Margaret Lewis “Maggie” Hamblen Wynne

Margaret “Maggie” Lewis Hamblen Wynne, 77, died on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 in Black Mountain, NC, not far from her beloved home, Woodland Heights in Montreat, where until October, she had been lovingly cared for throughout her decline from dementia. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Maggie led a life rich in faith, creativity, hospitality, and love.

Born in Durham, North Carolina to Dr. Edwin Crowell Hamblen and Agnes Baptist Hamblen, Maggie cherished her older sister Agnes Hamblen McDonald, who died in 2016. The Hamblen home in Forest Hills overlooked a beautiful park with a creek where she loved to play. Even when other memories had faded, Maggie reminisced about her neighborhood girlfriends, summers at Camp Illahee, and her father’s prize-winning rose garden.

Maggie graduated from Durham High School and attended Salem College, where she met Bob Wynne, a student at Davidson College. They were married in 1958 at First Presbyterian Church in Durham. She and Bob made a loving home in Raleigh for their three daughters, Elizabeth, Dana, and Rebecca.

Maggie loved to laugh and to make her family laugh, even during her illness. She enjoyed reading aloud to her children and grandchildren, especially A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. She was a lover of books who particularly appreciated Mary Oliver, Henri Nouwen, and Brennan Manning. She enjoyed sharing lazy days at Gloucester and Wrightsville Beach, NC with her family. For many years, she knitted and needlepointed gifts for family and friends. With her keen eye for beauty, Maggie collected North Carolina pottery and art. She traveled widely, often with mission groups, to Haiti, Africa, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, the Holy Land, and India, where she had the joy of meeting Mother Teresa. Together, Maggie and Bob took grandchildren to Italy, Alaska, and Costa Rica. A woman of many passions, Maggie loved James Taylor, hymns, lilacs, and her Papillion Freddie, her constant companion.

Maggie was a long-time member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir and was active in United Methodist Women. She and Bob also taught children’s Sunday school, through which they met Jimmy and David Biggs, who became a welcome part of the family. At Edenton Street, Maggie and eight other women formed a lasting bond of friendship; “The Group” has loved each other through many life chapters.

During the years that Bob served in the North Carolina House and Senate, Maggie campaigned with him, hosted political events in their home, and was an officer in the Sir Walter Cabinet. She was active in the Junior League of Raleigh and served as its president from 1979 to 1980.

Through the family business, Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Maggie was a pioneer in grief support programs. In the late 1970’s, she began a series of widows’ groups, several of which are still meeting today. She helped establish the Wake County Chapter of Compassionate Friends, an organization that assists families who are grieving the loss of a child.

A life-long learner, Maggie attended Peace College and graduated in 1986, earning an Associate of Arts Degree in English and Psychology with highest honors. Later, she commuted to Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA to pursue a Certification in Biblical studies (1998) and in Christian Spiritual Formation (1999), equipping her to provide guidance to women one-on-one and through retreats at her Montreat home. She regularly spent time at Mepkin Abbey and St. Francis Springs.

When their dearest friends Helen and Freddy Johnson founded Building Together Ministries, Maggie and Bob became deeply committed to this inner-city nonprofit. BTM fostered meaningful relationships across racial and socioeconomic divides. In 1995, the Wynnes moved into the neighborhood, next door to the Johnsons. From this home, they offered hospitality for neighbors and visitors to the ministry. Through BTM, Maggie came to know then five-year-old Quenita Winston. For more than twenty-five years, Maggie and Quenita loved and supported each other like family. Quenita moved to Montreat in 2009 and, as a trained CNA, helped provide compassionate care for Maggie during her illness.

In the later part of her life, Maggie devoted herself to writing. She was mentored by Peggy Millin and received encouragement from Cathy Smith Bowers and Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina’s first female poet laureate, who awarded one of Maggie’s poems first prize in WNC Women Journal’s 2007 poetry contest. “Flash” appeared in the 2006 Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets. In 2011, Maggie self-published her poetry collection, A Little Bit of Yesterday. For over a decade, Maggie researched, wrote, and meticulously revised a young adult novel, Homeward, based on her grandmother’s life and letters. The novel was published in 2013, and Bob arranged gatherings of friends to celebrate its completion.

Maggie is survived by her husband of fifty-eight years, Robert Webb Wynne III; by daughters Elizabeth Wynne Marshall (Bennie) of McClellanville, SC; Dana Wynne Lindquist (David) of Raleigh; and Dr. Rebecca Wynne Turk of Oak Park, IL; by grandchildren H.B. Marshall IV (Madison), Robert Marshall, Spencer Marshall, by Hannah Margaret Lindquist Clare (Patrick), and Caroline Lindquist, and by Samuel, Wyatt, Lydia, and Clark Turk; by her beloved sister-in-law Brookshire Wynne McDonald of Raleigh; and by many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at the home of Dana and David Lindquist, 1908 Prescott Place, Raleigh, from 4-7 PM on Sunday, January 29.

Funeral services will take place on Monday, January 30, at 1:00 PM at Edenton Street United Methodist Church with reception afterward in The Garden Gallery. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.

Flowers are welcome, or memorials may be made to Ruth Sheets Adult Day Care Center at Edenton Street UMC, 228 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, 27603.

The family is grateful to Dr. Drew Schnyder and the entire staff at Givens Highlands Farms in Black Mountain for their exceptional care.

Arrangements are being provided by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh.

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