Florence Gilkeson

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LAURINBURG — Florence Ann Williams Gilkeson, 81, of Laurinburg died Thursday at Scotia Village Skilled Care facility.

A Memorial Service will be held during the morning worship service at Faith Presbyterian Church on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. The church's address is 2220 Elm Ave. in Laurinburg.

Born June 18, 1932 in Beaufort County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Herbert Allen and Affie Hill Williams. She graduated from Washington High School in 1950 and attended East Carolina College (now University) 1951-1953 and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She was a classmate of the late Charles Kuralt.

She worked as an intern part time during summer vacations from college at the Washington Daily News in Washington. Her first journalism position after graduation was at The Laurinburg Exchange where she served as news editor, reporter, and managing editor from 1954-1978. She accepted a news writing position with Sam Ragan at The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines in 1978 where she worked as government affairs writer, later as managing editor and senior writer covering county government, politics, agriculture, related subjects and miscellaneous assignments. She retired in 2012.

She married the Rev. Howard Winchester Gilkeson of Harrisonburg, Va., in 1957. He died in 1990. The couple had no children. While married, the couple traveled extensively to Europe and the Holy Land.

She was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Laurinburg, and one of four leaders of the adult Sunday School class, a member of Christian Education Committee, Historian for Presbyterian Women and the church, and a contributor to the church newsletter.

She was also a member of the League of Women Voters of Moore County.

She is survived by a brother-in-law, James (Jim) W. Gilkeson, Jr.; nieces and nephews, James Scott Gilkeson, Julie Ritenour, David T. Gilkeson and Emily Page; great-nieces and great-nephews, James "Matt" M. Gilkeson, Jason Ritenour, J. Derick Gilkeson, Karis Ritenour, Katlyn "Becca" R. Gilkeson, James "Jamie" Gilkeson and Lucas Gilkeson.

Published in Laurinburg Exchange from June 17 to June 18, 2014
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