Amanda Kilcrease received the phone call that she was pregnant in the hospital room as her sister Monte Markley gave birth. With their sons being born exactly nine months apart to the day, Kilcrease’s relationship with her sister extends far beyond sharing a room until she was 17. 

Markley — an Elon community service officer — died of a stroke on May 18 at 43 years old, after roughly nine years working at Elon University. 

Born in Guilford County, Markley was a graduate of Western High School. Though she worked at many places over the years — including as a substitute in the Alamance-Burlington School System — Markley joined Elon as a member of the Facilities Management team in 2015 and later moved to Elon Campus Safety and Police in 2022.

Elon Community Service Officer Monte Markley died of a stroke on May 18 at 43 year old, according to Markley's sister Amanda Kilcrease. Photo courtesy of Elon University.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 1 at the Rich & Thompson Chapel in Burlington. People may also show their support by purchasing and planting a memorial tree in Markley’s honor.

Kilcrease described her as funny — but with a dry sense of humor — shy and full of love.

“She is one of a kind. I've never heard her say a bad word about anybody,” Kilcrease said. “She’d give you the shirt off her back. She made friends wherever she went and had tons of them. … When she got to know you and felt trusted by you, she's a firecracker.”

Some of Kilcrease’s favorite memories with Markley are when they took their kids up to their parent’s lakehouse, and their families would spend the day floating and playing on the lake.

“We just can’t get them back,” Kilcrease said. “You don't know. You don't know to enjoy the moment when you're in it. You think, ‘Oh, we'll do it again. It's next weekend.’ My heart just breaks; she was 43.”

Markley is survived by her mother Lynn Cobb, her father Harold Prince and her sister Kilcrease. 

Markley is preceded in death by her son James Markley, who was a sophomore at Elon when he died in 2020.

“You guys have been awesome and she really loved working for Elon, especially since James went there and they were great when he passed away,” Kilcrease said. “I just felt like God placed her there.”

As a high school teacher, Kilcrease said she and Monte often bonded over how they could mentor or help the younger generation.

“I teach high school and we would just talk about it — like the things that I see — and I have kids that are in high school and college and we would talk about those things and how we can make a difference,” Kilcrease said. “This is where she needed to be and she absolutely loved her job. … She loved mentoring the students — being there after what happened with her son. She just wanted to advocate for mental health and to let them know that they're not alone.”

Elon Community Service Officer Monte Markley (right) poses for a photo with her family. Markley died on May 18 of a stroke, according to her sister Amanda Kilcrease. Photo courtesy of Kilcrease.

The Elon community has also been incredibly supportive through Monte’s death — including with gestures like picking their mom up from the Burlington, Caswell County area and taking her to the hospital to see Monte because Kilcrease lives out of state in South Carolina.

“We've been in touch constantly. I think they're doing a dinner for their group and has invited us to come because I think Monte was getting honored or she was chosen for an award by her coworkers,” Kilcrease said. “It’s just been amazing to see, and her coworkers have had nothing but good things to say and are just totally in shock. As are we.”

According to Kilcrease, Monte’s coworkers originally found out something was wrong when she didn’t show up for work. Since she normally always shows up for work, her coworkers were surprised when her shift started and they couldn’t find her. They were at her front door within 15 minutes and found her unresponsive, Kilcrease said.

Kilcrease also said she wants Elon to know how much Monte loved the community.

“I just want people to know that when she loves, she loves hard,” Kilcrease said. “She loved her job at Elon.”

For resources, students, faculty and staff can contact the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at 336-278-7729, staff with Student Care and Outreach in the Office of the Dean of Students at 336-278-7200 or counselors from Counseling Services at 336-278-7280. 

Students can access 24/7 resources from the crisis counselor on-call at 336-278-2222, TalkNow from TimelyCare or Student Life administrator on-call through Campus Safety and Police at 336-278-5555. Faculty and staff may also utilize Elon Work-Life Resources for support.