Jane Winifred (“Wini”) Williams Thrailkill of Robbins, NC passed away on September 28, 2016.  A memorial service will be held at Elise Presbyterian Church at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Wini was born in Hamlet, NC on June 12, 1921 to Arthur and Roxie Williams.  She graduated from Hamlet High School in 1939.  She attended Montreat Junior College, graduating in 1941 and then transferred to Women’s College (UNC Greensboro), where she earned a degree in Home Economics in 1943.

Wini met her husband, Bill Thrailkill, in Troy, NC, where they were both teachers at the high school.  On June 20, 1947, Wini and Bill were married and moved to Robbins.  Bill taught agriculture/horticulture and Wini taught home economics.  It was a match made in heaven—he grew the vegetables and she cooked them—and there were always fresh cut flowers on the table.  Wini stayed home when her children were born and returned to the classroom 14 years later, teaching language arts at Elise Middle School.  She retired in 1983 but continued to be active in the community for many years.  Wini was involved with adult and children’s literacy programs through the Moore County Literacy Council and especially enjoyed teaching inmates to read.  She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and Hospice.  Wini was active in her church as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher.  Her most favorite thing to do was to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Wini was unselfish with her time and her money and loved everyone, especially babies and little children.  Her children have heard stories from former students about how she helped them by providing lunch money, clothes, club fees, and anything else that she saw as a need.  She gave to every charity that asked and chose to believe the best about what they did with her money.  She recycled everything long before it was trendy to do so.  Her children were fascinated with how she used old pantyhose and the waistbands of men’s underwear to tie up boxes and newspapers.  Also, it was amazing to see how many ways she could recycle a yogurt cup.  Above all, she was a Christian lady who was kind to all she met, and if you admired her flowers in the yard, she would dig some up for you to take home.

Wini is survived by two children, Karen Thrailkill Russell (Larry) of Pittsboro, NC and Neil Thrailkill (Cindy) of San Antonio, TX, a niece, Rose Erxleben Avant (Alan), of Lumberton, NC, whom she raised and considered a daughter, and six grandchildren, Matthew Russell (Brooke) of Campobello, SC, Cameron Russell Vines (Will) of Hope Mills, NC, Taylor Thrailkill of Lake Jackson, TX, Parker Thrailkill of Austin, TX, Chris Avant (Kelly) of Tarboro, NC, and Stephen Avant (Laura) of Harrisburg, NC, one great-grandchild, Harrison Avant, and one sister, Hope Bell of Elizabethtown, NC.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Bill, who passed away in 1980, and also her parents and two sisters, Catherine Bowling and Adelaide Erxleben.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Elaine Moore and her family for caring for Wini in her home during the last month.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make someone’s day brighter by performing a random act of kindness.  Memorials may also be made in her name to Elise Presbyterian Church, P O Box 637, Robbins, NC 27325.

Kennedy Funeral Home in Robbins is serving the family.

Condolences may be made online at www.pinesfunerals.com













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  1. So very sorry to lose you, Aunt Wini. I always enjoyed your company when we’d visit NC. I’m grateful to your family for sharing you with me those brief times.

    My deepest sympathy to your family, from me, and my family.

    All our love,


  2. Aunt Wini was always so much fun to be around as I grew up. I will always remember the trips to her house with my Gramma. Especially the time we watched the Farmer’s Day Parade! She will be missed tremendously. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Mrs. Thrailkill was one of my most favorite teachers. Although it has been many years since I was her student I have not and will never forget her. She was always so kind and compassionate. I had the pleasure of seeing her again this year while she was sh

  4. I’m very sorry for your loss. I had your mom as my English teacher at Elise and thought the world of her….I will be remembering you and your family in my prayers.

  5. I can’t imagine the world without one of the greatest teachers I ever had. I will never forget opening my locker at the end of 7th grade and finding an amazing collection of plants to take home a create my own garden of flowers. She showed love to me as a

  6. Karen and Neil,

    So sorry to hear about your Mom. She was such a beautiful and and kind lady. Your mother will always be so near in your heart! ‘Her children will rise up and call her blessed’. Proverbs 31:28. Love to you and your family.

  7. Rose, Karen & Neil…My thoughts and prayers are with you. My fondest memory of Mrs. Thrailkill is the warm smile on her face every time I saw her. I also remember how she invited several of us over to your house when Rose moved to Robbins. What a blessin

  8. Mrs. Thrailkill will always & forver remain in my heart as one of my favorite teachers! Her kind spirit and genuine love for students was one of her greatest attributes! Heaven truly gained an angel!

  9. So very sorry for your loss. Ms. Winnie was always a joy to talk too and she will be missed by so many whose lives she touched.

  10. I was sorry to hear of the death of Wini. I will miss seeing her at Elise when I visit. You have my deepest sympathy. Jean McSwain

  11. Karen – Your mom lived a wonderful life and she blessed many people along the way, in so many ways. In turn, she raised a wonderful daughter, who too has influenced lives and made the world a better place. We share the sadness of her passing but join in t

  12. May God Bless you and your family during this time of loss. May He provide you the comfort you need and the peace that surpasses understanding.


    Shirl S.

  13. I enjoyed talking to Mrs. Thrailkill in the drugstore and grocery store. She was always so gracious when I brought her treat bag from Bright Light Baptist Church Christian Workers. She was always so thoughtful to ask about Harold Williams and made the ext

  14. With heart-felt sympathy and prayers for all of Wini’s family. Wini loved her family. Our ‘Wini’ was such special lady. She touched so many lives. Always greeted you with a smile. Will always love her and treasure memories of her. I have flowers in my yar

  15. Wini was a wonderful lady. She was such an integral part of Elise Presbyterian Church and Elise Middle School. She was very generous and giving and cared greatly for others. Wini loved my family and we loved her. Praying for her family during this difficu

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