Obituaries for June 23, 3033

Spring flowers at Rankin Square photo by Vickie Carpenter

Cheryl Walker Smoot

Cheryl Walker Smoot

Cheryl Walker Smoot, 79, passed away Saturday, June 18, 2022. She was born March 9, 1943, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Walter Walker and Hattie Larbecki Walker. She has spent the past 20 years in Franklin, N.C., and previously was employed by Walmart in Franklin. She loved going to thrift shops and thought of the Goodwill employees as her family.  She was of the Catholic faith. 

She is survived by her son, David Smoot (Margaret) of Franklin; a daughter, Kimberly Kausler (Richard) of Franklin; two grandchildren, Sydney Potts and Skyler Potts; and her beloved cat Joey.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her late husband, Earl A. Smoot III and her sister, June Hefferan. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

Online condolences  at 

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Smoot family.

John Cook Taggart

John Cook Taggart, 81, passed away on June 19, 2022, after an extended illness. A private graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Michelle Denise Lane

Michelle Denise Lane

Michelle Denise Lane, 56, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, June 15, 2022. She was born Aug. 2, 1965, in Flint, Mich., to the late Clyde Burnett and Mildred Cook Burnett. 

She had a heart full of love and fire. She was one of a kind and bounced to the beat of her own drum. She loved and spent most of her time with her grandchildren. That was where she was the happiest. They were her world and there was nothing she would not do for them. She was a lover of the arts and music especially, but if you’ve seen one of her paintings, you’d know she had a secret talent. Pink was her favorite color, and her favorite place was being at the ocean. Year round you could catch her grilling on her favorite smoker feeding all her family wonderful meals. She was a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother. Although her time here was cut short, she lived and extremely full life always making the most out of each moment. She was the life of the party who never quite learned how to whisper. 

She is survived by her husband, Cecil Dale Lane; her son, Justin Law; her daughter, Alicia Chastain; and four grandchildren, Robert, Tuli, Allison and Luci. 

A celebration of life for Michelle will be held Saturday June 25, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory. 

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Lane family. 

Online condolences may be made at

Imogene Ledbetter Justice

Imogene Ledbetter Justice

Imogene Ledbetter Justice, 88, passed away Monday, June 13, 2022. She was born Jan. 2, 1934, in Macon County, N.C., to the late Robert Ledbetter and Ethel Rhodes Ledbetter. She was married to the late Howell Justice who preceded her in 2007. 

She loved to do many projects, painting pictures, crocheting, quilting, and cooking good country dishes. She loved her family and was loved by many people.  She was a member of Union United Methodist Church serving in the choir, and as a Sunday School teacher.

Survivors include her son, Steven M. Justice of Franklin, N.C.; a granddaughter, Hallie Driver and husband, Bill; three great grandchildren, Joshua Scott, Emery Driver, and Owen Driver; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Elaine J. Scott.

A funeral service was held Saturday, June 18, at the Union United Methodist Church with Rev. Janet Greene officiating. Burial followed in the Hickory Knoll Methodist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Vance Ledbetter, Nathan Ledbetter, Matt Ledbetter, Bill Driver, Harold Justice, Doug Cabe and Gene McDonald.

Online condolences at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family.

James G. ‘Jim’ Wrinn

James G. ‘Jim’ Wrinn

James G. “Jim” Wrinn, 61, died peacefully at his Brookfield, Wisc., home on March 30 after a courageous, year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

A native of Franklin, N.C., he was the only child of John and Kate Wrinn. He served in World War II. Upon returning home from the war, he became an agricultural agent. Kate was elected to and served as Macon County Clerk of Court from 1950-62 until she retired to become a full-time mother to Jim.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in journalism and political science. While there, he worked as a reporter and editor for the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. For almost 20 years after college, he was a reporter for several North Carolina newspapers including a long career at the Charlotte Observer. In 2004, upon being named editor of Trains magazine, the world’s largest-circulation railroad periodical, he moved north to Milwaukee, Wisc.

A lifelong railroad enthusiast, he was active in many rail-preservation projects throughout his life including his favorite Shay geared engine Nbr 1925. He was a volunteer and leader at the North Carolina Transportation Museum for nearly four decades. He authored several books on railroads. Through his hard work and generous spirit, he touched the lives of countless thousands of rail professionals and hobbyists.

He is survived by his railroad-loving journalist wife Cate Kratville-Wrinn; beloved dog Millie; several cousins in Franklin including Michelle (Steve) Green; Anna Green; AnnaJane Carson (John Warren); Jane (Bill) Hopper; Barry Downs; as well as South Carolina cousins Frank Myers; Claire Myers (Tricia Higgins); Stephanie O’Dell; Rebecca (Richard) Dobbins; Carl (Dianne) Myers; Anne O’Dell (Danny Ernest); Mary Lucy O’Dell; and many other cousins.

Public visitation will be held on Friday, June 24, from 4 to 6 p.m., with a celebration of life starting at 6 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home. A future memorial event will be held at the NCTM. We encourage all railfans to attend that event to be announced later at

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation at P.O. Box 44, Spencer, N.C. 28159, or at, and specify “Graham County #1925 – Jim Wrinn” on your donation.

Online condolences can be made at
Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.