City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Mary Brown Kilburn

Raleigh, North Carolina

Age 87.
Died 11/15/2021.

Mary Brown Kilburn
Mary Brown Kilburn, Ph.D., aged 87, of Raleigh, N.C., passed away in her home on November 15, 2021, surrounded by family after a long decline from dementia.
She is survived by her children, Katherine Kilburn Voynow, Amanda Caroline Kilburn, and their spouses, Jeff Voynow and Pete Bloom. She leaves behind her “little” brother Tom Brown, great aunt Billye Brown, four beloved grandchildren, Clair Ashburn, Mia Fabrizio, Anna Hase, Sophia Hase, and three great-grandchildren, Mary-Eller, Barret, and James Lawson Ashburn. She was preceded in death by her husbands Andy Drozda and Eric Ellwood, Ph.D.
A native southerner, Mary was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and moved to Raleigh in the 1960s. Like many women of her era, she wasn’t expected to go to college, much less earn a Ph.D. As a teenager, her parents were summoned for a meeting with the principal. They suspected Mary had cheated on her I.Q. test, having never seen a score that high. Needless to say, she hadn’t. Neither ignorance, poverty, nor a repressive fundamentalist religious background could keep her down. Mary rose above them all and worked to elevate others. As a teenager, she reigned as a beauty queen and sang on the radio. Soon she would prove she was more than a pretty face, much more.
Marrying a pastor in December of 1960, Mary moved to Raleigh N.C, where she became involved in the civil rights movement. There, her call to advocacy deepened and widened. Mary founded the North Carolina Consumers Council, was a founding President of the Capital Area Psychologist, co-founder, and two-term President of N.C. Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers Inc.
In recognition of her service to the psychology profession, she was awarded the Outstanding Service Award by the Capital Area Psychologists in 1985, the YMCA Human Services Award in 2001 by the Academy of Women, the Presidential Heiser Award in 2001 by the APA, and the Mary Clark Award by the NCAPA in 2001. Additionally, her service on boards and committees for passions she enjoyed and causes she cared about are too numerous to count. And, tallied up in some other realm are the myriad of times she offered compassionate support, targeted insight, and clear direction to her patients in her private practice. Yet, through it all, her faith and love for humanity guided her actions and her heart.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Lucy Daniels Center
A celebration of her life will be held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Sat. January 29, at 2 pm. She will be interred in Pullen’s Siler Gardens Columbarium at a private family gathering.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an affordable alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations