FRANKLIN - Molly Philo, 71, of Franklin, passed away Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
Molly was born Dec. 5, 1945 in Winston-Salem to Spruill Thornton and Ruth Hester Thornton. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, her stepfather Dr. Lundie Calvin Ogburn, her brother Tom and his wife Nicka Thornton, and her brother-in-law Barry Joyce.
She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Steven Philo of Franklin; her son, Leonard Philo of Rancho Santa Fe, California; a sister, Elizabeth Thornton of Winston-Salem; a brother Calvin Ogburn and his wife Lou of Tallahassee, Florida; a sister-in-law, Diane Joyce of Madison; and six nieces and nephews.
Molly grew up in Winston-Salem. She attended R.J. Reynolds High School where she was a class officer, cheerleader, and voted “Friendliest” her senior year.
She had been with her husband for 57 years since she started dating him her sophomore year in high school. After her senior year she followed him north and attended Drew University in Madison, New Jersey until he graduated from the military academy at West Point. They were married in Winston-Salem on July 31, 1965 and soon after began their military career together, which took them to Fort Benning, Georgia twice, Baltimore, Maryland twice, and Munich, Germany.
Molly returned to Winston-Salem for a year while Steve was in Vietnam, and attended Wake Forest University. Over a 35-year span, in addition to attending Drew and Wake Forest, she attended Palm Beach Jr. College, the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany, Southwestern Community College to become a drug and alcohol counselor, and Western Carolina University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. Molly was often congratulated on squeezing a four-year degree into 35 years.
As her son, Len, attended school, Molly could not have been more active as a teacher’s aide, PTA officer, fundraiser and student advocate. She never missed one of Len’s soccer or basketball games, or his track or cross country meets, while he played four sports in high school. She was one of four founders of the youth soccer program in Franklin and served on the board of directors for REACH in Franklin.
She often volunteered for charities preferring to work anonymously and filling jobs that needed done, which no one else would do. She was an active 34 year member of Alanon and Alcoholics Anonymous, where she worked with, sponsored and supported countless people in recovery – young and old. Her impact in helping others find a better life is being felt and spread today. In this way Molly is not only remembered, but she also lives on.
Whether intentionally or just naturally, Molly personified the philosophy of “It’s more important for you to be happy than it is for me to be happy.” She went out of her way, to praise others or make them feel better, but she did this effortlessly, and she wrote countless letters to business managers telling them one of their employees had helped her or had given her friendly or courteous service.
The family wants to thank the Macon County Senior Center and Four Seasons Hospice for the loving care Molly received in her last years. They provided her with the care and love she showed others.
This is a better world because Molly was here, and will continue to be a better world because of the way she lived and loved.
No services are planned. Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.