: OBITUARIES :
ELEANOR BARHAM HIGGINS
Eleanor Barham Higgins, 87, of Burnsville, died on September 10, 2015. She passed away peacefully and is now in the arms of her Lord. She was born in Johnston County, NC on March 16, 1928 to the late W. T. and Mae C. Barham. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother: W. Thomas Barham; and a sister: Helen Barham Vinson. Eleanor graduated from Archer Lodge High School in 1943 and attended Atlantic Christian College in Wilson. She was an excellent seamstress and tailored clothes for her family and many others. Eleanor taught elementary education for many years. She then worked with the State of North Carolina at the Employment Security Commission. Later she worked at N. C. State University before retiring. In addition to being a wonderful wife and mother, she was an adored grandmother and great grandmother.
Surviving are her husband: Horace Higgins, Jr. of the home; daughter: Diane Reaves and husband, Brad, of Raleigh; and her granddaughters: Toni Hildebrand and husband, Harold Herman, of Knightdale and Kelly Vetter and husband, Brian, of Garner. Her adored great grandchildren are: Blake Hildebrand and Kyle and Ashley Vetter; a sister: Annettie Steed and husband, Levi, of Raleigh; sister-in-law: Dorothy Barham of Lillington; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 3 PM Tuesday, September 15, 2015, in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Ervin Barham, her nephew, 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.
Kenneth McCurry, 85, of Tampa, passed away on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Thomas Britt and Louella Peterson McCurry. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years: Anna Elizabeth McCurry; and by 7 of his 10 siblings.
Surviving are his son: Kenneth R. McCurry and wife, Lisa, who loved him dearly; three daughters: Nancy L. Buchanan and husband, Jay, Mary Barrows and Brenda Gross; two sisters: Annabelle Fox and Stella Peterson; 11 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; 3 great, great grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 5PM Sunday, September 13, 2015, at the Town & Country Church of the Nazarene, 9910 Wilsky Boulevard, Tampa, FL. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, a charitable contribution can be made to the American Diabetes Association.
MARTHA HALL RATHBURN
Martha Hall Rathburn, 70, of Asheville, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, September 5, 2015 at Care Partners Solace Center in Asheville. A native of Barnardsville, she was a daughter of the late Charley and Mary Davis Hall and the wife of Billy Rathburn, Sr., who died in 2007. She was also preceded in death by a sister: Bertha and brothers: John, Homer, Charles and James. Martha was a lover of genealogy and making music with her husband and their band, “The Buckskins”.
Surviving are a daughter: Cathy Rathburn Robertson and husband Chris of Leicester; a son: Billy Rathburn, Jr and wife Storm of Asheville, 3 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; a sister: Rosemary Riddle of Burnsville and numerous special friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Rev. Chris Robertson will officiate. Burial will be in the Ledford-Atkins Cemetery at Pensacola.The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
TERESA SMITH MURPHY
Teresa Smith Murphy, 45, of Morganton, went home to be with the Lord Friday, September 4, 2015, at her home.A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of Linda Hamby Deyton of Burnsville and the late John Smith. She was preceded in death by her grandmother: Vena Hamby, whom she loved dearly. Teresa was a member of Eastville Community Baptist Church in Marion. She was a loving wife, daughter, sister and a mother to all.
Surviving, in addition to her mother, are her husband of 25 years: Rev. Tony Won Murphy; sisters: Lisa Bennett and husband, Tony, Jamie Deyton and husband, Colby, Melinda Fox, Betty Ann Holtsclaw and Martinez, all of Burnsville; her grandchildren: Chloe and Evan; and several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held at 2PM Monday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Revs. Randall Robinson and Danny Crowder will officiate. Burial will be in the Marietta Atkins Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from Noon until 2PM prior to the service at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the home of her mother at 165 Saw Mill Hollow Road in Burnsville.
Memorials may be made to assist with funeral expenses
MARGARET RIDDLE COMEE
Margaret R. Comee, age 91, a retired medical secretary and hospital departmental office manager, passed away on August 27, 2015 at Mountain Manor Assisted Living. A native of Burnsville, where she was born on June 30, 1924 to Welzie Riddle, Sr. and Jessie McMahan Riddle. She was a 1945 graduate of Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC.
Her work in the medical field took her to positions at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Emory University, Atlanta, GA; the US Air Force Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany; George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC; Washington DC Children’s Hospital; and the Maine Medical Center.
On November 21, 1965, in Alexandria, VA she married Edgar A. Comee, a Brunswick native and former Maine newspaperman, then an official of the US Agency for International Development. Upon his retirement in 1974, the couple passed nine months in US and Bahamas waters aboard their cruising ketch before settling in Maine in 1975. They also traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia, and on two occasions took up extended residence in the Provence region of France.
In the Washsington, DC area Mrs. Comee was a volunteer assisting the mentally ill. While in Brunswick she was active in the docent program of the Bowdoin College, ranging from Russian history to the sonnets of Shakespeare. Her other interests were reading, flower gardening and cooking. She also was a lover of dogs, especially her silky, Tabitha. In December of 2005, after the death of her husband, she returned to Burnsville to be close to relatives.
She is survived by two step-daughters, Elizabeth Bouve and Deborah Copperthwait, nieces, Katie Wilson, Virginia Dare Fox, Rebecca Fox, Margaret Young, and a nephew, Norman Evans. Also great nieces are Linda Griffith, Claudette Childs, Linda Humpherys, Kimberly Tingle, Liza Fox, Victoria Fox, Kathy Troxler, and Laura Worrell. Great nephews are Carol Mumpower, Ty and Jeff Fox, Cooper Hamilton, Jr., and David Young.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, August 30, 2015, at 3:00 PM in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Rev. Ray Strickland will officiate. Burial will be in the Riddle Family Cemetery in Pensacola, NC.
GEORGE WHITMIRE GOWEN
George Whitmire Gowen, 83, of Burnsville, passed away Monday, August 17, 2015 at his home.
The son of the late George William and Sarah Weir Gowen, he was born in Brunswick, Georgia, and grew up on St. Simons Island. He graduated from Riverside Military Academy and The Citadel. George served in the United States Army as a civil engineer. In Charlotte, N.C. he was an innovative automobile dealer until his retirement in 1995.
George and his bride, Ollie Ann King Gowen, also lived on Callawassie Island, South Carolina, and in Burnsville, where they were active members of Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church.
Surviving are his four children and their spouses: Sally and Jack Green, Mary Ann and Barry Jenkins, Laurie and Jon Perry, and George Louis and Maryann Gowen; eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
His favorite people call him Pappy.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 21, 2015 at eleven a.m. at Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church in Burnsville. There will be a reception for friends and family immediately after the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to Higgins Memorial United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 85, Burnsville, N.C., 28714, or the P.E.O Sisterhood Ollie Ann Gowen Scholarship Fund.
ROBBIE JEAN BROWN
Robbie Jean Brown, 58, of Charlie Brown Road, passed away Saturday, August 15, 2015 at her home. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of Nora Belle Wheeler Brown of Burnsville and the late Robert Jackson ‘Bobby’ Brown. She loved to make crafts, paint and being outdoors.
Surviving in addition to her mother is a daughter: Michelle Jarrett of Charlotte; two sons: Aaron Collins of Marion and Robert David Brown of Burnsville; four sisters: Judy Silvers and husband Morris, Louann Brown, Amy Brown and Angie Brown all of Burnsville; a brother: George Brown and wife Linda of Kingsport, TN, 7 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 12 noon, Saturday, August 22, 2015 in West Burnsville Church of God. Pastor Timothy Campbell will officiate. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to West Burnsville Church of God, 557 West Side Road, Burnville, NC 28714 or The Gideons International, P. O. Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.
Howard Bennett, 88, of Green Mountain Drive, Burnsville, passed away Saturday, August 15, 2015, after a long illness. A native of Yancey County, he was born August 21, 1926 to the late Charles Pender and Bertha Mae Fox Bennett. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 57 years: Tilda Jane Ayers Bennett, who died in 2004; two sons: Edwin Joseph Bennett and Royce Eugene Bennett and three brothers: Harold, Harrison and William Bennett.
A World War II Veteran, Howard served in the Pacific Theatre with the United States Navy as a Gunners Mate aboard the USS Joseph M. Auman (APD 117). The Navy allowed Howard to see the world as he traveled to Japan, China, Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. Howard worked for French Broad EMC, as a lineman, and retired from Glen Raven Mills, where he worked as an electrician for 30 years. He was a skilled carpenter, building numerous houses, grandfather clocks and fine furniture. A faithful member of Green Mountain Freewill Baptist Church, he believed in serving his fellow man and often volunteered his services to fix plumbing, wiring and other things of his neighbors’ homes.
Surviving are his sister: Kathryn Edwards; two daughters-in-law: Mona Harrison Bennett and Janice Fox Bennett; two grandsons: Nathan Bennett and wife Katie and Jonathan Bennett; three granddaughters: Jennifer Hanlon and husband Tim, and Jane and Jolene Bennett; three great grandchildren: Riley, Mia and Keegan Bennett and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Monday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Revs. Harold Bennett, Jr. and Steve Penland will officiate. A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Tuesday in the McCracken Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:30 until 7:30 PM Monday, prior to the service at the funeral home, and at other times will be at his home.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 or Gideons International, P. O. Box 264, Burnsville, NC 28714.
GLADYS WYATT BUCHANAN
Gladys Wyatt Buchanan, 93, of Micaville, was reunited with her heavenly family on her birthday, Friday, August 7, 2015. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Ross and Nell Chrisawn Wyatt, and the wife of George Buchanan who died in 2013. She was also preceded in death by a sister: Madge Hensley. Gladys was a life-long member of Micaville Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir for many years.
Surviving are her sister: Georgia Price of Marion; a niece: Joan Lanier of Gastonia; and a nephew: Dennis Price of Marion. Numerous nieces and nephews by marriage also survive.
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Revs. John and Beth Hall will officiate. Burial will be in the Hughes Cemetery at Pleasant Gap.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Micaville Presbyterian Church, 587 Micaville Loop, Micaville, NC 28755.
MARY HARRIS YOUNG
Mary Harris Young, 95, of Shoal Creek, went home to be with the Lord, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Monroe and Mallie Silvers Harris. She was the wife of Albert Young who died in 1982. Mary was also preceded in death by 2 sisters: Zona H. Styles and Edith Harris; 3 brothers: Carter, Nolan and Paul Harris. Mary was the oldest member of Shoal Creek Baptist Church. Her greatest love was her family, flowers and garden.
Surviving are a son, Roger Young and wife, Deborah; a grandson, Aaron Young and wife, Kelly; and her beloved great grandchildren: Creed, Bella and Sophie Kate all of Burnsville. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held at 7 PM Thursday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Pastor Merritt Taylor will officiate. A graveside service will be held at 10 AM Friday in the Pete Young Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 until 7 PM Thursday prior to the service at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777 or Camp Funshine, c/o Lucy Young Wilson, 264 Log Cabin Lane, Burnsville, NC 28714.
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