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Snow’s Memorial Chapel

1419 Bass Road, Macon, GA

OBITUARY

Muriel Lorraine Gallagher Willcox Thompson

April 15, 1930June 3, 2020

Muriel Lorraine Gallagher Willcox Thompson died on 3 June 2020 of ovarian cancer in the home of her daughter, with both her daughters and one of her grandsons present.

Lorraine was born April 15 1930 in Hackensack, NJ to Joseph Gabriel Gallagher and Magdalen Kingsland Gallagher. Her father, the postmaster of Ridgewood NJ, died in 1935 of pneumonia, after which she was sent to boarding school from 1936-1944. She graduated from Ridgewood High School with honors in 1947.

She attended UNC Women’s College in Greensboro, NC on a scholarship where she made lifelong friends and graduated in 1951 with a BA in education. She worked during the summers at Barium Springs Home for Children. She married George Willcox on the same day she graduated in May of 1951 and two weeks later, they brought her husband’s two youngest siblings to live with them.

They had two daughters, Carol Kingsland Willcox and Martha Cameron Willcox and divorced in 1963. Lorraine then moved with her daughters to Winston-Salem where she participated in the Winston-Salem Solo Parents Group, and made several close friends. In 1969, she married James Ben Thompson. She taught elementary school in Raeford and Southern Pines, North Carolina and in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools as a reading specialist at South Fork, Skyland, Rural Hall, and Easton Elementary Schools until she retired in 1995. She remained a member of the Winston-Salem /Forsyth County retired teachers association.

She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, where she was awarded Life Membership in 2010. She helped organize Christmas gifts for Hawley House, a halfway house for women in Winston-Salem. She volunteered at Lloyd Presbyterian Church as part of their restoration project, and was involved with their homeless shelter, and weekly lunch and Bible study. She participated in the Friendship Force, a cultural exchange program, through which she visited and hosted families from Egypt and England.

Lorraine will be remembered for her generosity and sense of humor. She always invited anyone who knocked on her door to come into the house to cool off and have a glass of iced tea and immediately sprang into action when she heard of someone in need. She was well- known for her hospitality and skill as a cook, particularly for her pound cakes, which repeatedly won first prize at the Fair.

She had been living with her eldest daughter Carol and son-in law, Buckner Melton for the last four years in Macon, Georgia. Carol Willcox Melton is a professor of history at Middle Georgia State University. Her younger daughter Martha lives in Mexico City, Mexico where she works in international development with indigenous farmers who grow native maize. Martha’s husband, John Gale, lives in Washington, DC. Lorraine is also survived by her two beloved grandsons, Nathan Rossiter Gale and Thomas Willcox Gale.

An on-line service will be arranged in the next week and interment will take place at the columbarium at First Presbyterian Church at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to Lloyd Presbyterian Church 748 N Chestnut St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (http://lloydpres.com/); Samaritan Ministries 414 E. Northwest Blvd Winston-Salem, NC 27105 (https://www.samaritanforsyth.org/donate-online/); or Pine Point Hospice 6261 Peak Road, Macon, Georgia 31210.

  • FAMILY

  • She had been living with her eldest daughter Carol and son-in law, Buckner Melton for the last four years in Macon, Georgia. Carol Willcox Melton is a professor of history at Middle Georgia State University. Her younger daughter Martha lives in Mexico City, Mexico where she works in international development with indigenous farmers who grow native maize. Martha’s husband, John Gale, lives in Washington, DC. Lorraine is also survived by her two beloved grandsons, Nathan Rossiter Gale and Thomas Willcox Gale.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Muriel Lorraine Gallagher Willcox Thompson

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Julia Poblete

June 23, 2020

When I was a young person, I lost my home. I wandered around until Lorraine allowed me to stay with her for a short time. That respite was enough to collect myself and work out a plan. Lorraine's gracious smiles and kind heart left an indelible mark, bringing healing and a sense of safety. Thank you, Lorraine, for being my friend during the bad and good times. My love to dear Carol, and sweet Martha. God bless you and your entire family. Julia Poblete, Washington, DC

Sonja Rivers

June 5, 2020

I am sending my love and prayers to Ms. Lorraine's family. She was a treasured friend whose keen wit and humor will be greatly missed. I will always remember her caring and generous spirit. She had a true servant's heart and taught me many ways to help others. I enjoyed spending time with her at her beloved home in Winston- Salem, NC and Dr. Carol's home in Macon, GA. She had so many loyal friends because she gave her gift of friendship so freely and sincerely. Of course, I will always smile and think of her when I see a camel!

Gary Montgomery

June 5, 2020

Condolences to all the family. Muriel will be greatly missed. She was a thoughtful and fine lady.

Sarah Thomsen

June 5, 2020

I loved visiting “Cousin Lorraine” in Winston. She was a wonderful, funny lady who didn’t mince her words. I’ll never forget when she came to Sweden for my first marriage in 1997. She carried a cane, but nobody believed she needed it. She herself claimed it was the best way to get people to move out of her way. We’ll miss you Cousin but we will never forget you.

marsha brockman

June 5, 2020

Lorraine was a woman of dignity and wit. I will miss her a great deal.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY