Cover photo for Mary Lou Murray Coombs's Obituary
Mary Lou Murray Coombs Profile Photo

Mary Lou Murray Coombs

February 10, 1938 — March 17, 2024

Mount Pleasant

Mary Lou Murray Coombs

Mary Lou Murray Coombs, 86, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, entered into eternal rest Sunday, March 17, 2024. Her Funeral Service will be held Friday, March 22, 2024 in the St. John's Lutheran Church, 5 Clifford Street at 11:00 am.  Interment will follow in Magnolia Cemetery, 70 Cunnington Ave. The family will receive friends Thursday, March 21, 2024 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel.

A Charlestonian through and through, Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Murray Coombs was born in Charleston on February 10, 1938, to John and Irma Murray. She attended Charleston High and was a member of the class of 1955 and then attended The College of Charleston. Mary Lou’s first job was Deputy Clerk of Court for U.S. District Court in Charleston working in the shadow of St. Michael’s Church. Her resume also includes several years at the Determination Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

In 1966, Mary Lou left her beloved Charleston and moved to California, where she married John Wendell Coombs on August 17, 1974. They were married for 46 years before he passed in 2018.

Mary Lou’s love of tennis was by far her greatest joy, and it was rare to find her off the courts. She received her Scuba Diving Certification in 1978 and with that often traveled to the Caribbean and across the world with her husband and friends. She owned and managed a Travel Agency called Strawberry Travel in Mill Valley, California for 18 years. Mary Lou and John moved back to Charleston in 1999 living on the Isle of Palms and the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant.

Mary Lou was co-author of the book “Janie Mitchell, Reliable Cook” along with Lisa Foster published by Post & Courier Publishers. The book is based on the personal recollections of her mother’s family cook (Janie Mitchell) who was born a slave in Charleston in the 1850s. The original composition notebook handwritten by Janie Mitchell was donated to the International African American Museum in 2022.

Mary Lou is survived by her children: Mary Lou “Missy” Jahnz Day (Steve), Cynthia A. McDonough (Chris), Connie A. Webb, Cathie L. Moroski (Mike), Cindy L. Foster (Rhett), Shari A. Lipe (Jeff), fourteen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and her Yorkie, Lulu. She was predeceased by her husband John W. Coombs, daughter Sandy L. Taylor and her sister, Elsa Murray Smith.

Mary Lou was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Charleston, SC.

Mary Lou’s favorite saying was: “If ya can’t have fun, ya can’t have nothin!”

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church of Charleston, SC.
A memorial message may be sent to the family on our website at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou Murray Coombs, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, March 21, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. John's Lutheran Church

5 Clifford St, Charleston, SC 29401

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Friday, March 22, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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