Rosalie Pilley Moffett

January 23, 2013 

Rosalie Moffett was called home on January 17th after a short illness. She is survived by her older sister Mary Elizabeth and her brother-in-law David Eybers of West Point VA, her son David Jr. and daughter-in-law Stacia of Colton, WA and their children Howell, Benjamin and Rosalie; her son Darryl of Shallotte Point, NC and his daughter Grace Ann and son Owen, her son Sydney of Raleigh, and her daughter Adrienne and son-in-law Todd Gabriel of Shreveport, LA. A son, Jan, died in 2002.

Rosalie was born on November 2nd 1922 to Leonard and Mattie Pilley in Pantego, NC and grew up on their farm. Mattie had worked in potato fields as a young woman to pay for her college education and was determined that all of her daughters would go to college. Rosalie graduated from Belhaven Combined School in 1938 and from Women’s College (now UNC-Greensboro) in 1942. She met her husband while she was teaching public school music in Madison NC. David, a man of multiple talents, had been trained as a graphic artist, was a jazz musician, and during the war years was a night agent for the Norfolk and Western Railway. The story goes that she and a group of her friends were walking in Madison one evening when they heard jazz music coming from a house. They began dancing on the porch of the house, and in this way she met the man who was making the music and was to become her husband and life-time companion until his death in 2002.

They married and moved to Raleigh in 1944, where David was employed as an artist and art director by several area printing and advertising firms. Rosalie had a long career in Raleigh as a performing musician, accompanist and teacher of piano, and later as a public school music teacher in Wake County schools. Innumerable young people learned to saw out their first melodies on stringed instruments with her help. For a time, she played violoncello in the N.C. Symphony Orchestra. She was also for many years the music director of the Raleigh Moravian Church, where she directed the choir and also organized and led the brass and wind chorale band, keeping up the Moravian tradition for such music to be played on special holidays including Christmas and Easter morning. Rosalie was well prepared for teaching music, since she had a grasp of the fundamentals involved in playing almost any brass, wind, or stringed instrument and could quickly write out parts for instruments tuned in various keys. Surely there are still some Moravians who remember struggling to warm up brass instruments and read those hand-written parts in the early light of an outdoor Easter Morning Sunrise Service.

Rosalie and David raised and educated five children, including two who became professional musicians. She was a dedicated, tireless wife and mother who had high expectations for her family but also stood up for them when necessary.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held on Friday January 25th at 1:00 PM at Raleigh Moravian Church.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service