Mary Ellen Tribby Townsend, 83, passed away Thursday, August 20, 2020 at her home in Raleigh. She was born July 22, 1937 in Richmond, VA to the late Eugene Wilson Tribby and Ruth Virginia Myers Tribby, and moved to Raleigh when she was 5. She worked as an administrative assistant with Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic.
Funeral service will be held 2:00 pm, Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at Open Table United Methodist Church, 824 N. Bloodworth St, Raleigh, NC 27604. Social distancing and mask protocols will be followed; in addition, the service will be livestreamed at facebook.com/opentableumc and youtube.com/c/opentableumc, for those who would rather watch online. Burial will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park.
The family will receive relatives and friends prior to the service from 1:00 to 1:45 pm at the church.
In addition to her work at Raleigh Orthopedic, Mary Ellen worked for years for newspaper broker John Park, for Gov. Robert W. Scott and for Dr. William C. Pressly at Peace College, where she had received an associate degree. She was also in the last graduating class of Hugh Morson High School. She was devoted to Open Table Church, formerly Trinity United Methodist Church; she and her family were members since the day they laid the cornerstone in 1942. Above all, Mary Ellen was devoted to her family, and to radiating light, love and comfort to all people she came into contact with. The last day she could speak, she asked what she could get for her caregiver; that is who she was.
Mary Ellen is survived by son, Perry Townsend and partner, Joseph Fong of New York; sister, Ruth Marie “Ree” Tribby Carroll and husband, Daniel of Knoxville, Tennessee; sisters-in-law: Miriam Rawls of Raleigh, Kay Smith of Raleigh, Patricia Baars of Washington, DC, Frances Dreps of Durham; and numerous nieces, nephews and “adopted grandchildren.” The family is eternally grateful to their dear friend Josephine Gentry and her crew, including Ashley Miller, Nikkie Hunter and Patricia Tabb, for providing expert 24/7 home care for Mary Ellen during her final weeks.
In addition to her parents, Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Perry Townsend, Sr.; dear friends June Walters and Jimmy and Jeanne Wilder.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Open Table United Methodist Church, and/or NC State Capitol Foundation, Inc., 4624 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4624.
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