Obits for September 26, 2019

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Odis Paul Welch

Odis Paul Welch, 88 of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

He was a life-long resident of Macon County. He was the son of the late Allen Jackson Welch and Laura Hughes McCoy Welch. He was preceded in death by two daughters, Brenda and Paulette; five brothers, Floyd, Carl, Everette, Jud and Darrell; four sisters, Texie, Dove, Oleta and Pallie.

He was a good Christian and a proud member of Masonic Lodge #145 for 50-plus years. He was always available to help anyone in need. He lived a good life and worked at many professions,  but his passion was being a livestock dealer.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Hazel Breedlove Welch; three daughters, Sonya Rene Welch (Charley), Jan Welch Pruett and Sheila Welch Zilbauer (Jim); one brother, Harold Welch of Charlotte, N.C.; and one sister, Anna Lois Welch of Jonesboro, Tenn.; three grandsons, Cody Lyn Lindberg (Morgan), Tyler Welch Pruett and Tanner Jack Pruett; two great granddaughters, Joslynn Rose Lindberg and Gemma Rae Lindberg; and nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m., in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Gary McCoy will officiate. Burial will be in the Tellico Baptist Church Cemetery with Masonic Rites conducted by Lodge 145.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m., prior to the service at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Cody Lindberg, Tyler Pruett, Tanner Pruett, Jim Zilbauer, Terry Bates and Charles Ladzenski

Honorary pallbearers are Charley Czarniecki, Jim Fouts, Mitchell Owenby, Scott Moore and all his friends at Hardees.

2 Corinthians 5:8 – To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made at

Cecil Everett Reeves

Cecil Everett Reeves, 80, of Otto, N.C., passed away Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, after a period of declining health.  Retiring in 2010, he moved from Jacksonville, Fla., to Otto.

He is survived by two daughters, Ashley Reeves of Jacksonville, Fla., and Vickie Reeves of Chattanooga, Tenn.; one brother, Wendell Reeves of Jacksonville, Fla.; two nieces, Shannon (Robert) and Windi Reeves of Jacksonville, Fla.; a nephew, Shaun Reeves and a great niece, Stella of Jacksonville, Fla.

Hewas a friend to everyone he met. He always had a smile and a funny joke to tell. He will be missed dearly by his family and neighbors, especially his extended family, Alvin Doster, Doris Doster and April Doster and his Macon TRACS family.

The family will hold a private service at a later date.

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

Online condolences can be made at

Rev. Dr. Paul Mitchell Sorrells

Rev. Dr. Paul Mitchell Sorrells

Rev. Dr. Paul Mitchell Sorrells, 83, passed away on Aug. 1, 2019, at Wendover Hospice House. 

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, June Baldwin Sorrells; his three daughters, Michelle (Russ) Hamilton, Joanna (Tommy) Runyon and Lisa (Tim) Trexler, all of Shelby; and six grandchildren, Kira Hamilton and Courtney Hamilton of Raleigh, Kari (Andy) Willis of Kings Mountain, T.J. Trexler of Shelby, Joey (Erica) Runyon of Mooresville and Thomas Runyon of Shelby; his brother, Chester (Katherine) Sorrells of Waynesville; and sisters, Nancy (Jim) Gardner of Spartanburg, Lois Dellinger of Denver, and Joyce (Jerry) Gardner of Shelby.

Born May 2, 1936 in Haywood County, he was the son of the late William and Emma Sorrells and was preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas and Wayne Sorrells, and a sister, Evelyn Fouts.

Rev. Sorrells pastored First Baptist of Grover for five years and Beaver Dam Baptist for 18 years. He served an interim pastor for many churches in Cleveland, Macon and Cherokee (S.C.) counties. He taught English at Young Harris, Mars Hill, and Gardner Webb Universities and concluded his teaching career at Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville. He and June loved to travel and visited all 50 states as well as several countries.

A Celebration of Life Service was held at Beaver Dam Baptist Church on Sunday Aug. 4, with a reception following the service.

Memorials can be made to Beaver Dam Baptist Church, 123 Beaver Dam Church Rd, Shelby NC 28152 or Fruitland Baptist Bible College, 1445 Gilliam Road, Hendersonville NC 28792.

Online condolences may be made at

Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family.

Eugene ‘Gene’ Passmore

Eugene “Gene” Passmore, 83, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Isaac Passmore and Zelma Blackburn Passmore. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Vernon, Furman, Lynn, Woodrow and James Passmore and Evelyn Talley and Demaris Hooper. He enjoyed hunting, gardening and playing bingo. He was a member of Franklin Church of God.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Shirley Ann Webb Passmore; five children, Michael Passmore and wife Kelly of Kelly, N.C., Virginia Passmore of Franklin, Joyce McManus and husband Steve of Fort Mill, S.C., Cathy Brasington and husband Wayne of Lancaster, S.C., and Rita Santiago and husband Fernando of Franklin; one brother, Lloyd Passmore of Rock Hill, S.C.; one sister, Rhoda Howe of Mills River, N.C.; 13 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Sept. 22, at Franklin Church of God. Rev. Michael Stephens, Rev. Robert Dryman and Rev. Lou Rogers officiated. Burial was in the Union United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Jordan Parker, Ryan Whetstine, Dalton Faulkenberry, Mike Faulkenberry, Joel Holland and Buddy Mathis.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Rathbun House, 121 Sherwood Rd, Asheville, NC 28803.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made at

Jerry ‘Bubby’ Bates

Jerry “Bubby” Bates, 73, passed away Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at his home.

He was born Jan. 16, 1946, in Macon County to the late Jim and Edna Sanders Bates. 

He worked and retired from the trucking industry after many years of service. He taught himself how to drive and make a living in trucking. He had a love for western movies and dogs.

Survivors include his wife, Rachel Bates; a daughter, Tracy Bates; two step-daughters, Janice Cope and Lynn Webb; four step-grandchildren, Robert Cope, Michael Sanders, Adam Sanders and Carol Sanders; five sisters, Judy Dodgins, Linda Llanas, Patsy Coburn, Sally Ledford, and Brenda Melton; and a brother, Ronnie “Hoss” Bates.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Beatrice Bates and Sue Woodall. 

A funeral service was held Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with the Rev. Donald Bates officiating. Burial was in the Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Online condolences can be left at

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

Nina Jean Hall Cheek

Nina Jean Hall Cheek

Nina Jean Hall Cheek, 81, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

Born in Bryson City, she was the daughter of the late David Ansel Hall and Nina Sue Bradley Hall. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Wayne Cheek. She owned and operated Browns Café for nine years and worked as a cook for the Osceola County School system.

She is survived by two sons, Douglas Wayne Cheek of Anderson, S.C., and Roger Allen Cheek of Orlando, Fla.; seven brothers and sisters, Jim Hall of Michigan, Max Hall of Atlanta, David Hall Jr. of Kissimmee, Fla., Bobby Hall of Kissimmee, Fla., Linda Boggs of Kentucky, Lou Ann Hart of Michigan and Betty Sherrill of Franklin; five grandchildren; seven great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held in Osceola Memory Gardens in Kissimmee, Fla.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made at

Philip Powell

Philip Powell, 86, of Highlands, N.C .,and Crawfordville, Fla., passed away, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.  He was born June 12, 1933, in Hendersonville, Tenn., to the late Charles Leslie Powell and Jean Rule Powell.

He was a carpenter and builder for many years.  He liked classic cars and street rods, and blue grass music. He had a love for hunting with and training coon dogs.   He was a member of the Gem City Car Club and was a U. S. Army veteran.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann Powell, who passed away 12 years ago.

He is survived by his daughter, Karen Hendricks (Bryant) of Highlands; a son, Charles Leslie Powell (Angie) of Crawfordville, Fla.; grandchildren, Hannah Kritzinger (Jacques), Joshua Bryant Hendricks, Jennafer Henderson (Logan) and Krista Powell; and a great-grandchild, Madeline.

A celebration of life will be held at the Christ Church of the Valley in Cashiers, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Powell family. Online condolences are available at

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