following the service
Dolly Meilinger, 86, an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to caring for others and her family, has passed on to be with our Heavenly Father on Tuesday, January 16th of 2024. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she was the daughter of the late Louis and Cosmas Cavallaro Signore.
A Bellevue College alumna, Dolly’s nursing career in obstetrics was just the beginning. She obtained a master’s degree in teaching and passionately taught nursing for 25 years across the Upstate of South Carolina, leaving a lasting impact. Dolly was a devoted wife to her husband, Arthur Thomas Meilinger, through his death in 1996 and remained a loving, strong, single mother to her four boys thereafter. She was known for her love of Jesus and was unashamed of her faith; she regularly shared her testimony and His love for all those in her life. Her spicy New Yorker Italian nature blessed those she knew with eggplant parmesan socials, legendary lasagna, and meatballs for Christmas, and always having coffee and a story to share on hand. As a known socialite, she kept in touch with her beloved friends and hosted gatherings to nurture those relationships regularly.
She loved gardening and was a devoted member of the Mauldin Garden Club, and God help you if you parked with your tires on the grass. As the Meilinger matriarch, she loved, defended, and cherished her sons and their families. She spoiled all her grandchildren by being a strong and reliable presence in their life with always praying for them, offering sweets during visits, and sending a birthday card out to them on time. While there will always be a missing part in our lives with her gone, we know she is walking again now with Jesus and pain free. We are all blessed to have known and be known by Dolly and pray that her legacy will live on through our lives and will help carry us forward.
A special thank you to the amazing caretakers who assisted in care of Dolly until her last day; we are grateful for the service, kindness, and friendship you gave Dolly day in and day out that allowed her to pass peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
Dolly Meilinger was preceded in death by her spouse, Arthur Meilinger and brother, Bob Signore. She is survived by four sons, Tom and spouse Beth, Bill and spouse Laurie, Louis and spouse Kelly, and Michael and spouse Penny; her grandchildren, Brittany Lining and spouse Nathaneal, Morgan Minter and spouse Kyle, Nicole Smolens and spouse Jay, Kilian Meilinger, Carson Meilinger, Roman Meilinger, Marissa Meilinger, Kyra Meilinger, Lauren Meilinger, Eric Meilinger, and Matthew Gilstrap and spouse Rebecca; five great grandchildren, Brightyn Lining, Ellison Lining, Calvin Lining, Logan Gilstrap, Lillian Gilstrap; one brother, Joseph Signore; and two sisters, Mary Bonfanti and Carole Maiale.
A visitation will be held Sunday, January 21, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Southeast followed by the Funeral Service in the Chapel 2:00 p.m. Burial will be Cannon Memorial Park.
Family and friends who are unable to attend the service can view the Live Stream by clicking on the “Watch Livestream” button located on the main obituary page.
Friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Dolly with the family by clicking on the button labeled “Leave A Message, Share A Memory” below.