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Official Obituary of

Mary "Tink" Lucille (McKenzie) Purcell

November 16, 1930 ~ March 15, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Mary "Tink" Purcell Obituary

Mary Lucille McKenzie Purcell, 93, of Clinton, died Friday, March 15, 2024.

“Tink”, as she was best known by all, was born in Scotland County on November 16, 1930, the youngest child of Christian parents, Alex and Lucile McKenzie.  She was raised on the family farm outside of Laurinburg and attended Laurinburg Schools and Caledonia Methodist Church.  She graduated from Laurinburg High School and then attended Flora McDonald College where she graduated with honors, was student body vice president, and captain of the volleyball team.

Tink married the love of her life, Edwin Purcell, on December 26, 1953.  They settled in Laurinburg and began raising their family.  In 1959, Ed’s job transferred the family to Clinton, where they spent the rest of their lives.  It was a town they loved.

Tink’s career was as an elementary school teacher.  She taught in schools in Raeford, Laurinburg, and Clinton.  She loved teaching and treasured every student.

Tink also loved music.  She sang in the church choir for 41 years and was a talented pianist and organist.  She made sure that her children and grandchildren had an appreciation of music.

Ed and Tink set out in life to work hard, raise a Christian family, and travel together.  They traveled to all 50 states, 3 continents, and more than 30 countries, islands, and territories.

Ed and Tink’s greatest love was seeing their children and grandchildren progress in school, sports, careers and their faith.  They also loved to travel to NC. State Wolfpack sporting events and watching the games with family and friends.

Tink was very involved with her church and community.  She was a Sunday school teacher, Deacon, and choir member at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church.  In 2013, she was awarded a Presbyterian Women Honorary Life Membership.  

Tink was an original member of Meals on Wheels for Sampson County.  She also loved to play Bridge and had her regular Bridge group for years.

Tink was known as “MiMi” by her grandchildren.  She was so proud of each of them.  She insisted that they have good manners.  They all can tell you how many numerous times MiMi told them “take your elbows off the table” or “don’t slam that door”!

Tink was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Ed Purcell, her daughter, Mary Lynn Roberts, and her son-in-law, Dereck Roberts.  She is also preceded in death by her parents Alex and Lucile McKenzie, brothers Alex, Harold, and Bobby, and an infant brother.  She is survived by her sons Bobby (Lori) of Cary and Mac (Dale) of Clinton.

She is also survived by her six grandchildren, John Purcell (Audrey), Wes Purcell, Dr. Paige Noreen (Bryan), Alex Purcell (Madison), Will Roberts (Meghan), and Ben Roberts, and one great grandson, Logan Noreen, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Cardinal at North Hills for the care of Tink for the past 8 years.

Memorials can be made to Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church (Music Fund), 201 Fayetteville Street, Clinton, NC  28328 or Caledonia Methodist Church Trustee Fund, 15201 Barnes Bridge Road, Laurinburg, NC  28352.

Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, March 25, 2024 at 3:00 PM at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church with  Reverend Katherine W. Rives and Reverend Dr. William L. Hawkins officiating.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church Fellowship Hall.

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

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Funeral Service
March 25, 2024

3:00 PM
Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church
201 Fayetteville Street
Clinton, North Carolina 28328

March 25, 2024

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Graves Memorial Fellowship Hall
Chestnutt Street
Clinton, NC 28328

Private Graveside Service

Clinton Cemetery
414 W. Main Street
Clinton, NC 28328


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