Cotten Funeral Home


Elva "Droop" Mae Heath

October 5, 1920March 31, 2021

Elva Mae “Droop” Heath passed away peacefully on March 31, 2021. She was born in Henderson, NC on October 5, 1920 to Myrtle and William D Mishoe. She spent her childhood in Williamston, Weldon and Washington. Droop graduated from Williamston High School and attended what is now East Carolina University. In 1943 she married George C Heath and was married until his death in 1984. Later in life, she spent many happy years with her favorite dance partner, Al Riviore.

“Droop” taught dance in the New Bern area for over fifty years. She had her own studio, then taught at New Bern Dance Academy. When the dance academy closed in the 1980s, members of the Golden Age Club encouraged her to continue teaching. She taught tap dance classes to seniors for more than 20 years at the West New Bern Recreation Center. She danced her way through life with a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. She will be buried with her tap shoes on! She was a member of the Golden Age Club and Centenary United Methodist Church.

“Droop” always loved being on the Neuse River. Raising her children there and then spending time with family in her later years was a joy for her. She also loved the beach and spent many hours combing the beach for seashells. “Droop” had an infectious personality and never met a stranger. She lived, laughed, danced and loved more than most. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. She made this world a better place.

“Droop” is preceded in death by her husband, George C Heath, daughter, Connie Heath Bledsoe, and daughter in law, Becky Heath. She is survived by her children, Helen Heath White, George “Chip” Heath, and William C. Heath and wife, Wenna, all of New Bern; five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank her wonderful staff of caregivers who gave her such loving care for many years. Also many thanks to Craven County Hospice. There will be a family grave side service. A celebration of her life is planned for later this summer.

Memorials can be made to Craven County Hospice or the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements are held by Cotten Funeral Home and Crematory.


  • Private Graveside Funeral Service


Elva "Droop" Mae Heath

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dani Rivoire

April 7, 2021

Someone as special as Droop will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. I was blessed to have her in my life through her companionship with my grandfather, Al Rivoire, before he became ill, and later passed. I remember Droop's many visits with us, and sweet letters we exchanged. I wish I had taken her up on her offer to come to New Bern to visit. She was always so cheerful, kind and told the best stories. She will always be remembered fondly. I am grateful my grandad had such a lovely lady in his life.


April 3, 2021

To the children of Droop, I send my thoughts and prayers at this time. Your Mom was indeed special and was entertaining to be in her company.
I knew her through a close friend of hers, Dolores Clifford. I was Dolorese's neighbor for many years and Droop was always at birthdays etc for Dolorese.
Your Mom lived a long life and I know you will miss her.
God Bless.
With love,
Shelby Pontiff

Lisa (Davis) Goodman

April 1, 2021

Dear Bill, Helen, and Chip,
I am so sad to hear of your mother’s passing. I could never begin to tell you of the wonderful memories still in my heart from our years of spending time at your house on the river.
What a marvelous childhood we had climbing cliffs, playing castaways, searching the woods, and swinging on vines. Hours of swimming in the river with a raft or a boat or half a sailboat as a “floating dock” to jump off! Your mom was always there watching us from the hill. She never complained that she had other things to do besides watch us in the river!
I remember her collections of shells and driftwood and cannon balls etc in that dining room. I still tell people about the shirt boxes full of the same kind of shell!
I realize now how much patience and love she must have had for us all. She was always glad to see us and even helped create our fun. I remember the old dance costumes she would help pull out of the old garage and let us dress up! She would even do a little song and dance for us! (Shave and a haircut ... 🎶)
One of the most special things she did for me personally was that she sewed some clothes (on her treadle sewing machine!) for my Dawn dolls. These were like Barbie dolls, but about half the size (or less - they were tiny!). The clothes were beautiful! She even made a wedding dress complete with a veil and tiny pearl buttons. She was so talented.
There is so much more I could tell, but I won’t go on. Mrs. Heath was such a special lady. I will forever cherish the childhood memories she (and your family) was a part of. I know how much you will miss her. She will live on in the hearts of many — especially mine.

May God give you peace and comfort.

Love and prayers,
Lisa (and Rick) Goodman

Yvette Bremer French

April 1, 2021

Dear Helen, Chip, and Bill, I was so sad to see this and know she’s no longer here. Droop is part of my memory from my earliest when Bill and I were in first grade and she had a party at the house on the river then later when she danced off the stage at Brinson school! Later she became an unofficial official member of the Bremer family and brought so much vitality and laughter not just into Granddaddy’s life but all of ours. Droop was one of a kind. We will miss her too! Anthony and Yvette Bremer French