Frances Stafford Heath (94) of 1840 Brookwood Avenue passed away on Thursday, July 15, 2021. She was the only child of William and Grace Coley Stafford, both deceased, and grew up in rural Guilford County. She was the wife, of 71 years, to Raymond Edward Heath Sr., who survives. Also surviving are children Emily Alexander and husband, Dr. David Alexander of Morganton, NC; Raymond Edward Heath Jr. and wife Kim Heath of Colorado Springs, CO; and William Stafford Heath and wife, Paula Heath of Chesapeake, VA. She also leaves eight grandchildren: John Alexander of Greensboro, NC, Jason Alexander of Morganton, NC, Stephanie Linsley of Michigan, Stacie Nankervis of Florida, Mitchell Heath of Corvallis, OR, Mackenzie Heath of New York, Candace McNeely of Leland, NC and Will Heath of Arlington, VA. She also leaves 8 great grandchildren: Blake, Annabelle, and Bryson Linsley of Michigan, Henry and Harrison Nankervis of Florida, Lucy Grace McNeely of Leland, NC and Sawyer and Wesley Heath of Corvallis, OR.
Mrs. Heath graduated from the former Nathaniel Greene High School in Guilford County and the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Upon graduation, she taught at the former Haw River High School. Later, she taught a short time at West Edgecombe High School and then at North Graham Elementary for twenty years. During this time she was active in Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary teacher’s sorority, and served as treasurer, vice-president, and president. For twenty years she was known as the “book lady” at the Hospice Flea Markets.
In December of 1949, she married the love of her life, Raymond, and began their life together in Norfolk, VA. After moving to Rocky Mount, NC in 1950, they became actively engaged in organizing the proposed new Methodist Church in their area and thus became charter members of the Englewood Methodist Church. History repeated itself in 1956 when they moved to Hickory, NC and became involved in organizing a new Methodist Church where they were charter members of St. Lukes Church. In both instances, she was the pianist and organist.
Mrs. Heath was a member of the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Graham, where she was a member of the T.J. Whitehead class, Young in Heart group, and Circle Number 3. Through the years, she served on many committees and co-wrote the History of the First United Methodist Church, Graham 1897-2004.
Visitation will be at Rich and Thompson Funeral Home in Burlington from 5:00-7:00, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Funeral services will be held at FUMC Graham , July 18th at 2:00 PM, with interment in the cemetery of Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in Kimesville where four generations of her family are interred.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the building fund of FUMC Graham, to AuthoraCare Hospice, or to a charity of the donor’s choosing
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