Mrs. Pinear Mae “Pat” Windley Epps
Published 11:54 am Tuesday, November 25, 2008
EDENTON, NC — Mrs. Pinear Mae “Pat” Windley Epps , 84, of 310 White Oak Drive, Edenton, died Sunday, November 23, 2008, in her home after a courageous battle with cancer. She was the widow of Rev. Ralph I. Epps, her husband of 60 years, who died in January of this year.
Pinear Mae Windley was born in the Yeatesville community of Beaufort County, NC, to Charles Sylvester “Wes” Windley and Ella Keech Windley. She graduated in 1940 from Bath High School and in 1945 from East Carolina Teachers’ College, now ECU. She began her teaching career at Brogden High School in Dudley, NC, and continued for more than 40 years, with time out to raise her children, to teach gifted education, social studies, and home economics in secondary schools all over Eastern North Carolina, including Weldon, Orrum, Alamance County, Rocky Mount, Zebulon, Washington, and Columbia. In the early 1970’s, she was the director of Operation OURS in Graham, a program established to assist families living in subsidized housing. Under her direction, the program offered activities for senior citizens, childcare, after-school programs, and classes in sewing, cooking, and parenting.
In 1947, she married Ralph Isaac Epps, a student pastor studying at Duke Divinity School. They served together in ministry in Stem, Maxton, Laurel Hill, Grifton, Weldon, Fairmont, Mebane, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Washington, and Edenton, becoming known to their congregations as “Preacher &Pat”, a true team. Until her illness prevented her from continuing to serve, she taught Sunday School and played the piano for services at Bethany UMC in Belvidere, her husband’s last charge. She sang in church choirs and was active in United Methodist Women.
Mrs. Epps is survived by her children, Barbara Tuttle of Richmond, VA, Ralph Isaac, Jr., of Edenton, and Karen Owens of Raleigh; her grandchildren, Carolyn Tuttle, Debbie T. Phillips and husband Jon, David Epps, Malia Epps, and Jonathan Owens. She is also survived by her brother, Charles “C.B.” Windley and wife Jean of Yeatesville, her sister, Barbara “Bobbie” Windley of Oxford, her brother-in-law, Case Van Wyk of Terra Ceia, and a loving family of nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sisters, Lucille Windley and husband James, Ethial Stell and husband Otis, and Ellene Van Wyk.
The family will receive friends in Edenton United Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 26, from noon until funeral services begin at 2 p.m. Rev. Charles Moseley and Rev. Ed Rutenkroger will officiate. Burial will follow at Beaver Hill Cemetery.
Swindell Funeral and Cremation Services of Hertford is serving the family.