Obituary for Marie Hurst Lomac

Marie Hurst Lomac, 74, a lifelong resident of Moore County, passed peacefully at Quail Haven Village on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

Marie was born June 18, 1947, to the late Albert D. Hurst, Sr. and Mary O’Callaghan Hurst of Southern Pines. Marie arrived two minutes before her twin sister Barbara, thereby making her the oldest of the six Hurst children. She was a graduate of East Southern Pines High School class of 1965 and went on to earn her Nursing Degree from the Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte. To say that Marie touched and inspired many persons during her lifetime would be an understatement. A double leg amputee from age 8, Marie spent much of her childhood in a wheelchair or on crutches. Handicapped? No way. She and her late brother Al, who suffered from polio, romped, and played in the “back field” and nearby woods with reckless abandon, much to the delight of friends and family. Apparently, someone must have forgotten to inform Marie and Al of their handicapped status.                                   

Marie’s indomitable spirit combined with a strong-willed sense of determination developed at such a young age would carry her through the rest of her life. She was a teenager when she was fitted for her first set of prosthesis. The entire community rallied around Marie and donated to the family to assist with the cost of the prosthesis and accompanying medical expenses. In particular the family remembers the efforts of the Southern Pines Fire Department and National Guard, both in which her father was an active member, for conducting raffles and other events that raised money to benefit Marie and her family. In 1966, Marie was featured in a Look magazine article that documented her efforts to be the first double amputee to attend nursing school in the US. The article highlighted her “bounce and bravado” along with a “special rapport” with patients that was downright infectious. In 1968, Marie was awarded the Golden Plate of Achievement by the American Academy of Achievement during a ceremony in Dallas. The organization is still in existence today and honors extraordinary young Americans whose vision and perseverance allowed them to achieve their dreams despite having to endure major hardships and setbacks along the way.

Marie’s nursing career spanned nearly 30 years with all of her service at the former Moore Memorial Hospital in Pinehurst. She began in pediatrics and then transitioned to the operating room before finding her real niche in the critical care unit. Marie finished her nursing career in the emergency room. Through it all, she never wavered in her passion to care for the patients under her watch. Although Marie was certainly very compassionate in her role as a nurse, she was not reluctant to be a tough taskmaster when it came to pushing patients to do just a little bit more to aid in their recovery. That tough love is vintage Marie.

In retirement, she chose to remain quite active. She became a master gardener and used her knowledge and skills in that area to help other aspiring gardeners. She even purchased a small pick-up to transport the tools of her trade. Later, Marie became a member of the Page United Methodist Church in Aberdeen. She found much needed solace and comfort in the church that ultimately renewed her sense of faith during times of personal crisis. Marie’s lifetime of service continued through her volunteer work at the church’s food bank and community outreach programs.

In addition to her parents, Marie was preceded in death by her brothers Al Hurst and Jerry Hurst.

Marie is survived by her twin sister, Barbara Hardy (Stan) of Nellysford, VA; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Hurst of Wilmington; brothers Ricky Hurst (Kam), of Derby; and Chuck Hurst (Emmy), of Wake Forest; along with several nieces and nephews.

Humble and stubborn to the end, Marie requested no public memorial service or tribute. To honor her wishes, the family will be holding a private celebration of life for Marie at a later date.

Online condolences or remembrances may be made at

Marie supported many worthy charities, with three particularly close to her heart: Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, Samaritan’s Purse and Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please consider a donation in her honor or to a charity of your choice.

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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