Pilcher, Lorene


PILCHER, Dr. Lorene

Lorene Childs (Quay) Pilcher, who died on October 19, 2021 at the age of 91, was born and graduated from high school in Bogalusa, Louisiana. She received her B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, her M.A. in psychology from Florida State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She was a faculty member in the Psychology Department at George Peabody College, now a part of Vanderbilt University, the University of Illinois, and Temple University. In 1974, she joined the Department of Early Childhood Education and Development at Georgia State University as a full professor and a specialist in Developmental Psychology. Later she was jointly appointed to the Department of Educational Psychology. At that time her name was Lorene Quay. Although she married her beloved husband James B. Pilcher in 1989, she continued to use the name Quay professionally.

Dr. Pilcher loved conducting research and teaching, and frequently combined the two roles. She received many federal and local research grants which resulted in numerous research articles in prestigious journals, book chapters, and presentations at national meetings. She served on the editorial boards of psychological journals. In 1982 the Board of Regents appointed her one of the first Research Professors at Georgia State University, a position she maintained until she retired. When Governor Zell Miller started the nation's first pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, Dr. Pilcher was selected and funded to evaluate the program's effect on children statewide, a project on which she involved several students and colleagues. She taught and mentored students at all levels, and many learned to conduct research through their employment on her grants. Her doctoral students became respected professors, directors, writers, and a Dean. After retirement she continued to do research at Georgia State University for several years. She maintained her membership in several professional psychological and research organizations throughout her life, including the American Psychological Association. Upon her retirement the Board of Regents granted Dr. Pilcher the title of Professor Emerita. Shortly thereafter Georgia State University appointed her to a steering committee to form an organization of emeriti faculty, the purpose of which was to maintain a close relationship between the University and emeriti professors. She later chaired the board of that organization and became editor of the Emeriti Association Newsletter. She was also a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church and during the prime of her life participated in many church activities.

After retirement she moved to Canterbury Court, a senior living community, where she continued to work in leadership positions. She led a committee of residents to launch a very successful scholarship program in which the residents provide funding for college scholarships to employees. This support is enabling many employees to receive a college education. For that accomplishment, the Georgia Institute on Aging presented her the Positive Aging Award in 2016.

Dr. Pilcher's greatest love was her family, to whom she was devoted and dedicated. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Sheila Quay; her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Larry Allen Jr.; three grandchildren, Jonathan Ellis Allen, Matthew Quay Allen and Hayley Jennifer Quay; and her nephew and niece, Marcus McEwen and Helen Hammergren. Her cherished husband, James B. Pilcher, who practiced law in Atlanta for over 50 years, her beautiful young granddaughter, Caitlin Melinda Quay, and her sister, Joan Childs McEwen, predeceased her.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church, at 3003 Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, on November 3, 2021 at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers memorials should be donated to the Lorene C. Pilcher Endowed Scholarship Fund, Account #021025. Mail to Georgia State University Foundation, P.O. Box 2668, Atlanta, GA 30301-2668 or go online to https://netcommunity.gsu.edu/make-a-gift, click on Find My Fund, and type 021025 into Fund ID.

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