Betty Ray Monroe, 86, of White Oak, died Wednesday April 15, 2020. She was born in Pender County, North Carolina on March 9, 1934 to the late Seba Franklin and Edith Pigford Dempsey. A woman of faith, she was a member of the Cumberland Union Baptist Church community. She was known as the “Best Cook” in several counties, feeding Sunday Dinner to whoever showed up, sometimes as many as 30 people. No one ever went away hungry. She was especially known for her 16 Layer Chocolate Cake, providing 10 to 12 every week to a local restaurant. She liked gardening and being around flowers and she enjoyed the birds who visited. Most of all, she loved and lived for her family. She had Christmas at her house every year and it was a house filled with all her family. In addition to her parents, Seba and Elizabeth Dempsey, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Edward Monroe; daughter, Cynthia “Cindy” Owen; sons, Wilber Thomas “Tommy” Monroe and George Graham “Little Buck” Monroe; stepsons, Thomas Edward “Little Ed” Monroe and Hartwell Colon “Little Hart” Monroe; and grandson Thomas Wayne Hammonds. She is survived by her daughter, Diane Culberson; sons, Stuart Monroe and his wife Vickie and Ray Monroe and his wife Billie Jo; stepdaughter, Sue Polston and her husband Grady; and sister Geraldine Monroe; and 8 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren; devoted caregiver, Nicole; and many special nieces and nephews. A Graveside funeral service will be held Saturday April 18, 2020 at 11:00 am in Cumberland Union Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will host a memorial gathering for fellowship with family and friends at a later date. Arrangements by McNeill Mackie Funeral Home of St. Pauls.
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