Elsie Orrell Tilson, of Wilmington, died Nov. 4, 2015, after a brief illness. She was 90.
Elsie was married over 62 years to Charles Vincent Tilson Jr., who died Feb. 25, 2009. Elsie was born June 23, 1925, in Wilmington, to Earl Hennings and Bessie Bene Hayes Orrell, of Masonboro and Gatesville, respectively.
Elsie is survived by her brother, Thomas Hofler Orrell, of Bermuda Run; son and daughter-in-law, Earl Vincent and Olivia Cuttino Tilson, of Matthews; granddaughter, Olivia Hayes, married to Zachary Boylston, of Chapel Hill; and grandson Edward Vincent Tilson, of Charlotte.
After graduation from New Hanover High School, Elsie worked at the Atlantic Coast Line corporate office in downtown Wilmington as an executive assistant. Later, she served over 20 years as executive secretary to the Junior League of Wilmington.
Charles and Elsie were longtime members of Winter Park Baptist Church. For decades, Elsie led the Doris Walters Circle of the Women’s Missionary Union. She taught women’s Sunday school classes many years and served as church clerk. Prior to joining Winter Park Baptist Church, Charles and Elsie attended First Baptist Church where they were involved in numerous activities.
“My mother and father were inseparable and complemented each other in many wonderful ways,” said their son. “Mama had a keen mind and was passionate about family and enjoyed conversations with friends of all ages. She was genuine and sincere and always strived to look and be at her best. Her grandchildren, Hayes and Evin, were the apple of her eye. We will all miss her vitality, spunk, sense of humor and unconditional love.”
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at Andrews Mortuary and Crematory, Market Street Chapel. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at Winter Park Baptist Church led by the Rev. Mark Teachey, associate pastor for Senior Adult and Caring Ministry. Interment will follow at Oleander Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Zachary Michael Boylston, of Chapel Hill; James Craig Hardin Jr., of Charlotte; Adam Spencer Katz, of Wilmington; Robert Glenn Morton III, of Kennesaw, Georgia; Edward Vincent Tilson, of Charlotte; and Anthony Ward Westbrook, of Winterville.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Charles and Elsie Tilson Endowed Scholarship at Wingate University, Office of Resource Development, Campus Box 3071, Wingate, NC 28174 (704) 233-8828; the Bess Hayes Orrell Endowed Scholarship at Chowan University, Development Office, One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC 27855 (252) 398-6500; or Winter Park Baptist Church designated for WMU Missions, 4700 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 791-4725. Condolences may be sent to Vint Tilson, Wingate University, Campus Box 3071, Wingate, NC 28174 firstname.lastname@example.org (704) 361-0342.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.
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