Edith “Gaynelle” Sutton McCollum died Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Bon Secours Community Hospice House in Richmond VA. The cause of death was diabetes and vascular disease. She was 95. Gaynelle was born February 20, 1928 in Elon NC to the late John Thomas and Lena Myrtle Brown Sutton. John died at age 50 in a farm accident and Lena lived to a rich 99.
After high school, Gaynelle earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Elon College, where she was a member of the Pi Kapa Tau sorority. While teaching for a year at Traphill High School in Traphill NC, she met Luther Dwaine McCollum of Gibsonville NC.
Luther and Gaynelle were married June 24, 1951 at Fairview UMC in Elon. They were married 62 years before Luther passed away in 2013. Gaynelle and Luther had three children: Cynthia, who married Tom Uzzo of New York City (both deceased); Dwaine, married to Frances and living in Fairfax VA, and Sam, married to Cynthia and living in Montpelier VA.
Gaynelle leaves two grandsons who live in the Richmond area - Joel McCollum, married to Melanie; and Seth McCollum, married to Ashley. Great-grandchildren are Blake, Emma, Brooks and Luke. The young family built their first home outside Greensboro and later moved, in succession, to Charlotte NC, Huntsville AL, Cedar Rapids IO, and Springfield VA. Upon Luther's retirement in 1986, Gaynelle acquired family land back in Elon. They returned and repaired and extended the Sutton family homeplace where Gaynelle lived for 36 years. She and Luther were members of Fairview United Methodist Church where they were both active; not least Gaynelle providing most of the flowers in the church.
One of ten children, Gaynelle is survived by sisters Margie Foster of TX and Shelvia Russell of NC, sister-in-law Ann Sutton of NC, and brother-in-law Richard Wilson of FL.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday Sept 8, 2023 at Lowe Funeral Home, Burlington NC. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday Sept 9, 2023, at Fairview UMC in Elon. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Christian Church also in Elon NC.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Bon Secours Community Hospice, 1133 Old Bon Air Rd, North Chesterfield VA 23235 or Fairview United Methodist Church, 3128 Osceola Rd, Elon NC 27244