Elaine Norwood

Obituary of Elaine Norwood

Elaine Preece Norwood died on January 24th at her home in Chapel Hill, NC . She was an eternal optimist and led an active life her entire 81 years, especially the last 3, after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

She was an avid gardener and took great pleasure in sharing flowers, vegetables and plants with her many friends. She loved volunteering at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, especially in the herb garden and the annual Christmas tree decorating events.

Elaine was an enthusiastic birder. She maintained logs of bird sightings and bird behavior for decades.

Claire Elaine Preece was born in Freeburn, KY. Her father, Reaumur Carroll Preece, and her mother, Ida Potter Preece, moved the family to Portsmouth, VA during World War II when her father took a job at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Elaine, the second of 3 children, relished digging clams there on the shores of the Elizabeth River at low tide .

When Elaine was in high school the family moved to Kingsport, TN where Elaine graduated from high school. Elaine attended the Medical College of Virginia under a nursing scholarship where she received her associate degree in nursing and became a staff medical-surgical and operating room nurse. Later she became a clinical nurse at Oaknoll Retirement Residence in Iowa City, IA.

Elaine received her Bachelor in University Studies at North Dakota State University with a focus on medical sociology, marketing, management and health services delivery in 1984. Following graduation, she became a consultant on planning and marketing for hospitals and health care firms in North Dakota, Florida and North Carolina.

In 1958 Elaine met Joe Norwood, a pharmacist, at The Medical College of Virginia. They were married in 1960 and she took an active role in his career as a pharmacy professor and dean at two colleges of pharmacy. They moved to Chapel Hill in 1990.

Mr. Norwood and the couple’s two sons, Derrick and Kevin, survive her as does her sister, Loretta P. Angstadt. Her brother, Joseph C. Preece, died in 2010.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to North Carolina Botanical Garden, Campus Box 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375 or UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0309.

A Celebration of Elaine’s life will be held virtually at 2:00 PM on Sunday, March 27,2022. 

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