Elaine Bruce Liles

June 19, 1924October 9, 2020

Elaine Bruce Liles of Raleigh, NC, died on October 9, 2020. She was born on June 19, 1924, in Spartanburg County, SC, the only child of Otis Edwin Bruce and Marion McCoy Bruce. Elaine grew up in Inman, SC, and graduated from Winthrop College (now Winthrop University) with a B.S. degree in Commerce.

Her leadership qualities became evident early in life when she served as vice president of her senior class at Winthrop. Following her college years she taught business courses in high school in Bennettsville, SC, and later in Hamlet, NC. She then moved into academic administration, enjoying a long career in higher education. She served first as an admissions officer at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, NC; then as Director of Admissions at Mt. Vernon College, Washington, DC; and lastly as Executive Director of Admissions at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA. After 24 years in college administration, she retired at age 68 and since then has made her home in Raleigh.

Prior to retirement, and for several years, Elaine served as a member of the National Presbyterian Scholarship Committee and, during retirement, remained active in other professional organizations. Of special importance to her was the involvement in working with her son, Bruce, in his business, Liles Clothing Studio, in Raleigh.

While living in Hamlet she led her family as faithfully serving members of First Baptist Church, contributing to every phase of church life in various roles, ending as president of the Women’s Missionary Union for five years.

After retirement, she became a member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, where she served on the Scholarship Committee and otherwise enjoyed her church life.

Elaine was predeceased by her husband, Paul H. Liles, of Hamlet, who died in 1976. Surviving are her two dear children, her daughter, Hayne L. White and husband Robert Smith of Monroe, NC, and son O. Bruce Liles and wife Connie of Raleigh. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Andrew Lee White and wife Miranda of Centerville, Ohio, and Kristin Elaine White and partner Dorothy Ariail of Raleigh.

A graveside service will be held at Richmond Memorial Park, 1717 East Broad Avenue, Rockingham, NC 28379 on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM with Dr. Allison Farrah, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hamlet, officiating.

Elaine’s family welcomes guests to attend the service, but requests that all attendees follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Memorials may be made to the Women’s Missionary Union of First Baptist Church, 208 Charlotte Street, Hamlet, NC 28345 or to the Mary Baldwin College for Women at MBU fund, Office of University Advancement, PO Box 1500, Staunton, VA 24402.


  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020


Elaine Bruce Liles

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Eve McCoy

October 12, 2020

Hayne and Bruce and families, I am sorry for your loss and thinking of you especially these next few days. We were so fortunate to have our mothers for so many years. Those Winthrop ladies were special!

Elaine was such a very special niece to her uncle Emil for all his life and they shared many good times together.

Thinking of you.......

Eve McCoy