|Birth: ||Apr. 13, 1915|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Feb. 3, 2008|
North Carolina, USA
Married to Roy Jerome Stilwell, Sr
In remembering our Mom, Mary Deane Cox Stilwell, we think what a special person, truly an angel sent to guide and inspire our family and friends. She was born a miracle baby, in Union County, North Carolina in 1915 at a time when a 2-pound baby was not expected to make it. Her body was amazingly strong and her spirit even stronger. The second child of Peter Pearl Cox (he was called Peter - but grave is marked Pritchard) and Addie Frances Mullis, Deane was blessed with a loving family of 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Bert, Louis, Gib, Libby, Willard and Neva completed the Cox family, all who have preceded her in death except for Libby.
At the very tender age of 18, her family was ladened with the death of their mother, Addie. Only months before, Addie had given birth to a stillborn child and Addie's body never recovered from the difficult birth. The family was charged with raising the younger children, Libby, Willard, and Neva until they were strong enough to support themselves. Peter Pearl Cox was a salesman who was capable of selling just about anything, but this family also faced the depression where money was scarce. Peter Pearl traveled throughout the South, moving his family from one location to another in an effort to provide enough to raise seven children without a wife. Eventually, the family settled down in Charlotte, where Deane and Bert accepted full responsibility for Willard and Neva.
In 1937, Deane met Roy Jerome Stilwell at E T James Candy Co. She was working as a candy wrapper and he was a candy maker. After 3 years of courtship, this loving relationship was changed to a life long commitment (over 67 years) of marriage on November 30, 1940. They were married at her sister, Bert's home in Briarhill (originally located near the Charlotte airport). Due to suit alterations, Roy arrived late to the event. About 15 close friends and family attended the wedding.
Within a year, their family was started with the birth of Carolyn Frances and then 14 months later Mary Lou. After a 10 year lull, the birth of Roy Jerome, Jr., then another son 18 months later James Benjamin, then a daughter 17 months later, Elizabeth Anne and finally 3 years later the last daughter, Nancy Deane. The family was completed by the adoption of Joseph David in 1969.
The Stilwell household was always bubbling and filled with laughter, but hard work was not a stranger in this household. CHORES were part of the daily living. Something always needed cleaning, sorting, planting, pulling, picking, or replacing. Food was always being prepared and the garden was a way of life for a family of this size. There were always cats, dogs, and horses (sometimes cows) to feed. Deane and Roy worked hard to provide for their large family.
During these years, Deane stayed busy with not only raising a family, but in conjunction with Roy, they created the magical community of Whippoorwill Hills. First, they traded their first home on Wilmont Road with their parents for Roy's childhood home and farmland. Then, in partnership with two friends, Roy and Deane built Whippoorwill Lake around which they created a beautiful thriving neighborhood. Most of these neighbors and their children became lifelong friends.
Many celebrations were held along Whippoorwill Lake from Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day Neighborhood Picnics. Many family reunions were held lakeside with activities to include: fishing, swimming, baseball, badminton, horseshoes, and of course, plenty of food and drinks. The marriage of Elizabeth (Beth) and Douglas Dover was conducted along the banks of Whippoorwill Lake on a very warm June day in 1979.
Since Deane had a natural knack for caretaking, she made a decision to return to school at Central Piedmont Community College to obtain a license as a nurse. Deane offered her nursing skills to all in need from her father-in-law, Thomas Luther Stilwell to a neighborhood child with a scrape or bump and even brought into her home for extended care, Aunt Maggie Savage. She would visit people in hospital religiously and attend to family medical needs no matter how great or small.
During her first year of nursing, she worked at Presbyterian Hospital, but after about a year of service, found third shift work too taxing. She then decided to serve as a private duty nurse, and worked for Mrs. Alexander. For many years, she worked as the first floor nurse at Hawthorne Nursing Center until she retired. She was totally dedicated to her career and gave her all to the people she served.
Her church, Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, held a special place in her heart – for the love of God was very important to her family life. Deane served as a Cub Scout Den Mother. She served in the Women of the Church as a circle leader. She served in the Crisis Assistance Ministry. She served on the Loaves and Fishes Program. She served as an advocate for the Alexander Children's Center. She served as a Sunday School Teacher. She was leader and member of the Query McDowell Sunday School class. Deane Stilwell was recognized with an Honorary Life Membership for the Women of the Presbyterian Church, USA on January 18, 1987.
Traveling was an important aspect of Deane's life. She traveled throughout the world, many times taking her entire family. Her travels included, Italy, Germany, Greece, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Mexico and most of the United States. In 1967, the family of 6 kids plus Mom and Dad, loaded up the family car, a 1966 Ford Fairlane with no air conditioning – camping and making sandwiches all the way to the World's Fair in Montreal Canada. In 1969, the family made a cross country trek to California in a Ford Galaxy 500 station wagon – this time with air conditioning. These cherished memories of these travels were engraved in memory of all her children.
Deane loved life and fully participated in every aspect of it. She loved cooking, traveling, gardening, playing games – Canasta with Eloise or Joe – bridge with the entire family, children's games, crafts, sewing, taking walks (hiking) with the entire tribe, and so much more. She loved cooking from scratch – biscuits and teaching her children and grandchildren how to make them.
Mary Deane Cox Stilwell leaves her family and friends praying for one more special moment – one more laugh, one more game, one more trip, one more quilt, one more walk, or one more "I love you". Deane celebrated life with all her heart and she will be forever with us in our memories.
Pearl Pritchard Cox (1880 - 1959)
Addie Frances Mullis Cox (1887 - 1933)
Bert Cox Killough (1911 - 1996)*
Mary Deane Cox Stilwell (1915 - 2008)
James Lewis Cox (1917 - 1986)*
Gilbert Melton Cox (1921 - 1983)*
Frances Willard Cox Wilmore (1923 - 1999)*
Steele Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery
North Carolina, USA
Maintained by: E Dover
Originally Created by: t. stephens
Record added: Dec 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62843286
Added: Aug. 30, 2011