Mildred Gwendolyn Mance Wigfall passed on Sunday, April 9th, 2017, at the age of 94. She was a resident of Durham and member of St. Joseph AME Church. Despite her small stature, Mildred had a powerful presence. She was quick of wit and sharp of mind, right until the end. She had a flair for fashion and a jubilant laugh. Her devotion to God gave her strength throughout her life. Mildred brought vibrancy and passion to everything she did and spent her 94 years on this earth giving back to those around her. She was always willing to lend an encouraging word and sound advice to those who needed it. Her generosity and radiant spirit were matched by her dedication to helping others. She was born on February 23, 1923 to the late William Garfield Mance and Emmaline Alice Wilson Mance in Lincolnville, South Carolina. She was one of four children born to this union. Following the untimely death of her father when she was two, her mother continued to stress the importance of education to her and her siblings. They all became college graduates. She was predeceased in death by her brothers William, Priestley, and George. While attending South Carolina State University, she met and married the late Switzon S. Wigfall, Sr. After double majoring in biology and education, she began a career as an educator. She worked both a high school biology teacher in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia and later as a guidance counselor. Over the course of her forty-five year career, Mildred continued her education at A&T State University, where in 1964, where she received her Master of Science in Biology. She also pursued Masters of Arts in Guidance and Counseling and Education at Georgia State University and Atlanta University, both in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1940, she became a member of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), Incorporated at South Carolina State University. She was a charter member of the Brevard County DST Alumnae Chapter in Brevard County, Florida. Following a move to Atlanta, Georgia, she joined the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter, participating actively and serving as an officer (chaplain, and executive committee member). She relocated to Durham in 2007, and joined the Durham Alumnae Chapter. Through the years, she participated on and chaired many committees, including the scholarship committee, political awareness committee, and the social action committee. She was a life-long and proud Delta. Mildred is survived by her four children: Mildred Wigfall Robinson; Switzon S. Wigfall, Jr. (Patricia); Wardell N. Wigfall; and Delbert R. Wigfall. In addition, she is survived by twelve grandchildren, fourteen (soon to be fifteen) great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, ten nieces and nephews, and numerous friends. She instilled in her descendants her love for life and a commitment to pay it forward. The final celebration of Mildred’s extraordinary life will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at St. Joseph AME Church (2512 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC). She will be interred on Saturday, April 15th in Atlanta, Georgia in Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of floral tributes, please donate to the charity of your choice in her memory.
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