Eleanor Coffman Wilbourne
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Norfolk - Eleanor Coffman Wilbourne lived life to the fullest for 91 exceptional years and died peacefully, drifting away in her sleep on July 6, 2014. Eleanor was born in Roanoke to the late Charles Robert and Clara Frances Coffman. She was predeceased by Martin Thomas "Tim" Wilbourne, Jr., her husband of 54 years, and siblings Robert Bevlin Coffman, Willis Rudolf Coffman and Christeen C. Forsyth.
Eleanor graduated from Jefferson High School in Roanoke, and attended business school before accepting a job at a local bank where she met her future husband, Tim. In 1944, a train carrying troops to San Francisco made a special stop at the Hotel Roanoke where Tim ran up the hill to marry Eleanor while the train waited. Eleanor soon followed, honeymooning on the West Coast, where they began a journey that lasted more than 50 years.
Eleanor taught family and friends to love, to celebrate the simple things, and to appreciate what each day brings. While she spent many years as a business manager for a dental practice in Alexandria Virginia, her greatest joy was caring for her family. In addition to her family she nurtured many young people and provided maternal support to countless others. Eleanor had the gift of making every day events a celebration. Whether a shared cup of coffee, interacting with friends, or playing games with great-grandchildren, life was to be enjoyed. She was spunky and had a zest for life. Her suitcase was always packed and ready. At 81 she rode an elephant in Sri Lanka and a camel at 85 while touring in India. Eleanor drew all those she met into her aura of love and provided a model of caring. She will be sorely missed.
She is survived by her daughter Charlie Davey and her husband Phil of Norfolk,; her son James "Jim" Wilbourne and wife Beth of Roanoke,; her granddaughter, Jessica Davey and husband Gemunu Amarasinghe of Yangon, Myanmar; her grandson Thomas "Brad" Davey and wife Becky of Kennett Square PA; great-grandchildren Charlotte and Teddy Davey; and a very special niece Paula Gray of Hopkins, SC.
The memorial service and reception to follow will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 11 at Christ & St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The Rev. Grant Stokes and The Rev. Carlotta B. "Lottie" Cochran will officiate. Interment will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Christ & St. Luke's Episcopal Church or Eastern Virginia Medical School. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be offered to the family through hdoliver.com.
H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments
1501 Colonial Avenue Norfolk, VA 23517
Published in The Virginian Pilot on July 9, 2014