: OBITUARIES :
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SARAH WOODY PROFFITT

Our Mother, Sarah Woody Proffitt, of the Bald Creek Community in Yancey County, died at her home, Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  She was born in Burnsville, NC to Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Woody, graduated Valedictorian of her class in 1936 from Burnsville High School, and received a degree in Secretarial Administration from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina in 1940.  That summer on July 5, her twenty-first birthday, she married our Father, James W. Proffitt of Bald Creek with whom she shared fifty-eight happy years, two daughters, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren before his death in 1998.

 

The Woodys were members of Burnsville First Baptist, a congregation which nurtured Mama’s faith from childhood and gave her opportunity to sing the music she so loved.  Upon her marriage to Daddy, she joined and fully dedicated herself to the church of his family, Bald Creek Methodist.  For more than seventy years, she happily served in many roles most especially enjoying the work of the Missionary Society (now United Methodist Women.)

 

Throughout her long, energetic life, Mama has supported and/or participated in a wide range of civic projects.  Her most long-lasting contribution to her community was helping spearhead the organization in 1950 of a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop in Bald Creek which led to troops being formed in Burnsville and other areas of Yancey County that are still active today.  She was on the Pisgah Girl Scout Council Board of Directors, was instrumental in the development of Camp Pisgah, and coordinated the training of the eight-member patrol of Girl Scouts from Yancey, Transylvania and Jackson Counties that attended the 1959 International Round-Up of 10,000 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides world-wide in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

Professionally, Mama taught at Bald Creek Elementary School for twenty-five years usually in seventh grade.  Her goal was to maximize each student’s potential and spark their creativity by providing an attractive, harmonious classroom in which to learn.  She expected their best and in return, went to school each day well prepared to give her best to them.  She greatly enjoyed organizing class field trips and “programs” to showcase their talents.  She loved the arts, especially music and dance, and was quick to encourage young talent.  It was only in the last year or so she gave up attending Mountain Heritage High School Band and Choral concerts.

 

In retirement, life went on as usual for Mama and Daddy except for a little more time to read and travel and be with their “Grand”children.  Mama was a DIY home decorator with an impeccable eye for color and design as well as a fine seamstress and craftswoman.

 

Mama remained active after Daddy’s death but her health began to wane a few years ago and she has been confined to her home a great deal these past three years after breaking her leg.  During that time, she has been in the constant care of three truly gifted, competent, compassionate women.  There are no words that sufficiently convey our gratitude to Marina Jones, Carla Pipes, and Melody Hughes; but they know what is in our hearts.  We also cannot imagine having taken this most recent journey without the compassionate care of Cindy Nanney and all the nurses and staff at Hospice of Yancey County.

 

In addition to her parents and our father, Mama is predeceased by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Louise and Irvin Wicker, Helen and Bill Jester, granddaughter Karen Pendergraft, parents-in-law, Glen and Vergia Proffitt, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Catherine Proffitt, Mary Glen Proffitt, Vera P. Steel, Virginia (J. Yates) Bailey, Ralph T. (Juanita) Proffitt and Fleet Y. (Mildred) Proffitt.

 

She is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Sarah Ellen and Odis Pendergraft of Newport News, VA and Bunnie and R. L. McIntosh, Jr., of Burnsville; grandson, Jim Pendergraft of Raleigh and his children, Stephen, Timothy, Noelle and Carissa; grandson, Matt Pendergraft (Onnie) of Newport News, VA; and granddaughter, Heather McIntosh Morgan (Jeff) and two children, Noah and Samuel of Winston Salem.  Also surviving are many nieces and nephews into the second and third generations, as well as, her dear friend, cousin by marriage, and “age-mate” at Givens Estates, Elizabeth “Lib” Gibbs.

 

Funeral services will be held at 3 P.M. Sunday at Bald Creek United Methodist Church, 29 Bald Creek School Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.  Burial will be in the Robertson Cemetery at West Burnsville.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church, and at other times, will be at the home at 125 Bald Creek School Road, Burnsville, NC. 

 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road or Bald Creek United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, c/o Nan Proffitt, 43 Beechwood Drive, Burnsville, NC 28714.

BILLIE JEAN FOXX

Billie Jean Foxx, 70, of Mars Hill, passed away on Monday, January 19, 2015 at St. Josephs Hospital in Asheville.  A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late James and Rachel Edwards Hensley.  She was also preceded in death by a brother, Charles Hensley and a brother-in-law, Tom Canipe.  Billie Jean was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who was very excited for the upcoming birth of her first great granddaughter.

 

Surviving are her husband of 53 years, Jimmy Foxx; 2 sons:  Don Foxx and wife, Debbie, and Chad Foxx of Mars Hill; 6 grandchildren:  Kyle Foxx, Micah Foxx, Gage Foxx, Isaiah Foxx, Maliki Foxx and Adam Little; 3 sisters:  Christine Ponder and husband, Delane, and Jearline Shepard and husband, Victor, of Mars Hill and Betty Canipe of Green Mountain.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Thursday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Gary foxx will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Friday in the James Hensley Cemetery on Foxx Creek Road.

 

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

DALTON DEAN JAMES

Dalton Dean James, 78, of Burnsville, passed away Sunday, January 18, 2015 at the CarePartners Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Asheville.  A native of Dallas County, Texas, he was a son of the late John and Lennie James. He was also preceded in death by 3 sisters and 10 brothers.  He was retired, having worked for Monsanto Company in employee relations.

Surviving are his wife; Karen Deats James, daughters; Jennifer Lynn James-Grupe of Austin, TX, and Joycelyn Kay James-Tate and husband, James R. Tate, of Las Vegas, Nevada, 4 grandchildren: Andrea Katherine Grupe Stromeyer and husband William, Sarah Elizabeth Kelton and husband Jesse, Amanda Elise Tate and Amber Lee Tate, and a great granddaughter: Elizabeth Margaret Stromeyer.

A memorial service will be held at 7 P. M. Thursday, January 22, 2015 in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Philip Garland will officiate.

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

BETTY JEAN WILSON ROBERTSON

Betty Jean Wilson Robertson, 87, of the Pensacola Community, passed away Saturday evening January 17, 2015 in the comfort of her home surrounded by family.   A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late Charles Hubert and Hannah Joan Rathbone Wilson of Pensacola and the loving wife of C.W. Robertson, Jr. who passed away February 1, 2012.   She was also preceded in death by two sisters:  Francis Higgins and husband Wyman, and June Riddle and husband Walter.  Betty was a former Post Mistress of Pensacola, a past member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and a member of Sgt. E. L. Randolph Chapter 57 DAV.  She was also a member of Pensacola United Methodist Church.

She was the loving mother of four surviving sons:  Jerry and wife Deborah, of Columbus, Mississippi; Darius and wife Jeannine of Pensacola; Joel and wife Megan of Celo; and Jeffery and wife Connie of Pensacola; brothers:  Bob Wilson and wife Nelda; Bill Wilson and wife Angie; and Edwin Wilson and wife Evelyn.  She is also survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 1 PM Saturday, January 24, 2015 in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Pastor A. J. Moore will officiate.  Burial will be in the Robertson-Silver Cemetery in Pensacola. 

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

Special thanks to Yancey Hospice and Sandy Porter. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Pensacola FWB Widows Fund, 305 Ewart Wilson Road, Burnsville, NC 28714; Pensacola Methodist Church, PO Box 794, Burnsville, NC 28714; or Yancey Hospice, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.

RUBY AUTREY

Ruby Autrey, 91, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord, Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Weaverville Brian Center.  A native of McDowell County, she was a daughter of the late Allie and Annie Wilson Lytle and the wife of Kenneth L. Autrey who died in 2014.  She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Peggy Young, sisters: Gertrude Walker, Jean Jenkins and Frances Pentuff and brothers: Clarence and Tommy Lytle.  Ruby was a retired employee of Glen Raven Mills and a member of West Burnsville Baptist Church.

 

Surviving are a granddaughter, Tammy Woody and husband, Charles; and a great grandson, Hunter Woody all of Candler; a son-in-law, James Young and wife, Priscilla, of Arden; sisters:  Shirley Childers of Marion and Helen Groner of Tampa, FL; and a brother, Earl Lytle of Marion.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 P. M. Monday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Pastor Charlie Carroway will officiate.  Burial will be in the West Burnsville Baptist Church Cemetery.

 

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

 

Memorials may be made to West Burnsville Baptist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 38, Burnsville, NC 28714 or Hospice of McDowell, 575 Airport Road, Marion, NC 28752.

DENNIS LEE RAMSEY

Dennis Lee Ramsey, 78, of Raleigh, passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.  Born November 7, 1936 in Asheville, he was a son of the late Salvie and Mabel Westall Ramsey and the husband for 57 years of June Taylor Ramsey, who died in 2012.  He was also preceded in death by a sister, Mary Anne Wasklack, a brother, Brooks Ramsey and infant siblings, Maude and Raymond Ramsey.  Dennis was a Sergeant with the Asheville Police Department for several years and most recently was sales manager for Como RV in Inverness, FL, before moving to Raleigh in 2013.  He was an avid fisherman and hunter.

 

Surviving are his adoring children; Mike Ramsey (Linda) of Flowery Beach, GA, Debbie Pucillo (Jon) of Inverness, FL, Terri Burnette (Tim) of Weaverville, Carole Sharpe (Charles) of Candler, Tina Waldrup (Dwight) of Raleigh, Dennis McCarson and Taylor Ramsey both of Philadelphia, PA, a sister Billie Jeanne Styles and brothers Ron and Bob Ramsey.  He was a loving Papaw to 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, whom he cherished.

 

Funeral services will be held at 1 P. M. Thursday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Timmy Burnette, Seth Vandiver and Jason Hyatt will officiate.  Burial will be in the Westall Family Cemetery on Bolens Creek. 

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 P. M. Wednesday at the funeral home, and at other times will be at the home of Billie Jeanne Styles, 18 Orchard Drive, Burnsville.

KATHLEEN BANKS HONEYCUTT

Kathleen Banks Honeycutt, 93, of Burnsville, went to be with the Lord Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late John M. and Mary Fox Banks.  She was also preceded in death by a daughter:  Margaret Allen; 2 sisters; and, 2 brothers.

 

Surviving are 3 daughters:  Mary Nell Edwards of Charlotte, Jeraldine Penland and husband, Jerry, and Betty Ann Banks, all of Burnsville; 6 grandchildren; and, 11 great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will be held at 1PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcomb Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Dale Banks will officiate.  Burial will be in West Burnsville Cemetery.

 

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

LUCILLE ROBINSON

Lucille Robinson, 82, of the Double Island Community, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, January 10, 2015, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Handy and Lizzie Gardner Robinson.  She was the wife of Joe Robinson who died in 2012.  Lucille was also preceded in death by a sister:  Will Ann Hall.  She was a devoted wife and Mother.

 

Surviving are 4 sons:  Gerald Robinson and wife, Gail, Jimmy Robinson and wife, Evelyn, and Rick Robinson and wife, Teresa, all of Double Island, and Kenny Robinson and wife, Lori, of Newdale; 8 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; 2 brothers:  Robert Robinson of Double Island and Edd Robinson of Burnsville; a sister:  Wilma Street of Double Island; and, 2 sisters-in-law:  Betty Smith of Asheville and Marie Roland of Nebo.

 

Funeral services will be held at 11AM Tuesday in Double Island Baptist Church, of which she was a member.  Rev. Ricky Woody will officiate.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8PM Monday at Holcombe Brothers Funeral home, where the body will remain until taken to the church to lie in state 30 minutes prior to the service.

VIOLA SILVER WHITSON

Viola Silver Whitson, 93, of Shoal Creek, went home to be with the Lord Friday, January 9, 2015, at her home.  A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late William Henry and Laura Lou Byrd Silver.  She was the wife of the late Grady Whitson.   She was also preceded in death by four sisters:  Bertha Robinson, Maude Burgin, Lillian Carroll and Eva Kelley; and three brothers:  Theodore Silver, Luther Silver and Clarence Silver.  She was a member of Plum Branch Baptist Church.

 

Surviving are two daughters:  Shirley Hughes and Ruth Laws of Burnsville; a son:  Wayne Whitson and wife, Glenda, of Burnsville; 8 grandchildren:  Phillip Hughes and wife, Gayla, Michelle Whitt and husband, Joe, Eddie Laws, Bruce Laws and wife, Jennifer, Robert Laws, Randy Whitson and wife, Loeita, Kathy Edwards and husband, Ricky, and Karen Whitson; 11 great grandchildren; and a great-great grandson.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Scott McIntosh and her grandson, Rev. Phillip Hughes will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Monday in the Hughes Cemetery on Shoal Creek.

 

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

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

RAY COOPER

Ray Cooper, 82, of Cooper Lane, joined his wife at his Heavenly home, Friday, January 9, 2015 at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Troy and Sarah Edwards Cooper.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years Clelia Annetta Geouge Cooper who died December 11, 2014.  He was also preceded in death by a granddaughter, Melody Cooper.  A Korean War Army Veteran, he was a retired Code Enforcement Officer with the City of Asheville.  Ray enjoyed doing woodwork and was known around Burnsville as “The Banana Man” who loved making people’s day. 

 

He is survived by a daughter, Katy Camp and husband, Jon, of Parrottsville, TN; a son, Tim Cooper and wife, Michelle, and a grandson, Luke Cooper of Sneedville, TN; 2 brothers:  LeRoy Cooper of Stewartstown, PA and his twin brother, Wayne Cooper and wife, Betty of Inverness, FL; and a sister, Nancy Woody and husband, Paul, of Burnsville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Saturday, January 17, 2015 in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Al Harrell will officiate.  Burial will be in the West Burnsville Baptist Church Cemetery with military grave rites conducted by Sgt. E. L. Randolph, Chapter 57, DAV.

 

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

 

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