Juanita Virginia Scott Wilkinson died on May 29th, 2015 after a brief illness. She was a resident of Croasdaile Village Methodist Retirement home. Nita is survived by Melinda Wilkinson, Barbara Wilkinson and Len Carlson, Fleeta Wilkinson and Claude Chauvigne and her granddaughter, Christina Carlson.
Nita was born September 22, 1925 in Carbon Hill, AL. She was the only child of Fleet and Bertha Scott. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. While a student there, she was active in the Wesley Foundation, the University Chorus and the swim group The Swan Club. This combined three of her life long loves, her faith in God, singing and swimming. During two of her college summers she served on a Methodist youth caravan where she met her future husband Howard.
She married Howard C. Wilkinson on June 24th, 1947. Howard served as a Methodist pastor in Charlotte, Asheville, and Lexington where 3 of their 4 children were born. Later they moved to Shelby where their youngest child was born. In 1957 the family moved to Durham where Howard was Chaplain to Duke University for 15 years. In addition to being involved in and supportive of all of Howard's ministries and congregations, Nita was an active member of the Duke Memorial UMC and in several of the Durham PTA groups. She was one of the founders of Women in Action for the Prevention of Violence. She also served as receptionist in the office of the Dean of the Women's College at Duke. In addition, she was a tour guide for prospective students.
In 1972 the family moved to Greensboro where Howard was President of Greensboro College for 9 years. Nita was supportive of her husband’s role as President and often planned activities on the campus and at the President’s home. During this time she was very involved in the United Methodist Women’s group at the W. Market St. UMC. She was Chairman of one of the circles and a volunteer at Greensboro Urban Ministries. She was also a district trustee of the United Methodist Church.
Her last move before retirement was to Charlotte where she and Howard lived for 4 years while he was Pastor of Hawthorn Lane UMC. One of the highlights of that appointment was a lengthy church-sponsored educational tour of Mexico and its institutions. When Howard retired in 1985 they moved back to Greensboro. Later he took a part time ministry position at Jamestown UMC. Nita was very active in the lives of both these churches. She especially loved little babies and also volunteered at the Children’s Home Society helping to care for newly born infants.
In retirement they were able to follow their passion for traveling. They made extensive trips through America and Canada, visiting with friends and family along the way. Nita was always reading about the West, and especially enjoyed visiting that area. This time was very special to Nita as she finally had Howard to herself!
In November, 2003, Nita and Howard moved to Croasdaile Village Retirement Home in Durham, NC where she lived for 11 ½ years. She is preceded in death by her husband, Howard C. Wilkinson and her son, Scott Wilkinson. Nita was a devoted and loving wife and mother. She was a wonderful homemaker, an excellent cook, and loved and cherished her children and granddaughter. She was happiest spending time with her family. She loved family trips and spending time at their cabin on Hyco lake swimming, hiking, boating, picking blackberries and watching the storms roll in or the sun setting over the lake.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 2nd, at 2:00 in Few Chapel at Croasdaile Village at 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway. There will also be a short service on Wednesday, June 3rd at 2:00 at First Methodist Church on Main St. in Lexington, NC prior to placing her ashes in the columbarium with those of her husband and son. In lieu of flowers, please give to a charity of your choice.