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Mary Counts Zobel

January 16, 1929 - July 17, 2021

Mary Keller Counts Zobel, wife of Rear Admiral William Marshall Zobel, United States Navy died Saturday, July 17, 2021. She was born in Moultrie, GA on January 16, 1929 to the late Walter B. Counts and Fairey Keller Counts.

In her early years, Mary lived a short time in Orangeburg, SC but spent the majority of her youth in Charleston, SC. Following her Mother’s death, she spent her last year of high school in Atlanta, and graduated from Druid Hills High School in 1946. After four happy years at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC, she graduated in 1950 with a BA in Home Economics. Her association with the College (now a University) and the friends she made there, lasted a lifetime. In 1952, she met her naval officer future husband at a friend’s wedding in Marion, SC. In 1953, she began a marriage that lasted for 68 years. She became a Navy wife and mother of three boys. After 31 years in the “toughest job in the Navy”, living in several states and visiting countries around the world, she and her Admiral returned to Charleston in 1987 to new work and adventures. Mary was a volunteer for over twenty years conducting visits through the historic Nathaniel Russell House and lecturing on early Charleston life and families. She was on the Board of Managers of the Ladies Benevolent Society, the Executive Board of Winthrop University, the Board of the Friends and Needed Supporters of the Charleston Museum, a member of the Charleston Garden Club, and active in Grace Episcopal Church. Mary was also a member of the golfing “Nine-Holers” at the Country Club of Charleston. In 2013, Mary and Bill left Charleston and moved north to the Westminster Canterbury Retirement Center in Virginia Beach to be closer to their three sons and families.

Mary was preceded in death by her brother, Walter B. Counts Jr. and her sister, Faye Counts Craigie. She is survived by her husband; three boys, Skip, David (Anne) and Jim (Colleen); and five grandchildren, Justin, Marshall, Colton, Gwen, and Josie. She will be sorely missed.

Memorials may be made to Grace Episcopal Church and the Ladies Benevolent Society in Charleston. A Memorial Service/Celebration of Life will be held at 1 pm on Friday, 30 July 2021 at the Westminster Canterbury Retirement Center on Shore Drive. Burial will be at a later date.

Service Information

Memorial Information

Date: Friday, July 30, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm


Westminster Canterbury

3100 Shore Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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