Mary Lynn (Purcell) Roberts

December 22, 1963 ~ June 12, 2021 (age 57)

Obituary Image



RALEIGH, NC – Mary Lynn Purcell Roberts, 57, passed Saturday June 12, 2021 surrounded by the loving care of The Cardinal Memory Care medical staff where she lived for the past three years.

Mary Lynn, often called “Lynn” by her loving father, was born in Clinton, NC on December 22, 1963 to devout Christian parents, Edwin Lane Purcell and Mary Lucille McKenzie Purcell. She grew up in Clinton, NC, graduating, with honors, from Clinton High School in 1982. Mary Lynn’s youth focused on her Christian faith, actively involved in Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church with family and friends, while excelling in Clinton’s high school band where she played the flute. Mary Lynn’s passions always centered around faith, family, friends, and of course, the NC State Wolfpack! Upon graduating from Clinton High School, Mary Lynn attended Meredith College, graduating with degrees in Political Science and Elementary Education.

At the beginning of Mary Lynn’s sophomore year at Meredith College, she met Dereck Roberts on August 26, 1983. Mary Lynn and Dereck were inseparable, dating for seven years until their marriage on December 1, 1990. Mary Lynn and Dereck raised two spirited boys, William Lane Roberts (23) and Benjamin Purcell Roberts (21) who are both currently attending and thriving in college at NC State and East Carolina University, respectively. Mary Lynn dreamed of having two healthy boys and becoming the best mother she could be. Mary Lynn’s loyalty to her boys was unsurpassed through the years, never missing any activity they participated in ranging from church Sunday school, where she taught for many years, vacation bible school, scouting, school choir and band, youth baseball and middle/high school football and lacrosse. She was a busy mother and took great pride and joy building the moral character of her sons. She molded the lives of Will and Ben and modeled all things wholesome in life, especially faith and respect. To this day, Mary Lynn’s lasting legacy is visible through two loving, respectful and caring young men. She would be so proud to know how much they are thriving today due to her devotion to them as a loving mother.

Upon graduating from Meredith College in 1986, Mary Lynn worked for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, serving in Human Resource and Training related roles. After marrying Dereck in 1990, a whirlwind of moves ensued where Mary Lynn moved eighteen times traversing through the states of Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, back to Florida and finally returning home to North Carolina in 2008. Mary Lynn utilized her Elementary Education background, securing elementary teaching roles while in Texas and North Carolina. Mary Lynn was a selfless and devoted wife, sacrificing much to support Dereck’s career and numerous moves. The journey through these states was exciting. Although away from home during these many moves, Mary Lynn treasured new life experiences, cultures and the addition of many new friends and colleagues that endure to this day. Everyone that met Mary Lynn over the years describe her as “sweet, caring, humble and most importantly a dedicated daughter, wife and mother.”

Mary Lynn was preceded in death by her father, Edwin Lane Purcell. She is survived by her mother, Mary Lucille McKenzie Purcell, husband of 30 years Dereck, sons Will and Ben, and brothers, Bobby and wife Lori Purcell of Cary, NC and Mac and wife Dale Purcell of Clinton, NC. Mary Lynn took great pride being the “Fun” Aunt to nephews John, Wes and Alex Purcell, and nieces Paige Noreen and Morgan Roberts.

The family would like to thank Lynn Anne Newbegin, who provided wonderful loving and fun filled care for Mary Lynn during the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, and the numerous loving staff members with the Memory Care Unit at The Cardinal of North Hills and Transitions Hospice. Memorial gifts may be made to Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church, 201 Fayetteville Street, Clinton, NC 28328.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church on Wednesday June 16, 2021. A memorial service will be conducted on Thursday June 17, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev Dr. Steve Wilkins officiating. Mary Lynn will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at the Purcell family plot in the Clinton City Cemetery, Clinton, NC.

Arrangements are by Royal-Hall Funeral Home, 301 McKoy Street, Clinton, NC 28328, (910)592-4127. Online condolences can be sent to the family on her obituary page on the funeral home’s website 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Lynn (Purcell) Roberts, please visit our floral store.


June 16, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Graves Memorial Fellowship Hall
Chestnutt Street
Clinton, NC 28328

Funeral Service
June 17, 2021

11:00 AM
Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church
201 Fayetteville Street
Clinton, North Carolina 28328

© 2021 Royal Hall Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy