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Marian Lee Graybeal, long-time Marion resident, devoted wife of Kent, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday night. She was 92.
Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, she met Kent Graybeal in 1942 when she was just 16 and he was a 20 year-old second lieutenant from Marion. He was in training with her brother and fellow VMI graduate, Frank Lee, at Fort Sill, before shipping off for World War II and the European campaign. By the time he returned from the war, she had graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, but the wartime courtship by mail had been persuasive. They married and moved to Marion, where they honeymooned in Cabin Two at Hungry Mother, and she grew to love what she often described to her seven grandchildren as “the most beautiful place in the world.”
In Marion, she raised four daughters and for more than 70 years was active in the community as a member of the First United Methodist Church, Book Club and Circle, food stamp eligibility counselor, active tennis player and gardener, bird watcher, friend and companion. She was beloved by her friends and family for her independent, joyful and generous spirit; drawn to her charm and grace, they admired her elegance and were touched by her kindness and open heart. Her grandchildren carry fond memories of her playfulness on picnics at the Hurricane, on the beach at Hungry Mother, or with a yoyo in the backyard.
She loved Marion, its people and its place, and was devoted to her family and to her animals. She is survived by four daughters, Carol, Lynn, Lee, and Ellen; seven grandchildren, Rachel and Alex Helman, Quincy and Meredith Smith, Nathaniel, Anna, and Laura Myers; honorary grandson, Ryan Rippel; sons-in-law, Reed Helman, Jerry Blevins, and Terry Myers; and several nieces and nephews in Texas. Her husband Kent died in 2008.
Funeral services will be private. The family be holding a memorial reception on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, from 2-4 in Shelter #1 at Hungry Mother State Park. In lieu of flowers, friends may wish to consider donations to the Mel Leaman Free Clinic, 691 Radio Hill Rd, PO Box 1273, Marion; the First United Methodist Church, 115 S. Church St., Marion; and the Hospice of Southwest Virginia, 600 W. Ridge Rd., Wytheville, 24382. The family would like to give special thanks to Graham Gross and his family for their decades of friendship and support. The family is deeply grateful to Carol Davis for her loving friendship and selfless caregiving over these last three years.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at www.seaverbrown.com. Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory is honored to serve the family of Marian Lee Graybeal.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
2:00 - 4:00pm
Hungry Mother State Park
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