Cover photo for Susan  Ashley Wilson 's Obituary
Susan  Ashley Wilson  Profile Photo
1949 Susan 2023

Susan Ashley Wilson

September 29, 1949 — April 12, 2023

Susan Roberta Ashley Wilson, of Durham, passed away on April 12, 2023

following a period of declining health. She is dearly loved and will be deeply missed.

Susan is survived by her husband of 52 years, Albert Dillon Wilson, her son Benjamin

Ashley Wilson, her sister and brother-in-law Melissa Ashley Riggsbee and James

Riggsbee, and her niece and nephew David Thaddeus Riggsbee and Laura Riggsbee


Susan Wilson was a talented pianist leaning towards jazz, a dedicated artist

manager, and a passionate advocate for arts and music. She helped bring countless

hours of enjoyment to thousands during her thirty years in the Music Department at

Duke University. She worked alongside such talents as Arturo Ciompi, Mary Lou

Williams, and Nicholas Kitchen. In her personal time, Susan loved to entertain her

community; she played piano regularly at Sassy’s in Loehmann’s Plaza, Hope Valley

Country Club, and at several local churches. She loved to share her gift, and was most

at home behind the keys.

Susan was born on September 29th, 1949 in Williamston, N.C. to Joseph

Thaddeus Ashley and Doris Chesley Price Ashley. The family moved to Durham soon

after, and between her home Baptist church and music teachers at Brogden and

Durham High, Susan fell in love with music. She left home for Appalachian State

University, received a degree from Mitchell Community College, and then returned with

her husband to raise a family here. While raising her son and advancing her career,

Susan earned a BA in Arts Management from Salem College. Her family and traditions

were central to her, and her curiosity led her to a love of research and genealogy.

Susan’s tireless sifting and clever networking allowed her to trace her family line back

to Tudor England, a fact she shared with pride. She was a natural storyteller,

meticulous with details, and through her words and music she reached out to share joy

with those around her.

Susan was a great encouragement to all in the family, a wonderful listener, and we

won’t ever forget all the love and support she gave to us all.

A memorial service is being planned for 9/30/23 at 1pm. The Wilson family is

proudly being served by Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 West Main Street, Durham,

NC 27701.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Susan Ashley Wilson , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, September 30, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, September 30, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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