: OBITUARIES :
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J. B. 'POP' FENDER

J. B. “Pop” Fender, 82, formerly of Burnsville, passed away Wednesday, February 4, 2015, in Port Charlotte, Florida.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Clayton and Cindy Atkins Fender.  He was the husband of Annie Davis Fender who died in 2001.  He was also preceded in death by a sister:  Hattie Fender Edwards.  He owned and operated J & B Auto Sales for many years.  J. B. was a US Army Veteran and a member of Sgt. E. L. Randolph Chapter 57 DAV.

 

Surviving are 2 daughters:  Kathy Hill and husband, Terry, of Arcadia, FL and Gwen Black and husband, Harold, of Burnsville; 2 sons:  Greg Fender of the home and Gary Fender of Mars Hill; grandchildren:  Sonya Thomas, Candace Laman, Brandon Fender, Jordan Fender, Celeste Fender, Natalie Shrader; 9 great grandchildren; and 3 brothers:  Conley Fender of Erwin, Rex Fender of Johnson City and David "Smiley" Parker of Mars Hill.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Junior Peterson will officiate.  Burial will be in the Zack Fender Cemetery with military grave rites conducted by Sgt. E. L. Randolph Chapter 57 DAV. 

 

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.  At other times, the family will be at the home of Gwen Black.

 

Memorials may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project, P. O. Box 75817, Topeka, Kansas 66675, or woundedwarriorproject.org.

SHEILA RAY CUNNINGHAM

Sheila Ray Cunningham, 59, of the Cane River community, went home to be with the Lord Monday, February 2, 2015, at her home.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Shelby and Rhodica Banks Ray.  She was also preceded in death by brothers:   Morris Lee Ray and Nelson Ray.  Sheila was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, who enjoyed spending time with her family.

 

Surviving are her husband of 18 years:  Alan Cunningham; 3 sons:  Jason Shepherd and fiancée, Lynn Phillips, of Burnsville, Jonathan England and wife, Shannon, of Barnardsville, and Wesley England of Burnsville; 3 grandchildren:  Gus, Jordan and Max; a brother:  Ricky Ray and wife, Kathy, of Burnsville; a sister:  Tammy Mercer of Burnsville; and, nieces and nephews also survive.

 

Funeral services will be held at 8PM Friday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Her son, Rev. Jonathan England, will officiate.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

 

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

GARY MICHAEL RIDDLE

Gary Michael Riddle, 59, of Newdale, went to be with the Lord, Sunday, February 1, 2015, at his home.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late France and Leatha McIntosh Riddle.  He was also preceded in death by brothers:  Jimmie, Leroy and Bennie Riddle.  Gary was a former employee of Glen Raven Mills.

 

Surviving are his wife:  Janice Riddle; a daughter:  Lana Guthrie and husband, Roger, of Canton; a son:  Jeremy Riddle and wife, Kim, of Arden; 2 step sons:  Blandon Silvers and wife, Kim, and Brian Cooper, all of Burnsville; 5 grandchildren:  Hayden Riddle, Jaika and Elijah Guthrie, and Addison and Savannah Riddle; step grandchildren:  Alexis, Bryson and Malachi Cooper, and Aidan, A. J. and Adam Silvers; and, 5 sisters:  Shirley Linville and husband, George, of Mechanicsville, VA, Jessie Sowder and husband, Charles, and Christine Humphrey and husband, Johnnie, of Baltimore, MD, Thanna Smith and husband, Bobby, of Mocksville, and Judy Smith and husband, Paul, of Axton, VA.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Stacey Elkins and Ricky Woody will officiate. Burial will follow in McIntosh Cemetery on Langford Branch.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8PM Tuesday at the funeral home, and at other times will be at the home.

 

Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, Inc., 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

GERALDINE ANN McCURRY

Geraldine Ann McCurry, 73, of Asheville died peacefully Tuesday, January 27, 2015 with her family by her side at St. Josephs Campus of Mission Hospitals.  She was born March 19, 1941 in Coventry, England to the late Edwin and Eileen Perks.  She was also preceded in death by a brother, Anthony Perks; a sister, Margaret Eyre; and brother-in-law, John Eyre.  Ann enjoyed reading, gardening and her family.  Ann and her husband married in England in 1964 and moved to North Carolina in 1965 where they raised their family.

 

Surviving are her husband of 50 years, Craig McCurry of Asheville; son, Marc McCurry (Bridgette) of Leicester; daughter, Megan Green (Karl) of Mars Hill; grandsons:  Aidan and Patrick Green of Mars Hill; sister, Pauline West (Bert) of Coventry; mother-in-law, Daisy McCurry of Green Mountain and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Friday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Blaine Whitson will officiate. Burial will be in the Peterson Hill Cemetery.

 

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

FRANCES DALE

Frances Dale, 93, of the Pleasant Gap Community, went home to be with the Lord Monday, January 26, 2015 at the home of her daughter.  A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late Grant and Abby Buchanan Wyatt and the wife of James “Jay” Dale who died in 1998.  She was also preceded in death by sisters:  Dolly Boone, Nola Boone, Lucille Wyatt and Jewell Wyatt; and brothers:  Rev. C. G. Wyatt, Jay, Arnold and Paul Wyatt.  Frances was a life-long member of Pleasant Gap Baptist Church.

 

Surviving are a daughter:  Martha Autrey and husband, David, of Burnsville; sons:  Morris Dale and wife, Sue, of Hendersonville, Larry Dale and wife, Cindy, of Okeechobee, FL, and Dennis Dale and wife, Teresa, of Bakersville; grandchildren:  David James Autrey and wife, Sherri, Chris Autrey and wife, Kristie, Rev. Steve Autrey and wife, Marcy, Rev. Jeff Autrey and wife, Linda, Charlie Autrey and wife, Becky, Weldon Dale and wife, Jennifer, Rena Dale, Dawn Dale Crudup, Lori Fox and husband, Derrick, Rev. Matthew Ward and wife, Amy, Michelle Smith and husband, Shannon, and Levi Dale; great grandchildren:  Ashley, Sara, Jacob, Isaac, Aaron, Cherith, Andrew, Elizabeth, Maggie, Ethan, Patrick, Taylor, Landon, Riley, Brianna, Kali, Elijah and Linsie; 2 brothers:  Jack Wyatt of Hickory and G. B. Wyatt and wife, Elizabeth, of Micaville; sisters-in-law:  Madge Davis, Georgia Dale, Paulette Barrier, Billie June Dale and Diane Dale; and a brother-in-law:  Phillip Dale and wife, Ginger.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Saturday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Grandsons, Revs. Jeff and Steve Autrey will officiate.  Burial will be in the Hughes Cemetery at Pleasant Gap. 

 

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

 

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

RUBY MILLER

Ruby Miller, 88, of Burnsville went home to be with the Lord Monday, January 26, 2015 at Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation in Spruce Pine.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late John and Martha Hall Parker and the wife of John A. Miller who died in 1987.  She was also preceded in death by sisters:  Jacqueline Huskins, Betty Sue Parker, Virginia (Gin) Tipton and Ida Lee Silvers; brothers:  Perry, Ralph and J. C. Parker, G.D., Bill,  Nas and Charlie Bailey, Jr.

 

Surviving are a son, Roger Miller and wife, Virginia, of Burnsville; 2 grandchildren:  Rodney Miller of Marion and Jennifer Dirisio of Johnson City; and 4 great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:00 PM Thursday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers funeral Home.  Pastor Ricky Ray will officiate.  A grave side service will be held at 11:00 AM Friday in Liberty Hill Baptist Church Cemetery.

 

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

SARAH JANE BRADFORD FENDER

Sarah Jane Bradford Fender, 94, of the Bald Mountain Community of Yancey County, went to be with the Lord Sunday, January 25, 2015 at Brookside Rehabilitation and Care.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Milburn and Loretta McCurry Bradford.  She was the wife of Tilden Zack Fender who died in 1987.  She was also preceded in death by a son, Tilden Gerald Fender; a granddaughter, Loretta Jane Warrick; son-in-law, Jim Warrick; brothers, Hubert Bradford and Theodore “Alex” Bradford; a sister, Martha “Monee” Honeycutt.  She was a member of Bald Mountain Freewill Baptist Church.  Sara Jane was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

 

Surviving are her daughters:  Jewell Warrick of Green Mountain and Teresa Burleson and husband, Johnny, of Burnsville; 7 grandchildren:  Adam Banks, Nicky Banks, Lisa Storey (Joey), Lila Styles (Greg), Lavetta Edwards (Tony), Linda Tipton (Steven) and James Matthew Warrick;  1 step granddaughter:  Tammy Hensley (Bobby); 10 great-grandchildren:  Isaac, Janna, Blake, Joshua, Austin, Kyle, Benjamin, Evangelia, Trey and Nolan; 2 step great-grandchildren:  Nick Hensley (Crystal), and Morgan Hollifield (Misher); and 1 step-great-great-grandson:  Jett Hollifield; special friends:  Wilma “Bill” Wilson, Ramona Maximillian, Mona Patton, Derrick Freeman, Jake, Josh and Wesley; and  nieces and nephews:  Eddie Jean Bradford, Dale Coletta (David), Broma Stiles (Eddie), Larry Bradford (Doris), Suzanne Zimmerman (Mike), Judy Bennett, Glenda Spainhour (Donnie), Reed Wilson (Carolyn), Shirleen Watson (Doug), Janet Sue  Lust (Mark), and Troy Honeycutt, Jr. (Melanie).

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Joe Bennett will officiate.  A grave side service will be held at 11 AM Thursday in the Zack Fender Cemetery at Bald Mountain. 

 

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

 

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 or American Heart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, 4217 Park Place Court, American Heart Association Building, Glen Allen, VA  23060.

 

The family wishes to extend special thanks to her caregivers:  Linda Gray, Gladys Buck and Tiffany Fender and the staff of Brookside and Hospice of Yancey County.

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.

 

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