AUGUSTA, Ga. - Longtime resident and former Miss Augusta, Mrs. Peggy Udelle Lairsey Bilton entered into rest on Monday, November 22, 2010, at Kentwood Nursing Facility, just three months shy of her 91st birthday. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 pm, tomorrow Friday, November 26, 2010 at West View Cemetery. Father Jim Hedderman, pastor of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, in Russellville, AL, will officiate. Peggy was a devout member of the Roman Catholic faith. She was crowned Miss Augusta in 1938 and won a scholarship to Hurst Business College. This opportunity provided her with the skills for a successful career, first at C&S Bank for 10 years and later at University Hospital, for two decades, where she was the Emergency Room Administrator. Mrs. Bilton came out of retirement, for four years, to work with her son at EWTN, the Catholic television station, in Birmingham, AL. Peggy married Lester Bilton in 1941 and they were together, for 44 years, until his death in 1985 after a lifetime of service in the Richmond County Sheriff's Department where he retired, as a Lieutenant. Together they had one son, William, who attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY before going to Notre Dame to finalize his Doctorate of Divinity degree. When he died, of a brain aneurism, in 2002, he was Dean of St. Joseph House of Studies, in Leeds, AL. Mrs. Bilton is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, including her devoted primary caregiver for the past several years, Beverly Lynn Smith. She also leaves behind devoted friends Rose Dorsett, Barbara Rabinowitz, George Ververis and George Mutimer Over the course of her 90 years, Mrs. Peggy Bilton touched the lives of many people, in the Augusta area and across the country. Her official reign, over Augusta, lasted for only one year, but her hold on the hearts of those who knew and loved her will last forever. In lieu of flowers, it was Mrs. Bilton's wish that donations be made to a charity of your choice. Please sign the guestbook and send condolences at; www.plattsfuneralhome.com Platt's Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904, 706-733-3636.
The Augusta Chronicle-November 25, 2005