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Mary Lou Serene Obituary - Hill Funeral Home


The family will receive friends from 1:00 -2:30 p.m. Friday, August 4, 2023 at Central College Presbyterian Church followed by services at 2 p.m. Friday. interment Blendon Central Cemetery.

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Obituary for Mary Lou Serene

Mary Lou Serene 1943-2023

Mary Lou Serene

11/01/1943 - 07/20/2023

It is with profound sadness Mary Lou Serene, 79, of Wilmington, N.C., left her family and friends, on Thursday, July 20, 2023 with her loved ones by her side. She was a loyal, trustworthy, loving wife, mother, sister and friend to all. She was preceded in death by her husband, Regis C. Serene. Mary Lou was born November 1, 1943, in Westerville, Ohio, daughter of the late Harry and Dorothy Schwind. She graduated from Westerville High School in 1961, where she was the head majorette.

Mary Lou’s professional work history includes being a big part of the success of Elderhaus's beginnings while also working with United Way, Cape Fear Voluntary Action Center and Eldercare, where she eventually retired.  She performed numerous amounts of volunteer work: assisted in the founding of the Food Bank of Eastern, N.C., as well as, founding the food pantry at Harbor United Methodist Church amongst many more projects. Mary Lou served on the Board of Directors for NAMI (Wilmington Chapter), Cape Fear Tutoring and Coastal Carolina Food Bank. 

Mary Lou was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine; not once but twice.  This award is among the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina.  It is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

She is survived by daughters Carrie Serene (Ronnie Watson), of Wilmington, N.C. and Nicole Serene (Tim Carter) of Wake Forest, N.C. ; sisters Rosalie Carter (Larry); Ruth Roese; and brother Harry Schwind (Nancy); brother -in-law Richard Serene (Stephanie); and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

As a Servant of the Lord, Mary Lou lead many people to the Lord with her acts of service.  The stories are abundant with all the activities that Mary Lou had individuals participate in while serving others with her.  In healthier years Mary Lou was an active and one of the founding members of Harbor United Methodist Church.  Anyone that knew her knows that God welcomed her home  with open arms.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 -2:30 p.m. Friday, August 4, 2023 at Central College Presbyterian Church followed by services at 2 p.m. Friday. interment Blendon Central Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary Lou’s memory may be made to: 

NAMI (Wilmington Chapter)

Checks payable to NAMI Wilmington and sent to:

NAMI Wilmington

PO Box 4485

Wilmington, NC  28406

Or donate on Not For Profit ID 56-1493577 (designated donate button will allow you to donate in honor of someone).

New Hanover County Senior Resource Center (checks can be sent and payable to NHCSRC in honor of someone.  Please specify the direction to the nutrition program or transportation in honor of Mary Lou Serene)

Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC @ Wilmington( will allow you to donate in memory of someone)

Checks payable to Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC @ Wilmington

1000 Greenfield St

Wilmington, NC 28401

(Friends can place “In memory or Mary Lou Serene” in the memo line of the check.)

Or you can go online and make a gift in her memory as well. and choose “Give In Honor”(There will be a space on the online form to choose to honor Mary Lou).Condolences may be made to the family at