: OBITUARIES :
ROBERT CLAYBORN PEELER
Robert Clayborn Peeler, age 72, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at his home. He was the son of the late Oscar Peeler and Elisabeth Jones Benson, and was also preceded in death by a daughter Janine Peeler. Robert was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and served in the US Army for 10 years. He worked as a Property and Maintenance Manager for 4 years before returning to his home in Miami. Robert retired from Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department as a Pipefitter Supervisor and moved to Burnsville in 1998.
Surviving are his wife of 53 years: Sharon Peeler; a son: Lance and wife, Laura Peeler; a daughter: Dawn Zulick and husband, Steve; 8 grandchildren and several great grandchildren also survive.
A private family service was held.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.
PHILLIP C. HARRIS
Phillip Clarence Harris, 88, of Burnsville, went to his heavenly home on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Madison Health and Rehabilitation in Mars Hill. Known by many as "Phil" and "the tire man", he was first called "Big Daddy" about thirty years ago by his first grandchild, LeeAnn, and has since been "Big Daddy" to family and friends. Born September 13, 1927, he was a son of the late Mack Delzie and Lela Hise Harris, and was raised in Micaville, NC. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Ralph Harris, and two sisters, Faye Pyle and Patsy Evans.
He began Phil's Tire Service in February 1953, and today, it is the second oldest business operating in Burnsville. Prior to beginning the business, he served in the US Army, 52nd Airborne Division, stationed in Fort Bragg, NC. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club in Spruce Pine for many years, and a charter member of the Kiwanis Club in Burnsville, having served terms as President of each. He had served on the Board of Directors of the First Citizens Bank, and was a member of Vesper Lodge No 554 AF & AM. He was raised in Micaville Presbyterian Church, and was a member of First Presbyterian Church while living in Spruce Pine. For the past forty-one years, he was a member of the First Baptist Church in Burnsville, where he was a member of the Dick Bailey Sunday School Class, and served as usher and terms as deacon. Even in his last days, he lovingly remembered each of these church families.
Big Daddy loved living life to its fullest. He loved cars, car racing, golf, traveling with friends, singing, and church. He so enjoyed eating out, as well as at home, where Mildred's biscuits and jelly, banana pudding, and butterscotch pie were favorites. He loved his family and friends, and interacting with people.
Cherishing his memory are his wife of sixty-four years, Mildred Gibbs Harris; his son, Phillip Anthony (Tony) Harris and his wife, Fonda; his daughter, Denise Young and her husband, John; four grandchildren: LeeAnn Chastain (Rusty), Michael Harris (Tiffany), Brandon Young, and Lorissa Coates (Brandon Cannon); three great-grandchildren: Isabelle, Esther and Atley; two sisters: Carol Little (Gary) and Robbye Murphy (Robert); and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM Wednesday, November 4, 2015 in the First Baptist Church in Burnsville, led by Pastor Tommy James, Revs. Joe Bennett and Scot Garland and his son Tony Harris. Burial will be in the Carroway Cemetery at Celo, NC with Masonic Graverites by Vesper Lodge # 554 AF & AM. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8pm on Tuesday, November 3 at Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home, where the body will remain until the service hour.
Pallbearers will be Brandon Young, Tim Freeman, Rusty Chastain, Brandon Cannon, John Young, and Tony Harris. Honorary pallbearers will be Earl Young, Bob Baker, J.C. Styles, Ken HIlliard, and Michael Harris.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Yancey County 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714, American Cancer Society, 120 Executive Park, Building 1, Asheville, NC 28801, or Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills, NJ 07078.
The family expresses sincere appreciation to the staff at Hospice of Yancey County, Madison Health and Rehabilitation, and Yancey House for their help in taking care of Big Daddy, and to family and friends who have been constant sources of support and love through this journey.
SONDRA KAYE LAWHERN
Sondra Lawhern, 67, of Knoxville, Tenn. passed away Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville. She was of the Baptist faith.
Surviving are her husband; Steven Lawhern; sons: Brian Steven and Matthew Franklin Lawhern, a daughter: Amy Rebeka Glenney; a brother: Arville Roy Patrick; sisters: Juanita Allen, Millie Mohon, Jannie Bennett and Diane Loveday.
A funeral service will be held at 7 P. M. Friday in the Chapel of Weaver Funeral Home in Knoxville. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 PM prior to the service at the funeral home.
Sondra’s body will be returned to Burnsville where the family will receive friends from 1 until 2 PM Saturday at Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Burial will follow in the Academy Hill Cemetery in Burnsville.
Lockie Grindstaff, 93, of the Brush Creek Community of Yancey County, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at Madison Health & Rehabilitation. A native of Mitchell County, she was a daughter of the late Zeke and Sarah Lingerfelt Miller, and the wife of Lawrence Grindstaff who died in 2010. She was also preceded in death by a sister and seven brothers.
Surviving are daughters: Arlene Ray and husband, Charles, of Green Mountain, Natalie Harris of Lenoir and Sue Willmott of Asheville; sons: J. R. Grindstaff and Norma Westall, and Earl Grindstaff and wife, Karen, all of Burnsville, and Gary Grindstaff and wife, Sherry, of Green Mountain; 8 grandchildren; 2 step grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and, 2 great, great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11AM Saturday in Red Hill Baptist Church, of which she was a lifelong member. Pastor Randy Wise will officiate. Burial will be in the church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to the service at the church.
JOY JOHNSON LETTERMAN
Joy’s children would like to let you know her work on earth is done. She went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Joy always said she wanted to live as long as she was of service and even at the end of her life, her service was praising God and offering a smile to everyone she saw. Her new mission in heaven is to enjoy eternity and fellowship with those who have gone before.
Joy was born September 1, 1923 in Green Mountain, NC to the late Desota S. and Rosa Woody Johnson. She was an integral force of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, serving her God and community for over seventy years. She served as secretary, teacher, and Samaritan’s Purse Coordinator. Many admired her incredible example of living. She was generous, loving, supportive and unselfish lady who always put God, family and friends before herself.
Some of her favorite activities were gardening, bird watching, reading, cooking for family and friends and music. She was exceptional at expressing herself.
In 1947 Joy married the love of her life, James Enzy Letterman, who passed away in 1992, and we are grateful they are now reunited. She is survived by daughters: Pat Whitson, and husband Gary of Weaverville and Teresa Smith, and husband, Ken of Banner Elk; a sister: Glenda Lewis, and husband Tom, of Brevard; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 PM Friday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Dr. Jim McCoy will officiate. Burial will be in the Johnson-Woody Cemetery on Brush Creek Road in Green Mountain.
The family will receive friends from 2 until 3:30 PM Friday, prior to the service at the funeral home.
Pat and Teresa want to thank everyone, especially her caregivers at The Laurels of Greentree Ridge, CareParners Hospice and Aston Park Rehabilitation for the care given to “Mama Joy”. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of her family, ministers and many friends throughout her life.
The family asks for consideration of donations in her name to CarePartners Hospice Sweeten Creek, The Laurels of Greentree Ridge or Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
Kenneth Gilbert, 68, of the Cattail Creek Community of Yancey County, passed away Saturday, October 24, 2015, at The Laurels of Green Tree in Asheville. He was the son of the late Floyd I. and Nora A. Gilbert, and the husband of Alice Jane Gilbert, who died in 2007.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at Pensacola United Methodist Church.
Catherine Garris, 95, formerly of the Arbuckle Community of Yancey County, passed away peacefully, Friday, October 23, 2015 at Heather Glen at Ardenwoods. A native of Dade County, Florida, she was a daughter of the late Clarence and Francis Pierson Marsh and the wife of William W. Garris, who died in 2001. She was a retired employee of AT&T after 41 years of service.
Surviving are her son: David R. Sullivan, III, of Burnsville; a step-son: Daniel Garris of Orlando, FL; grandchildren: Kerri Wise of Fletcher, Trisha Sullivan of Daytona, FL and Chris Garris of Peachtree City, GA; great grandchildren: Cheyanne, Colton and Calaya Wise, Amelia Hardin, Thiri Sophia Garris and Aaliyah, Tamara and Gabrielle Porter.
Funeral services will be held at 3 PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Rev Ken Anderson will officiate. Burial will be in the Gus Young Cemetery on Arbuckle Road.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
LARRY LEON SHEPHERD
Larry L. Shepherd, 69, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord, Tuesday October 13, 2015, at Mission Hospitals, St. Joseph Campus. A native of Yancey County he was a son of the late Charlie and Maphria Mathis Shepherd. He was a retired farmer and a member of Riverside Baptist Church. Larry loved farming and his family.
Surviving are his wife of 40 years, Karen Johnson Shepherd; a son: Kyle Johnson, and wife Michelle; 2 daughters: Carolyn Shepherd and Cathy Gortney; 4 granddaughters: Sara and Bethany Johnson, and Leighann and Nichole Gortney, all of Burnsville.
Funeral services will be held at 8PM Thursday, in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Revs Tommy Murphy and Roger Laws will officiate. A graveside service will be held at 11AM Friday, in Woody Cemetery, on Ridge Road. The family will receive friends 2 hours prior to the service at the funeral home.
Kenneth Crowder, 77, of Marshall, passed away Tuesday, October 12, 2015, at the VA Hospice Center following a period of declining health. He was the son of the late Coy and Pansy Chandler Crowder. Kenneth graduated from Bald Creek High School and Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. He was a US Army Veteran. Kenneth was in sales for most of his life, traveling many states in the southeast. He also managed a furniture store in Hendersonville and was Assistant School Director at Alliance Tractor Trailer Training Center in Arden. Kenneth enjoyed trips to NASCAR events and his favorite beaches in North and South Carolina and Florida. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and extended family.
Surviving are his wife: Judy Crowder; son: Ryan Crowder and wife, Rachel; and, granddaughter: Olivia, all of Mars Hill.
A private graveside service was held on Thursday, October 15, 2015, at the Justice-Rice Cemetery with Pastor Jake Fender officiating.
EDITH CARROLL LAWS
Edith Carroll Laws, 77 of the Celo community, went home to be with her Heavenly Father, Saturday, October 10, 2015 at her home, surrounded by her loving family. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Tom and Eula Gibbs Carroll. She was also preceded in death by her siblings: Gladys Hensley, Junior Carroll, Merle Parker, Alma Lister, and Billy, Irma and Edward Carroll.
Edith retired with 32 years of service at South Toe Elementary School where she devoted her life to the children. She was a lifelong member at Brown’s Creek Baptist Church, and served as Sunday School Secretary for many years.
Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 58 years; Clyde Laws, her daughter: Sandra L. Allison and husband Bob; her son: Tony C. Laws and wife Sherry; a granddaughter: Mackenzie Autrey; a grandson: Chadd Hensley and wife Krista; and a great grandson: Drew Hensley, all of Burnsville; a brother: Wade Carroll and wife Brenda of Celo; a sister: Glenda Atkins and husband Clarence of Spruce Pine, and several nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 PM Tuesday in Brown’s Creek Baptist Church with the Reverends Donald Davis and David Brown and her son Tony C. Laws officiating. Burial will be in the Carroway Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 PM 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.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Geroges Fork Road, Burnsville NC 28714 or the Building Fund of Brown’s Creek Baptist Church, c/o Carol Loftis, 7658 State Highway 80 South, Burnsville, NC 28714.
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