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Lillie Elaine Terry


Lillie Elaine Terry, born May 07, 1951, in Lexington, North Carolina, was lovingly known as Elaine by her family. She graduated from Cleveland High School in 1969 and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Livingstone College (Salisbury, NC) and Martin University (Indianapolis, IN).  

Following in her father’s footsteps, Elaine enlisted in the United States Army in 1973 as a Military Police Officer (MP) and later Medical Supply Specialist. As an MP in the Army, she made history by being one of the first females to serve in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. While on active duty she earned the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and Army and Overseas Service Ribbons. 

After 5 and a half years of honorable and faithful service, Elaine left the Army and went on to pursue a myriad of careers. One of her most notable was as a long-haul truck driver. She went on to retire from the Defense Finance Accounting Service in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a Government Service employee. 

Elaine departed this earthly world on February 4, 2024, at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, Fayetteville, NC. She was a proud and loving mother to her daughter Stephanie Dnette Rankins, who gained her wings on April 14, 2017. In addition, she was preceded in death by her father, Chester A. Rankins, mother Helen Bush Troutman, brother James Bush, sisters Martisha D. Briggs (Jefferey) and Drue Yokely.

Elaine is survived by her loving and devoted mother, Casendia V. Rankins of Spring Lake, NC. Twelve siblings, Catherine Terrell of Lexington, NC; Rose Dulin of Lexington, NC; Richard Saunder (Alicia) of Cleveland, OH; Anita Hampton (Richard) of Binghamton, NY; Billy Bush of Lexington, NC; Larry Rankins (Patricia) of High Point, NC; Phyllis Rankins of Greensboro, NC; Sharon Green (Antonio) of Durham, NC; Roy Bush of Lexington, NC; Avis Rankins of Spring Lake, NC; Angela Rankins of Cameron, NC; and Sammy Bush of Lexington, NC. In addition, she is survived by a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Elaine was fearless and not afraid to break down barriers. Her big heart was one of her greatest qualities. She didn’t know how to give up on others, because she always focused on the good in those she loved. Elaine never got tired of doing little things for others and she will truly be missed.

A funeral service will be held on February 16, 2023 at 12 noon at All American Chapel on Fort Liberty. The family will receive friends 11a.m-12 prior to the funeral.  Burial will follow the service  at 2 p.m. at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.