JONESVILLE — Jonesville Town Councilwoman Judy Wolfe, who also served as president of the Jonesville Historical Society and was a local historian, died Thursday at 3 a.m., according to town officials and family members. A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Wolfe was moved from Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital to the Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson Wednesday, and her family and preacher were with her Wednesday night. Friends reported that she died due to a heart attack after a short battle with cancer.
The Jonesville Historical Society has set up a memorial in her honor in the town hall meeting room and it will be set up throughout the weekend for anyone who wants to make their condolences to her family.
“She was a strong worker. I couldn’t keep up with her,” said Becky Wood with the Jonesville Historical Society. “I brought her coat to the memorial in the town hall because I knew it would remind everyone of her. She always wore it wherever she went. We set up a memorial for her today to show her family how much she’s been loved.”
Wolfe was Jonesville High School homecoming queen for 1960 and was captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team the same year. She graduated from Jonesville High in 1961 and received a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1965; a master’s of education degree in personnel and guidance from Clemson University in 1971; an advanced degree in personnel and administration in 1982; and a Doctor of Education Administration degree from VPI in 1988.
Wolfe worked a year as a recreational director in special services in Vietnam, where she received a Purple Heart medal. Her wartime memories are recorded on the website, “Vietnam Reflections.” After Vietnam, she taught and served as a guidance counselor at a number of high schools, including Starmount, Elkin and Wilkes. She directed plays at Elkin, including “Li’l Abner.”
She served as a high school principal in the western North Carolina Maggie Valley area and served previously as a Jonesville town councilwoman and wrote the request that resulted in a $1 million grant for establishing Lila Swaim Park. In her earlier term as councilwoman, she also arranged for a Christmas Eve candle lighting with luminaries all along the full circle of West Main, Elm, and North Bridge streets.
For her work in preserving the history of Jonesville, one of the oldest towns in western North Carolina prior to the Civil War, she was chosen last October as Historian of the Year by the North Carolina Society of Historians, Inc., which she considered to be her greatest achievement.
“Judy was a motivated individual who captured the town of Jonesville’s history. We thank her for the education,” said Town Clerk Lynn Trivette.
Wolfe’s siblings, Jim Wolfe and Ann Masten, have made plans for a memorial service at 3 p.m. Sunday at Jonesville United Methodist Church. Elkin Funeral Service is handling her services.
Charles Mathis will be opening up the history center this weekend in her honor.
“Sunday afternoon I got a feeling that she wouldn’t last a week now,” said Mathis with the Jonesville Historical Society. “It’s a sad day for Jonesville. The History Center will still be in operation with the local support. Our history is worth saving and keeping. Her last request that I download all of her Jonesville tales and trails and edit it to make a book.”
The historical society held a memorial for her at the History Center Thursday evening.
“We plan on keeping the history center opened and going in her honor,” said Wood. “Her number one project was to finish the war memorial at Mineral Springs Park, and we will finish it in her memory. She went peacefully. She told us that she was ready to go.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.