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Clillon Bailey, 93, of Mountain View Road, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, November 25, 2015, at her home.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Milus and Effie Higgins, and the wife of Paul Bailey who died in 2012.  She was also preceded in death by brothers:  Crate, Horace, Roy, Cecil and Ned Higgins; and, a sister:  Nettie Lee Pate.


Several nieces and nephews survive, and her special caregivers:  Shirley, Kay, Juanita and Jean.


Funeral services will be held at 2PM Monday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Hospice Chaplain Rev. Joe Bennett will officiate.  Burial will be at 10AM Tuesday, December 1, 2015, in Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery at Black Mountain.


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


The family would like to give special thanks to Hospice of Yancey County for their service.


Nina Edwards West, of Marco Island, Florida, passed away Saturday, November 14, 2015 at her home.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Samuel and Gertha Guinn Edwards and the wife of Denny West who passed away in 2012.


Surviving are sisters: Jewell Adkins and Anita Treadway and a brother: Alden Edwards and wife Norma, all of Burnsville, and several nieces and nephews.  Caregivers for Nina were her niece and husband, Lisa and Gary Halker.


A memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC with her husband Captain Denton West, at a later date.


Lynn Edward “Lynwood” Robinson, 65, of Asheville, passed away Sunday, November 8, 2015.  A native of Buncombe County, he was a son of the late Herbert and Doris Johnson Robinson.  He was also preceded in death by a brother:  Roger Robinson; and, a nephew:  Roger Lynn Robinson.


Surviving are a sister-in-law:  Thelma Robinson; niece:  Claudine; nephew:  Scott, all of San Antonio, Texas; an aunt:  Glenda Johnson Lewis of Brevard; and several cousins and many friends.


A memorial service will be held at 2PM Sunday, November 22, 2015, in Weaverville First Baptist Church.  Pastor Dr. Jim McCoy will officiate.  The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall.

A private burial of his cremains will be in Double Island Cemetery.


The family wishes to express their gratitude to Pat Whitson for her loving care and attention given Lynn and to her husband Gary for his support.



Ruby Lee Reid Westall, 82, in the South Toe community of Yancey County passed away quietly on November 12, 2015 at her home.  Ruby was born in Macon County in the Gold Mine Community to Andrew and Effie Mae Keener Reid.  The family moved to the Montezuma community near Linville in Avery County shortly after Ruby’s birth and she spent her childhood years there.  She started working as a young girl at Eseeola Lodge in Linville.  She met E. P. (Spike) Westall in 1949 and the two were married in 1950.  Spike brought his wife home to Yancey County and she spent the next 65 years of life in her adopted home, the South Toe River area.  The family owned Westall’s Grocery on Hwy 80S and Ruby spent many hours working in the store with her children.  She continued to work past her 80th birthday and never ceased “doing” for her family.


Ruby greatly enjoyed talking with the people who “traded” at Westall’s Grocery and was respected and loved by the people she knew.  When someone said “Let’s go to Ruby’s”, three generations of South Toe River resident knew what it meant.  She was respectful to everyone and had a good work to say to anyone that came in the store.  She was a loving wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother.  She gave unselfishly and completely to the wellbring of her children in every way possible and was committed to being a person of faith, compassion, love, moral responsibility and dignity.  Ruby was a voracious reader, exceptional cook, gardener sports fan and loved to sew.  She refused to be defeated by personal loss, health issues, or age, and pushed forward regardless of the odds.  She set an example that reflected her dedication to actively living the life God gave her.


A member of Brown’s Creek Baptist Church, Ruby made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in her teen years and placed the care of her eternal life in the hands of her Savior.  She is now reunited with her Mom, Dad, brothers, sister and a host of family that looked for and found the home that Jesus promised.


She is remembered with joy and love by her son, Forrest Reid Westall, Sr., and wife, Sabra, of South Toe, daughter, Kim Biggerstaff and husband, Joe, of Henderson County, son, Scott Westall and partner, Wanda Sprouse, of South Toe, and daughter, Gina McMahan and husband, Gary, of South Toe.  Her life and love for them is cherished by her grandchildren, Forrest Reid Westall, Jr. and wife, Rebecca, of Asheville, Amber Leigh Westall Briggs, and husband, Shane, of Jack’s Creek, Lyndsey Loren Westall, and husband Rich Caisse, of Asheville, Eric Jack Biggerstaff, of Los Angeles, CA, and Kate Lee Biggerstaff of Asheville.  Her Great-Grandchildren, Mason Reid Westall, Elijah Briggs, Owen Westall and Willa Briggs are so grateful that they were able to know Grandma Ruby.  She was preceded in death by her father and Mother, Andres and Effie Mae Reid, brothers, Thurman, Ervin and Willard, and a sister, Bessie Williams.


The family wishes to express thanks and appreciation to friends and family for their visits, food, help, and most importantly, prayers for Ruby and her family.  The family also wants to express a special thanks to the compassionate, loving angels of Hospice, especially Kelly Hughes, Anita Willis, Jana Campbell and Suzy McFee.


A memorial service to remember and thank God for Ruby’s precious time here on earth will be held Sunday, November 15th at the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home at 3:00 P.M.  Burial will take place at Ballew Cemetery following the service.


Family will receive friends on Sunday, November 15th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Flowers are appreciated but those wishing to honor Ruby’s life may make a donation in  her honor to Hospice of Yancey County (856 George’s Fork Road, Burnsville, 28714) or the Yancey County Library (PO Box 1659, Burnsville, 28714).


Lois Ann Elliott Taylor, of Burnsville, died peacefully at her home on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the age of 88. She was born into the loving family of Benjamin Frank Elliott and Delphia Phelps Elliott, the fifth of seven children, in Bertrand, Missouri.


Lois was an active member of Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church of Burnsville; a long-time volunteer with Reconciliation House and the Parkway Playhouse; and a member of the Burnsville Woman’s Club.


Before moving to Burnsville in 2003 to be near her daughter, Lois moved many times throughout the eastern US. She had a long career in textile industries and eventually retired from the IRS.  She enjoyed needlework, making quilts for St. Jude’s. She loved travel, camping, the mountains and long walks in the country.


Lois was predeceased by her husband of 51 years Gerald R. “Pete” Taylor, son-in-law James Martin, Jr. of Burnsville, one great grandchild, two brothers and two sisters.


She is survived by daughter Ann Higgins and husband Wayne of Florence, AL, daughter Susan Martin of Burnsville, NC, Grandchildren: Elizabeth Higgins of Florence, AL, James Martin III of Flemington, NJ, Amanda Martin of Burnsville, NC, Erica Richey of Muscle Shoals, AL and Meredith Gray of Sheffield, AL; and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two of her sisters: Marian Willis of Missouri and Gerlene Christianson of Mississippi.


Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday November 14, 2015 at 10 in the morning at Burnsville First Presbyterian Church in Burnsville, North Carolina. Interment will be in Columbia, Tennessee.


Memorials in Lois’ honor may be made to Reconciliation House, 20 Academy Street, Burnsville, NC 28714 for their food and heating fuel ministries.


Sarah Catherine Roberts Boone died peacefully at her home in Micaville, NC on November 9, 2015 at the age of 87 years. She was born into the loving family of A. Fulton and Olive Buckner Roberts Sept 18, 1928 in Weaverville, the third of six children.

She grew up in Asheville and graduated from Lee Edwards High School. She then worked in her father's business, the Asheville Cleaners and Dyers, and sang gospel music with her family, the Roberts Family singers, in churches throughout the area. 

In 1950, she married Jack Lee Boone from Micaville. They lived first in Asheville where their son Jack Jr “Jackie” was born. Later they moved to Micaville where she worked as Postmaster of the local post office for 31 years until her retirement.  Her excellence in this position was recognized by the U.S. Postal Service when she was awarded Regional Postmaster of the Year. As postmaster she quickly ingratiated herself into the community and was loved and respected by all who knew her.   

Quiet and assuming, Sarah was the epitome of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Sensitive and caring, yet strong and steadfast, she lived her life according to the tenets of her Christian faith, which enriched her life and she in turn blessed the lives of others.  She was devoted to her family, her church, and her community.            

Sarah put her whole heart into her endeavors, especially her church, Micaville Presbyterian.  Among her many activities, she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, served as treasurer for over 50 years, and was named an Elder by the congregation. She and her husband contributed both spiritually and physically to their church in many ways over the years.  When the church was renovated, Sarah designed the stained glass windows for the sanctuary. Together she and Jack replaced the steeple in memory of their parents and since his death in 2001, she had diligently worked for a recently completed choir room in memory of him, which the church also named in honor of her.

In addition to her son, the joy of her life, Jack Boone Jr. and his wife, Kim, she will be greatly missed by her siblings, Lucille Neilson, Susie Ray (Bob) Marie Flowers Ray, Fulton (Sally) and Guy Roberts as well as her adoring grandchildren: Sarah Jayne Smith (Travis), Jacqueline Boone (Jayson Whiteside), Julianne Boone (Jim Rippy), Samuel Boone (Joni) and her great grand-children: Hannah and Autumn Smith; Londyn Whiteside, Karlee Boone and Jaden Garland.

Her funeral will be held at Micaville Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, November 11 at 2:00 P.M. Her pastors, Revs. John and Beth Hall will officiate.  The family will begin receiving friends at 12:30 P.M.  Interment will follow in the family cemetery.

Contributions in Sarah's memory may be sent to Micaville Presbyterian Church, 587 Micaville Loop, Burnsville, NC 28714. For on-line condolences, send an email to: holcombebrothers.com



Elizabeth Elaine Laws, 67, of Burnsville, went to be with the Lord on Friday, November 6, 2015.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Alvie and Pantha Ogle Ledford.  She is also preceded in death by brothers:  Jack Ledford and Ray Buchanan; and, a sister:  Pauline Chandler.  Elizabeth was a seamstress.


Surviving are her husband:  Zeph Laws; 3 sons:  Timothy, Ricky and J. C. Laws; a daughter:  Tammy Laws; brothers:  John and Bruce Ledford; a sister:  Nellie Chandler; 8 grandchildren; and, 5 great grandchildren.


A memorial service will be held at a later date.



True Wilson Elliott, 90, of the Newdale Community, went home to be with the Lord Friday, November 6, 2015.  She was a daughter of the late Charlie R. and Pearl Presnell Wilson.  True was preceded in death by her husband:  Latt Elliott, Jr.; brothers:  Orin John Wilson and Frank Wilson; a sister:  Winnie McKinney; and a granddaughter:  Mary Ann Wiseman.  She owned and operated Elliott’s Home Care for 10 years.  True was one of seven revolutionary women in Yancey County who served as Friendly Home Visitors during President Johnson’s War on Poverty.  Her work with WAMY helped reverse the cycle of poverty in Yancey County.


She is survived by her children:  Melba Randolph and Charles of Spruce Pine, Danny Elliott and Brenda Ledford and Eugene of Newdale; 8 grandchildren:  Desiree Huskins and Darryl, Lesia Cruz and Miquel, Terry Ledford and Tonya, Chuck Randolph and Donna and Marty Ledford and Rhonda, Chris Elliott and Gretta, Justin Elliott and Jame Elliott; 12 great grandchildren:  Angel and Michael Cruz, Tamara and Kristian Huskins, Jaken Ledford, Jerica Matney, Olivia Randolph, Catherine Honeycutt, Whitney and Kendall Ledford, Derrick Wiseman and Amanda Hudgins; 5 great, great grandchildren; a sister: Faye Boone of Newdale; a brother: Charles Wilson of Newdale and 2 special nieces:  Marcia McKinney and Marsella Miller.


Funeral services will be held at 3PM Sunday in Faith Fellowship Church, of which she was a founding member.  Rev. David Gillespie will officiate.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery.


The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 3PM prior to the service at the church.


Memorials may be made to Faith Fellowship Outreach Program, P. O. Box 756, Micaville, NC 28755.


Doyle Edward Dale, 67, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord, unexpectedly, Thursday November 5, 2015, at his home. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of Georgia Harding Dale of Burnsville and the Late Claude Edward Dale.


Doyle loved being with people. During the many years he spent working with Riddle Oil Company, he always took time to visit with each customer. He never worried about time because he never wore a watch.  People and their needs always came first.


He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War while working on a missile site in Anchorage, Alaska.


Doyle was a member of Pleasant Gap Baptist Church where he served as a Trustee and a Deacon for 21 years. He loved being a part of the Woodchucks and taking care of the church lawn.


Street Rodding was one of Doyle’s favorite things. He went to his first Street Rodding event in 1973.   Immediately he fell in love with “those old cars” and enjoyed events through the years, where he has met many wonderful friends.


In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife of 41 years, Joyce Gosnell Dale, Sister Donna Higgins and husband Gordon, sister-in-law and brother in law Judy and Jim Durham, nephews Shane Dale and wife Heather, Jonathan Durham and wife Katrina and special great nephews Easton and Couper Dale.


Funeral services will be held at 2 P. M. Saturday, November 7, 2015  in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Vern Grindstaff will officiate.  Burial will be in the Fred Young Cemetery, with Military graverites by Sgt. E. L. Randolph Chapter 57, DAV.


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


Memorials may be made to Pleasant Gap Baptist Church, c/o Donna Higgins, 244 Dale Street, Burnsville, NC 28714 or  the Gideons International, P. O. Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.


Ninety-eight years to the day after she was born on November 5, 1917, Exam Josephine Haney passed away at 12:45 PM at her home in Burnsville. Her daughter-in-law, Donna Lewis of Arden, her son James Lewis, and his wife Helen were at her side.

Exam was born to Jack and Mamie Manick in Old Fort, NC. She was the eldest of eight children – all deceased. She graduated first in her class at Old Fort High School and then obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Asheville Normal College.

She received her given name from her Mother’s cousin, Lillian Exum Clement, who was an early champion of women’s rights, a successful lawyer, and state legislator – the first in the south.  Exam was taught to spell her name incorrectly long before she went to school. We are told that she could read soon after she could talk, and she stuck with spelling her name, “Exam,” until her death.

She attended the Old Fort First Baptist Church on and off from the age of five as well as periods of membership in the First Baptist Church of Burnsville and at Harmony Grove Baptist Church in McDowell County. She taught Sunday school from her teenage years until age 93. Aside from her family and students, her churches were her central interest. 

She married Frank H. Lewis, Sr. of Huntdale, NC in 1938 and bore him three sons, Frank H. Lewis, Jr. deceased, John A. Lewis, deceased, and James A. Lewis.

Exam taught at several public schools in Yancey County, but she spent most of her career teaching fourth grade at Micaville.  Her students learned to love school because she knew how to engage their imaginations through role playing and storytelling. Her greatest gift was helping them learn to respect and to cooperate with each other as equals. We are told by her former students that her classroom was the happy place in their childhood memories.

In later life Exam married a life-long friend, Pat Haney, deceased, of Glenwood, NC.  During her last fourteen years, she made her home with her son James in Burnsville.

Life was kind to her and she had many wonderful friends. Her natural ability with public speaking and acting created a warm place for her in the cultural and religious life of the community. She had a talent with prose and poetry that translated well into the spoken word, and she was an amateur actress of unusual talent. Her first love though, was poetry. Even in her final years the muse would sometimes possess her and she would recite the poetry she had learned in her youth. A favorite poem was “The House by the Side of The Road,” by Sam Walter Foss.

We believe that Foss’s work best describes her character. Those of us who knew her well will always remember her as a peerless example of unconditional love and compassion. We thank God that she was our Mother.

Funeral services will be held at 3PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Pastor Tommy James will officiate. Burial will be in the Holcombe Cemetery.

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


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