Elizabeth Sprague Silver Cheshire

Published 9:19 am Monday, April 17, 2023

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July 21, 1927 – April 14, 2023

Raleigh, NC – Elizabeth “Sis” Silver Cheshire, 95, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on April 14, 2023.

Sis was born at Mary Elizabeth Hospital in Raleigh on July 21, 1927 to Bessie Cain Hinton Silver and Major H. Sprague Silver. Her father, a highly decorated WW1 veteran, died when Sis was 4 years old. Her mother subsequently moved her and her two older brothers, Charles and Sprague, to Midway, the family’s ancestral home outside Raleigh where she grew up riding horses, shooting guns, milking cows and smoking rabbit tobacco. There were always animals in and out of the house.

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Sis graduated from Needham Broughton High School in 1945 and subsequently graduated from St. Mary’s Junior College.

On April 23, 1949 Sis married the love of her life, Godfrey (Buddy) Cheshire Jr., a Raleigh native and Naval officer recently returned from commanding a destroyer escort in the Pacific during World War II who began a successful career as a business executive. Moving with her new husband from the old country house to a rental apartment in Raleigh with indoor plumbing and “modern” heat was, she always said, one of the great events of her life.

The Cheshires were active members of the Church of the Good Shepherd where Sis served as a Soup Kitchen volunteer, was a longtime member of the altar guild, and was involved with Meals on Wheels, having served with the organization since its inception in 1974. Following Buddy’s retirement they spent extended happy periods at the family beach cottage on the Outer Banks. After sixty-seven loving years of marriage Buddy passed away in 2016.

Sis was deeply involved in historic preservation. She was a member of the original Board of Directors of the Joel Lane Museum House. She was on the first Mordecai Square Historical Society Board serving as a member for a number of years. Sis was the Executive Secretary for the Sites Committee for a number of months and had fourteen plus years of service with the Raleigh Historic Sites Commission. Her tireless efforts were instrumental in the preservation of the historic All Saints Chapel. Sis was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina. She served on the State Capitol Foundation Board. She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Raleigh, Inc. She was a great lover of and advocate for all animals, and is a former SPCA board member.

She was most known for being a lover of people. She was blessed with a lively wit and had an innate ability to make anyone comfortable in her presence. She connected with both the young and old. Anyone who met her would not forget her.

In 2007 she gained a national and international audience when she appeared in the film “Moving Midway” directed by her film critic son, Godfrey. Her southern charm and humor endeared her to many.

Sis is survived by sons, Godfrey Cheshire III; Sprague Silver Cheshire and daughter-in-law, Stacey Cheshire; daughter, Elizabeth (Sugar) McOwen and son-in-law, Joe McOwen; three grandchildren, Sarah Cheshire and son-in-law, Tom Rathe; Joseph Cheshire McOwen, and Davi Cheshire; step-grandchildren, Brandon and Gavin Harris; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and godchildren. She will be missed by many grand-dogs and neighborhood dogs.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to the excellent caregivers who accompanied Sis on the final couple of years of her earthly journey: Martha Davis, Mia Smith, Kathy Bryant and Georgia Leary. The family also wishes to thank Transitions of Wake County.

The family received friends on Sunday, April 16th from 4-6pm at Sis’ historic family home, “Midway”, 1901 Amethyst Ridge Drive Raleigh, NC 27604.

A funeral service will be held on Monday April 17th, at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, followed by burial at Oakwood Cemetery.

Memorial gifts, if desired, may be made to SPCA of Wake County, 200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC 27603-6075 or Joel Lane Museum House. PO Box 10884, Raleigh, NC 27605.

Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary’s St. Raleigh, is serving the Cheshire family.