Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - July 2007


Archived Obits July 2007



Judith Ann Grady     [Back to Top]

Judith Ann Grady, 72, of Messer Rd., Valdese, NC died Sunday, July 1, 2007 at Autumn Care of Drexel. She was born in Yancey Co., NC on April 25, 1935 and was a daughter of the late Bratch and Marion Autry. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Grady; brothers, Jay, Clinas, and Howard Autry; and sisters, Edith Berry, Betty Duncan, and Molly Autry. Mrs. Grady retired from Broughton Hospital after thirty years of service and was a member of Enon Baptist Church.

Surviving are her daughter, Sheilah Berry, and a granddaughter, Sable Adams, both of Valdese.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2007, at Enon Baptist Church with Rev. Gary Garner officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



Charlie Mae Scott Greer     [Back to Top]

Charlie Mae Scott Greer, 86, of Jug Wilson St., Glen Alpine, NC died Monday, July 2, 2007, at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. She was born in Burke County on October 18, 1920 and was a daughter of the late Frank Pierce Scott and Artie Pritchard Scott. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Ralph Greer; brothers, Buck and Tommy Scott, and by sisters, Carolyn Greer and Inez Patton. Mrs. Greer was a retired employee of Drexel Knitting Mill and attended First Advent Christian Church where she enjoyed participating in all areas of church life especially the “Special Delivery” food program.

Surviving are her sons and their wives, Joe and Jackie Greer of Glen Alpine and Scottie and Margaret Greer of Morganton; grandchildren and their spouses, Carrie and Mike Coronado of Corinth, TX, Brian and Becky Greer and Keith and Ashley Greer all of Morganton, and Eric and Chesley Greer, of Drexel; great-grandchildren, Taylor and Daxton Greer; a sister-in-law, Ada Scott, of Glen Alpine; and a number of nephews and nieces.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 5, 2007, at First Advent Christian Church with Rev. Jim Taber officiating. Burial will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at Western Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery, Black Mountain, NC. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to First Advent Christian Church Building Fund, 211 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Dorothy "Dot Dot" Speegle Queen     [Back to Top]

Dorothy “Dot Dot” Speegle Queen, 88, went home to be her Lord on Sunday, July 1, 2007 following a period of declining health. She was born in Burke County, NC on May 22, 1919 and was a daughter of the late William Ausburn Queen and Bertie Jannetta Abernathy Queen. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Forrest Eugene “Jack” Queen, Jr.; brothers, Lloyd, Marylin, and Ervin Speegle; sisters, Fern Brittian and Aleene Stillwell Beshears; a granddaughter, Ashley Nicole Queen; and a son-in-law, James Clyde Hise.

Dorothy was a loving mother, grandmother, and caregiver to her family and friends. She loved the outdoors especially hiking and camping with her family and trips to the beach, and she never turned down a visit to Pats Snack Bar or shopping at Belk.

Surviving are her children, Benjamin “Benji” Eugene Queen and his wife, Pat; Lynda Kay Yancey and her husband, Charles; and Jerry Ausburn Queen and his wife, Brenda; all of Valdese, Patricia Queen Hise Epley and her husband, Ronnie, of Conover; Michael Queen and his wife, Diana and Kevin Queen and his wife, Sheree, all of Drexel; fifteen grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at Sossoman Funeral Home. The funeral will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 5, 2007, at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Valdese. The body will be placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. At other times the family will be at the home of Michael and Diana Queen. Memorial contributions may be made to Mount Calvary Baptist Church Family Life Center Fund, 704 Praley St., S. W., Valdese, NC 28690.



John Harold “Shorty” Greene     [Back to Top]

John Harold “Shorty” Greene, 80, of Dysartsville Road, Morganton, NC, died Monday, July 2, 2007 at Frye Regional Medical Center following a period of declining health. Born in McDowell County, NC on November 3, 1926, he was the son of the late J. T. Greene, Sr. and Mary Margaret Lowdermilk Greene. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Jack Greene, and a sister, Gale Miller. Shorty was a member of Mountain View #2 Baptist Church and retired from Henredon Furniture after thirty-five years of service.

A loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Harold is survived by his wife of 59 years, Cora Taylor Greene of the home; a son, John Carroll Greene and wife, Linda, of Morganton; daughters, Nan McCall of Lenoir, NC and Susan Brooks and husband, Joe, of Greenwood, SC; brothers, Arliss Green and wife Jessie, and Joe T. Greene and wife, Kathy, all of Morganton; four sisters, Margie Wright of Kings Mountain, NC, Jewell Houk, Johnsie Chatham, and Ozelle Sotelo and husband, Art, all of Morganton; seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 6, 2007 at Mountain View #2 Baptist Church with Reverends Sid Houk and Paul White officiating. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. At other times the family will be at the residence, 4835 Dysartsville Road, Morganton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Western NC Chapter, 31 College Place, Suite D-320, Asheville, NC 28801 or to the March of Dimes, attn: DRFR, 1275 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605.



Sarah Butler Cline     [Back to Top]

Sarah Butler Cline, 69, of Wall St., Morganton, NC died Monday, July 2, 2007 following a period of declining health. She was born in Burke County on December 30, 1937 and was a daughter of the late William Sanford Butler and Vadie Christine Huffman Butler. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Kelly Ray Cline; brothers, William Sanford Butler, Jr. and Stiers Butler, and by a sister, Marjorie Butler. Mrs. Cline was a member of Trinity Baptist Church.

Surviving are a brother, Clyde Butler, of Morganton; sisters, Ann Guy, Gladys Butler, and Mildred Tweed all of Connelly Springs, and Jennie Ramsey and her husband, Larry, of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5, 2007, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Scott Moneyham officiating. Entombment will follow at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends one hour before the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., 1501 NW 9th Ave., Bob Hope Rd., Miami, FL 33131 or to Trinity Baptist Church, 3333 Trinity Church Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Wilma S. Denton     [Back to Top]

Wilma S. Denton, 88, of Vance Denton Road, Morganton, NC, died Tuesday , July 3, 2007 at her residence. Born in Burke County, NC on September 16, 1918, she was the daughter of the late Murney Shell and Cozy Franklin Shell. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Frank Denton; brothers, Harry, Joe, Nellis, and Roy Shell; a sister, Myrtle Shell Duckworth; and a granddaughter, Cheli Denton. Wilma was a member of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church where she sang in the choir. At the old Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church she played the piano, was B.T.U. director, and taught Sunday school. Wilma worked at the Drexel Knitting Mill for 20 years, retired from Shadowline in 1982, and worked for Direct Care for 8 years. She dearly loved her church and family.

She is survived by a daughter, Hazel Donaldson and husband, Bob, of Morganton; two sons, Lee and Robert Denton; nine grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.

fg The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 6, 2007 at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church Fellowship Hall with Reverends Dewey Thomas and Burl Sain officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1159, Morganton, NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Mason Gilbert Sisk     [Back to Top]

Mason Gilbert Sisk, 100, of Kayga Ave., Morganton, NC died Tuesday, July 3, 2007 following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County on March 23, 1907 and was a son of the late Pinkney A. Sisk and Sophie Avery Sisk In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Janet Williams Sisk; brothers, Earl, B.A. and Watson Sisk; and by sisters, Kate Sisk, Lena Spainhour, and Mary Patton. Mr. Sisk was a member of Mountain Grove United Methodist Church and was an avid sports fan especially of baseball and football.

Surviving are his sons and their wives, Jimmy and Linda Sisk of Morganton and Jerry and Marsha Sisk of Macon, GA; grandchildren, Jerry Sisk, Jr. and Melanie Sisk Fitzgerald; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 6, 2007, at Mountain Grove United Methodist Church with Rev. Neal Brantley officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Sossoman Funeral where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Mountain Grove United Methodist Church, 3624 Fish Hatchery Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Carolyn Conner Patton     [Back to Top]

Carolyn Conner Patton, 43, of Boone, NC died Wednesday, July 4, 2007, at her residence. She was born in Guilford County, NC on December 29, 1963 and was a daughter of Tom Conner of Morganton and Diana Young Hass. Mrs. Patton was a former employee of Molded Fiber Glass Co. and was a member of Middle Fork Baptist Church in Boone.

Surviving in addition to her parents are her husband, Rev. George Patton, Jr., of the home; sons, Adam Beard of Morganton and Joseph Patton of Boone; a daughter, Marie Beard, of Morganton; sisters, Debra Causby and Linda Conner both of Morganton, and Rhonda Black of Valdese; a half brother, Tyson Conner of Morganton and a grandson, Nathan Beard, of Morganton.

A funeral will be held at 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 6, 2007, at Middle Fork Baptist Church with Rev. Thomas Whray officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, July 8, 2007 a funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Hopewell Baptist Church in Morganton with Rev. Homer Murdock officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. On Saturday, July 7, 2007, the family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Sossoman Funeral Home, PO Box 2608, Morganton, NC 28680 to help with funeral expenses.



Betty Lee Edwards Watkins     [Back to Top]

Betty Lee Edwards Watkins, 81, of Ridgeside Terrace at Grace Ridge, Morganton, died Friday, July 6, 2007, following a brief illness. She was born on July 7, 1925 in Springfield, MA and was a daughter of the late Kenneth Scott Edwards and Stella Collins Lee Edwards. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth Scott Edwards, Jr. Mrs. Watkins attended Mary Baldwin College for two years and graduated from Richmond Professional Institute with later became Old Dominion University. She was a former member of the Morganton Woman’s Club and was a member of Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club. Betty was an avid artist painting in both oil and watercolors and an active bridge player.

Surviving are her husband of 60 years, John T. Watkins, Jr., of the home; their children, Dell Scott Coyne and Michael A. of Nashua, NH, Donna Lee Bacon and Judd L. of Pinehurst, NC, and John T. Watkins, III, of Traverse City, MI; grandchildren, Michael A. Coyne, Jr. and Devon, Rachel Lee Coyne, Kristina Ottenwiss and Jered, Thomas Justin Watkins, and Margaret Lindsay Watkins; great-grandchildren, Hollis Elizabeth and Adam Coyne; and a sister-in-law, Suzi Edwards of El Paso, TX.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Friendship Fund at Grace Ridge, 500 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. No services are planned.



Florence Phillips Weatherman     [Back to Top]

Florence Phillips Weatherman, 89, of Newland, NC died Friday, July 06, 2007, following a period of declining health. She was born in Avery County on December 5, 1917 and was a daughter of the late Eli “Pappa” Phillips and Sarah “Mama” Maltba Phillips. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Webb Weatherman; son, Roger Weatherman; sister, Dot Cornett; brother, Duard Phillips; grandsons, Timothy and Allen Weatherman; and four infant brothers.

Mrs. Weatherman was a devoted church member of Higher Ground Worship Center in Pineola, and she loved to cook and quilt. Surviving are a daughter, Louise Stamey, and her husband, Kenneth, of Jonas Ridge; a son, Jacob Weatherman and his wife, Hiroko, of Sumter, SC; grandchildren, Cathie Sears and her husband, Don, of Columbia, SC, Rita Huffman and her husband, Keith, of Newland, Dan Weatherman and his wife, Kelly, of Davidson, NC, James “Hardrock” Stamey and his wife, Tina, of Jonas Ridge, and Jeanne-Marie Weatherman, of Hickory; six great-grandchildren; sisters, Alma Barrier of Hildebran, Welda Aldridge of Crossnore, Lois Robinson of Linville Falls, and Christine Townsend and her husband, Alvin, of Icard; a brother, Bill Phillips and his wife, Doris, of North Cove, NC; and a daughter-in-law, Kathy Weatherman of Hickory.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, July 8, 2007, at Higher Ground Worship Center with Rev. Andy Willis and Rev. Joey Miller officiating. Burial will follow in the Jonas Ridge Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. Sunday at the church. At other times the family will be at the home of Louise Stamey, 8780 Buckeye Hollow Rd., Newland. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Chestnut Dale Baptist Church Building Fund, 544 Little Squirrel Creek Rd., Newland, NC 28657 or to a charity of one’s choice. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Hazel Wellman Huffman     [Back to Top]

Hazel Wellman Huffman, 90, of Nashville, TN and a former Morganton resident died Saturday, July 7, 2007 in Nashville. Born in Burke County, NC on March 6, 1917, she was a daughter of the late Fred and Rhoda Settlemyer Wellman. Hazel was a former employee of Morganton Hosiery Mill, Burke Yarns, and Broughton Hospital and was a member of Southside Baptist Church. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Johnny P. Huffman; a brother, Guy Wellman; and a sister, Ruby Lingerfelt.

Mrs. Huffman is survived by her daughters, Shirley Brown of Nashville with whom Hazel had made her home, and Joan Puett and her husband, David of Chester, VA; grandchildren, Kristie Kidd and her husband, Roger of La Vergne, TN, D. J. Puett of Chester, VA, and Pam Roberts and her husband, Timothy of Midlothian, VA; and several nephews and nieces.

A graveside service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at Burke Memorial Park with the Rev. David Orders officiating. Memorial gifts may be made to Cat’s Cradle, c/o Lynda Garibaldi, 112 Clark St., Morganton, NC 28655.



Hazel S. Brown     [Back to Top]

Hazel S. Brown, 84, of John Coffey Rd., Morganton, NC went home to be with her Lord on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC. She was born in Caldwell County on January 8, 1923 and was the daughter of the late Robert Rufus Smith and Neta Iona Killian Smith. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Jacob Sylvanus Brown.

Surviving are sons, Thomas A. Brown and wife, Debbie of Haw River, NC, Luther E. Brown and A. Leonard Brown both of Morganton; daughters, Sylvia Racine of Menomonie, WI, Linda Hefner, Lorene Wilson and husband, Frank all of Morganton, and Teresa Wrightenberry and husband, Lash of Burlington; brothers, Avery Smith, Carl Smith and Wayne Smith all of Lenoir; sisters, Pauline Denton of Columbia, SC and Mae Hartley of Lenoir, NC; eleven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

As a member of Antioch Baptist Church for more than sixty years, Hazel was a Sunday School teacher and a member of WMU. She was retired from Premier Hosiery and a homemaker. She was a hard working mother of seven who loved the simple pleasures of life – flowers of all kinds (especially dahlias), sitting on her front porch swing, visits by children and grandchildren and taking care of her great-grandchildren. She made the best cream corn which her grandchildren would often fight over at meal times. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her, but most especially by her family who now hold precious memories close to their hearts.

A Celebration of her life will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2007, at Antioch Baptist Church with the Reverends Clarence Correll and Conley Matlock officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends two hours prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Antioch Baptist Church, Building Fund, 2441 Antioch Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Minnie B. Williams     [Back to Top]

Minnie B. Williams, 90, of Rocky Ford Street, Morganton, NC, died Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at Western Wake Medical Center in Cary, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on November 7, 1916, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Pinkney Branch and Alvina Heele Branch. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clyde Boyd Williams; brothers, Joseph, Cecil, Donald, and Leroy Branch; and sisters, Ruby Scott, Catherine Byrd, and Amelia Wall. Minnie was a member of North Morganton Baptist Church. She worked at Belk’s Department Store for 41 years. She loved to grow flowers and was an avid fisherman.

A loving mother and grandmother, Mrs. Williams is survived by her daughter, Darleen Lowery and husband, Dan, of Raleigh, NC; a granddaughter, Kim Doreauk and husband, Robert, of Raleigh, NC; great-grandchildren, Isabella and Luke Doreauk; sisters, Mary Hoke, Faye Leonhardt and husband, Ervin, and Virginia Kirby, all of Morganton; sisters-in-law, Juanita Branch and Lillie Branch; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, July 15, 2007 at North Morganton Baptist Church with Rev. Kenny Baker officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to North Morganton Baptist Church, 101 View Street, Morganton, NC 28655.



Hope Hartley     [Back to Top]

Hope Hartley, 82, of Grace Ridge, Morganton, NC died, Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at Grace Hospital. Hope was born February 2, 1925 in Catawba Co. to the late Claude Franklin Frye and Florence Hope Frye. She attended Maiden High School and Lenoir Rhyne College where she received a Business degree. During WW II she worked briefly at Bolling Field in Washington, DC. After the war she became a runway model for Rogers in Boston, Massachusetts until she returned to North Carolina. Hope was an avid Atlanta Braves fan. She spent many happy years playing golf at Myers Park and River Hill Country Clubs where she was club champion numerous times. She enjoyed bridge and was a life master, but more than the fame, she loved the dear friends in her bridge club. Hope was a member of First United Methodist Church in Morganton.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Sidney Blake Hodges and her second husband, Thomas Hartley. She is survived by a son, Stephen Blake Hodges and wife, Trudy of Whitney, TX; sister, Maxine Frye Cutting of Morganton; granddaughters, Janel and Denise Hodges; niece, Cameron Cutting Wilkinson and husband, Neil of Charlotte; nephew, Dr. Scott Cutting and wife, Jonsye of Mt. Pleasant, SC; great nephew and niece, Douglas Scott Cutting and Spencer Cutting.

A celebration of Hope’s life will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday, July 16, 2007 in the Ervin Community Room of Grace Ridge with the Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson, III and the Rev. Holly Adams officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. Memorial gifts may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690, or to the Discretionary Fund, c/o First United Methodist Church, 200 N. King St., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Judy Ellen White     [Back to Top]

Judy Ellen White, 66, of Laurelwood St., Connelly Springs, NC, died Friday, July 13, 2007 at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on January 13, 1941, she was the daughter of the late Paul White, Sr. and Mary Lou Maloney White. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Richard White, and a sister, Carolyn Pritchard.

Judy is survived by a son, Tommy Lee Denton and wife, Debra, of Morganton, NC; daughters, Debbie Denton of Wilmington, NC and Donna Shull of Connelly Springs; brother, Bob White and wife, Kay, of Morganton, Rev. Paul White, Jr. and wife, Nancy, of Bostic, NC, John White and wife, Catherine, of Morganton; a sister, Jean McCarthy and husband, Vernon, of Nebo, NC; three grandchildren, Jonathan Eugene Denton and wife, Heather, Alisha Ellen Denton, and Christopher Michael Denton and fiancé, Heather Defoggi; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, July 16, 2007 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Paul White, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the residence of Tommy Denton.



Charles Horace Orders     [Back to Top]

Charles Horace Orders, 84, of Walker Road, Morganton, NC, died Sunday, July 15, 2007 following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC, on June 18, 1923, he was the son of the late Marvin Orders and Beulah Wise Orders. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Marqueen Duckworth Orders, and brothers, Benny, Harry, Roy, and Clyde Orders. Charles was a lifelong member of St. Matthews United Methodist Church. He was a WWII Army veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart. Charles was also a member of the Burke County Veterans Association. He retired from Henredon Furniture Co. and was a former employee of E.J. Victor. Charles enjoyed all types of woodworking and crafts.

Mr. Orders is survived by his children, Dean Orders of Glen Alpine, NC, Becky Morris and husband, Michael, of Connelly Springs, NC, Theresa Brown of Morganton; grandchildren, Jerit Miller and Danielle Peterson of Morganton, Angie Henderson and husband, David, of Raleigh, NC, Neal Brown of Morganton, Robert Morris serving with the Army in Iraq; great-grandchildren, Memphis Miller, Sarah Henderson, Zach Henderson, and Caroline Henderson; brothers, Jerry and Raymond Orders of Glen Alpine; a sister, Ola Turner of Glen Alpine; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at St. Matthews United Methodist Church with Rev. Allen P. Boliek. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park with military graveside rites to be performed by Valdese American Legion Post #234. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthews United Methodist Church, 201 Shady Rest Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



William Styles     [Back to Top]

William Styles, 69, of Rora Ave., Valdese, NC died Thursday, July 19, 2007 at Gateway Nursing Center in Lenoir, NC following an extended illness. He was born Sept. 2, 1937 in Yancey Co, NC. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Vivian Atkins Styles; and step-daughters, Regina Kay Epley and Valarie Brown.

Mr. Styles is survived by step-daughters, Debbie Holmes and husband, Tony, Elaine Hodge and husband, Jimmy, Sandra Dixon and Gordon Sweeny, all of Knoxville, TN, Ruby Bentley and husband, Lester of Taylorsville, NC, Rebecca Atkins and Trampis Dwardy of Gainesville, FL; step-son, Ronald Atkins and wife, Leni of Statesville, NC; step-grandchildren, Dean Brown and his children, Katlyn, Devan, Cassady, and Jacob, all of Knoxville,TN, Steven and Sonya Hodge and their children, Jacob and Savanah, David and Vanessa Tendall, Tiffany Holmes, Crystal Dixon and her children, Michelle and Nicky, all of Knoxville, TN, Michael and Amanda Hodge of Ft. Myers, FL, Cherry and Travis Kilby and their children, Brooke and Joshua, Mackenzie Miller, Lester Bentley, all of Taylorsville, Ronald George Atkins of Statesville, NC, Gary Atkins and Lacy Dwardy, both of Gainesville, FL, and Kenny Epley of Valdese, NC.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, July 22, 2007 at Calvary Freewill Baptist Church with Pastor Leonard Lindsey officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from 2 until 3 at the church. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Mark Allen Benfield     [Back to Top]

Mark Allen Benfield , 44, of East Union Street, Morganton, NC died Friday, July 20, 2007 in Jonas Ridge, NC. Born in Avery County, NC on May 4, 1963, he was a son of Joe Allen Benfield of Morganton and Lahoma Franklin Hedrick of Hickory. Mark had been employed by Drexel-Heritage Furnishings for 21 years and was currently employed by Blue Ridge Health Care. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Waites and Rachel Benfield and Zeb and Estelena Franklin.

In addition to his parents he is survived by his son, Mark Allen Benfield II of Drexel, NC; a sister, Melissa Singleton of Hendersonville, NC; his step mother, Stella Benfield of Morganton; step daughters, Becky Gilley of Drexel and Amber Tallent of Morganton; a step brother, Earl Miller of Lenoir, NC; a step sister, Sherry Cole of Rock Hill, SC; and a special friend, Linda Blackwell and her daughter, Angel of Morganton.

The funeral will be held at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 24, 2007 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Rev. David Orders officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. At other times the family will be at the home of the son, Mark Benfield II, 106 Habitat Lane, Drexel. Memorial gifts may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Ruby Searcy Bridges     [Back to Top]

Ruby Searcy Bridges, 72 of North St., Morganton, NC died Saturday, July 21, 2007 at Frye Regional Medical Center, Hickory, NC following a lengthy illness. Born on June 19, 1935 in Greenville County, SC, she was a daughter of the late Edgar D. Searcy and Addie Mae Rainwater Searcy. Ruby was a retired employee of Southern Devices and was a member of Way of the Cross Baptist Church. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by brothers, Walter E. “Bud” Searcy and Walden Searcy; and sisters, Edna Mae Searcy, Doris Moore, and Murlle Pruitt.

Surviving are her husband, Bobby Lee Bridges of the home; brothers, Wayne Searcy and his wife, Bonnie of Farrell, PA and Billy Searcy and his wife, Kathy of Columbus, NC; a sister-in-law, Frances Morrison of Statesville, NC; a brother-in-law, Dean Bridges and his wife, Brenda of Polkville, NC; and a number of nephews and nieces.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, 2007 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Reverends Richard Ellington and Eugene Ponds officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Diabetes Association, Memorial Program NCC, P. O. Box 2680, North Canton, OH 44720 or to Way of the Cross Baptist Church, 107 Morgan Dr., Morganton, NC 28655.



Ruth B. Crawley     [Back to Top]

Ruth B. Crawley, 76 of St. Mary’s Church Rd., Morganton, NC went home to be with her Savior on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC following a lengthy illness. Born in Burke County, NC on July 29, 1930, she was a daughter of the late Solan and Mary Looney Brown. She was a retired employee of the dietary department at Broughton Hospital. Ruth loved her flower garden and cooking, and was an avid NASCAR fan and Jeff Gordon supporter. She was a member of Grace Baptist Church, and she cherished the time spent with her church family and friends. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husbands, Ray Allman and Ralph Crawley; brothers, Jimmy and Jerry Brown; and a sister, Helen Chapman.

Surviving are her sons, Donald Allman and his wife, Terri, Michael Allman and his wife, Karen all of Cleveland, OH, Jimmy Allman, and Randall Allman and his wife, Linda all of Morganton; brothers, Edd and Mack Brown both of Virginia, John and Dan Brown both of Morganton; sisters, Hazel Loven, Myrtle Parker, and Claudette Hood all of Morganton; 13 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren; and her faithful canine companion, Scooby Doo.

The funeral will be held at Noon, Monday, July 23, 2007 at Grace Baptist Church with the Reverend Marty Bess officiating. Burial will follow in Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 11:00 a.m., Monday. Memorial gifts may be made to Grace Baptist Church, P. O. Box 8026, Morganton, NC 28680-8026. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



Ruth Small Curtis     [Back to Top]

Ruth Small Curtis, 86, of Wall Street, Morganton, NC, died Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at her residence following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC, on March 30, 1921, she was the daughter of the late David C. Small and Ellie Clontz Small. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Jerry Allen Curtis, and a brother, David Nelson Small. Ruth was a charter member of Pleasant View Baptist Church and retired from Huffman Hosiery.

She is survived by her husband, Luther Roy Curtis of the home; a daughter, Gloria Curtis Jernigan and husband, James David, of Hudson, NC; a granddaughter, Vicki Elizabeth Haigler and husband, David, of Hudson; a nephew, Larry Small of Glen Alpine, NC; and niece, Angela Small Lail of Glen Alpine.

The funeral will be held at noon, Thursday, July 26, 2007 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Reverend Burt Wilbur officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant View Baptist Church, 1874 Hwy 70 East, Morganton, NC 28655.



Wilma Carpenter Carswell     [Back to Top]

Wilma Carpenter Carswell, 89, formerly of Walker Road, Morganton, NC, died Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at College Pines Nursing Center in Valdese, NC. Born in Avery County, NC, on July 28, 1917, she was the daughter of the late Goldman Carpenter and Sadie Jane Carpenter. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Edward Carswell, and five brothers, Milligan, Moile, Deater, Lester, and Lambert Carpenter. Wilma was a member of Big Meadows Baptist Church.

She is survived by sisters, Virginia McClellan of Altamont, NC, Nina Miller of Lake James, NC, and Anith Shorthouse and husband, Terry, of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, July 26, 2007 at Big Meadows Baptist Church in Newland, NC with Rev. Danny Salyer officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Big Meadows Baptist Church, 1985 Horney Road, Newland, NC 28657. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family will the arrangements.



Ruth Lambert Abee     [Back to Top]

Ruth Lambert Abee, 88, of Summit St., Morganton, NC died Thursday, July 26, 2007, following a lengthy illness. She was born in Burke County, NC on September 20, 1918 and was a daughter of the late William Columbus Lambert and Mertie Small Lambert. Mrs. Abee was an active member of North Morganton Baptist Church, and loved all activities there including membership in the church choir, teaching Sunday School, and participating in Vacation Bible School and missions. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Abee was preceded in death by sons, David R. Abee and Danny L. Abee; a daughter, Elizabeth Lamar Abee; brothers, Charles, Vernon, and Otis Lambert, Sr.; and sisters, Beulah Leonhardt, Nora Spinks, Ona Lee Littlejohn, Myrtle Bowman, and Naomi Josephine Lambert.

Surviving are her children, Charles Allen Abee and his wife, Hildred, Judy Stroupe and her husband, Vernon, all of Morganton, and Patricia Hudson and her husband, Charles, of Valdese; 18 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and 1 great great grandchild.

The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2007, at North Morganton Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Baker officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11:30 until 1:00 p.m. Monday at the church. At other times the family will be at the home of Judy and Vernon Stroupe, 115 Buff Ave. Memorial contributions may be made to North Morganton Baptist Church, 101 View St., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



Arlene Browning Poteat     [Back to Top]

Arlene Browning Poteat, 82, of Conley Road, Morganton, NC, died Friday, July 27, 2007 at Grace Heights Nursing Center. Born on September 13, 1924 in Canton, OH, she was the daughter of the late Ben. H. Browning and Ida America Chapman Browning. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Ivan Poteat; brothers, Edward “Jack” Browning and Harley Ray Browning; and a sister, June “Tootsie” Browning. Arlene was a member of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. She was an avid craft maker, and loved to garden and can foods. She also enjoyed researching family history and genealogy.

Mrs. Poteat is survived by three brothers, David Allen Browning and wife, Brenda, Carroll Lindsey Browning and wife, Barbara, and Gerald Martin Browning and wife, Sandra, all of Burke County, NC; a sister, Winnie Fox and husband, Bob, of Burke County; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, July 30, 2007 at Oak Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Neal Brantley officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Pearl Allman Collins     [Back to Top]

Pearl Allman Collins, 85, of NC Hwy 126, Morganton, NC, died Saturday, July 28, 2007 at Grace Hospital. Born in Rutherford County, NC, on September 28, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Edward Allman and Sarah McGinnis Allman. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Clyde Collins; brother, Burley, Fred, Charlie, and Mark Allman; sisters, Myrtle McKinney and Mamie Teague; and a daughter, Nancy Collins Danner. Pearl was a member of El Bethel Baptist Church and retired from Drexel Heritage. After her retirement, she went to work at Western Carolina Center where she worked for over 20 years as a Foster Grandparent.

Mrs. Collins is survived by two daughters, Ruby Collins Prewitt of Morganton and Judy Collins Max and husband, Thomas, of Charlotte, NC; three grandchildren, Marty Wiseman, Fulvia Hester, and Joey Danner; and five great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Monday, July 30, 2007 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Ray Clemens officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the home of Marty Wiseman on Goodman Lake Road. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc, 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Georgia Mullins Watkins     [Back to Top]

Georgia Mullins Watkins, 64, of Kennedy Place, Morganton, NC, died Sunday, July 29, 2007 at Grace Hospital. She was born in Hancock County, TN on November 17, 1942 was the daughter of the late Frank Sizemore Mullins and Helen Rankin Stewart Mullins. Mrs. Watkins was a member of First Presbyterian Church and was a cake baker extraordinaire as well as an animal lover.

A devoted daughter, wife, sister, aunt, and friend, she is survived by her husband, Lynn Watkins, of the home; sisters, Mary Eplee and her husband, Robert, of Whiteville, NC, Peggy Johnson of Knoxville, TN, Mickey Shuping and her husband, Clyde, of Drexel, NC, Billie Horton and her husband, Orban, of Sneedville, TN, and Nina Talbert and her husband, Gary, of Lake Waccamaw, NC; a brother, Lester Mullins and his wife, Brenda, of Sneedville, TN; an uncle, Thomas Collins and his wife, Frances, of West Liberty, KY; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nephews, and great-nieces.

The funeral will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. The family will also receive friends at Sneedville United Methodist Church in Sneedville, TN from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m., Wednesday. Burial will follow in Flowers of the Field, the Mullins family cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Robert Christopher Pope     [Back to Top]

Robert Christopher Pope, 40, of Mini Acres Lane, Hickory, NC died Monday, July 30, 2007, following several months of declining health. He was born in Burke County, NC on April 24, 1967 and was a son of Johnny A. and Kay Woodie Pope with whom Robert had recently made his home.

Surviving in addition to his parents are his wife, Phyllis C. Pope; his daughter, Kerstin VanHuss, of Granite Falls; his sister, Carol Richey, of Morganton; his grandfather, Aubrey Duncan, of Morganton; nephew, E. J. Starnes; and a niece, Sydney Richey.

Mr. Pope was preceded in death by his grandparents, Virginia Woodie Duncan and Guy and Viola Pope. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, August 2, 2007, at Royal Chapel Church of God with Rev. Dennis Pitts officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home. At other times the family will be at the home of his parents, Johnny and Kay Pope, 1155 Mini Acres Lane, Hickory. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4-A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407.



William "Bill" Sharp     [Back to Top]

William “Bill” Sharp, 85, of Bristol St., Morganton, NC died Sunday, July 29, 2007, following a period of declining health. He was born in Bradenton, FL on January 26, 1922 and was the son of the late Fredrick and Katherine Sharp. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by first wife, Jane Shore Sharp and by his second wife, Jennie Sharp. Mr. Sharp was a U. S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and retired from Burlington Industries Aviation Department.

Surviving are his sons, Richard Sharp of Morganton, Jonathan Sharp of Ohio, David Sharp of Arizona, and William Sharp, Jr. of Florida, and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2007, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Kevin Cranford officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4-A Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC 27407 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 29690.



Joe "Pro" Cheves     [Back to Top]

On July 31, 2007, PGA golf professional, Joe Cheves, 89, passed away peacefully in his home leaving the arms of his loving family to begin his next round of play on God’s perfect course.

Pro, as he was known to all, was born in Cheraw, SC on May 23, 1918. He is survived by Martha Crawford Cheves, his loving wife of 60 years; his daughter, Carolyn Cheves, of North Myrtle Beach, SC; his son and daughter-in-law, Carter and Jan Cheves, of Apex, NC; grandchildren, Dan and Starla Hoke, of Glen Alpine and Carter and Emily Cheves of Apex, NC; great-grandchildren, Lendan and Baila Grace Hoke of Glen Alpine; a sister and her husband, Louise and Jack Tostensen, of Brunswick, GA; and many nieces, nephews, and sister-and brothers-in-law.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Warren Cheves and Delinda Carter Cheves; a brother, Isaac “Ike” Cheves; and sisters, Polly Strock and Connie Stenson.

Mr. Cheves served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was decorated with the World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Theater Service Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Philippine Liberation Service Medal, and the APT Service Medal.

A true Southern gentleman, Pro was loved by all who knew him. As a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, a much-loved son and brother, and treasured friend, he will be greatly missed. Pro loved people and was well known for having a kind word to say about everyone. You could count on him to provide encouragement, share his charming sense of humor, and bestow a contagious smile that melted the hearts of his family and friends. He was a member of the NCSU Wolfpack Club and the Appalachian State Yosef Club. Pro believed golf truly was the “game of a lifetime.” In 1966 he co-founded the American Golf Association “Senior Club” to promote the game of golf among senior amateur players and to provide an avenue for continued competition. Pro had a passion for introducing young players to the sport, as well, and was a strong advocate of junior golf--always willing to provide advice, a little help on the range, and extra assistance to young men and women pursuing golf careers or to those just hoping to better enjoy the game he loved. Each September, Mimosa Hills hosts the annual Joe Cheves Junior Invitational continuing his legacy of promoting junior golf by honoring and challenging the best junior golfers in the region.

Pro won his first golf tournament, the Pee Dee Amateur Championship, at age 17 in 1935. In his chosen career as a golf professional since 1938, Pro owned outstanding credentials of worldly, state, and hometown proportions as a PGA professional.

August 27, 1999 was a record setting day for Cheves. In a friendly foursome at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, NC, he set a confirmed world record by touring the 6,250 yard Mimosa Hills layout in 64 strokes (8 under) which calculated to 17 shots under his age of 81. One year earlier, Cheves had tied the world record (16). Cheves since tied his existing record when on April 6, 2006, the old pro toured Mimosa Hills in 70 strokes (2 under), again 17 strokes under his age of 87. He first shot his age in 1982 when he was 64, and he shot or bettered his age over 1,500 times.

World records aside, Pro’s list of golf achievements are many. A club pro for over 60 years, he took his game national on several occasions. In 1978, he finished, tied for first, in the oldest major championship in professional senior golf, the Senior PGA Championship. Cheves shot 73-72-71-70 at the Magnolia Course at Disney World tying Joe Jimenez and Manuel de la Torre. Jimenez won the ensuing playoff.

Cheves qualified and played in two U.S. Opens (1953, 56), two PGA Championships (1962, 64), ten Senior PGA Championships (1969, 71, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 84), and three U.S. Senior Opens (1980, 81, 84). He also qualified for two PGA Professional National Championships (1974, 75).

Throughout his playing career in the Carolinas PGA Section he was one of the area’s most consistent players. In 1959 he finished runner-up in the Carolinas Open losing in a playoff.

He was four-time winner of the Carolinas PGA Seniors (1972, 75, 76, 83) and a three-time runner–up (1971, 73, 74). In 1979 Cheves captured the 1979 Ben Hogan Staff Tournament in Texas. At age 75 he captured the 1992 CPGA Carolinas Senior Open at Mid Pines. Most recently Cheves finished runner-up in the 1st ever Shout-Your-Age Championship in May, 2007 in Florida where he was paired in the final round with Arnold Palmer.

As a life member of the service organization which is the PGA, he was a consultant, teacher, diplomat, businessman, friend, and partner reaching legendary status in all categories.

A former CPGA Board of Director member and Vice-President, Cheves was the 1964 Carolinas Section Golf Professional of the Year. He is a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame, the Carolinas PGA Hall of Fame, and the Burke County, NC Sports Hall of Fame.

During his 30 years as club professional at Mimosa Hills his trademarks were always his passion for the game of golf, his love to teach it, and his friendly manner.

Golf is the game of a lifetime, and for Joe Cheves, it was the game of his life. He was a PRO at it.

A celebration of his life and Pro’s final tee time will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 3, 2007 at First United Methodist Church in downtown Morganton with Rev. Robert Roach and Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson, III officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery with military rites conducted by the ceremonial team of American Legion Post 234. The family will receive friends from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you honor Pro’s tradition of selfless service by contributing to the charity closest to your heart.



Willard Bruce "Lefty" Mayfield     [Back to Top]

Willard Bruce “Lefty” Mayfield, 55, of Rocky Ridge Rd., Connelly Springs, NC died Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Lefty was a beloved husband, father, and friend. He was born in Burke County, NC on February 19, 1952 and was a son of the late William Mayfield and Ruby Benton Deal. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Benjamin Chris Mayfield; brother, Daniel Thomas Helms; and sister, Linda Ann McDonald.

Surviving and left to cherish his memory as the greatest husband, father, grandfather anyone in this world could ask for are his wife, Kathy Jones Mayfield; a son, Daniel Mayfield, both of the home; daughters, Kelly Campbell of Forest City and Novella Frasher of Morganton; grandchildren, Kristen Frasher and Hunter Stacy, both of Morganton; brothers and sisters, Janet Parlier of Roxboro, NC William Mayfield, Jr., Millard Mayfield, and Frances Green, all of Morganton; a step-sister, Lynn Shell, of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. Friday, August 3, 2007, at the Church of Christ, 404 Lenoir Rd., Morganton. The family request that no flowers be sent. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.


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