OBITUARY

Blanche Robertson Bacon

October 2, 1935June 16, 2021

Blanche Robertson Bacon of Raleigh died there on June 16, 2021. Born in Salisbury NC on October 2, 1935, to Blanche Spencer and Julian Hart Robertson, she attended St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, graduating from the high school in 1953 and the junior college in 1955. At age 20, she married Benjamin Robert Williamson of Raleigh and they had three children, the oldest of whom, Robert, predeceased her in 2012.

As a young mother, Blanche devoted herself to her family and to her children’s friends, some of whom she practically adopted, encouraging and advising them, cheering from the sidelines, and acting as an unofficial den mother. Her enduring connection to Christ Church in Raleigh was established in those early years, and she would later serve as a Sunday School teacher and win election to its vestry. In 2018 the church recognized her and her second husband, Zack Hampton Bacon Jr., whom she married in 1980, with the Christ Church Cross for their service.

Blanche and Zack were among the earliest to discover the charms of Figure Eight Island, a place they both loved, and where she spent many happy days on the dock of the house she and Zack maintained there, teaching their grandchildren, and other people’s children and grandchildren, how to bait hooks and reel in fish.

In the mid-1970s Blanche joined the workforce as a salesperson at Montaldo’s and then became a realtor, eventually serving as relocation director of Bacon & Co., Zack’s residential real-estate firm. She was civic minded and generous to many causes and organizations in Raleigh, and always encouraged her six perfect grandchildren to be philanthropic. When she gave them money, it came with instructions to “spend some, save some, and give some away.”

Early on, she was a member of the Junior League of Raleigh, and in 2001 was Honorary Chair of the North Carolina Debutante Ball. She was a Wake County member of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of North Carolina, and was generous to its preservation efforts. She was honored by the NC Museum of History for her long-term support in 2012. She was a director of WakeMed from 2000 to 2005 and was for seventeen years on the board of visitors at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Reflecting her interest in young people, she served as a director of the Wake County Boys and Girls Clubs for 24 years, bought uniforms for its basketball teams, and in 1993 was elected the first woman ever to chair the board. The organization elected her to its Hall of Fame in 2003.

She maintained always a close connection to St. Mary’s School, was a trustee for 16 years, chaired myriad events, served on search committees, and was a cheerleader to the end. To surprise her, in 2001 her brother, Julian, and other family members endowed the Blanche Robertson Bacon and Honors Scholarship (AKA “The Blanche”), funding a St. Mary’s education for outstanding boarding students. In 2009, she was the recipient of the John Bratton Jr. Volunteer Service Recognition award, given on rare occasions to those who have served St. Mary’s with distinction for decades.

Blanche is survived by her cherished husband of 41 years, Zack, and by two children living in Raleigh, Blanche Williamson and Julian Williamson, and two daughters-in-law: Julian’s wife, Beth, and Caroline Williamson of New York City. Also surviving are the six perfect grandchildren: Caroline Williamson of Seattle, Rob Williamson of New York, Wyndham Williamson of Los Angeles, and three Raleigh sisters, Pell, Blanche and Elizabeth Williamson. A bonus from the marriage to Zack are his three surviving sons Zack, Louis, and Bart, and thirteen step-grandchildren. Blanche is also survived by her loving siblings, Wyndham Robertson of Chapel Hill and Julian Robertson of New York City, as well as his three sons and their wives, and his nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at Christ Church at 2 pm on Wednesday, June 23rd, followed by a reception at the Carolina Country Club. She will be interred in the Christ Church Memorial Garden in a private ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be sent to St. Mary’s School (900 Hillsborough St. Raleigh 27603), Christ Church (120 E Edenton St. Raleigh 27601), Boys & Girls Clubs (701 N. Raleigh Blvd. Raleigh 27610) , or to any deserving charity.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St., Raleigh, NC.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • A reception will follow the service

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021

  • Private interment service

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Memories

Blanche Robertson Bacon

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Jeanne and David Smoot

June 21, 2021

David and I were so saddened to hear of Blanche's passing. She was a lovely lady--always so kind and gracious to all.

Sincere condolences to Zack and the family,

David and Jeanne Smoot
Wake Forest, NC

Mary Mumford

June 19, 2021

A sad goodbye to my wonderful cousin and friend. Many childhood memories.
My love to everyone.
Cousin Woo and family

Pam Evans

June 18, 2021

Blanche and my mom,Betty Evans,were friends at the Cardinal in Raleigh where they played a lot of Bridge.While my mom passed away two years ago, Blanche attended her funeral.As an alumna of Saint Marys,I realize all that Blanche has done for the school.It was one of her many passions.My condolences to her family.
Pam Evans

Shana Filter

June 18, 2021

No one inspired nor taught me more about philanthropy than Blanche Robertson Bacon. Working with her was the highlight of my career. I think of her often and will never forget her. Love always to her family and friends, Shana ❤️

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