EDITH FAYLOR ALSTON ANDERSON, a native of Franklin County, was born September 14, 1932 to Harvey Wells and Alice Rebecca Fulwilder Alston. With her family by her side, she departed this world on March 12, 2021 at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh.
Always a servant of God, Edith accepted Christ at an early age and joined First Baptist Church in Louisburg where she played piano and sang in the choir. Later, at St. Augustine's College, she converted and became a faithful Episcopalian serving at both the St. Augustine's College Chapel and later at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Louisburg. She played the piano almost every Sunday for her entire time at St. Matthias until COVID-19 forced the church doors to close in 2020.
She was educated in the Franklin County School system attending Cedar Street Elementary and later Franklin County Training School, FCTS. While there, she was a lively student leader, majorette and cheerleader who represented her school with pride and enthusiasm. She was always happy to share that she was an alum of FCTS!!
After graduating high school, she lived with her brother and his family in Connecticut for a year earning money for college by working in a laundry. Then, she continued her studies in Raleigh at St. Augustine's College. A high-achieving music major, Edith was also very involved in campus life. She played piano for required mass. She was on the queen's court for homecoming. She did her student teaching at the historic Washington High School; and post graduate work at North Carolina Central College.
In 1952, she became a member of the Gamma Rho Chapter of her beloved sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and devotion to her sorority continued after she graduated from college. She joined the Oxford- Henderson Alumnae Chapter and served as President and Chair of the chapter's biggest fundraiser, The Jabberwock Scholarship Pageant. She was a shining example of sisterhood, scholarship and service to sorors everywhere.
In 1968, she made history as the first African American teacher employed in integrated schools in Franklin County. And over the course of her 34-year career Edith was more than a music teacher.
After 42 years of teaching, Edith started a second career working at Alston- Anderson Funeral Service alongside her husband.
Ma also served as music director at many local churches. On any given Sunday, you could find her first at St. Matthias Episcopal Church and then at Nelson Chapel Baptist Church, or St. Paul Presbyterian Church, or any other church where she was needed, playing at weddings, funerals, recitals, pageants, and concerts.
She chaired the annual St. Matthias's Afternoon with the Arts and along with Teo, hosted the Emancipation Proclamation March and Program. She was a long-time judge for the International Whistlers Convention. Every week for years, she ministered in music at the Louisburg Manor, Louisburg and Franklin Oaks nursing homes. And she continued to share her gift of song anytime it was requested especially at family gatherings!
She always insisted that she was "not political," but in her own way she was a firebrand of civil rights activism. In addition to her role as a Guardian Ad Litem, or court appointed child advocate, she was a staunch supporter and advocate for the Democratic Party.
She was preceded in death by her parents Harvey and Alice Alston and all her siblings - Josephine McAdoo, Harvey (Bubba) Alston, Hurley Alston, Olivia Harris, Belle Moore, Rachel Underwood, and Arthur Alston.
A joyful soul who lived life with passion, she leaves to cherish her memory: her devoted, beloved husband James Teo Anderson; daughters, Betty Jean Woods, Tamani Robin Powell (William); grandchildren, Keith Woods (Jennifer), Kimberly Woods, Joplin Patterson, Kelsey Powell, Trey Powell; great-grandchildren Lloyd Gomes, Sydney Woods, Jordan Gomes and Skylar Wood; sisters-in-law Nan Dunston (Claude), Annie Graham and Louise Cox. She also leaves to mourn a special daughter, Bernice Egerton and special grandchildren Brandon (Delicia), Shaun (MiGuana), and Adrienne Egerton and Michael (Paula), Kevin (Andreasa) and EJ Crudup.
A Walk Through Memorial will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Nelson Chapel Baptist Church, 100 Leonard Farm Road, Louisburg, North Carolina.
A Celebration of Life will be conducted on Friday, March 19, 2021 at 12:00 noon at the Oakwood Cemetery, 1828 NC Highway 39 North, Louisburg, North Carolina. The Reverend William E. Maddox, III., will officiate.
The service will be livestreamed on the R. H. Greene Funeral Home facebook page.
Online condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Services entrusted to R. H. Greene Funeral Home, 109 S. Front Street, Warrenton, North Carolina.