Obituary of Marie Dunn "Ree" "Miss Marie" Whitley ~ 2012

Transcribed by Joan S Dunn

Source: New Bern Sun Journal Feb 17 2012

Marie Dunn Whitley, "Ree," "Miss Marie," 96, passed peacefully into eternal
life on Feb. 14, 2012. 
She was born Dec. 9, 1915 in the Olympia community in Pamlico Co., the 
eldest of five children born to E. MacDonald and Mary Tunstall Holton Dunn.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, 
Robert C. Whitley, Jr., her sisters, Jean Dunn Scott and Lois D. Donaldson;
and her brothers, Elwood M. Dunn and Raymond E. Dunn.
She is survived by her daughter, Sue Whitley, of Raleigh with whom she 
made her home for the past 4 years; her nieces, Ziji Scott, Patricia Dunn, 
Katherine Moore and nephews, Ray Dunn, Jr., Donald Dunn and Stephen Dunn. 
She is also survived by her "other children", Lee, Fran, and Richard 
Haislip, Katherine and Taylor Waitley.
Marie graduated from Alliance High School in 1933. As a member of the 
Greatest Generation and at the height of the Great Depression, she left 
the farm and began working in New Bern... It was there she met, fell in 
love and married the love of her life, Robert C. Whitley, Jr. 
Marie and Robert, who had a 4-day pass from Ft. Jackson, S.C., married on 
Dec. 25, 1940 and had a 3-day honeymoon. He went back to the base and she 
went back to work. In early 1943 she drove to Ft. Sill, Okla. to join 
Robert and his artillery company. While there she worked on the base 
driving a forklift, also known as a mule. After Army life in Tenn. and SC, 
Robert was sent to Europe to follow the D-Day landings. After WWII, she 
and Robert, and with daughter Sue, bought a house in New Bern and settled 
into building a life as a family.
Marie taught and also played the piano at Miss Pearl's Kindergarten, 
worked at Emmie's Flower Shop and then began working at Sears for over 20 
years. She was a member of Broad St. Christian Church for 71 years and was 
the oldest member at the time of her death. She sang in the choir for 55 
years, played the piano for Sunday School for 65 years, subbed as organist 
on occasion, was an active member of the Christian Women's Fellowship and 
began the Young At Heart group in the 80's for all those who had retired 
from working but not from living. In her spare time she was a Grey Lady at 
the hospital for 21 years and loved her "Tuesday afternoon ladies." She 
also volunteered at the Red Cross Bloodmobile, was a member of the Olympia 
Volunteer FD Ladies Auxiliary, organized the first Relay for Life team in 
Pamlico County, and canvassed her cousins and neighbors tirelessly for the 
American Cancer Society. Marie was an enthusiastic participant in the 
local and State Senior Games for over 10 years, winning many medals and 
new friends but retired at 90. She was also known to play cards until 
the wee hours on Friday nights with the "cuz'ins."
Her passion was working in her yard. Her joy was in going - anywhere! Her 
pride was in getting her driver's license renewed at age 90. Her wish was 
to share what talents she had with others and to do good while on this 
She loved her family, her church, her friends, her truck, her hat and her 
puppy dogs and kitty cats, feeding the birds, the first blooms of Spring - 
and going. Most of all she just loved people. She never met a stranger. 
Miss Marie's tough little body contained a vibrant spark for the simple 
pleasures, joys and beauty that are ours to enjoy everyday.
Her most precious gift to us may be to remind us to welcome them into our 
souls each day. She gave us all a wonderful example of how one should go 
through life in this world. She will be missed but there is a joyous 
reunion going on in heaven right now.
The Celebration of Life to be held on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. at the 
funeral home. Interment will follow the service at Cedar Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children's 
Research Hospital, the Craven-Pamlico Animal Service 
Center or to your local Relay for Life team.
Online condolences may be directed to

Back to Pamlico Obituaries Index Return to Pamlico County Page