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Obituary for Marie Baynor Stallings
Marie Baynor Stallings, daughter of the late Dora Lee O'Neal and William Roswell Baynor, and wife of the late Jack Breckendridge Stallings, died at her home in Plymouth, NC on August 29, 2021. She was 85.
Marie was born on September 9, 1935 in Pantego, NC and was raised in Plymouth, NC by her aunt and uncle, Ruby and Harold Whitley.
Marie is survived by the apples of her eye, her daughter, Jakki Jethro and her grandson, Jackson Jethro (Wilmington, NC). She is also survived by her four sisters, her twin, Maxine Riddick (Virginia Beach, VA), as well as, Margaret McCroskey (Bristol, TN), Jean Basnight (Virginia Beach, VA), and Judy Cooper (Norfolk, VA). She was preceded in death by her parents, her aunt and uncle who raised her, her husband, and her cousin, Ernestine Basnight, of Plymouth.
When she was 10 years old, Marie, along with her twin sister, Maxine, moved to Plymouth with their aunt and uncle, Ruby and Harold Whitley. Harold was the Mayor of Plymouth and Harold and Ruby owned The Plymouth Hotel where the family resided. Marie and Maxine filled their days playing with friends, mostly boys, playing sports, primarily basketball. Her love for sports continued into high school where Marie was known as a star basketball player at Plymouth High School. Throughout high school Marie was beloved by all, being named by her classmates as "Best Looking", "Most Popular", and "Friendliest".
Having just turned 15, in the fall of 1950, Marie grew very ill while cheering for Plymouth High School at a football game in Ahoskie. She was shortly thereafter diagnosed with polio, a disease that would change the way she moved through life, but not the spirit with which she approached it.
It was in Plymouth, in 1959, where she met Jack Stallings, the chief engineer of WPNC, while he was staying at her family's hotel. He was the love of her life, and they married on April 12, 1963. It was only eleven years later when Marie lost her beloved Jack to a heart attack in October of 1974. Their daughter Jakki was only 3 years old. Marie remained in Plymouth where she worked at Plymouth Oil Company for 44 years, while raising Jakki with the help of her Aunt Ruby and the many friends who surrounded them.
After her polio diagnosis, Marie spent the next five decades walking with crutches, and the remaining 15 years in a wheelchair, but that never stopped her from attending First Christian Church and all of Jakki's school sporting events, enjoying summers on the Albemarle Sound, bridge games with her close circle of girlfriends, welcoming friends and neighbors on the front porch, and fiercely cheering for her beloved Tar Heels basketball team.
Marie was a titan! She survived polio and it's complications, as well as a stroke, but throughout the numerous challenges presented over the years, she never settled for less than a life lived abundantly....a life filled with an abundance of love, an abundance of faith, an abundance of laughter, an abundance of friends, and an abundance of joy.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Marie Baynor Stallings will be held at First Christian Church, in Plymouth, NC, on Saturday, September 11 at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made, in her name, to the First Christian Church of Plymouth at 509 E. Main Street, Plymouth, NC 27962.
Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Plymouth.