Shirley Pierce Modlin

Published 7:26 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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SUNBURY, NC – Shirley Ann Pierce Modlin, 81, of 1278 Highway 158 East, died Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at her son’s home in Suffolk, VA where she was cared for by her family.

Mrs. Modlin was born in Gates County on October 9, 1942, and was the daughter of the late William Dallas and Frances Ann Ward Pierce. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, W.D. Pierce.

A retired rural carrier for the United States Postal Service where she worked for 30 years, her main job in life was the work of a faithful wife, loving mother, and Nana to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a member of Damascus Christian Church.

Surviving is her husband of 62 years, Gilbert Modlin; their sons, Ray Modlin (wife, Kelley) of Suffolk, VA and David Modlin of Raleigh; two sisters, Jeanne Spivey (husband, Lloyd) of Corapeake and Carolyn Jordan (husband, Larry) of Gates; a brother, Glenn Ray Pierce (wife, Linda, deceased) of Franklin, VA; her sister-in-law, Carol Pierce Kelly (husband, John) of Jacksonville, FL; three grandchildren, Danielle Allemand (husband, Matt) of Suffolk, VA, Gil Modlin (wife, Sam) of North Pole, AK; and Dustin Modlin (wife, Cassie) of Millville, PA; and five great-grandchildren, Ricky, Logan, Gavin, Mathew, and Lilly.

A graveside service will be held Friday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m. in Damascus Christian Church Cemetery where memories and comfort will be shared by family and friends. Casual and comfortable clothing is encouraged.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Cushing’s Support & Research Foundation, 4155 Lawrenceville Highway #8130, Lilburn, GA 30047 (online at, or to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023 (online at

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to Shirley’s special friend and caregiver, Vicky Baker, for the comfort she provided during the long period of declining health.

Miller & Van Essendelft Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be made by visiting