Avery County Obituaries – Compiled Dec. 16, 2014

Published Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Kernell ‘Doc’ Johnson (July 13, 1934 – Dec. 13, 2014) 

Kernell “Doc” Johnson, 80, of the Spear community in Newland, passed away Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, at his home on Henson Creek.

Kernell was born July 13, 1934, in Avery County. He was the son of the late Hardy and Tish McKinney Johnson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Perkins Johnson, and all nine of his siblings.

Kernell retired from Sloop Memorial Hospital to enjoy his family and his favorite hobby, woodworking. Kernell loved to make grandfather clocks, porch furniture and birdhouses, along with many other things. He also took pride in his flower gardens. Kernell was a gentle man and was always offering words of advice.

Kernell is survived by his two sons, Gary Johnson and his wife Annette of Henson Creek, and Larry “Chip” Johnson and Martha Piercy of Marion. Kernell had three grandsons, Cameron, Josh and Cody; a granddaughter, Logan “Shaney” Johnson; two great-grandchildren, Austin and Elijah Johnson; and a special friend, Diane Honeycutt, who works with the Avery County Senior Citizens Center. Diane was Doc’s “Angel on Earth.”

Graveside services were conducted Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, at 1 p.m., at Yellow Mountain Cemetery. The family received friends at 6 p.m. on the evening of Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, at Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine.

Words of comfort may be emailed to the family by clicking to www.webbfh.com, selecting Kernell “Doc” Johnson’s name, and then you may sign his guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine is assisting the Johnson family.

Jack Forbes (D. Dec. 14, 2014) 

Forbes

Forbes

Jack Forbes, 87, of Avery County, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at his home. He was a son of the late Willey and Texie Woody Forbes. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Forbes; daughter, Cynthia Dawn Forbes; brother, Caroll Forbes; sisters: Mildred Buchanan and Lottie Davis and sons-in-law: William Vance and Levi Powell. Jack was a lifetime member and deacon of Fairview Baptist Church. He was a simple man that always done for others and worked at Harris Mining for years.

Surviving is his daughters: Lila “Penny” Vance of Morganton, Nancy Powell of Morganton, Susan Thomas and husband, Donnie, of Spruce Pine and Janie McClellan and husband, Lonnie, of Spruce Pine; sons: Danny Forbes and wife, Becky, of Marion, the Rev. Billy Forbes and wife, Alice, of Morganton, Phillip Forbes and wife, Marietta, of Micaville and the Rev. Kenneth Forbes and wife, Sue, of Burnsville; sisters: Kathleen Buchanan of Spruce Pine, Irene Fisher of Spruce Pine, Jennie Cook of Marion, Anna Lee Ledford of Jonesborough, Tenn., and Lucy Lanning and husband, Robert, of Marion; 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and four great, great-grandchildren. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, at Fairview Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. Officiating was the Rev. Matt Wilson, the Rev. Billy Forbes and the Rev. Kenneth Forbes. Burial followed in Fairview Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Mark Forbes, Jimmy Vance, Nathan Powell, Robbie Stamey, Jonathan McClellan and Jody Thomas. The family received friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the services at the church.

Memorials may be made to Fairview Baptist Church at 554 Fairview Church Road, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

To send online condolences, click to www.yanceyfuneralservice.com.

Dot Barber (June 6, 1954 – Dec. 10, 2014)

Barber

Barber

Dot Barber, 60, of Linville passed away on Dec. 10, 2014.

She was born June 6, 1954, a daughter of the late Arthur Goetz and Dorothy Olsen Goetz currently of Asheville.

Dot was an Alum of the “Horn In The West” where she acted and helped with costumes and props. She also helped with the costumes for the ASU Theatre Department and was a volunteer for Appalachian Summer Theatre.

She enjoyed gardening and hiking.

Along with her mother, Dot has left to cherish her memory her: husband, Mark Barber of the home; sons, Drew Barber of Boone, Sean Barber of Linville; sisters, Diana Osborne of Garner, Arlene Pace of Marion, Anita Goetz of Asheville, Jennifer Albero of Delmar, Del., Jean Nelson of Salisbury.

A celebration of the life of Dot Barber will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. prior to the services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Avery County Humane Society at 279 New Vale Rd. Newland, NC 28657 (www.averyhumane.org), Watauga Humane Society at PO Box 1835 Boone, NC 28607 (www.wataugahumanesociety.org) or to the Southern Appalachian Historical Association at PO Box 295 Boone, NC 28607.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Barber family.

Loy Bare (March 24, 1924 – Dec. 8, 2014)

Bare

Bare

Loy Evelyn Bare, 90, of Elk Park passed away on Dec. 8, 2014 at her residence.

She was born March 24, 1924 in Butler, Tenn., a daughter of the late John Lonzo and Hazel Joyce Harmon Eller.

Loy worked in food service for many years at Mountain Glen Snack Bar, Tweetsie Diner and the Time Square Diner.

Along with her parents, Loy was preceded in death by her: son, Clyde Bare; daughter, Christine Jones; siblings, Okie Phillips, Dennis Eller, May Eller, and Jim Cordell.

Loy has left to cherish her memory her: daughters, Frances Bostain and husband Bob of Cherokee, Judy Arrowood of Newland, Sandie Ollis of Morganton, Gail Harmon and husband Chester of Valle Crucis, Diane Harmon and husband Dennis of Newland, Libby Cook and husband Mike of Drexel; sons, Ray Bare and wife Willa of Newland, Jeff Bare and wife Judy of Montezuma; sister, Janice Stafford of Hampton, Tenn.; 24 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren; 22 great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services for Loy Evelyn Bare will be conducted on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2:00 p.m. in the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. The will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will follow in the Elk Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657. Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.
Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Bare family.

Shirley Harmon Franklin (D. Dec. 11, 2014)

Shirley Ann Harmon Franklin, 68, of Elizabethton, Tenn., went home to be with her Lord on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, at her residence. She was an Avery County native and had lived in Carter County for several years. She was a homemaker. Shirley was preceded in death by her father, John W. Harmon. She was a member of Newland Church of Jesus Christ, in Newland, but had attended Valley Forge Christian Church for several years.

Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Thomas E. Franklin; one daughter, Teresa Ann Lawson and husband Jerry, Elizabethton, Tenn.; one son, Timothy E. Franklin, Blountville, Tenn.; one grandson, Nathanyal Lawson, Elizabethton, Tenn.; her mother, Florence Odom Harmon, Newland; one sister, Pricilla Letterman and husband Dwayne, Elizabethton, Tenn.; two brothers, Dale Harmon and wife Sherry, Elizabethton, Tenn., and Bobby Harmon, Newland; and two very special friends that Shirley adopted, Miranda Bishop and Debra Briggs.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Memorial Funeral Chapel with Mr. David Siebenaler, minister, Pastor Ed Davis and Pastor David Adkins. Interment followed in Happy Valley Memorial Park. Mr. Joel Crisp provided music. Pallbearers were selected from family and friends. The family would like to express a special “thank you” to all the people that took the time to bring food and visit during her illness, especially the Valley Forge Christian Church family and to Amedlsys Hospice for the wonderful care Shirley received. The family received friends from noon until the service hour on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Friends also visited with the family at the residence. Condolences may be sent to the family by clicking to www.memorialfcelizabethton.com.

Rick Ramsey (Sept. 28, 1957 – Dec. 10, 2014)

Richard “Rick” Ramsey, 57, of Banner Creek Road, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2014, following an extended illness.

Rick was born Sept. 28, 1957, in Avery County, a son of Sidney Fred Ramsey and Mildred Townsend Ramsey. Prior to his illness, he was a truck driver. He was a member of the Seventh Day Adventists Church of Banner Elk.

Rick is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jeannine McGee Ramsey of the home; one son, Lucas Ramsey and wife Miranda of Zionville; one daughter, Amanda Ramsey of Banner Elk; one brother, Steve Ramsey and wife Jane of Banner Elk; three sisters, Sue Willis and husband O’Dell of Hampton, Tenn., Glinda Yates of Banner Elk and Brenda Ollis and husband Bo of Elk Park; his parents, Sidney Fred and Mildred Ramsey of Banner Elk; one granddaughter, Jaden Ramsey and one grandson, Caleb Ramsey, both of Zionville. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews and countless other friends and family.

He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Eve Esther Ramsey and a brother-in-law, Steve Yates.

Funeral services for Richard “Rick” Ramsey were conducted Saturday afternoon, Dec. 13, 2014, at 2 p.m., at Banner Elk Seventh Day Adventist Church. The body lay in state, at the church, from 1 to 2 p.m. Officiating was the Rev. Edwin McKinney. Burial followed in the Townsend Family Cemetery in Banner Elk.

The family received friends Saturday afternoon, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ramsey family, in care of Susan Norris, 145 Hopewell Church Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Ramsey family by clicking to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Katherine ‘Mrs. K’ Wilkins (D. Dec. 8, 2014)

On Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, Plumtree native Mrs. Katherine (Burleson) Wilkins resumed dancing.

Affectionately and respectfully known across Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties as “Miss K” and “Coach K,” she touched the lives of many in these mountain communities during her 94 years.

Miss K will be greatly missed, but certainly not forgotten, by her family, friends, former cloggers, students, basketball players, Rook partners, choir members, Mountain Blenders, opposing coaches, shoe and jewelry shopkeepers and so many others who were fortunate to have had the privilege to know her.

A remembrance service is planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, at Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church on Three Mile Road with the Rev. Kurt Bomar officiating. The family will welcome friends at 10 a.m.

Family and friends are also planning a community gathering celebrating Miss K’s extraordinary life this spring at her cabin by the river in Plumtree. All are welcome to attend and participate.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Bill Wilkins Scholarship Fund (Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church), Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with arrangements.

Words of comfort may be shared by clicking to www.westmorelandfuneralhome.com.

Hardy

Hardy

Wanda Shook Hardy (Dec. 8, 1953 – Dec. 10, 2014)

Wanda Shook Hardy, 61, of 10221 Highway 105 South, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday morning, Dec. 10, 2104, at Watauga Medical Center.

Wanda was born Dec. 8, 1953, in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Randall Russell Shook and Geneva Fox Shook. She was a homemaker and was of the Baptist Faith.

Wanda is survived by her husband, Michael Hardy of the home; two sons, Daniel Shook of Johnson City, Tennessee and Vergil Lee Hardy of Banner Elk; one daughter, Mitzi Hardy of Boone; one granddaughter, Michaela Brooke Church of Boone; three sisters, Freda Greene and husband Jim of Blowing Rock, Retha Ann Adams of Lenoir, and Anna Lou Shook of Banner Elk. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Randall Russell Shook and Geneva Fox Shook; one sister, Martha Jane Yates; and three brothers, Iris, Raymond, and Bob Shook.

Funeral services for Wanda Shook Hardy were conducted Saturday morning, Dec. 13, 2014, at 11 a.m., at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body lay in state, at the chapel, from 10 to 11 a.m. Officiating was the Rev. Arvill Hardy. Burial followed in Watauga Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family received friends Friday evening, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Hampton Funeral Service.

Online condolences may be sent to the Hardy family by clicking to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Conard Ward (May 31, 1933 – Dec. 8, 2014) 

Ward

Ward

Conard R. Ward, 81, of Flat Springs Road, Elk Park, passed away Monday morning, Dec. 8, 2014, at his home.

Mr. Ward was born May 31, 1933, in Watauga County, a son of the late Charlie Lee Ward and Kizzy Presnell Ward. He was a retired carpenter and a deacon and member of Faith Baptist Mission.

Mr. Ward is survived by his wife, Berlyn Turbyfill Ward of the home; three daughters, Leta Trivette and husband Sammy, Patsy Potter and husband Randy, and April Ward and husband Shawn, all of Elk Park; five sons, Donley Ward of Elk Park, Arville Ward of Mountain City, Tenn., Randell Ward and wife Libby, and Larry Ward and wife Donna, all of Boone, and Jamie Ward and wife Heather of Deep Gap; two sisters, Berlie Ward of Elk Park, and Rosie Hicks and husband Julius of Banner Elk, and three brothers, Aris Ward and wife Grace of Elizabethton, Tenn., Lonnie Ward of Sugar Grove, and Earl Ward and wife Pansy of Hudson. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his one brother, Arnold Ward.

Funeral services for Conard R. Ward were conducted Thursday afternoon, Dec. 11, 2014, at 2 p.m., at Faith Baptist Mission. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 12:30 until 2 p.m. Officiating was the Rev. Richard Trivette, Pastor Daniel Lawrence and the Rev. Jerry McCurry. Graveside services and burial followed in Mount Gilead Cemetery, officiated by Preacher David Ward and Preacher Doug Rasnick.

The family received friends Thursday afternoon, from 12:30 until 2 p.m., at the church, prior to the service. At other times, friends may call at the residence, 5199 Flat Springs Road, Elk Park.

Online condolences may be sent to the Ward family by clicking to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Ruth Holden (April 12, 1924 – Dec. 2, 2014)

Holden

Holden

Ruth Carolina Braswell Holden “Jim” went home to be with the Lord on Dec. 2, 2014, at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

She was born April 12, 1924, to the late Bert and Mae Braswell. She was a very kind and gentle soul and had a loving and generous heart. A homemaker and personal chef by trade, she loved nothing more than talking to people about God. She loved her family and all the times that were spent together around the many wonderful meals she prepared. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ in Newland.

She was preceded in death by Paul Holden, her husband of 71 years; two brothers; seven sisters; and a grandson. Ruth leaves behind to cherish her memory: sons, Gary Holden, Wayne and Molly Holden, Ralph Holden, all of Newland; grandchildren, Jeremy and Melissa Holden of Morganton, Gretchen and Danny Blackburn of Newland, Carolina and Taylor Hartman of Nags Head, Teresa and Allen Storie of Pineola, Brandy Holden of Newland; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Ruth Holden took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, at The Church of Jesus Christ with the pastor Dave Adkins officiating. Interment followed in The Church of Jesus Christ Church Cemetery.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed by clicking to www.rsfh.net.

Martha Jane Hensley (D. Dec. 4, 2014)

Hensley

Hensley

Ms. Martha Jane Hensley, 73, of Johnson City, Tenn., passed away Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at Johnson City Medical Center.

Ms. Hensley was a native of Avery County. She was the daughter of the late John Larry and Martha Bare Keener.

She was a member of Greenwood Baptist Church and a homemaker.

In addition to her parents her first husband, Elmer Laws Sr.; two brothers, Madison Keener and John Keener; one grandson, Matthew McWilliams also preceded her in death.

Survivors include: five daughters, Sandy Laws Abrams and her husband Arthur, Cindy Laws McWilliams, Sherry Laws Carden and her husband Robin, Terri Laws Calvert and her husband JC and Wendy Laws; two sons, Elmer Laws and Robert Hensley Jr. and his wife Debbie; one sister, Anne Mae Lowe and her husband, Fred; 26 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; second husband and loving friend, Robert Hensley Sr.; several nieces and nephews.

The family of Ms. Martha Jane Hensley received friends from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, in Greenwood Baptist Church. The Celebration of Life Service followed with the Rev. Harold McNabb officiating.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the Hensley family by clicking to www.morrisbaker.com. Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, is serving the Hensley family.

Kaleb James Hollifield (D. Dec. 4, 2014)

Hollifield

Hollifield

Kaleb James Hollifield, 35, of Newland, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at his home. A native of Avery County, he was a son of Gene and Susie Hollifield of Newland. Kaleb co-founded and operated K & C Tree Service since 1997. He loved working with lumber and was a saw miller at heart. He also loved playing the electric bass guitar, was an avid gun collector and his passions were deer hunting but mostly his family. He was preceded in death by his grandparents: James and Lola Calloway; grandmother, Thelma Hollifield and uncle, Randall “Polecat” Calloway.

Surviving in addition to his parents is his wife of 17 years, April Hollifield; daughter, Abigail Hollifield; grandfather, James Hollifield of Newland; brother, Casey Hollifield and wife, Anna, of Crossnore; god-children: Zoey and Maddi Brewer; best friend, Jr. Calloway of Newland. Several other uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends also survive.

Funeral Services were held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, at First Baptist Crossnore. The Rev. Lander Heafner officiated. Burial followed in the Big Meadows Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bradley Brewer, Jimmy Sullivan, Gabriel Wise, Ben Harmon, Dylan Gresamer and Warren Horney.

Memorial donations may be made to Casey Hollifield at 323 Arlan Franklin Road, Newland, NC 28657. Yancey Funeral Services is serving the Hollifield family. To send online condolences, click towww.yanceyfuneralservice.com.

Robin Elaine Townsend (Oct. 21, 1955 – Dec. 2, 2014)

Townsend

Townsend

Robin Elaine McGuire Townsend, 59, of Bairds Creek Road, Valle Crucis, passed away Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 2, 2014, at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Lenoir.

Robin was born Oct. 21, 1955, in Kingsport, Tenn., a daughter of the late Howard Bingham McGuire and Margaret Ann Popewell McGuire. Prior to her illness, she had been employed as a Nursing Assistant in Home Health Care.

Robin is survived by her husband, Fred Townsend Jr. of the home; two sons, Chauncey Townsend and wife Lorrie of Banner Elk and Christopher Townsend and wife Abigail of Newland; two grandsons, Finnegan Townsend and Rowan Townsend, both of Newland; two sisters, Barbara Campbell, and Peggy McKinney and husband Ray, all of Banner Elk; and one brother, Richard McGuire, also of Banner Elk. She is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her father and mother, she was preceded in death by one grandson, Gabriel Townsend; and two brothers, Gary and Floyd McGuire.

The family received friends Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, beginning at 2 p.m. at the residence of her brother, Richard McGuire, 190 McGuire Mountain Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604.

Online condolences may be sent to the Townsend family by clicking to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Sandy Rominger Cooper (D. Dec. 2, 2014)

Cooper

Cooper

Mrs. Sandra “Sandy” Rominger Cooper, 75, of Banner Elk, and formerly of Winston Salem, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. She was a member of Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church where she was very active in the choir and mission work. Sandy was a 1957 graduate of Cranberry High and a member of the Championship Square Dancing Team.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Grady and Delia Smith Rominger, and a granddaughter, Abigail Cooper.

She is survived by her husband, Francis Edwin “Ed” Cooper, one son, Michael Cooper and wife Beth of Chesapeake, Va., one daughter, Lisa Cockman and husband Jim of Winston Salem, three brothers, Randy Rominger and wife Barbara of Ohio, Sherrill Rominger and wife Nancy of Banner Elk, and Dana Rominger and wife Sally of Banner Elk. Four grandchildren also survive.

Graveside services for Mrs. Sandra “Sandy” Rominger Cooper were conducted Thursday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. in the Matney-Liberty Community Cemetery with the Rev. Tee Gatewood officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the Matney-Liberty Community Cemetery, c/o Vanessa Ruppard, 1078 Upper Crab Orchard Road, Banner Elk, N.C. 28604. Online condolences may be shared with the Cooper family by clicking to www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Cooper family.

Mary Price Principe (July 31, 1921-Nov. 28, 2014)

Mary Hugh Price Principe, 93, died Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Banner Elk, surrounded by her family. Born in Lineville, Ala., July 31, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Shadrick Levoid and Nannie Mae Linderman Price and the sister of the late Deward D. Price. She was predeceased by her husband, CWO4 Louis F. Principe. They were married Sept. 25,1943, and she was his lifelong companion during his 22 years of United States Air Force service during WWII, the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War as well as his 20 years of service with Sumter Area Technical College and until his death. They were residents of Sumter, S.C. for more than 33 years and of Columbia and Greenville in retirement. Mrs. Principe worked for Pi Kappa Phi National Fraternity when it was headquartered in Sumter. She volunteered tirelessly at various organizations in all the communities in which they lived.

She is survived by her daughters, Donna Principe Dicks and husband Bill Dicks of Banner Elk, and Nan Principe Crockett and husband Dennis Crockett of Keymar, Md.; Grandchildren Jennifer Marie Dicks Cantrell and husband Doug of Lebanon, Tenn.; CWO3 David William Dicks and wife, Tiffany, of Montgomery, Texas; 2d Lt. Kathleen Principe Crockett of Keymar, Md.; great-grandchildren, Madelyn Rose and Jaxon William Cantrell of Lebanon, Tenn.

Memorials may be made to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Road, Lineville, AL 36266; The Literacy Council of Sumter at 220 Hasel St., Sumter, SC 29150; or the Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross where she served as a Bloodmobile volunteer for two decades.

A graveside service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Sumter, S.C. in spring 2015.

Geraldine Smith McGee (Dec. 19, 1926 – Nov. 14, 2014)

McGee

McGee

Geraldine Smith McGee, aka Jeri, 87, of Elk Park, passed away on Nov. 14, 2014, at the Life Care Center in Banner Elk.

A native of Avery County, she was born Dec. 19, 1926, the eldest child of the late E.L. and Mamie Richardson Smith.

A graduate of Appalachian State Teachers College in Boone, she was a great mentor and loving teacher for 35 years, retiring from the Avery County Schools. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a national teachers organization. Jeri was a very active member of the Elk Park Christian Church. She loved flowers, reading, cooking and absolutely adored antiquing.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Harry McGee in 2009 and a sister, Marilyn McKinney.

A loving matriarch of her family, she leaves behind to cherish her memory, a daughter, Debbie Banner, and her husband Joe, of Newland; grandson, Joseph Banner Jr., and his wife Christina, of Newland; great granddaughter, Sophie Banner; sisters: Rita Bowers of Powell, Tenn., Barbara Buchanan, and her husband Bruce, of Burlington, Betty Lawing, and her husband Perry, of Marion; brother in law, D.L. McKinney, husband of her deceased sister Marilyn, of Minneapolis; brother Jim Smith, and his wife Betty, of Salisbury; a host of nieces and nephews, whom she adored. Linda Ferguson was dear to Jeri’s heart as Linda cared for her and Harry for the past several years.

Funeral services for Jeri were conducted on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, at Elk Park Christian Church with the Rev. Palma Bennett officiating. Interment followed in the Minneapolis Cemetery with the Rev. Harry Bowers officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Elk Park Christian Church, 220 Old Mill Rd, Elk Park, NC 28622

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed by clicking to www.rsfh.net.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the McGee family.

Barbara Styles (May 30, 1939 – Nov. 10, 2014)

Styles

Styles

Barbara Brewer Styles, 75, of Newland, passed away on Nov. 10, 2014, at Cannon Memorial Hospital surrounded by her family.

She was born May 30, 1939, a daughter of the late Kenneth James and Etta Clarisse Moody Brewer.

Barbara was a member of Calvary Baptist Church and enjoyed being with her grandchildren, crocheting and collecting thimbles.

Along with her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by her: husband, Eddie Styles; sisters, Juanita Cuthbertson, Priscilla Waycaster; brothers, Ed Brewer, Robert Brewer, Richard Brewer, Jim Brewer.

Barbara has left to cherish her memory her: daughters, Darlene Carpenter and husband Robbie of Newland, Tammy Banner and husband Charlie of Newland; son, Mike Puett and wife Sherry of Jonas Ridge; brothers, Kenneth Brewer and wife Dorothy of Shelby, Roy Brewer and wife Brenda of Newland: grandchildren, Chantae Calhoun Hoilman, TC Calhoun, Amanda Puett Arnett, Charlie Banner, Matthew Gwyn, Samantha Puett Goforth, Brooke Carpenter Wise, Casey Banner, Cody Carpenter, Logan Carpenter, Christian Banner; 10 great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Barbara Brewer Styles were conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Clay Waycaster officiating.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed by clicking to www.rsfh.net.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Styles family.

Helen Luce (D. Nov. 6, 2014) 

Luce

Luce

Helen M. Luce, 90, a longtime resident of Crossnore and former resident of Lakeland, Fla., passed away Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, in Johns Creek, Ga., while she was in hospice care and surrounded by her family.

Born May 14, 1924, in Fargo, N.D., she was predeceased by her parents, Fern B. Monson and Irene Eide Monson; her loving stepmother, Mildred A. Monson; and her siblings, Marjorie M. Gorski and Charles B. Monson.

Raised in the Northeast and in Lake Alfred, Fla., she attended Florida Southern College and was a graduate of Berea College in Kentucky. She was married for 59 years to her high school sweetheart, the late Rev. Francis L. Luce, and they raised three children in Lakeland, Fla., where he served as chaplain and then in the office of academic affairs at FSC.

She enjoyed years of involvement with faculty activities and college students, hosting hundreds over the years in their home for “a family meal.” During this time, she was also employed by a medical publication. An active member of College Heights United Methodist Church, she sang in the choir and taught SS classes. For years she was a Camp Fire Girls leader for her daughters and their friends. She and Francis also served as volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, literacy programs, a free medical clinic and Crop Walk for Hunger.

Upon retirement, they were able to begin spending half of each year in Crossnore, where they were members of the Crossnore Presbyterian Church and choir, served Meals on Wheels and helped create the Avery County Museum. Helen enjoyed working with Crossnore Community Enhancement, literacy programs and volunteering at the RAM’s Rack, and with the annual Crop Walk.

Always inquisitive and never idle, Helen was an avid reader and an excellent seamstress, artist and crafter. She loved weaving, hand carving and woodworking, skills she learned while a Berea student. For many years, she tended vegetable gardens in Crossnore and Lakeland and loved hiking to pick blueberries.

She and Francis had a love for people and exploring new places. They were blessed to be able to keep up with many friends and relatives in years past, as they toured the U.S. in their “micro-mini” camper and were able to travel to more than 10 countries. She treasured her many friendships and still kept in contact with her college friends (class of ’45) with a “Round Robin” letter.

Helen spent her final years with her daughter, Nancy, in Johns Creek, Ga., where she was active in the First Baptist Church of Roswell, their choir and Women on Missions.

She is survived by her children, Nancy Cabaniss, John (Karen Becker) Luce of Melbourne, Fla., and Martha Gravenor of Delmar, Del.; granddaughters, Tannis (Chad) Bawcum and Chance (BJ) Bracewell; great-grandchildren, Carter, Landon and Benjamin Bawcum and Lola and Hendrix Bracewell; brother-in-law, Dr. Mendal Luce; and many very special nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service was held Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, at First Baptist Church in Roswell, Ga. Interment of ashes will be held at a later date in Lake Alfred, Fla., and Crossnore.

In her memory, donations may be made to mission ministries of Crossnore Presbyterian Church, Crop Walk or Crossnore School.

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