Mary Wood Wallace

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A toe-tapping, knee-slapping dance was held in Paradise Friday, May 26, 2017, as ninety-eight-year-old Mary Wood Koonce Wallace entered her eternal home. A long-time resident of Belhaven, Mary Wood was born in Hertford, North Carolina on January 12, 1919 to Benjamin Granade Koonce and Mary Wingfield McMullan Koonce. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved brother Benjamin Koonce of Raleigh and her husband Ralph McElhany Wallace.

Mary Wood, as she was affectionately known, was a bright light unto countless lives. Traveling the globe as the wife of a naval officer, she raised two daughters, Frances Dabney Wallace of Canton, Ohio and Mary McMullan Wallace Alexander of Huntersville, North Carolina. Additionally, she is survived by her cousin Edwina McMullan Haymes of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; grandchildren Brian, Jennifer, Adrienne, Justin, Allison and Nathaniel; and twelve great-grandchildren.

Mary Wood moved to Belhaven in the summer of 1967, where she and her husband became joint owner/publishers of the Beaufort-Hyde News; an endeavor which brought her into ever expanding contact with the citizens of the town that became her home and focal point of her love for others. Over nearly a half-century, she served others through her work in the town library, public schools and senior center. In 1995 she was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Senior Citizen Award and in 2006 was selected as Grand Marshal of the July Fourth Parade. Ever the extrovert with a love of music and laughter, Mary Wood could be seen onstage in community theatre productions at Eeii’s, and in recent years on Tuesday nights tapping time among audiences in the garage music hall at Main Street Landing.

And now, as the music and lights fade, and the curtain descends, another curtain rises and we add our applause to celebrate a near century of a life well-lived. Thank you Mary Wood for passing our way, for touching our lives.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, Belhaven on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 1:30 p.m., followed by interment in Cedar Wood Cemetery on King Street in Hertford.

Condolences may be sent to Mary Alexander, 5720 Jim Kidd Rd., Huntersville NC 28078. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Trinity United Methodist Church, 492 East Main St., Belhaven NC 27810.