Mary Dell Johnson Gay

April 7, 1935 - December 4, 2023

04/07/1935 - 12/04/2023

Past Services

Funeral Service
Thursday December 07, 2023
2:00 pm
Cedarwood Cemetery
Weldon, NC

Ahoskie, NC – Mary Dell Johnson Gay, born on April 7, 1935, in Weldon, North Carolina, peacefully passed away on December 4, 2023, in Ahoskie, North Carolina. She was surrounded by her loved ones. Mary Dell lived a fulfilling life, leaving behind a legacy of love and compassion.

Mary Dell dedicated her professional life to education, teaching at Ridgecroft for 28 years before retiring in 1998. In total, she spent 35 years teaching and nurturing young minds. Her commitment to education extended beyond the classroom, as she believed in helping others. She volunteered at Roanoke Chowan Hospital and the local food pantry, always lending a helping hand to those in need. An active member of Ahoskie United Methodist Church, Mary Dell found solace and purpose in her faith. As long as her health permitted, she eagerly participated in church activities. On June 15, 1963, Mary Dell married her beloved husband, Archibald Cree Gay, Jr. Mary Dell Johnson Gay’s presence will forever be missed, but her kindness and love will be remembered by all who knew her.

Mary Dell will be deeply missed by her surviving family and friends. She is survived by her two daughters, Virginia (Glen) Cargile and Dell Gay (Al) Dibello, who will forever cherish their memories with their mother. She was also a loving grandmother to five granddaughters: Mary (Stephen) Allen, Abbie Cargile, Katie Cargile, Elizabeth Inge Clayton, and Sarah Wallace Clayton; and two great grandsons, Maxton Allen and Mason Allen. Also surviving was numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Dell is preceded in death by her mother, Virginia Inge Johnson, father, Harry Wallace Johnson, husband, Archibald Cree Gay, Jr., son, Archie Gay III, and brother, Dr. Harry W Johnson.

Services to honor and celebrate Mary Dell’s life will be held with a graveside service on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 2:00 pm at Cedarwood Cemetery in Weldon, NC. The Reverend John Dutton will officiate the ceremony. The family will receive friends at the home at any time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online by clicking here

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is entrusted with the arrangements for the Gay family. Online condolences can be shared with the family by visiting

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Stephen & Marla Dilday
4 months ago

Dell and Virginia,

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of your mom. There are many great memories of her and your family from Ahoskie and growing up in the church together. She will be dearly missed.

Stephen & Marla Dilday

Julian and Jerrie Taylor
4 months ago

Dell and Virginia,
Mary Dell taught all of our children how to read. Our youngest child Margaret especially loved Mary Dell and one day, while still in the first grade, wrote her a note to thank her for “giving” her reading. She went on to say, “I hope my other teachers give me reading like you give me reading”. Mary Dell certainly “gave” reading to many.
Julian and Jerrie Taylor

Mindy Preston
4 months ago

I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prays.. Mary dell was such a sweet lady and a blessing to many!

Carol Fretwell
4 months ago

Have many memories of the good/fun times we had together in the Ahoskie United Methodist Church Choir.

The Sills family
4 months ago

We’re so sorry for your loss. Prayers and love for your family.

Viva and Tom
4 months ago

A wonderful woman. God’s speed to Heaven ?