Mary Renn Forsyth

February 21, 2013 

Mary Renn Forsyth passed away on February 18, 2013, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. To the end she was known for her sweet disposition and beautiful smile. She is preceded in death by her husband of 27 years, Carl W. Forsyth. She is survived by a son and two daughters: Carl Winston Forsyth II and his wife, Pam Brinkley of Durham; Nancy Forsyth Singleton and her husband, Rob, of Youngsville; and Mary Beth Forsyth Johnston and her husband, Kevin, of Raleigh. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Bonnie, Trey, Jason and Michael Forsyth and Nick and Brooke Johnston.

Mary was born in Henderson, N.C. on September 18, 1923, to Clifton C. and Mae Renn. She had two brothers, Edward and Bobby Renn, both of whom are deceased. She graduated from Henderson High School in May of 1941, and went to work as a telephone operator for the Carolina Telephone & Telegraph Co., quickly rising to supervisor. She married Carl Forsyth, also of Henderson, on December 30, 1945 upon his return home from World War II. She and Carl both worked while he attended Louisburg College and Campbell College, before moving to Chicago in 1948 for Carl to attend the Chicago College of Optometry. He graduated in June of 1951. Mary's hard work, financial support and great confidence in Carl’s abilities were essential to him becoming an optometrist.

They returned to North Carolina shortly thereafter and settled in Roxboro, where Carl opened his optometry practice. Their first child, Carl Winston, II, was born in July of 1952. Daughter Nancy followed in 1954 and Mary Beth in 1957.

Mary returned to the work force in the late 1960s, joining the Person County Selective Service Office during the Vietnam War. She worked tirelessly to assist eligible young men to obtain deferments as permitted by law. With the dismantling of the draft in the mid-1970s, Mary continued her government service, working in other administrative positions at the VA Hospital in Durham and at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Research Triangle Park. She retired from the EPA in 1988. She continued to live in Roxboro until moving to Raleigh in 2003 to be closer to her family.

Mary was a long time member of the Roxboro Baptist Church and was well known for her dedication and skill as a Sunday School teacher. She was also involved in numerous church and community activities over the years.

Mary may best be remembered by her unwavering faith in God and as a loving mother, grandmother, wife and friend. She without fail always put others first and approached life everyday with joy, humor, and a sense of adventure. Alzheimer’s took a great deal from her, but not her essence - which by her ever present smile continued to shine through to the end.

A Celebration of Mary’s Life will be Friday February 22, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Springmoor Life Retirement Community (Chapel), 1500 Sawmill Rd., Raleigh NC 27615. The Inurnment for be at Elmwood Cemetery, Henderson NC.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Springmoor Endowment Fund, 1500 Sawmill Road, Raleigh, NC 27615 or by going on line and contributing to the Alzheimer’s Association at

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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