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Memorial Service for DLC Founder, Mary Whaley Paul

DURHAM: Mary Elizabeth Jones Whaley Paul, 90, passed away Saturday, August 20th, at Charles House Winmore Residence. Born in Wake County on June 17, 1926, Ms. Paul was the daughter of the late, Frank Thomas Jones, Sr. and Elizabeth Jones. She was also preceded in death by her first husband, Marion Whaley and her second husband, Dale Paul.

Born in Apex, NC, Mrs. Paul was a lifelong resident of Durham. She graduated from Braggtown School, class of 1944.

After high school Mrs. Paul worked as a teller at Fidelity Bank in Durham, and later pursued a distinguished civil service career with the Federal Government, retiring in 1989 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park.

Her Christian faith sustained her life. Her lifelong love of reading, her kind nature and her habit of always helping others led her to teach illiterate adults to read, which culminated in her founding what is now known as the Durham Literacy Center.

Over the past three decades, the Durham Literacy Center has helped more than 16,000 residents vastly improve their lives as a result of enhanced reading skills. In 2010, US Representative David Price (NC) recognized the 25th anniversary of the Durham Literacy Center and honored Mrs. Paul in Congress in Washington, DC in recognition of her significant contributions to the founding and success of the Center.

Surviving descendants of Mrs. Paul are her son, Marion Glenn Whaley, daughter, Carol Whaley Addassi, and grandsons Rahul Rutanen-Whaley and Vishal Rutanen-Whaley.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, August 23rd at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Durham Literacy Center, P.O. Box 52209, Durham, NC 27717 or

Graveside Service Details: 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Woodlawn Memorial Park 2107 Liberty Street Durham, NC 27703-2223

Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Friend: You are loved, you are missed.

Learn more or share your thoughts with Mary's family here by clicking here.
​Contact us:​


Phone: (919) 489-8383  




Location: 1905 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707


Mailing address:  PO Box 52209, Durham, NC 27717


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The Durham Literacy Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 56-1479534.