Anita Rae Tilley Austin, 69, of Troutman, N.C., passed away unexpectedly after a period of declining health on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at her home. Anita was born in Iredell County on February 26, 1950, and was the daughter of the late Edgar Vance Tilley and Selma Irene Speaks Tilley.

Anita was a graduate of North Iredell High School, Class of ’68, and was a member of Rose Chapel UMC, and a member of the Red Hat Society.

Anita retired from the City of Charlotte, where she worked in the mapping department.

Those who knew Anita knew of her love of the outdoors — especially her love of horses. Much of her younger years were spent with childhood friends, Joyce, Linda and Vickie riding her horses Queenie, Pet and Little Bit. Purple was her favorite color, and Elvis was her all-time favorite artist. She knew every song, album and movie by heart. She loved camping, times at the beach, playing games and a good ol’ Marlboro. Time spent with her family and holiday gatherings at Tilley Lane were the most cherished of times — especially a good card game around the kitchen table. She loved deeply and lived life fully, and in the end “She did it her way.”

Left to cherish the memory of Anita Austin are her two children, Brent Austin (Elizabeth) and Trevla Pulliam (Victor), along with her grandchildren, Branson, Baylen, Evie, and Berek Austin and Salem and Stokes Haire, all of Statesville, N.C. She is also survived by a sister, Wanda Stafford (Jr.) and niece Stacy Martin (Todd) and nephew Nate Stafford, also of Statesville.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019, in the Nicholson Funeral Home Chapel with Father Brad Mullis and Rev. Tim Stutts officiating. The family will visit with friends for one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Iredell County Animal Services, 430 Bristol Drive, Statesville, NC 28677.

Online condolences can be made to the family at

Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family.