: OBITUARIES :
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JULIA DEYTON McCURRY

Julia Deyton McCurry, 84, of the Mine Fork Community, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2011 at the home of a daughter, Nancy McMahan.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Marshall and Carrie Edwards Deyton and the wife of Leroy McCurry who died in 1992.  She was also preceded in death by sons, Lloyd and Jim McCurry, a grandson, Arthur Lloyd Webb and a sister, Hassie Deyton.

 

Surviving are daughters: Rena Webb and Bill and Joan Canipe of Burnsville and Nancy McMahan and husband, Darrell, of Micaville, 2 sisters: Jean Laws of Burnsville and Dorothy Greene and husband, Jimmy, of Asheville; two brothers: Budge Deyton and wife, Ida, and Bill Deyton and wife, Shirley, of Burnsville; 11 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Several half sisters and half brothers also survive.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7 P. M. Friday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  The Rev. Keith Blankenship will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 A. M. Saturday in the Deyton~Laws Cemetery at Bailey Hill.

 

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

IRIS LYNN COOK

Iris Lynn Cook, 61, of the Blue Rock community, went to be with the Lord Friday, April 15, 2011, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of Edna Robinson Geouge of Blue Rock and the late Dale Geouge.  She was also preceded in death by a grandson:  Andrew Hoilman.

Surviving, in addition to her mother, are her husband of 46 years:  Roscoe Cook; 2 daughters:  Leona Whitson and husband, Royce, of Green Mountain, and Leslie Hoilman and husband, Tim, of Bakersville; 3 sons:  David Cook of Canton, Daniel Cook of Weaverville, and Travis Cook and wife, Joan, of Connelly Springs; 7 grandchildren:  Christopher and Erica Abernethy, Austen and Katie Wilson, Maddison Hoilman and Jordan and Faith Cook; a great grandson:  Carson Mennig; 3 brothers:  Johnny, Wade and Floyd Geouge; a sister:  Wanda Norton; and best friend:  Ruby Cook.

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Monday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  The Revs. Clifton McCurry, Billy Styles and Joe Robinson will officiate.  Burial will be in the Robinson Cemetery on Halls Chapel.

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

LEONARD AYERS

Leonard Ayers, 76, of Green Mountain, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 14, 2011.  He died peacefully in the home he was born in on March 29, 1935 to the late Edgle and Ora Fox Ayers.  Leonard was a US Navy Veteran, and an employee of the former Diamond Mica Company and Yancey County Schools.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife:  Shirley Ayers; a son:  Anthony Ayers; 2 sisters:  Una Mae Ayers and Mary Callahan; and, a brother:  Harley Ayers.

Surviving are his wife:  Mary Helen Ayers; 2 sons:  Jim Ayers and wife, Renee, and Doug Ayers and wife, Tonya, all of Green Mountain; 4 daughters:  Karen Mizell and Linda Edwards of Green Mountain, Barbara Sines and husband, Tim, of Mooresville, and Brenda Roten of N. Wilkesboro; 10 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; a sister:  Wilma Hughes of Bakersville; and, 3 brothers:  Homer and Dean Ayers of Green Mountain and Allen Ayers of Micaville.

Funeral services will be held at 3:30 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  The Revs. Junior Honeycutt and Nathaniel Ayers will officiate.  Private burial will be in Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2 until 3:30 PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, Gideons International, or to Zion Baptist Church Cemetery Fund.

DOROTHY LINCOLN HALEY

Dorothy Lincoln Haley died Wednesday evening, April 13, 2011, at her home.  She was born in Wichita, Kansas on December 30, 1921, a daughter of the late William and Janet Keyes Lincoln.  Dorothy was also preceded in death by her husband:  Marlin E. “Jack” Haley, who died in February 1986.  She was a member of Bush’s Bodyworks exercise class for many years, Burnsville Women’s Club and Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church.

Surviving are 2 daughters:  Nancy H. Westall and husband, Ron, of Burnsville and Cherie H. Wright and husband James, of Hampton, VA; a grandson:  Jeffery S. Westall of Burnsville; 2 granddaughters:  Carrie W. Reger of Hoboken, NJ and Sarah Wright of Richmond, VA; and, a great grandson:  Westall Matthew Reger.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:30 PM Sunday in Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church.  Rev. Wes Sharpe will officiate.  Burial will be in Academy Cemetery.

There will be a reception following the service at the church.

LILLIE WILSON McCOLLUM

Lillie McCollum, 96, of Falls Church, VA passed away Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in Springfield, VA.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Oscar M. and Sallie McIntosh Wilson of Jacks Creek and the wife of Robert Bruce McCollum who died in 1963.  She was also preceded in death by brothers Mack, Burdette and Walter Wilson.  She taught at Valley Brook Private School in Springfield, VA for over 40 years.

 

Surviving are a daughter, Lynn Maria McCollum Bailey of Springfield, a son, Robert Wilson McCollum of Johnson City, TN, 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 P. M. Saturday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.

Burial will be in the Wilson Family Cemetery on Jacks Creek.

IMOGENE "JEAN" HILEMON

Imogene “Jean” Hilemon, 92, of Burnsville, went to be with the Lord Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Asheville.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late George and Mary Fox Robinson, and the wife of Lloyd Hilemon who died in 1997.  She was also preceded in death by a sister:  Velma Ayers.

Surviving are a son:  Dale Hilemon and wife, Clara Lee, of Burnsville; 2 daughters:  Gail Herron of Old Fort and Judy Sparks and husband, Benny, of Nebo; 7 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; and, 3 great, great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Thursday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  The Revs. Blaine Whitson and Woody Dillingham will officiate.  Burial will be in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery at Green Mountain.

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

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DOWIS

Benjamin Franklin Dowis went to be with the Lord Sunday, April 10, 2011 at home in Cattail Creek Mountain Farm.  He was a son of the late Benjamin Franklin and Gladys Baker Dowis.  Ben was born in Rock Island, Illinois on June 26, 1938 and graduated from United Township High School.  Before moving here from Florida in 1993, Ben was an active member of First Baptist Church in Eustis and was active in the community.  He was also a 33º  Mason.

 

He has been an active member of Laurel Branch Baptist Church and Men’s Group for Pensacola and a member of the Burnsville Masonic Lodge # 717 A.F.&A.M.  He ran the Pensacola Sales and Service for the last five years and was Chairman of the Republican Party in the Pensacola District.

 

He is survived by his wife, Judy Dowis; his children:  Ben, Scott and Lonny Dowis, Jeff Robinson, June Bolling and Connie Lucas; 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; 3 sisters:  Beverly Bletner, Joyce Fuller and Rosalie Wagamon.

 

A memorial service will be held at 2 PM Tuesday in Laurel Branch Baptist Church.  Rev. Ray Strickland will officiate.  Masonic rites will be conferred by the Burnsville Lodge # 717 AF&AM.

 

The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

 

Memorials may be made to Gideons International, P. O. Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.

ARNOLD WHITSON

Arnold Whitson, 95, of Burnsville, passed away Friday, April 1, 2011, at Brookside Rehabilitation & Care.  He was a son of the late Noah and Fannie Howell Whitson.  Arnold was also preceded in death by his wife:  Janie Whitson who died in 1988; brother:  Naff Whitson; 2 sisters:  Edith Taylor and Jean Radford; son:  Staff Sergeant John Whitson; and, son-in-law:  Bobby Riddle.

Survivors include 2 daughters:  Wanda Penland and husband, Maurice, of Burnsville, and Susan Riddle of Asheville; 2 sons:  Ray Whitson and wife, Sande, of Sand Point, ID and Rick Whitson of Asheville; 8 grandchildren:  Suzette Butner and husband, Bryan, of Burnsville, Deanna Whitson of Sacramento, CA, Jon Penland and Jason Penland and wife, Alicha, both of Burnsville, Rae Lea Whitson of Sand Point, ID, Heather Harper, Holly Ruiz, Rock Fisher, all of Weaverville; 13 great grandchildren; brother:   Wayne Whitson and wife, Becky, of Virginia Beach, VA; a sister:  Louise Reel of Asheville; 2 brothers-in-law:  Clyde and Fred Tallent; son-in-law:  Eddie Fisher; several nieces and nephews; special friend:  Violet Wyatt; and a wealth of friends, including his special friend at Brookside:  Reece Whitson.

A graveside service will be held at 2PM Wednesday in the National Veteran’s Cemetery in Salisbury.  Rev. Jerry Shelton will officiate. 

Memorial donations may be made to Gideons International, P. O. Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.

CECIL HIGGINS

Cecil Higgins, 95, of Piney Hill passed away Thursday, March 31, 2011 at Mountain Manor Assisted Living.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Milus and Effie Higgins.  He was also preceded in death by a sister,  Nettie Lee Pate and brothers:  Ned, Crate, Horace and Roy Higgins.  He was a World War II Army Veteran and a retired timber man.

 

Surviving are a sister, Clillion Bailey of Burnsville and several nieces and nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Odis Hudgins will officiate.  Burial will be in the Higgins Cemetery.

 

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

 

The family wishes to extend special thanks to Mountain Manor Assisted Living and Hospice of Yancey County for the care given Cecil.

REV. LESTER MURPHEY

Rev. Lester Murphey, 65, of 423 Hardscrabble Road, Burnsville, went to be with His Lord and Savior on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Madison Health & Rehabilitation Center.  A native of Old Fort, NC, he was the son of the late Hardy L. and Ella Maude Davis Murphy.  He pastored Hot Springs, Middle Fork and Madison Seminary Baptist Churches in the French Broad Association and Mt. Pleasant Baptist in the Yancey Association.  He taught school at Weaverville Elementary for 23 years and 1 year at Glen Alpine Elementary in Burke County.

He graduated from Old Fort High School in 1963, attended North Carolina State for 1 year, Gardner Webb College for 2 years and graduated from Mars Hill College in 1969.  Lester later received his Master’s Degree at Western Carolina University and a pastoral certificate from Seminary Extension.  He paid his own way through college by working part-time jobs during the year and full time jobs in the summers.  He pastored and taught at the same time for most of his working years.

Lester loved people and always wanted to help others in any way he could.  After retirement, he enjoyed volunteering with Meals on Wheels.  He loved to be outdoors and was an avid hiker, hardly ever missing a Saturday hiking trip with his family.  Animals were his love and he had many pets, Oreo and Curley being his latest.

Surviving are his beloved wife of 44 years:  Sylvia McAfee Murphey; 2 daughters:  Beth Murphey of Black Mountain and Kim Barnes of Mars Hill; 3 precious grandsons:  Joshua, Jared and Taylor; and, 3 brothers:  Clayton and Colish of Old Fort and Clinton of Marion.

A celebration of life will be held at 2PM Saturday, April 2, in the Gabriels Creek Baptist Church in Mars Hill, of which he was a member.  The Revs. Worth Emory and Keith Edwards will officiate.  Burial will be held at 11AM, receiving of friends at 1PM and the celebration of his life at 2PM.

Flowers are appreciated, but in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Memory Care, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803, or online at www.MemoryCare.org.

The family would like to thank the staff and Dr. Nettie White of Madison Health and Rehabilitation Center for the wonderful care provided to Lester, and to MemoryCare staff and Dr. Virginia Templeton for their continued support.

 

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