Thursday, January 3, 2013 — Charlotte – Barbara “Bobbye” Neal Hooks Dickens passed away on December 31, 2012.
She was born July 22, 1929, in Whiteville, N.C. and was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Wallace Jackson Dickens.
Bobbye was Valedictorian of the Whiteville High School class of 1947 and earned a Commercial Degree at Greensboro College. She worked at Whiteville Building Supplies for 21 years as accountant and office manager.
She was called “Mama” by many who weren’t her biological children, many of whom she met through her selfless service as a Guardian Ad Litem in Columbus County. She was sworn in as the first GAL in Columbus County in 1987 and was awarded the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer in 1991.
Bobbye’s faith was a cornerstone of her life and she was active as a deacon and elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Whiteville, served on the General Assembly Mission Board for the Presbyterian Church USA, contributed her accounting experience to the Wilmington Presbytery and received Honorary Life Membership in the N.C. Presbyterian Women of the Church.
She was a member of the Business and Professional Women and the Whiteville Women’s Civic League.
Bobbye was an outstanding cook, a talented seamstress, a giving friend, a champion for the less fortunate and a wise woman with finances and life. She loved the beach and Wolfpack football but learned to love the mountains. Most important to her, she was the best wife, mama and Momee that anyone could ever ask for.
She is survived by her four daughters, Deborah Gabriel and husband Watson of Stanley, Gayle Russell and husband Ned of Albemarle, Sandy Todd and husband Terry of Raleigh and Sue Garriss and husband Dan of Raleigh; six granddaughters, Heather Benbow Efird and husband Steve of Monroe, Jennifer Gabriel of Devon, England, Sumer Benbow Edwards and husband Jeff of Monroe, Kristy Todd of Raleigh, Kellie Todd Bunn and husband Greg of Raleigh and Courtney Benbow Efird and husband Shane of Indian Trail; great-grandchildren, Blake Efird, Davis Efird, Jackson Edwards, Mabry Edwards and Lincoln Efird; and a sister, Carol Hooks Brock and husband Kimble of Whiteville; niece, Cindy Gray Brock and her son Rhys.
The family would like to extend their appreciation for all that assisted in her care over the past years, especially Sunrise Assisted Living of North Hills, Raleigh; Sunrise Assisted Living Providence Road, Charlotte; and Charlotte Hospice and Pallative Care.
Visitation was at McKenzie Funeral Home, Whiteville, N.C. on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, from 6-8 p.m. Final rites were at First Presbyterian Church in Whiteville on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at 11 a.m. Burial was afterward at Whiteville Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to The Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice or First Presbyterian Church.