Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - August 2010


Archived Obits August 2010



Andrew Williams     [Back to Top]

Andrew Williams, 83, of Augusta, GA, entered into rest on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving during WWII on a Tanker Ship. Mr. Williams also volunteered for 10 years at the Southeastern Firefighter’s Burn Foundation. He was preceded in death by his son, James Williams and a grandson, David Williams.

Andrew is survived by his wife, Blanche Williams; son, Johnny Ray (Debra) Williams of Morganton, NC; Grandsons, Josh, Marcus, and Shane Williams; 2 great granddaughters, Katie and McKenzie; Stepchildren, Terry (Elaine) Davis of Martinez, GA, and Karen (Eddie) Hunt of Aiken, SC; sister, Betty Ballew of Morganton, NC; brothers, Ervin Williams of Morganton, NC, and Grover Scott Williams, Jr. of AL.

Funeral Services will be held 2:00p.m. Saturday, August 7, 2010 at Mountain View # 2 Baptist Church with Rev. Ken Mashburn, Rev. Frank Mebane, and Rev. Phillip Winsett officiating. Interment will be in Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, August 6, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Mountain View # 2 Baptist Church, 4692 Dysartsville Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



Jerry Plemmons     [Back to Top]

Jerry Plemmons, 50, of Lovelady Rd. in Rutherford College, died Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. He was born Sept. 10, 1959 in Buncombe Co., and was a son of Shirley Plemmons, and the late Walter Plemmons. Jerry was a member of the First Church of God in Drexel. He enjoyed the outdoors, watching all sports, growing flowers, and spending time with his family. Jerry was a loving and faithful husband, father, and son.

In addition to his mother, Jerry is survived by his wife, Kim Kincaid Plemmons; daughter, Deann Plemmons; son and daughter-in-law, Walt and Shannon Plemmons; sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Tony Long; brother-in-law, Dean Kincaid; his wife’s parents, Charles and Loann Kincaid; niece and her husband, Rachel and Jason Freeman; nephew, Jason Long; great-nephew, Austin “Ty” Freeman; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, August 7, 2010 at First Church of God in Drexel with Pastor Jerry Reynolds and Rev. Larry McCaw officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to First Church of God, PO Box 218, Drexel, NC 28619, or to North Liberty School, 529 Enola Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Veriena "Beaner" Freeman     [Back to Top]

Veriena “Beaner” Freeman, 61, of Neil Road, Morganton, NC went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Burke County, NC on May 3, 1949, she was the daughter of the late Grover Clark and Nola Helms Clark. Beaner was an active member of Nowlings Chapel Freewill Baptist Church and retired from Drexel Heritage where she had worked for over 33 years. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who will be dearly missed by all.

Beaner is survived by her husband of 26 years, Ray Freeman; a daughter, Pamela Carswell Dupuis and husband, Joe, of Morganton; stepchildren, Kevin Freeman, Tim Freeman, Dreama Freeman, and Shannon Freeman, all of Morganton; a grandchild, Jennifer Dupuis; step-grandchildren, Desiree, Alesia, Amanda, Eric, Tim, Tracy, Kayla, Elaina, Tim, Damian, Ethan, and Tanner; four step-great-grandchildren; brothers, Homer, Burean, Palmer, and Alden Clark; sisters, Judy Pearson and Becky Bradshaw; and numerous nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents, Beaner was preceded in death by brother, Floyd and Claude Clark, and a sister, Laverne Arrowood.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, August 8, 2010 at Nowlings Chapel Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Darvy Hensley 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 Nowlings Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, 5827 Fisher-Davis Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc, 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Alex "Sonny" Morton     [Back to Top]

Alex “Sonny” Morton, 71, of Brentwood Rd., Morganton, NC went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Thursday, August 5, 2010 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Born in Wake County, NC on December 9, 1938, he was the son of the late Alex Morton, II and Vicie Mae Walker Morton. Sonny attended Mtn. View #2 Baptist Church. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army and retired from Southern Devices. After his retirement he worked as a local handyman. He loved the flea market, fishing, and trading. He also loved watching his grandson’s ball games.

Sonny is survived by his wife of 50 years, Clara Thelma Mashburn Morton of the home; a daughter, Cynthia M. Attaway and husband, Mark, of Morganton; a son, Jeff Morton of Morganton; grandchildren, Austin and Aaron Attaway; brothers, Sammy and Doug Morton; and sisters, Katie Powell, Faye McGalliard, and Dorothy Benfield. In addition to his parents, Sonny was preceded in death by a sister Mary Basnett, and a brother, Charlie Morton.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, August 8, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Ken Mashburn officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m.. Burial will follow in Laurel Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Marion, NC with military honors provided by Valdese American Legion Post #234. Memorial contributions may be made to the Charles George Asheville VA Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Irene Morrow Vaughn     [Back to Top]

Irene Morrow Vaughn, 62, of Powerhouse Rd., Morganton, NC died unexpectedly Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at her residence. Born in Madison County, NC on April 19, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Jeff Roland Morrow and Minnie Lee Boings Morrow. Irene was a member of River Valley Baptist Church. She never met a stranger and also loved flower gardening.

Irene is survived by her children, Lorine Vaughn and companion, Chris Tallant, of Connelly Springs, Stacey Vaughn and wife, Pam, of Morganton, Daniel Vaughn and wife, Kelly, of Morganton, Dianna Terry and husband, Scott, of Hickory, and Bruce Vaughn of Morganton; siblings, Iva Norton and husband, Andy, of Morganton, Cora Correll of Madison, NC, Annie Norton and husband, Amus, of Morganton, and Thomas Morrow and wife, Gail, of Marshall, NC; and ten grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 5:00 p.m., Sunday, August 8, 2010 at River Valley Baptist Church with Reverends Kenneth Shew and Charlie Bradley 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 Sossoman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 2608, Morganton, NC 28680 to assist with funeral expenses.



Clifford Franklin Wise     [Back to Top]

Clifford Franklin Wise, 64, of Morganton, NC passed away peacefully on Friday, August 6, 2010 following a lengthy illness. Born in Avery Co., NC on May 26, 1946, he was the son of Jessie Grindstaff Wise and the late Stokes Avery Wise. Clifford was a member of Trinity Baptist Church. He was employed as a supervisor at Duralee Fine Furniture of Morganton. Clifford was a former Burke County Commissioner as well as a former member of the Board of Trustees at Western Piedmont Community College.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Linda Wright Wise of the home; a daughter, Robin Wise Deitz and husband, Howard, of Morganton; a sister, Vivian Wise Mace and husband, Rev. Billy Mace, of Morganton; and grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew, and Abigail Deitz.

In addition to his father, Clifford was preceded in death by a sister, Rita Nichols, and a brother, Glen Wise.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Monday, August 9, 2010 at Bethel Baptist Church, Ellenboro, NC with Reverends Billy Mace and Howard Deitz officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Attn: Office Mgr., 4-A Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC 27407.



Douglas James Reed     [Back to Top]

Douglas James Reed, age 61, of Hudson, Florida, died August 6, 2010, at his home in Morganton. He was born in Hartford, Wisconsin on April 17, 1949, to Kenneth and Anita Reed. He was a graduate of Hartford High School, Class of 1967, and went on to study real estate at University of Wisconsin Madison, where he received a Masters degree in 1975. He spent most of his working years with UPS, retiring in 2003. Douglas devoted many hours to volunteer work, particularly with Habitat For Humanity, United Way, South Pointe Home Owners Association, and Rotary.

He was preceded in death by his father. Douglas leaves behind his wife Mary; sons Ryan (Erika), Christopher (Sonya), and Adam; brothers Stephen (Karen) and Richard (Lynn); sister Joan (Steve) Scheu; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

The visitation will be held at10 a.m., followed by the funeral mass at 11 a.m., Tuesday, August 10, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Morganton, with Father Kenneth Whittington officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Wisconsin. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Rd., Bethesda, MD 20816, or to Burke County United Way, 301 E. Meeting St., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Jerry Dale Shelton, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Jerry Dale Shelton, Sr., 75, of New Haven Cr., Morganton, NC died Friday, August 6, 2010 as the result of an automobile accident. Born in Haywood Co., NC on March 17, 1935, he was the son of the late John Burgess Shelton and Duffie Ledford Shelton. Jerry was of the Baptist Faith.

He is survived by his companion, Brenda Fowler of the home; sons, Jerry Dale Shelton, Jr. and wife, Gail, of Hildebran, NC, Harold Shelton and wife, Lisa, of Marion, NC, and James “J.C.” Shelton and wife, Delores, of Morganton; a daughter, Helen Edwards and husband, Steve, of Valdese, NC; sisters, Fern Smith of Clyde, NC and Alma Watson of AL; a brother, Gene Shelton of Drexel, NC; nine grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by a son, Johnny Shelton; a brother, Nathan Shelton; and sisters, Decia Chapman, Jean Lee, and Billie Smith.

The memorial service will be held at 5:00 p.m., Monday, August 9, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Ralph Shuffler officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home two hours prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke County Friends for Animals, P.O. Box 1884, Morganton, NC 28680 or to Sossoman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 2608, Morganton, NC 28680 to assist with funeral expenses.



Sarah Whisnant Bowman     [Back to Top]

Sarah Whisnant Bowman, 80, of Connelly Springs, NC died unexpectedly on Sunday, August 8, 2010. Born in Burke County, NC on April 16, 1930, she was the daughter of the late William James Whisnant and Berta Mae Harris Whisnant. Sarah attended Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Sarah is survived by her sons, Jackie Bowman and wife, Marcella, of Longview, NC, Jerry Bowman and wife, Betty, of Longview, Alan Bowman and wife, Ann, of El Paso, TX, Larry Bowman and wife, Laura, of Hickory, NC, and Henry Bowman and wife, Jody, of Valdese, NC; daughters, Brenda Suttles and husband, Warren, of Morganton, NC and Cathy Brittain and husband, Mark, of Icard, NC; grandchildren, Robbie, Karen Southers, Mandy Bowman, Bobby Pedlow, Regina Bumgarner, Larry Michael Bowman, Robbie Bowman, Alisha Bowman, Casey Bowman, Chasity Sheets, Warren Lamar Suttles, Jr., Paul Brittain, Erica Brittain, Joshua Brittain, and Jeremiah Brittain; eleven great-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; brothers, Rude Whisnant of Drexel, NC and Paul Whisnant of Morganton; sisters, Betty Abee of Valdese, NC, Dorothy Moose of Rutherford College, NC, and Alice Shull of Drexel; and a number of nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents, Sarah was preceded in death by her daughter, Karen Elizabeth Bowman, and brothers, John, Hamp, Dan, Bobby, and Bill Whisnant.

The funeral will be held at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 11, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Darryl Webb officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Eastview Family Care, 3208 Tex’s Fish Camp Road, Connelly Springs, NC 28612.



Rev. Robey Alan Wilson     [Back to Top]

Rev. Robey Alan Wilson, 47, of Morganton, NC went home to Glory on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Born in Burke County, NC on September 18, 1962, he was the son of Robey Wilson, Jr. and Linda Barus Wilson of Morganton. Rev. Wilson was a member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Alan was a Freedom High School Class of 1980 graduate. Mr. Wilson pursued his bachelor’s degree at Western Piedmont Community College and Gardner-Webb University. He was proud to achieve his Master’s of Divinity degree from Erskine Seminary and subsequently be ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2009.

His first and foremost love was for his Heavenly Father, his family, and his friends. One of his most memorable pastimes was watching dirt track races with his friends, Elijah, Gabriel, Angela, Rafael, and Shirley. Alan was also very proud of the fact that he obtained his Eagle Scout Award. He was saved at Burkemont Baptist Church and was baptized and became a member at Salem United Methodist Church. Rev. Wilson’s first pastorate was at Pinnacle United Methodist Church. He has been pastor of Denton’s Chapel United Methodist Church since 1995. Surviving to cherish his memory are his parents; his wife, Lonna Marie Carpenter Wilson; his daughter, Alana Marie Wilson of the home; a sister, Lisa Renee Wilson Lowdermilk and her husband, Kevin of Morganton; nieces, Brittany Renee Baker and Allie Renee Lowdermilk; his father and mother-in-law, Lon and Mary Carpenter; and his faithful feline companion, Toby Wilson.

The funeral to celebrate Rev. Wilson’s homecoming will be held at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 12, 2010 at Burkemont Baptist Church with Reverend Donald Freshour and Reverend Phillip Cole officiating. Burial will follow in Denton’s Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Denton’s Chapel United Methodist Church Debt Retirement Fund, 5358 Denton’s Chapel Rd., Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Dorothy Branch Robinson     [Back to Top]

Dorothy Branch Robinson, 88, formerly of Burkemont Ave., Morganton, NC died Tuesday, August 20, 1010 at Autumn Care of Drexel. A native of Burke County, she was born at Table Rock, NC on July 13, 1922 to the late Thomas Monroe Branch and Susan Beck Branch. Dorothy graduated from Morganton High School and married Lloyd G. Robinson of Celo, Yancey County, NC. She was a medical secretary for many years, working for Dr. Helms, Dr. Barron, and Doctors Lindquist and Hamer. Following her retirement she channeled her interested to different arts and crafts, most notably her paintings, which are cherished by various members of her family and her friends.

Dorothy was a long time member of First Baptist Church of Morganton and was very active in church work for many years.

She is survived by her son, Lloyd Ervin Robinson and wife, Jane, of Pinehurst, NC; grandsons, John Robinson and wife, Karen, of Hickory, NC, Myron Robinson of Linville Falls, NC, and Kevin Robinson and wife, Laura, of Pinehurst, NC; six great-grandchildren; and two beloved nieces, Irene Conley Fleming and Hope Williams Franklin.

In addition to her parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd G. Robinson; five brothers; and two sisters.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 13, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr 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 Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Henry Wiley Sholar, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Henry Wiley Sholar, Jr., 83, of Advance, NC died Wednesday, August 11, 2010. Born in Guilford County, NC on October 19, 1926, he was the son of Armida Brunson Sholar and the late Henry Wiley Sholar, Sr. Wiley was a member and lay minister at Little River United Methodist Church in Little River, SC and also a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of WWII. He was a member of the Hibriten Masonic Lodge and was an avid golfer and fisherman. Wiley was the most loving and lovable friend, brother, son, husband, dad, and Paw Paw to everyone he knew.

Wiley is survived by his wife, Nancy Chisholm Hedderly Sholar of the home; children, Wiley Sholar of Eugene, OR, Martha Sholar Belk and husband, Tony, of Greensboro, NC, and Scott Allan Sholar of Greensboro; step-children, Toni Anderson and husband, Ken, of Morganton and Craig Souza of Raleigh, NC; a sister, Martha Jenkins of Greensboro; a brother, Bill Sholar and wife, Lou, of FL; grandchildren, Tanya McNeill, Tesha Shriro and husband, Ted, Kelly Scott and husband, Vincent, Adam Johnson and wife, Faith, Dana Anderson Thomas, Paige Anderson, Jennifer Souza Shimer and husband, Jonathan, and Kristen Souza; and great-grandchildren, Mekiah, Raina, Levan, Neal, Jackson, Cole, and Max.

In addition to his father, Wiley was preceded in death by a brother, Mike Sholar, and a grandson, Brett Anderson.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 13, 2010 at the Memorial Chapel of the White Stone Eastern Star and Masonic Home, 700 South Holden Road, Greensboro, NC with Chaplain Tommy Jones officiating. A private graveside service will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Morganton, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 4-A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407 or to the White Stone Eastern Star and Masonic Home, 700 South Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27407. Sossoman Funeral Home in Morganton is assisting the family with the arrangements.

The family would like to thank the staff at Bermuda Village for their loving care.



Bobby Penland     [Back to Top]

Bobby Penland, 29, of Asheville, NC and formerly of Morganton died Sunday, August 8, 2010. He was born in Bernillo County, NM on April 16, 1981 and was the son of Bobby and Betsy Penland of Morganton. Bobby graduated from Freedom High School with the Class of 1999, attended W.P.C.C. and was currently enrolled at A & B Tech in Asheville in the advanced mechanical engineering program. He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church.

Surviving in addition to his parents are a brother, David Penland of Charlotte; a sister, Francis Penland of Morganton; paternal grandparents, Harland and Jane Scholl of Oxford, MS; maternal grandparents, Tom and Jeane Suddarth of Chapel Hill; aunts and uncles, Debi Cutter and husband, Randy, Davi Ledet and husband, Mark, Sterling Suddarth and wife, Suzanne, Debi Kopytowski, and Thomas Suddarth and wife, Megan; and numerous cousins.

Bobby was preceded in death by a grandfather, Cleo Penland, and grandmothers, Francis M. Scholl and Jane C. Suddarth.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Grace Episcopal Church with Rev. Bruce Walker officiating. Inurnment of the ashes will immediately follow in Grace Episcopal Memorial Garden. The family will then receive friends in the church parish hall. Memorial contributions may be made to First of Blue Ridge, Inc., PO Box 40, Ridgecrest, NC 28770. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Harold Taylor Epley     [Back to Top]

Harold Taylor Epley, 83, of Glendale St., Morganton died Wednesday, August 11, 2010 following a brief illness. He was born in Burke County on January 6, 1927 and was a son of the late Alfred and Maggie Taylor Epley. Harold’s parents died when he was a child. He went to live with his brother and sister-in-law, the late Red and Lillian Epley. Their children, Joyce, Philip and the late Eddie Epley were like brothers and sisters to Harold.

He graduated from Glen Alpine High School and served in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He worked for Burke Construction as a supervisor and contractor for over 40 years. He also built the fire station in Carbon City and then served as its first Fire Chief. He was an avid gardener. Harold was a member of Calvin Heights Baptist Church and attended Hopewell Baptist Church.

Harold was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jerlene Williams Epley; a son and his wife, Randy and Cindy Epley; a daughter, Debbie Epley all of Morganton; granddaughters, Katie and Paige Epley; his niece and nephew, Joyce Epley Strachan and husband, John, of Morganton and Philip Epley and wife, Barbara of Cary, NC; and a special niece, Maxine Epley.

In addition to his parents, Harold was preceded in death by five brothers and four sisters.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Hopewell Baptist Church with Rev. Homer Murdock officiating. The family will receive friends one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation Western NC Chapter, 31 College Pl. Suite D-320, Asheville, NC 28801 or to Hopewell Baptist Church Building Fund, 1112 Hopewell Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.



John Norman     [Back to Top]

John Woodrow Norman, 92, of Hopewell Road, Morganton, NC died Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at the Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on August 19, 1917, he was the son of the late John E. Norman and Nancy Epley Norman. John served with the 393rd U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during WWII. He was a member and deacon of Hopewell Baptist Church and owned and operated John W. Norman Construction Company.

John is survived by his wife, Clara Turner Norman of the home; a daughter, Carlette Norman McKinney of Morganton; sons, John Norman, Jr., Warren Norman and wife, Susan, and Larry Norman and wife, Linda, all of Morganton; grandchildren, , Stephanie Jarrett, Angela McKinney, Joshua Norman, Kelly Sizemore, and Megan Norman; great-grandchildren, Olivia and Sophia White, Elijah, Micah, and Jonah Norman, and Hunter and Jackson Sizemore; a sister, Lissie Dellinger of Rutherfordton, NC.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by a grandson, Jonathan S. Norman; a son-in-law, Wayne McKinney; brothers, Arthur and Grover Norman; and a sister, Cordie Epley.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Hopewell Baptist Church with Reverends Homer Murdock, Johnny Ross, and Rob Castle officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the residence on Hopewell Road. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hopewell Baptist Church Building Fund, 1112 Hopewell Road, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Ruby Hice Branch     [Back to Top]

Ruby Hice Branch, 68, of NC 18 South, Morganton, NC died Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at her residence following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on May 1, 1942, she was the daughter of the late Doctor “Doc” Hice and Willie H. Coleman Hice. Ruby was a member of Walker’s Chapel Baptist Church. She loved to garden and was a lover of all flowers. Ruby loved life and devoted herself to her family and church.

She is survived by her daughter, Kaye Mourglea and husband, Andy, of Connelly Springs, NC; a son, Allen “Poncho” Branch and wife, Amparo, of Connelly Springs, NC; grandchildren, J.P. Johnson, April Johnson, Jessica Branch, Saharia Mourglea, and Andrew Mourglea; great-grandchildren, Hunter Johnson, Dylan Johnson, and Brayden Aikey; a sister, Emily Ollis and husband, Mack, of Morganton; and nieces, Carole McCracken and Wanda Mace and husband, Frank, both of Morganton.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Richard Branch; brothers, James “Pete” Hice, Fred Hice, and Richard “Wormy” Hice.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Walker’s Chapel Baptist Church with Reverends Danny McNeilly, Ronnie LeFevers, and Gary Huntsinger officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service. At other times the family will be at Mrs. Branch’s residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Walker’s Chapel Baptist Church, 5292 Walker’s Chapel Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Anna Laura Edmonds     [Back to Top]

Anna Laura Edmonds, 80, of Flint Ave. in Morganton died Thursday, August 12, 2010 at her residence following an extended illness. She was born June 30, 1930 in Polk County, NC to the late Vance Walter Greene and Lilard Horton Greene. Anna attended Christian Outreach Ministries where she volunteered in the food ministry. She had worked as a seamstress in Burke County at various textile mills.

Anna is survived by a son, James Carrel Edmonds, Jr. of Morganton; a daughter, Judy Dianne Riggins and husband, Russell, of Marion; grandchildren, Sissy Roseman, Dawn Bowling, James Edmond, III, Eddie Lanier, and David Lanier; nine great-grandchildren; and a sister, Annis Stepp of Hendersonville, NC.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James “J.C.” Carrel Edmonds, Sr.; four brothers and two sisters.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 15, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Pastor Holly Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home.



Donald Ervin Smith     [Back to Top]

Donald Ervin Smith, Jr., 48, of E. Union St. in Morganton died quietly Friday, August 13, 2010 at Grace Hospital surrounded by his family and a host of friends. He was born November 27, 1961 in Burke County and was the son of Donald Ervin Smith, Sr. and Betty Morris Smith of Morganton. Donald was a member of Mt. Home Baptist Church. He was a lumber broker and president of Hardwood Associates, Inc. for 19 years. Don served on the Board of the Burke Soccer Association for 10 years. One of the great joys of his life was coaching soccer, and he was very dedicated to his teams. Don was highly regarded and loved by his young athletes and by all who knew him.

He was a loving and supportive husband to his wife, Kim Sutton Smith of the home; and leaves as his legacy, his children, Ethan Andrew Smith and Emily Elizabeth Smith, both of the home. Along with his parents, he is also survived by a sister, Kathy Smith McElhany and husband, Butch, of Morganton; a niece, Stephanie McElhany; parents-in-law, Chester and Jane Sutton of Newton; maternal grandmother, Audrey Meldona Morris of Morganton; and number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Don was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Marley Smith and Eliza Mae Smith Greene; maternal grandfather, B. C. Morris; and a step-paternal grandfather, Verne Greene.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 15, 2010 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Larry Cline, Rev. Jerry Gamble, and Jamie Parsons, Evangelist officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be former members of his soccer teams. The family will receive friends Saturday from 6:30 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. At other times, the family will be at the residence of his parents, 207 Woodlawn Dr. in Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Burke Soccer Association, PO Box 1754, Morganton, NC 28680.



Danny Minton     [Back to Top]

Danny Minton, 47, of Bakers Circle, Granite Falls, NC, died Friday, August 13, 2010. Born in Tampa, FL on December 24, 1962, he was the son of the late Eldridge D. Minton and Dorothy Anderson Minton.

Danny is survived by a son, Matthew Lee Minton and wife, Billie, of Morganton; a daughter, Amy Minton-Velasquez and husband, Mosies, of Morganton; grandchildren, Issac Velasquez, Martha Velasquez, Dillon Minton, and Nathan Minton; and a brother, Johnny Minton of Rhodhiss, NC.

In addition to his parents, Danny was preceded in death by four brothers and one sister. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Douglas Fairbanks "Dude" Dale     [Back to Top]

Douglas Fairbanks “Dude” Dale, 84, passed away August 15, 2010 after fifteen years of declining health due to Alzheimer’s disease. Doug was born September 2, 1925 in Marysville, Yuba County, California to Polly and Joseph Mills Dale. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Kathleen Smith Dale, two brothers, Vernon and Henry Dale; and three sisters, Grace Edwards, Viola Suttle, and Emaline McGee.

Doug returned with his family to North Carolina as a young child. As a teenager; he assisted with the care of his younger sisters and contributed to the family finances displaying the strong traits of responsibility and dependability that characterized his family and work life, and the expectations he passed along to his children. His sisters would often comment he was his mother’s pet, and Doug held his mother in high esteem until her death. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed playing pranks on his family and friends. In his younger years, Doug enjoyed hunting, fishing, and horseback riding, and he was a quiet, reflective, determined, hard working man.

Doug was a World War II veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. He retired from Drexel Heritage Furniture as plant manager of Table Rock, Plant 6 after 39 years of service.

He is survived by two daughters, Barbara Dale Huffman, and Deborah Dale and husband, Edward; three grandsons, Douglas Huffman, Paul Dale, III and wife, Shelby, and Jarrod Dale and wife, LaDonna , all of Morganton; four great-grandchildren, Catherine Michelle Dale, Colten Hunter Dale, Alexius Kathleen Dale, and Bryar Jacob Dale; a sister, Annie Mae Johnson of Morganton; and numerous brothers and sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at both the Shaire Center and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care for their loving care of Doug during his long illness and final days.

Graveside services for family and friends will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at Burke Memorial Park with military rites conducted by the Valdese American Legion Post 234. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 10:00 until 11:00 am at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood St., N.W., Lenoir, NC 28645.



Mary Belle Hudson     [Back to Top]

Mary Belle Hudson, 88, Connelly Springs passed away Sunday, August 15, 2010 after a period of declining health due to Alzheimer’s disease. Belle was born July 19, 1922 in Burke County, the second child of sixteen children born to the late Theodore R. Smith and Texie Swink Smith.

Belle was a wonderful cook known for her chicken and dumplings and her delicious Christmas dinners. She loved all animals, particularly dogs, and always had a faithful canine or feline companion. Belle was an honest, outspoken, hard working woman and a faithful wife, step-parent, daughter, sister, and aunt to her varied family members. She was always “dressed to the nines” and her brusque manner disguised a kind heart and generous nature. In addition to her parents, Belle was preceded in death by her first husband, Walter Mace; and her second husband of many years, Ralph Hudson; two step-sons, Claude and Jack Hudson; four brothers Clyde, Howard, Roy, and Hubert Smith; and two sisters, Kathleen Dale and Jackie Lamb.

She is survived by two step-daughters, Blanche Christenbury of Conover, and Margaret Stallings and husband, Jim of Connelly Springs; a step-daughter-in-law, Nancy Hudson; step-grandchildren, Robert Hudson, Terry Hudson and wife, Kim, Michael Hudson of Redlands, CA, and Debbie Preston of Texas; She is also survived by four sisters, Lottie Tallent and Carolyn Bradshaw, both of Morganton, Clara Powell and Cuteene Britt, both of Drexel; five brothers, Marvin, Jerry, John, Bob, and Emmanuel Smith, all of Morganton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff of both Morganton Long Term Care and Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center for their care, and Bea, the Hospice dog, who gave comfort and companionship during Belle’s last days.

Funeral and committal services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 17, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Mountain View Cemetery in Rutherford College. The family will receive friends one hour before the funeral service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Samuel "Kin" Tugman     [Back to Top]

Samuel “Kin” Tugman, 42, of Bowman Ave., Morganton, NC died Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at Grace Hospital. Born in Caldwell County, NC on August 4, 1968, he was the son of Samuel LeRoy Tugman, Sr. and Hattie Bell Perkins. Ken was a member of Calvin Heights Baptist Church. He served for 22 years with Oak Hill Fire/Rescue and 2 years with Morganton Public Safety as a reserve firefighter. He enjoyed working with school children in the firefighter’s smokehouse.

Ken is survived by his wife, Angela Dawn Ross Tugman of the home; children, Kenneth Ty-Allen Tugman and Torrie Nicole Tugman of the home; a grandfather, Ralph Perkins; a grandmother, Lottie Tallent; and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces.

Ken was preceded in death by grandmothers, Harriette Perkins and Elizabeth Tugman; a grandfather, LeRoy Tugman; an uncle, Jimmy Tugman; and aunt, Betty Roane; and a cousin, Ann Brown.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 21, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the Rev. George “Bake” Garmon, Minister Debra Hightower, Rev. Ferguson, Rev. Carter, and Rev. Moore officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday 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. At other times the family will be at the residence on Bowman Avenue. Memorial contributions may be made to the family to assist with expenses.



Joe C. Ingram     [Back to Top]

Joe C. Ingram, 67, of Morganton, NC died unexpectedly Tuesday, August 17, 2010. Born in Boston, MA on March 30, 1943, he was the son of Edythe Nuss Crumpton of Gardendale, AL and the late Joe Clayton Ingram, Sr. Joe was a member of Catawba Valley Baptist Church where he was serving as a deacon. He recently retired from Lowe’s Home Improvement in Morganton.

Joe is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ann Pearson Ingram; children, Jackie Jolley and husband, Stuart, of Mars Hill, NC, Shannon Rush and husband, John, of Atlanta, GA, and Jason Ingram and wife, Joanne of Acworth, GA; grandchildren, Sam Jolley, Johnathan Jolley, Joshua Ingram, and Jacob Ingram; brothers, Jerry Ingram and wife, Jenny, of Lula, GA and Robert Ingram and wife, DeLee of Marietta, GA; and sisters, Sandra Jones and husband, Otis, of Lawrenceville, GA and June Lacanski of Birmingham, AL.

The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, August 20, 2010 at Catawba Valley Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Odom officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors performed by Valdese American Legion Post #234. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Catawba Valley Baptist Church Building Fund, 706 Lenoir Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



Will Reford Watts     [Back to Top]

Mr. Will Reford Watts, 84, of Morganton, died peacefully on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at Valdese Hospital, surrounded by his family. Mr. Watts was born March 4, 1926 in Burke County to the late Zeb Vance and Sarah Ann Watts. He was an active member of Missionary Ridge Baptist Church where he served as chairman of the deacons for many years. He was a US Army veteran of World War II. Mr. Watts retired from Henredon Furniture after 43 years of service.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Wilson Watts, and three sisters, Pauline Hamrick, Ivey Epley and Ila Chapman.

Mr. Watts is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mrs. Cleo Propst Watts; his son Denny Watts and wife Pam; grandchildren, Angie Berry of Morganton, April Brooks of Kernersville and Kolby Watts of Morganton; great grandchildren, Madison, Aidan, Dalton and Logan.

Funeral services for Mr. Watts will be at 4:00 p.m., Friday, August 20, 2010 at Missionary Ridge Baptist Church with the Reverends Donald Lovelace and Al Tinnin officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery with military honors by the Ceremonial Team of Valdese American Legion Post 234. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church 30 minutes prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Missionary Ridge Baptist Church, 5612 John Watts Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



Ronald "Toby" Benfield     [Back to Top]

Ronald “Toby” Benfield, 66, of Morganton died Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese following a period of declining health. He was born August 2, 1944 in Burke County, and was a son of Ruby Benfield. Toby was a member of Zion Baptist Church. He was employed by Duke Power Company for 15 years, and later worked at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center and Broughton Hospital.

In addition to his mother, Toby is survived by sons and their significant others, Brian Benfield and Natasha Street of the home, and Don Howard and Debbie Benfield of Morganton; a daughter and her significant other, April Benfield and Johnny Surratt of Morganton; grandchildren, Kristen, David, Aubrey, and Patience Benfield, Tabitha and Alex Surratt, and David Howard; a brother, Don Benfield of Spruce Pine; half-brothers, Billy Ray Powell and Michael Powell, both of Charlotte; a half-sister, Suzie Stillwell of Mt. Holly, NC; many other loving family members; and life-long friends, Bruce Sisk, Ronnie Fox, Bob Brackett, and Bill Whisnant.

Toby was preceded in death by his wife, Trudy Howard Benfield; and a half-brother, J. C. Powell.

Funeral services will be held at 12 noon, Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Zion Baptist Church with Reverends Steve Parker and David Orders officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military rites conducted by the Marine Corps League Table Rock Detachment #1197. The family will receive friends from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. Friday 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 Zion Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center Building Fund, 3394 Pea Ridge Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Fern Carswell Boles     [Back to Top]

Fern Carswell Boles, 93, of Bethesda MD, formerly of Ponderosa Rd. in Morganton, died Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in Bethesda following a period of declining health. She was born January 14, 1917 in Burke County, and was a daughter of the late Absolum Carswell and Carrie Mae Suttles Carswell. She was a member of the Morganton Seventh Day Adventist Church, and a retired employee of the Carolina Conference Literature Ministry with Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Fern is survived by sisters, Jewel Davis of Morganton, and Edna Proestel of Bethesda, MD.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Johnson Boles; brothers, Tellis and Hollis Carswell; and sisters, Belle Mace and Donna Redman.

Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, August 22, 2010 at the Seventh Day Adventist Cemetery with Elder Barry Mahorney officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Morganton Seventh Day Adventist Church Building Fund, 2187 Jamestown Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Lillian Raye Martin     [Back to Top]

Lillian Raye Martin, 88, of John Martin Drive, Hickory, NC died Friday, August 20, 2010. Born in Burke County, NC on May 15, 1922, she was the daughter of the late James Alexander Martin and Bessie Huffman Martin. Lillian was a member of Carswell Memorial Baptist Church.

She is survived by her brother, Dr. Tellis Martin of Concord, NH; sisters, Mayo Martin Frye of Hickory, NC and Beatrice Ridenhour of Englewood, FL; and a number of nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents, Lillian was preceded in death by sisters, Annie Lee Burch and Dallis Martin, and a brother, John Herman Martin.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 23, 2010 at Carswell Memorial Baptist Church with Rev. James Green officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Carswell Memorial Baptist Church, 3386 Carswell Ch. Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Marilyn Reece Waters     [Back to Top]

Marilyn Reece Waters, 78, died Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care following a period of declining health. Mrs. Waters was born in Burke County on May 10, 1932 and was a daughter of the late Kelly McKinley and Julia Ann Brendle Reece. She was a faithful member of Zion Memorial United Methodist Church and of the W.M.U. She enjoyed canning the produce from the family garden and was a retired employee of Alba Waldensian.

A loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, she is survived by her husband, Charles E. Waters of the home; her daughter and son-in-law, Patsy and Timothy Jones, of Morganton; grandsons, T. J. Jones and Wesley Jones; a brother, Dairl Reece, of Granite Falls; sisters, Martha Ann Whetstine of Greer, SC, Mozelle Woods of Lenoir, Maxine Franklin, and Mary Elva Bravard both of Rutherford College; a number of nieces and nephews; and a very special sister-in-law, Ella Reece of Drexel, NC.

In addition to her parents, Marilyn was preceded in death by an infant daughter and by a brother, Maynard Reece.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at Zion Memorial United Methodist Church with Reverends George Williams and Larry Fletcher officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Zion Memorial United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 3061, Drexel, NC 28619 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC, 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Hazel P. Benfield     [Back to Top]

Hazel P. Benfield, 82, of Oakdale Dr. in Morganton died peacefully Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Grace Hospital following an extended illness. She was born April 4, 1928 in Avery County and was a daughter of the late Rudy and Nellie Phillips. Hazel attended elementary and high school in Avery County, and then received her Registered Nursing degree from Grace Hospital School of Nursing. She went on to become a C.R.N.A. She attended Bridgewater Presbyterian Church, and was very active in the Burke Senior Center.

She is survived by grandchildren, April Randall and husband, Marty, of Nebo, and Michael W. Taylor, and wife, Kimberly, of Glen Alpine; son-in-law, Charles Taylor of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Benfield; a daughter, Othenia Lee Taylor; two grandchildren; brothers, Rudd, Worth, Wade, and R. J. Phillips; and a sister, Wandaneil Pritchard.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, August 24, 2010 from 10:00 until 11:00 am in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with the funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum.



Jerry Earnest Sigmon     [Back to Top]

Jerry Earnest Sigmon, 67, of Morganton, NC went to live with his Lord unexpectedly on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Born in Caldwell County, NC on September 23, 1942, he was the son of Iris Laxton Sigmon of Morganton and the late Walter Herman Sigmon. Jerry was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.

In addition to his mother, Jerry is survived by his wife, Teresa Renee Franklin Sigmon of the home; a son, Jonathan Sigmon of Taylorsville, NC; a daughter, Lynnette Sigmon Eller and husband, Rick, of Taylorsville; step-daughters, April Smith and husband, Terry, and Crystal McCall, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Courtney Rudisill, Justin Young, Sophie Jussila, Shylia May, Dusty Smith, Riley Smith, David Smith, Morgan Smith, Dakota Jones, and Chloe White; siblings, Larry Sigmon and wife, Brenda, of Lenoir, NC, Roger Sigmon of Clinton, KY, Joy Brummal and husband, Mike, of Clinton, KY, and Yvonne Knock and husband, Mark, of Murphy, NC; and Uncle Howard C. Sigmon and wife, Wanda, of Deland, FL; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The memorial service will be held at 8:15 p.m.., Thursday, August 26, 2010 at Antioch Baptist Church with Rev. Clarence Correll officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 7:00 until 8:15. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 222 S. Church St., Suite 336M, Charlotte, NC 28202. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Wilma P. Smith     [Back to Top]

Wilma P. Smith, 72, of Pine Dr. in Morganton died Sunday, August 22, 2010 at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte following a period of declining health. She was born March 24, 1938 in Burke County, and was a daughter of the late Howard and Florence Chester Penley. Wilma was a loving and caring person to everyone she met, and devoted to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by daughters, Kathy Smith and life-long friend, Frank Cooper, and Teresa Smith, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Amy Smith, Misty Smith Garland and husband, Ritchie, Natasha Moore, and Briana Moore; great-grandchildren, Diamond Garland and Noah Smith; Kathy and Teresa’s father, Roy Smith of Morganton; brothers, Lester Penley of Valdese; and sisters, Irene Burns and husband, Frank of Newton and Wanda Wellman of Morganton

In addition to her parents, Wilma was preceded in death by her son, Mickey Roy Smith; brothers, William and Vester Penley; and by sisters, Mable Brookshire and Delores Penley.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 25, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Rice and Rev. Michael Vanderburg officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour before the service. At other times the family will be at Teresa Smith’s home, on Pine Drive.



Ruth B. Powell     [Back to Top]

Ruth B. Powell, 90, of Sojourner Rd. in Valdese died Monday, August 23, 2010 at Burke Palliative Care Center following a period of declining health. Born February 25, 1920 in Gaston County, she was a daughter of the late William Bess Black and Arizona Nolen Black. Ruth was a member of the Drexel First Church of God where she was the Sunday school teacher for the two to three year old class for 25 years. She was named Teacher of the Year in 1980, and the Teacher of the Week for Aug. 2, 1988. Ruth was an active member of W.C.G., and cooked breakfast for the graduates for many years. She helped with the church’s first bazaar 48 years ago, and enjoyed cooking, baking cakes, and making crafts for the bazaar. Ruth was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

She is survived by daughters, Vivan Rhoney and husband, Henry, Linda Huffman, and Cathy Pritchard, all of Valdese; grandchildren, Marty Huffman, Mike Huffman and wife, Leigh Ann, Mark Huffman, Jan-Michael Pritchard and wife, Stephanie, and Derek Pritchard; great-grandchildren, Brandon Huss and wife, Leslie, Katie Huss, Ashlyn Huffman, Mia and Corey Richthammer, Kelly, Alex, Sarah, and Patrick Huffman, Alyssa, Alexxa, and Alyvia Pritchard; sister, Reba Baker and husband, Henry, of Drexel; step-mother, Dovie Black of Gastonia; and a half-brother, Billy Black of Gastonia.

In addition to her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Wilson Charles “Hezzie” Powell; sisters, Peggy Rhoney and Beatrice Horton; and a step-sister, Marcia Lyles.

Funeral services will be held at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, August 26, 2010 at the Drexel First Church of God with the Reverends Don Smith, Larry McCaw, and Jerry Reynolds officiating. Burial will be at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. At other times, the family will be at the residence of Mike and Leigh Ann Huffman, Enon Rd. in Valdese. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that children’s shoes be purchased and donated to the Drexel First Church of God, or memorial contributions to Drexel First Church of God, PO Box 218, Drexel, NC 28619, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Danny Mike Velez     [Back to Top]

Danny Mike Velez, 59, of Watering Place, Morganton, NC went home to be with the Lord on Monday, August 23, 2010 following a period of declining health. Born in California on December 19, 1950, he was the son of the late Salistanio Velez and Edith Matos Velez. Danny was of the Baptist Faith. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, he enjoyed watching wrestling and football.

Danny is survived by his children, Linda Smith of Lenoir, NC, Russell Freeman of Morganton, Rick Freeman of Connelly Springs, NC, and Melissa Byles of Hickory, NC; a granddaughter, Vanessa Robles of Morganton; numerous other grandchildren; a number of sisters and brothers; and a number of great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Danny was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline Tollie Velez, and a daughter, Sharon Stroud.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, August 26, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the residence, 2490 Watering Place, Morganton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Jesse Ellis McDaniel     [Back to Top]

Jesse Ellis McDaniel, age 97, went to be with the Lord on August 25, 2010 and joins his loved ones, beloved wife Addie Mae Braswell McDaniel, who he so affectionately called “the Mae Flower”, and his 8 day old son, Jesse Ellis McDaniel, Jr.

Our family chain is broken; but as God calls us home one by one, our chain will link again.

Addie Mae was a second mother to many and a marvelous cook. Her cakes and pies were made from scratch and each filled with love. Her home was always filled with the wonderful smells of home cooking.

Jesse was a welder in Baltimore, Maryland on ships used during World War II. He retired from Valdese Manufacturing and attended the First Advent Christian Church of Morganton. Jesse loved to garden, work on his truck, and spend time at the beach. His summers were spent at Optimist Park, Steele Creek Park, and Myrtle Beach, SC, where his favorite restaurant was Mammy’s Kitchen. Jesse was a good neighbor and a quiet man who never had a harsh word to say about anyone.

Surviving are two sisters, Lula B. Braswell of Morganton and Mary E. Pendley of Taylorsville along with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

The family extends a special “Thank You” to the staff and owners of Morganton Long Term Care for their exceptional care of Jesse during his stay. Also, a special “Thank You” to the doctors and staff of the ICU unit at Grace Hospital that attended Jesse’s needs during his final hours.

Sossoman Funeral Home is serving the family. A graveside service will be held at Forest Hills Cemetery at 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 28, 2010.



Hazel Dula Belanger     [Back to Top]

Hazel Dula Belanger, 78, of Paul Shuping Avenue in Morganton, and a daughter of the late Albert and Pearl Dula of the Upper Creek area of Burke County, died Sunday, August 29, 2010 at Grace Heights. Following her education in the Burke County school system, Hazel worked for General Motors in Ohio. After moving back to Morganton, she worked for and retired from Dana Corporation.

She is survived by a son, Joseph Belanger of Morganton; grandchildren, Callie Greene of Georgia, and Joey Belanger of Morganton; three great-grandchildren, Lacey and Ryan Belanger. and Owen Michaels, all of Morganton, siblings, Parks Dula of Zirconia, Forrest Dula and Ray Dula, both of Morganton, and Lena Engstrom of Soddy Daisy, TN.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Tessa Renee Belanger; siblings, William, Clyde, and James Dula, and Ruby Dula Walker; and her step-father, Ivey McGimsey.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 2, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Dr. Lena Engstrom and Rev. Marty Bess officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690, or to Grace Baptist Church, 112 Paul Shuping Avenue, Morganton, NC 28655.



James Vernon "Buck" Powell     [Back to Top]

James Vernon “Buck” Powell, 84, of Powell Loop, Nebo died Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at Autumn Care of Marion. He was born in Burke County on November 4, 1925 and was a son of the late Ira Elmer and Mary Ellen Phillips Powell. Mr. Powell was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II. He was a devoted Christian and faithful member of Snow Hill United Methodist Church. Buck was an avid quail and fox hunter, and he enjoyed gardening and watching things grow.

Buck is survived by his sons, Fred, Jeff, and Andy Powell all of Nebo, and Chris Powell and his wife, Teresa, of Marion; his sisters, Inez Hemphill and Bennie Bailey both of Morganton; his grandchildren, Ted, Jennifer, Kendall, Justin, Amanda, Angela, and Jonathan Powell, Crystal Bingham, Heather Toney, and Erica Barrier; great-grandchildren, Dalton and Bayleigh Powell, Landon Toney, and Aiden Bingham; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his wife, Christine Freida Henline Powell; his daughter, Joyce Powell; and by several brothers and sisters.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, September 2, 2010, at Snow Hill United Methodist Church with Reverends Steve Durham and Bruce Ward 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. At other times the family will be at Buck’s home. Memorial contributions may be made to Snow Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, 8661 Hwy 70 W, Morganton, NC 28655.



Michael B. Sipes     [Back to Top]

Michael B. Sipes, 17, went home to be with his Savior on Sunday, August 29, 2010. Born January 21, 1993 in Burke County, he was a son of Kimberly Annette Sipes of Morganton, and the late Michael Bryan Hullette. Michael was a member of Grace Baptist Church and was active in the youth group. He attended Freedom High School where he was active in ROTC. Prior to attending Freedom High School, Michael was active in the Young Marines of Baton Rouge, LA with the rank of Pvt. First Class. Michael was a volunteer with Burke United Christian Ministries and the Christian Outreach Center.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by brothers, Devon Bentley and Joseph Lee Hullette, both of Morganton; sisters, Misty Hullette of Morganton, and Kirstie Hullette and Ashley Hullette, both of Granite Falls; maternal grandparents, Darrel and Lucy Bentley of Morganton; a number of nieces and nephews; and many other relatives.

In addition to his father, Michael was preceded in death by his paternal great-grandmother, Uzell Watson; and maternal grandparents, Dewey and Lucy McCurry.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 4, 2010 at Grace Baptist Church with Rev. Marty Bess officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes before the funeral hour. At other times, the family will be at the residence of Darrell and Lucy Bentley, Oak Hill Dr. in Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Sossoman Funeral Home P.O. Box 2608 ,Morganton NC to help with the funeral expenses.


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