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Watauga County Obituaries – Compiled Sept. 9, 2014

George C. Wilkinson (Aug. 7, 1930 – Sept. 8, 2014) 


George C. (GC) Wilkinson, 84, passed away Monday, September 8, 2014, at his home in Zionville.

Born in Zionville, but with the lack of jobs he worked away from home migrating north until he ended up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he was an ironworker and began an apprenticeship with a steel erection company, Don R. Fruchey, Inc. He worked very hard so that when he retired in 1985, after 32 years, he was vice president of field operations.

After retiring he returned home to Zionville and bought his home-place. In his retirement he worked part-time for Fletcher Cycle on 421 and managed the Service Department. He was a member of Zionville Baptist Church. He was a member and director of The treeing Walkers Association for over thirty years. If you aren’t familiar with a treeing walker, it is a coon dog. GC competition hunted as well as pleasure. He chose walker dogs because he was tired of getting beat. He loved raccoon hunting as well as any outdoor hunting and fishing.

GC was a humble, generous-hearted man of integrity. He could be bluntly honest with everyone. He was a loving husband, father, grandpa, brother, and friend.

Surviving are his wife, of sixty-two years, Edna (Lou) Wilkinson of Zionville; two children, Kerry Wilkinson of Zionville and Tanya (Denny) Miller of Leo, Indiana; three grandchildren: Rachel (John) Moreland, Seth (Betsey) Miller, and Sara (Phil) Bultemeier,; eight great-grandchildren; sister Jackie (George) Thomas of Concord, and dear friend, J. B. Fletcher of Zionville.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Blanche Wilkinson, and brother-in-law, George Thomas.

Service is 11 a.m. at Zionville Baptist church on Saturday, Sept.13, 2014. Pastors Dwayne Tester and Ray Greene will be officiating. Receiving of friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 12, 2014, at Zionville Baptist Church. Burial will be in Zionville Baptist Church Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645 or to Zionville Baptist Church, 8174 Old US Highway 421, Zionville, NC 28698.

Online condolences may be sent at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Wilkinson family.

Clara M. Hartley (Nov. 23, 1946 – Sept. 8, 2014) 

HartleyClara M. Hartley, 67, of North Main Street, Blowing Rock, passed away Monday morning, Sept. 8, 2014, at her home.

Clara was born Nov. 23, 1946 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Lawrence and Faye Farmer Luttrell. She was owner and operator of Hartley Interiors in Blowing Rock for 37 years. Clara loved her family very much, and adored her grandson, Kilby.

Clara is survived by her husband Gwyn Hartley of the home; two daughters, Kimberly Bretsnyder and husband Bill of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Tammy Hartley of Blowing Rock; one son, Todd Hartley and wife Kimberly McDonald Hartley of Blowing Rock; one grandson, Kilby Hartley of Blowing Rock; three sisters, Virginia Watson of Granite Falls, Linda Davis and husband Hayden of Lenoir, and Joy Allison and husband Locke of Statesville, and one brother, Dale Luttrell and wife Eunice of Blowing Rock. She is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Memorial services for Clara M. Hartley will be conducted Thursday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2014, at 2 p.m., at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Reverend Glenn Luttrell.

The family will receive friends Thursday afternoon, from 12 to 2 p.m., at the funeral home, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, or to www.hope4alscom

Online condolences may be sent to the Hartley family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Dr. John C. Wilson (April 3, 1931 – Sept. 7, 2014) 


Dr. John Cyril Wilson, 83, of Azalea Way, Banner Elk, passed away Sunday morning to God’s eternity on September 7, 2014, at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte.

He was born April 3, 1931, to Helen Schamberger and Cyril Crawford Wilson in Clarksville, TN. He attended Clarksville High School, Austin Peay University (BS Agriculture), Iowa State University (MS Sociology), Union Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity, Masters of Theology, Doctor of Ministry), New York State University (Bachelor of Nursing), and served in the Navy as an officer on active duty during the Korean Conflict.

In the Radford, VA area, he was a pastor for a number of small rural churches, and began a tent-making ministry. Later, he was employed for over 30 years at Lees McRae College as Associate Professor of Religion, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology. For 8 years, he was the Health Services Nurse at Lees McRae.

John was employed as a Staff Nurse (RN) for Hospice of Avery County for over 25 years. He also served as Parish Nurse in Avery County for Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church, and conducted end of life planning workshops for Avery Partnership with People at the End of Life. He has served as a volunteer for Hospice of Avery County, and as a member of the Banner Elk Board of Adjustment. He was also an instructor for American Red Cross in Water Safety, Lifeguarding, and First Aid/CPR.

He attended Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday school and sang in the choir, and attended High Country United Church of Christ in Boone. He was also a member of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina as an ordained minister.

Besides teaching and nursing, he loved the outdoors, beekeeping, gardening, hiking, camping, music, all living things, and especially his family, friends, and his God.

John is survived by his wife, Charlotte M. Wilson of the home; two daughters, Stephanie W. Jones and husband Robert of Banner Elk, and Rachel W. Johnson and husband Brad of Elk Park; one son, Matthew J. Wilson and wife Nadja of Duvall, Washington; one sister, Mary Butler of Memphis, Tennessee; sister-in-law, Nancy Wildermann and Bob Reeves; three grandsons, Taylor and Daniel Jones, both of Banner Elk, and Aidan Wilson of Duvall; and one granddaughter, Avril Wilson of Duvall; and his cats, Willie, Solly, and Bella. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

Memorial services for Dr. John C. Wilson will be conducted Saturday afternoon, September 13, 2014, at 2 p.m., at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church.

The family will receive friends following the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church Help Fund, P.O. Box 235, Banner Elk, North Carolina, 28604; Yellow Mountain Enterprises, 255 Estatoa Street, Newland, North Carolina, 28657; RAM, PO Box 234, Newland, North Carolina, 28657; or Avery Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1016, Newland, North Carolina, 28657.

Online condolences may be sent to the Wilson family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Ms. Pearlee Potter (Feb. 26, 1938 – Sept. 7, 2014) 


Pearlee Potter, 76, of Meat Camp Road, Todd, passed away Sunday morning, Sept. 7, 2014, at her home. Born Feb. 26, 1938 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Ted Roosevelt and Ann Mains Potter. Pearlee was a member of the Full Gospel Fellowship Church at Rock Creek. After working for many years at Hanes Manufacturing in West Jefferson and Blue Ridge Shoe Company in Boone, she loved spending her days growing and canning her annual vegetable gardens and tending to her many flower gardens.

Miss Potter is survived by two sisters, Emmer Potter and Nell Proffitt, both of Todd; and one brother, Coolidge Potter of Meadowview, Va. A number of nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three sisters, Alverdie Reece, Lydia Belle Moretz, and Bonnie Lou Potter; and four brothers, Hoover, Boyd, Ted and Ervin Potter.

Pearlee will be missed by many family members, friends and neighbors.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel, officiated by Rev. Kenneth Phipps. The family will receive friends Thursday from 12:30 to 2 p.m., prior to services, at Austin & Barnes. Burial will follow in the Potter-Main Cemetery.

Flowers will be appreciated. Friends may call at the home of her sister, Emmer Potter, 7472 Meat Camp Road in Todd.

Online condolences may be shared with the Potter family at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Potter family.

Mrs. JoAnne H. Garrison (June 25, 1937 – Sept. 6, 2014)

GarrisonJoAnn Henderson Garrison, 77, of Blowing Rock, NC, died on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

She was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 25, 1937 to the late James and Lois Henderson. JoAnn graduated from Shades Valley High School in Birmingham and attended Auburn University. She was married to William (Bill) Garrison for 39 years. They lived in Charlotte before permanently relocating to Blowing Rock.

JoAnn was a passionate gardener and an avid reader. She had an impeccable sense of style and fashion. She was a loving mother, wife and friend.

While living in Charlotte and raising her children, JoAnn served on multiple committees for the Charlotte Mint Museum. She graciously allowed her home to be included on the Mint Home and Garden Tour.

JoAnn’s garden in Blowing Rock is listed with the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens. Their home and garden was featured on the St Mary of the Hills Home tour.

She was an active member of the St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church and enjoyed arranging flowers for the church’s various functions.

JoAnn also enjoyed arranging flowers and playing bridge at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

JoAnn is survived by her husband, Bill; her brother James (Jimbo) Henderson (Janie); her children, Tracy Muskal (David) and Melissa Sauls (Keith); Jenny Brunnemer (Mike), Sandra Hodges, Barney Garrison (Debbie); Eleven wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family would especially like to thank the following people: Becky Thomas, Lacey Wright, and Tammy and James Grindstaff. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Medi Home Health & Hospice at 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC, 28607.

A memorial service will be held 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock, NC.

Please join the family immediately following the service for a Celebration of Life at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum located across the street from St. Mary’s of the Hills Church.

Online condolences may be shared with the Garrison family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Garrison family.

Gregory L. Miller (May 11, 1958 – Sept. 5, 2014) 


Mr. Gregory “Greg” Len Miller, 56, of Vilas, passed away Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 at his residence.

Greg was born May 11, 1958 in Watauga County, a son of Ernest Miller and Wilma Eggers Miller. He was a devoted husband and father, and a dedicated employee, for 29 years, for the Town of Boone. Greg was a member of Willowdale Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, Greg is survived by his wife, Vicki Miller of the home; one son, Eric Miller of Boone; one step-daughter, Cindy Clark, of Kingsport, Tennessee; his step-mother, Darlene Miller of Vilas; two brothers, Michael Miller of Zionville, and Geoff Miller and wife Ciss of Marietta, Georgia; two nephews, Derek Cox and wife Lindsay of Taylorsville, North Carolina, and Adam Miller and wife Kim of Boone; two nieces, Ashlee Sasser and husband Holt of Blowing Rock, and Georgette Miller of Marietta, Georgia; three aunts, Margaret Miller of Boone, Nellie Jean Beach and husband Danny of Vilas, and Luna Auton and husband Lewis of Hudson, North Carolina, and one uncle Lloyd Miller and wife Josephine of Boone.

Funeral services for Mr. Gregory “Greg” Miller will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, September 9, at 3:00 o’clock, at First Baptist Church of Boone. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1 to 3 p.m. Reverend Delmar James will officiate. Burial will follow in Meat Camp Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m., prior to the service, at First Baptist Church of Boone.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Medi-Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Miller family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Chandler H. Cates (Aug. 07, 1922 – Sept. 4, 2014)


Mr. Cates passed away on Thursday at his home in Hillsborough, NC, surrounded by his family. He was the son of the late Marshal L. Cates, Sr. and Bera Dunn Cates. He was proceeded in death by his wife of 60 years, Margaret Rountree Cates.

Mr. Cates graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1941. Mr. Cates ran an Esso station in downtown Hillsborough, and then, along with his brothers, operated Cates Oil Company. He was a member of Hillsborough United Methodist Church, Eagle Lodge No. 19, and a former member of the Board of Trustees of Central Carolina Bank. Mr. Cates was a longtime member of the Hillsboro Fire Department and was instrumental, along with others, in the formation of the Orange County Rural Fire Departments. He served with the fire department for 60 years in different capacities.

He enjoyed antique cars, his not-so-secret honey bun habit, and his family very much. With the late Marion Clark, Mr. Cates restored the Town’s first fire truck, a red 1937 Chevrolet, which often appears in local parades. Despite “retiring” from the oil business, Mr. Cates enjoyed keeping regular office hours at Cates Energy in Hillsborough.

Surviving are two daughters, Suzanne C. Reynolds (Claude) of Wilson and Faye C. Williams (David) of Boone; one son, James R. Cates (Pam) of Hillsborough; five grandchildren, Marilee R. Williford (Tim) of Wilson, NC, Christy C. Daniel (David) of Hillsborough, Wesley B. Williams (Suzanne) of Charlotte, Chandler Allen Morris Reynolds (Rachel) of Raleigh, Karen D. Williams of Washington, D.C.; eight great-grandchildren, Claire and Ian Dixon of Wilson, Blake and Chandley Daniel of Hillsborough, Samantha and Devon Williams of Charlotte, Ava Grace and Bennett Reynolds; three step great-grandchildren Jackson Williford, Zaddock Williford, and Thorne Williford; two sister-in-laws Virginia Cates of Hillsborough and Betty Rountree of Raleigh; aunt Pauline Clayton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was also proceeded in death by his brothers Marshal L. Cates, Jr., G. Madison Cates, Marvin W. Cates and C. Truett Cates.

The family appreciates the assistance of his many caregivers, especially C. W. Boyette, June Cole, Terri Griffith, LeeVonda Locklear, Glenda Collins, Orange Rural Fire Department and Hospice of Alamance-Caswell.

A celebration of life will be held at Hillsborough United Methodist Church on Monday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. Visitation will be on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Walker’s Funeral Home in Hillsborough. Visitors are also welcome to his home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to (1) Hillsborough Firefighters Association, PO Box 1511, Hillsborough 27278; (2) HUMC Scholarship Fund, Hillsborough United Methodist Church, 130 W. Tryon, Hillsborough, NC 27278; or (3) Hospice of Alamance-Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Joyce Watts Ham (May 28, 1917 – Sept 2, 2014)

Muriel Joyce Watts Ham, 97, of 160 Little Laurel Road Extension, Boone, passed away, Tuesday evening, Sept. 2, 2014 at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation.

Mrs. Ham was born May 28, 1917 in Lydney Gloucester, United Kingdom and moved to the United States in 1981, making her home in Mountain City, Tennessee and later Boone, North Carolina. She was a retired public school teacher.

Mrs. Ham is survived by one daughter, Celia Whitlock and husband John of Boone, one son, Anthony Ham of London, England, one granddaughter, Anna Whitlock of Boston, Massachusetts, two grandsons, Matthew Whitlock and Manali Patel of Winston Salem, North Carolina, and Tom Whitlock and Sandy of Asheville, North Carolina, and two great-grandchildren.

There will be no services conducted for Mrs. Ham.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Care Clinic, 141 Healthcare Drive, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Ham family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Dr. Harold Nichols Frazier (Died Sept. 2, 2014) 


Dr. Harold Nichols Frazier Jr., 57, of 331 Blairmont Drive, Boone, NC died Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Born in Vance County, he was the son of Harold Nichols Frazier Sr. and Jane Renn Frazier of Henderson.

Dr. Frazier was the senior partner of Watauga Surgical Group in Boone, NC and specialized in general and vascular surgery. He was a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:00 p.m., at First Baptist Church, conducted by Dr. Ronald Cava. Burial will follow in New Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Monday, September 8, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

Surviving, in addition to his parents, are his wife, Martha Garrett Frazier; his daughter, Virginia Frazier Gest and husband Seth, of Charlotte, NC; his son, Dr. Harold N. Frazier III of Chapel Hill, NC; two sisters, Melody F. Doster and husband Dan of Raleigh, NC and Elisa Renn Frazier Freeze and husband Woodrow of Bullock, NC; two nieces, Rebecca Freeze of Bullock, NC and Lizzie Doster of Charlotte, NC; and three nephews, Will Freeze of Bullock, NC, Bill Doster of Wilson, NC, and Jim Doster of Raleigh, NC.

The family will receive friends Friday, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at Flowers Funeral Home. All other times, they will be at the home of his parents, 143 Cedarwood Drive, Henderson.

Serving as active pallbearers will be Harold Frazier III, George Hoyle, Wilson Hoyle III, Jim Doster, Bill Doster, Will Freeze, Jeff Renn, and Al Renn.

Flowers will be accepted; or memorials may be made to World Medical Missions, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Frazier family at flowersfuneralhome@ncol.net or to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Flowers Funeral Home, in Henderson, NC, is in charge of the arrangements.

Announcement courtesy of Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service.

Brian Conlan (Died Aug. 31, 2014) 


Brian Conlan, 46, of the Mill Ridge Community, Banner Elk, passed away unexpectedly of unknown causes, Sunday, Aug.31, 2014, at his home.

Brian graduated from San Jose Episcopal Day School in Jacksonville, Fla. He then attended the Bolles School in Jacksonville. After relocating to Daytona Beach, Fla., Brian graduated from Sea Breeze High School. Brian attended Appalachian State University. He was an active certified appraiser for Conlan Appraisal Company in the High Country and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. His true loves were riding his motorcycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway and attending air shows around the country. Brian was a patriot who strongly supported our troops. He was an avid baseball player throughout his elementary and high school years and as a sports fan, supported both Appalachian State University and the University of Florida. Brian was devoted to his departed pet timber wolf Sacha.

Brian is survived by his mother and father, Sherry A. Conlan and F. Lowell Conlan, Jr., and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Funeral services for Brian Conlan will be conducted Monday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., at Grace Lutheran Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1 to 2 p.m. Officiating will be Pastor Derek Boggs and Vicar Zach Baer.

The family will receive friends, following the funeral service, in the Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donors choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the Conlan family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.