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Ila Mae  Mims Poe
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Obituary for Ila Mae Mims Poe

DURHAM: Ila Mae Mims Poe died Friday afternoon, June 8, 2018, at Brookdale Chapel Hill Memory Care after a long good-bye of just over three years, she was 88. Ila Mae was a life-long resident of Durham growing up in the Guthrie, Driver and Park Avenue area as the only child of Charlie and Bruce Mims. She graduated with the class of 1947 at Durham High School.

She began work at age 13 at Efirds, later worked at S. H. Kress and then at Duke University Alumni Affairs Office. In the early 1960’s she and close friend Ann Moore operated Sunnydale Play School, an in-home child daycare center. But she found her real calling serving for 36 years as the church secretary at Bethany UMC, retiring in 2002.

Ila Mae grew up at Carr Methodist and Angier Avenue Baptist churches but after marriage moved her membership to Temple Baptist Church, where she was active until health issues limited her involvement. She served as church clerk, was involved with Sunday School, social activities, and the Temple Crafters handicraft group. Outside of church she was active for many years with the Sara Barker Circle of the King’s Daughters and Sons and served as a ‘Pink Lady’ volunteer at Durham/Duke Regional Hospital for nearly 40 years. She began volunteering at the hospital when it opened in 1976 and was recognized as volunteer of the year in 1999. Though not a member, she was also associated with the Friendly City Civitan Club by way of her late husband George.

In 1949 she married George L Poe after he returned from the war, and they enjoyed 62 years together before his death in 2012. The two of them enjoyed square dancing with the Square ‘Em Up and Golden Dippers square dance clubs, traveling with those groups and the “Just for Fun” group and vacationing at the beach with family and friends. And they always celebrated New Year’s Eve with the “Investment Club” group.

Handicrafts were both hobby and passion. Ila Mae could sew, knit, crochet and was creative and talented at basket weaving, ceramics, decoupage, and beading. She was responsible for many of the Chrismons decorating the church Chrismon Tree, and every year shared a different handmade Christmas tree ornament with friends and extended family. She also enjoyed cooking, especially desserts and Christmas cookies.

Ila Mae is survived by her two sons, Daryl Poe (Vangie) of Durham, Brian Poe (Donna) of Mebane, grandchildren Eric Poe (Jaime Tippett) of Concord, NC, Emily Poe-Crawford (Jordan) of Winston-Salem, NC, a sister-in-law Jean Poe Brinkley (Bud) of Covington, VA, step-grandchildren Andrea Logan (Danny) of Mebane, NC, Michelle Goodner (Will) of Wichita Falls, TX, and step-great grandchildren Rachael, Maddie, Jackson, Tanner, and Kendall, and a good number of nieces and nephews.

A burial and a committal service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 11th, at Maplewood Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. at Temple Baptist Church, 2121 Umstead Road, Durham, NC, led by Reverends Mark Mofield, Clay Warf, and Roger Elliott. A reception will follow the memorial service at the church. Any charitable contributions honoring Ila Mae can also be made to Temple Baptist Church.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

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Previous Events

Graveside Service




1:00 PM
Maplewood Cemetery

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701

Memorial Service




2:00 PM
Temple Baptist Church

2121 Umstead Road
Durham, NC 27712

Cemetery Details


Maplewood Cemetery

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701


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