Eugenia “Jeanne” Marie Childers (nee Cates), passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, July 14, 2023 at the age of 86. Born and raised in Hillsborough, NC, Jeanne was the daughter of John “William” Cates and Ida Marie Cates (nee Chance) and she is predeceased by her brother, John “Johnny” W. Cates, Jr. She graduated from Hillsborough High School and then from Greensboro Women’s’ College with a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching. She was a devoted wife to her predeceased husband, Donald Guy Childers, for over 50 years. Together they raised three children, Donna Marie Ray (husband James “Jimmy” Ray), Carol Anne Childers and Donald Guy Childers, Jr. (wife Christy Childers) on the family farm in her home town. She had three grandchildren, Scott Lee Ray (wife Dara Ray), Ashley Marie Ray and Micheal Angus McLaurin. She also had 4 great-grandchildren, Brice Ray, Elijah Ray, Adriane Ray and Cora Ray.
As a mother, Jeanne was ever-involved in the lives of her children, taking them to dance lessons, gymnastic lessons, competitions, band performances and helping them with 4-H projects and Cub Scouts. Her love of North Carolina beaches was passed down to her children and they have fond memories of the annual family vacation at the beach. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly. The name given to her by her first grandchild was Monee and she cherished that moniker with great pride. She was always thrilled to be invited to a concert, birthday party, graduation, family dinner or anything else that would allow her to spend time with them.
Jeanne was an educator in every sense of the word. Over her 30-year teaching career, she taught for a few years at A.L. Stanback Middle School and then spent the majority of her career teaching 5th grade at Cameron Park Elementary (now renamed to River Park Elementary). She would want her students to know that she had their best interest at heart and she tried to make sure they excelled at the highest level possible. She tried to instill a love of learning and a respect for all people regardless of their abilities in the classroom.
After retiring from teaching, Jeanne became a Mary Kay consultant and spent many happy years engaging with women in the community and making her customers happy. She also traveled to many places with her brother and husband, going out west to Wyoming, Nevada and California, traveling to Hawaii and taking a cruise with her Mary Kay colleagues.
Jeanne was devoted to the Lord and to her faith at Hillsborough Presbyterian Church. She was honored to serve as a member of Session many times and she was the church historian for several years, responsible for recoding the events of the church. She went on week-long mission trips to help those in need of better housing. She attended Circle meetings, Women’s Fellowship functions and various other church events.
Jeanne was an avid cross-stitcher and made many beautiful works with her needle and thread. She also sewed outfits for herself and her children and taught her girls how to sew. She was a ravenous reader until her sight began to fail and then switched to audio books to satisfy her need for literature. She loved to watch every game show or competition show on television and her favorite was Jeopardy, delighting in guessing the right answer first.
After selling the family farm in 2020, Jeanne moved into town, closer to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She spent her remaining years enjoying pool parties, family dinners and visits from family at her new place. Those who knew her and loved her will miss her very much.
There will be a visitation and service at Walker’s Funeral Home in Hillsborough, NC on Wednesday, July 19. Visitation will be 1-3pm and the service 3-4pm followed by a reception across the street at Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in the Fellowship Hall. Jeanne will be cremated afterwards with a portion of her ashes being interred at the Memorial wall at Hillsborough Presbyterian Church and the other portion spread with her husband’s ashes at the farm previously owned by the family at a later date.
The family would like to thank everyone for the sympathies, cards, food and well-wishes during this time of loss. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hillsborough Presbyterian Church or St. Jude’s Children’s’ Hospital in her honor.
Walker's Funeral Home of Hillsborough is assisting the Family.