Life Story for
Mary "Lou" Kelbaugh
Mary Louise “Lou” Harbison Kelbaugh, 86, of Charlotte passed away peacefully on January 19, 2018, at Legacy Heights Senior Living Community after a long decline due to dementia.
She was a wonderful wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, mother-in-law, and friend.
Lou was born on January 7, 1932 in Shelby, NC to the late Dr. John William and Flora Elizabeth (Clarke) Harbison.
She graduated from Greensboro College in 1954 with a major in Religious Education and a minor in Music.
She married Ronald W. Dickson in 1955 and raised three children: Liz, Cynthia Jean and Will. In 1985 she married Pete M. Ferguson, who passed away in 1997. In 2001, she married James W. Kelbaugh.
Her career included kindergarten teacher, homemaker, real estate agent, secretary at the Charlotte Drug Education Center, and secretary at the First United Methodist Church in Charlotte; and volunteering at The Red Cross.
Lou was a life-long Methodist, and a founding member of Sharon United Methodist Church (UMC) since 1967. She was the first President of the United Methodist Women at Sharon UMC , held other leadership positions over the years, and was dedicated to the various mission projects. Lou was also an active member of the choir for 40 years. She had a beautiful alto voice and loved to sing.
Lou radiated love, faith, and kindness to all who knew her. She was a sweetheart and kept her sweet personality until the end. She enjoyed spending time in the mountains at her home at the Lake Junaluska Assembly Center in Lake Junaluska, NC. She enjoyed music, reading, cooking, gardening, and wood carving.
Lou is survived by her husband, James W. Kelbaugh, of Matthews, daughter Elizabeth “Liz” Dickson and her husband Craig Richardson of Elmore, VT; daughter Cynthia Jean Dickson Lindberg and granddaughter Sarah Lindberg of Brooklyn, NY; and son John “Will” Dickson of Charlotte. She is also survived by her stepchildren Jeffrey and Tammy Kelbaugh of Waxhaw, NC; Joy and Robert Wheeler of Indian Land, SC; Ann and Joe Mann of Raleigh, NC; Kathy and Roy Beeson of Atlanta, GA; Tim and Ellen Ferguson of Bahama, NC; Paul Ferguson of Dallas, NC; and their children and grandchildren.
The family gives special thanks to the staff at Legacy Heights Senior Living Community in Ballantyne, and to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region for their dedicated care and support.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Lou’s memory be sent to Sharon United Methodist Church, 4411 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28211; Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 East Seventh Street, Charlotte, NC 28204 or donatehospice.org; Lake Junaluska Associates, PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745; or a charity of your choice.