Annie Elvira Upchurch Wilburn



Annie Elvira Upchurch Wilburn, 91, of Lillington passed away peacefully January 29, 2018 at the home of her daughter Linda and son-in-law Tommy Stewart in Buies Creek, NC. Born on February 20, 1926, in Harnett County, she was the daughter of the late Simeon and Miriam Upchurch and the wife of the late Eugene Wilburn.

Elvira loved her Lord and her family. As a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, she taught Sunday School, sang in the church choir, and served as a deacon in the church. Elvira enjoyed planting and growing flowers in her garden. She put fresh flowers in her church for Sunday Services as long as she was able. Her family would always take her the flowers that needed nurturing back to life recognizing her “green thumb” and her ability and patience to transform them again. She spent long hours working in her yard with flowers and in her vegetable garden. Elvira was an avid reader frequently visiting the Harnett County Library, choosing books she would read all week. She shared the many stories she read with her children and grandchildren. Elvira kept a journal of the special times she spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She wrote a book using her journal entries sharing many of her precious moments teaching her great grandchildren about insects, nature and seasonal crops.

Elvira graduated from Buies Creek Academy, attended Central Carolina Community College, and Campbell University. She worked with students teaching reading and life skills. She spent wonderful years working in the Keith Hills Country Club Snack Bar and retired from Campbell University.

Elvira is remembered by her four children: Julia Atkins and husband Johnny of Lillington, NC, Linda Stewart and husband Tommy of Buies Creek NC., Sandra Pickett of Lillington, and Ronnie Wilburn and wife Brenda of Clover, SC. She was known as “Grandma” by her five grandchildren; Lisa Stewart, Chris (Dena) Atkins, Michael Wilburn, Brian (Charity) Wilburn, and Nathan Wilburn; She was called “Granny” by her eleven great grandchildren; John Ross , Jacob, Kaylee , Cassidy, and Lily Atkins, Hayden Mellott, Kameron, Kaleigh, Brooklyn, Lacey, Wraylynn Wilburn. Elvira was survived by her sisters, Frances Brown of Sanford, Rachel Bennett of Buies Creek, Betty (Nelson) Bennett of Fuquay Varina, NC. and many nieces, nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband and her sister Callie Cates.

A private graveside service will be held at Pleasant Plains United Methodist Church Cemetery. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 pm Thursday February 1, 2018 at Oak Grove Baptist Church with Dr. Rick Jefferds and Rev. Ed Beddingfield officiating. The family will receive friends at the church Thursday from 1 pm-2 pm. and at other times at the home of Tommy & Linda Stewart.

The family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff of Liberty Hospice Service for their loving care of Elvira.

A special thank you is extended to Cindy Garner Stanley who helped care for and love our mother in her final months.

In honor of Elvira’s life, please contribute to Liberty Hospice Services, 105 Hunt Valley Drive, Dunn, NC 28334; or to Oak Grove Baptist Church, 851 Oak Grove Church Road, Angier, NC 27501.