Katy Tilley Dean

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


Feb. 17, 1984 — Feb. 9, 2018

Surrounded by her loving family, Katy Tilley Dean, 33, died peacefully on Friday afternoon, Feb. 9, 2018, at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, following a prolonged illness.

Born in Greensboro, on Feb. 17, 1984, Katy spent her formative years in Wilson. After college, she continued to make her home in Wilson to rear her own family. She graduated from Ralph L. Fike High School in 2002 and continued her studies at Barton College. Graduating from Barton in 2006, Katy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management of human resources and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority.

She is survived by her parents, Susan and Tony Tilley of Wilson; her three children, Samuel “Sammy” Dean, Sawyer Dean and Scarlett Dean, also of Wilson; her maternal grandparents, Nancy and Sam Finley of Elon; as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Her paternal grandparents, Peggy and J.O. Tilley, and her aunt, Vicki Tilley, preceded her in death.

Katy will be remembered for her beautiful curls, her vivacious spirit and her sense of adventure. She had a mischievous glint in her eye and a smile that captivated those around her. Katy loved her three children with all of her heart and considered them her proudest achievement.

A service celebrating Katy’s life will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel on the campus of Barton College in Wilson. The Rev. Bobby D. White and Russell Rawlings will officiate at the service. The family will receive friends following the Tuesday service at the Bridgestone Americas Atrium in the Kennedy Family Theatre on campus. A second memorial service will be held Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at St. Marks Church in Burlington.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to a trust fund for Katy’s three children. Donations to the children’s trust fund may be sent to The Dean Children Trust, 2012 Muirfield Court, Elon, North Carolina 27244 earmarked for Samuel, Sawyer and Scarlett Dean.

Condolences may be directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home at www.joyners.net.