Wilma Dell Phillips Griffin

Published 12:05 am Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wilma Dell Phillips Griffin, 97, of Jamesville, passed away at her home on July 12, 2012. She was born Feb. 10, 1915, in Pilot (Franklin County) to William Ivan and Ella Elizabeth Green Phillips. She married Milton Warren Griffin of Farm Life on June 12, 1940, at Pilot Baptist Church. They were married 71 years and lived in Martin County for 67 years before his death on Nov. 16, 2011. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her siblings and their spouses: Darnell Phillips Spann, Yvonne Phillips Eddy and husband Leroy, Rondal Phillips and wife Sadie, Dexrel Phillips and wife Winnie, and Valdoie Phillips and wife Ruby.

She is survived by her children and their spouses: Michael and Sunny Griffin of Winston-Salem; Diane and Dr. Joseph Griffin of Augusta, Ga.; Phil and Sharon Griffin of Jamesville; and Corinne and Stephen Russell of Raleigh. She is also survived by a brother-in-law, Calvin Spann of Pilot, and a sister-in-law, Bernice Griffin, of Farm Life.

Also surviving are grandchildren, spouses and great-grandchildren: Dr. Keith and Stacey Griffin with their children, Kagan and Alex, of Concord; Patricia and Brian Gillispie with their children, Lydia, Mac and Griffin of Winston-Salem; Ken and Elizabeth Griffin with their children, Heather, Hollis and Melanie of Canton, Conn.; Dr. Chris and Stephania Griffin with their daughter, Aralyn of Concord; Dr. Terrell Russell and Kelly Marks with their son, Eli of Chapel Hill; Stephanie Griffin of Durham; Philip and Amanda Griffin of Durham; Kaylor Russell of Denver, Colo.; and Megan Griffin of Jamesville. Wilma also has many beloved nieces and nephews and extended family.

Wilma graduated from Franklin County Schools, received degrees from Campbell College and Western Carolina Teachers College, then proceeded to receive three Masters degrees from East Carolina University. She taught at Pearce’s School in Franklin County. After she moved to Martin County, she taught at Farm Life School, Jamesville School and Bear Grass School. Wilma served as Supervisor of Libraries for Martin County Public Schools for more than 10 years before her retirement in 1976. She was a member of Cedar Branch Baptist Church in Jamesville and spent lots of time serving in the church library after her retirement. Wilma was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and the Jamesville Women’s Club.

Wilma had remarkable talents, interests and energy. She farmed alongside her husband and children and taught school and Sunday School. She was a needle crafter, quilter, crocheter, embroiderer, painter, pianist, vocalist, writer, gardener, canner and traveler. She loved maps, crossword puzzles, collecting words and watching her grandchildren play baseball, soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, softball and run track. She traveled to all 50 states and Europe.

All who met Wilma were improved by their contact. She inspired others to be better students and people. Her expectations were high and she caused people to work hard to live up to her expectations without raising her voice. She was a treasure and will be missed greatly by her family and anyone who knew her.

A celebration of Wilma’s life will be held at Cedar Branch Baptist Church beginning at 4:30 p.m. today. Prior to the services, the family will receive visitors in the church sanctuary beginning at 3 p.m. Burial will follow at Tice Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Jamesville Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 17, Jamesville, NC 27846 or Cedar Branch Baptist Church, 2407 N.C. Highway 171, Jamesville, NC 27846.

The family thanks you for all the love, kindness and support you have given.