary loved animals, especially cats, but she had a couple of pet squirrels that she naively brought into her newly built home. It didn’t go well! She had a faithful old black cocker spaniel named “Midnight” who lived to be 14 years old, although he was blind.
Mary attended night school at Asheboro Business College to improve her skills on her job with Siler City Manufacturing. Some assumed she never had time to sleep at night.
Mary and Gyles then had another child (Shari) and this part of their journey sparked some inner creativity in Mary. She began sewing all of her family’s clothes, even making Gyles a double-knit polyester “leisure suit” or two and being so proud of a couple of “pantsuits” for her daughters made of nothing but squares sewn together like a checkerboard.
Mary Lee always loved pretty things and had a great fondness for strawberries to decorate her kitchen. She was an accomplished cook and never, ever made a failed cake.
She would “whip up” fried apple pies and impressed all families and church members at “dinner on the grounds” with her apple pies and fried chicken livers, and Italian Cream Cake.
She loved to dress “to the 9s” and was incredibly proud of her taste in clothing, her bowling prowess (too many high-game trophies to count), but especially how her outward appearance looked in her many years at Siler City Manufacturing.
Upon retirement, she and Gyles never met a flea market they didn’t love, even flying to Daytona Beach flea market just to buy hammers. They had an interesting journey, and never passed a Cracker Barrel up along the way.
Mary Lee was an inwardly private person and while no one knew how she felt about most things, everyone could see that she was incredibly generous with her children at birthdays, holidays, even making others jealous with what goodies a “tooth fairy” could place under pillows.
When her daughters married (Teresa to Bob and Shari to Paul), she treated each son-in-law as though they were her own sons. It was amazing to see her embrace them just like her own family.
She truly loved and beamed at the birth and throughout the lives of her grandsons (Paul Jr and Ryan) and glowed like a bright new penny at the smile of her great-grandson (P3). She loved both of her grandsons’ wives (Sara and Gabrielle) and enjoyed their journey through their own lives with interest and pride.
Mary Lee seemed to seek a life of being a princess, and while she may not have realized it, for the last 9 years, her “knight in shining armor” Gyles, has tended her, cooking and serving the meals, washing all the dishes and laundry, as well as continuing to worry about her appearance, just as she had.
Fortunately, the “knight” employed a staff of leagues (All Generations) over the last few years and most recently, a host of angels (Hospice of Randolph County) to share her care until her death November 22, 2018 at Hospice House of Randolph.
Mary Lee was preceded in death by her parents, Lacy and Lucy Gunter Kivett and sister, Louise Kivett Caviness.
Survivors: husband, Gyles R. Buckner of the home, daughters, Teresa Cox Kempf and husband, Bob, of Greensboro, Shari Hardin, and husband, Paul, of Apex, grandchildren, Paul Hardin, Jr. and wife, Sara, of Cary, Ryan Hardin and wife, Gabrielle, of Durham, great-grandson, Paul Hardin, III.
Condolences may be made online at www.loflinfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements by Loflin Funeral Home, Ramseur.
Although Mary loved and lived for flowers of any kind, she passed away from kidney disease. Please, in lieu of flowers, make a contribution in her honor to the National Kidney Foundation of North Carolina, 933 Louise Avenue, Suite 101B Charlotte, NC 28204.
National Kidney Foundation of North Carolina
933 Louise Avenuje, Suite 101B, AL