School 17

Mary Lee (Tipton) Wait

February 12, 1942 ~ September 14, 2022 (age 80)


Candler - Mary Lee Tipton Wait, born on 2/12/42, lost her battle with Alzheimer’s Disease on 9/14/22 at the age of 80.  Though the bout was fixed from the start, she fought until the very end with a fiery spirit that will be missed, along with her quick wit and droll sense of humor, which were silenced early-on in the fight.

Mary Lee Tipton was born and raised in west Asheville where she graduated from Erwin High School in 1960.  Though she would go on to raise Jets, she always had the spirit of a Warrior.  With nothing to her name but the will to succeed, she put herself through college, graduating from Appalachian State Teachers College in 1964. 

Mary married Sidney Lance Wait on 6/5/1965, they were married 57 years at her passing.  Lance and Mary settled in Candler, NC where they raised their four children – Steve (Susan) Wait of Candler, Tony (Candy) Wait of Canton, Karen (Todd) Thomas of Clayton, GA and Jeff (Allie) Wait of Candler.  Mary is survived by her husband, children, 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grand.

Mary taught for many years at Pisgah Elementary School in Candler.  She was a long-time member of White Rock Baptist Church, right across the road from the school.  This little area of Upper Hominy is where she leaves her legacy.  Her tough-love approach with children and considerable moxie with adults has left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of countless members of the community.

Mary’s final days were spent in the kind care of the men and women at Autumn Care of Waynesville.  The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the staff for their gentle support throughout these difficult months.

Mary Wait was a force to be reckoned with and though she was unable to realize it in her final days, she lived a life to be proud of.  With any luck, her strength and spirit will live on in the many lives she touched.  Without a doubt, she will be loved always and missed dearly by those closest to her.

A memorial service for Mary will be held at 3pm on Saturday, September 24, 2022 in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary’s name to White Rock Baptist Church, Samaritan Pathfinders Fund, PO Box 1277 Candler, NC 28715.

The care of Mrs. Wait has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Canton.


Memorial Service
September 24, 2022

3:00 PM
Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home
3715 Asheville Hwy
Canton, NC 28716

Visitation following service
September 24, 2022

Wells Funeral Home - Canton
3715 Asheville Highway
Canton, NC 28716

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