Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - February 2011


Archived Obits February 2011



James Luther Martin     [Back to Top]

James Luther Martin, 83, of Connelly Springs, NC died Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at his residence. Born in Lincoln County, NC on July 9, 1927, he was the son of the late Rev. Alvin Wilson Martin and Adar Proctor Martin. James was a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where he was a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and a choir member.

James is survived by his wife, Lou Ellen Martin of the home; sons, Wayne Martin and wife, Debra, of Connelly Springs, Bruce Martin and wife, Cathy, of Valdese, NC, and Richard Martin of Connelly Springs; daughters, Daisy Bolick and husband, Ned, of Lawndale, NC, Norma Bowman and husband, Steven, of Claremont, NC, and Marilyn Yancey and husband, Johnny, of Connelly Springs; brothers, Lester Martin of Vale, NC and Burl Martin of Dallas, NC; a sister, Betty Craig of Vale, NC; grandchildren, Laura Martin, Tyler Bowman, Natalie Jones, Katie Martin, Emily Martin, Teddy Bolick, Scott Bolick, and James Hogan; three great-grandchildren; and a number of nephews and nieces.

In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by brothers, Andrew, Frank, Charles, and Nixon Martin; and a sister, Willie Mae Sain.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 3, 2011 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church with Reverends Douglas C. Price and Burl Sain officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family received friends Wednesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center 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. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, 4754 Old NC 18, Morganton, NC 28655 or the Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



James "Wilson" Murray     [Back to Top]

James “Wilson” Murray, 87 of Lenoir, NC died Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at Valdese Hospital following a period of declining health. He was born in Burke County, NC on April 12, 1923 and was the son of the late Cannie Murray and Jessie Small Murray Whisnant. Wilson was a member of the First Baptist Church of Whitnel where he volunteered with the food ministry. He also served in the US Coast Guard during WWII.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife, Mabel Catherine Soots Murray; second wife, Dorothy Greene Murray; brothers, Charles W. Murray and Harlin Murray, Sr.; and half-sister, Melodean “Jean” Spivey.

Wilson is survived by a daughter, Linda Nelson and her husband, Wayne of Hudson, NC; grandchildren, Amanda Brasier and her husband, John, and Chase Nelson and his wife, Alicia; great-grandchildren, Jennings Brasier, Sheridan Brasier, Rush Brasier, and Bryce Nelson; sister, Margaret Murray McCurdy of Thomasville, NC; half-sister, Teenie Whisnant Ware of Greensboro; and four step-sisters.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, February 4, 2011 at the First Baptist Church of Whitnel with the Rev. Stuart White, Rev. Billy Joe Moore and Mr. Mike Moore officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park with military rites by the National Guard and Caldwell County Veterans The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the church on Friday. At other times the family will be at the residence of Linda Nelson in Hudson. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with arrangements.



Helen J. Smith     [Back to Top]

Helen J. Smith, 96, of Smith Church Rd., Morganton, NC died Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at Grace Hospital. Born August 16, 1914 in Burke County, NC, she was a daughter of the late Lee and Cynthia Glass Greene. Helen was a devoted and holy woman of God, and along with her late husband, Willie Robert Smith, established the Church of God Holiness on Kathy Rd. She resided in her home with her daughter, Linda Smith and was a retired employee of Valdese Manufacturing. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her children, Annie Mae Keil, Patricia Abernathy, Nancy Pearson, Willie Matthew Smith, Dorothy Ritter, Faye Ritter, Raymond Smith, and Hannah Smith; a brother and three sisters. Helen will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Surviving are her sons, Roy A. Smith and Robert Smith and his wife, Ruth all of Morganton; daughters, Margie Smith of Morganton, Irene Tomlin of Nashville, TN, Linda Smith and Mary Sue Fritts and her husband, Harvey all of Morganton; a large number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren; numerous nephews and nieces; and a host of extended family.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday, February 4, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Pastors Roy A. Smith and Gary Lavender, II officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour before the funeral.



Ruby Stroup Dale     [Back to Top]

Ruby Stroup Dale, 95, formerly of East Ave., Morganton, NC died Thursday, February 3, 2011 at Willow Ridge Nursing Center, Rutherfordton, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on August 7, 1915, she was a daughter of the late Ezra Stroup and Edith Shell Stroup. Ruby was a member of Mount Home Baptist Church, where she served for many years as a church clerk. She was a retired employee of Morganton Hosiery.

Ruby is survived by her daughter, Jimmye Moore Williams and husband, Ken, of Johns Creek, GA; a granddaughter, Laura Ruzbacki and husband, Tim, of Rock Hill, SC; great-granddaughters, Emma Caroline Smith and Anna Claire Smith; and a large number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Ruby was preceded in death by her first husband, James Milton Moore, and her second husband, Joseph Wilson Dale; a brother, Jerome Stroup; sisters Cozie Browning, Jennie Poteat, Mary Duckworth, Katie Hildebrand, Hester Browning, Jewel Foster, and Hazel Stroup.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 7, 2011 at Mount Home Baptist Church with Rev. Jerry Gamble 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 Mount Home Baptist Church Graceful Giving Fund, 2272 Mount Home Ch. Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Ruby Wall Mulwee     [Back to Top]

Ruby Wall Mulwee, 85, of Lenoir, NC, and a life-long Morganton resident, died Thursday, February 3, 2011. Born in Burke Co., NC on September 7, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Robert Teral Wall and Bertha Epley Wall. Ruby was a member of Central Baptist Church.

She is survived by her son, Ron Mulwee and wife, Annelle, of Morganton; a daughter, Terecia Mulwee Lambert of Morganton; grandchildren, Bill Mulwee, Scott Mulwee, and Druey Lambert, Jr.; a great-grandson, Jack Mulwee; a sister, Muriel Houck; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Ruby was preceded in death by her husband, Albert Stewart Mulwee; a brother, Raymond Wall; and sisters, Mabel Ross, Beatrice Ray, and Annie Bristol.

The cryptside service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, February 5, 2011 at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum with Chaplain Nancy Campbell officiating. At other times the family will be at the residence of Ron Mulwee, 106 River Ridge, Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Central Baptist Church, 108 Murphy Court, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 902 Kirkwood St., NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Bennie "MawMaw" Bailey     [Back to Top]

Bennie Lee Powell “MawMaw” Bailey, 93, of Morganton, NC died Saturday, February 5, 2011 following a period of declining health. Born on October 13, 1917, she was the daughter of the late Ira Elmer Powell and Mary Ellen Phillips. She was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church on Dysartsville Road.

Bennie is survived by her sons, Paul Ray Bailey and wife, Nancy, and Earl Franklin Bailey and wife, Frances; daughters, Faye Bailey Lail and husband, Hubert, and Mary Ellen Bailey Lesley and husband, Dwayne; grandchildren, Michael Ray Bailey and wife, Laurie, Sherri McGimsey and husband, Eddie, Lori Bailey Hensley and husband, Mike, Douglas Wilson Lail, Robert Keith Lail and wife, Paula, Lisa Lail McKee and husband, Stewart, Jarrod Bailey and wife, Kathy, and Tyler Hensley; great-grandchildren, Jackson Emerson Bailey, Charles Ryan Bailey, Matthew McGimsey, Nicholas McGimsey, Clarissa Crooks, Kristin Edwards, Amber Lail, Jessica McKee, and Kyle McKee; a number of great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Inez Hemphill; and a number of nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents, Bennie was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Alfred Bailey; four brothers, Lester Powell, Ed Powell, Eugene Powell, and James Vernon Powell; and four sisters, Gladys Padgett, Annie Kelly, Eva Pearson, and Mildred Dorothy Mayfield.

The graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 7, 2011 at Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery on Dysartsville Road with Reverends April Abernethy and Brad Farnham officiating. The family will receive friends Sunday evening at Sossoman Funeral Home from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. At other times the family will be at the residence of the daughter, Faye Lail. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Mildred Mull Lambert     [Back to Top]

Mildred Mull Lambert, 88, a loving wife, devoted mother, and trusted friend, passed away peacefully at Valdese General Hospital under the care of Burke County Hospice. The Master called her home on Saturday, February 5, 2011 after several years of declining health. Born on June 28, 1922, she was the daughter of the late Timmie Smith and Solomon B. Mull of Glen Alpine. She was a devoted member of First Baptist Church of Valdese where she served as a worker in the nursery and with vacation bible school. She was a homemaker and in her younger days was an avid flower gardener. Her home was always open to everyone with a warm smile and food on the table.

Mildred is survived by a daughter, Gail Lambert Gay and companion, Ronnie Bollinger, of Valdese; sons, Richard Allen Lambert and wife, Gail, and Rodney Lambert, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Jason Lambert and wife, Susan, Carrie Boone and husband, Pat, and Jeremy Lambert; great-grandchildren, Ryan Lambert, Logan Lambert, Colton Boone, Walker Boone, and Jaxton Boone; a sister, Ruth M. Metcalf and husband, Joe; a brother-in-law, Herb Lambert and wife, Helen; and a number of nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents, Mildred was preceded in death by her husband, Milford Lambert; a son, Milford Douglas Lambert; and sisters, Geneva Hildebrand and Ruby Bond.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Valdese with Rev. Tim Horldt officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the church for one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Challenge to Build Fund, 500 Faet Street, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Tate Felix Baker     [Back to Top]

Tate Felix Baker, 74, of Glen Alpine, NC died Saturday, February 5, 2011 at his residence. Born in Burke County, NC on March 9, 1936, he was the son of the late William McKinley Baker and Ruth Beatrice Whitner Baker.

Tate is survived by a daughter, Alva Lee Yandle and husband, Chuck, of Charlotte, NC; granddaughter, Amanda McVey and husband, John and grandson, Philip Burrage; great-grandchildren, Rebecca and Bethany McVey, Taylor and Liliana Burrage; brothers, James Baker of Freemont, CA, Yates Baker of Drexel, NC, Glenn Baker of Morganton, David (Eugene) Baker of Icard, NC, and Ray Baker of Wetumpka, AL; sisters, Nancy Causby of Rutherford College, NC, Millie Brittain of Morganton, Arlene Rowell of Hickory, NC, Clarice Burns of Connelly Springs, NC, and Diane Rogers of Tyler, TX; former wives, Effie Hefner and Dorothy Baker; nieces Judy Taylor and Veda Walker who were especially close to him along with thirty-three other nieces and nephews;

In addition to his parents, Tate was preceded in death by brothers, Herbert and Paul Baker; and sisters, Cleta Mae Franklin, Lucille Baker, and Reba Mull.

Tate was an avid gardener who loved sharing his bounty with family, friends and neighbors. He was a great cook and enjoyed fellowship around a good meal. He loved gospel music and road trips to the mountains.

He had numerous jobs including restaurant manager at “Curley’s” in Hildebran and “Mom and Pops” in Taylorsville, a “fixer” at Scorpio Knits in Morganton, and shipping/receiving clerk at Emery and Environmental Inks. The last few years, he did various odd jobs and looked after many people in the community until a recent decline in his health. A special thanks to Don “Peachman”, and Bill Conelly for their kindness and special friendships. We would also like to thank Pete for giving him a reason to get out of the house even when he didn’t feel like it.

His energy, enthusiasm and passion for life was contagious to others. You could never leave his presence being sad, hungry or empty handed. His numerous travels and life experiences made talking with Tate interesting and he was NEVER at loss for words! He made several daily and weekly calls to those that he loved and we will all miss them. Mondays will never be the same.

There will be a celebration of Tate’s life at 6:30 p.m., Friday, February 11, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.



Louise Chapman Denton     [Back to Top]

Louise Chapman Denton, 86, of the Enola Community, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Saturday, February 5, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on March 7, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Charles Garfield Chapman and Vertie Prewitt Chapman. Louise was a devoted member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church she sang in the church choir until her health declined. For many years she worked at Morganton Full Fashion Hosiery Mill. Later in her career she went to work for Western Carolina Center where she was very dedicated to her residents. Louise loved to garden.

She is survived by her brothers, Willard Chapman and Donald Chapman, both of Morganton; sisters, Vivian Ross, Sue Benfield, Betty Garrison, and Brenda Jane Johnson, all of Morganton; numerous nephews and nieces; and her dear friend and roommate, Inez Parker.

In addition to her parents, Louise was preceded in death by her husband, Frank “Coy” Denton; a brother, Earsel Chapman; and sisters, Mae Bullins, Thelma Smith, and Myrleen Dale.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 11, 2011 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Larry Cline 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 Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Building Fund, 2396 Enola Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the staff at Autumn Care and Dr. David Abernathy for their dedication to Louise’s medical needs.



Joe Allen Benfield     [Back to Top]

Joe Allen Benfield, 23, of Morganton, NC died unexpectedly Sunday, February 6, 2011. Born February 7, 1987 in Burke County, he was the son of James “Lard” Benfield of Glen Alpine, and the late Janice Lorine Pearson Benfield. Joe was an avid book reader.

In addition to his father, he is survived by a sister, Kimberly Benfield Harralson and husband, Larry, of Hudson, NC; grandfather, Walter Benfield of Morganton; and nephews, Devan and Jaden Harralson.

In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by grandparents, Mary Louise Mayfield, and Clyde and Etta Faye Pearson.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, February 11, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Dean Presnell officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.



Michael Dallas Winegardner     [Back to Top]

Michael “Mikie” Dallas Winegardner, 20, of Connelly Springs, NC died unexpectedly on Sunday, February 6, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on November 29, 1990, he was the son of Debbie Lynn Pierce and the late Michael Scott Winegardner. Mikie was of the Baptist faith.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife, Holly Winegardner of the home; a daughter, Kendra Leann Winegardner of the home; a brother, Robert Pierce and wife, Victoria, and their daughter, Shiloh, of Valdese, NC; his maternal grandparents, Linda and Larry Pierce; his mother-in-law, Sue Stevens; his father-in-law, Landy L. Whitener; his step-father, Terry Michael Simmons of Valdese; and several other relatives.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 10, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. Leonard Lindsey officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 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.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Ted and Joyce Hicks, and Priscilla Campbell for their assistance to the family in this difficult time.



James "Sie" Walker     [Back to Top]

James “Sie” Walker, 90, of Morganton, NC died Monday, February 7, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese, NC. Born in Burke County, NC on March 1, 1920, he was the son of the late Miller Berry Walker and Macy Moss Walker. Sie was a life-long member of Calvary Baptist Church where he had been a deacon and was known as the official greeter. He was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII. He worked for 30 years in the Burke School System where he had worked as a teacher Mull Elementary School and was a teacher and principal at Salem Elementary School. Mr. Walker was also a member of the Morganton Lion’s Club.

Sie is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mabel Leonard Walker of the home; nephews, W. T. “Zim” Zimmerman, II, and wife, Debra, and Charles “Buzzy” Poteat and wife, Faye; and nieces, Janice Garrison and husband, John, and Roel Bridges.

In addition to his parents, Sie was preceded in death by brothers, Stonewall Walker and Thomas Walker, and sisters, Susie Zimmerman and Eva Poteat.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Larry Thompson and Rev. Dr. Drew Walker officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:30 until 4:00 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery with military honors provided by the N.C. National Guard. 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 and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Ann H. Saulman     [Back to Top]

Ann H. Saulman, 63, of Morganton, NC died Monday, February 7, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on March 31, 1947, she was the daughter of the late Jack Henson and Ruby Beam Henson. Ann was a member of Catawba Valley Baptist Church and was a former employee of Summerset Studios.

A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Ann is survived by her husband, Wayne Saulman of the home; sons, Greg Saulman and wife, Connie, Travis Dale Saulman, and Bradley Saulman, all of Morganton; sisters, Patsy Lane and husband, Holden, of Drexel and Hazel Whetstine and husband, Bobby, of Morganton; grandchildren, Carrie Long and husband, Ryan, Kelsey Saulman, Thomas Saulman, and Trevor Saulman, and Trevor’s mother, Emily McEntire, all of Morganton.

The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, February 10, 2011 at Catawba Valley Baptist Church with Dr. Mike Odom and Rev. Clyde Buckner officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. At other times the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to Catawba Valley Baptist Church, 706 Lenoir Road, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Lorraine Geyer Byrnes     [Back to Top]

Lorraine Geyer Byrnes, 92, of Grace Ridge, Morganton, NC died Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Born in Chicago, IL on December 1, 1918, she was the daughter of the late Norman Oscar Geyer and Mabel Olivia Turnbloom Geyer. She was the wife of the late John Thomas “Jack” Byrnes. They were married forty years prior to his death in 1983. In addition to her parents and husband, Lorraine was preceded in death by a brother, Byron Geyer, MD.

Lorraine was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and was active in the Ladies Guild. She was also a member of Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club.

Lorraine grew up in Chicago and graduated from Carlton College in Northfield, MN in 1940. She married Jack Byrnes in 1942 and raised their children in Delavan, WI. She was a social worker for the Walworth County Department of Social Services for many years. Lorraine was an avid golfer, winning numerous club championships at Delbrook Country Club in Wisconsin and Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton. She was also a fierce competitor at bridge and any other game that came her way. Most important, she was a wonderful mother and loyal friend. She has passed on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren her zest for life, her love of laughter, her belief in education, her competitive spirit, and her certainty that the most important thing in life is family.

Lorraine is survived by her children, Barbara Cincera and husband, David, of Allentown, PA, John Byrnes, Jr. and wife, Jeanne, of Wauwatosa, WI, Laurie Bosman and husband, Ruud, of Warwick Neck, RI, Sharon Herman and husband, Steve, of Morganton, and Daniel Byrnes of San Diego, CA; grandchildren, Amy Santarelli, Brian Cincera, Jill Freret, Kevin Byrnes, Amy Cincera, Nicole Bosman, Corey Bosman, and Aaron Herman; great-grandchildren, Reilly, Brennan, Decker, and Griffin Freret, Katie and Jonathan Santarelli, Isabelle and Sofia Cincera, and Stella and Lucy Byrnes; and a number of nieces and nephews who always regarded her with great affection.

The funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 14, 2011 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Morganton, NC with Father Kenneth Whittington officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Betty Brown Sigmon     [Back to Top]

Betty Brown Sigmon, 78, of Brown Orchard Dr., Drexel, NC, died Thursday, February 10, 2011. Mrs. Sigmon was born June 21, 1932 in Burke County to the late Millard Brown and Ila Mae Buff Brown. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her step-mother, Hazel Bean Brown. She was a member of Drexel First Church of God, where she served as captain of the prayer chain; she was a faithful prayer warrior. Mrs. Sigmon worked at Western Carolina Center and North Carolina School for the Deaf in food service, retiring from NCSD after 20 years of service to the state.

Mrs. Sigmon is survived by her husband of 63 years, Ralph Edward Sigmon; a son, Dale Sigmon and his wife, Roxie; daughters, Glenda Stephens and her husband, Ronald, and Carol Whisnant all of Drexel; brother, Charles Brown and his wife, Shirley, of Drexel; grandchildren, Lynn Brown and her husband, Michael, Amy Overbay and her husband, Adam, and Jonathan Sigmon and his wife, Tuesday; great grandchildren; Anna Brown, Dylan Brown, Virginia Overbay, Daniel Overbay, Annelise Sigmon and Madeline Sigmon and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Mrs. Sigmon will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, February 12, 2011 at Drexel First Church of God with Rev. Larry McCaw officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friend from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the home of her daughter, Carol Whisnant. Memorial contributions may be made to Drexel First Church of God, P. O. Box 218, Drexel, NC 28619.



William "Bill" Smith     [Back to Top]

William “Bill“ Smith, 67, of Morganton died Thursday, February 10, 2011 at Frye Regional Medical Center. He was born in Burke County on March 21, 1943 and was the son of Herbert Eugene Smith and Florence Buchanan Smith. In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Charlie Mae Saulman Smith, and by an infant son, Michael E. Smith. He was a U. S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam conflict and was raised in the Baptist faith. Bill was a retired employee of Drexel-Heritage Furnishings.

Surviving are his son, Anthony Smith and wife, Cynthia; sisters, Ella Mae Mull and husband, George, and Gale Eller; an uncle, Nollie Smith; brother-in-law, Charles Saulman and wife, Helen; all of Morganton; and nephews, Clint Mull and Dustin Eller.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 14, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rv. Eddy Bunton officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by Table Rock Detachment #1197 of the Marine Corps League. The family will receive friends Monday one hour before the funeral service. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 222 S. Church St. Suite 336 M, Charlotte, NC 28202.



J. Douglas Hoff     [Back to Top]

J. Douglas Hoff “Dad” took his last breath of a wonderfully full life on the night of February 10, 2011. He now enjoys the warm embrace of the God he loved and honored throughout his life. Born in Annapolis, MD on March 21, 1923, he spent four memorable years of his youth in the Army during World War II. After the war, Doug attended Georgetown University which opened the door to the next adventures of his life. The School of Foreign Service provided the platform for his work as the Director of International Visitor’s Office at the Office of Personnel Management of the U. S. Government. Often referred to as the “ambassador to the world,” Doug trained foreign officials about how the U.S. Civil Service system functioned and how it might be best implemented in their countries. He loved his work, was highly decorated, and visited more than 70 countries during his 30 years as director.

College more importantly provided the biggest adventure of Dad’s life. While waiting at National Airport in Washington, D. C. to pick up his roommate’s date, he was smitten by a beautiful woman stepping off of the plane. Needless to say, the beautiful woman turned out to be his roommate’s date, but that was no match for fate. Doug and Rosemary married in 1950 and shared their love with their family and large extended family of sibling and cousins as well as many friends for the last 61 years.

Doug and Rosemary transitioned from big city life to Morganton, NC in 1994. They enjoyed every aspect of their move, made many new friends, and Dad spent many afternoons with his “other love”, his garden.

Together with his loving wife, Rosemary Loughrey Hoff, he is survived by their children and their spouses, Gregory and Marty Hoff, Laura and Jack Dunsmore, and Donna and Tom Hall all of Morganton, and Tim and Kathy Hoff of Charlotte; grandchildren, Chelsea Widner and husband, Anthony, Isaac Hoff, Abram Hoff, Jennifer Garrison and husband, Zane, Jason Dunsmore, Joshua Hall and wife, Becca, Seth Hall, Sarah Hall, Jesse Hall, Michael Hoff, and Emily Hoff; and seven great-grandchildren. Doug was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard Charles and Ruth Stevens Hoff Sr.; brother, Bernard Charles Hoff, Jr.; and sisters, Mary H. Haygood and twin sister, Ruth Hoff.

The family would like to express their appreciation for Dad’s caregivers over the past four years. Rhonda Petersen, Sandi Clark, Barbara Hodges, Kim Glover, and grandson, Josh Hall all shared a beautiful caring love with Dad. Also we can never express enough appreciation to the wonderful staff of Hospice for their tender care of Dad during the past months. Many thanks to all of you from the heart.

The funeral Mass will be said at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with Fr. Kenneth Whittington and Rev. Eddy Bunton officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center. Graveside rites will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 21, 2011 at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Black Mountain, NC with military honors by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Nancy Gordon Hatcher     [Back to Top]

Mrs. Nancy Gordon Hatcher, 81, of Morganton died peacefully at Grace Ridge on Friday, February 11, 2011. She was born in Mt. Airy, NC on January 28, 1930 and was a daughter of the late Thomas Preston Gordon and Minnie Chappel Gordon. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Fred Gordon. Nancy graduated in 1947 from Franklin High School and earned her degree as a registered nurse from Martin Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Mt. Airy. Nancy married N. Clark Hatcher, Jr. on June 14, 1952, and they moved to Morganton in 1955.

A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Nancy was a great cook and homemaker. She enjoyed playing bridge and was an avid tennis, basketball, and football sports enthusiast. As a member of First United Methodist Church, she was instrumental in forming the acolyte program, and her twin sons, Bruce and Philip, served as the first acolytes.

Surviving are her husband of 58 years, Clark Hatcher; sons and their wives, Trey and Kathy Hatcher of Morganton, David and Beth Hatcher of Winston-Salem, Bruce and Dawn Hatcher of Raleigh, and Philip and Kelly Hatcher of Wilmington; grandchildren, Clark Hatcher, IV, Mary Katherine Hatcher, Elizabeth Hatcher, William Hatcher, Parker Hatcher, Leanna Hatcher, Dustin Hatcher, and Christian Hatcher; brothers and their wives, Gladson and Reba Gordon of Dobson and Buster and Alene Gordon of Mt. Airy; sister and her husband, Patricia and Arthur Beamer of Greensboro; her aunt, Mrs. Carol Wagnor of Dobson; a sister-in-law, Shirley Gordon of Rural Hall; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 14, 2011, at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson, III and Rev. Robert Roach officiating. Entombment of her ashes will be in the church columbarium. Following the service the family will receive friends in the fellowship hall. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church Capital Maintenance Fund, 200 N. King St., Morganton, NC 28655 or to a charity of one’s choice.



Bonnie Houston Settlemyre Short     [Back to Top]

Bonnie Houston Settlemyre Short, 90, of Drexel, NC went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Born in Sullivan County, TN on March 8, 1920, she was the daughter of the late B. G. Houston and Pearl Dugger Houston. Bonnie was a member of Drexel First Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and was a member of the joy group. She was a 1938 graduate of Glen Alpine High School and retired from Broughton Hospital.

Bonnie is survived by her second husband, Grier “Joe” Short of the home; sons, Stephen Settlemyre of Morganton and Tom Settlemyre and wife, Gina, of Fort Mill, SC; a daughter, Barbara S. Griffin and husband, Mike, of Birmingham, AL; a step-son, Deanes Short of Drexel, NC; grandchildren, Garrett Griffin and wife, Lisa, Suzanne Burnett and husband, Anthony, Teresa Greene, James Van Schoor and wife, Mercer, Ragan Haston and husband, Trent, and Raquel Bliss; and nine great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Bonnie was preceded in death by her first husband, Vernon A. Settlemyre; a son, Kenneth Settlemyre; brothers, Carl and Cecil Houston; and sisters, Marguerite Yount and Edith Setzer.

The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, February 17, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. Donald J. Smith officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Drexel Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to Drexel First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 308, Drexel, NC 28619 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.



Clara Gibson Turner     [Back to Top]

Clara Gibson Turner, 70, completed God’s plan for her life Monday evening after many years of declining health at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, and God has welcomed Clara into His eternal home. Clara was born in Smoaks, SC on May 28, 1940 and was the only child of the late James Norman Gibson and Rosa Cade George Gibson. Clara was a 1960 graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC with a degree in nursing. In 1969 she transferred from the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources to Western Carolina Center before moving to Broughton Hospital where she retired in 1990 as chief nurse with over 30 years service in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Clara continued to work as a nurse consultant for MR/MH group homes until 2001 when she became disabled.

Remaining to honor Clara’s life is her surrogate family, Margaret Browning with whom she made her home since 1983, and Heath and Kim Browning, and their children, Jessica and Justin.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 19, 2011 at Drexel Memorial Baptist Church with Rev. David Orders officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour before the service. At other times the family will be at home, 205 Sequoyah Circle, Morganton. In lieu of flowers, Clara had requested memorial contributions be made to one of the following: Drexel Memorial Baptist Church, Youth Group Missions, PO Box 638, Drexel, NC 29619, Gateway Rehab and Healthcare, 2030 Harper Ave., Lenoir, NC 28645, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28619. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting with arrangements.



Elsie Mull Parlier     [Back to Top]

Elsie Mull Parlier of Morganton died Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2011 at Grace Hospital. Born in Burke County, she was a daughter of the late Thomas Shell Mull and Annie Lou Dale Mull. Elise was a member of Grace Baptist Church. She had a vivacious personality, and enjoyed spending time with her friends and going places together. Elsie was devoted to her family, but her grandchildren were the special loves of her life.

She is survived by a daughter, Katrina Tallent and husband, Tracey of Morganton; grandchildren, Trevor, Breann, Malarie, and Brasen Tallent; sisters, Verenese Wilson and husband, James, and Edith Peeler, all of Morganton; a brother, Burman Mull and wife, Nina of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Mary Lee Mull of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Elsie was preceded in death by a brother, Carlos Mull; sisters, Vergie Chapman, Mildred Carswell, and Katherine Whisnant; and a half-brother, Tillman Mace.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, February 18, 2011 at Grace Baptist Church with Rev. Marty Bess officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Grace Baptist Church Building Fund, 1939 Paul Shuping Avenue, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Billy Carroll Hartman     [Back to Top]

Billy Carroll Hartman, 72, of Valdese, NC went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at his residence. Born in Lincoln County, NC on November 6, 1938, he was the son of the late James Russell Hartman and Essie Della Davis Hartman. Billy was a member of Zion Memorial United Methodist Church where he loved to attend his adult men’s Sunday School class. He retired from Burke Mills and worked at several of the local furniture manufacturers. In his early years he drove for Mimosa Taxi. He was an avid fisherman and loved to watch NASCAR.

Billy is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nina Copeland Hartman of the home; daughters, Dawn Hartman Williams and husband, Steve, of Morganton, NC and Terrie Hartman Setzer and husband, Kyle, of Hickory, NC; grandchildren (whom he was very proud of), Nathan Williams, Madison Williams, Brayden Setzer, and Kylie Setzer; a brother, Russell Junior Hartman and wife, Lynn, of Morganton; and a sister, Geraldine H. Cline of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Billy was preceded in death by a brother, Harvey John Hartman.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 18, 2011 at Zion Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. George Williams officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum. Memorial contributions may be made to Zion Memorial United Methodist Church, 1595 Zion Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Thomas "Tommy" Williams     [Back to Top]

Thomas “Tommy” Ralph Williams was born on November 22, 1949. After a courageous battle with leukemia, Tommy died on February 16, 2011 at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York, New York. He is the son of Edith W. Williams and the late Thomas B. Williams of Morganton, North Carolina.

He attended Morganton High School, Western Piedmont Community College, the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, and The Art Institute of New York City, where he lived a wonderfully full life for most of his adult years.

He served as a Corpsman in the United States Navy and upon his discharge worked as a physician’s assistant and office manager for Dr. David Fleiss, an orthopedic surgeon in Manhattan. Tommy took patient care very seriously and found real value in the relationships established through his work.

Tommy was a member of the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in New York where he found fulfilled pleasure in worshipping his Lord.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his sister Linda Marie Williams. He is survived by his mother, sister Janet Elizabeth King and husband Philip of Winston Salem, North Carolina, and a number of nieces and nephews and their children.

Tommy’s dry wit, love of art and style, cultural exploration, and care for those he loved will be missed terribly.

A Celebration of Tommy’s life will be held 11:00 A.M. Saturday, February 26, 2011 at Grace Episcopal Church, Morganton, NC with the Reverend Bruce Walker and Reverend Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Sharon Anne Settlemyre Shuffler     [Back to Top]

God received a truly incredible angel when Sharon Anne Settlemyre Shuffler, 66, of Morganton passed away Thursday, February 17, 2011 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese following a lengthy illness. Born July 31, 1944 in Burke County, she was the daughter of the late Julius Homer Settlemyre and Willie Louise Hewitt Settlemyre. She grew up in Drexel and later lived in Valdese, Salem, and then spent the last 14 years of her life at her horse farm in Dysartsville. She was an extremely creative and talented person who loved to paint, knit and sew. She was very active in the Burke Quilt Guild and also in the local horse community, serving as past President of the McDowell Saddle and Bridle Club. She loved music and had a beautiful voice which she shared through singing and her infectious laughter. But her greatest joy was cooking and there are few in this area that did not have the chance to experience her culinary expertise.

Sharon loved her family so very much and is survived by her sons, Scott Alan Shuffler of Asheville, and Will Joseph Shuffler and wife, Stephanie, of Morganton; her beloved grandson, Chandler Scott Shuffler; and a step-grandson Corbin Baker. In addition to her parents, Sharon was preceded in death by her brother, Ted Phillip Settlemyre.

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at Mountain View #2 Baptist Church on Dysartsville Road at 2:00 pm with longtime friend, Jamie Buchanan officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, 374 Hudlow Road, Forest City, NC 28043 who handled her in-home care, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 who handled her in-patient care. Flowers may be sent to 3328 Brandon Rd. Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting the family with arrangements.



Margaret Ballew Fox     [Back to Top]

Margaret Ballew Fox, 92, of Morganton died Friday, February 18, 2011 at Oak Grove Nursing Center in Rutherfordton following a period of declining health. Born February 27, 1918 in Catawba County, NC, she was a daughter of the late P. D. Woodward and Anabell Gibson Woodward. Margaret was a member of Zion Baptist Church, and a retired employee of Western Carolina Center where she had worked as a foster grandparent for over 15 years. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed cooking for her family.

A loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Margaret is survived by a son, Lawrence Lynn Lane and wife, Mary of Rutherfordton; daughters, Ilan Ballew DeVinney of Morganton, Peggy Ballew Flynn of Rutherfordton, and Martha Ann Ballew Anderson and husband, Rob of Rockford, IL; a brother, Bill Woodward of Morganton; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Margaret was preceded in death by her first husband, Paul Edward Ballew and her second husband, Johnny William Fox, Jr.; a brother, Odell Woodward; sisters, Violet Gibson and Pauline Poteat; and a granddaughter, Tamara DeVinney.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, February 20, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Joe Bixler officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Sunday one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, PO Box 336, 374 Hudlow Rd., Forest City, NC 28043.



Arden Smith     [Back to Top]

Arden Smith, 80, of Morganton, NC went home on Saturday, February 19, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on December 6, 1930, he was the son of the late Colman Hull Smith and Delia Cumi Smith. Arden was a member of Laurel Haven Baptist Church where he had served as a Deacon. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean Conflict and had worked at several local furniture factories.

Arden is survived by his sons, David and Jake Smith, both of Morganton; three grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a sister, Hennie Stewart of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Arden was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline Jordan Smith; a son, Samuel Smith; brothers, Berry, Jack, and James Smith; and a sister, Lena Stanley.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Monday, February 21, 2011 at Laurel Haven Baptist Church with Rev. Ed Lawing officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors provided by the N. C. National Guard. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to Laurel Haven Baptist Church, P.O. Box 57, Icard, NC 28666. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Ethel Milligan Sisk     [Back to Top]

Ethel Milligan Sisk, 89, of Drexel, NC went home to be with her Lord, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at Autumn Care surrounded by her daughter and granddaughters. Born in Burke County, NC on September 4, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Perry Frank Milligan and Linnie Mae Deaton Milligan. Ethel was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church on Dysartsville Road. She took good care of her family and was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

Ethel is survived by her daughter, Janice Pinson and husband, William, of Morganton; nine grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Annie Milligan Carson.

In addition to her parents, Ethel was preceded in death by her husband, George Dewey Sisk; children, Betty Lou Sisk, Tony Martin Sisk, and George Randy Sisk; and brothers, Loy Milligan, Howard Milligan, Preston Milligan, and Harry Milligan. The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 21, 2011 at Bethel United Methodist Church with Rev. April Abernethy officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the staff at Autumn Care of Drexel and Burke County Hospice.



James "Jim" Miller     [Back to Top]

James “Jim” Miller, 69, of Morganton, NC, went to his eternal Home on Monday, February 21, 2011 at Grace Hospital. Born in Yancey County, NC on November 1, 1941, he was the son of the late Walter Coy Miller and Dorothy Mae Miller. He was a member of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. Jim owned and operated Jim’s Service Center in Morganton for 33 years. He had a passion for Go-Cart and Automotive Racing. He owned the go-cart that won the World Carting Championship in 1985 and owned the automobile that won the NASCAR Late Model Championship in 1990. Jim loved to camp, ride jet-skis, and be on his pontoon boat. He loved his family and his many friends.

Jim is survived by his wife, Anna Marie Prinzo Miller of the home; daughters, Terri Miller, Karen Wright and husband, Tom, both of Morganton; a son, Robert Crawley and fiancée, Teresa Hamerick; grandchildren, Kimberly Lyle and husband, Scott, Jennifer Miller and husband, Matt, Jeremy Wright, Kristen Johnson and husband, Chase, Donovan Flanders, and Cierra Flanders; a great-grandson, Luke Miller; brothers, Ray Miller and wife, Norine, and Bobby Miller and wife, DeDe; a sister, Linda Garrison and husband, Allen; and a number of special nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Miller.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, February 24, 2011 at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church with Reverends Dr. Dewey Thomas and Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1159, Morganton, NC 28680.



Charles R. Gurley     [Back to Top]

Charles R. Gurley, 85, of Morganton, NC died Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at Burke Palliative Care Center. Born in Catawba County, NC on March 16, 1925, he was the son of the late Charles Luther Gurley and Junnie Emma Propst Gurley. Charles was a member of Cross Memorial Baptist Church where he held several offices and was a deacon. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII, during which he served on the U.S.S. Biloxi in the south Pacific Ocean.

Charles is survived by his wife, Faye Hurley Gurley of the home; a son, Steve Gurley and wife, Sue, of Lincolnton, NC; a daughter, Velera Hale and husband, Robert, of Winston-Salem, NC; grandchildren, Thad Gurley, Megan Davis, Walter Gurley, and Sarah Hale; and two great-grandchildren, Liam and Ella Gurley.

In addition to his parents, Charles was preceded in death by his brother, Walter Gurley, and a sister, Dorothy Hartsoe.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, February 25, 2011 at Cross Memorial Baptist Church with Reverends Jeff Beach and Clyde Buckner officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park with military honors provided by the N.C. National Guard. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Margaret "Toots" Epley Rusmiselle     [Back to Top]

Margaret “Toots” Epley Rusmiselle, 83, of Morganton, NC died Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at Frye Regional Medical Center. Born in Burke County, NC on December 14, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Frank Lenoir Epley and Mary Ellen Powell Epley. Toots was a registered nurse in Newport News, VA and also worked as a private duty nurse.

She is survived by her brother, Paul Epley of Glen Alpine, NC; grandsons, Christopher and Tim Rusmiselle; and a large number of nieces and nephews including a niece, Kathy Pam Karr who in recent years was caregiver for Toots.

In addition to her parents, Toots was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Rusmiselle; a son, Joey Rusmiselle; a brother, T.I. Epley; and sisters, Mary Epley, Jennawese Hall, Aleta Epley, Ethel Atherton, and Ellawese Jarvis.

The memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 26, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center. The family will receive friends at the funeral home following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Western NC Chapter, 31 College Place, Suite D-320, Asheville, NC 28801.



Joey Lee Cook     [Back to Top]

Joey Lee Cook, 46, of Granite Falls, NC went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. Born July 5, 1964 in Burke County, he was a son of Ella Morgan Cook Ingle of Granite Falls and the late Fred Matthew Cook. He was also preceded in death by a niece, Christina Cook. Joey worked as a handyman with his brothers. He was a very giving person and had many friends.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by his step-father, Kenneth Ingle of the home; brothers, Charles Cook and wife, Marie of Morganton, Johnny Cook and girlfriend, Holly, and Andy Cook and wife, Wendy, all of Glen Alpine; step-brothers, Derrick Ingle of Hudson, NC and Kenny Ingle of Lenoir, NC; a sister, Tammy Cook Flynn and husband, Darrell, of Morganton; and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 5:00 p.m., Saturday, February 26, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Ralph Shuffler officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour before the service.



Willie Dale Hughes     [Back to Top]

Willie Dale Hughes, 71, of Morganton, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese following a brief illness. Born November 5, 1939 in Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Barnett Ray and Dorothy Boone Ray. She was a member of Mountain View #2 Baptist Church, and loved working in her flower garden.

A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Willie is survived by her husband, Kenneth Dean Hughes of the home; sons, Rodney Hughes and wife, Sherrie of Morganton, Greg Hughes and wife, Sharon of Nebo, and Sam Hughes and wife, Charlotte of Old Fort; grandchildren, Jenna, Luke, Seth, Meghan, Emory, Walker, and Rebecca Hughes; and sisters, Violet Harris, Lois Loftis, and Wilma Huskins, all of Celo, NC.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Faye Young.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 26, 2011 at Mountain View #2 Baptist Church with Rev. Ken Mashburn officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church one hour before the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690, or to Mountain View #2 Baptist Church, 5510 Watson Price Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting the family with arrangements.



Flora Clark Small     [Back to Top]

Flora Clark Small, 88, of Drexel, NC went to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, February 25, 2011 at Autumn Care of Drexel following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on July 27, 1922, she was the daughter of the late Will Clark and Happy McGinnis Clark. Flora was a member of Morganton First Church of God and retired from Drexel Heritage.

She is survived by her husband, William “Jud” Small of the home; a son, Eddie Bailey of Morganton; grandchildren, Liz Bailey Ramsey and Keith “Buck” Bailey; great-grandchildren, Charles Dillon Ramsey and Brenna Elise Ramsey.

Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, February 28, 2011 at Burke Memorial Park with Pastor Don Smith officiating. The family will receive friends in the cemetery following the service. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.


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