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Bernell M. Knowlin
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Obituary for Bernell M. Knowlin

Bernell Marie Troy Knowlin was born on July 9, 1941 to the late John Franklin Troy Sr. and Curlia Grady Troy in Leland, North Carolina. She departed this earthly life on Wednesday July 26, 2017 at the Brunswick Cove Nursing Center in Leland, NC. A celebration of Bernell’s life was held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Summerville AME Zion Church. Interment followed in Summerville AME Zion Church Cemetery. In addition to her father, she was also preceded in death by her infant son, Kelvin Eugene, a brother, John Franklin Troy Jr. and two sisters: Gwendolyn Troy Lofton and Delores Troy Adams.

Bernell was educated in Phoenix Schools and graduated from Lincoln High school. Bernell was always a fashionista. In pursuit of a career in beauty, after graduating from high school, she attended Winston Salem Beauty College and obtained her beautician’s license. She was married to the late Melvin Knowlin Jr. This union was blessed with three daughters and one son.

Bernell loved her family and she had a heart for serving. She worked diligently as a wife, mother and homemaker. She served not only her family, but other relatives and friends in the community with her cosmetology and childcare skills. She enjoyed cooking, watching television, laughing with her grandchildren, talking on the phone with her sister Marion, and shopping for hats! Bernell would give and sow into the lives of others. Whatever she gave always came back to her, and she was again able to bless others.

Bernell loved the Lord! She was constantly telling others to "have faith in God". She joined Summerville AMEZ Church at an early age. She enjoyed singing and started her Christian walk on the Jr. Choir and the Usher Board. She was an active member of Stewardess Board #1, Women's Foreign Home Missions, Class #2, Kitchen Committee, Homecoming Committee, Senior Choir. Bernell was always delighted to raise money for the church through fundraising! She could be found throughout the community soliciting donations and she was always overwhelmed with joy when the church met or exceeded their project goals. She will forever be remembered in the hearts of those she knew and loved for spreading joy, love and light with her sweet spirit and infectious laugh.

This special daughter of Zion leaves to cherish her memories, three daughters: Stephanie Knowlin of Fuquay Varina, NC, Priscilla Crawley and Sheila Patrick of Leland, NC; mother, Curlia M. Grady Troy of Leland, NC; one sister, Marion Levine of Wilmington; one brother, John Leander Troy of Leland, NC, three sister-in-laws: Mary Lou Knowlin of Hartland, Ida Bell Knowlin of Atlanta, GA and Catherine Troy of Leland, NC; one aunt, Colleen Grady of Baltimore, MD; ten grandchildren, eighteen great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

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Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Davis Funeral Home

901 South 5th. Avenue
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401





11:00 AM
Summerville AME Zion Church

2991 Dogwood Rd NE
Leland, NC 28451


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