Cover photo for Patsy Sue Lankford's Obituary
Patsy Sue Lankford Profile Photo
1933 Patsy 2016

Patsy Sue Lankford

October 31, 1933 — September 29, 2016

Patsy Sue Shinault Lankford, 82, died peacefully at home on September 29, 2016 surrounded by her loving family and friends. Born in Surry County, NC on October 31, 1933 to William Taft Shinault and Mae Scott Shinault, she was pre-deceased by her parents, her husband, Gilmer Ray Lankford, and her sister, Betty Jo Cummings.


She is survived by her daughter, Gilda Lankford Kester of Cary, and her son, Charles Howard Lankford (Bridget Jones Lankford) of Moncure; her grandchildren, Brandi Marie Jones, Amber Brooke Kester, and Kalan Charles Lankford; and her great grandsons, Linkoln Michael Haynes and Oliver Drew Lavery. In addition, she is survived by her aunts, Annie Rue Willett, Auba Gray Foushee, Johann Coley and Corrine Cockrell, all of Sanford; sister-in-law, Elizabeth “Wickie” Lankford, of Sanford; and nieces, Linda LaRue, Sandra Kelly, Connie Dean and Jerri Lankford. Also surviving are many cousins, great nieces and nephews, and close friends who were special to her.


She graduated from Greenwood High School in Lemon Springs, and married her high school sweetheart, Gilmer Ray Lankford, a few months later on October 2, 1953.


Patsy worked for the IRS before the birth of her two children, Gilda and Charles. She worked for 5 years as a ceramic pottery professional before joining the staff at Kerr Drug Store in South Hills Mall for 17 years. While Pat enjoyed her career immensely, she most cherished her role as “Ma-Ma” when she cared for her grandchildren as preschoolers.


Beneath her calm and sweet demeanor, she was spirited and fiercely independent. She was a gifted cook, craftswoman, seamstress, dancer, and she loved water activities. She and Gilmer enjoyed camping and skiing at Kerr Lake for many years. After retirement, they enjoyed traveling for several weeks every September to Marco Island with friends. Patsy also enjoyed traveling with friends to various parts of the United States. 


She treasured her life in Cary, living the last 53 years in the home built by Gilmer’s brother on Kingston Ridge Road. She was a self- described daughter of Christ and a proud member of The First Baptist Church in Cary for more than 50 years. She loved her sisters in Christ in the Joy Sunday School Class and the Happy Hearts Club. Patsy was a wonderful example of the love, compassion, kindness and family values she felt were central to the joy of living. She will be missed by so many. In the communities she lived, she was loved, respected, and an inspiration to all that knew her.


The family wants to thank lifelong friends, neighbors, fellow Silver Sneakers, and her church family for their kindness and vigilance over Patsy’s life and especially, the past few months. The family is also grateful for the dedicated staff at Transitions Hospice Care who provided such compassionate care for Patsy.


Visitation for Sanford friends and family will be held 2:00-3:30 PM on Sunday, October 2nd at Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home, 509 Carthage St, Sanford, N.C. (


Visitation for Cary family and friends will be held 2:00pm on Monday, October 3rd at First Baptist Church, Cary, immediately followed by a celebration of Patsy’s life at 3pm in the church sanctuary. Interment will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park.


Donations in her memory may be made to The First Baptist Church of Cary, 218 South Academy Street, Cary, NC 27511 ( or to Transitions Life Care, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607 (


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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, October 3, 2016

2:00 - 3:00pm (Eastern time)

Rogers Pickard Funeral Home

509 Carthage St, Sanford, NC 27330

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Funeral Service

Monday, October 3, 2016

Starts at 3:00pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church Cary

218 S Academy St, Cary, NC 27511

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