Home - Obits - Archived Obituaries - March 2011


Archived Obits March 2011



Lottie McCoy Austin Bennett     [Back to Top]

Lottie McCoy Austin Bennett, 99, of Hugh Bennett Rd., Morganton, NC went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on March 1, 2011. Waiting for her were her were her parents, Margaret Lorene Alexander Austin and Walter Lenoir Austin. Joining them were her beloved husband and sweetheart of 60 years, Hugh Caldwell Bennett, and their first born son and his wife, Charles and Jean Patton Bennett. She was a member of First United Methodist Church.

Lottie was born in Mount Holly, NC on May 11, 1911. She was a little sister to Winnie, Essie, Elizabeth, Carl, Earl and Wallace. As a young woman she was employed at Southern Bell Telephone. In 1947 they moved to a farm on what is now Hugh Bennett Road, and she became a full-time mother and homemaker. She loved gardening, writing poetry, and looking for four-leaf clovers. He also enjoyed entering contests and won a lot of small ones for her poems and for her peanut butter muffins. Nothing made her happier than doing things for her family and friends. Her heart was large and giving and loving.

Waiting to join her there are daughter, Andrea Kiser and husband, Wayne; son, Gary Bennett and wife, Therisa; grandchildren and their spouses, Robin and Tim Michaels, Donna and Rick Childress, Patrick and Tonya Kiser, Chuck and Tanya Bennett, and Brad and Rosa Bennett; great-grandchildren, Henry Michaels, Devin Kiser, Mary Jessamine Michaels, Hallie Kiser, Leland Michaels, McKenna Childress, Anna Rose Childress, Gracie Kiser, Sam Childress, Zach Bennett, Lucas Bennett, Tyler Bennett, Mishka Bennett, Arianna Bennett, and Baby Dear. She had a very special love for her nephews and nieces especially, Tula Stowell. She leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who loved her but also many precious memories which include camping at Smokemont, shining shoes, being a grade mother, don’t get my bite, run to Granny, Big Purple, all things purple, riding the bull at Cherokee, be careful, making rat costumes and dresses with little pink bows in the middle of the night, and “things could always be worse”.

In 1998 she was given 30 minutes to live and many prayers were sent up, and she later said that her prayer was that she was ready to go, but if He didn’t mind she would like to stay a little while longer with her children and grandchildren. God answered her prayer. There are not enough words--how do you put 99 years of a beautiful life into a few paragraphs? She had looked forward with much anticipation to her 100th birthday, but we know that she will do this in a much better place as we are left to celebrate it here. She was cared for very tenderly in life and after death by her family. We appreciate the love and dignity shown her by her physicians, Dr. David Abernathy and Dr. Jayendra Patel, and extend a special thank you to nephew, John Bennett for his special delivery of her medications.

The funeral will be held at 12:00 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2011, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Reverends Michael Brown and Eddy Bunton officiating. Burial will follow at Bennett Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday from 11:00 until 12 noon. Memorial contributions may be made to March of Dimes, ATTN: DRFR, 1275 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605 or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, PO Box 4527, New York, NY 10163.



George C. McBane, Jr.     [Back to Top]

George C. McBane, Jr., 71, of Morganton, passed away at Gordon Hospice House in Statesville, NC on Tuesday March 1, 2011. He was the son of the late George C. McBane, Sr. and Alice Mitchell McBane and was born in Alamance County, NC. George was a graduate of Hillsborough High School and NC State University. He was employed by SGL Carbon Corporation from June, 1963 until his retirement as Director of Engineering and Capital Planning in May, 2000.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Strayhorn McBane of the home; sons, George C. McBane, III and wife, Susanne Buchau of Grand Rapids, MI and William S. McBane and wife, Lisa McBane of Statesville; grandchildren, David and Matthew McBane of Statesville and Katja and Rebekah McBane of Grand Rapids.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2011 at First Presbyterian Church, 100 Silver Creek Rd., Morganton, NC with Rev. Michael Bailey officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the church parlor.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the following charities: Piedmont Council Boy Scouts of America, PO Box 1059, Gastonia, NC 28053, The Parkinson Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018, or to the Gordon Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Rd., Statesville, NC 28625. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting with arrangements.



Betty Bowman Chapman     [Back to Top]

Betty Bowman Chapman, 67, of Drexel, NC died Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. Born May 18, 1943 in Dickenson County, VA, she was a daughter of Iowa Edwards Bowman of Statesville, NC and the late Haradine Bowman. Betty was also preceded in death by a sister, Lucy Chapman.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by brothers, Fairy, Larry, Ike, and Raymond Bowman, all of Haysi, VA; sisters, Jenny Lynn Bowman of Haysi, Clara Miller of Wilkesboro, NC, and Carrie Ann Branham and Mammie Dunsford, both of Statesville; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Mitch Rash officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Marlene Janet Flood LaValley     [Back to Top]

Marlene Janet Flood LaValley, 63, of Morganton, NC died Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. Born January 10, 1948 in Dunklin County, Missouri, she was a daughter of the late Gordie Flood and Mary Frances Hudson Flood. Marlene loved her grandchildren dearly, and her door was always open to family and friends.

She is survived by her husband, Robert Kenneth LaValley of the home; children, Robert LaValley, Jr., Shon Lewis LaValley, and JoAnn Lee Waycaster, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Josh, Dustin, and Miranda Waycaster; great-grandchildren, Matthew and Melissa Waycaster; and sisters, Joyce Eckhart, Brenda Flood, and JoAnn Trowbridge.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Melissa Ann LaValley; and a sister, Phyllis LaValley.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 5, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Freddie Stapleton officiating. Burial will follow in Park Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Kay Stroupe Huneycutt     [Back to Top]

Kay Stroupe Huneycutt, 93, of Valdese, NC died Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Born on January 11, 1918 in Waco, NC, she was the daughter of the late John Wesley Stroup and Flora Lee Putnam Stroup. Kay was raised in Gastonia, NC. For 69 years she was the wife of the late Rev. W. A. Huneycutt. Following twelve years of service at the First Baptist Church in Black Mountain, NC, the Huneycutts moved in 1959 to the First Baptist Church in Valdese, NC. She served 22 years as a pianist for Valdese First along with being a choir member, Sunday School teacher, member of the W.M.U., and a member of the pulpit committee. She helped in forming the OWLs senior citizen’s group and served as president of the group for 20 years. Her community activities included teaching piano, singing with the Choraleers senior adults, and being a member of the Valdese Music Club. Kay also taught second grade in Valdese for 13 years and was a cancer survivor of 45 years.

Even in her last years at Autumn Care of Drexel, her participation in church and community activities gave inspiration to others, especially residents at Autumn Care.

Kay is survived by her children, Linda H. Bice and husband, Bill, of Southside, AL, Shirley H. Holland of Jasper, AL, Donna H. Kelly and husband, Tom Bibby, of Greensboro, NC, and W. Allan Huneycutt of Morganton; grandchildren, J. Kevin Bice and wife, Regina, W. Todd Bice, Tim Holland and wife, Charmin, Anthony J. Holland and wife, Lauren, Mary Kristen Kelly and Jennifer Kelly (and their father, Mike Kelly), Tyne Bibby, and Tim Bibby and wife, Amy; great-grandchildren, Heather, Chris, Bosha, Garrett, Craig, and Caroline; great-great-grandchildren, Emily and Jadyn; and faithful canine companions, Maggie, Gus, and Jasmine.

In addition to her parents and husband, Kay was preceded in death by brothers, Hugh and George Stroupe; her step-mother, Stella Yoder Stroupe; and a son-in-law, Herb Holland.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 6, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Valdese with Reverends Noel Schoonmaker and Tim Horldt officiating. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church parlor from 2:30 until 4:00 p.m. 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 the Choraleers, c/o Carol Cooper, 1715 Drexel Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



William Howell Upchurch, Jr.     [Back to Top]

William Howell Upchurch, Jr. 66 of Harborside Dr., Nebo, NC died Thursday, March 3, 2011 at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Valdese, NC. Born in Asheboro, NC on January 2, 1945, he was the son of the late William Howell Upchurch and Minnie Tyner Upchurch. He was a 1963 graduate of Asheboro High School and a 1967 bachelor’s degree graduate of Western Carolina University. Bill was student body President at the university in 1966 and 1967. In 1969 he earned his master’s degree at Western and taught in the Waynesville, NC school system. Mr. Upchurch served as executive director of South East Child Development and for thirty years was first employed by the State of North Carolina Department of Human Resources and later in the N. C. Child Support Department. He retired in 2005. During his tenure with the state he helped develop the Statewide Stop Child Abuse Program and was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the State of North Carolina. After his retirement he continued to provide consulting services.

Bill was a devoted son, husband, father, and brother who cherished every moment of life spent with family and friends. He loved working with and laying stone at his home in Nebo and at his mountain cabin in Virginia. Bill was a traveler of back roads and was happiest when he was at his mountain cabin.

Surviving are his loving wife of 43 years, Frances Guffey Upchurch; his daughter, Anna Beth Upchurch of Phoenix, AZ; his sisters and their husbands, Reba Wieters Moffat and William of Sparta, GA and Rena Whitehead and Eddie of Ramseur, NC; three nephews, a niece, and numerous cousins; and a very special friend, Mindy France of Greensboro, NC. Bill always enjoyed his semiannual outings with his Upchurch cousins!!

A memorial service will be private. Memorial gifts may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family.



Betty Keller Hart     [Back to Top]

Betty Keller Hart, 76, died Friday, March 4, 2011, at her home. She was born in Caldwell County on September 29, 1934 and was a daughter of Emma Elizabeth Osborne Keller of Morganton and the late George Washington Keller. Betty was a member of St. Matthews United Methodist Church and enjoyed her time with family and family gatherings, church activities especially the Open Hearts Bakery ministry, and reminiscing with old friends.

Surviving in addition to her mother are her children and their spouses, Randy and Phyllis Hart, Kenneth and Tami Hart, and Crystal and David Berry all of Morganton, and Tommy Hart and partner, Abhinand Peddada of Los Gatos, CA; grandchildren, Tyler, Brett, Garrett, and Dillon Hart, and Jamie and Tripp Berry; and siblings, Vera Lail, Marie Woods and husband, Donald, Laverne Keller and wife, Gloria, Wanda Setzer, and Bill Keller; and a number of nieces, nephews, and other extended family members.

In addition to her father, Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Hart, and by a sister, Mary Helen Ollis.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, March 7, 2011 at St. Matthews United Methodist Church with Rev. Allen Boliek officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Sunday at Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthews United Methodist Women, 201 Shady Rest Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



John Blankenship     [Back to Top]

John Blankenship, 57, of Morganton, NC died Sunday, March 6, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on August 15, 1953, he was the son of the late Jack Bostic Blankenship and Sarah Irene McCurry Blankenship.

John is survived by his four children, a brother, a half-sister, and several grandchildren.

The memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 12, 2011 at Lighthouse Ministries with Rev. Donna O’Neal and Linda Perrigan officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. 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. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Elvie Grace Whisnant Herron     [Back to Top]

Elvie Grace Whisnant Herron, 97, of Morganton, NC died Sunday, March 6, 2011 at Grace Hospital. Born in Burke County, NC on September 25, 1913, she was the daughter of the late Martha Bean Whisnant. Elvie was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church and attended Sunnyside Baptist Church. She was a loving mother and an avid gardener. She was a former employee of Highland, Ltd.

Elvie is survived by her son, Clayton Carswell of Valdese, NC; daughters, Shirley Chapman and Grace Carswell and husband, S.S., all of Morganton; a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; and sisters, Ruth Curtis and Bessie Curtis, both of Morganton.

In addition to her mother, Elvie was preceded in death by her husband, Coleman “Toby” Herron; a son, William Carswell; sisters, Kathryn Vines and Rev. Beth Henderson; and a brother, Rev. Ed Bean.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. David Orders officiating. Burial will follow in Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Sunnyside Baptist Church, 1013 Old NC 18, Morganton, NC 28655.



Theodore Powell     [Back to Top]

Theodore Powell, 51, of Connelly Springs, NC died Sunday, March 6, 2011 at his residence. Born July 4, 1959 in Burke County, he was a son of the late Commiedore Connelly Powell, Jr., and Bessie Mae Benfield Carver.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-father, Willis George Carver; and siblings, Gary Powell and Reba Dianne Powell.

Theodore is survived by brothers, Commiedore Powell of Connelly Springs and Ryan Carver; a sister, Carolyn Ann Powell of Taylorsville; and a sister-in-law, Loretta Powell of Hickory, NC.

Services are not planned at this time. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting the family.



Richard "Dick" Oldham Avery     [Back to Top]

Richard “Dick” Oldham Avery, 74, formerly of Morganton, NC, passed away Tuesday, March 8, 2011 in Wilmington, NC, following several years of declining health. Born in Erwin, NC, on November 1, 1936, he was the son of the late Dan C. Avery and Lois O. Avery. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and was in the Reserves for eight years as a First Lieutenant in the Infantry.

Dick was a student at Morganton High School, a graduate of Hargrave Military Academy, and he attended Wake Forest University and graduated with a BS in Economics. After serving his country in the U.S. Army, he worked for First National Bank of Atlanta and in the Morganton branch in the trust department. In 1965 he helped start the Avery-Norvell Company where he worked in real estate sales and property management. He later worked with the Richardson Corporation in Greensboro as manager of its Commercial and Industrial property division. After leaving that company, he worked in real estate independently and developed and managed property in Morganton, Blowing Rock, and Southport, NC, at different times in his life.

Dick served his community in various ways and had many accomplishments and recognitions as a result. In the area of his profession, he was the “outstanding graduate” of the UNC Realtors Institute at Chapel Hill in 1967, served as President of the Burke County Board of Realtors in 1969, served as Dean of the UNC Realtors Institute at Chapel Hill, was awarded the designation of senior residential appraiser in 1971, served as President of the NC Real Estate Foundation, was honored as Burke County Realtor of the Year. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Morganton Jaycees for his work with the United Fund, served on the board of directors of Mimosa Hills Golf Club, served as a Trustee of Wake Forest University and on its investment committee. He was a founding director of First Charter Savings and Loan and served on the board of Southeastern Savings and Loan. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Morganton. He was also involved in politics and ran for a seat in the NC House of Representatives as a Democrat.

Dick was an avid sports fan all his life and participant in his youth. He played football, basketball and baseball at Morganton High School and Hargrave Academy and was awarded a partial scholarship to play baseball at Wake Forest University. He loved sharing his love for sports and loved coaching almost as much as playing. He also played golf. He loved music, played the acoustic guitar and sang, was a prolific photographer, and appreciated the outdoors. He loved his community, his state, and his country.

Dick is survived by his children, Richard Cornwell Avery and wife, Amy Schoenen Avery of Morganton, Anna Lynn Avery of Cary, NC, Daniel Morgan Avery of Wilmington, NC, and Robert Oldham Avery and wife, Elizabeth Johnson Avery of Knoxville, TN; a step-son, Christopher Wellman of Morganton; grandchildren, Raleigh Thomas Avery and Judge Huffman Avery of Morganton, Juliana Cornwell Avery of Cary, NC, and Spence Oldham Avery of Knoxville, TN; a sister, Lynn A. Hollister of San Luis Obispo, CA; and his second wife, Patricia Gray Runnion Avery of High Point, NC. He was predeceased by his first wife, the late Ann C. Patton of Morganton and his third wife, the late Doris Chester Avery.

A memorial service for Mr. Avery will be held in the Chapel of First Baptist Church at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 19, 2011 with Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends in the church parlor one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Southmountain Children’s Home, 7330 Myrtle Drive, Nebo, NC, 28761-8666.



Virginia Shell Buchanan     [Back to Top]

Virginia Shell Buchanan, 81, of Valdese, NC went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center. Born in Burke County, NC on January 6, 1930, she was the daughter of the late Jessie Earl Shell, Sr. and Flossie Reed Shell. Virginia was an avid church member of Connelly Springs Freewill Baptist Church where she was active in her Sunday School Class and sang in the choir. She retired from Active Sports and worked at several other textile plants. Her many hobbies included collecting baby dolls, reading, embroidering, and cooking.

Virginia is survived by her husband of 45 years, Eugene Buchanan of the home; sons, Roby “Bud” Barrier and wife, Cristina, of Treemont, UT and Danny Buchanan and wife, Mary, of KS; daughters, Candace Barrier of Old Fort, NC, Roberta Bennett and husband, Doug, of Conyers, GA, and Debra Buchanan of Asheville, NC; twelve grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Virginia was preceded in death by a son, Roy R. Barrier, Jr.; a daughter, Elsie Lowman; brothers, Wallace Shell and Jessie Earl Shell, Jr; and a sister, Louise Beam.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 12, 2011 at Connelly Springs Freewill Baptist Church with Reverends Rick Davis and Aaron Causby officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. 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.



Rena M. Singleton     [Back to Top]

Rena M. Singleton, 90, of Morganton, NC died Thursday, March 10, 2011 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese. Born August 25, 1920 in Burke County, she was a daughter of the late Thomas K. Ritchey and Mary Roseanna Poteet Ritchey. In addition to her parents, Rena was preceded in death by husband, Lewis A. Singleton; and her brothers and sisters. She attended the First Assembly of God, and worked as a teacher’s assistant at Morganton Junior High School. Rena loved life and loved to dance.

Rena is survived by sons, Jimmy L. Singleton and wife, Iris, and Cecil J. Saunders, Jr. and wife, Peggy, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Wendy S. Myers and husband, Mark of Morganton, and Cecil James “Jake” Saunders of Aurora, Colorado; great-grandchildren, Jamey Myers, and Amber Welner and husband, Matthew, all of Hickory; and a niece, Marlene Hunter of Virginia.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 12, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Mark Myers officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Roy Junior York     [Back to Top]

Roy Junior York, 75 of Morganton, NC died unexpectedly Thursday, March 10, 2011 at Grace Hospital. Born in Caldwell County, NC on November 16, 1935, he was a son of the late Tilden McClure York and Ada Raven Buff York. Roy was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather and was an avid gardener. He enjoyed fishing and deer hunting. Mr. York served in the N. C. National Guard and was a retired employee of the N. C. Department of Corrections with over thirty years of service. He was a member of the Church of Christ in Morganton.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Geneva Main York of the home; a daughter, Sharon York of Drexel; granddaughter, Amber Halliburton and husband, Jimmy of Morganton; a brother, Gary York of Drexel; and a sister, Edna Jackson of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Roy was preceded in death by two brothers.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 13, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Brother Jeff Lovitt officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Sunday one hour prior to the funeral. At other times, the family will be at the residence, 1545 Amherst Rd., Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to Church of Christ, 404 Lenoir Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.



Ruby Patton Farris     [Back to Top]

Ruby Patton Farris, 80, of Morganton, NC died Friday, March 11, 2011 following a lengthy illness. Born in Burke County, NC on January 13, 1931, she was the daughter of the late David Alexander Patton and Cora Seagle Patton. Ruby was an active and longtime member of Bethel United Methodist Church on Dysartsville Road.

Ruby is survived by her husband, Bob Farris of the home; children, Marlow Farris and wife, Debbie, Dwight Farris and wife, Jann, Mark Farris and wife, Susan, and Robin Beaver and husband, Jim, all of Morganton; sisters, Naomi Watson, Faye Jaynes, and Jean Jackson, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Neil Farris and wife, Patricia, Matthew Farris and wife, Lori, Lindsay Farris, Leslie Gragg and husband, Jonathan, and Kirby Farris; great-grandchildren, Delainey Farris, Ryan Farris, Elly Kate Gragg, and Gracie Farris; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Ruby was preceded in death by seven brothers and sisters.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Monday, March 14, 2011 at Bethel United Methodist Church on Dysartsville Road with Reverends April Abernethy and Don Farris officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall one hour prior to the service. At other times the family will be at the home on Jamestown Road. Memorial contributions may be made to Bethel United Methodist Church, 5011 Dysartsville Road, Morganton, NC 28655.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Owen Bass, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Owen Bass, Jr., 75, of Morganton, NC died Saturday, March 11, 2011 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. Born in Scotland County, NC on January 22, 1936, he was the son of the late Owen Wallace and Mary Francis Clark. Owen was a 1956 graduate of the North Carolina School for the Deaf. He was a talented athlete at NCSD, with letters in football, basketball, and track. He was of the Baptist Faith.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Owen is survived by his wife, Virgie Dailey Bass of the home; a son, Roger W. Bass of Kannapolis, NC; daughters, Wendy Mae Bass of Morganton and Minna Hicks of Concord, NC; a sister, Mary Ann Peavy of Wagram, NC; and grandchildren, Hailey Bass, Kassie Bass, Amber Bryant, Christian Bryant, and Connor Hicks.

In addition to his parents, Owen was preceded in death by two brothers.

In honor of Owen, a memorial service will be held at 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.



Joe R. Stafford     [Back to Top]

Joe R. Stafford, 71, of Valdese, NC died Monday, March 14, 2011 at his residence. Born September 26, 1939 in Mitchell County, NC, he was a son of the late Thomas Stafford and Lucille Pittman Stafford. Joe was a member and Deacon at Lakeview Baptist Church. He worked as a butcher at Childers Market for over 20 years, and then retired from Food Lion.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Edith Stafford of Valdese; mother-in-law, Mildred Ellis of Hickory; a brother and his wife, Don and Mary Stafford of Spruce Pine; sister-in-law and her husband, Linda and Daniel Briggs of Hickory; a brother-in-law, Larry Ellis of Morganton; niece and her husband, Sharon and Richard Bumgarner, and nephew, Eric Briggs, all of Hickory; a family friend, Kellie Stroup of Morganton; and Joe’s canine companion, Bruno.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Lora Ellis Stafford; and a brother, Virgil Stafford.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 17, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Patrick Mourglea officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 222 South Church St., Suite 336M, Charlotte, NC 28202.



C. Leonard "Cooter" Waters     [Back to Top]

C. Leonard “Cooter” Waters, 60, of Morganton, NC went home to rest on Monday, March 14, 2011 after an extended illness. Born in Burke County, NC on March 5, 1951, he was the son of Barbara Ann McKinney Waters and the late Calvin Hayes Waters. Cooter owned and operated Waters Used Cars and Salvage. He loved his bluegrass music and loved to collect old cars. He also enjoyed taking walks with his wife and running his sawmill.

Cooter is survived by his wife of 40 years, Floye Mae Waters of the home; a daughter, Lisa Greene and husband, Michael, of Clyde, NC; grandchildren, Daniel Messer, Tucker Messer, Justin Greene, Katlyn Greene, and Kenlee Greene; a great-grandchild, Rylee Greene; a brother, Mickey Waters and wife, Libby, of Morganton; and a sister, Wanda DeHart of Morganton.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 18, 2011 at McDowell Independent Presbyterian Church with Reverends Dennis Carswell and Charlie Simpson officiating. Burial will follow on the family farm. The family will receive friends Thursday 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 the American Cancer Society, 4-A Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC 27407.



Fred Swink, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Fred Swink, Jr.,67, of Morganton died Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at his residence after a courageous battle with cancer. Born, September 14, 1943 in Burke County, NC, he was a son of the late Fred Pendley Swink and Mallie Louise Stamey Swink. Fred was a member of Burkemont Baptist Church. He loved making everyone smile.

Fred is survived by sons, Glen Swink and wife, Kathy, of Connelly Springs, and Timothy Swink of Morganton; a daughter, Ann Pearson and husband, Randy, of Morganton; grandchildren, Timothy McCracken, Heaven Swink, Daniel Swink, Joseph Swink, Stoney Pritchard, Lea Proctor, Elizabeth Brittain, and David Allen Proctor; eight great-grandchildren; brothers, James Allen Swink and Bob Swink; and a sister, Betty Spicer.

In addition in to his parents, Fred was preceded in death by a daughter, Liza Jane Swink; a granddaughter, Wendy Dawn Swink; and brothers, David Howard Swink and Edward Lee Swink. The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, March 17, 2011 at Burkemont Baptist Church with Reverends Dr. David Mills and Howard Trumble 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 Burkemont Baptist Church, 4668 Burkemont Road, Morganton, NC 28655.



Jack D. Smith     [Back to Top]

Jack D. Smith, 83, of Morganton, NC died peacefully on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center while surrounded by his family. Born in Clay County, WV on July 21, 1927, he was the son of the late Grover and Mary Hollar Smith.

Jack retired from Drexel Heritage Furnishings with 44 years of service as personnel manager. Jack’s life centered around his passion for church, friends, and his great joy in spending time outdoors hunting and fishing. He was a faithful member of First United Methodist Church, serving many years as secretary/treasurer of the Aldersgate Sunday School Class. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, and served during the Korean Conflict.

In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by his brother Carl “Bud” Smith, Harold “Smitty” Smith and wife, Lolita, and Winston “Wink” Smith; a brother-in-law, W.R. Bill Allen of Maryville, TN; and a special grandson, Andrew Stephen Smith.

Jack is survived by his wife, Betty Williams Smith of the home; three wonderful and loving sons, Michael Smith and wife, Harriet, Brian Smith and wife, Sherri, and Jeffery Smith and wife, Becky; grandchildren, Rev. Matthew Smith and wife, Joanna of Cashiers, NC; Tara, Madison, Ian, and Payne Smith of Morganton; great-grandsons, Simon and David Moses Hudson Smith of Cashiers; sisters, WilRose Allen of Maryville, TN and Janice Smith and husband, Wayne, Sr. of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Twila Smith of Omaha, NE; and many loving nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 17, 2011 at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson, III and Rev. Todd McCullough officiating. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall following the service. A private inurnment will be held at another time. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church Discretionary Fund, 200 N. King Street, Morganton, NC 28655 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.



Colleen Lail Moore     [Back to Top]

Colleen Lail Moore, 91, of Drexel, NC died Friday, March 18, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center following a period of declining health. Born in Catawba County, NC on August 10, 1919, she was the daughter of the late Carl Lail and Sally Zimmerman Lail. Colleen was a member of Drexel First Baptist Church. A loving mother, she enjoyed working in her garden, flowers, being with children, and worshipping her God.

Colleen is survived by her sons, Robert Carl Moore and wife, Sara, of Charlotte, NC and a nephew, Danny Coffey of Michigan.

In addition to her parents, Colleen was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Paul Moore; and two sisters, Hazel Herman and Nell Coffey.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 20, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. Tito Madrazo 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 Drexel First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 308, Drexel, NC 28619.



C. Wayne Huffman     [Back to Top]

C. Wayne Huffman, 81, of Causby Road, Morganton, NC died Sunday, March 20, 2011 at Grace Heights following a lengthy illness. Born in Burke County, NC on June 13, 1929, he was the son of the late Obie Huffman and Ethel Stamey Huffman. Wayne was a retired employee of Great Lakes Carbon Corp. where he had been employed for 42 years. He enjoyed volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Christmas Cheer. He loved working in his woodworking shop and his garden. He was a member of First Baptist Church where he was a member of the Ralph Hogshead Sunday School Class.

Wayne is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mabel Bennett Huffman of the home; a son, Gary Huffman and wife, Cheryl, of Morganton; a brother, Ray Huffman and wife, Hattie, of Hickory, NC; sisters, Thelma Isenhour of Morganton and Betty Rose Weatherly of Kingsport, TN; and granddaughters, Stephanie Kinsland and husband, Seth, of Franklin, NC and Jennifer Huffman of Morganton.

In addition to his parents, Wayne was preceded in death by a daughter, Mendy E. Huffman, and a brother, Earl Huffman.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at First Baptist Church with Dr. Thomas A. Bland, Jr. and Rev. Dr. Sam Murphy officiating. The family will receive friends at the church parlor from 12:30 until 2:00 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 First Baptist Church, P.O. Drawer 459, Morganton, NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



George Carl "Bud" Anderson     [Back to Top]

George Carl “Bud” Anderson, known to many as Papaw”, 91, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at his residence while surrounded by his family. Born in Rutherford County, NC on July 29, 1919, he was the son of the late Joseph Anderson and Lillie Mincey Anderson. Bud was a member of Gibbs Chapel Wesleyan Church where he was a Sunday School teacher, was on the church board of administrators, was active in the Senior Citizens Group, was a lay pastor, and was active in the Men’s Fellowship Group. He attended Glen Alpine City Schools and served in the N.C. National Guard. He later retired from Henredon Furniture where he worked as a master mechanic.

Bud is survived by his wife of 67 years, Raye Queen Anderson of the home; daughters, Georgia “Doo-Dad” Cowan of Morganton and Linda Daves and husband, Robert, of Glen Alpine; grandchildren, Paula Ford and husband, Robbie, of Morganton, Pam Cowan of Morganton, Rob Daves of Glen Alpine, and Amanda D. Looney and husband, Brent, of Taylors, SC; great-grandchildren, Ali, Jake, and Brodie Ford, and Blaze Cowan; and a number of treasured nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Bud was preceded in death by a daughter, Connie Anderson Bowers, and sisters, Mary Jo Allen, Raye Clontz, and Nora Gurley.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, March 26, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Chaplain Bill Hall, Rev. Roger Brackett, and Rev. Brandon Ware officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Gibbs Chapel Wesleyan Church Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005-4001, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Claire A. Whitesell, Jr.     [Back to Top]

Claire A. Whitesell, Jr., 78, died Tuesday, March 22, 2011 following a period of declining health. He was born in Willow Grove, PA on April 17, 1932 and was the son of the late Claire A. Whitesell, Sr. and Mary Cecelia Datig Whitesell. Claire retired from Eastern Airlines as an airline captain and was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

Surviving are his wife, C. “Toni” Mize Whitesell, of the home; sons, Joseph Whitesell of Shelby Township, MI and David Whitesell and wife, Jill, of Watkinsville, GA; daughters, Elizabeth “Liz” Grant and husband, Gary, of Columbus, GA, Kathy Whitesell and Debby Whitesell, of the home; grandchildren, Marni Jennings, Michael Grant, Christopher, Joshua, Cameron, Mattie, Callie, and Emma Whitesell; and great-grandchildren, Patrick and Paige Jennings.

In addition to his parents, Claire was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph A. Whitesell.

The funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 26, 2011, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with Father Becket Soule officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour before the service. At other times the family will be at the residence. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 728 W. Union St., Morganton, NC 28655 or to House of Refuge, PO Box 1370, Morganton, NC 28680. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting with arrangements.



Franklin D. "Red" Bailey, Sr.     [Back to Top]

Franklin D. “Red” Bailey, Sr., 76, loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died Wednesday, March 23, 2011, following a period of declining health. He was born in Rutherford County on December 22, 1934 and was a son of the late William McKinley Bailey and Minnie Willis Bailey.

Red retired from Henredon Furniture with over 39 years of service. He enjoyed mowing and taking care of his lawn; and he loved helping other people and his neighbors.

Surviving are his daughters, JoAnn Johnson and husband, John of High Point, NC and Jackie Tessnair and husband, Gary of Spindale, NC; a brother, William Bailey of Drexel; sisters, Mollie Murphy of Morganton and Minnie Hutchins of Rutherfordton, NC; special loving companion of 8 years, Mildred Sheets of Morganton; 9 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Franklin was preceded in death by a son, Frank Bailey, Jr.; a brother, Edward Bailey; and sisters, Mary Goforth and Rose Spicer.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 26, 2011 at River Valley Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Shew officiating. At other times the family will receive friends at the home, 204 Hogan Street. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Attn: Memorial Gifts, 4240 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting with arrangements.



Paul William Duckworth     [Back to Top]

Paul William Duckworth, 89, of Morganton, NC died Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at Magnolia Lane Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born in Burke County, NC on December 29, 1921, he was the son of the late W. Henry Duckworth and Minerva Williams Duckworth. Paul loved his community. He also enjoyed being in the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, and especially Lake James. He was a fan of bluegrass music.

Paul is survived by sons, Randy and Wayne Duckworth, both of Morganton; and sisters, Ellen Nichols and Nancy Reep, both of Valdese, NC.

In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Laura Faye Houck Duckworth; brothers, Everett, Oliver Ray, and Jim Duckworth; and sisters, Oralee Carswell, Louise Eller, and Ruby Miller.

The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Attn: Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, 1722 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1722.



Dr. Francis Miller Jackson     [Back to Top]

Dr. Francis Miller Jackson, 86, of Newland Street, Morganton, NC died Thursday, March 24, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center. Born on February 3, 1925 in West Point, GA, he was the son of the late Brooks Rolin Jackson and Frances Freeman Jackson. During WWII, Dr. Jackson served with the U.S. Army’s 36th Infantry and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

A graduate of the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine in 1952, he practiced in Newnan, GA and West Point, GA. He also had a private veterinary practice in Morganton from 1961 until 1972 during which time he also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from which he retired. Dr. Jackson was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Catawba Valley Masonic Lodge #217.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Patricia Walburn Jackson; six brothers; and one sister.

Dr. Jackson is survived by two sons, Dr. Dan Jackson and wife, Debbie, of Cumberland, MD and Tom Jackson of Charlotte, NC; a daughter, Mary Jackson Rasnick of Morganton; a brother, Edmund Jackson of Tampa, FL; grandchildren, Dan “Chip” Jackson, Jr. of Chapel Hill, NC, Katie J. Budris of Arlington, VA, Ashley Jackson of Little Rock, AR, Miller Jackson of Black Mountain, NC, and Carly Rasnick of Morganton.

The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center in Morganton, NC with Rev. Dr. Sydnor Thompson, III 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 funeral home one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 N. King Street, Morganton, NC 28655.

The Jackson family thanks the following caregivers for their love and devotion to our father: Pam Cansler, Andrea Woods, Judy Roper, Dennis Grasso, Kristin Elliot, and Ginger Parker.



Larry Wilson     [Back to Top]

Larry Wilson 61, of Hudson, NC passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Lenoir, NC. Born in Caldwell County, NC on November 20, 1949, he was the son of the late A. D. Wilson and Julia Mae Wilson. Larry was a member of Dry Ponds Baptist Church. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War and volunteered with the Sawmills Fire Department. Following his retirement from the U.S. Postal Service, he worked in many other capacities. He had been a member of Granite Falls Rotary Club and was known as a good friend and neighbor.

Larry is survived by his wife of 15 years, Darla Brown Wilson of the home; a daughter, Cindy Potter and husband, Scott, of Hudson; sons, Blake Lippard of Pigeon Forge, TN and Neil Lippard and wife, Anna, of Cullowhee, NC; grandsons, Ty and Zack Potter; a brother, Jimmy Wilson and wife, Reba, of King, NC; sisters, Katheryn Seagle and husband, Archie, of Hudson, Margaret Weaver and husband, Bill, of Hudson, and Jan Cornelius and husband, Gary, of Sherrills Ford, NC; and a number of nephews and nieces.

The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 31, 2011 at Dry Ponds Baptist Church with Reverends Rick Crouse and Myron Davis officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors provided by the N.C. National Guard. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the church. Pallbearers will include Gene Carpenter, Sam Erby, Smithy Moore, Tony Ramsey, David Powell, Johnny Williams, Rocky Townsend, Don Turnmire, Jonathan Powell, Clay Bollinger, Dennis Wilson, and Jerry Dennie. Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, NC 28645. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Sue Leona Lee     [Back to Top]

Sue Leona Lee, 64, of Morganton died Sunday, March 27, 2011. A celebration of Sue’s life will be held in early summer. A full obituary will be published then. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Fredrick D. Ramsey     [Back to Top]

Fredrick D. Ramsey, 74, of Glen Alpine, NC went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 28, 2011 following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on November 2, 1936, he was the son of the late Otis Ramsey and Flavia Chapman Ramsey Pruitt. Fredrick attended Faith Missionary Baptist Church. He was a graduate of George Hildebran High School and a retired employee of Henredon Furniture Company. He was an avid reader, loved to travel, and loved to play golf.

Mr. Ramsey is survived by his wife, Ruby Jordan Ramsey of the home; daughters, Robin Ramsey Berry of Morganton, NC, Cristy Ramsey Hallyburton and husband, Richard, of Glen Alpine, and Amy Ramsey Towery and husband, Gary, of Hildebran, NC; grandchildren, Taylor Lowdermilk and Jordan Towery; a special nephew, Sandy Yancey, who Fred thought of as a son; brothers, Joseph “Bud” Ramsey and wife, Charlene, of Morganton, John Ramsey of Vale, NC, Jack Ramsey of Morganton, Bill Ramsey of Morganton, and Don Ramsey of Morganton; sisters, Geneva Bradshaw of Lawndale, NC, Jeanette Chapman and husband, Fred, of Morganton, Geraldine Lail and husband, Benny, of Morganton, and Marlene Cooper and Gene Jonas, of Valdese; a sister-in-law, Helen Ramsey; and a host of nephews and nieces.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Ramsey was preceded in death by brothers, Lee Ramsey, Millard “Tooter” Ramsey and wife, Patsy, and a sister-in-law, Peggy Ramsey.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at Faith Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Robinson officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home 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 Ramsey residence in Glen Alpine. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to the Rathburn Center, 121 Sherwood Road, Asheville, NC 28803.



Opal Harrison     [Back to Top]

Opal Harrison, 87, of Morganton, NC went to be with her Heavenly Father surrounded by her family on Monday, March 28, 2011. Born in Avery County, NC on June 21, 1923, she was the daughter of the late Henry Monroe “Coats” Hollander and Lula Savanna Gragg Hollander. Opal was a devoted and loving wife and mother, and she loved traveling, fishing, camping, and cooking for her family.

She is survived by her children, Eileen Myers of Morganton, Donnie Harrison and wife, Naomi, of Lebanon, VA, Charles Harrison of VA, Roger Harrison and wife, Janice, of Glen Alpine, NC, Bobby Harrison and wife, Joan, of Morganton, Theresa Lackey and husband, David, of Granite Falls, NC, and Jasper Harrison and wife, Neta, of Morganton; thirteen grandchildren; twenty-two great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren; and Donna Akers of Duffield, VA, who was like a daughter to Opal.

In addition to her parents, Opal was preceded in death by her husband, Willie Ray Harrison; a daughter, Wanda Faye Harrison; two brothers; and three sisters.

The funeral will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Reverends John Smiley and Steve Turbyfield officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. prior to the funeral. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday at Greenwood Cemetery in Coeburn, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 31 College Place, D-320, Asheville, NC 28801.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff of Magnolia Lane Health & Rehab Center and also to the staff of Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley for the loving care shown to their mother.



Yvonne Smith Turner     [Back to Top]

Naomi Yvonne Smith Turner, 80, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Monday, March 28, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on October 11, 1930, she was the daughter of the late Tellis Herman Smith and Hixie Marie Poteat Smith.

Yvonne was a devoted member of North Morganton Baptist Church, where she taught during Vacation Bible School and played piano when needed. She found much joy being the Sunday School Teacher of the Lydia Sunday School Class until her health declined.

For many years she was a cost accountant at Shadowline. After retirement from Shadowline, she helped the Board of Elections on Election Day. Yvonne loved to knit, cook, decorate cakes, and work in her flower gardens.

A loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Yvonne is survived by her son, Larry D. Turner of Morganton; a daughter, Kathy Turner Tudor and husband, John, of Morganton; grandchildren, Jennifer Kincaid and husband, Chris, and Matthew Tudor; and great-grandchildren, Hunter Greene and Chase Kincaid, both of Morganton. She is also survived by a sister, Maxine Smith Anderson and husband, Jim, of Augusta, GA; a sister-in-law, Modean Tallent Smith of Morganton; nephews, Michael Smith of Morganton and Jim Anderson of Glendale, CA; and nieces, Karen Rauton and Laura Manning of Augusta, and Dian Goodnight of Morganton.

In addition to her parents, Yvonne was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Alton Turner and her brother, Billy Tellis Smith.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 4, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. Kenny Baker officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Sunday evening from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to North Morganton Baptist Church, 101 View Street, Morganton, NC 28655 or to the American Heart Association, 222 S. Church Street, Suite 303, Charlotte, NC 28202.



Annie Laura Ramsey     [Back to Top]

Annie Laura Ramsey, affectionately known to some as “YaYa”, went to her heavenly home on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Born on April 26, 1921 in Burke County, she was the youngest daughter of the late Isaac and “Tullie” Moses. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, of 67 years, Thomas “Max” Ramsey; sisters, Gladys, Floy, Mary Sue, Effie, Shirley, and Elsie Moses; and brothers, Ernest, Dermont, and Ellerbe Moses.

Annie Laura graduated from Morganton High School in 1938. She completed several accounting courses, and then worked as an accountant for Sears & Roebuck. Annie Laura retired from Kimbrell’s Furniture at the age of 60. She was a lifelong member for 89 years at North Morganton United Methodist Church, and held many church offices over the years. She served as President of the Women’s Society, and served as President again when the Society became known as the United Methodist Women. Annie Laura sang in the church choir from age 14 until she retired from the choir at age 80. She loved her fellow choir members and considered them part of her family. Annie Laura and her husband, Max, held the office of church treasurer for many years. They loved to travel. They owned a camper and spent time in the mountains and at the beach. They also traveled all over the United States and Canada with Christian Tours.

All through Annie Laura’s adult life, she loved little children, even though she was never blessed with children of her own. Still, she was a mother, grandmother, and best friend to many.

Surviving Annie Laura is a sister-in-law, Frances “Toots” Hardin of Morganton; and a number of nieces and nephews to whom she was more than just an “aunt”.

A celebration of Annie Laura’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2011 at North Morganton United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Saturday from 12:30 until 2:00 pm at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to North Morganton United Methodist Church, 990 Sanford Dr., Morganton, NC 28655, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with arrangements.



E. Donald Ollis     [Back to Top]

E. Donald Ollis, 80, of the Oak Hill Community, Morganton, NC went to be with his Lord on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. He was born May 10, 1930 in Yancey County, NC to the late Rev. Doris F. Ollis and Ruth Belle Buchanan Ollis. Mr. Ollis was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict and was a faithful member of Zion Baptist Church where he served in many capacities over the years, including deacon. For several years Donald was an electrician. He also served as inspector for Burke County and the City of Morganton, from which he retired.

A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Donald is survived by his wife of 57 years, Vera Whisnant Ollis of the home; daughters, Janet Wease and husband, Bill, and Donna Ollis Robinson, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Rusty Hollifield, Jr., Angie Powers, Taylor Hamby and fiancée, Ashley Sain, and Christian Hamby; great-grandsons, Michael and Cody Powers; brothers, Charlie Ollis and wife, Occie, David Ollis and wife, Nancy, Claude Ollis and wife, Jeanette, and Phillip Ollis and wife, Jean, all of Morganton, Simon Ollis and wife, Lynn, of Matthews, NC, and George Ollis and wife, Nancy, of Nebo, NC; a sister, Alma Staton and husband, Thurman, of Lenoir, NC; and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Ollis was preceded in death by two sisters, Annie Ollis Clark and Lena Ollis Patton.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Zion Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Steve Parker, Rev. Dr. Ralph May, and Rev. Keith Rose officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:30 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park with military honors provided by the N.C. National Guard and the Caldwell County Veterans Honor Guard. At other times the family will be at the home. Memorial contributions may be made to Zion Baptist Church, Family Life Center, 3396 Pea Ridge Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.



Jeanelle Marra Hyder     [Back to Top]

Jeanelle Marra Hyder, 90, of Morganton died Thursday, March 31, 2011 at Burke Palliative Care Center in Valdese. Born March 8, 1921 in Sullivan County, TN, she was the daughter of the late George Winstead Stout and Clara Belle Dickson Stout. In addition to her parents, Jeanelle was preceded in death by her husbands, Fred Marra and Alvin Hyder. She was a member of the First Baptist Church.

Jeanelle is survived by a daughter, Mary J. Marra of Morganton.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Monday, April 4, 2011 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center with Rev. Bob Shepherd officiating. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Rd., Kanab, Utah 84741, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.



Mary Florence Anthony Cain     [Back to Top]

Mary Florence Anthony Cain, 79, died Thursday, March 31, 2011 following a period of declining health. She was born in Lincoln County on September 11, 1931 and was the daughter of the late Evan Elbert Anthony and Ovia Merrija Gragg Anthony. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Cain was preceded in death by her husband, Hallie Homer Cain, and by three brothers, Dewey Elbert, James, and Lawrence Anthony. She was a member of Drexel First Church of God and recently attended Drexel Memorial Church.

Surviving are her son, H. Randy Cain, of Drexel; daughters and their husbands, Pamela and Tom Watt of Lenoir, Debbie and Bruce Harwood of Morganton, and Tonya and Trevor Hargrave of Corona, CA; brother, Hubert Anthony, of Drexel; sisters-in-law, Zelda Anthony of Rutherford College and Norene Anthony of Drexel; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, April 4, 2011 at Drexel First Church of God with Rev. Larry McCaw officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942 or to Barber Shop Preservation Fund‚ c/o First Citizens Bank‚ Valdese‚ NC. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


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