She was born Nov. 16, 1926 at Blanch, N.C., to Robert G. and Mary (Gatewood) Powell. Madora was educated in the County Schools of Caswell County, N.C., and then graduated from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., and Averett University in Danville, Va.
Madora was employed in Danville, Va., and the Department of Public Utilities in Raleigh, N.C. She then moved to New York City and was employed by Chase Manhattan Bank. She excelled in the use of shorthand and was proficient all her life.
It was in New York City when she met Gordon B. Fillman on Nov. 13, 1953 — the day he graduated from Navy OCS on his 24th birthday. They were married in Long Beach, Calif., on April 24, 1954 where he served in the U.S. Navy. After he returned from Japan, they moved to North Chicago, Ill., where he was assigned to Great Lakes ADCOM Legal. She enjoyed many happy reunions over the years with her Navy friends.
Madora and Gordon had five children: Rhonda, Gary, Mary Elizabeth, Susan and Steven. She has lived in York since January 1958. She has been a member of First United Methodist Church of York for over 50 years and enjoyed Deborah Circle. She was first a member of Blanch Baptist Church and later became a member of Riverside Church in New York City.
Madora enjoyed travel and accompanied Gordon to three Rotary International Conventions in Denver, Mexico City and Birmingham, England. She was also a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. She and Gordon visited 48 of the United States, Sweden, Norway and Germany, as well as, visiting all six Eastern European countries, including Yugoslavia, before the breakup occurred. A favorite country was Romania. Separate trips included all of Turkey and later Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
Madora is survived by her husband, Gordon B. Fillman of York; her daughter, Rhonda (Brad) Barrows of Denton; son, Gary (Gina) Fillman of Omaha; daughter, Susan (David) Wood of Lincoln; and son, Steven (Karen) Fillman of York; brother, William K. (Margie) Powell of Danville, Va.; and sister, Elizabeth Ann (David) Sparks of Ringgold, Va.; sisters-in-law, Myrtle Powell of Charlotte, N.C. and Gwen Dahlquist of Minneapolis, Minn.; grandchildren, Jennifer Guido, Stephanie (Aaron) Bauer, Hannah Fillman, Elizabeth Fillman and David Fillman; great-grandchildren, Taylor Guido and Noah and Mason Bauer; step-grandchildren, Liz (David) Chalenburg with sons Aiden and Holden, and Ryan (Anne) Barrows and daughter Martha; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her brother, Robert G. Powell Jr.; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Warren and Joan Fillman; and an infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who died in 1959.
Madora was a very loving person and enjoyed her family and friends very much. She had hundreds of books and magazines and delighted in reading to her children when they were young and her grandchildren. She was also an excellent cook and we always enjoyed her fried chicken and all types of desserts that she made, including zucchini bread. One of her favorite activities was sitting on the front porch having coffee with her friends. If it was raining late at night, she enjoyed very much being out on the porch and watching it rain. She was a dear person and we will miss her very much.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, at the First United Methodist Church in York. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, York.
Suggested memorials to First United Methodist Church of York Foundation or American Diabetes Association. Visitation was held at Metz Mortuary on Monday from 5-9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.