: OBITUARIES :
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GRADY EDWARDS

Grady Edwards, 89, of Green Mountain Drive, went home to be with the Lord Friday, August 24, 2012.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Gus and Flora Peterson Edwards.  He was also preceded in death by a son:  Tommy Lee Edwards; 2 sisters:  Zelia Edwards and Lena McCurry; and, 3 brothers:  Latt, Carson and Homer Edwards.  Grady was a World War II Navy Veteran, having served aboard the USS Bush, and a retired employee of Glen Raven Mills.

 

Surviving are his wife of 63 years:  Kathryn Bennett Edwards; a sister:  Odett Penland and a brother-in-law:  Howard Bennett both of Burnsville; Several nieces, nephews and, a special family member:  Mona Bennett also survive.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Sunday in Green Mountain Free Will Baptist Church, of which he attended.  Revs. Steve Penland and Harold Bennett, Jr. will officiate.  Burial will be in the McCracken Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 until 7:30 PM Saturday at the church.

MARY ATLAS EDWARDS

Mary Atlas Edwards, 85, of Burnsville, passed away peacefully Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at Brookside Rehabilitation & Care.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Walter and Pansy Robinson Edwards of the Mine Fork Community.  She was also preceded in death by brothers:  Jack and Avery Edwards.  Mary was a retired employee of Baxter Healthcare in Marion.  Until her declining health she attended Unity Baptist Church.  She enjoyed lawn work, her flower garden and spending time on her porch.

 

Surviving are her children:  James Laws and wife, Aileen, of Newdale, Sally Ray and husband, Phillip, of Micaville, and Mattie Angel of Burnsville; grandchildren:  Janie Martin and husband, Anthony, of Oxford, AL, Terry Jones and wife, Roycene, of Green Mountain, Jeremiah Laws of Newdale and Bethany Grindstaff and husband, Craig, of Bakersville; 2 step granddaughters:  Nancy and Glenna Ray of Burnsville; great grandchildren:  Chesney Grindstaff, Madison Laws, Nathan, Samuel and Dalton Jones and Kansas and Jacob Blunt; and, step great grandchildren:  Cody and Cy Ray.

 

Graveside services will be held at 3PM Friday in Bailey Hill Cemetery.  Revs. Bobby Silvers and Randy Laws will officiate.

 

The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:30 PM Friday at Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.

WALTER J. REIN

Walter Rein, a Great Man, passed away into his new life in the universe on Monday morning, August 20, 2012 at Mission St. Joseph hospital with his loving wife at his bedside.

 

Preceding him in death are his parents, Frank and Bessie Rein, and his older sister, Margaret Jones.  Surviving are his wife, Janell Rein; daughters:  Sarah Claybrook and Mary Rhines; sister and husband:  Retta and Chuck Folsom; brother and wife:  John and Cindy Rein; five grandchildren:  Ronnie Arnold, B. J. Rhines, Josh Rhines, Adria Claybrook, David Claybrook; and one great grandchild:  Armani Anderson.

 

“Celebration of the Life of Walter Rein” will be at  Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home in Burnsville, NC at 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 25, 2012.  It is a time for all his friends to share with each other the thoughts and memories they have of Walter.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Anyone who is unable to attend and  would like to participate in this sharing time, please email your thoughts to Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home at hbfh@holcombebrothers.com and it will be read at the Celebration.

 

Walter celebrated life and the universe!  As most of his friends know, he loved humor!

 

He has a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt.  He began his adult life as a minister and later worked at a series of other occupations, including teacher, insurance agent, farmer, carpenter, copywriter and tax collector.  Walter was a man of many talents and skills.  He was a great and creative writer and has published six books, four chapbooks, one of which is a comedy monologue, a seventh book is in process of publication.  Some of his skills and talents were:  designing and building houses, designing and building furniture and picture frames, and other projects too numerous to mention, landscaping artist, a great chef, and was an outstanding teacher.

 

Walter and wife, Janell, have been married 55 years and were partners, soul mates and best friends.  They have always had a great love for each other and shared a love of the mountains and the universe.  After their retirement, they moved to the mountains of North Carolina where they planned to spend the remainder of their lives.

 

Thanks to all the nurses and doctors who provided excellent care during Walter’s illness over the past 6 years:  Cancer Care of WNC, Duke University Cancer Care, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Mission St. Joseph Hospital in Asheville.  We love these people and consider them a part of our family.  They provided great care with compassion.

 

Thanks to our friends at Mayland Writers’ Group for their love and encouragement.  We love them dearly.

 

Thanks to our friends and neighbors for their many kindnesses and gestures of love over the years.  You are very special to us.           

 

Flowers are accepted or contributions may be made to any of the following as a charitable gift:  The Williamson Fund Lovelights at Cancer Care of WNC, 445 Biltmore Avenue, Suite 100, Asheville, NC 28801; Duke University Health System, Division of Hematology/Oncology, DUMC 3810, Durham, NC 27710, for hematology/oncology research; The Janell and Walter Rein Endowment for Hospice at West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, Jackson, TN;  or Walter J. Rein and Janell Laman Rein Scholarship Fund at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

GAY THOMASON

Gay Thomason, 68, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at his home.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Otis and Helen Ledford Thomason.  He was also preceded in death by a brother:  James Thomason.  Gay was a US Army Veteran.

 

Surviving are his wife of 46 years:  Joyce Duckett Thomason; 4 sons:  David Thomason and wife, Christine, of Milwaukee, WI, Chris Thomason and wife, Rebekah, Danny Thomason and wife, Dawn, and Donald Thomason and Melissa Coleman all of Burnsville, 9 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter; 3 sisters:  Ruth Austin of Barnardsville, Eloise White of Maggie Valley and Revonda Davis of Asheville; and 3 brothers:  Mack Thomason, Guy Thomason and Buck Thomason all of Burnsville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Todd Robinson and Arnold Buchanan will officiate.  Burial will be in the Ledford Atkins Cemetery.

 

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 PM Saturday at the funeral home.

MICHAEL PHILLIPS

Michael “Glass Breaker” Phillips, 61, of the Bee Log Community passed away Monday, August 13, 2012 at his home.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Charles and Hope Wilson Phillips.  He was also preceded in death by a sister, Bertha Wynelle Phillips and brother, Terry Phillips.  He was a loving brother and friend and will be missed by all who knew him.

 

Surviving are a sister:  Anna Rae Phillips, two brothers:  Charles Henry Phillips and wife, JoAnn, and Morris Phillips and wife, Becky, and his wife, Kathy Phillips all of Burnsville; a son:  Matthew Kiser of Asheville, four grandchildren; a great grandson; 3 nieces; a great niece and 2 great nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.   Rev. Burl Ledford will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Thursday in the Bee Log Hill Cemetery.

 

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

 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home to assist with funeral expenses.

MARY BURLESON HUGHES

Mary Burleson Hughes, 86, of Burnsville, passed away peacefully Sunday, August 12, 2012 at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

 

Born on January 24, 1926 to the late Rev. Jessie and Vennie Burleson of the Bandana community, she was a life-long resident of Burnsville and a member of Victory Baptist Church.

 

She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Howard Hughes, as well as, four brothers:  James, Frank, John and Paul Burleson and six sisters:  Ruth Grindstaff, Jenny Buchanan, Ellen Howell, Edith Wyke, Anna Mae Burleson and Mae Grindstaff.

 

Surviving are three daughters:  Shirley House of Salisbury, Renee Miller and Patricia Hughes both of Concord; four grandchildren:  Steve Blevins of Statesville, Tonya Blevins and Ashley Blevins both of Salisbury and Chris Reid of Mooresville; eight great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; and a sister:  Alberta Buchanan of Bakersville.

 

Funeral services will be held at 7:30 PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Revs. Max Gortney and Scot Garland will officiate.  A graveside service will be held at 11 AM Wednesday in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

 

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

KITTY GRIFFITH SMITH

In loving memory of a loving mother, a devoted wife, respected grandmother, and honorary mother of the community. 

 

Kitty was born and raised in Burnsville, NC on May 11, 1947.  She was a daughter of the late Beecher and Selelia Griffith.  Kitty was preceded in death by a sister:  Oridea Roland; and, a brother:  Alphonus Young.  She graduated from East Yancey High School in 1966.  Kitty was a member and pianist of Griffith Chapel AME Zion Church for over 30 years.  She began her career at Ingles Grocery Store for 12 years, and ended her career at H&R Block after 23 years of hard work and dedication.  Kitty will be remembered and missed by a host of friends and family.

 

Surviving are her loving and dedicated husband of 44 years:  Lenon H. Smith; her children:  RonLesly “Bam” Smith of the home, Melissa Tarbush and husband, Ken, Samantha Smith and Tony “Trouble” Smith, all of Burnsville, Terry Smith and wife, Beate, of Oklahoma, Carlos Smith and wife, Bridgette, of Durham, and Lenon and Daryan Smith of Charlotte.  She is also survived by 21 grandchildren and several great grandchildren; 2 brothers:  Jeter Young and John B. Griffith; 2 sisters:  Violet Henson and Patty Watkins and several neices and nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Tuesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. James Staley will officiate.  Burial will be in Horton Cemetery.

TICIE HENSLEY

Ticie Hensley, 89, of Lickskillet Road, went to be with the Lord Thursday, August 9, 2012, at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Murphy and Bonnie Edwards Hensley, and the husband of the late Texie Bradford Hensley.  He was also preceded in death by sisters:  Reba Hensley, Texie Edwards, Minerva Pate and Gaynell Hoover; and, brothers:  Arvil, James, Coolidge, Rom and Berry Hensley.

 

Surviving are 3 sisters:  Alice Fender of Burnsville, Winnie Stines of Morganton, and Mary Magdalene Tipton of Weaverville; a stepson:  Gary Davis of Marion; and, several nieces and nephews.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Saturday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Cline Hensley will officiate.  Burial will be in the Burton Cemetery on Lickskillet Road.

 

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

RANDY SILVERS

Randy Silvers, of both Greensboro and Burnsville, NC, passed away on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at Mission Hospital in Asheville.  He was the son of Mary Rose Silvers and the late Burgin Silvers of Burnsville.

 

Randy was one of those rare individuals who knew at an early age what he wanted his vocation to be, and he pursued that vocation as an award winning quilter, quilting instructor, sewing machine dealer and quilt shop owner.  Randy was the original owner of The Country Peddler Quilt Shop in Burnsville and Fran’s Quilt Shop, which he bought and renamed Randy’s Quilt Shop in Greensboro.  He also traveled up and down the east coast of the United States for many years selling quilts at craft shows.  Randy was instrumental in the formation of the Gate City Guild in Greensboro.

 

In addition to his mother, Randy leaves behind his partner of 20 years:  Louie Hughes of Greensboro; and, a host of aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as friends, especially in the quilting community from all over the country to mourn his passing.

 

Throughout his life Randy held to his deeply religious beliefs, and they were a great source of comfort to him, especially during the most difficult days of his illness.  He was very proud of his mountain heritage and loved to tell stories of memories from his childhood in his quilting classes.  Prior to his death he was planning to move back to the mountains which he loved dearly.

 

A service for Randy will be held at 2PM Friday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Jerry Shelton and his uncle, Frank Silvers, will officiate.  Burial will be in the Cane River Church Cemetery.

 

Visitation will take place beginning at 1PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

 

Randy greatly supported many causes, but there were two causes that were near and dear to him. The first one was supporting breast cancer research, as Randy witnessed countless friends and customers battle breast cancer.  Randy donated quilts and fabric from his shop to be made into quilts to be used as raffles to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  The other great cause Randy supported was helping to feed the needy by sponsoring food drives at his shop for the Greensboro Urban Ministry.  Therefore, in lieu of flowers, it is requested that those wishing to do so will make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Greensboro Urban Ministry, or Reconciliation House in Burnsville, or to your favorite charity.

MADGE LEE ALLEN

Madge Allen, 87, of Scronce Creek, passed away Saturday, August 4, 2012 at Mission Hospital.  A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Frank and Cenia Tipton.

 

Surviving are her children:  JoAnn Phillips, Christine Hensley, Ray Edward Allen, Fred Allen, Jerry Allen, Steven Allen, Larry Allen, Bobby Allen and David Allen all of Burnsville, Jan Ledford of Johnson City, Joyce Letterman of Weaverville, Donna Penland of South Carolina; several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 PM Wednesday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home.  Rev. Jerry Shelton will officiate.  Burial will be in the Little Ivy Baptist Church Cemetery at Mars Hill.

 

The family will receive friends from 1 until 2:30 PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

 

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