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Elsie Hudson Booker
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Obituary for Elsie Hudson Booker

DURHAM: Elsie Hudson Booker, passed away at her home on Farrington Road on Saturday, April 8, 2017. She was 93 years old and died in the same room in which she was born on September 27, 1923. Her parents were Walter Curtis Hudson and Pearl Pope Hudson. She married John Gates Booker, Jr. on May 26, 1946, and he predeceased her on May 16, 2006, ten days short of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Elsie lived on her ancestral Leigh Farm all of her life, and she was instrumental in establishing the Leigh Farm Park and preserving its antebellum buildings. She attended Lowes Grove School and then graduated from Hope Valley High School in 1941. She entered UNC Chapel Hill immediately after graduation at a time when women could not matriculate at UNC. She learned that a pharmacy major was the one exception to the rule barring incoming freshman women, so she entered the School of Pharmacy, earning her degree in 1945. For more than forty years she practiced her trade in Durham, Orange and Wake counties, taking time out to teach math and chemistry at Oak Grove High School for two years. In 1968 Elsie was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Durham-Orange Pharmaceutical Association and she served two years as president of that organization. She was inducted into the North Carolina Academy of Pharmacy in 1961. She was a member of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and a charter member of the School of Pharmacy Alumni Association. Sixty years ago Elsie began collecting antique pharmaceutical items and later joined the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. The organization presented her with a Certificate of Commendation recognizing her collection in 1980. The house their overflowing collections, John and Elsie opened Patterson’s Mill Country Store on the family farm in 1973. At that time they began donating collected items to museums throughout the state. Elsie made a bequest of 3000 items to furnish the new pharmacy exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History. Her focus on historic preservation led to her charter membership in Preservation Durham where she was a member of the Watts Hill Circle. She served on the Board of West Point on the Eno and furnished the store in the mill.
Elsie was an active leader and proponent of the 4-H Club and the Boy Scouts. She was 4-H Leader of the Year for the East Central District of North Carolina. An active and persistent Grade Mother at Hope Valley School, she took a class of eight graders to Kenan Stadium to see John Kennedy in 1961. Elsie served as President of the PTA at Jordan High School and was for many years President of the Hope Valley High School Alumni Association, planning and implementing reunions there.
For eighty-five years, Elsie was a devoted member of Ephesus Baptist Church. Over time, she chaired virtually every committee of the church. She taught Sunday School for more than fifty years, chaired the Women’s Missionary Union, and consistently served as librarian and historian of the church.
At noon on Saturday, April 15, Pastor Kevin Georgas will lead her funeral service at Ephesus. Visitation will be held in the church sanctuary at 11:00am. Interment will follow the funeral service in the cemetery of the church.
Elsie is survived by her son, Curtis Booker (Gail), her granddaughter, Anna Bischoff (Bill), her grandson, John Booker, and her great granddaughter, Isobel Leigh Biscoff.
The family wishes to thank all the people at UNC Hospice for their unfailing assistance to Elsie and her family. A very special thank you goes out to Sherry Page, Joan Allen, and Kathleen Gleiter.
Memorial contributions in Elsie’ name may be made to UNC Hospice or Ephesus Baptist Church; 2025 Ephesus Church Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27517.


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Previous Events

Visitation Prior to the Service

Saturday

15

Apr

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Ephesus Baptist Church

2025 Ephesus Church Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Funeral Service

Saturday

15

Apr

12:00 PM
Ephesus Baptist Church

2025 Ephesus Church Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Cemetery Details

Location

Ephesus Baptist Church Cemetery

2025 Ephesus Church Rd
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

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