Obits for April 9, 2020

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photo by Vickie Carpenter

Grace Yonce Norton Tallent

Grace Yonce Norton Tallent

Grace Yonce Norton Tallent, 95, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Born in Macon County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Osborne and Ida Willis Yonce. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles Norton; her second husband, Bob Tallent; daughter, Marcia Clanton; sister, Nell Pannell and three brothers, J.D., Carl and Gene Yonce.

She grew up during the Depression era in a large family and was part of the Greatest Generation. She left home after graduating high school and lived in Asheville and Charlotte before working in Newport News, Va., during WWII as part of the war effort. She loved reading and poems. She especially loved flowers and gardening. She enjoyed people and she could always find good in others. She loved to laugh and tell stories to family and friends. She was a devoted mother, sister, grandmother and Christian. Her greatest joy was her faith. She was the oldest member of Windy Gap Baptist Church.

She is survived by four children, Pat Tippett, Myra Holland, Tim Tallent and Ronnie Norton; three brothers, Bill, Paul and Harold Yonce all of Murphy; nine grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Friday, April 3, at Windy Gap Baptist Church. Rev. Mark Bishop officiated. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Grandsons served as pallbearers.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Brown Lanier Johnson Sr.

Born 93 years ago in Orlando, Fla., Brown Lanier Johnson Sr., made his mark on the world before passing on March 27, 2020, in Ft. Pierce, Fla.

His life was exceptional in many ways beginning with the most important which was his love for Christ Jesus.  He was always generous in giving his time, serving as an elder for over 50 years for the Church of Christ in Franklin, N.C., Ft. Lauderdale and Ft. Pierce, Fla., as well as supporting mission work in India.  

His generosity in giving financially was another important part of his life.  He gave generously to the church and to Cowee Fire and Rescue as well as to many individuals who were in need.

Brown had a genuine love for his country.  He was proud to be a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict, serving as a radio operator on the light cruiser, The Oklahoma City.

He was adventurous, flying his private plane whenever and wherever he could. He enjoyed heavy demolition work, and his interest in rocks and minerals led him to buy the Mason Mountain Rhodolite Mine in Cowee Valley which he owned from 1966 to 2010. The Rhodolite Garnet, discovered on the property in the 1800s, was a prized possession.

His great love for his family was evident throughout his life.  

His survivors include his wife of 69 years, Martha Fossler Johnson of Ft. Pierce, Fla., and his sister, Dorothy Empson of Crossville, Tenn.  He is also survived by four children and their spouses, Brown and Rhonda Johnson of Ft. Pierce, Fla.; Sandra and James Gibby of Sylva, N.C.; Deborah and Steve Douthitt of St. Lucie, Fla.; Thomas and Ginger Johnson of Franklin; ten grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

A memorial will be held at a later date in Florida.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is serving the Johnson family.

Shirley Ann Brendle Dills

Shirley Ann Brendle Dills

Shirley Ann Brendle Dills, 65, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Billy Joe Brendle and Jennie Sue McCall Brendle. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George Dills who died in 2010; and sisters and brother, Linda, Betty and James. She was a member of Cowee Baptist Church. She loved animals, camping and going to the lake.

She is survived by a sister, Joyce Brendle-Fox (Bruce) of Franklin; sister-in-law, Shirley McConnell; aunts, Mildred Wallace and Karen Stinson; uncles, Charles, James and Johnny McCall; and many nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to Cowee Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 6301 Bryson City Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Raymond John Johnson

Raymond John Johnson, 90, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Monday, March 30, 2020. He was born April 24, 1929, to the late Ernest Johnson and Malvina “Walch” Johnson in Worcester, Mass. He retired from the U.S. Army after serving for 24 years. He was active in the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. He was an avid collector of stamps and coins. He was of the Catholic Faith. 

Heis survived by his wife, Marlene Johnson of Franklin; a daughter, Vicki Angelo of Colorado; and a granddaughter. He is also survived by his best friends, Ray and Beverly Jenkins of Franklin. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sons, John and Raymond Johnson. 

A private service will be held at a later date. 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Johnson family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Randall Forrest Simmons

Randall Forrest Simmons

Randall Forrest Simmons, 74, of Highlands, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Born in Macon County, Tennessee, he was the son of the late Garland Simmons and Donnie Era Harrison Simmons. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Harris Wayne Simmons and Douglas Simmons and a sister, Mabel Perdue. 

He was a member of Goldmine Baptist Church where he was a Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School teacher.  He was also a member of the Blue Ridge Masonic Lodge 435, the York Rites and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Mary Lee Keener Simmons of Highlands; one brother, Roger Simmons of The Colony, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held at Goldmine Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Association,www.alz.org/donate.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Dockie Walter Cochran

Dockie Walter Cochran

Dockie Walter Cochran, 83, passed from this life on April 5, 2020. He spent his last days at Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where his children attended to him as best as they could. 

He was known as Doc by his family and friends, was born in Swain County on Feb. 4, 1937. He was one of 10 children of Harley and Fannie Burr Cochran. His parents, a sister, Pearlea Mason; two brothers, Sidney Cochran and Leslie Cochran; a sister-in-law, Barbara Cochran; and a brother-in-law, Jeff Gunter, preceded him in death, as well as his former wife and the mother of his children, Katherine Sanders Cochran, who passed in 1994.

He made his home at Pigeon Creek. He enjoyed being the place where UPS dropped off packages for his neighbors. He liked being able to complete the deliveries since his “pay” was getting to visit with his friends. He felt as if his neighbors were family, and their actions proved they felt the same. In winter, the Smith family made sure his wood was piled high, and they, along with the twins, delivered meals to him year-round. Far away from Pigeon Creek, he found more acquaintances to make into family at “The Ranch” in Deland, Fla. Some of the best times of his life were spent there.

He never passed up a chance to go coon hunting with his two favorite hounds, Crazy and Jazz. He also liked to spend time camping, loafing, and fishing. A campfire, fellow loafers, and some Bluegrass music was what it took to make him happy.

He truly loved his three children, Patty Cochran Mason, Carol who is married to Randy Gates, and Kip who is married to Chimene. Patty and Carol liked to pester their dad and Kip by saying Kip was the favorite child, whether or not it was the truth. He is blessed with five grandchildren, Enana Jenkins, Jared Gates, Chastity Gates, Dalton Cochran, and Dillon Cochran. Five great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild also survive.

He is survived by two sisters, Mary Ingle and Geraldine Gunter, both of Bryson City; four brothers and their spouses, Uestes and Dot Cochran of Cherryville, Dewey and Gladys Cochran, and Fred and Arlene Cochran, all of Cherokee, and Cliff and Sharon Cochran of Bryson City; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Cochran of Bryson City.

The family will have a private graveside service. Revs. Don Moffitt, Michael McConnell, and Jackie Cochran will officiate.

Pallbearers are Alan Cochran, John Cochran, Rick Cochran, Jason Cochran, Dalton Cochran, Dillon Cochran, Owen Jenkins, and Jared Gates. Honorary pallbearers are Neil Finch, Ed Downs, and Pat Grant.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, c/o Dola McConnell 142 Pleasant Hill Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is serving the Cochran family.

Michael Stanley Grodzicki

Michael Stanley Grodzicki

Michael Stanley Grodzicki, 65, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

Born in Fayetteville, N.C., he was the son of the late Stanley and Donnie Hagen Grodzicki. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Bill Lewis.

He is survived by two daughters, Valerie Grodzicki of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Melissa Grodzicki of Nashville, Tenn.; and a sister, Barbara Haydon of Brasstown, N.C.

No services have been planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Appalachian Animal Rescue, PO Box 81, Franklin, NC 28744 or The American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/donate.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Annie Laurie ‘Morris’ McDaniel

Annie Laurie “Morris” McDaniel, 94, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Friday, April 3, 2020. She was born July 7, 1925, in Andrews, S.C., to the late Edgar Cleveland and Morris and Dosia “Anderson” Morris. 

Before moving to Highlands in 2016, she lived in Charleston, S.C., from 1950-2016. While in Charleston, she worked as an office administrator for J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home and owned and operated Ann McDaniel Catering Services. She was an active member of the North Bridge Garden Club in Charleston. She enjoyed gardening. She was a member of the St. Andrews Methodist Church in Charleston.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Edward Eugene McDaniel; and siblings, Rufus, Clifton, Dan, Herbert, Francis, Marie, Lucille, Ide, and Nell. 

She is survived by two daughters, Karen McDaniel Weihs (Chris) of Highlands, and Lynn McDaniel of Montgomery, Ala.; two grandsons, Christopher Tyson Weihs (Misty) and Justin Eliott Weihs; three great grandchildren, William Wyatt Weihs, Laurel Anne Weihs and Kenzy Ruth Messer-Weihs.

A private service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be made to the Highlands Food Pantry, 328 South Street Highlands, NC 28741.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the McDaniel family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Frank Burts Davis

Frank Burts Davis

Frank Burts Davis, 75, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on April 1, 2020.  

He was born in Charleston, S.C. He was an accomplished electrical engineer and licensed radio operator with extensive experience in television broadcast, production, and equipment manufacturing.  Over his 50-year career, he worked at South Carolina Educational Television (1966-1972), Ampex Corporation (1972-1977), A. H. Belo Corporation (1979-1994), and the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television (2002-2015), among other companies.  He was also an advanced amateur radio operator; instrument-rated private pilot; and licensed real estate broker.  He was a proud member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers; The Society of Broadcast Engineers; and Mensa.  His joy of living, commanding presence, and sharp wit earned him many friends who will miss him dearly.

He was predeceased by his parents, Walter Martin Davis and Winifred Starnes Davis; and his sisters, Claire Akers, Barbara Pagnozzi, and Katherine Norton.  

He is survived by his sons, William Rhett Davis (Christina) of Durham and Richard Christopher Davis (Sally) of Singapore; his daughter, Traci Susan Davis of Durham; and his grandchildren,  Isabel, Zachary, Benjamin, Dominic, and Elizabeth Ann.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Franklin or the Methodist Home for Children.

The Davis family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, N.C. Online condolences at www.hallwynne.com.

Max Austin Welch

A Celebration of Life for Max Austin Welch, previously scheduled for April 18, at the American Legion, has been postponed.

Louise Ramsey Drane

Louise Ramsey Drane

Louise Ramsey Drane, 101, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Monday, March 31, 2020.

Born in Jacksonville, Fla., she was the daughter of the late Julian Phelps Ramsey and Ethel Gertrude Stroble Ramsey. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by daughters, Martha Elmore and Carole Harrison; a sister, Gladys Smallwood and two brothers, Orville Petty and Julian Ramsey.  

She was a member of Longview Baptist Church. She was active in the Senior Olympics, was a lifetime member of PTA and a lifetime member of the Womens Auxillary VFW. She enjoyed making blankets and crafts for residents at Macon Valley and pillows for cancer patients.

She is survived by a son-in-law, Larry Elmore of Franklin; a son, John C. Drane of Texas; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Burial will be in the Longview Baptist Church Cemetery, Franklin.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Overlook Theater Company, 1028 Georgia Rd., Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Melba Mary ‘Horne’ Norden

Melba Mary “Horne” Norden, 103, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, April 3, 2020. She was born Aug. 30, 1916, in Estero, Fla., to the late John Horne and Julia “Wright” Horne. Until a year and a half ago, she was a resident of the Pine Hill Park in Franklin. 

She is survived by a brother, Robert Horne of Chilhowie, Va.; four nieces, Jean Wood of Waynesville, Karen Hugh (Jerry) of Westminster, S.C., Debra Hall of Chilhowie, Va., and Sherry Carlton of Chattanooga, Tenn.; two granddaughters; and very special friends, Irene and Nathaniel Witherspoon. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Harold Norden; her first husband, David Frenyea; a daughter, Linda Hemberling; a sister, Althea Hendry; and two nephews, Derald Hendry and Dwayne Horne.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Roland R. Peacock

Roland R. Peacock

Roland R. Peacock, 84, passed away Friday, March 20, 2020.

He was born in  Lansing, Mich., on July 30, 1935, the son of Raymond Peacock and Inez Walsh Peacock. He moved to Frankin 11 years ago and was a member of First United Methodist Church.

He is survied by three daughters, two sons, a brother, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and step-children. He will also be greatly missed by his companion, Harriet Bingenheimer and his precious Basset hounds.

Many of his passions were hunting, fishing, gardening, watching the Green Bay Packers, but most of all, driving his tractor. Any time you would see him he was always wearing a cowboy hat and boots.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Garrett Funeral Home, Waynesville is handling the arrangements.

Charles ‘Ed’ Edward Bowers

Charles ‘Ed’ Edward Bowers

Charles “Ed” Edward Bowers, 88, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Charlie and Dorothy Clark Bowers. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Wiley and Gene Bowers. 

He was an active member of Higdonville Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Sunday Superintendent and Sunday School teacher. He was a Senior Master Sergeant and Telecommunication Center Specialist with the U.S. Air Force for 27 years; serving overseas in England, French Morocco, Scotland, Turkey, Spain, Midway Island and Japan and had stateside assignments all across the United States before retiring from Patrick AFB Florida. He was a member of the American Legion Post 108 and VFW Post 7339, serving on the Funeral Detail.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bessie Vanhook Bowers; two sons, Bobby Bowers (Brenda) of Dothan, Ala., and Charles Edward Bowers Jr. of Franklin; two daughters, Virginia Bane (Dirk) and Linda Sprinkle (Sam) both of Franklin; one brother, Jerry Bowers of Moorhead City, N.C.; three grandchildren, Christa Knapp, Landon Sprinkle and Elijah Sprinkle and several nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held at Hidgonville Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Higdonville Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, C/O Harold Rayborn, 1459 Cat Creek Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

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