WILMINGTON — Lillian Phelps Batson, 94, beloved mother of Stephanie Batson Croom and George Batson, slipped away quietly and confidently into life eternal Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27, 2020.
Born Sept. 9, 1926, in the Green Swamp, Brunswick County, Lillian celebrated her 94th birthday in the company of friends and family at The Addison of Indian Trail.
The daughter of George and Bertha Phelps, Lillian was one of seven siblings. “Third from the top and fourth from the bottom” was how she located herself in the family. Growing up on a farm deep in the Green Swamp, she learned early the value of family, food and faith.
Survived by her children, Stephanie (Jim Croom) and George (Jo Batson); and sister, Flossie Clemmons, Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, George and Bertha Phelps; husband, Roosevelt Batson; dear companion and friend, Clarence “Buddy” Davis; sister, Vivian Phelps; and all of her brothers, Warren, Floyd, Charlie and Cecil.
Anyone who knew Lillian, knew how very proud she was of her family. From the littlest one, to the oldest of the bunch, she kept up with their lives and special occasions. She was an avid sender of cards and never missed a birthday of her nieces and nephews, friends and family. When the grandchildren came along, she had a new batch of little ones to love, and they knew she loved them unconditionally: David and Emily Batson (children, Winnie Kate and Nate), Joshua and Abby Batson, Noah Batson and Rachel O’Leary and Rosanna Croom. No matter where they traveled or how far they roamed, they knew how much she loved them. And she knew that she was loved.
Cooking for her family brought her (and us!) great joy. Fried chicken or spots, collards, green beans, a pot of rice and biscuits were favorites eclipsed only by her amazing homemade banana pudding. She rarely used a recipe, and every meal included a generous portion of love.
Lillian trusted in God and God never failed her. Life as a single mom wasn’t easy, but God provided for her family in ways that she sometimes couldn’t believe. She was blessed with a great sense of humor, a steadfast faith that was lived out day by day and toward the end, moment by moment. She entered into God’s loving embrace gracefully, full of confidence and expectation.
Graveside services will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, at Prospect Church Cemetery, 1351 Makatoka Road, N.W., Supply. Pallbearers will be grandsons, David, Joshua and Noah Batson; and nephews, Brian Clemmons, Arty Phelps and Jimmy Phelps. The service will be led by the Rev. Travis Byrd and Veronica Byrd.
In lieu of flowers, memorial suggestions are The Addison of Indian Trail, 5306 Secrest Shortcut Road, Monroe, NC 28110; Temple Baptist Church, 1801 Market St., Wilmington, NC 28401; Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina, 400 Flemington Drive, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28459; or charity of your choosing.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.