: OBITUARIES :
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EZEKIEL EVAN RAY WARREN

Ezekiel Evan Ray Warren, infant son of Joshua and Dawn Warren of Burnsville went to be with God, Monday, September 3, 2012 at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.

 

Surviving in addition to his parents, are a sister:  Morgan Warren of the home; maternal grandparents:  Robert and Ellen Renfro of Crabtree, paternal grandparents:  Charles and Carol Warren of Burnsville; great grandfather:  Cephus Renfro of Spruce Pine and great grandparents:  Charlie and Faith Warren of Spruce Pine, and Ronald and Rachel Fox  and Wesley and Betty Silvers all of Burnsville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 PM Wednesday in Windom Baptist Church.  Revs. Randall Robinson and Cephus Renfro will officiate.  Burial will be in the John Fox Family Cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church, and at other times, will be at the home of Charles and Carol Warren.

ELBA DeJESUS

Elba Claudio DeJesus, 88, of Plantation, Florida, is celebrated now at home with the Lord as of Sept. 2, 2012, just 3 weeks short of her 89th birthday.  Elba was the third daughter and the last surviving child of the 11 children of Venancio and Christina Claudio of Aguadilla, PR.  Elba and her family traveled to New York in 1929 by steamship and where they opened and operated a restaurant in Manhattan.  At 18, Elba met Hector DeJesus, an owner of several drug stores in New York City, and married him just before he entered WWII in the Army Air Force.  Elba worked in a factory riveting GI flashlights and polishing periscope lenses in the war effort.  She had two children before the family moved to Miami, Florida in 1953.  Elba’s brothers all served in the military and 5 of them served in WWII.  All survived the war, but her mother did not.  So the 10 living siblings scattered after the war to Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami, Atlanta, and upstate New York. 

 

In Florida, Elba translated legal documents, and worked for the city of Miami for a total of 35 years in several positions, including: the budget department, the General Services Administration, and as an assistant to the county managers.  After retiring a few weeks, she went back to work for the City of South Miami.  Then after retirement, a few months later, she returned to work as an assistant to the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court, and after another month of retirement, she went back to work as a court liaison in Broward County.  So at 80 she quit retirement again and worked for an insurance agency for a few years while helping with her great grandchildren and family reunions. She worked for almost 70 years. 

 

Among Elba’s life’s highlights were: representing Miami Dade County at the state capital, serving as a coordinator for the county during hurricane Andrew, helping the first blind African/American pass the State Bar, and traveling all over the country in competition as a ballroom dancer. 

 

After turning 88, finally retired and beginning to have health issues, Elba moved to Burnsville to live with her son, Rev. Richard DeJesus and his wife, Sharolyn Hunt DeJesus.  Elba’s daughter Christina Joyce Taylor and her husband Harry Andrew Taylor live in Georgia.  Elba is also survived by Christina’s children: Joyce and her husband Justin Chadwick, and their three sons: Andrew, Burke and Christopher; and Christina’s daughter Tracie, and her husband Robert Ferguson and their children Robby, Ally, and Taylor.  Elba is also survived by Richard’s children: Chandra and her husband Andrew and their two children: Sophie and Andrew; Richard DeJesus Jr., and his wife Kim, and their children: Richard III, Elise, Milla, and Solomon; and Shannon and her husband John Podlewski and their 3 children: Aubrie, Avarie, and Aislyn.  Elba lived and enjoyed the love of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and hundreds of cousins scattered all over the country.  She now lives and enjoys the love God in heaven because of her savior, Jesus.

The funeral service will be held at 3 PM on Saturday, September 8th at her church, the Mt. Celo Presbyterian Church, 5277 State Highway 80 South, with Rev. Richard DeJesus officiating.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Condolences and flowers may be sent to the church or memorial donations may be given to the Gideons International, PO Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.   

GRADY EDWARDS

Grady Edwards, 89, of Green Mountain Drive, went home to be with the Lord Friday, August 24, 2012.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Gus and Flora Peterson Edwards.  He was also preceded in death by a son:  Tommy Lee Edwards; 2 sisters:  Zelia Edwards and Lena McCurry; and, 3 brothers:  Latt, Carson and Homer Edwards.  Grady was a World War II Navy Veteran, having served aboard the USS Bush, and a retired employee of Glen Raven Mills.

 

Surviving are his wife of 63 years:  Kathryn Bennett Edwards; a sister:  Odett Penland and a brother-in-law:  Howard Bennett both of Burnsville; Several nieces, nephews and, a special family member:  Mona Bennett also survive.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Sunday in Green Mountain Free Will Baptist Church, of which he attended.  Revs. Steve Penland and Harold Bennett, Jr. will officiate.  Burial will be in the McCracken Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 until 7:30 PM Saturday at the church.

MARY ATLAS EDWARDS

Mary Atlas Edwards, 85, of Burnsville, passed away peacefully Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at Brookside Rehabilitation & Care.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Walter and Pansy Robinson Edwards of the Mine Fork Community.  She was also preceded in death by brothers:  Jack and Avery Edwards.  Mary was a retired employee of Baxter Healthcare in Marion.  Until her declining health she attended Unity Baptist Church.  She enjoyed lawn work, her flower garden and spending time on her porch.

 

Surviving are her children:  James Laws and wife, Aileen, of Newdale, Sally Ray and husband, Phillip, of Micaville, and Mattie Angel of Burnsville; grandchildren:  Janie Martin and husband, Anthony, of Oxford, AL, Terry Jones and wife, Roycene, of Green Mountain, Jeremiah Laws of Newdale and Bethany Grindstaff and husband, Craig, of Bakersville; 2 step granddaughters:  Nancy and Glenna Ray of Burnsville; great grandchildren:  Chesney Grindstaff, Madison Laws, Nathan, Samuel and Dalton Jones and Kansas and Jacob Blunt; and, step great grandchildren:  Cody and Cy Ray.

 

Graveside services will be held at 3PM Friday in Bailey Hill Cemetery.  Revs. Bobby Silvers and Randy Laws will officiate.

 

The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:30 PM Friday at Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.

WALTER J. REIN

Walter Rein, a Great Man, passed away into his new life in the universe on Monday morning, August 20, 2012 at Mission St. Joseph hospital with his loving wife at his bedside.

 

Preceding him in death are his parents, Frank and Bessie Rein, and his older sister, Margaret Jones.  Surviving are his wife, Janell Rein; daughters:  Sarah Claybrook and Mary Rhines; sister and husband:  Retta and Chuck Folsom; brother and wife:  John and Cindy Rein; five grandchildren:  Ronnie Arnold, B. J. Rhines, Josh Rhines, Adria Claybrook, David Claybrook; and one great grandchild:  Armani Anderson.

 

“Celebration of the Life of Walter Rein” will be at  Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home in Burnsville, NC at 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 25, 2012.  It is a time for all his friends to share with each other the thoughts and memories they have of Walter.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Anyone who is unable to attend and  would like to participate in this sharing time, please email your thoughts to Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home at hbfh@holcombebrothers.com and it will be read at the Celebration.

 

Walter celebrated life and the universe!  As most of his friends know, he loved humor!

 

He has a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt.  He began his adult life as a minister and later worked at a series of other occupations, including teacher, insurance agent, farmer, carpenter, copywriter and tax collector.  Walter was a man of many talents and skills.  He was a great and creative writer and has published six books, four chapbooks, one of which is a comedy monologue, a seventh book is in process of publication.  Some of his skills and talents were:  designing and building houses, designing and building furniture and picture frames, and other projects too numerous to mention, landscaping artist, a great chef, and was an outstanding teacher.

 

Walter and wife, Janell, have been married 55 years and were partners, soul mates and best friends.  They have always had a great love for each other and shared a love of the mountains and the universe.  After their retirement, they moved to the mountains of North Carolina where they planned to spend the remainder of their lives.

 

Thanks to all the nurses and doctors who provided excellent care during Walter’s illness over the past 6 years:  Cancer Care of WNC, Duke University Cancer Care, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Mission St. Joseph Hospital in Asheville.  We love these people and consider them a part of our family.  They provided great care with compassion.

 

Thanks to our friends at Mayland Writers’ Group for their love and encouragement.  We love them dearly.

 

Thanks to our friends and neighbors for their many kindnesses and gestures of love over the years.  You are very special to us.           

 

Flowers are accepted or contributions may be made to any of the following as a charitable gift:  The Williamson Fund Lovelights at Cancer Care of WNC, 445 Biltmore Avenue, Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801; Duke University Health System, Division of Hematology/Oncology, DUMC 3810, Durham, NC 27710, for hematology/oncology research; The Janell and Walter Rein Endowment for Hospice at West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Jackson, TN;  or Walter J. Rein and Janell Laman Rein Scholarship Fund at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

GAY THOMASON

Gay Thomason, 68, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at his home.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Otis and Helen Ledford Thomason.  He was also preceded in death by a brother:  James Thomason.  Gay was a US Army Veteran.

 

Surviving are his wife of 46 years:  Joyce Duckett Thomason; 4 sons:  David Thomason and wife, Christine, of Milwaukee, WI, Chris Thomason and wife, Rebekah, Danny Thomason and wife, Dawn, and Donald Thomason and Melissa Coleman all of Burnsville, 9 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter; 3 sisters:  Ruth Austin of Barnardsville, Eloise White of Maggie Valley and Revonda Davis of Asheville; and 3 brothers:  Mack Thomason, Guy Thomason and Buck Thomason all of Burnsville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Todd Robinson and Arnold Buchanan will officiate.  Burial will be in the Ledford Atkins Cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 PM Saturday at the funeral home.

MICHAEL PHILLIPS

Michael “Glass Breaker” Phillips, 61, of the Bee Log Community passed away Monday, August 13, 2012 at his home.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Charles and Hope Wilson Phillips.  He was also preceded in death by a sister, Bertha Wynelle Phillips and brother, Terry Phillips.  He was a loving brother and friend and will be missed by all who knew him.

 

Surviving are a sister:  Anna Rae Phillips, two brothers:  Charles Henry Phillips and wife, JoAnn, and Morris Phillips and wife, Becky, and his wife, Kathy Phillips all of Burnsville; a son:  Matthew Kiser of Asheville, four grandchildren; a great grandson; 3 nieces; a great niece and 2 great nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.   Rev. Burl Ledford will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Thursday in the Bee Log Hill Cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 7:30 PM Wednesday prior to the service at the funeral Home.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home to assist with funeral expenses.

MARY BURLESON HUGHES

Mary Burleson Hughes, 86, of Burnsville, passed away peacefully Sunday, August 12, 2012 at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

 

Born on January 24, 1926 to the late Rev. Jessie and Vennie Burleson of the Bandana community, she was a life-long resident of Burnsville and a member of Victory Baptist Church.

 

She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Howard Hughes, as well as, four brothers:  James, Frank, John and Paul Burleson and six sisters:  Ruth Grindstaff, Jenny Buchanan, Ellen Howell, Edith Wyke, Anna Mae Burleson and Mae Grindstaff.

 

Surviving are three daughters:  Shirley House of Salisbury, Renee Miller and Patricia Hughes both of Concord; four grandchildren:  Steve Blevins of Statesville, Tonya Blevins and Ashley Blevins both of Salisbury and Chris Reid of Mooresville; eight great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; and a sister:  Alberta Buchanan of Bakersville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Max Gortney and Scot Garland will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Wednesday in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

KITTY GRIFFITH SMITH

In loving memory of a loving mother, a devoted wife, respected grandmother, and honorary mother of the community. 

 

Kitty was born and raised in Burnsville, NC on May 11, 1947.  She was a daughter of the late Beecher and Selelia Griffith.  Kitty was preceded in death by a sister:  Oridea Roland; and, a brother:  Alphonus Young.  She graduated from East Yancey High School in 1966.  Kitty was a member and pianist of Griffith Chapel AME Zion Church for over 30 years.  She began her career at Ingles Grocery Store for 12 years, and ended her career at H&R Block after 23 years of hard work and dedication.  Kitty will be remembered and missed by a host of friends and family.

 

Surviving are her loving and dedicated husband of 44 years:  Lenon H. Smith; her children:  RonLesly “Bam” Smith of the home, Melissa Tarbush and husband, Ken, Samantha Smith and Tony “Trouble” Smith, all of Burnsville, Terry Smith and wife, Beate, of Oklahoma, Carlos Smith and wife, Bridgette, of Durham, and Lenon and Daryan Smith of Charlotte.  She is also survived by 21 grandchildren and several great grandchildren; 2 brothers:  Jeter Young and John B. Griffith; 2 sisters:  Violet Henson and Patty Watkins and several neices and nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. James Staley will officiate.  Burial will be in Horton Cemetery.

TICIE HENSLEY

Ticie Hensley, 89, of Lickskillet Road, went to be with the Lord Thursday, August 9, 2012, at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Murphy and Bonnie Edwards Hensley, and the husband of the late Texie Bradford Hensley.  He was also preceded in death by sisters:  Reba Hensley, Texie Edwards, Minerva Pate and Gaynell Hoover; and, brothers:  Arvil, James, Coolidge, Rom and Berry Hensley.

 

Surviving are 3 sisters:  Alice Fender of Burnsville, Winnie Stines of Morganton, and Mary Magdalene Tipton of Weaverville; a stepson:  Gary Davis of Marion; and, several nieces and nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Saturday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Cline Hensley will officiate.  Burial will be in the Burton Cemetery on Lickskillet Road.

 

The family will receive friends from 12 noon until 2PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

 

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