Obits for March 12, 2020

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photo by Vickie Carpenter

Lola Mae Stiwinter Stewart

Lola Mae Stiwinter Stewart

Lola Mae Stiwinter Stewart, 82, passed away March 6, 2020, in Highlands, N.C. She was born Jan. 14, 1938, in Jackson County to the late L.C. Stiwinter and Ruby Fox Stiwinter. She was married to the late Odell Stewart who preceded her in 2016. She was a care giver for 15 years for several people and she worked for Cashiers Plastic for 19 years. She was a member of the Yellow Mountain Baptist Church and in recent years she attended the Cashiers Church of God. She loved to garden, go to flea markets, and thrift stores. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Survivors include her son, Jay Stewart (Laura) of Cashiers, N.C.; two grandchildren, Julie Stewart Bennett and Karl Stewart (Malori); eight grandchildren, Jordin Dominque, James Madden, Marisa Cole, Justine Dominque, Evan Pressley, Maddox Stewart, Garet Stewart, and Evelyn Bennett; a sister, Ronnie Dean Lowing of Franklin; and a brother, Jack Stiwinter of Charlotte.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, T. W. Stiwinter.

A funeral service was held Monday, March 9, at the Cashiers Church of God with Revs. David Hall and Ricky Potts officiating. Burial followed in the Evitt Cemetery. 

Online condolences can be left at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Stewart family. 

Rita Dolores Trein Bleier

Rita Dolores Trein Bleier

Rita Dolores Trein Bleier, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

Born in Chicago, Ill., she was the daughter of the late Charles and Stella Trein.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra Helen Prisco and a brother, Rick Trein. She worked in banking for many years, as well as NABI-Biotest of Boca Raton, Fla., for 15 years, where she was director of First Impressions. She was an active member of Resurrection Lutheran Church.

She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Ronald William Bleier; three children, David Bleier (Priscilla) of Sunrise, Fla., Mark Bleier (Jeanne) of Franklin; Kenneth Bleier of Plainfield, Ill.; one sister, Dolores Jucius of Salem, Wisc.; one brother, Charles Trein of Rhinelander, Wisc.; eight grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m., at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Pastor Patrick O’Neill will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church, 38 Wayah Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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

Hazel Boggs Davis

Hazel Boggs Davis

Hazel Boggs Davis, 83, of Franklin, N.C., passed away March 4, 2020. She was born Oct. 9, 1936, to the late Henry Crawford Boggs and Nellie Griffith Boggs in Roane County, West Virginia. She worked many years in Real Estate in Macon County and in the Chicago area. She volunteered as a bookkeeper at the Humane Society, Toys for Tots, Kiwanis and helped with the start of the Greenway in Franklin. She was full of life and lived every day to its fullest. She was of the nondenominational faith. 

She is survived by a daughter, Susan Davis Wiesmayer of Suwannee, Ga.; three sisters, Helen Berkshire, Hallie Johnson, Sue Ferrebee; three grandchildren, Amanda Mimms of Milton, Ga., Adam Wiesmayer of Dawsonville, Ga., and Becky Wiesmayer of Cummings, Ga.; four great-grandchildren, Noah Mimms, Emma Mimms, Abby Mimms and Joey Mimms is expected to arrive in April 2020. She is survived by many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, James Davis; five brothers, Howard Boggs, Ernie Boggs, Garret Boggs, Ray Boggs and Robert Boggs. 

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, March 14, at 2 p.m., at the Cowee Baptist Church with the Rev. Ronnie Branson officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m., prior to the service. The family would like for attendees to bring a favorite picture of Hazel to share. 

In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to the following of your choice: Alzheimer’s Association, Main Stream Conservation Trust, or the Humane Society. 

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

Nikki Whitenton

Nikki Whitenton

Nikki Whitenton, 75, of Franklin, N.C., passed away at home with her spouse and pets on Friday, March 6, 2020. She was born and raised in Florida and moved to Franklin 17 years ago where she was a member of the Franklin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

She devoted her life to helping animals, children, and the elderly. She worked as a mental health counselor and as a special education teacher in Florida. For the past 12 years, she answered the Macon County Friends of Animals phone helpline. She was instrumental in finding homes for more than 1,000 neglected dogs and cats in Macon County.

She loved laughter, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, playing cards, reading, watching movies, loving on her many dogs and cats, discussing politics, and listening to the oldies.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Marie Leon; and many special pets including Eugene, Candy Cane, Kendal and Cooper. 

She is survived by her husband, Joe; daughter, Mary Johnson (mat) of Florida; granddaughter, Emma Johnson; sister, Paula Thompson of Georgia; and brother, Stephen Reilly of Florida.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. at the Franklin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 85 Sierra Drive. 

In lieu of flowers, please offer an abandoned dog or cat, food and water. 

Online condolences at bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

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

Lois Virginia Jacobs Meadows

Lois Virginia Jacobs Meadows

Lois Virginia Jacobs Meadows, 98, born Feb. 2, 1922, of Franklin, N.C., passed away in the early hours of Friday, March 6, 2020.

Born in Franklin, she was the daughter of Eugene L. Jacobs and Bessie B. Baldwin Jacobs.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William V. Meadows; her parents, Eugene (Gene) Jacobs and Bessie B. Baldwin; her beloved twin sister, Kate Jacobs Cowan; her brothers, J. C. Jacobs, Radford Jacobs and Carroll Jacobs; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Meadows, Lilly Meadows Myers, Pauline Meadows Gillespie and Catherine Meadows Rogers; and one brother-in-law, Zeb Meadows.

With the exception of living in northern California for several months with her husband and young daughter, she has always made Franklin her home.  She loved the N.C. mountains, and especially Franklin and her community.

She was a business owner for over 45 years.  She and her husband owned the Sunset Restaurant, and were the first owners of the City Restaurant.  Later, she and her twin sister, Kate, opened The Boutique on Main Street in Franklin.  She owned and ran The Boutique for over 30 years, until, at the age of 78, her health forced her to retire.  She was a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Franklin for many years.

She was a lifelong member of Iotla Baptist Church.  In years past, she served as an assistant Girls Sunday School teacher, helped with Vacation Bible School, and, more recently, was a member of the “Sew ‘n’ Sews” sewing group.

When she was younger, she enjoyed traveling the world, working in her garden and reading.  But what made her happiest, was working in her boutique on Main Street.  In later years, she loved working with the “Sew ‘n’ Sews” group of Iotla Baptist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Regina and husband David Curtis; her two precious grandchildren, Chandra Brewer and Vanessa Moore; her sister, Helen Jacobs Byrd and many special nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by her wonderful friend, Pat Smith.

A private family service will be held in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home.   She will be buried beside her husband at Iotla United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Iotla United Methodist Church Food Pantry, Attention:  Rebecca Chastain, 187 May Apple Lane, Franklin, NC  28734 or the Iotla Baptist Church “Sew ‘n’ Sews”, 1537 Iotla Church Road, Franklin, NC  28734.

Condolences may be made at maconfuneralhome.com.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Gene Parrish

Robert “Bobby” Gene Parrish, 68, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Born in Rabun County, Georgia, he was the son of the late James Hargrave Parrish and Eva Nell Bradley Parrish. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, James Ronald Parrish. He loved farming, cutting hay, working cattle and being outdoors. He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Wanda Cheek Parrish; two sons, Robert Chad Parrish and John Everett Parrish (Mary Jo); three grandsons, Austin (Katelyn), Bobby (Kaya) and Bradley Parrish; two great grandchildren, Caroline and Charlotte; one brother, Jerry Lee Parrish (Gaye) of Clayton, Georgia.

A funeral service was held Friday, March 6, at Oak Grove Baptist Church. Rev. Charles Stevens, Rev. Jim Dusek, Rev. Lloyd Fish and Rev. Tom Nahlen officiated. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Austin, Bradley and Bobby Parrish, Johnny and David Cheek, Marvin Mashburn, Matt Keyworth, Jim Brown and Gary Scott.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bobby’s memory to, Parkinson’s Research, Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or Oak Grove Baptist Church, c/o Evelyn Hughes, 190 Dean Dr., Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Alva Howard Duke

Alva Howard Duke

Alva Howard Duke, 62, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

The family will receive friends from 2-3:00 pm, Saturday, March 14th at Macon Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Heart Association, www.americanheart.org/ donate.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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

Billy Joe Holbrooks

Billy Joe Holbrooks

Billy Joe Holbrooks, 59, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late James Wade Holbrooks and Bonnie Stanley Holbrooks. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Larry Holbrooks. He worked in construction for most of his life. He enjoyed fishing, playing guitar and deer hunting.

He is survived by three children, Chelsea Adkins (Michael) of Franklin, Jason Dale Jackson (Amy Rouse) of Otto and Danielle Stevenson (Andy) of Georgia; two step-sons, Tony Virata of Maryland and Toto Virata of Franklin; three sisters, Barbara Sue McCall, Lula Russell and Martha Vinson all of Franklin; five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at South Macon Baptist Church on Sunday, March 22, at 3 p.m.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Kathy Jane Norris

Kathy Jane Norris

Kathy Jane Norris, 55, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Andrew Nelson Carver and Annie Mae Passmore Carver. Kathy loved baking, find-a-word puzzles, volunteering at CareNet and most importantly, spending time with family and friends. She was a member of Sugarfork Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Ricky Norris Sr.; three children, Jennifer Mbugua (Benson) of Lexington, N.C., Ricky Norris Jr. (Sarah) of Franklin and Brittany Holt (Wesley) of Graham, N.C., and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Friday, March 6, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Gene Hawkins and Rev. Ronnie Owens officiated.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made  at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Gene Parrish

Robert “Bobby” Gene Parrish, 68, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Born in Rabun County, Georgia, he was the son of the late James Hargrave Parrish and Eva Nell Bradley Parrish. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, James Ronald Parrish. He loved farming, cutting hay, working cattle and being outdoors. He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Wanda Cheek Parrish; two sons, Robert Chad Parrish and John Everett Parrish (Mary Jo); three grandsons, Austin (Katelyn), Bobby (Kaya) and Bradley Parrish; two great grandchildren, Caroline and Charlotte; one brother, Jerry Lee Parrish (Gaye) of Clayton, Georgia.

A funeral service was held Friday, March 6, at Oak Grove Baptist Church. Rev. Charles Stevens, Rev. Jim Dusek, Rev. Lloyd Fish and Rev. Tom Nahlen officiated. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Austin, Bradley and Bobby Parrish, Johnny and David Cheek, Marvin Mashburn, Matt Keyworth, Jim Brown and Gary Scott.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bobby’s memory to, Parkinson’s Research, Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or Oak Grove Baptist Church, c/o Evelyn Hughes, 190 Dean Dr., Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Eunice Ray Doster

Eunice Ray Doster

Eunice Ray Doster, 91, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with her Lord on Tuesday, March 4, 2020.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Oliver and Alice Sutton Ray.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Merriman Doster; a great grandson and five siblings.  She was a member of Clarks Chapel United Methodist Church and the Clarks Chapel Community Club. She loved babysitting children; she got to babysit all her grandchildren, most of her great grandchildren, and lots of the neighborhood children.

She is survived by two sons, Alvin Ray Doster (Doris) of Otto and Joe Gary Doster (Tara) of Franklin;a daughter, Cynthia Ann Justice (Harold) of Franklin; eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held Friday, March 6, at Clarks Chapel United Methodist Church. Pastor Al Beck officiated.  Burial will be held at a later date in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made Clarks Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Jerry Sutton, 1822 Clarks Chapel Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made  at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Macy Tate Brooks

Macy Tate Brooks, infant daughter of Jeremy and Kira Brooks of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Macy is survived by maternal grandparents, Mark and Laressie Mason; paternal grandparents, Joe and Sharon Brooks; great grandparents, Joseph Richmen and Mary Pauline Brooks and Kathryn Cruse all of Franklin; aunts and uncles, Cody Brooks (Lulu), Kelsa Turner (Luke), Karena Mason and Kamryn Mason, all of Franklin and Jacob Brooks (Misty) of Powdersville, S.C., and Elizabeth Padgett (Shawn) of Lancaster, Pa.; and several cousins.

Graveside services were held Saturday, March 7, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with Minister John Lup officiating.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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

Lois Thompson Sparks

Lois Thompson Sparks, 91, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Herbert and Fannie Christian Thompson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Sparks, and a grandson, Devin. She was a retired teacher from Dade County Public School System, and enjoyed reading, music, studying her Bible and sewing. She was of the Baptist Faith. 

She is survived by her children, Julie Bennett (Bruce) of Franklin and Brian Sparks (Suzette) of Waseca, Minn., and grandchildren, Ethan and Liberty Sparks. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice at Four Seasons Development Office, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Lois Thompson Sparks

Lois Thompson Sparks

Lois Thompson Sparks, 91, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, she was the daughter of the late Herbert and Fannie Christian Thompson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Sparks, and a grandson, Devin. She was a retired teacher from Dade County Public School System, and enjoyed reading, music, studying her Bible and sewing. She was of the Baptist Faith. 

She is survived by her children, Julie Bennett (Bruce) of Franklin and Brian Sparks (Suzette) of Waseca, Minn., and grandchildren, Ethan and Liberty Sparks. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice at Four Seasons Development Office, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

John Harry Rowley

John Harry Rowley, 74, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

Born in Pearisburg, Va., he was the son of the late Robert Deane Rowley Sr. and Alyce Wilson Rowley. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Deane Rowley Jr.

He was raised in the Pittsburgh, Penn., area and graduated from St. Vincent College Preparatory School in 1963 where he was the perennial president of his class and captain of the football team. He then attended Georgia Institute of Technology graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. While at Georgia Tech he was president of the Alpha Tau chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity and a Distinguish Military Student in the U.S. Army ROTC program receiving a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation. He was highly decorated for his meritorious military service as an artillery officer (Forward Observer/Fire Base Commander) in Vietnam in 1969/70. He returned to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University where he earned his MBA in 1972, which prepared him for a successful career in banking. In the mid 1990s he moved to Franklin and ultimately traded his indoor banking job for the wonderful outdoors of western North Carolina by working 15 or so years at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club. He was a member of the turf crew while also keeping the golf course equipment in good operating condition.

He is survived by his wife, Alice Doherty Rowley of Franklin; one daughter, Hannah Eckard (Joel) of Conover, N.C.; one brother, Jim Rowley (Mary Shea) of Atlanta, Ga., and numerous nieces and nephews. He was loved by all who were blessed to know him.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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

Herbert Stanley Simmons

Herbert Stanley Simmons

Herbert Stanley Simmons, 97, went home to be with the Lord, Saturday, March 7, 2020. He was born in Floris, Iowa, March 24, 1922, to the late Earl Moses Simmons and Mamie Jane Johnson Simmons. He attended the Chicago Electrical Institute. He was a founding member of the First Alliance Church in Franklin, N.C. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp from 1942 to 1945; He was part of the WWII Normandy Invasion and served throughout Europe during the war.

Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Norma Grimes Simmons; four children, Jane Simmons Crawford of Greenville, S.C., Dan Simmons and wife Jenny of Greenville, Susan Simmons Dodds and husband Bruce of Greenville, and Nancy Simmons Ricotta and husband Bob of Franklin; grandchildren, Brent Crawford (Kelly), Dana Stoner, Eric Dodds (Julie), Rob Ricotta, Cameron Dodds, Barrett Dodds,  Annie Simmons, and Sara Ricotta; five great-grandchildren, Rush Stoner, Merrick Stoner, Anderson Stoner, Rhett Dodds, and Tress Dodds; nieces and nephews, Delbert Shaw (Marty), Veryl Shaw (Susan), Lois Frederick (Paul), and Jody Leightner; and a special caregiver, Joan Bishop.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, March 15, at 4 p.m., at the First Alliance Church of Franklin. Military rites will follow the service at the church.  The family will receive friends Saturday, March 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory. Burial will be on Monday, March 16, in Black Mountain, N.C., at the North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.  Pallbearers will be Brent Crawford, Eric Dodds, Rob Ricotta, Adam Drake, Greg Morris, Dan Davis, Chayse Davis, and Rush Stoner.

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Guido Evangelistic Association Inc. 600 N. Lewis St. Metter, GA 30439 or The First Alliance Church of Franklin Missions Fund, 31 Promise Lane Franklin, NC 28734.

Online condolences at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

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

Mary Patricia Cathey

Mary Patricia Cathey, 70, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. She was a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Franklin, N.C. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Albert and Patricia Drace Cathey, her closest friend, Susan Ehle, and her beloved dog, Shuggah.

She was the loving sister of Daniel Cathey (Kimberly) and William Cathey (Sandra); aunt of Bronwen Cathey, Alexandra Murray (Gregory), and Benjamin Cathey; and great aunt of Rowen, Izaak, and Seumas Murray; many friends, who loved her like family.

After a successful teaching career in Iowa, she was a dorm mother at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee Boarding School in Rabun County, Ga. In the early 1980s, she began her golfing career and became a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division. Along the way, she opened a driving range, developed and managed the Parker Meadows 9-hole executive golf course, became a talented club-fitter in North Carolina and Florida, and worked as a golf instructor at numerous courses in North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring.

If desired, donations may be made in Mary’s honor to the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 (cancer.org).

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

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