Mary Woodley Dicus
Mary Woodley Dicus
  • March 4, 1952 - June 28, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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Mary Woodley Dicus, known as Woody to family and friends, died in Raleigh, NC on June 28, 2017, following a brief illness. Woody was born on March 4, 1952, in Beaufort, SC, as the second daughter of the late Dorothy May Liles Dicus and Col. William Anderson Dicus, Jr.

In addition to her parents, Woody was preceded in death by her sister Martha Browning Dicus of Charleston, SC, and nephew, William Anderson Dicus, IV, of Boone, NC. She is survived by her younger brother William Anderson Dicus, III, and sister-in-law, Pepi, of Boone; her godsons Mark Hampton Price and Logan Scott Price of Raleigh, NC; her aunt, Tillie Hagan, of Laurinburg, NC; cousins; and a host of friends.

As a child, Woody attended many different schools because of her father's Marine Corps postings. Following graduation from Meredith College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a major in American Civilization, Woody trained as a paralegal and taught at King's Business College before beginning her long career at Carolina Power and Light Company, later Progress Energy. While employed, she earned a Master's of Business Administration degree from Meredith College in 1987. She retired in 2012 as Manager, Corporate Community Relations for Progress Energy. In that role, she worked with organizations throughout North Carolina and in all areas served by Progress Energy to conduct dozens of community-building programs and activities. In retirement, she spent time at her homes in Raleigh and Kure Beach, NC.

In addition to being an attentive daughter and sister, Woody was a phenomenal friend to many: colleagues, parents and children of colleagues and friends, classmates, other Meredith alumnae, neighbors, and just about anyone else she met in her full life. She created an annual children's Christmas party and then enlisted all the honorary aunts among her friends to staff the party. For many years, Woody hosted a Christmas Day breakfast for her neighbors, saying that way the families could concentrate on the fun of the day and get a little break by coming to her house and not having to cook. Her annual New Year's Day parties featured good friends and good food, and many, many laughs. Woody loved to cook and even more loved to entertain-for birthdays, engagements, weddings, degree completions or just because too much time had lapsed between feasts. An accomplished cook, she won a contest sponsored long ago by The Raleigh Times, forevermore delighting in showing the article as proof to anyone who dared voice skepticism that she really did make the best cheesecake in Raleigh.

She loved entertaining at the beach and hosted annual beach trips, which she called "Babes at the Beach." Lucky were those who could go on those trips or others to her mountain house and excursions tubing down the New River or bumping along the Virginia Creeper Trail or taking day trips to Seagrove, shopping for the North Carolina pottery that she loved. She loved as well the dogs she adopted throughout her life: Missy, Pippin, Bucky, Satch, Sally, Sissy, Riley, and, at the end, Hap.

Woody worked hard, loved her family and her friends, the coast, the mountains, playing golf, attending other sporting events, and drawing people together for fun or service. She was a long-time member of the board of Artsplosure and formerly was its chair. She also served on the board of Bridge II Sports.

A memorial service will be held in Jones Chapel at Meredith College on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. The Reverend Rick Clayton, Senior Pastor of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, will serve as officiant. A reception will follow in the Bryan Rotunda of Johnson Hall on the Meredith campus. Woody would have loved to be in the middle of the party, passing out cheese straws and pimento cheese sandwiches. In the hearts of all assembled, she will be doing just that.

In lieu of flowers, should you wish to make a memorial contribution, consider Meredith College, 3800 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607, or the charity of your choice.

Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary's Street, is handling arrangements.