Cover photo for Janet Elms Gresham's Obituary
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Janet Elms Gresham

October 2, 1929 — November 15, 2023


Janet Elms Gresham


Janet Elms Gresham

October 2, 1929 – November 15, 2023


Janet Elms Gresham, 94, passed away on November 15, 2023.  Born on October 2, 1929, in Charlotte, North Carolina, she was the daughter of Richard Blankenship Elms and Iris Ayer Hanks Elms.  Janet graduated from Central High School (Charlotte) in 1947 and Coker College (Hartsville, South Carolina) in 1951. 


After graduation she moved to Wilson and worked for Jas. I. Miller Tobacco Company.   She met the love of her life in Wilson, John William Gresham, and they were married in 1955.  She returned to the business world in 1985 as Business Manager for the Wilson County Public Library and worked there until retiring in January 2000. 


Janet was actively involved in her community.  She was a past president of the Wilson Junior Woman’s Club and served as treasurer for the United Methodist Women for ten years and was given the Lifetime Membership Award.  She taught Sunday School at First United Methodist Church for many years and was past president of the Greenfield School Service League. 


Janet and John shared a love of bridge.  She was a member of two bridge clubs and the Wilson Duplicate Bridge Club, where she became a “Life Master”.  Janet will be remembered as always smiling and fun to be around.  She was devoted to her family and loved her church.  One of her favorite places was her home at Wrightsville Beach where she enjoyed spending time with family and friends.


Janet is survived by her daughters, Janet Ayer Gresham of Cullowhee, North Carolina, and Catherine Gresham Newman (J.W. Compton “Compie”) of Charlotte, North Carolina along with her grandchildren, Harrison Newman Williams (Franklin) of Boulder, Colorado, John Wesley Compton Newman of New York, New York and Catherine Ayer Gresham and Margaret Elms Gresham of Wilmington, North Carolina.


She was preceded in death by her husband, John William Gresham, and son, John William Gresham, Jr.


Janet’s funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at First United Methodist Church, 100 West Green Street, Wilson. Rev. Charles Robl will officiate. There will be a private interment prior to the service.  


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Janet’s honor to the First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, PO Box 1423, Wilson, North Carolina 27894 or to a charity of one’s choice.


Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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