Mary Louise Sawyer Runyan Pedley

Published 7:04 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Sawyer Runyan Pedley, age 87, of Washington, passed away peacefully Jan. 7, 2019, in Washington, of complications from lupus. Mary Lou was born Sept. 7, 1931, in the Ponzer community of Hyde County. She was the daughter of the late Reuben Edward Sawyer and the late Gladys Carmen Richards Sawyer.

Mary Lou spent her childhood years in Hyde County, working on the family farm. She was a graduate of John A. Wilkinson High School in Belhaven, where she was a star basketball player.

Mary Lou was married to Dick Runyan from April 1972 until his death in April 1995. On Jan. 8, 1996, Mary Lou married George L. Pedley, who preceded her in death in May 2011.

Mary Lou worked for Murry’s Wholesale Drug Company and Gilpen Wholesale Drug in southeast Virginia before beginning her civil service career with the Navy. She worked at both the Norfolk Naval Base and the Norfolk Naval Air Station before relocating to Florida. She retired in Jan. 1996 from Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, Florida, as a computer operator and inventory manager.

Mary Lou and George relocated to Washington in 2007 to be nearer Mary Lou’s family.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Washington, and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE).

With her basketball years behind her, Mary Lou turned to bowling. Like basketball, she also excelled at bowling.

Mary Lou will be remembered as a woman of great generosity. She is sadly missed.

Mary Lou is survived by: two stepsons, John E. Runyan, of Delray Beach, Florida, and Bruce Runyan, of West End, North Carolina; three step-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Zella Sawyer Stassfort, of Loganville, Georgia, and Rachel Sawyer Lonberger, of Woodstock, Georgia; two stepbrothers, James M. Raburn, of St. George, Utah, and Joseph W. “J.W.” Raburn, of Greenville; four stepsisters, Harriet R. Pendleton, of St. George, Utah, and Lenora R. Bright and Doris R. Cahoon, both of Swan Quarter, and Josephine R. Haywood, of Portsmouth, Virginia; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by: three brothers, Ormand D. Sawyer in 1963, Floyd W. Sawyer in 2013, Reuben E. Sawyer Jr. in 2018 and William D. Sawyer in 2014; two sisters, Ruth Sawyer Hopkins in 2013 and Gloria Sawyer Fotusky in 2013; a stepsister, Mary Lou R. Clausing in 1992; and a stepbrother, Johnnie P. “Jackie” Raburn in 1999.

A graveside service, officiated by Reverend Ken Hall, of the First United Methodist Church, Washington, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Pamlico Memorial Gardens, 161 Avon Ave., Washington NC. The family will receive friends at the cemetery following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Eagle’s Wings (932 W. Third St., Washington, NC 27889) or Washington Salvation Army (112 E. Seventh St., Washington NC 27889).

Online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Pedley family.