Waynesville, Matilda Jane Wilson LaVange, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and Child of God died peacefully at home on September 4, 2020.
She was born in Sylva, NC on September 20, 1921, the sixth of John and Madge Wilson’s nine children. She graduated from Sylva High School, where she was class salutatorian in 1938. After attending Western Carolina University for one year, she enrolled in nursing school at the University of Virginia, leading to a fulfilling 40 years as a Registered Nurse. A lifelong Methodist, she was a member of First UMC in Waynesville.
Matilda began her nursing career in Melrose, Massachusetts, where she met Gene LaVange, her husband of 57 years. The couple lived in various locations before settling in Waynesville in 1958. Matilda worked at Haywood County Hospital for 26 years before retiring in 1984.
Matilda was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and eight brothers and sisters.
She is survived by her two children, Ben LaVange (Lisa) and Suzanne Tinsley (Preston), five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and numerous nephews and nieces, who fondly called her "Sarge".
A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Matilda’s name to Waynesville First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 838, Waynesville, NC 28786 or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 205 Regency Executive Park, Suite 102, Charlotte, NC 28217.
The care of Mrs. LaVange has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes.
To plant a tree in memory of Matilda Jane (Wilson) LaVange, please visit our tribute store.
First United Methodist Church of Waynesvile
P.O. Box 838, Waynesville NC 28786
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
205 Regency Executive Park, Suite 102, Charlotte NC 28217