Mabel Lee Ogburn Surles, 93, died at peace Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Heritage Place in Fayetteville, NC. She was born July 29, 1921 in Pleasant Grove Township in Johnston County. She was the only daughter of Ross C. Ogburn and Ida Lillian Ogburn. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Junius Boyette Surles, Jr., her son Junius Boyette Surles, III, her parents, her brother James Alfred Ogburn, and her aunt who lived with the family Alma B. Ogburn.
Mabel attended a two-teacher school, Ogburn Grove, early in life; she graduated from Cleveland High School in Johnston County; she attended Atlantic Christian College in Wilson where she met her husband. They married in 1942 just before his induction into the Navy. Following World War II, she and J.B. both graduated from East Carolina College in Greenville, N.C. When her husband, a NC State Highway Patrolman, was transferred to Fayetteville, Mabel became head librarian at Terry Sanford High School. When her son and daughter grew up, graduated from college, and married, J.B. retired from the Patrol to become the first instructor of the Criminal Justice Program at Johnston County Community College. They moved back to Pleasant Grove to the family farm and Mabel worked as librarian at Cleveland Elementary School until she and her husband retired again.
She was a long-time Presbyterian, having been married in Providence Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Grove Township. After a move to Smithfield in 1982, they transferred their membership to First Presbyterian Church where Mabel’s great grandfather Thomas Thain had been a member beginning in 1893. The Ava Myatt Bible Class was special to her and J.B. Mabel also enjoyed Tuesday Morning Circle and served as Circle Chairman in earlier years.
Mabel was honored to join Delta Kappa Gamma Society. She was a former member of the Johnston County Historical Society. She served as historian for the Ogburn Family for many years and compiled the first history. This publication was presented to the family at the fiftieth anniversary of the Ogburn Reunion, the first one having been held at the home of her parents in 1934.
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She and her husband enjoyed traveling and searching several family lines which took them through Virginia, Washington, DC, England, Scotland, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. They also treasured their time with their children and their families.
Since 1980 she has been an active member of Smith-Bryan Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as the fourth regent of the chapter.
Mabel is survived by her daughter Gayle Surles Godwin and husband Steve of Eastover, NC; her daughter-in-law Nila B. Surles of Greenville, NC; her granddaughter Caroline Paige Godwin of White Lake, NC; her grandsons Stephen Ryan Godwin and wife Lauryn of Elizabethtown, NC; Junius Boyette Surles, III (Jay) and Troy Dodson Surles of Greenville, NC; great grandchildren Caitlyn, Jackson, and Zach Surles.
With a humble thank you the family acknowledges with deep appreciation the many acts of kindness and prayers during the loss of their loved one, especially the staff at Heritage Place.
The family will receive friends at First Presbyterian Church in Smithfield, NC at 3:00 on Sunday, May 10, 2015 followed by a funeral service at 4:00. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 215 S. Third Street, Smithfield, NC 27577