Mrs. Erma Lee Dixon Cooke Carter

Published 3:08 pm Friday, August 8, 2008

By Staff
Mrs. Erma Lee Dixon Cooke Carter, 95, died Wednesday, August 6, 2008.
A graveside service will be conducted Saturday at 4 p.m. in Pinewood Memorial Park.
Erma Lee was born in Greenville on July 19, 1913 to J.E. Dixon and Lillie McGowan Dixon, and graduated from Greenville High School. As a child of the Great Depression, Erma Lee learned early and fast the work ethic that remained with her throughout her life. During her teens she did hair styling in private homes for twenty-five cents a customer. In 1936 she married Joseph Cooke of Fountain, N.C. In 1943 they moved to Norfolk, Va., where Erma Lee opened Erma Lee’s Beauty Shop. They relocated to Washington, N.C. in 1955 and she opened Erma Lee’s Beauty Shop in downtown Washington, operating the business for 50 years until 2005.
During her years in Washington, in addition to maintaining her salon, Erma Lee purchased six homes in the historic district, saving them from demolition, painting the houses at night after working all day. She converted the homes into rental apartments. In 1962, after the death of her first husband, Erma Lee married Willie Carter. The couple traveled extensively to Europe, Asia, Hawaii, and the Caribbean until Willie’s death in 1990. Her favorite vacation spot was Las Vegas, Nevada with its one-arm bandits.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, James and Robert Dixon, and sisters, Lillie Mae Dixon Gardner and Gaynell Dixon Speight Dixon.
She is survived by: her daughter, Vicki Cooke Dotson and husband, Jack; grandchildren, Joseph Lee Dotson, Arvel Jack Dotson, Jr. and wife, Betty Jean, and Leigh Dotson Woolard; great-grandchildren, Adam and Jessica Dotson, Aiko Dills, Joseph Lee Dotson, Jr., and Grayce Woolard; great-great-grandchildren, Andrew Jack Dotson and Ava Lee Gray; sister, Robbie Dixon Burbage and husband, Phillip.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Research Fund, ECU Medical Foundation, 525 Moye Blvd., Greenville, NC 27834.
Arrangements by Wilkerson Funeral Home and Crematory, Greenville.
Paid Obituary