Frances Watts Winstead Rudder

Frances Watts Winstead Rudder, 94, passed away peacefully on December 19, 2021 at the home she and her late husband, Elgin Howard Rudder, built at 33 Rolling Hills Road, Roxboro in the mid-1950s.

They were happily married for almost 62 years and had two sons, Michael Elgin Rudder of Leasburg, NC and David Walsh Rudder (wife Courtney) of Apex, NC; three grandchildren, Jennifer Rose Rudder of Royal Palm Beach, FL, Jackson David Rudder of Apex, NC, and Catherine "Cassie" Grace Rudder of Lake Worth, Florida; and one great-granddaughter, Meadow Grace German of Lake Worth, Florida.

She was the daughter of the late Harvey Thompson Winstead and Mary Emma Watts Winstead and was preceded in death by six siblings: Samuel H. Winstead, Therit T. Winstead, Archie G. Winstead, Betty Winstead Bowes, Laura Winstead Webster, and Paul E. Winstead.

The only surviving sibling is James "Jim" W. Winstead. Frances was born in her childhood home, presently historic Elmwood in Leasburg, and delivered along with all her siblings by Dr. Flint Nichols, who rode out from Roxboro on horse and buggy.

On one of these occasions, Dr. Nichols' wife, Miss Mildred, said to her husband, "Dr. Flint, surely you're not going out in this weather on such a long journey" (paraphrased), to which he replied, "I must go; this is a very good family, and I love them" (paraphrased). Frances had many loving fans while working as lunchroom manager at Olive Hill Elementary School and principal's secretary at Woodland Elementary School. During many of those years, she also drove a school bus. She wanted her sons to attend Olive Hill, where she was working when they started elementary school, though the family resided across the road dividing Olive Hill and Bushy Fork Townships.

School Superintendent at that time, R. B. Griffin, made her an offer she gladly accepted, i.e., that her sons could attend Olive Hill School if she agreed to drive a school bus-hence another venue for increasing her long-time fan club.

From the time they married in 1947, Frances and Elgin were faithful and active members of Lea's Chapel United Methodist Church, which was virtually in the back yard of their home. Elgin made a path through the woods from the house to the church, and that path stayed clear and clean until he was no longer able to walk to church.

Frances loved traveling and visited her son Michael in Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico during his diplomatic career in the Foreign Service. In later years, they made trips to Florida and South Carolina, the most recent being only two months before she died.

Other favorite pastimes in her last weeks and months included sitting for hours on her front porch, going to Michael's house for late breakfast, and drinking double-chocolate milkshakes from Cook Out-all moments to be cherished forever.

Of her many virtues, the most prominent was her genuine love for all people without any racial, ethnic, or social bias.

During her last four years, she had many care givers at home, the longest-term and most faithful being Tammie Jacobs of Red Springs, NC.

A memorial service for Frances will be held at Lea's Chapel United Methodist Church at 6415 Leasburg Road, Roxboro at 3:00 pm on December 30, 2021.

For the protection of the attendees, masks will be required at all times while inside the church.

The body can be viewed the day before the service at Brooks and White Funeral Home in Roxboro as well as at the church an hour prior to the service.

Guests may greet the family outside the church following the service.

Memorials may be made to Lea's Chapel United Methodist Church (c/o Patricia Norris, 191 Blalock Dairy Road, Roxboro, NC 27574) and to Amedisys Hospice (3320 U.S. 1 Highway, Suite B, Franklinton, NC 27525).

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