On Monday, March 16, 2020, Mary Catherine Sanders Wilson, loving wife, mother, nana, and friend, made her heavenly journey to meet her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Cathy was born on July 12, 1947 in Richmond County, North Carolina to Bernie Allison Sanders and Mary Helen Ormsby Sanders. Cathy grew up in Richmond County where her formative years were spent in Roberdel, a place she cherished and where lifelong friendships were made. Later, her family relocated to Ellerbe, where she attended and graduated in 1965 from her beloved Ellerbe High School. It was at Ellerbe High School that she met her soulmate, John Wilson. After graduation, Cathy attended Pembroke State University and became employed at the Richmond County Courthouse. Her first job was in the Auditors Office, and she quickly moved to the Clerk of Court’s Office in 1967. At the implementation of the General Court of Justice with the Administrative Office of the Courts, Cathy was employed and worked throughout her career for over forty years. In 1986, Cathy was elected Clerk of Superior Court by the people of Richmond County. She served in that capacity until her retirement in 2005. Cathy was proud to have served as the past president of the North Carolina Clerk of Superior Court’s Association. During her tenure as president, she hosted the annual conference at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham.
After retirement, Cathy maintained a strong community presence being elected to numerous terms on the Richmond County Board of Education. One of Cathy’s greatest passions was her involvement on the National Day of Prayer Committee. She was the chairperson of that committee for over 25 years; the committee hosted a prayer service on the front steps of the Richmond County Courthouse annually as well as numerous other prayer events.
Besides her confident faith and abiding love in her Lord, her next greatest love was her family. She and John were married on September 22, 1968 and had 51 glorious years together. In 2018, she and John celebrated their fiftieth anniversary with several hundred of their closest family and friends. Cathy is survived by her husband, John; two daughters, Dr. Allison Coltrane Farrah (Butch) and the Honorable Amanda L. (Amy) Wilson (Travis Dawkins); grandchildren whom she considered her heart and soul, Mary Catherine Coltrane and John Wilson Dawkins. Additionally, Cathy had four bonus grandchildren, Matthew and Olivia Farrah and Paige and Ben Dawkins. She is also survived by sisters in law, Mary Collins, Linda Garner, Helen Randall (Harvey), Sara Johnson (Jim), Betty Wilson and Rachel Wilson; brother-in-law, JC Pankey and numerous aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Cathy is preceded in death by her parents, as well as her sister, Patricia Pankey, and son-in-law, Allen Coltrane.
Cathy enjoyed church activities and was a faithful member of Roberdel Baptist Church for over fifty years. She also attended First Baptist Church, Hamlet where her daughter Allison is pastor. Cathy enjoyed countless trips with her family to their beach home, spending time with her friends, and writing cards of encouragement. She was so grateful for the people of Richmond County who overwhelmingly elected her to public office over and over, and whose friendships she cherished like members of her own family.
There will be a family graveside service this week, due to the mandates of COVID-19. Once the mandates are lifted, a community Celebration of Life service will be held, where the presence of all will be welcomed and requested. More details will be forthcoming. The Wilsons are receiving family and friends at the Wilson home- 350 Nicholson Road, Rockingham.
Memorials may be given to First Baptist Church of Hamlet P.O. Box 906, Hamlet, NC 28345 or to Richmond County Hospice Haven 1119 N US Hwy 1, Rockingham NC 28379.
Online condolences can be made at www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is serving the Wilson family.
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