Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - August 2009


Archived Obits August 2009



C. B. Pritchard     [Back to Top]

C. B. Pritchard, 46, of North Amity Street, Morganton, NC died Saturday, August 1, 2009 at his residence. Born on October 30, 1962 in Burke County, NC, he was the son of the late Bobby Basil Pritchard and Evangiline Alberta Walker Pritchard. C.B. attended Celebration Family Worship Center. He loved spending time on Lake James and dirt track racing. Having never met a stranger, he loved people and was always helping others. He owned C.B.’s Paint and Body Shop.

C.B. is survived by his wife, Debbie Benfield Pritchard of the home; sons, Chris Pritchard and wife, Crystal, and Michael Pritchard of Morganton; step-children, Candace, Victoria, and Jonathan Simental; a grandson, Logan Pritchard; step-grandchildren, Xavier, Jazlynn, Adrien, Jaleyha, Jose, Izrael, Clowie, and Lilly; a sister, Luann Owings and husband, Dennis, of Forest City, NC; nieces, Amy Crowder of Forest City and Ashley Pritchard of Morganton; two great-nephews, Austin Crowder of Forest City and Gabriel Pritchard of Morganton; and special friends, Billy and Anita Rector, Mike and Rhonda Pearson, Lee and Felicia Austin, Brian Hawkins, and Kirsten and Richie Vasser.

In addition to his parents, C.B. was preceded in death by a brother, Kenny Pritchard.

The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. A private service will be held at a later date with Pastor Rocky McLendon officiating.



Dorothy Elizabeth Tuttle Browning     [Back to Top]

Dorothy Elizabeth Tuttle Browning, 88, of Morganton, NC went home to be with her Lord on Sunday, August 2, 2009 after a brief illness and while surrounded by her family. Born in Randolph County, NC on September 13, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Laura Hill and Ruth Almina Tuttle. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by half-sisters, Beulah Tuttle, Genevieve Hohn, Esther Bennett, Rosalie Rogers, Bealie Hicks, and Mamie Hill; half-brothers, Troy Hohn, Larston Tuttle, Mike Tuttle, Lonnie Tuttle, Numa Tuttle, Carl Tuttle, Richard Tuttle, and Sherman Tuttle; and a grandson, Daniel Martin Ruggles. Mrs. Browning served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 as a dental technician. She graduated from Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1949 and retired from Broughton Hospital in 1980. She spent her entire life caring for others, especially her family. She loved reading, gardening, and spending summers in their home at Lake James.

Left to cherish her memories are her husband of 61 loving years, Herbert W. Browning of the home; children, Janet Morgan and husband, Marty, of Morganton, Connie Ruggles and husband, Marty, of Cortez, CO, and Keith Browning and wife, Lauri, of Granite Falls, NC; sisters, Mary Morton and husband, Robert, and Doris Jones, all of Archdale, NC; her grandchildren, Shane Morgan and wife, Caroline, Kyle Morgan, Matthew Ruggles, Sara Reynolds and husband, Wyatt, Samantha Browning, Zachary Browning, Jennifer Brookshire, and Graham Browning; a great-grandson, Peyton Morgan; sisters-in-law, Nadine Browning and Ollie Browning; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m., Thursday, August 6, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. A celebration of her life will follow at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Rick Crouse officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Aileen Black Avery     [Back to Top]

Aileen Black Avery, 80, of Kinwood Street, Morganton, NC died Monday, August 3, 2009 at Autumn Care of Drexel. Born in Burke County, NC on March 9, 1929, she was the daughter of the late John Edgar “Tobe” Black and Annie Seagle Black.

Aileen was a member of First United Methodist Church where she was very active in the Aldersgate Sunday School Class. She was also an active member of the Morganton High School Class of 1947 as well as the Democratic Party. She worked as a secretary for the local Veterans Administration, a copy writer for WMNC Radio Station, and a saleslady at Burke Furniture.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to her care-givers, Pat Helms and JoAnn King, and to the staff of Autumn Care.

Aileen is survived by her sons, Thomas Walton Avery and wife, Virginia, of Gastonia, NC and Stanley Walton Avery and wife, Kim, of Glen Alpine, NC; a daughter, Ruth Anne Avery Acuff of Morganton; grandchildren, Carrie Anne Avery, Caleb Walton Avery, and David Isaac Acuff; a sister-in-law, Martha Nell Brakefield; nephews, Ronald Black, James Black, Jr., Steven Black, David Black, and John Black, II; and a niece, Angela Black.

In addition to her parents, Aileen was preceded in death by her husband, Walton Avery, Jr; two brothers, James and Fred Black; a brother-in-law, Hank Avery and wife, Marjorie. The celebration of Aileen’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Reverends Dr. John L. Frye, Jr. and Phil King officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Presbyterian Home for Children, 80 Lake Eden Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711.



Fleta Smith Allman     [Back to Top]

Fleta Smith Allman, 86, of 106 Cascade Street, Morganton, NC died Monday, August 3, 2009 at Grace Heights. Born on February 20, 1923 in Burke County, NC, she was the daughter of the late Alden Smith and Effie Brittain Smith. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clyde Joseph Allman; an infant daughter, Vickie Guinn Allman; brothers, Phifer, Bill, Fritz, and Iverson Smith; and sisters, Frannie S. Littlejohn and Margaret S. Hall. Fleta was a lifelong member of Calvary Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School for over 45 years. She was a retired employee of Henredon Furniture and taught crochet for 18 years at the Senior Citizen Center.

She is survived by her daughter, Daphne Whisenant and husband, Gene, of Connelly Springs, NC; a son, Jerry Allman and wife, Janice, of Morganton; granddaughters, Rusti Allman, Lesa Neal, Jennifer Coleman, Kelli Lukomski; and Kathryn Rhodes; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; a sister, Nadine Cater and husband, Herman, of Hickory, NC; a large number of nieces and nephews; and a group of special friends at the Senior Citizen Center.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Larry Thompson officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. At other times the family will be at Mrs. Allman’s residence on Cascade Street. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 407 S. Green Street, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Windell H. Nichols     [Back to Top]

Windell H. Nichols, 87, of US 70 East in Morganton died Monday, August 3, 2009 at his residence. He was born in Cherokee County, NC on December 28, 1921 to the late James Monroe Nichols and Minnie Morgan Nichols. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Elizabeth Faye Nichols. Prior to World War II, Windell worked with the Conservation Corps and helped build Fontana Dam. He served in the US Army during World War II, and was part of the Normandy Invasion. Following his war service, Windell worked for Great Lakes Carbon until his retirement in 1986. He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Drexel.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Rogers Nichols of the home; and sons, James Terrell Nichols, Buddy Keith Nichols, and Tony Gene Nichols; 6 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at Trinity Baptist Church with the Reverends Scott Moneyham and Finley McCurry officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 4:00 until 5:30 p.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke County Camp Meeting, c/o Scott Moneyham, 3333 Trinity Church Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Ron Poteat     [Back to Top]

Ron Poteat, 51, of US 70 East, Valdese, NC died Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Born on December 12, 1957 in McDowell County, NC, he was the son of the late Dean and Adell Davis Poteat. Ron graduated from McDowell High School. He attended Western Carolina University where he received his bachelor’s degree, and then received a Master’s Degree in higher learning with a minor in sociology from Appalachian State University. Ron taught cosmetology at McDowell Technical Community College for 15 years and at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute for 10 years. Ron and Mike were co-owners of Salon Professionals. Ron was also an avid gardener.

Ron is survived by his partner of 21 years, Mike Smith of the home; a sister, Nina Elliot and husband, Dean, of Marion, NC; a sister-in-law, Wanda Poteat of Nebo, NC; nieces and nephews, Tim Mitchell, Cindy Beech and husband, Bill, Walt Mitchell, Melissa Davis and husband, Rick, Todd Williams and wife, Jodi, and Cindy Williams; a number of great-nieces and nephews, and his family at Salon Professionals.

In addition to his parents, Ron was preceded in death by a brother, Doyle Poteat, and a niece, Sheila Burleson.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, August 9, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with David Stevenson officiating. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the residence, 2629 H-1, US 70 East, Valdese. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Attn: Office Manager, 4-A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407.



Dennis Burnett Beaver     [Back to Top]

Dennis Burnett Beaver, 72, of Dysartsville Road, Morganton, NC died Thursday, August 6, 2009 at his residence. Born in Burnsville, NC on November 30, 1936, he was the son of the late Gerry and Bessie Ayers Beaver. Dennis was an employee of Morganton Dyeing and Finishing for nineteen years. He was a master handyman and loved to work on old cars.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Dennis is survived by his wife, Rebecca “Becky” Buchanan Beaver of the home; children, Denise Beaver Doolan and husband, Jim, of Flemington, NJ, Dennis B. Beaver, Jr. and wife, Lisa Marie, of Canadensis, PA, and Daniel Beaver of California; grandchildren, Jym, Stephanny, Harlee, Taylor, Jason, Devon, Sam, Joey, and Danielle; and two step-children, Andy Connor and Eric Connor, both of the home.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Tina Marie Beaver; a grandson, Dennis Beaver, III; and a brother, Bill Beaver.

The memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, August 9, 2009 at Morganton Baptist Church and Christian Academy with Rev. Dan Qurollo officiating. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in 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. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Burke Hospice for their wonderful care.



Edgar "Eddie" Simpson, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Edgar “Eddie” Graham Simpson, Jr., 60, of Glen Alpine, NC died Thursday, August 6, 2009 at Carolina Rehabilitation Center of Burke in Connelly Springs. Born on September 29, 1948, he was the son of Trudy Simpson and the late Edgar Simpson, Sr. Eddie graduated from Glen Alpine High School in 1966 and from Western Carolina University in 1970.

In addition to his father, Eddie was preceded in death by his grandparents, H. G. and June Simpson and Phylander and Oree Anderson.

In addition to his mother, Eddie is survived by a daughter, Leslie Adair George and husband, Kevin, of Taylorsville, NC; a son, Jeremy Simpson and wife, Chrystal, of Gretna, VA; grandchildren, Kamden and Keaton George, and Kinsley and Ava Graye Simpson; and his former wife, Janice.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, August 10, 2009 at Gibbs Chapel Wesleyan Church with Rev. Neil George 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 Gibbs Chapel Wesleyan Church, P.O. Box 603, Glen Alpine, NC 28628. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to all care-givers, and to the staff at Carolina Rehabilitation Center of Burke.



Joffre Woodrow Strother     [Back to Top]

Joffre Woodrow Strother, 90, of Edgewood Ave., Morganton died Friday, August 7, 2009, at his residence following an extended illness. He was born November 11, 1918 in Caldwell County and was a son of the late Otis Furman Strother, Sr. and Minnie Rice Strother. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Helen Pientka Strother; a brother, Otis F. Strother, Jr.; and by sisters, Roslyn Strother Burgess, Olivia Strother Keyes, and Virginia Strother Sime Kirsten.

Mr. Strother graduated from Lenoir High School in 1936 and worked at the Carlheim Hotel until he joined the U. S. Army in 1942. Joffre was a veteran of World War II and was stationed in Alaska from 1942 until 1945 when he was honorably discharged and was awarded the Victory Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque to Special Troop SCU 1907. He retired in 1980 from sales in the clothing industry and was an avid golfer, amateur photographer, and danced like Fred Astaire. Joffre was a Master Mason of Catawba Valley Lodge 217, 32° Mason of the Scottish Rite, and a member of the Shriner Oasis Temple in Charlotte, a Life member of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #193, and member of the International Order of the Lions Club. He was also a member of Grace Episcopal Church for 51 years.

Surviving are nephews, Ron Strother Sime and Steve Vaughn Sime, both of Lenoir, brother-in-law, Joe Pientka, of Petersburg, VA; and a number of great nieces, great nephews, and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 12, 2009, at Burke Memorial Park with the Rev. Bruce Walker officiating. Masonic Rites will be conducted by Catawba Valley Masonic Lodge #217. Memorials in Mr. Strother’s memory may be made to Grace Episcopal Church, 300 S. King Street, Morganton, NC 28655, the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, c/o The Burke County Shrine Club, PO Box 695, Morganton NC 28680, Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690 or to the Catawba Valley Masonic Lodge #217, PO Box 215, Morganton NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



Billie Kaye Cline Witkus     [Back to Top]

Billie Kaye Cline Witkus, 66, of Settlemyre Road, Drexel, NC died Monday, August 10, 2009 at Kindred Hospital in Greensboro, NC following an extended period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on January 7, 1943, she was the daughter of William Edward “Bill” Cline and the late Ruby Louise Franklin Cline. In addition to her mother she was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley D. Witkus. Billie was a member of First Church of God in Drexel.

In addition to her father, she is survived by her daughter, Newana Kay Shuffler of Drexel; a sister, Renee Cline Perrou of Raleigh, NC; and a nephew and two nieces, all of Raleigh.

The funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 12, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Larry McCaw officiating. Burial will follow in the First Church of God Cemetery in Drexel. The family will receive friends at the funeral one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.



Susan Jablonski Brock     [Back to Top]

Susan Jablonski Brock, 59, of Randolph Street, Morganton, NC died Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at her residence following a lengthy illness. Born in Burke County, NC on January 24, 1950, she was the daughter of Ruby Sims Jablonski of Morganton and the late Ted Jablonski. Susan was a caring and compassionate nurse.

A loving mother and grandmother, she is survived by her daughter, Lisa Johnston and husband, Kenny, of Morganton; sons, Jonathan Black and Chris Brock and wife, Torie, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Jacob Black, Konner Johnston, Erika Black, and Brian Black; her long-time companion, Dean Winkler of Morganton; a sister, Sandy Wilson and husband, Mark, of Charlotte, NC; brothers, Phil Jablonski and wife, Sharon, of Morganton, and Gregg Jablonski of Shelby, NC; and a special cousin, Faye Franklin of Morganton.

The memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 13, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Alan Wilson officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Alvin Edward Mull     [Back to Top]

Alvin Edward Mull, 85, of Oak Dr in Alturas, FL, and formerly of Drexel Rd., Morganton, died Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at the Terrace Hospice House in Lakeland, FL following a period of declining health. He was born October 17, 1923 in Burke County, and was a son of the late Carl Edward Mull and Lola Deal Mull. Alvin served in the US Army during World War II, and was a member of the Morganton Seventh Day Adventist Church. He retired from the Burke County school system as a bus driver, and then drove a truck for Jack’s Cookies for 20 years.

Alvin is survived by a son, Mike Mull and wife, Lucy of Alturas, FL; grandchildren, David and Sharon; a brother, Howard S. Mull and wife, Eva; sisters, Lucy Barger and husband, Ray, Beatrice Hensley and husband, Jack, and Rebecca Mull and husband, Howard J. Mull; an aunt, Bessie Mull; uncles, Jessie Deal and John Deal; in-laws, Betty Stillwell and her daughter, Delesa, Lillian Stillwell, Emily and Loren Shaw, Dot and Jay Davis, and Willa Mae Baumgardner; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Dessie Evelyn Stilwell Mull; and a brother, Rawlin L. Mull.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, August 13, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Pastor Tim Sheridan officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday at Burke Memorial Park with military graveside rites by the Valdese American Legion Post #234.



Katherine Annis Silver     [Back to Top]

Katherine Annis Silver, 89, of Rice Avenue Extension, Union, SC died Wednesday August 12, 2009 at Ellen Sagar Nursing Home following a period of declining health. Born on March 14, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Fred T. and Phoebe Louise Cox Annis, Sr. She was formerly a resident of Charlotte, NC where she worked in several beauty shops including the House of Beauty, Belk’s and Ivey’s. She also was an employee of Myers Park Hardware for several years.

In addition to her parents, Katherine was preceded in death by four brothers, Fred T. Annis, Jr., George H. Annis, Jack C. Annis, and Alexander Dean Annis; and two sisters, Lou Nell Brown and Elizabeth Jane Clontz.

She is survived by her daughter, Juanita S. Benfield and husband, J. C. of Union, SC; a son, James G. Silver and wife, Laura, of Lincolnton, NC; grandchildren, Julie B. Fowler, James David Silver, Jeffrey C. Benfield, and Timothy Douglas Silver; great-grandchildren, Blake Fowler, Jake Benfield, Ben Fowler, Lacie Silver, Brooke Silver, Morgan Silver, and Chase Silver; and a sister, Hazel Sarvis of Mooresville, NC.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 15, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home in Morganton, NC with Rev. Benny Green of Mon-Aetna Baptist Church of Union, SC officiating. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Mon-Aetna Baptist Church Building Fund, 1431 Lockhart Hwy., Union, SC 29379.



Maui E. Cope King     [Back to Top]

Maui E. Cope King, 79 of Louisville, KY and a former Morganton resident, died Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at Twin Brooks Nursing Home in Louisville. Born in Rock Island, TN on September 26, 1929, she was a daughter of the late Lively Oakley Cope and Pauline Evelyn Cantrell Cope. She attended school in Drexel, NC and graduated from high school in Lenoir, NC. After finishing school, Maui moved to Texas and lived in San Antonio and later in Houston where for many years she was employed by General Motors. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Ben King.

Surviving are her brother, Maurice Cope of Louisville; a half brother, Perry Cope of Nevada; a half sister, June Cope of New York; nieces, Mauricea Eli and Tina Abrams; and nephews, Roy and Steven Cope.

The graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 15, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with the Rev. David Orders officiating. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Ronnie Ray Stroupe     [Back to Top]

Ronnie Ray Stroupe, 53, of Mt. Home Church Road, Morganton, NC died Sunday, August 16, 2009 at his residence. Born in Burke County, NC on September 25, 1955, he was the son of Delores Hildebrand Stroupe of Morganton and the late Harvey Agee Stroupe. Ronnie was a member of Mt. Home Baptist Church and was self-employed.

In addition to his mother, Ronnie is survived by his wife, Melissa Price Stroupe of the home; a son, Josh Stroupe of Morganton; brothers, Ricky, Russell, and Rex Stroupe, all of Morganton; and grandchildren, Davin, Raylin, and Dylan Stroupe.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at Mt. Home Baptist Church with Rev. Jerry Gamble officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday 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.



George Philip Slaght     [Back to Top]

George Philip Slaght, 84, of Ridgecreek Drive, Morganton, NC died Sunday, August 16, 2009 at Grace Hospital. Born in Drumbo, Ontario, Canada on February 20, 1925, he was the son of the late Colin Oscar Slaght and Dorothy Stokes Slaght Taylor. George was a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. He served in WWII with the Canadian Army Tank Corps. George became a U. S. Citizen in 1952 and worked for many years with Pullman Standard in Hamond, IN as plant engineer and in Chicago as a tool designer. Pullman Standard is a manufacturer of railway passenger cars. Following his retirement, he continued to work as an engineering consultant. George and his wife, Mary, moved to Morganton in 1987.

George is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Stevens Slaght of the home; children, George Steven Slaght and wife, Carol, of Holden, LA and Elizabeth Slaght Kale and husband, Mack, of Polkville, NC; grandchildren, Marilyn Slaght Guitreau and husband, Kevin, Jessica Fisher, Joshua Fisher, and Stephanie Fisher; and great-grandchildren, Zoie Fisher and Dawson Wilson.

The graveside service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Cemetery with The Rev. Francis King officiating. The family will receive friends in the church parish hall from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service and also following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Towel Ministry of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 140 St. Mary’s Church Road, Morganton, NC 28655 or to the Good Samaritan’s Clinic, P.O. Box 3601, Morganton, NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Lottie Forbes Davis     [Back to Top]

Lottie Forbes Davis, 83, of Laurel Creek Street, Connelly Springs, NC went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, August 17, 2009 at her residence. Born in Erwin, TN on Ocotber 13, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Wiley and Texie Woody Forbes. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald Ernest Davis; a daughter, Linda Lou Davis; sons-in-law, Roy Abernathy and James Henry Cook; and a brother, Carroll Forbes.

Lottie was a faithful member and Prayer Warrior of Smart’s Grove Baptist Church. She retired from Hickory Hills Furniture following over 20 years of service. She loved to crochet baby blankets and work in her flower garden. She was the “Mother of the Hill.”

Lottie is survived by her daughters, Melba Cook of Spruce Pine, NC, Nellie Abernathy of Connelly Springs, and Judy Lail and husband, Ray, of Connelly Springs; grandchildren, Rev. Darwin E. Cook, Farold L. Cook, Norma Brittain, Joe Abernathy, Jennifer Abernathy, Junior Lail, and Melonia Lail; eight great-grandchildren; a brother, Jack Forbes of Newland, NC; sisters, Mildred Buchanan, Kathleen Buchanan, and Irene Fisher, all of Spruce Pine, Jenvie Cook of Marion, NC, Annlee Ledford of TN, and Lucy Lanning of Nebo, NC.

The funeral will be held at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at Smart’s Grove Baptist Church with Reverends Charles Lewis, Darwin Cook, and Leonard Lindsey officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the residence of her daughter, Judy Lail. Memorial contributions may be made to Smart’s Grove Baptist Church Home Missions Fund, 5290 Mineral Springs Mountain Road, Connelly Springs, NC 28612. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Robert J. "Bob" Hawkins     [Back to Top]

Robert J. "Bob” Hawkins, 85, died Tuesday, August 18, 2009, at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County on October 8, 1923 and was a son of the late William Fred Hawkins and Mary Anne Reep Hawkins. Bob was a U. S. Navy veteran of World War II and was a member of Calvin Heights Baptist Church. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, and he also loved to hunt and fish.

Surviving are his wife, Betty P. Hawkins, of the home; children, Larry J. Hawkins and his wife, Jean, of Morganton and Treva Jordan and her husband, Eddie, of Glen Alpine; grandchildren, Johnny Hawkins and his wife, Marion, and Melinda Marco and her husband, Chris, all of Morganton, Robert Jordan of Glen Alpine, and Amy Dale and her husband, Tyler, of Homestead, FL; five great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way; brothers, Louie Hawkins of Glen Alpine and Ralph Hawkins of Durham, NC; and sisters, Margaret Powell of Glen Alpine and Ann Hawkins Davis, of Lowell, NC.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by an infant son, Bobby Hawkins; brother, William Arthur “Ott” Hawkins; and sister, Ruby Hill.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 21, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Paul Culbertson officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Calvin Heights Baptist Church, 310 Carbon City Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 or to Friends for Animals, PO Box 1884, Morganton, NC 28655.



Jessie Crump Gibson     [Back to Top]

Jessie Crump Gibson died August 19, 2009, at the age of 103.

Jessie was born December 2, 1905, in Caldwell County to George M. and Francis Smith Crump.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Oscar Gibson; her son Thomas P. Gibson; daughter Faye G. Harmon and son-in-law C.V. Harmon; brothers George and Dewey Crump; sisters Lula Powell, Mary Heffner, Edna Annas, Clemmie Griffin, and Beatrice Crump.

Survivors include her children, Earl (Bud) Gibson and wife Floye; Ruby Watson and husband Hill; daughter-in-law Helen Wesson; grandchildren Vicki Coffey and husband Terry; Randy Gibson and wife Wanda; Marty Gibson and wife Janet; and Donna Goude and husband Ray; great grandchildren Suzanne Coffey, Alisha Gibson, Jamie Gibson, Michael Coffey, Kimberly Goude, Ryan Goude and Evan Gibson, and great-great grandchildren Mason and Jessie Moore. As a resident of Lenoir Park Assisted Living, she leaves behind her many friends and loving caregivers.

Mrs. Gibson attended Craig Mountain and Whitnel Schools. She and her husband owned Gibson Grocery in the Union Grove section of Caldwell County until his death. Mrs. Gibson retired from Fairfield Chair. She has been a life-long member of Union Grove Baptist Church where she has faithfully served in many positions including pianist, choir member, Sunday School Superintendent, and teacher. She was the oldest member of Union Grove Baptist Church.

She will be remembered by her children as a very loving, honest, hard working mother, and by her grandchildren and great grandchildren as the very best baby sitter, cook and “lifeguard” at the pool that any grandchild could ever have. She has been an inspiration to all who have known her. When asked the secret of her longevity she would quickly reply, “It’s because I always honored my mother and father just like the Bible says”.

Funeral services will be at 5:30 p.m., Friday, August 21, 2009 at Union Grove Baptist Church with the Reverends Guy Helms, Randy Gibson, and Sam Craven officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 4:00 until 5:30 p.m. prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be Michael Coffey, Evan Gibson, Fred McCall, Jim Smith, Wayne Rash, and Donnie Carlton.

Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 902 Kirkwood St., N.W., Lenoir, NC 28645, or to Union Grove Baptist Church Building Fund., 1808 Union Grove Rd., Lenoir, NC 28645. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



James Gregory McMahan     [Back to Top]

James Gregory McMahan, Greg to his friends and family, 51, of Brown Mountain Beach Road, Morganton, NC died Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on June 10, 1958, he was the son of James Conrad McMahan and the late Sylvia Marlene Perry Swink. Greg loved to attend local area Pentecostal churches. He worked at Southern Devices for over 21 years. Greg was an avid outdoorsman and loved to cook and watch the Food Network channel.

He is survived by his wife, Madalyn Rarick McMahan of the home; children, Natosha McMahan of Greensboro, NC, William McMahan of Morganton, and G’Lellier McMahan of Morganton; a grandchild, Maddie Grady; and a brother, Clarence Stanley McMahan and wife, Melody, of Holmesville, OH.

A private memorial service will be held at Fairview United Methodist at a later date. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Fairview United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Fairview United Methodist Church, c/o Faye Stephenson, 2586 Holly Hills Drive, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Beunice White Hester     [Back to Top]

Beunice White Hester, 87, of Admore Heights, Valdese, NC passed away Thursday, August 20, 2009 at Grace Heights following period of declining health. Born on February 2, 1922 in Rutherford County, NC she was the daughter of the late Charles White and Hester McFarland White. Beunice was an active member of Zion Memorial United Methodist Church and was a retired employee of Drexel Heritage Furnishings. She was avid gardener and cook.

A loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, Beunice is survived by a son, Jack Hester and wife, Effie, of Morganton; daughters, Janice Berry and husband, Jim, of Drexel and Brenda Cohen and husband, Mel, of Morganton; a sister, Inez Hunt of Morganton; seven grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Beunice was preceded in death by her husband, Ward Jones Hester; a granddaughter, Daphne Hester; a brother, Charles White; and sisters, Dessie McKellar and Frances Boyd.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 22, 2009 at Zion Memorial United Methodist Church with Reverends Larry Fletcher and George Williams officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:00 until 7:30 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 Zion Memorial United Methodist Church, 1595 Zion Road, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Friends of the Library for the Blind, 1841 Capitol Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27635.



Russell L. Wilson     [Back to Top]

Russell L. Wilson, 91, of Morganton died Friday, August 21, 2009 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese following a period of declining health. He was born May 2, 1918 in Burke Co., and was a son of the late Marcus Wilson and Sarah Elizabeth “Bessie” Mace Wilson. Russell attended Burke Community Bible Church.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Lynda and Jim Whitener of Albemarle, NC; brothers, Roy and Clarence Wilson, both of Morganton; a sister, Hazel Smith of Hickory; and a dear friend, Keith Norman of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Russell was preceded in death by his wife, Willie Mae; brothers, Walter, Chester, and James Wilson; and a sister, Agnes Johnson.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 23, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with Chaplain Ted Swann officiating. The family will receive friends Sunday from 1:00 until 1:45 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Margie Lee Carswell     [Back to Top]

Margie Lee Benfield Carswell, 69, of US 70 West in Glen Alpine died Friday, August 21, 2009 at her residence following a lengthy illness. She was born May 7, 1940 in Burke County, and was the daughter of the late Edward Benfield and Edna Lee Stamey Short. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a nephew,Dean Benfield. Margie was a member of Calvary Freewill Baptist Church and loved her minister, Leonard Lindsey. She worked for 20 years at Morganton Hosiery Mill, and then retired from Western Carolina Center with over 20 years of service. Margie loved the residents at the center, and occasionally took a resident home for a visit. While working at the center, Margie went back to school, and became a Licensed Practical Nurse. She enjoyed cooking for people, and canning fruits and vegetables. Margie was devoted to her family especially her three little girls. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Calvin A. Carswell and “Tiny” (their dog) of the home.

They were married on August 21, 1955. She is also survived by daughters, Susan Fox and Wayne Shores, Barbara Rhodes and Gerald Hoglen, all of Morganton, and Debbie Miller, and husband, Dallas of the Lake James community; grandchildren, Philip Leonard, Jr. and wife, Christie, Alisha Duckworth and husband, Josh, Hannah Rhodes, Eric Fox, Calvin Rhodes, and Jennifer Miller; one great-grandchild, Caden Kestner Rhodes; brothers, Eddie Benfield and wife, Janice of Lenoir, and Ken Benfield and wife, Judy of Glen Alpine; her aunt, Shirley Whisnant whom Margie loved like a sister; nieces and nephews, Eddie Benfield, Steve Benfield, John Vance, Jr., Sandy Tallent, and Lora Cheubront; and a devoted life-long friend, Evelyn Keller.

The family would like to express their thanks to the staff of College Pines Nursing Home for their special care over the past three months. Special thanks also to the staff at Blue Ridge Heath Care and Burke County EMS.

Funeral services will be held at 5:00 p.m., Monday, August 24, 2009 at Calvary Free Will Baptist Church with the Reverends Leonard Lindsey and Donnie Dingess officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Monday one hour before the service at the church. At other times, the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Freewill Baptist Church, PO Box 331, Connelly Springs, NC 28612. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Mildred Carol Drummond     [Back to Top]

Mildred Carol Drummond, 88, formerly of Eldred St., Valdese, died Friday, August 21, 2009, at Morganton Long Term Care. Mildred was born May 18, 1921 in Greenville County, SC to the late James Franklin Drummond and Margaret Caroline Corn Drummond. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a son, Gary Franklin Pons; brothers, Julius Henry Drummond, Lewis Alvin Drummond; and sisters, Alma Leona Drummond, Myrtle Laney Drummond Deal and Annie Lou Drummond Benton.

Mildred is survived by her nieces, Patricia Drummond Thompson of Hickory, Ann Drummond Shook of Hildebran and JoAnn Schreider of St. Angelo, TX: a nephew Jimmy Deal of Alabama; a granddaughter, Lisa Pons of Wilmington, NC, and 2 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, August 23, 2009, at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Valdese, NC, with the Rev. Eddy Bunton officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Edward Lee Swink     [Back to Top]

Edward Lee Swink, Sr., 59, of Old Hwy 18 South in Morganton walked with his Heavenly Father Thursday, August 20, 2009. He was born September 23, 1949 in Burke County, and was a son of the late Fred Pauley Swink and Mallie Louise Stamey Swink. He was an employee of Parker Industries.

Edward is survived by his former wife, Vickie Swink Nettles of Orangeburg, SC; sons, Edward Lee Swink, II, and Wesley Howard Swink, both of Morganton, and Samuel Aaron Swink of Orangeburg, SC; daughters, Victoria Elizabeth Swink and Elisha LeAnna Swink, both of Morganton; step-daughters, Jennifer Christine Schachtschneider of Hickory, and Amelia Chasity McGee of Morganton; brothers, Fred, Bob, and Jim Swink, all of Morganton; and a sister, Betty Spicer of Boone, NC; and twelve grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, David Howard Swink; and a grandson, Elijah Wilson Swink.

Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, August 24, 2009 at the Swink Family Cemetery on Old Highway 18 in Morganton. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Delcie Delphia Osborne Deyton     [Back to Top]

Delcie Delphia Osborne Deyton, 78, of Smawley St. in Morganton died Friday, August 21, 2009 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. She was born December 5, 1930 in Ashe County, NC, and was a daughter of the late Conley Osborne and Nancy Mahala Osborne. Delcie was a member of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, and a retired employee of King Hosiery Mill.

She is survived by sons, Harold Dean Deyton of Gainesville, GA, Robert C. Deyton, David Chan Deyton, Walter Deyton, and Ray Deyton, all of Morganton; a daughter, Gay Pakacki of Morganton; brothers, James Osborne, Tom Osborne, and Bill Osborne, all of Ashe County; sisters, Margaret Roark of Mountain City, TN, and InaMae Pierce of Chesapeake Bay, VA; sixteen grandchildren, and 14 great-granchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, August 23, 2009 at Faith Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Robinson officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m at the church. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Richard Patrick Conway     [Back to Top]

Richard Patrick “Dick” Conway, 89, of Morganton, NC died peacefully Saturday, August 22, 2009, at Sunrise Rehabilitation and Care Center in Nebo, NC. Born in Brooklyn, NY on January 5, 1920, he was the son of the late Richard John Conway and Anna Voorhees Conway. Dick was an Elder at First Presbyterian Church.

He served in the U.S. Army during WWII and retired as a Major with the U.S. Army Reserves Corps of Engineers. He also retired from Ford Motor Company after forty years. In 1980 he moved to Morganton with his wife, Betty. He was very active in the community including the First Presbyterian Church, Lions Club, the Friendship Force and American Legion Post in Glen Alpine. Dick was also an instructor at WPCC was a former Boy Scout leader.

Richard is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Baer “Betty” Conway of the home; sons, Richard Conway and wife, Lori, of Morganton, Tim Conway of Lake Worth, FL, Tom Conway and wife, Wanda, of Newport, NC, and Jeffrey Conway and wife, Kay, of Flowery Branch, GA; a daughter, Beth Conway of Morganton; and grandchildren, Ricky Conway and wife, Anca, Kurt Conway, Christie Conway, Cara Conway, Jonathan Conway, Anthony Conway, Michael Conway, Maggie Richardson, Kacie Conway, Bradley Conway and wife, Ashley, Anna Conway, Elizabeth Cadenhead and husband, Jason, and Katie Greenhaw.

In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by a sister, Belle Conway Rivers.

The Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 29, 2009 at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. The family will have a private burial. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Men’s Bible Class Foundation, 100 Silver Creek Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



Colleen Brown Curtis     [Back to Top]

Colleen Brown Curtis, 79, of Church St. in Valdese, NC died Monday, August 24, 2009 at College Pines Nursing Home following a period of declining health. She was born May 18, 1930 in Burke County, NC, and was a daughter of the late Helen Harris Brown. Colleen was a member of the First Baptist Church of Valdese, and a retired employee of Alba-Waldensian.

She is survived by daughters, Regena Galvin of Valdese and Pamela Lowman and husband, Sammy, of Hickory; grandchildren, Stacey Daniels, Leslie Berry, Wendy Tallent, and Jason Birchfield; 9 great-grandchildren, Whitney, Madison, Keraghan, and Colvin Tallent, Luke and Grant Birchfield, Connor and Carmen Daniels, and Kenley Berry; and brothers, Phillip Brown of Conover and Gary Brown of Valdese.

In addition to her mother, she was preceded in death by her husband, Cloyd M. Curtis, Jr.; a son, Mark Gregory Curtis; and a sister, Vivian Robinson.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at the First Baptist Church of Valdese with the Reverends Noel Schoonmaker and Tim Horldt officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Wednesday one hour before the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 500 Faet St., N.W., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Charles Samuel Digh     [Back to Top]

Charles Samuel Digh, 86, of N. Council Oak St. in Morganton died Monday, August 24, 2009 at his residence following a period of declining health. He was born August 3, 1923 in Burke County, and was a son of the late Julius P. Digh and Flora Webb Digh. For many years, Charles was an active member of the Calvary Baptist Church. He was a graduate of Morganton High School where he played football. Charles worked for many years as a salesman at Sears in Morganton. Following his retirement, he sold pies and was affectionately known as the “Pie Man”. Charles was a former member of the Burke County School Board and also a former trustee of Western Piedmont Community College.

He is survived by a son, Charles S. “Chuck” Digh, II and wife, Vickie of Morganton; a grandson, Wesley B. Digh of Asheville, NC; a brother, Ned P. Digh of Fulton, MO; a sister, Estaleen Rockett of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Barbara Hines of Lincolnton, NC; a brother-in-law, Vernon Rader of Morganton; and all of his church family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Alwran Digh; and a brother, Webb Digh.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Calvary Baptist Church with the Reverends Larry Thompson and Bob Deviney officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ridgecrest Cottage Fund of Calvary Baptist Church, 407 S. Green St., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Larry Gene Lowman     [Back to Top]

Larry Gene Lowman, 63, formerly of Israel Chapel Rd., Connelly Springs died Monday, August 24, 2009, following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County on June 22, 1946 and was the son of the late Dee C. Lowman and Tillie Abee Clark. Larry worked for a number of years at Hickory Chair and enjoyed working on cars. Larry was a member of First Baptist Church, Morganton and a former member of Oak Ridge Baptist Church.

Left to cherish his memory are his companion of 32 years, Shirley Creasman; sons, Larry Allen Creasman, Wesley Raymond Creasman and his wife, Sherry, all of Burke County, Alvin Ray Creasman of Connelly Springs, and Reggie Lowman of Valdese; and cousins, Harold Abee and Diane Lowman.

A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 27, 2009, at First Baptist Church Chapel with Rev. Dr. Thomas Bland officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the church parlor. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, PO Drawer 459, Morganton, NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



Elsie Buff Bivens     [Back to Top]

Elsie Buff Bivens, 91, of Camelia Garden St. in Morganton, and formerly of Campus St. in Rutherford College, died Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at Burke Long Term Care following a period of declining health. She was born August 11, 1918 in Cleveland County, and was a daughter of the late Frank Buff and Mittie Sain Buff. Elsie worked at Jaquard Mills in Morganton, and several other local textile mills. She also worked in the kitchen at the Old Rock School.

She is survived by children, Frances Flynn and husband, Bobby of Covina, CA, Lucille Massie and husband, Johnny of Rocky Mount, NC, Maxine Robinson of Huntersville, NC, and Gary Bivens and wife, Marjorie of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Veola Crawley, of Mt. Holly, NC; 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Lee Bivens; a daughter, Carolyn Williford; brothers, Marshall, Marvin, Willard, Dewey, and John; and sisters, Ella and Jettie; and a son-in-law, Tim.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 29, 2009 at Mull’s Grove Baptist Church with the Reverends Allan Barlow and Bud Jernigan officiating. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends Saturday from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. at the church. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690, or to Mull’s Grove Baptist Church, 5106 Burkemont Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Linda D. Perry     [Back to Top]

Linda D. Perry, 66, died Tuesday, August 25, 2009, following a 10 month long illness. She was born in Burke County on June 29, 1943 and was a daughter of the late Victor Columbus Davis and Annie Mae Harris Davis. Linda was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who enjoyed spending time with her family, attending church, gardening, needlework, and fishing with her best friend, her husband, Steve. She was a devoted member of Fairview United Methodist Church.

Surviving are her husband, Steve M. Perry; daughters, Karen P. Coleman and her husband, Dean, Vivian P. Clarke, and Stephanie P. Smith and her husband, Stephen; grandchildren, Deanna and D. J. Coleman, Sierra Clarke, Kelsey Williamson, and Hunter and Katelyn Smith; her sister, Louise Smith and her husband, John; brothers, Jim Davis and his wife, Carole, Edd Davis, and Larry Saulman; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Linda was preceded in death by a sister, Ruby Mode, and by brothers, Danny Davis and Ned Davis.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 27, 2009, at Fairview United Methodist Church with the Reverends Ed Stephenson and Michael Brown officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church 30 minutes before the funeral hour. At other times the family will be at the home, 3345 Brown Mountain Beach Rd., Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Fairview United Methodist Church, Building Fund, 2586 Holly Hills Ave., Morganton, NC 28655 or to the American Cancer Society, 4-A Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC 27407.



Casey Burgin Baber, Sr.     [Back to Top]

Casey Burgin Baber, Sr. 59, of Old Mountain Road, Banner Elk, NC died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at the Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese, NC. Born in Burke County on April 30, 1950, he was the son of the late Carson Burgin Baber and Roberta Fisher Baber. Casey was a 1968 graduate of Morganton High School. He worked for many years in real estate sales. In recent years he worked as a real estate developer.

Casey is survived by his wife, Donna Rominger Baber of the home; sons, Casey Burgin Baber, Jr. and wife, Kori, and Zachery Baber and wife, Janelle, all of Charlotte, NC; a daughter, Heather Baber Street and husband, Charles, of Banner Elk; grandchildren, Dana Baber, Jack Street, Casey Burgin Baber, III, and Karsyn Baber; a great-granddaughter, Annabelle Triplett; a step-son, Richard Rominger and wife, Elizabeth, of Banner Elk; a step-grandson, Cody Rominger; his mother-in-law, Louise Braswell Rominger of Newland, NC; and a number of uncles, aunts, and cousins.

The memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, August 29, 2009 at Sugar Mountain Baptist Church, 1832 Sugar Mountain #2 Road, Newland, NC with Reverends Donnie Ford and David Burnop officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Eleanor Ellis Hollfield Martin     [Back to Top]

Eleanor Ellis Hollifield Martin, 92, of the Shaire Center in Lenoir, died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Caldwell Memorial Hospital following a period of declining health. She was born April 25, 1917 in Rutherford County and was a daughter of the late Glenn Beecher Hollifield and Claude James Howell Hollifield. Eleanor was a member of the First Baptist Church in Bostic, NC.

She is survived by daughters, Amelia Stokely and husband, Joe of Chapel Hill, and Gloria Hogan and husband, Bobby of Morganton; grandchildren, Paula, Georgina, and Nicholas Gajewski, Jamie, Robert, and Matt Stokely, and Lauren Hogan; sisters, Marguerite Barnes of Rutherfordton, and Norma McEachern of Charlotte; and a brother, Bert Hollifield of Winston-Salem, NC.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Burrell Harris Martin; a daughter, Judith Gajewski; sisters, Louise Keeter and Lillian Hollifield; and brothers, Roger, Linwood, and Nicholas Hollifield.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 27, 2009 at the First Baptist Church Cemetery in Bostic with Rev. Clay Earle officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, PO Box 225, Bostic, NC 28018. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Frances Whisnant Terry     [Back to Top]

Frances Whisnant Terry, 65, of Spainhour Rd. in Morganton died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. She was born August 31, 1943 in Burke County, and was the daughter of the late Ray Whisnant and Minnie Miller Whisnant. Frances was a member of Zion Baptist Church, and a former employee of Drexel-Heritage Furniture Company.

She is survived by her husband, Garland Eugene Terry of the home; a son, Ricky Eugene Terry and wife, Jo Ann, a daughter, Reba Terry Bolick and husband, Andy, and a brother, Harley Whisnant, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Curtis Coleman, Crystal Caldwell, Candace Terry, Stephen Thompson, Emanuel Hite, and Mark Langston; and twelve great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 29, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Randy Clark officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. At other times, the family will be at the home of Reba Bolick, 1501 McGee St. in Morganton.



Lucille Sanders     [Back to Top]

Lucille Jean Sanders, 79, of Magnolia Dr. in Morganton died Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at Autumn Care of Drexel following a period of declining health. She was born Nov. 12, 1929 in Buncombe Co., and was a daughter of the late Vernon Sanders and Geneva Thomas Sanders. Lucille loved working in her flower garden.

She is survived by sisters, Elizabeth McClure and husband, Russell of Glen Alpine, and Helen Sanders of Morganton; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers, James, Bobby, and Roy Sanders; and sisters, Marie Ward, Victoria Goldsmith, and Reva Sanders.

A graveside service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, August 30, 2009 at Grandview Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. John L. Whisnant, Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Joe Tannery Dickson     [Back to Top]

Joe Tannery Dickson, 83, of Park Street, Morganton, NC died Thursday, August 27, 2009 at his residence. He was born on July 11, 1926 in Oconee County, SC a son of the late David D. and Eva Tannery Dickson.. Joe was a member of Drexel First Baptist Church. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1970 as a Chief Petty Officer after 30 years of service. He then retired after 20 years of work for the Burke County Health Department as a Sanitation Inspector.

Joe is survived by his wife, Louise Farmer Robinson of the home; sons, Henry “Duke” Dickson and wife, Terri, of Woodstock, GA and Joe Tannery Dickson, Jr. of Kennesaw, GA; a daughter, Deborah Kay Dickson of Morganton; grandchildren, Stephanie, Steve, and Sandi Dickson; four great-grandchildren; step-daughters, Donna Ledford and Janet Furr, both of Myrtle Beach, SC; a step-son, Darrell Smart of Pendergrass, GA; and a sister, Frances Ballenger of Westminster, SC.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Jean Duke Dickson; and sisters, Edna Dickson and Libba Ayers.

The graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 29, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with Father Kenneth Whittington officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Randa Denise Patton Riddle     [Back to Top]

Randa Denise Patton Riddle, 35, of Berkley Street, Morganton, NC died Thursday, August 27, 2009 at her residence. Born in Burke County, NC on December 18, 1973, she was the daughter of Loyd Randolph Patton and Elizabeth Jo Mace Patton. Randa was a member of Gibb’s Chapel Wesleyan Church where she was the Assistant Youth Director, Emergency Medical Director, a member of the church choir, and had just been elected to the Local Board of Administration. She enjoyed missions, and had just returned from a mission trip to New York. Randa worked as a registered nurse at Broughton Hospital, and was pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at Appalachian State. She was a kind and loving person, and she always had a smile.

Randa is survived by her husband, Kevin Reynolds Riddle of the home; children, April Dale and Gavin Riddle, both of the home; a sister, Diedra Patton Huffman and husband, David, of Morganton; special nephews and niece, Marabeth and Samuel Huffman and Josiah Riddle; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Randa was preceded in death by her grandmother, Frances Fredell.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 31, 2009 at Gibb’s Chapel Wesleyan Church with Reverends Roger Brackett and Darvy Hensley officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 7:00 until 9:00 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 home of Randolph and Lib Patton. Memorial contributions may be made to Gibb’s Chapel Youth Fund, P.O. Box 603, Glen Alpine, NC 28628, or to Burke United Christian Ministries, 305-B W. Union Street, Morganton, NC 28655.



Barbara "Bobbee" Brailey     [Back to Top]

Barbara Ogletree “Bobbee” Brailey, 85, of Grace Ridge, Morganton, NC died Friday, August 28, 2009 at her residence. Born in Oneida, NY on May 20, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Norman Frank Latham and Susan Ruby Latham. Bobbee graduated from UNC Greensboro and furthered her education at Ohio State University and Columbia University. She was a teacher of deaf children for almost forty years at the NC School for the Deaf, Ohio School for the Deaf, and the Lexington School in New York City.

Mrs. Brailey was active in Grace Episcopal Church where she was a member of the choir and the Episcopal Church Women. She served as its president and devotional chairman. She was also a former board member of the Unifour Arts Council, the Deaf Ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, and the Friends of the Library. She was a member of the Grace Hospital Guild and worked with the Beans program.

Mrs. Brailey is survived by her son, Richard Slade Ogletree, Jr. of La Paz, Mexico; step-children, Carol Brailey Engle and Peter Allan Brailey, both of New Jersey; two step-granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husbands, Richard Slade Ogletree and Chester Bates Brailey, and a sister, Kay Wade. A Celebration of Bobbee’s life will be held at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, September 3, 2009 at Grace Episcopal Church with Father Bruce Walker officiating. Inurnment will follow in the church memorial garden. A reception will be held at in the Grace Episcopal Parish Hall following the services. Memorial contributions may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 3300 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ 85718 or to the Friendship Committee at Grace Ridge, 500 Lenoir Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Irene Virginia Pritchard Whitman     [Back to Top]

Irene Pritchard Whitman, 76, died Friday, August 28, 2009 following a lengthy period of declining health. She was born in Burke County on March 3, 1933 and was a daughter of the late Jesse Theodore Pritchard and Lorena Pritchard Pritchard. Mrs. Whitman was a long-time member of Drexel Memorial Baptist Church and presently was a member of Brookwood Baptist Church. Irene was a retired employee of the News Herald where she was employed as an inserter.

Surviving are her daughter, Diane Mitchell Fruend and her husband, Mark, of Morganton; sisters, Bessie Huffman, Mary Louise Whitman, and Virgie Smith all of Morganton, Margaret Clark of Lenoir, Emma Jean Ledford of Newland, and Minnie Norville of Rutherfordton; grandchildren, Jessica and Bryan Fruend; and special friends, Gail and Wayne Baker of Goldsboro.

In addition to her parents Irene was preceded in death by her son, Charles Mitchell; brothers, Simon Lewis Pritchard, James Pritchard, and Jesse T. Pritchard, Jr.; and by sisters, Vernie Smith, Katie Sue Johnson, Ruby Manning, and Sadie Fairchild.

The funeral will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, August 31, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. James Green officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the home of Diane and Mark Fruend. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Heights, 109 Foothills Dr., Morganton, NC 28655.



Thomas Willard "Tom" Smith     [Back to Top]

Thomas Willard “Tom” Smith, 81, of Vine Arden Rd., Morganton, NC died Sunday, August 30, 2009 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on July 12, 1928, he was the son of the late Alex Smith and Mattie Epley Smith. Thomas was a retired employee of Inmont Corporation and enjoyed woodworking.

Tom is survived by his wife, Mary Jo Franklin Smith of the home; a son Tommy Smith and his wife, Sherri; a grandson, Chad Smith and his wife, Victoria; great-granddaughters, Alexis and Laiken Smith and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Smith; sisters, Ida Jackson, Annie Bollinger, and Lucy Roper; and a step-brother, Walter Epley.

A graveside service will be held at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at Burke Memorial Park with Rev. Freddy Lindsey officiating. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. The family would like to give special thanks to Blue Ridge Home Health Staff who lovingly cared for Tom for the past two years.



Nelda Wilson Maxwell     [Back to Top]

Nelda Wilson Maxwell died on Sunday, August 30, 2009 at Grace Ridge Retirement Community. She was 98 and had remained active in church and community affairs until recent years. Mrs. Maxwell was born July 2, 1911 in Mocksville, N.C. a daughter of the late Rev. Walter E. Wilson and Chinara Flack Wilson. Her husband, retired State of NC forester, Albert H. Maxwell Sr., died in 1987. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Mahala Kate Baker and daughters-in-law, Linda Pitts Maxwell and Brooks McGirt Maxwell. Mrs. Maxwell moved to Grace Ridge later in 1987 and was among the early residents at the facility, a group who received the label of “Mayflower” residents. She had spent most of her years in the independent living section, moving to the assisted living section in very recent years.

The Maxwells moved to Morganton in 1945 and immediately became active in the First Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder on the Session. She also was a longtime member of the Women of the Church and had served as its chairman. In 1984 she was awarded a lifetime membership in the organization.

Mrs. Maxwell attended Davenport College in Lenoir and in 1931 graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh with degrees in French and history. She began teaching in the public schools in Caldwell County and also taught for several years in Mitchell County. She left teaching for several years to become a homemaker. About 1950 she resumed teaching in a private school at Calvary Baptist Church in Morganton. Two years later she shifted to the N.C. School for the Deaf, where for almost twenty-five years she taught a pre-first grade class and later first grade. She enjoyed both the challenge and the rewards of teaching the deaf and remained proud of her ability to converse with the deaf well into her retirement years.

She was a long time member of the Morganton Womans Club and served a term as its president. For many years Mrs. Maxwell was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma society for teachers and was also an active member of the Morganton Lioness Club. Mrs. Maxwell served a term as president of the Grace Ridge Homeowners Association.

She is survived by sons, Al H. Maxwell, Jr. and his wife, Sandra of Rolesville, NC, and Jim Maxwell of Huntersville, NC; grandchildren, Beth Naegele, Sarah Collins and her husband Matthew, and Leslie Maxwell; great grandchildren, Ashley and Jacob Naegele, and Maxwell, Davis and Wade Collins; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 6, 2009 in the Ervin Community Room at Grace Ridge Retirement Center with the Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. The family will receive friends in the Ervin Room following the service. A private committal service will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 100 Silver Creek Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 or to The History Museum of Burke County, P. O. Box 416, Morganton, NC 28680-0416. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family.


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