Cover photo for Barbara Alphin's Obituary
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1933 Barbara 2024

Barbara Alphin

September 3, 1933 — May 15, 2024


Barbara Gilliam Alphin, 90, passed away on May 15, 2024, surrounded by her loving family.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 18th at Pocket Presbyterian Church in Sanford, NC.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather following the burial in the church fellowship hall. 


Barbara was born in Sanford, NC on September 3, 1933 to parents Florence Gladden Gilliam and Henry Cornelius Gilliam, Sr. She was raised in the Pocket community and attended Pocket Presbyterian Church.  She attended Women’s College and transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill graduating in 1954 from Pharmacy School.  She began her career as a pharmacist working at Sutton’s Drug Store in Chapel Hill and later in the pharmacy at Duke Hospital.  At Duke, she met the love of her life, Reevis “Al” Alphin, in the cafeteria where he was working while he attended graduate school.  They married on September 4, 1955 and spent 68 wonderful years together. 


Al and Barbara left North Carolina and began careers with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis.  They moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1960 for Al’s job with A.H. Robbins.  Barbara continued her pharmacy work both at Richmond Memorial Hospital and Lakeside Pharmacy.  Al and Barbara raised their family in Richmond. They enjoyed international travel together with Al’s work. After Al’s retirement in 1990, they moved to Barbara’s family’s farm in Sanford, NC (affectionately known as Whippoorwill Hill) where they lived a full and active life. In 2012, they moved to the River Landing Retirement Community at Sandy Ridge. Barbara’s beloved sister, Lynda Bowers, who lived close by on the farm, joined them, living next door to them at River Landing until her death in 2022. 


Barbara loved her family and friends dearly. She took great pride in her children’s accomplishments, both academic and athletic.  She treasured her two grandsons and loved attending their athletic events, where she would ring her famous “cowbell”. She was a diehard Carolina fan, who enjoyed attending basketball and football games up until her late 80s. She added black and gold to her wardrobe and cheered heartily for Wake Forest at her oldest grandson’s soccer games.    


Barbara enjoyed playing bridge, gardening and was a member of the Audubon BlueBird Society. She was active in many community organizations including the Lee County Extension while living in Sanford. She was a strong woman of faith who was active in Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond and Pocket Presbyterian Church in Sanford. She served in recent years as a mentor to pharmacy students from High Point University. She remained sharp and active throughout her life. Al and Barbara shared a love of flowers and were known for their beautiful and well landscaped yards.   She had a green thumb and true talent for arranging flowers and loved to share them with others. She also had a special love for cats, and her sweet cat TB was her constant companion.   


Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Al. She was the youngest of her 3 siblings and was preceded in death by her sisters Doris Collins (Ben) and Lynda Bowers (Bob).   She is survived by her son, Robert (Stephanie), daughter Carla (Sue), grandson’s Trace Alphin and Sam Alphin, and her brother H.C. Gilliam.  She cherished her large extended family of Gilliams and Alphins. She loved her many friends along the way and was especially fond of her neighbors in Williams Village at River Landing. 


In remembrance, the family asks that any charitable donations be made in Barbara’s memory to Pocket Presbyterian Church, 669 Pocket Church Rd, Sanford, NC 27330; or to the SPCA of the Triad, P.O. Box 4461, Greensboro, NC 27404. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Alphin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pocket Presbyterian Church Cemetery

669 Pocket Church Rd, Sanford, NC 27330

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Following the burial

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