SHELBY-Aileen Wilson Runyan, 102, of Shelby Manor, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Nov. 28, 2012. Aileen was born Jan. 19, 1910, in Shelby, daughter of the late Thomas James Wilson and Maude Tucker Wilson.
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On Sep. 6, 1937, she married J. C. "Jerry" Runyan of Earl, who preceded her in death on Nov. 10, 1971. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Dorothy Gail Runyan; son, Jerry Thomas Runyan; brother, Howard Wilson; and sister, Jossie Wilson Greene.
Aileen graduated from Shelby High School in 1928. After her graduation she worked at the Charles and Woolworth stores. She retired after working 20 years at Hudson's Department Store in downtown Shelby. She was a life-long and faithful member of Elizabeth Baptist Church. Her great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Love Wilson, gave the land on which the church is built. Her father's and mother's funerals in March and April of 1957 were the first two funerals in the newly built church following a devastating fire in Dec. 1954. She taught many age groups in Sunday school from 1938 to 1971, was active in the WMU and served on the Pastor Search Committee when Rev. Charles Summey was called as pastor in 1958. She was a member of the Love-Joy Sunday School Class.
In July 1946, Aileen and her family moved to the Cleveland County Jail's living quarters on East Warren Street in Shelby when her husband became the county jailer. She and her husband were both hands-on managers. Aileen was responsible for planning meals and purchasing food for the prisoners. Living at the jail was a unique experience for her family, particularly for a mother raising two sons in that environment. In 1960, her husband joined the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office as desk sergeant and the family moved to their newly built home on Kings Road adjacent to Aileen's brother and two sisters on property that was formerly the Wilson farm where they lived growing up. Aileen will be remembered as a Godly Christian lady whose life blessed and influenced her family, friends and all who knew her. She will also be remembered for her unfaltering dedication as a mother. She was the primary caregiver for her oldest son, Jerry Thomas, who was both mentally and physically challenged. Because of her good health, extraordinary motherly love and close walk with God, she was able to care for Jerry in the home until she was 95 years old. She attributed her longevity to honoring her parents and seeking God's guidance and help in all she did. She was affectionately known by her grandchildren and family as "E.E.".
She leaves to cherish her loving memory one son, Larry Runyan and wife Jane of Winston-Salem; one sister, Mae Wilson Greene of Shelby; one sister-in-law, Frances Runyan of Earl; one grandson, John Runyan and wife Tonya of High Point; one granddaughter, Amy Runyan Sweatt and husband Scott of Charlotte; three great grandsons, Chase and Nicholas Runyan and Tanner Sweatt; two great granddaugthers, Katie Runyan and Madison Sweatt; and many loving nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of Shelby Manor, where she was a resident from Oct. 2011 until her death, for their special care and support. They would also like to thank her special friend and caregiver, Pat Spangler of Shelby.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Friday in the Christian Life Center at Elizabeth Baptist Church.
Funeral Service: 2 p.m. Friday in the sanctuary of Elizabeth Baptist Church
Officiated By: Dr. Rit Varriale and the Rev. Jeff Brendle
Burial: Immediately following the service in the church cemetery
Funeral Home: Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Mrs. Runyan
Memorials: May be made to Elizabeth Baptist Church, 301 N. Post Road, Shelby, N.C. 28152 or to Hospice Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Drive, Shelby, N.C. 28150
A guest registry is available at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com
Published in Shelby Star on Nov. 29, 2012