Effie McLean Sills passed away Monday September 6th, following a short illness. She was born June 10, 1931 as the second of four daughters to Claude A and Thomas P McLean. Effie was born in Lillington, NC but grew up in Dunn, graduating from Dunn High School, where she was a star basketball player and salutatorian for the class of 1949.
“Miss Effie”, as she was affectionately known by all, loved her Scotland County community and served it well in many capacities over the years, volunteering in various service organizations, including the Pilot Club, Secretary/Treasurer of the Laurinburg Garden Club, various musical groups including a barbershop quartet and the Melancholy Babies, and as an avid Band and Athletic Booster for the Mighty Fighting Scots of Scotland High School.
Aside from her two sons, the joys of her life were her love for God and the First Baptist Church Laurinburg, where she was a devoted member for 54 years. She was active with the church in many ways, but particularly loved singing in the church choir. She was a founding member of the Handbell Choir and never missed a trip or workshop or performance. She was ordained as a deacon in 2000. A talented pianist and organist, she was often called on to assist with services or fill in for an absent Music Minister. She served as organist for St. Mary’s Church in Laurinburg for 30 years as well, where she managed to finish her duties there each Sunday just in time to head across town and don her choir robe for services at First Baptist.
Effie was employed 34 years in the business office of Lee L. Woodard sons (a leisure furniture company in Maxton, eventually known as Crown Leisure Products) until her retirement in 2001. She was an avid bridge player, loved crafting, painting, and was an expert in counted cross stitch. She played a key role in the success of Carolina Cross Stitch, a home-grown business here in Laurinburg. Whether fresh water from a back yard pond, or salt water from the surf at the coast, Effie really loved the tug of a good fish on her line. Her personal pride and joy was her yard, where she could almost always be found planting flowers, or tending the garden. Music played a significant role in her life, especially the piano. In fact, competing as an 18 year old Miss Dunn, she was the talent competition winner in the Miss North Carolina pageant in 1949.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 11, 2021 at First Baptist Church in Laurinburg, officiated by Dr.. Wayne D. Wike. Burial will follow at Hillside Memorial Park. Visitation will be 6-8 pm, Friday, September 10, 2021 at Bumgarner Family Funeral Service and Crematorium. Due to Covid-19, please wear a face mask and practice social distancing while attending the service.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her eldest sister Margaret “Honey” Hemingway.
She is survived by sons Jonathan Sills of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Kevin Sills of Apex, NC, as well as two younger sisters Jewell Wall (Clarence) and Rita Williams (Stuart).
Miss Effie’s sons wish to express their eternal gratitude for the loving and dignified care provided by the folks at Scotia Village and Morrison Manor. We are also overwhelmed with the love shown by her “Village” of local friends.
In lieu of flowers, please consider designating your gift for the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church, 302 East Church Street, Laurinburg 28352
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