Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - March 2009


Archived Obits March 2009


James Odell Lail     [Back to Top]

James Odell Lail, 80, of Burke Memorial Park Rd. in Valdese, NC went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 2, 2009 at his residence following a period of declining health. He was born October 22, 1927 in Burke County, and was a son of the late Ernest Willie Lail and Dessie “Belle” Cook Lail. Odell was a member of Smart’s Grove Baptist Church, and a retired employee of Drexel Heritage Plant #1.

Odell is survived by his daughter, Patsy Ann Lail Smith of Valdese; brothers, Hoover Lail of Connelly Springs, NC, Eugene Lail of Kings Mountain, NC, and Eddie Lail of Hickory, NC; sisters, Beatrice Mull of Connelly Springs, Shirley Detter of Hildebran, NC, Alberta Crawley of Morganton, and Marilyn Shook of Claremont, NC; grandchildren, Kendra Buff, Crystal Lopez-Leon, and Jennifer Montejo; seven great-grandchildren; and two special caregivers, John Coche and Ralph Smith.

In addition to his parents, Odell was preceded in death by his wife, Cinderella Baker Lail; a brother, David Lail; and a sister, Alene Fredell.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 5, 2009 at Smart’s Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Charles Lewis officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Smart’s Grove Baptist Church Pantry Fund, 5290 Mineral Springs Mountain Rd., Connelly Springs, NC 28612.



Daniel Thomas Strauss     [Back to Top]

Daniel Thomas Strauss, 80, of Hidden Lake Park Way, Nebo, NC died Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese, NC following a period of declining health. He was born February 14, 1929 in Queens County, New York, and was the son of the late Moses Strauss and Anne Martin Strauss. Daniel attended Hopewell Baptist Church.

He is survived by sons, Danny Strauss and wife, Becky, of Morganton, and Kenny Strauss of St. Augustine, FL; daughters, Susan Strauss of Stuart, FL, Eileen Smith and husband, Terry, of Titusville, FL, and Patti Madeiros and husband, John, of Tullahoma, TN; grandchildren, Jason Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Kimberly Madeiros, Johnny Madeiros, Daniel Strauss, and Karen Strauss; and a great-granddaughter, Brinadette Smith.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Sossoman Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.



Robert Theodore McGimsey     [Back to Top]

Mr. Robert Theodore McGimsey, 79, of Morganton, NC, passed away March 3, 2009 at Grace Hospital. Born December 5, 1929 in Lenoir, NC, he was the youngest child of Bertha Deaton and the late Gamewell Charles McGimsey. Bob was educated in the Caldwell County schools, and played first-chair cornet for Captain Harper’s legendary Lenoir High School Band. After graduating from Lenoir High School in the Class of 1947, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, the University Concert Band, and the freshman wrestling team. After a year, he interrupted his studies to serve in the U.S. Air Force, first serving in Denver, CO, and then in Japan.

While on duty in Tokyo he married Emily Jane Reid of Asheville, NC. After his discharge, the two returned to Chapel Hill where Bob completed his studies in accounting. He graduated in 1956 and began his career in accounting with Smith & Grisette & Co. in his home town of Lenoir. After passing the CPA exam, he moved his family to Morehead City, NC in late 1958 and became a partner with the Josiah Bailey Firm. He returned to Smith, Grisette, and Beach in Lenoir the following year. In 1966 he opened the Morganton office for the firm, and in 1970 became a Senior Partner in the re-organized firm of J.A. Grisette & Co., which subsequently merged with international firm Deloite, Haskins, and Sells in 1982. Bob managed their Morganton office until he retired a partner of Deloitte & Touche in 1985.

After retirement Bob played golf, attended his beloved UNC Tarheels basketball and football games and still enjoyed “office hours” at Lowdermilk Church & Co. accounting firm. He was a member of First United Methodist Church where he was a former member of the Finance Committee and Administrative Board, Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club where he served as Treasurer, former member of the Lions Club, and Burke Co. Chamber of Commerce. He was currently serving on the ABC Board and Board of Directors at the Bank of Granite.

Bob was preceded in death by his former wife of 49 years, Jane Reid McGimsey, his father Gamewell Charles McGimsey, a grandson, Abel Riggan Pitts, a brother Charles Gamewell McGimsey, and a brother-in-law, Waitsel Burgess Smith, Jr.

Surviving are his mother Bertha Deaton McGimsey of Grace Ridge, his wife, Patricia Sholar McGimsey; son Robert Gamewell McGimsey and wife Debra of Eagle River, Alaska, and son Gregory Theodore McGimsey and wife Dawn of Morganton, daughters Paige McGimsey Pitts of Morganton, Susan McGimsey Mainous and husband JD of Greenville, SC, step-daughter Laura Sholar Carlton and husband Bee of Clinton, SC, and step-sons Michael B. Sholar and wife Fran of Brentwood, TN, and John A. Sholar of West Palm Beach, FL.and twelve grandchildren and step grandchildren: Chelsea, Rachael, Daniel, Matt, Malea, Mitchell and Evan; Leigh, Lindsay, Claire, Olivia and Landyn and two great step grandchildren: Meg and Liam. Also surviving are a sister, Rose Ann Smith of Lenoir, a brother, Richard Gibbs McGimsey and wife Rachel of Roanoke, VA, sister-in-law Bette Sherrill McGimsey of Lenoir; special family friends Anne Woodard, Ran Whitley, and Eric Sain, and numerous cousins, neices and nephews.

A service of remembrance will be held 1:30 pm Friday, March 6th at First United Methodist Church in Morganton. The family will receive friends after the service. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 200 North King St., Morganton, NC. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Joshua Shawn Kestner     [Back to Top]

Joshua Shawn Kestner, 23, of Poteat Ct., Lenoir, NC died Monday, March 2, 2009. He was born in Burke County on May 2, 1985 and was the son of Timothy Kestner of Granite Falls, NC and Tammy Johnson Kestner of Morganton. Joshua was always passionate about sports including wrestling, track, football, and basketball. Joshua excelled in baseball both in recreational league and American Legion Baseball, and in competitive cheerleading. He was a U. S. Army veteran and served his country in both Korea and Iraq.

Surviving in addition to his parents are his daughter, Jordan Caroline Lawrence-Kestner, whom he loved dearly; sisters, Myria Burge and Catina Kestner; his companion and Jordan’s mother, Ashley Lawrence, all of Morganton; paternal grandmother, Iwana Kestner, of South Carolina; maternal grandparents, Kyle and Mary Johnson of Morganton; and his maternal great-grandmother, Hope Johnson of Newland, NC.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 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. The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2009, at Morganton Freedom Church of God with Pastor George Logan officiating. Burial will follow at the Johnson Family Cemetery in Newland, NC with military graveside rites conducted by the Newland VFW Honor Guard Post #4286 and the Avery High School Color Guard. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family of Joshua Shawn Kestner, 1279 Razor Ridge Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Ones A. Lingafeldt     [Back to Top]

Ones A. Lingafeldt, 68, of Patton Street, Morganton died Tuesday, March 3, 2009, following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County on May 5, 1940 and was a son of the late Ones Roscoe Lingafeldt and Annie Laura Self Lingafeldt. Mr. Lingafeldt was a retired employee of Broyhill Furniture Company. He loved all sports especially bowling and softball, and he cherished his time with his grandchildren. He was a member of Catawba Valley Baptist Church.

Surviving are his wife, Judy Cooper Lingafeldt, of the home; his son, Michael Trey Lingafeldt, of Kings Mountain, NC; grandchildren, Seth Anderson Lingafeldt and Elizabeth Paige Walker Lingafeldt; sisters and their husbands, Mary and Donald Watts of Morganton and Pat and Carl Webb of Valdese; and special brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Phyllis Schnee of Orlando, FL and James Coffey of Columbia, SC.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by an infant brother, James Harold Lingafeldt.

The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 6, 2009, at Catawba Valley Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Mike Odom and Rev. Clyde Buckner 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 Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Catawba Valley Baptist Church Building Fund, 107 Valley View St., Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Judy Newton Olsen     [Back to Top]

Ms. Judy Newton Olsen, 64, of Morganton, passed away Wednesday, March 4, 2009, at Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville surrounded by family and friends. She was born on January 1, 1945 in Morganton and was the child of the late Gordon McCullough Newton and Mildred Self Newton. Judy attended school in Morganton, graduated from Morganton High School and pursued her education at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. After coming home to Morganton, Judy worked at the Holiday Laundry, Gene’s Drive-In, Western Carolina Center and finished her career as a Court Reporter for the State of North Carolina. While serving as a Court Reporter, Judy worked Superior Court in over 75 counties in North Carolina spanning from Manteo to Murphy. After retirement, Judy spent time with her friends and helped care for her grandchildren. Judy was also active in the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Susie Newton Benfield and her husband, John Mack Benfield.

Surviving are her sons, Robert Kelly Denton, and his wife, Lauren Burns Denton of Morganton; Zachary Lee Denton, and his wife, Sherri Poteet Denton of Morganton; her grandchildren, Jackson Robert Denton, Hampton Mitchell Denton, and Kaylee Elizabeth Denton; her former husband and long-time friend Bobby Denton of Morganton; her sister, Kay Newton Dignan and her husband, Mark Dignan of Lexington, Kentucky; her nephew, William Randolph Loftis, III of South Lake Tahoe, California; her niece, Allison Elisabeth Loftis of Morganton; numerous extended family members and friends; her dog, Jackie and, her cat, Mikey.

A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 7, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Jerry Gamble officiating. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the residence of her son, Rob Denton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of the American Revolution, c/o Mary Lou Furr, 2300 Swan Pond Dr., Morganton, NC 28655.



William Edgar Read     [Back to Top]

Major General William Edgar Read, retired U. S. Army, 81, died Wednesday, March 4, 2009, following a period of declining health. He was born in Charlotte, NC on May 17, 1927 and was the son of the late William Edgar Read and Virginia Clark Read. He graduated from Morganton High School in 1944 where he played tailback on the football team. Edgar enlisted in the service the day after his graduation and served for two years before he received an appointment to West Point from Rep. Sam Ervin. He graduated from West Point in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and in later years he received a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois and Business Administration degree from Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri. He continued his education with the Advanced Management Program at Harvard, Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.

During his career Maj. Gen. Read served in the Korean War and had three commands in the Vietnam War. Following his war service, he served as the Assistant Military Attaché of the U. S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, was the District Engineer in Tulsa, Oklahoma; was the Assistant Chief of Engineers in Washington, DC; and was President of the Mississippi River Commission in Vicksburg, MS. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, and the Air Medal.

Bill also served as the staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Operations and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC and was the Deputy Commanding General of the U. S. Army Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis. During his thirty-three years of active duty, Maj. Gen. Read was stationed in nine different states and four different overseas assignments along with his wife of fifty-five years, Mary Ann, and their three daughters. His last duty assignment in the military was a Presidential appointment with Congressional approval as Division Engineer of the Lower Mississippi Valley Division and President of the Lower Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association.

Upon his retirement from the U. S. Army, Bill and Mary Ann moved to Gulfport, MS where he worked for Walk, Haydel & Associates. In 2002, they again retired and moved home to Morganton to reside at Grace Ridge.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Ann Gregory Read, of the home; daughters and their husbands, Mary Virginia “Ginger” and Gerard T. Hopkins, of New Windsor, NY, Ann Kirby and Andrew H. Weber of Pipersville, PA, and Sarah Correll “Sallie” and Hunter Fordice, of Vicksburg, MS; grandsons, Gerard Thomas Hopkins, Jr. and his wife, Dolores, William Read Hopkins, Stephen Michael Hopkins, Andrew Joseph Weber, and Robert Read Weber and his wife, Danielle; granddaughters, Hilary Ann Weber, Georgina Roxanne Weber, Lauren Virginia Fordice, Emily Louise Fordice, Helen Frances Fordice, and Sarah Hunter Fordice; and cousins, Sarah Florence Gilbert and Hal V. Brown, Jr.

The family will receive friends from 10:30 until 12 noon Monday, March 9, 2009, in the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. The funeral will be follow at noon in the Sanctuary with Rev. Dr. Syndor Thompson, III officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery with military honors conducted by the Ft. Bragg Honor Guard. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 N. King St., Morganton, NC 28655 or to Grace Ridge Scholarship Fund, 500 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Edna Daves McCall     [Back to Top]

Edna Daves McCall, 100, of Grace Ridge, Morganton, NC died Thursday, March 5, 2009 at Grace Hospital following a brief illness. Born in McDowell Co., NC on December 12, 1908, she was the daughter of the late Robert Lee Daves and Lucy Roena Landis Daves. Edna was a graduate of Glen Alpine High School and attended King’s Business College in Charlotte, NC. She worked for forty-two years as an executive secretary to four presidents of Drexel Furniture Company.

Edna was also a published author of three books including a biography of her brother, Robert Daves, who was a paratrooper killed in WWII. For that book, “Silver Wings and a Gold Star,” she received an award in 2004 from the NC Society of Historians. At the time of her death, she was writing her memoirs of her years at Drexel Heritage Furniture.

Edna loved to travel and enjoyed trips with her family throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. She was a member of Drexel First Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school for fifty years.

Edna is survived by her son, Don McCall, and his wife Maxine of Drexel, NC; a sister, Ruby Clodfelter of Morganton; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Jackson “Tom” McCall; brothers, Guy Daves, Paul Daves, and Robert Daves; and sisters, Addie Benfield and Roena Haigler.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Drexel First Baptist Church with Reverends Tito Madrazo and Maxine McCall officiating. Burial will follow in Drexel Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lottie Moon Missions Fund of Drexel First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 308, Drexel, NC 28619. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Clyde Chapman     [Back to Top]

Clyde Chapman, 84, of Old NC 18 in Morganton died Thursday, March 5, 2009 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. He was born October 8, 1924 in Burke County, and was a son of the late Joe Chapman and Estelle Carswell Chapman. Clyde was a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and was a retired employee of Drexel-Heritage Furnishings where he had worked for 40 years.

Surviving are his wife, Annie Lee Huffman Chapman, of the home; his daughter, Wanda Nicholson, of Morganton; grandchildren, Crystal Nicolson and Brandon Nicholson and his fiancée, Tipi Wilkinson; brothers, Mack Chapman and Gordon Chapman both of Morganton, and Claude Chapman of Michigan/ and a sister, Joan Chapman, of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Clyde was preceded in death by a brother, Clayton, and by sisters, Irene and Burl.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009, at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Doug Price and Rev. Randy Clark officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the church.



Ethel Laughridge Spurlin     [Back to Top]

Ethel Laughridge Spurlin, 83, passed away at her home on Watershed Road on Thursday, March 5, 2009. She was a daughter of the late Andrew and Lissie Laughridge.

She is survived by her daughter, Wanda Kiddy and her husband, Larry; her grandchildren, Emily Foss and her husband, Lance, and Mark Whisenant; five great-grandchildren; and by sisters, Estelle Carswell, Josephine Laughridge, and Eloise Conley.

She was preceded in death by brothers, Howard and Lawrence Laughridge. Ethel and her sister, Josephine lived together at the old home place and looked after each other for many years. The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Randy Clark officiating. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to Bethlehem Baptist Church, 7620 Watershed Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Marie C. Warlick     [Back to Top]

Marie C. Warlick, 69, of Hwy 181 North, Morganton, NC died Friday, March 06, 2009 at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on July 20, 1939, she was the daughter of the late Roy Vester Coffey and Nannie Mooney Coffey. Marie was a member of Mtn Grove United Methodist Church. She retired from Drexel Heritage after twenty-five years of service and was an avid reader.

A loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she is survived by her sons, Doug Warlick and wife, Ronda, Dean Warlick and wife, Debbie, and Dennis Warlick and wife, Frances, all of Morganton; brothers, Johnny Coffey and Ned Coffey, both of Morganton; sisters, Frances Whisnant of Morganton and Brenda Polson of Camden, SC; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Zane Warlick; a daughter, Cynthia Denise Warlick; and brothers, Wayne Coffey and Preston Coffey. The funeral will be held at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, March 8, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Neal Brantley officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:30 pm at the funeral home prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the residence, 4813 Hwy 181 North, Morganton.



Linda Kay Sinclair     [Back to Top]

Linda Kay Sinclair, 59, of Log Hollow Lane, Morganton, NC died Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Grace Hospital following an extended period of declining health. Born in Caldwell Co., NC on September 26, 1949, she was the daughter of biological father, Richard Howard Greene; step-father, Harold Patton; and mother, Linda Raye Spears Patton. She was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Linda loved bluegrass and gospel music, NASCAR, and the Carolina Tar Heels. She was the family historian, and she cared deeply for everyone and was everyone’s friend.

Linda is survived by her husband, Boyce Homer Sinclair of the home; a brother, William “Bill” Harold Patton of Morganton; sisters, Rita Hurst and husband, C.J., Wanda Largent, and Wilma Carswell and husband, Eddie, all of Morganton; a half sister, Libby, of Lancaster, SC; half-brothers, Danny, Eddie, Randy, and Gary, all of Lancaster; a step-mother, Mary Greene; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her grandparents, Hence and Edith Patton, and William and Mary Spears, and her beloved dog, “Little Man.”

The funeral will be held at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church with Reverends Randy Queen and Dennis Carswell officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral. At other times the family will be at the residence of her brother, Bill Patton, on Patton Rd., Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Olive Baptist Church Building Fund, 5388 Mt. Olive Church Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Harland England     [Back to Top]

Harland England, 86, of Drexel Rd., Morganton, NC died Sunday, March 8, 2009 at Grace Hospital, Morganton, NC following a brief illness. Born in Burke County, NC on June 6, 1922, he was the son of the late John Ivey England and Grace Mull England. He was a member of Morganton Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Harland was an avid gardener and beekeeper, loved traveling in his motor home and being in the outdoors. He was a retired building contractor and had built many homes and churches in this area. He and his brothers built and for many years operated the Quality Court at South Sterling and I-40.

Mr. England is survived by his wife, Helen Livingston Carey England of the home; a son, Carlyle England of Boone, NC; daughters, Lynda England McCurdy and her husband, Robert of Waynesboro, PA, and Grace England Culpepper and her husband, Skip of Stone Mountain, GA; granddaughters, Melanie Lighthall and Alyssa Keehn; great grandchildren, Carson Lighthall and Rachel Keehn; a brother, Derry L. England of Morganton, NC; a sister, Mildred Pitrone of Warminister, PA; a step-son, Jack O. Carey and his wife, Carol of Apopka, FL; and step-grandchildren, Patricia Reese, Kevin Carey and Sean Carey.

In addition to his parents, Harland was preceded in death by his first wife, Maxine McCall England; brothers, John Jr. and Clyde England; sister, Rosebud England White and a step-son, Kevin Carey.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2009 at Morganton Seventh-Day Adventist Church with Pastor Barry Mahorney, Pastor Tim Sheridan and Mr. Ted Brackett officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Morganton Seventh-Day Adventist Church and School, 2187 Jamestown Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Geraldine Berry Peel     [Back to Top]

Mrs. Geraldine Louise Berry Peel, 85, of Morganton Long Term Care passed away Monday, March 9, 2009. She was born in Burke County, NC on February 1, 1924 and was the daughter of the late Bert Berry and Lillian Broyles Berry. She was a member of United Baptist Church. Although primarily a homemaker, Geraldine had worked at various local textile mills throughout her life.

Geraldine is survived by her son, Richard Berry and wife, Judy, of Valdese, NC; grandchildren and their spouses, Mark Berry, Angela Johnson, and Leslie Adkins; a brother, Marvin Berry of Valdese; and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Peel; a sister, Alma Blackburn; and three brothers, Max Berry, Willard Berry, and Grayson Berry.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Dr. Avery Owenby 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 the Alma Blackburn Fund, c/o United Baptist Church, 2638 Messer Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Paul James "P.J." Spivey     [Back to Top]

Paul James “P.J.” Spivey, 29, of Raywood Court in Matthews, NC died Sunday, March 8, 2009 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC. Paul was born August 28, 1979 in Wake County, NC, and was a son of Ray Spivey of Matthews and the late Reitzel Lynn Medley Spivey. Paul was an avid Tarheels fan.

In addition to his father, he is survived by brothers, Jerry Wayne Hill, Jr. and wife, Hope, of Vale, NC, and Timothy Allen Curry and Donna of Granite Falls, NC; a sister, Wanda Lynn Spivey of Matthews ; his grandfather, Reitzel Medley of Gastonia, NC; three nieces and two nephews.

Along with his mother, Paul was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Arthur and Dorothy Spivey; and maternal grandmother, Wanda Medley.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. James Bowman officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home.



John Joseph Dougher     [Back to Top]

John Joseph Dougher, 86, of Grace Ridge, Morganton, NC died Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at the Grace Ridge Health Care Center following a period of declining health. Born in Wilkes Barre, PA on April 17, 1922, he was a son of the late John Joseph and Della Midleton Dougher. During World War II, he served with the Signal Corps in Ft. Wayne, IN and after the war, he was employed with Magnavox. John later moved to Knoxville, TN where he worked for Wolverine Finishes and in 1963, he and his family moved to Morganton where he continued his employment with Wolverine which later became Inmont Corp. and BASF. He retired in the early 1980’s and then in 1986, he moved to Lehigh Acres, FL where he lived until returning to Morganton in 2005. John was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and of the Knights of Columbus. He was a former member of Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club. For many years, John loved to travel with his family all over the United States in his R.V. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, John J. Dougher, Jr.; and a brother, Bill Dougher.

Surviving are his wife of sixty-four years, Louise Troutman Dougher; daughters, Mary Lou Dougher Sossoman and her husband, Calvin, Maureen Dougher, and Anita Dougher all of Morganton, and Ann Dougher Lentz and her husband, Ray, of Beaufort, SC; sisters, Adele McAvoy of Ft. Myers, FL and Jane West of San Diego, CA; grandchildren, Matt and Jay Dougher, Mark Sossoman, Kathleen Sossoman Link, Tess Rios, Cindy Rios Covarrubbias, Staff Sgt. Alex Rios, Jennifer Bianchi, Brian and David Lentz; and great grandchildren, Barrett Dougher, Brendan, Conner, and Ian Sossoman, and Elizabeth Link.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 14, 2009 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with Father Kenneth Whittington officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The Rosary will be said at 5:00 p.m., Friday at Sossoman Funeral Home after which the family will receive friends until 7:00 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Heart Association, P. O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 728 W. Union St., Morganton, NC 28655, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Bryan Harvey Hartman     [Back to Top]

Bryan Harvey Hartman, 34 of Golden Harvest, Forest City, NC died Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at Rutherford Hospital, Rutherfordton, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on April 23, 1974, he was a son of the late John Harvey Hartman and Georgie Rae Moore Hartman.

Surviving are his grandparents, Trula and James Bowman of Denton, NC; a half brother, Kevin Hartman of Lenoir, NC; Aunts and Uncles, Kay Smith, Mae Frady, and Clay Moore all of Marion, NC, Geraldine Cline, Carroll and Nina Hartman, and Russell and Lynn Hartman all of Morganton; and a number of cousins.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In order to assist the family will funeral expenses, memorial gifts may be made to Sossoman Funeral Home, P. O. Box 2608, Morganton, NC 28680-2608.



Helen H. Pope     [Back to Top]

Helen H. Pope, 79, of Patton St., Morganton, NC died Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at Grace Heights following a period of declining health. Born in McDowell Co., WV on November 12, 1929, she was the daughter of the late Coy Spears and Lillie Belle Spears. Helen was of the Baptist Faith. She enjoyed reading and writing. A dedicated lady, Helen taught Sunday school for over thirty years.

A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, she is survived by her husband, Rev. Ted Pope of the home; a son, Teddy Pope and wife, Laura, of Morganton; a brother, Ronnie Voshall of Portsmouth, VA; sisters, Carrie Belle Burris and Linda Kay Potteat, both of Portsmouth; grandsons, Nicholas and Dylan Pope; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by a sister, Teensy Wilson.

The graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 14, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. officiating. At other times the family will be at the residence, 403 Patton St., Morganton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Library Fund, P.O. Drawer 459, Morganton, NC 28680 or to the Burke County Public Library, 204 S. King Street, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Edward Phifer Pless     [Back to Top]

Edward Phifer Pless, 79, of Eastwood Avenue in Morganton passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at Grace Hospital. He was born on April 1, 1929 in Morganton, and was the son of the late Joseph Willard Pless and Annie Causby Pless. Phifer was a veteran of the US Army and was stationed in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He was an avid sports fan with the Atlanta Braves and Carolina Tarheels being his favorite teams. Phifer also enjoyed East Burke football games with his friends.

He grew up attending Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, usher, and Sunday school teacher. Phifer moved his membership to Hopewell Baptist Church in 1997 and enjoyed working in their tape ministry, visiting and delivering tapes to shut-ins. He was a man of faith and loved the Lord.

Phifer lived and worked in Burke County his entire life. He worked in the furniture industry at the “Old Morganton Plant,” Henredon, and Blackstone Wood Products. Through the years, he also had many part-time jobs at Hardee’s, General Electric, Dana, and Western Piedmont Community College.

Eastwood Homes on Amherst Road was Phifer’s residence for 45 years and he loved his neighborhood. He has even been called “Mr. Eastwood Homes” as he knew nearly everyone who lived there. One of Phifer’s favorite activities was sitting on his front porch watching the neighborhood with his four-legged companion, Chipper Pless. He loved all of his neighbors, greatly appreciated their visits, and cherished their friendships.

Phifer Pless was a kind, gentle Christian man, respected by all who knew him. He loved to make others laugh and never met a stranger. He spoke often of memories of his parents and growing up with three brothers and two sisters. The highlight of his week was a sausage biscuit breakfast with his siblings and his wonderful caregiver, Barbara Williams who was extremely important to him. Phifer’s greatest pride was in his family – his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchild. Phifer and his sweet personality will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his daughters, Anne Pless Wright and husband, Martin, of Charlotte, NC, Vickie Jean Pless of Murfreesboro, TN, and Piper Pless Poteat of North Wilkesboro, NC; two brothers, , William Pless and wife, Relda of Morganton and Carl Pless and wife, Shirley of Lenoir, NC; two sisters, Mary Katherine Pless and Helen Pless Parris, both of Morganton; five grandchildren, Jeanna Poteat Foster and Nathan Poteat, both of North Wilkesboro, Heather Poteat Fisher and husband, Joseph, and Ben Johnson, all of Chapel Hill, and Matt Johnson of Valdese; and a great-granddaughter, Carrie Foster of North Wilkesboro.

In addition to his parents, Phifer was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Jean Ledford Pless; and a brother, Robert Pless.

Phifer’s daughters would like to express their deepest, heartfelt appreciation to Barbara Williams who has selflessly cared for their father in a way that enabled him to live his life in the comfort of his own home. The family would also like to express their gratitude to Phifer’s physician, Dr. Edward Plyler and his staff for their care and friendship for many years. Phifer actually looked forward to his visits with Dr. Plyler.

Funeral services will be at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 15, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Homer Murdock officiating. Entombment will follow at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum with military rites conducted by the Valdese American Legion Post #234. The family will receive friends Sunday from 2:30 until 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke United Christian Ministries, 305-B West Union St., Morganton, NC 28655.



Audrey Frye Swanson     [Back to Top]

Audrey Frye Swanson, 84, died March 11, 2009 at Frye Regional Hospital in Hickory after a brief illness.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Walter Howard Frye; a daughter, Donna Day; and, an infant son, Walter Howard Frye Jr.

She is survived by her husband, Arvel Swanson, sons, D. Randall Frye and wife, Lynda, of Kings Mountain and Mark Howard Frye of Raleigh. Also surviving are her grandsons Wesley and wife, Elicia Frye and Justin and wife Kimberly Frye of Kings Mountain, Earl (Butch) and Ronnie Clark of Hickory and Dwayne and Cheryl Clark of Taylorsville who provided loving care and support for Audrey during her illness; her great grandchildren Nick, Ashley and Josh Clark of Taylorsville and Madelynn, Gabriel and Katherine of Kings Mountain and several great-great grandchildren.

A graveside ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, March 14, 2009 at Forest Hill Cemetery with her grandson, Rev. W. R. Frye, officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Baptist Children’s Home of Thomasville, NC or to Alexander County Nutrition Program at 604 7th St. SW, Taylorsville, NC. 28681. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Ethel Rowland     [Back to Top]

Ethel Rowland, 93, of Marion, NC died Thursday, March 12, 2009 at McDowell Hospital. Born in Cragford, AL on March 7, 1916, she was the daughter of the late Cephus Dennan Siggers and Emily Eudora Willingham Siggers. Ethel was of the Baptist Faith. She loved to quilt and crochet doilies. She was loved by many and will be missed. She was lovingly referred to as Miss Ethel.

Ethel is survived by her daughter, Marine Aden of CA; and grandchildren, Belinda Daub, Wendy Dunfee, Bobbie Sparks, Glen Eaton, Jim Motes, and Tim Benefield.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John Henry “Jake” Rowland; a daughter, Virginia Eaton; and a son, James Motes.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 16, 2009 at Baptist Gospel Mission Church in Jeffersonville, GA with Rev. W. C. Bloodworth officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. 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.



Lillie Norville Moody     [Back to Top]

Lillie Virginia Norville Moody, 73, of Fair Haven Nursing Home, Bostic, NC died Friday, March 13, 2009. Born in Rutherford County, NC on November 17, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Paul Wesley Norville and Mae Sluder Norville. Lillie was raised in the Baptist Faith. She was a homemaker who had worked for several local textile mills during her life. She was also an Avon representative.

Mrs. Moody is survived by her sons, Ralph Roper and wife, Gwen, Ricky Roper and wife, Darlene, and Randy Roper and wife, Ruthie, all of Morganton; a daughter, Elizabeth Waters and friend, Gary Chester, of Morganton; step-children, Cecil, Sammy, Carl, Curtis, Vanessa, and Edna; grandchildren, Timmy Roper and wife, Sarah, Steve Roper and wife, Jessica, Zach Roper, Thomas Andrews and wife, Sharon, Daniel Andrews, Cindy Patton, and Tammy Causby; great-grandchildren, Steven Roper, II, Caleb Cordell, Cianna Cordell, Robie Franklin, and Crissy Franklin; a sister, Christine Norville Yount of Bostic; and nephews, Allen Epley, Eddie Wishion, and Junior Wishion.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Sam Moody, and a sister, Evelyn Epley.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 15, 2009 at Sandy Level Baptist Church with Reverends Robert Hensley and Jack Moses officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at Sossoman Funeral Home, Morganton. At other times the family will be at the residence of the sister, Christine N. Yount, in Bostic.



John "J.B." Bennett Powell, Sr.     [Back to Top]

John “J.B.” Bennett Powell, Sr., 79, of Grandview Ave., Morganton, went home to be with his Lord and savior, Jesus Christ following a period of declining health at Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley, Newton, NC on March 14, 2009. Born in Burke County, May 28, 1929, he was the son of the late Jimmy and Effie Powell.

J.B. was a member of Grandview Baptist Church for 50 years, where he had served as a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and helped build the new fellowship hall. He loved his church and church family. He had retired from DOT and worked as a carpenter for Wilson Construction for a number of years. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict serving with the US Army. He enjoyed traveling, gardening, and working out in his yard. He especially enjoyed helping others.

J.B. is survived by his wife of 19 years, Margaret H. Jordan Powell; daughter, Patricia “Patty” Hall, and her husband, Stanley of Kings Mountain, NC; a son, Johnny Powell of Morganton; a step-son J. Steven Jordan, and his wife, Joyce of Morganton; sisters, Lillie Mae Griffith, of Drexel, and Ann Benfield, of Morganton; a grandchild, Heath Powell of Raleigh, NC; step-grandchildren, Noah Spencer, and his wife, Myra, Shayne Jordan, and his wife, Whitney, Shanna Wall, and her husband, Darren all of Morganton; and step-great-grandchildren, Braxton Spencer, Chloe Spencer, Bryce Jordan and Cooper Wall, all of Morganton.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife, Nora Elizabeth Powell; a sister, Marion Mode; and a brother, James “Bud” Powell.

A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, at Grandview Baptist Church with Rev. John Whisnant, Rev. Dr. Dewey Thomas, Rev. Ron Hawkins and Rev. Thurman Jenkins officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors by the Valdese American Legion Post 234 ceremonial team. The family will receive friends from 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Monday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church 30 minutes before the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Grandview Baptist Church, 2828 NC 126, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba County, 2979 Robinson Rd., Newton, NC 28655.

The family of J.B. Powell would like to express their thank-you to the staff and Doctors at Palliative Care Center and Hospice of Catawba Valley for their love and special care of our husband and father.



Charlotte Elizabeth Hollifield     [Back to Top]

Charlotte Elizabeth Hollifield, 77, a resident of the Camelot Manor Nursing Facility in Granite Falls, NC died Sunday, March 15, 2009 after a prolonged illness. She was born February 8, 1932 in Caldwell County, NC, and was a daughter of the late Ila W. Hollifield and Frances Crisp Hollifield. Charlotte worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse at several hospitals in Charlotte, Hickory, and Morganton.

She is survived by sons, Tony of Hickory and Patrick of Morganton; a sister, Patricia; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her former husband, Troy E. McGalliard; and sons, Robin and Randy.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Camelot Manor and Caldwell Hospice for the excellent care given to Charlotte.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 20, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. The family will receive friends a half-hour before the service on Friday. Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 902 Kirkwood St., NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.



Frances Bryant Icard     [Back to Top]

Frances Bryant Icard, 95, formerly of Valdese, died Sunday, March 15, 2009 at Morganton Long Term Care following a period of declining health. She was born in Caldwell County on November 26, 1913 and was a daughter of the late Henry Lee Bryant and Ella Sumpter Bryant, Mrs. Icard was a retired employee of Pauline Hosiery Mill and was a member of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. Frances had a passion for cooking and sewing.

Surviving are her sons and their wives, Calvin and Carolyn Icard and Mike and Mary Icard; her daughter and her husband, Doris and Sonny Bumgarner, all of Valdese; ten grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

In addition to her parents, Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Icard; brothers, Bob, Herbert, Bill, Garland, Frank, and Eldon Bryant; and by sisters, Lillie Martin, Elizabeth Roberts, and Katherine Lail.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Tony Land and Rev. Avery Owenby officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour before the service.



Bulo E. Burgin     [Back to Top]

Bulo E. Burgin, 84, of Dugout Circle in Morganton died Monday, March 16, 2009 at his residence following a period of declining health. He was born June 7, 1924 in McDowell County, and was a son of the late Romey Roy Burgin and Nettie Pritchard Burgin. Bulo was a devoted member of Hartland Missionary Methodist Church. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved his boats and his garden, and enjoyed building anything out of wood.

Bulo is survived by his wife, Gladys Rudell Norman Burgin of the home; sons, Kenneth Burgin and wife, Frances, Steve Walker and wife Donna, and Jeff Walker, all of Morganton, Bill Burgin of Georgia, and Ronald Walker and wife, Carol of Supply, NC; daughters, Belinda Deloatch of Morganton and Hilda Walker of Canton, NC; a brother, Waits Burgin and wife, Ruby of Maryland; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Bulo was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Blake Burgin; a son, Jerry Burgin; brothers, Virgil, Ted, and Cleo Burgin; a sister, Matriss Robertson; and a granddaughter, Debra Lynn Edwards.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at Hartland Missionary Methodist Church with Rev. Dan Carr officiating. Entombment will follow at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the church. At other times, the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Sossoman Funeral Home, PO Box 2608, Morganton, NC 28680 (to help with funeral expenses).



Gary Wayne Michaels     [Back to Top]

Gary Wayne Michaels, 59, of U. S. Hwy. 64, Morganton, NC died unexpectedly Sunday, March 15, 2009 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Born January 28, 1950 in Burke County, NC, he was a son of the late Benjamin Eugene Michaels and Ruby Dale Michaels. Gary became very devoted to his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His life became centered around those he loved, and he will be greatly missed by all. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Lynn Michaels.

Surviving are his daughters, Tammy Cook and her husband, Tim and Crystal Michaels all of Morganton, and Kimberly Dipadova of California; grandchildren, Angelica Carr, Prella Carr, Codey Michaels, Kamilia Carr, and Haley Walker; great grandchildren, Justyne, Kadin, and Mayson; a brother, Steve Michaels of Morganton; sisters, Brenda Seamon and Patricia Fairchild; and the mother of his daughters, Glenda Michaels of Morganton.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. The family will greet friends following the service. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to The Exceptional Equestrian Program, c/o J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, 300 Enola Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Roger Davol Cannon     [Back to Top]

Roger Davol Cannon, 85 passed away on Monday, March 16, 2009 at Grace Hospital. Mr. Cannon was born to Henry Fraser Cannon and Louise Lee Cannon in Montclair, NJ on September 9, 1923.

He is survived by his wife, Joan LaPrade Cannon; two sons: Henry Fraser Cannon, II, and Vance LaPrade Cannon; a daughter, Lee Davol Miller; and seven grandchildren, all of Connecticut.

Mr. Cannon was a resident of Grace Ridge in Morganton and, at the time of his death, was President of its Residents Association. For several years, he had been the representative to the Continuing Care Community of North Carolina, and was instrumental in effecting the first regionalization of the organization.

He was a mechanical engineer, a member of Beta Theta Pi, and before retirement was Export Sales Manager of the Barden Corporation in Danbury, CT for whom he worked for more than 32 years.

His volunteer activities in the more than 44 years he lived in Sherman, CT included service on town boards, with the Sherman Players, the Board of Trustees of Storm King School, and other organizations. In Danbury, he earned the nickname of "Mr. Junior Achievement" for his contributions over many years to that youth organization.

He served on the International Advisory Board of the Union Trust Company, and was designated by Elliot Richardson, Secretary of Commerce as Chairman of the Connecticut District Export Council.

A memorial service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20 in the Ervin Community Room at Grace Ridge, 500 Lenoir Road, Morganton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Ridge undesignated or to the Enhancement Fund, 500 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Jamie Alice Hicks     [Back to Top]

Jamie Alice Hicks, 19, of Esa Hildebran Rd. in Valdese, NC died Monday, March 16, 2009 at Grace Hospital. She was born October 21, 1989 in Burke County, NC, and was the daughter of Ted Hicks and Joyce Fulton Hicks of Valdese.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by a son, Riley Lail of Valdese; a brother, Andrew Beane of Lenoir, NC; her fiancée, Ethan Lail of the home; paternal grandmother, Ruby Alice Hicks of Granite Falls, NC; maternal grandfather, Kenneth Richard Fulton of Valdese; and a number of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 20, 2009 at Calvary Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Leonard Lindsey and Rev. Paul Grindstaff officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to the Riley Lail Trust Fund, c/o Joyce Hicks, 2998 Esa Hildebran Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Randy Pritchard     [Back to Top]

Randy Pritchard, 51, of Rader St., died Thursday, March 19, 2009 at his residence. Randy was born in Burke County October 28, 1957 to the late Lawrence Hubert Pritchard and Ethel Beulah Earley Pritchard. Randy was a member of Hartland Missionary Methodist Church.

Randy is survived by a daughter, Magen Pritchard of Morganton; a brother, Dewayne Pritchard of Morganton; a grandson, Devin Lawrence Dennis; a special friend, Kathy Mosteller, and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Rev. Wallace Smith officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. prior to the service. Memorial contribution may be made to Poarch’s Chapel Missionary Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall, PO Box 3194, Morganton, NC 28680.



Lee Ray Pitman     [Back to Top]

Lee Ray Pitman, 69, of Ponderosa Road, Morganton, was called home by his Lord on Sunday, March 22, 2009, at his home following a courageous year and a half battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

He was born December 19, 1939, in Mitchell County, to the late Enlow S. and Lessie Mae Biddix Pitman.

Before becoming disabled, he worked for fifteen years for Western Carolina Center. During his retirement, he and his loving wife, Elsie, enjoyed maintaining Triple C Campground in Marion for five years. His great love was coon hunting and had several Grand Nite Champions, including his favorite redbone, Major. Lee Ray also loved his devoted dash hound, Tiger, and his English Shepherd, Ro Ro.

He is survived by his wonderful wife of almost 50 years, Elsie Thomas Pitman of the home; one son, Donnie Ray Pittman, and his wife, Ruth Ann, of Abilene, Texas; one daughter, Anita Lynn Pittman, and her fiancé, Dean Campbell, of Statesville; five grandsons, Adam and Austin Pittman of Plano, Texas, Jimmy and Clint Jordan of Statesville and Nicholas Pittman of Abilene, Texas; and one granddaughter, Avery Ruth Pittman, of Abilene, Texas.

In addition, Lee Ray was blessed and survived by three brothers, C. L. Pitman and his wife, Peggy, of Black Mountain, Jim Pitman and his wife, April, of Hampton, Tennessee, and Randy Pitman and his wife, Linda, of Minneapolis, NC; three sisters, Jean Pitman of Spruce Pine, Ruth Ann Doane and her husband, Bobby, of Burnsville, and Polly Crowder and her husband, Tony, of Spruce Pine; sisters-in-law, Jean Thomas of Morganton and Peggy Young and her husband, Ted, of Elizabethton, TN and many nephews and nieces.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Avery Penland Pitman; three brothers-in-law, Jesse Pitman of Spruce Pine, Albert Briggs of Burnsville, and Bill Thomas of Morganton and two sisters-in-law, Gay Nell Pitman of Hampton, TN, and Polly Qualls of Oklahoma.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00pm, Wednesday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Morganton with Pastors Larry Cline and Rocky Branch, nephew of the deceased, officiating. Burial will immediately follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm, Tuesday at Sossoman Funeral Home.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Road in Valdese NC 28690.



Edward Bailey     [Back to Top]

Edward Bailey, 79 of Whigham, GA died Sunday, March 22, 2009 at Grady General Hospital, Cairo, GA. Born June 13, 1929 in Rutherfordton, NC, he was a son of the late William and Minnie Willis Bailey. Edward was a retired automobile mechanic.

Surviving are his son, Douglas Edward Bailey and his wife, Cheryl of Lake Mary, FL; a daughter, Doris Bailey Miller of Laurens, SC; four grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren; brothers, William “Bill” Bailey of Drexel, NC and Bruce “Red” Bailey of Morganton, NC; and a sister, Molly Murphy of Morganton.

The graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 26, 2009 at Cane Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Rutherford County, NC with the Rev. Danny Camp officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home, Morganton, NC.



Brenda Killian     [Back to Top]

Brenda Killian, 59, of Sherwood Drive, Morganton died March 24, 2009 following a period of declining health. She was born on December 2, 1949 in Burke County and was the daughter of John Henry Farr of Burke Co., and the late Helen Elizabeth Farr. Mrs. Killian was a teacher with the Caldwell County Schools and had worked with special needs children for 29 years. She was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.

Brenda is survived by her daughter, Angela “Angie” Brown and her husband, Bobby, and by grandchildren, Tyler and Cassidy Brown, all of Morganton. In addition to her mother, she was preceded in death by a brother, Tommy Farr.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2009, at Antioch Baptist Church with the Reverends Clarence Correll and Roger Parker officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics North Carolina Caldwell County, 27 Forest Hill Ct., Granite Falls, NC 28630 or to Hibriten High School Life Skills Class, 1350 Panther Trail, Lenoir, NC 28645. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Robert George Yore, Sr.     [Back to Top]

Robert George Yore, Sr., 80, died Tuesday, March 25, 2009. He was born in Cooke County, ILL and was a son of the late Edward and Juanita Abele Yore. Mr. Yore was a 25 year career veteran of the U. S. Air Force and had been a resident of Burke County for the past several years. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Nalva Jean Phillips Yore.

Robert is survived by his son, Robert “Bob” George Yore, Jr. and his wife, Lora, of Midland, MI and his daughter, Juanita Lynn Pina of Fayetteville, NC.

Services will be held at a later date. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Ralph Preslar     [Back to Top]

Ralph Thomas Preslar, 78, of Enola Road, Morganton, North Carolina died Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at Grace Hospital. Born June 30, 1930 in Charlotte, NC, he was a son of the late Benjamin Franklin Preslar and Arista Melton Preslar. Ralph was born both mentally and physically challenged and spent most of his life at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center in Morganton, North Carolina. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Harold, Marvin, and Leighton Preslar, and by sisters, Alma Purser, Mildred Thomas, and Margaret Bledsoe all of Charlotte.

Ralph is survived by a brother, Worth Preslar and his wife, Lib, of Charlotte, and by many nieces and nephews.

The family appreciates the sincere and loving care that Ralph received from the staff at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.

The funeral will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2009 at the J. Iverson Riddle Covenant Center, 300 Enola Road, Morganton, NC with Chaplain John Phillips officiating. Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. at Sharon Memorial Park, 5400 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC with Rev. Gail Werstlein officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, 300 Enola Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Getty Dale Long     [Back to Top]

Getty Dale Long, 76, died Thursday, March 26, 2009, at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. She was born February 11, 1933 in Burke County and was a daughter of the late Robert Alexander Dale, Sr. and Bessie Ross Dale. Mrs. Long was a former employee of Burke County Schools, NCSD and of Hardees. She and her late husband, Dale, loved to travel in their R.V. Getty was a member of First Baptist Church of Glen Alpine.

Surviving are sons, Tony Long and his wife, Linda, of Glen Alpine, Gary Long and his wife, Lisa, of Morganton, Billy Long of Lenoir, and Roger Long of Hickory; daughter, Libby Silcox, of Hickory; sisters, Linda Dale Beck and Nancy Dale Thomas of Glen Alpine; grandchildren, Rachel Freeman, Chris Barker, Jason Long, Dustin Long, and Jessi Silcox; and a great-grandson, Austin Tyler Freeman.

In addition to her parents, Getty was preceded in death by her husband, Dale L. Long; a son, John Long; brothers, Paul Dale and Robert Dale, Jr.; and by sisters, Lou Mode, Sarah Merrill, and Margaret Keaton.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 29, 2009 at First Baptist Church, Glen Alpine with Rev. Mike Brown officiating. Burial will follow in the Glen Alpine Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Saturday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, PO Box 557, Glen Alpine, NC 28628.



Alice Frock Fairchild     [Back to Top]

Alice Frock Fairchild, 74, of Morganton died Friday morning, March 27, 2009 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese following a period of declining health. She was born November 5, 1934 in Carroll County, Maryland, and was a daughter of the late Jennings V. Frock, Sr. and Beulah V. Keefer Frock. Alice was a member of Brookwood Baptist Church and a retired employee of Broughton Hospital with 30 years of service. She loved dancing, bowling, watching birds and butterflies, and playing Scrabble. Alice was a loving mother and grandmother.

She is survived by a son, Brian L. Fairchild and his wife, Kim, of Fairbanks, Alaska; a daughter, Karen F. Suttles of Morganton; a special friend, Kevin Ross of Morganton; a brother, Kenneth K. Frock of Shippensburg, PA; sisters, Audrey Fair and husband, Jim, and Betty Austin, all of Taneytown, MD, Ruby Leese and husband, William, of Westminster, MD, and Doris Hansbrough of Union Bridge, MD; two grandsons; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Heidi Jean Suttles; and brothers, Paul Richard Frock, Stanley Frock, and Jennings V. Frock, Jr.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Earl Cross officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Tuesday one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4A Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC 27047, or to Brookwood Baptist Church, 231 Brookwood Church Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Benjamin "Benny" Martin     [Back to Top]

Benjamin “Benny” Martin, 70, of Fenimore St. in Winston-Salem, NC died Friday, March 27, 2009 at his residence. He was born May 4, 1938 in Lincoln County, NC, and was a son of the late Elmer M. Martin and Mary Norris Martin. Benny was a member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem. He graduated from Morganton High School in 1957, and then graduated from High Point College. Benny was a retired employee of North Carolina Baptist Hospital where he had worked in the hematology department for 26 years.

Benny is survived by a brother, W. Murrell Martin and his wife, Faye, of Claremont, NC; nephew, Andy Martin; nieces, Jill Pittman and Jenny Smith; great-nephews, Christopher and William Pittman; and a great-niece, Tracey Lail.

Graveside services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, April 4, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with Rev. Bruce Walker officiating. Sossoman Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.



Betty Jean Orren Rowland     [Back to Top]

Betty Jean Orren Rowland, 78, of S. Deerfield Dr. in Morganton died Monday, March 30, 2009 at Grace Heights following a period of declining health. She was born October 25, 1930 in East Monbo, NC, and was a daughter of the late Raymond Victor Orren and Bertha Myrtle Hudspeth Orren. She was a member of Riverside Baptist Church of which her husband is the pastor. Betty is an alumnus of Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC, and of Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Raymond Rowland of the home; children, Dr. Michael Alan Rowland of Farmville, Virginia, Captain Richard Eric Rowland of Danville, Virginia, and Judith Yvonne Rowland Seggel, R.N. of Olney, Maryland; grandchildren, William A. Seggel, Sarah Margaret Seggel, and Robert Seggel; a brother, Homer Alexander Orren of Charlotte, NC; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at Riverside Baptist Church with Rev. Brad Farnham officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church for one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Riverside Baptist Church Ministry to the Poor, 516 NC 126, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Lydia Yancey Deal     [Back to Top]

Lydia Yancey Deal, 73, of Cook Rd., Valdese died Monday, March 30, 2009, at Frye Regional Medical Center. She was born in Burke County on June 26, 1935 and was a daughter of the late Harley Luico Yancey and Brentie Deal Yancey. Lydia was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister and will be remembered for her love of gardening. She was a member of Valdese Church of God.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Ken E. Deal, of the home; sons, Bryan K. Deal and his wife, Angela, of Connelly Springs, Thurman W. Deal of Valdese, and Rev. Shurman C. Deal and his wife, Charleen, of Drexel; daughter, Angela Deal Williams, of Connelly Springs; grandchildren, Lydia J. Roark, Odessa Legters, Aaron Deal, Gracen Deal, Josiah Deal, and Nathaniel Deal; great-granddaughters, Natalie Deal, Katrina Roark, Danielle Legters, and Athena Chapman; and brothers, Dwain “Dick” Yancey of Goldsboro, Ben Yancey of Morganton, Harley R. Yancey of Charlotte, and Michael G. Yancey, of Winston-Salem.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Deal was preceded in death by a son, Ken E. Deal, Jr.; a daughter, Katherine Beth Deal; brother, Harold Yancey; and sister, Annie Mae McGimsey. The funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, April 2, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Reverends Howard Trumble and Shurman C. Deal officiating. Committal services will be held at noon Thursday at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Black Mountain. The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour before the funeral.



Sam Rudicill     [Back to Top]

Sam Rudicill, 75, of NC 126, Morganton, died Tuesday, March 31, 2009, at his residence. Sam was born in Burke County, January 23, 1934 to the late Collins and Jessie Robinson Rudicill Kincaid. He was a member of Oak Hill United Methodist Church and a US Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Rick Rudicill; a granddaughter, Hunter Watson; two sisters, Mary Suttles and Hazel Setzer; and an infant brother, Jacob Rudicill.

Sam is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jean Clay Rudicill; two sons, Todd Rudicill and Tim Rudicill; a daughter, Gina Rudicill all of Morganton; two sisters, Floy Powell of Morganton and Dorothy Rector of Lenoir; five grandchildren, Clay Rudicill, Ryan Rudicill, Jenny Rudicill, Hillary Rudicill, Trevor Rudicill; two great grandchildren, Lauren Rudicill and Katie Rudicill; a special daughter-in-law, Cathy Rudicill of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 3, 2009 at Oak Hill United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Mark Denton officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery, with military rite provided by the American Legion Post 234. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Oak Hill United Methodist Church, Building Fund, 2239 NC 181, Morganton, NC 28655.



Willard Joseph "Butch" Fernett     [Back to Top]

Willard Joseph "Butch" Fernett, age 60, of Morganton, NC passed away peacefully at home Tuesday evening, March 31, 2009. He served in the United States Army. He was a builder for Habitat for Humanity. He was a loving husband, father and gloating grandfather. He was a lover of nature and a great fishing buddy to his grandsons. To know him was to love him.

He was born July 1, 1948, in Springfield, Vermont. Preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Violet Fernett, brother Bobby Fernett, and an infant grandson Wyatt Morgan.

Butch is survived by his loving wife Nora Fernett, his only son Willard Shane Fernett of Colorado, and three daughters; Christy Morgan of Tellico Plains, TN, Terry Richey of Auburn, KY, and Tina Ramsey of Smyrna, TN. He has 11 grandchildren; Lynn and Shane Fernett, Nathan, Rebecca, Isaiah and Abigail Morgan, Shelby, Sarah, Gabriel, and Brayden Richey, Heaven and Jessica Ramsey and Isaiah Rafferty.

He had a host of other family, friends and neighbors that will deeply miss him.

Services will be held on Sat., April 4, starting at 3pm at Praise Assembly of God, in Glen Alpine. Special thanks to Pastor Kevin Crawford for opening his heart and church to our family. Service will be followed by a dinner to honor and celebrate his life.

Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.


Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center, Inc. - (828)437-3211