Obituary of Mary Jean Lupton Speidel
Our beautiful mother and grandmother, Mary Jean Lupton Speidel, 96, died on November 29, 2023 at WhiteStone Retirement Community in Greensboro, NC. A graveside service will be held on a later date at Hopewell Friends Meeting in Winchester, VA.
Mary Jean was a native of Alexandria, VA, but spent happy early childhood years trying to keep up with her three older brothers on the Lupton family farm (Willow Spring) near Winchester, VA. Her family spent the war years in Washington, DC where she attended Roosevelt High School. She later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilson Teachers College, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. She lived most of her adult life in North Carolina, residing in Raleigh for 45 years. She moved to Greensboro in 2002.
Mary Jean was a terrific mom and a devoted wife who loved, supported, and gave selflessly to her husband, Frederick Graham Speidel, who died in 1998. Mary Jean had a lively mind and was an engaging conversationalist. Her lifetime passions were caring for her family, reading, sewing, teaching Sunday School, playing the piano and organ, and smoothing any feathers her husband ruffled. Mom had an amazing knowledge of geography and a lovely singing voice. She enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball. Mom was a sharp-witted, opinionated Quaker with a simple, strong faith. She was a mentor, educator, tree lover, friend, volunteer, letter writer, comic strip and article clipper, patriot, and a perfectly adequate cook. We all loved and admired her. She was a loving example while alive and will continue to be as her memory lives in us.
Mary Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Frederick Graham Speidel; her parents, James Roberts Lupton, Sr. and Margaret Harmon Roberts Lupton; her 4 beloved siblings; and a grandchild, Colin Daniel Wheeless.
She will be remembered and missed by her three children and their spouses; James Graham Speidel and his wife Bonnie Fischer, Margaret Ellen Speidel McDaniel and her husband Wallace Dean, and Kathleen Lupton Speidel Wheeless and her husband Frederick. Also mourning “Grandmary” are her two granddaughters, Hilary and Camilla Wheeless.
We invite you to take a few moments to be still and to center mindfully as together we hold Mary Jean in our hearts with peace and in loving gratitude for all she has offered the world.