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Wilhelmina Smith Cox: Tabor City

1928 – 2022

     Wilhelmina Smith Cox of Tabor City died Sunday, Sept. 11. She was 93.

     She was born Oct. 27, 1928 in Olyphic to the late Rev. Harvey Lay Smith and Irene Gore Smith.

     In addition to her parents, Wilhelmina was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, William Cleveland Cox, Jr.; and her sister, Annell Smith Brindell of Wilmington.

     She is survived by her two children, William C. Cox III and wife Gayle of Little River and Linda McFadyen and husband Duncan of Wilmington; her sister, Lumina Smith Soles and husband Jackie of Shallotte.

She is also survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Cally Elaine Markovsky and husband Coult with daughters Ella Claire and Anna Sophia of St. John’s, Florida; Cleve Cox IV and wife Jenna with daughter Willa Jay of Shallotte; Duncan McFadyen II and Tavis McFadyen, both of Wilmington.

     Wilhelmina graduated from Tabor City High School and attended Flora McDonald College in Laurinburg. She was a kind and generous person.

     “Willie” loved to cook and bake, and she showed her love through her food. Her kitchen was a favorite stop for friends who came to fly airplanes, helicopters, and model airplanes with her husband. Countless relatives and friends were comforted by her famous pound cakes and pies. She also enjoyed growing and arranging flowers and tending her vegetable garden.

     Wilhelmina’s second home was Olyphic Baptist Church, which she served faithfully in numerous roles throughout her long life, including many decades as its treasurer. She was honored by the church in 2002 with “Wilhelmina Cox Day.”

     Family is deeply grateful to the staff of Coastal Pointe Memory Care in Shallotte for the love and compassionate care shown to Wilhelmina over the past 18 months—particularly in the last few weeks.

     Visitation was planned for 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Olyphic Baptist Church followed at 11 a.m. by a memorial service with pallbearers Clifford Long, Roberto Sandoval, Stuart Henniford, Roy Gore, Bennett Wilder, and Floyd Norris; honorary pallbearers are Eddie Stanley, Phil Huggins, Mack Henniford, David Vaught, and Randall Cox.

     Internment was planned for immediately following the service in the church cemetery.

     In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made to Olyphic Baptist Church.

     A guest register is available here.