Naomi Tossieteen Dillon Strickland passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter on March 4, 2012, at the age of 90.
She was born September 11, 1921 in Parkin, Arkansas, the daughter of the late Charley Eflin Dillon and Ella Viola Henson Dillon. She was also preceded in death by her brother Charles Ezra Dillon and two sisters Edna Veldon Roebuck Schupp and Lena Frances Kruse Smith.
She is survived by her daughter Sandra June Strickland Whisnant Musselwhite and husband Richard, grandson Daniel (Danny) Whisnant, great grandson Steven Whisnant, and son Benjamin Wayne Strickland and wife Mary of Southport, NC, grandson Donald G. McHose, Jr, wife Lauren, great grand daughters Kasey Allison McHose and Erin Megan McHose, and great grandson Donald Greer McHose III of Fort Mill, SC.
She leaves three brothers: Benjamin Franklin (Benny) Dillon and wife Becky of Raleigh, Cecil Yelding Dillon of Chesapeake, Va., Everett Millnial (Moon) Dillon of Benson Arizona, and two sisters, Callie Esther (Esther) Dillon Spivey of Hampstead, NC and Mary Idora (Evelyn) Dillon Perry and husband Frank of Norfolk, along with countless beloved nieces and nephews. She also leaves Jane Leimone, her daily caregiver for the past several years.
At the age of six she decided to call herself “Dutchie Dearest” because she liked the sound of it. The nickname stuck, and she was Dutch to her siblings and Aunt Dutchie to her nieces and nephews.
Growing up on the St Francis River, the entire family worked hard to make a living. The extended family of twenty-one souls traveled by foot and Model T truck from Arkansas to Charleston, SC to work in Naomi’s Aunt Hallie’s laundry. At the outbreak of World War II Naomi worked in the Charleston Shipyards helping repair damaged Naval ships. Dutch married P.K. Strickland of Cerro Gordo, NC, lived in Birmingham, AL, Columbia, SC, and settled in Raleigh, NC. Naomi later moved her family to Wilmington to be near her sister Edna, managing the Lake Village Laundry. She also worked at Timme Textile, retiring in the mid 70’s to help Edna run Dillon’s Grocery.
At the age of 74, Dutch was in a critical car accident. After several weeks in coma, with brain bruises, collapsed lungs, and a broken arm, strong-willed and determined, she awoke. She worked her way through months of rehab, re-learning the fundamentals of living. While doctors were unsure of her overall prognosis, she went back home, still aware, still funny, still capable…and still alive, 16 years later.
Whenever you would ask, “How are you, Aunt Dutchie?”, she would inevitably answer, “I’m here”. She always was…and as far as the rest of us are concerned, she always will be.
The family will receive friends in Wilmington, Thursday, March 8, 2012 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.
Dutch had committed her life to Christ through the Christ’s Sanctified Holy Church, the church of her parents and her childhood.
Funeral Services and Internment will be held at the Church Campground Chapel in Perry, Georgia on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm. Officiating will Don Robuck and Henry Price. Visitation with the family prior to services will be held 1:00 pm.
Naomi’s family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to Dr. Gerald Points and his staff, and Dr. Rhada Putcha and staff of Lower Cape Fear Hospice for all of their efforts in doing everything possible to ensure that Naomi spent her days full of peace and comfort. And an extra special thank you to her wonderful care giver and friend, Jane Leimone, who made her days very special.
Pall Bearers will be Steven Whisnant, Jimmy Schupp, Bobby Schupp, Lloyd Robuck, Charlie Robuck and Robert Schupp.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.
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Wilmington Funeral and Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099