Sandy Tillett Basnight
Sandy Tillett Basnight, 59, of Manteo passed away Sunday, June 10, at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill after a long and courageous fight with illness. A member of Bethany United Methodist Church and a lifelong Outer Banks resident, she was a dedicated and beloved wife, mother and friend who will be greatly missed.
Born Sept. 9, 1947, Sandy was the daughter of the late Hughes Tillett of Wanchese, a commercial fisherman who later worked for NC Sea Grant, and the late Lessie Rogers Tillett, originally of Duck. Sandy was married for 39 years to Marc Basnight of Manteo and was the mother of two daughters: Vicki, 38, and Caroline, 27. She was co-owner and chief financial manager of the family’s Nags Head restaurant, the Lone Cedar Caf/.
Sandy was both mother and best friend to her daughters, who called her “the best mama anyone could ever hope for,” and was an incredible and constant source of support for her husband’s public service as state senator for the 1st Senatorial District. Her family was her true joy and happiness, and they were with her Sunday as she met her Lord.
Antiquing and collecting were among Sandy’s favorite pastimes; she had a booth at the antique mall in Manteo and she often went antiquing with her best friends, Pat Cahoon and her sister-in-law Sarah Owens. Her love of the water meant she could also be found clamming with a rake on a hard, sandy shoal on the back of Pea Island, or shrimping with a small net in front of her house. Sandy’s clam chowder recipe is known and loved throughout Dare County and is served daily at the family’s restaurant.
Sandy was an animal lover who owned three dogs (her favorite was a pug named May), cats and birds, and had horses when she was younger. Voted most athletic by her high school graduating class, Sandy was a fan of baseball and basketball who followed the New York Yankees and the North Carolina Tar Heels. She also was an avid reader.
Sandy is survived by her husband and daughters; her brother, Hughes Tillett, who with his wife Janice of Manteo has two children, Julie Owens and Rex Tillett; and her sister, Candy Daniels, who with her husband Willie Daniels of Wanchese has two children, Sidney and Brandon Daniels.
Funeral services will be held at noon Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at Bethany United Methodist Church, located at 101 Wharf Road in Wanchese. Pastors Bill Cottingham and Bill Holliday will officiate. Burial will follow in the Manteo Cemetery on Wingina Avenue and John Borden Street in Manteo.
Due to Sandy’s love of plants and flowers (she grew orchids and enjoyed flowers of all types), floral arrangements are welcomed at the service. Flowers may be sent to Twiford’s Colony Chapel, 500 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC 27954, 252-473-2449. Those who do not wish to send flowers may send financial contributions in Sandy’s name to Bethany United Methodist Church. The family will receive relatives and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday evening at their home, 381 Mother Vineyard Road in Manteo.