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Vera Prince Heath Layman

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VERA PRINCE HEATH LAYMAN The world has lost another member of "The Greatest Generation" and we have lost our beloved mother, grandmother (Nannie), great-grandmother, sister and aunt - Vera Prince Heath Layman. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ welcomed her home on May 14, 2013, with her family by her side, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Center.Vera was part of a generation who believed in hard work, never giving up, not being wasteful, saving for a rainy day, unafraid of "giving a good days work for an honest day's pay", no handouts, honesty and integrity. Vera was born on June 6, 1925 in Tabor City, N.C. to George Washington Prince and Ella Stroud Prince. She was the 10th of 12 children and all of her brothers and sisters preceded her in death - Oscar Prince, Ora Prince Strickland, Hezzie Prince, Gladys Prince Strickland, Carl Prince, Ralph Prince, Stella Prince, Gleon Prince, Leon Prince, Rupert Prince and an infant sister.Her 1st husband, Uria James (Red) Heath passed away in 1965 and her 2nd husband Ray Carter Layman in 1975. She was a wonderful mother to Judy G. Heath, Gail H. Jackson and Sharon Heath Hobbs Peterson (who passed away in 1997). She always wanted a son and when Gail married Bobby G. Jackson she was blessed with her son who loved and spent many hours with her in unconditional love. Vera was a very special "Nannie" to Christine Maria Edge Shaw (husband Doug), Bobby G. (Toby) Jackson, Jr. (her "Toby") and Ryan Hobbs Peterson. She was overjoyed at the birth of each of her great grandchildren Heather Nicole Shaw, Brandon Tyler Shaw, Rhiannon McKenzie Shaw, Sierra Peterson and Landon Peterson; she loved them beyond measure and was very proud of each of them. She leaves behind a niece Eva Lee Fairfax (husband Charles) who was like a sister to her, a great nephew Robert Prince (wife Nina) and great niece Teresa (husband Billy) Butler who were devoted to her. She also leaves behind many great great nieces and nephews. Vera was a woman of great faith, determination and endurance. She was straight forward and believed in "telling it like it was". She grew up on a farm during the depression and education was very important to her. As a child, once she completed her chores each morning she would "run away to school", knowing that she would probably get a "whipping" when she returned. She graduated at age 17, Valedictorian of her graduating class in 1942. She moved to Wilmington to further her education; but met Jimmy and married in 1943. During World War II while Jimmy was in the Philippines, she kept the "home front" going, raising their newborn daughter, Judy. In the years that followed Gail and Sharon were born. When Jimmy got sick, she helped support the family working two or more jobs at a time while taking care of her daughters and Jimmy. After Jimmy passed away, she married Ray Layman and cared for him when he became ill until his death. When her youngest daughter Sharon passed away unexpectedly, her faith and trust in Jesus Christ saw her through. Mama was loving, stubborn, independent, stern but fair (although we didn't think so when we were growing up), a great cook. We will forever miss her delicious lemon pies, flaky biscuits, and turkey stuffing on holidays. She was an expert gardener, an accomplished seamstress (all we had to do was pick out a dress in a store, she would make her own pattern and the next day a new dress would be hanging on our door). She loved carpentry and had the tools to prove it. She and Bobby had many projects together. Mama never got a chance to go to college; but she took many courses at Miller Motte to further her bookkeeping skills and any other educational courses her employer offered. She worked as a bookkeeper for various companies all her life and retired from Georgia Pacific as Operations Manager in 1993. In her 60's, she decided she wanted to learn how to fly, so she took flying lessons and earned her pilot's licenses. She was a member of Sunset Park Baptist Church for many years; but moved her membership to Northside Baptist Church several years ago to be closer to her family. She had a special wit and wisdom about her. Even as the dementia took its toll that wisdom would pop out at the most unexpected times. She often asked how old she was and we would tell her - Then she would say "God has blessed me to have lived this long." Answered with "Yes, Nannie you have been very blessed; but we have also been very blessed to have had you in our lives this long". Per Nannie's request graveside services will be held at 11am, Friday, May 17th, 2013, at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1311 Shipyard Blvd with Rev. Kenny Chinn officiating. We would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Center for the gentle, loving care given to our Nannie during her last days. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Northside Baptist Church, 2501 N. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28405 or The Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1406 Physician's Dr., Wilmington, NC 28406. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com Andrews Market St. Chapel
Funeral Home
Andrews Mortuary & Crematory - Market Street Chapel
1617 MARKET ST
Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 762-7788
Published in the Wilmington Star-News on May 15, 2013
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