07/17/07 — ROSE F. CHAMLEE

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Oct. 23, 1914-July 15, 2007

HAMPSTEAD -- Rose F. Chamlee, 92, died Sunday at Davis Health Care Center, Wilmington, N.C.

Rose was born Oct. 23, 1914, in Greene County, N.C., daughter of the late Ben Wiggins and Elizabeth Gurganus Wiggins.

She attended school in Eureka, N.C., and after high school graduation, attended Louisburg College, Louisburg, N.C.

Rose's long and fascinating career as a hostess began in the dining room of the Goldsboro Hotel in the 1930's. That career took her throughout the East Coast, serving the most prestigious hotels of that era. In 1942, while working in Charleston, S.C., she met her future husband, William Comer Chamlee, a golf club manager from Georgia.

During the next 19 years she devoted her time and energies to being a housewife, mother, and active participant in her church and civic organizations. She and her husband loved to entertain and their home was always open to family and friends.

After her husband's death in 1961, Rose was offered the position of assistant manager at "The Club" in Birmingham, Ala. With grace and charm, she met the needs of celebrity guests, as well as, arranged special parties for the membership.

Her outgoing personality and ability to work with people led to many diverse and exciting positions through the next 13 years, including: Head Resident, Gillette Hall, George Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 1962-1966; Dietitian, Dekalb County Schools, Dekalb County, Ga. 1966-1970; and Hostess/Manager, Georgia Governor's Mansion, Carter's Administration 1970-1975.

Rose retired from public life in 1975 and remained in Roswell, Ga. until 1980, at which time she moved back to North Carolina to be near her sisters.

She is preceded in death by her husband, William Comer Chamlee of Roswell, Ga.; three sisters, Margaret Aycock of Fremont, N.C., Nancy Hill of Kinston, N.C. and Marilyn Wiggins of Marietta, Ga.; and one brother, Col. Phillip G. Fleetwood of Alexandria, Va.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Elizabeth Williams and husband, Sidney H. Williams, of Hampstead, N.C.; four sisters, Evelyn Lamm of Wilson, N.C., Swanell McLawhorn of Kinston, N.C., Fanettie Whichard of Pikeville, N.C. and Reba Mitchell of Goldsboro, N.C.; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at Andrews Hampstead Chapel.

A funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, July 19, 2007, at Andrews Hampstead Chapel with Dr. Timothy Croft officiating. Interment in Georgia, with a graveside service, will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Davis Health Care Center, 1011 Porters Neck Road, Wilmington, N.C. 28411, or to George Peabody College, School of Education, Vanderbilt University, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, Tenn. 37203.

Rose Chamlee spent her nearly 93 years on earth caring for and giving to others. Her kindness, love, and generosity touched many people. She was indeed a very special lady.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com.

A Hampstead Chapel Service.


Published in Obituaries on July 17, 2007 1:47 PM