Mary Lou Beam Kiser

April 30, 2022

CHARLOTTE – Mary Lou Beam Kiser, 94, of Charlotte, NC, entered her heavenly home on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at the Wayne T. Patrick Hospice House in Rock Hill, SC.  Born in Gaston County, NC, in 1927, she was the eldest daughter of Grady Wiley and Myrtle Sellers Beam of Cherryville, NC.  

Mary Lou graduated from Tryon High School in Gaston County, NC.  She married J.B. Kiser, her spouse of 74 years in 1947 and moved to Charlotte, NC.   After 25 years working for Belk Store Services in the credit department, Mary Lou retired to travel and enjoy life.

Mary Lou devoted her life to unselfish acts of kindness to her family, friends, and church.  She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandsons.  Mary Lou served many years as a nursery worker at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and assisted with many Luther League meals on Sunday evenings.  She was also an active member of the Women’s Circle Groups. Apart from her family and church, her garden was her happy place, and the food she cooked from it was her love language; she was known as a wonderful cook.

Mary Lou leaves behind to treasure her memories her daughter, Deborah Cornwell and her husband, Glenn of Rock Hill, SC; her son, Jim Kiser and his wife, Lisa of Seneca, SC; three grandchildren, Lauren Wright and her husband, William F. Wright, MD of Waxhaw, NC, Jacob Kiser and his wife, Jessie of Central, SC, Andrew Kiser and his wife, Nicole of Newnan, GA and three great-grandsons, Liam, Declan, and Kellan Wright of Waxhaw, NC.  Also surviving are her sister, Katherine Mills of Inman, SC, and brother, Ralph Beam and his wife, Lou Etta of Lexington, NC.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Benny Sue Tate and brother, William Beam.

A service to celebrate the life of Mary Lou will be held at 1:30 PM on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Mary Lou to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1001 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC  28207 or The American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at

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  • John Rudisill

    My condolences to Deborah on the passing of her parents in such a rapid consecutive manner. I always believed my family was related to J.B. and Mary Lou on the Beam side (via Cherryville and Gaston County), but my genealogy does not support that. Nevertheless, they were like uncle and aunt to me, and they were great friends of my father, Jake Rudisill. J.B. gave my twin brother Jake and me our first haircuts, and hundreds more after that. I looked forward to going uptown to the Duke Power Building, getting our haircuts, and drooping off our 8mm film rolls or Kodak film to be developed at Red's Soda Shop. They generously brought tomatoes and the best pole beans to my family for years. J.B. and I went to Duke basketball games, and he volunteered his time and skill as a certified basketball referee to officiate a scrimmage for a church high school team I coached. Mary Lou was very devoted to him, and they lived a beautiful three-quarters of a century loving each other, together almost to the very end.