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Mary Margaret Conard Zeller, 85

November 5, 1935 - January 2, 2021


Mary Zeller died on January 2 after a brief illness. She had lived her whole life in Belle Mead.

Mary was born on November 5, 1935 to Samuel Lefferts Conard and Mary Stryker Conard, the fourth of six children. Mary was a lifelong member of Harlingen Reformed Church, where her Christian service included the Christian Endeavor as a young adult, the Lady’s Aid Society, the Harvest Home Celebration each July, the Holy Rollers Quilters club, and many bazaars, meals, fundraising activities, and memorial services.


She and her husband, Kenneth William Zeller, were married in 1963 and spent their early married life literally building a house while they made their life together. Mary had no problem rolling up her sleeves to get work done — she painted the house and buildings, sanded floorboards, and tore down a chimney. She was a no-nonsense kind of woman — reliable, resourceful, practical, and stubborn, but above all caring and loving.


She was an excellent gardener, quilter, and a devoted fan of the New York Yankees. She was known far and wide for her delicious potato salad, blue ribbon-worthy pies, chocolate chip cookies, pound cake, Christmas Stollen, and the world’s best roast chicken with pepper relish. She let her family know how much she loved them by cooking with love.


In later life, she and her husband split time between their home in Belle Mead and their second home near Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, where they could be close to their sons and grandchildren. She was always outside, walking the property or driving the Gator around to pick up sticks and keep the place looking nice. She loved spending time in the shop, keeping it cozy in the winter by feeding the wood burning stove.


Mary was preceded in death by her parents and two of her brothers: S. Robert Conard and Willis S. Conard. She is survived by two brothers: George (Judy) Conard of Flemington and Douglas (Sondra) Conard of Spencer, Iowa; and her sister Hannah (Jay) Drake of Hillsborough.


She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Kenneth William Zeller of Belle Mead; two sons: Kenneth Von Zeller of Mount Airy, North Carolina and Kevin William (Kristen) Zeller of Winston Salem, North Carolina; and grandchildren: William, Nathan, Zachary, Owen, and Anna Zeller.


She lived a wonderful life on her terms, full of perpetual action where she gained pride from service, hard work, and bringing happiness to others. She will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and community. A memorial service will be held at Harlingen Reformed Church at a future date when it is safer to gather. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Harlingen Church or Horizons Residential Care Center of Rural Hall, North Carolina.