Obituaries for April 1, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

John ‘Jack’ Philip Thomas

John ‘Jack’ Philip Thomas

John “Jack” Philip Thomas, 95,  of Franklin, N.C.,  passed away on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Born in South Haven, Mich., he was the son of the late James and Frances Russman Thomas.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by first wife, Patricia Eden, a brother, James Thomas and a sister, Jean McEwan. 

He proudly served his country in the United States Army  during WWII in the Pacific Theatre. After returning from the war, he enrolled at Michigan State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and had a long career in advertising with The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. He was of Catholic faith and enjoyed playing golf at Mill Creek.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Gail Wilson Thomas; daughter, Lynn Fulton (Mike) of Pensacola, Fla.; and one granddaughter, Dakota Fulton of Pensacola; three sisters, Joan Bauman of Battle Creek, Mich., Joyce Gadola of Flint, Mich., and Jill Rhodes of Plainwell, Mich., and many nieces and nephews.

No services are currently planned. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Boys Town, P.O. Box 8000, Boys Town, NE 68010; or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Frankabelle Gibson Scruggs

Frankabelle Gibson Scruggs

Frankabelle Gibson Scruggs, 89, of Franklin, N.C., died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Friday, March 26, 2021.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Leobelle Bradley Gibson. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Jimmy Scruggs; and a brother, Billy Gibson.

She was a lifelong member of Cowee Baptist Church. She loved gardening, canning, and freezing. She also loved sharing these with everyone she knew. She loved spending time after school with Isabelle and Charlie.

She was one of the original members of the Cowee Quilters and was known for her quilting. She has shared her quilts with many. She loved teaching others about quilting and has mentored many high school students working on their senior projects.

She was very active in the Cowee Fire Department and Auxillary. She loved feeding the firemen on Thursday nights and her banana pudding is going to be missed.

She was also a member of the Cowee Community Development and held numerous offices over the years.

Surviving is a daughter, Mary Carolyn; three sons, Hugh, Phil and Tim, all of Franklin; two sisters, Luanne Teague (Bill) of Simpsonville, S.C., and Suzy Lorentz (Bill) of Winston Salem, N.C.; six grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.

Graveside services were held Monday, March 29, at Cowee Baptist Church Cemetery. Rev. Ronnie Branson and Rev. Charles Stevens officiated. 

Members of the Cowee Fire and Rescue served as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Cowee Fire Department, 208 Mason Branch Rd., Franklin, NC 28734.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Iola “Olie” Sitton Hodgins

Iola “Olie” Sitton Hodgins

On Oct. 10, 1940, Iola “Olie” Sitton Hodgins was born to Richard D. and Suddie Brendle Sitton. She led a long and productive life and passed away on March 26, 2021.

She grew up in Webster, N.C., before later moving to Franklin. She was dearly loved by her family and friends. She held several jobs over her lifetime, from factory worker to store clerk. She worked many years at Macon Program for Progress as a classroom assistant and later as a substitute. She often spoke of her time there as her favorite job. She dearly loved her coworkers and the children in her care.

She was a faithful, praying wife, mother and grandmother. She was a member at Black Mountain Baptist Church. In her spare time, she enjoyed cooking and canning, growing flowers, reading and crossword puzzles. Her greatest pleasure was always her grandchildren.

She is predeceased by her parents and her two brothers, Clyde Sitton and Ronnie Sitton. 

Left with many wonderful memories are her husband of 60 years, Willie C. Hodgins; her children, Michael Hodgins (Connie) and Tammy Conley (Jimmie); her grandchildren, Cameron Hodgins, Hayden Price, Austin Conley, Rachel Williamson (Daniel), and Savannah Conley; and her siblings, Ray Sitton, Annie Ruth Taylor, and David Sitton.

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at Black Mountain Baptist Church. Rev. Kale Stancil will lead the celebration.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Elizabeth House at Four Seasons, 581 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC, 28731.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the Hodgins family.

Online condolences at

Ethelene Passmore Goodson

Ethelene Passmore Goodson

Ethelene Passmore Goodson, 87, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

Born in Nantahala, she was the daughter of the late Curtis and Pearl Morgan Passmore.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Carroll Southern Goodson; son, Jimmy Goodson; daughter, Paulette Passmore; siblings, Arnold Passmore, Elsie Holland and Blanche Passmore; and granddaughters, Crystal Goodson and Cheryl Hooper.

Living in Macon County and Hickory, N.C., most of her life, she enjoyed attending Prentiss Church of God. She loved doing puzzle books and spending time with her family.

She is survived by two daughters, Debra G. Davis (Buddy) of Franklin, and Teresa G. Hooper (Donnie); son, James Goodson (Tammie) of Hickory; four siblings, Vernon Passmore, Hazel Wilson, Ella Mae Douthit all of Nantahala, and Myrtle Lafalette of Chicago, Ill.; four grandchildren, Richard Goodson, Nina Toney, Caleb Davis, and Ashley Stepp; 11 great grandchildren, Faith Toney, Nathaniel Toney, Lucas Wylie, Bridgette Wylie, Jaxzon Stepp, Ann Davis, Wyatt Davis, Daniel Goodson, Olivia Goodson, Zechariah Toney,  and Christian Goodson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral service was held Thursday, March 25, at Prentiss Church of God  with Rev. Don Moffitt officiating.  Burial was in the Bethel Hill Baptist Church cemetery in Nantahala.

Pallbearers were Caleb Davis, Joshua Stepp, Richard Goodson, Charlie Toney, Lucas Wylie, and Robbie Williams.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Lucille Nix Wilson

Lucille Nix Wilson

Lucille Nix Wilson 82, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Monday, March 22, 2021, at her home. She was born Aug. 14, 1938, in Rabun County, Georgia, to the late Dewey L. Nix and Lillian Mozelle Owens Nix. She was married to the late Rev. Walter Wilson who preceded her in death in 2011. She worked as a business administrator for the U.S. Forest Service for 33 years. She loved traveling and liked to brag that she had traveled through all 50 states and a few foreign countries. She loved her dachshund dogs. She was a longtime member of the Eastern Star and member of Shortoff Baptist Church where she was a clerk and treasurer and made bulletins for the church.

Survivors include her daughter, Lisa Wilson Norris (Lester); two grandchildren by heart, Haley and Gavin Small; a sister, Christine Lowe (Bill) of Highlands; a very special friend, Clara Nix. In addition to her parents and husband, she is preceded in death by her stepmother, Gladys Neely Nix and a brother, Bruce Nix.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 26, at Highlands First Baptist Church with Rev. Andy Cloer officiating. Burial followed at the Clear Creek Community Cemetery. Pallbearers were Yogi McCall, Roger Wilson, Doc Wilson, Bryan Hopps, Dennis Francis and Bud Wilson. Honorary pallbearers were Bert McCall, Jerry Nix, Gavin Small, Jeffery Britt and Kevin Nix.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Clear Creek Community Cemetery, C/O Joan Hicks, 288 Persimmon Road, Highlands, NC 28741; or The Highlands-Cashiers Humane Society, 200 Gable Drive, Sapphire, NC 28744.

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Wilson family. Online condolences can be made at

Clyde Rodney Thomas

Clyde Rodney Thomas, 86, passed away on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at Hilltop Memory Care.

He served in the U.S. Army and worked at Triangle Construction Company for over 40 years. He loved to tell wonderful stories about all the projects he helped build. He was a member of Hampton Heights Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Delores B. Thomas; a sister, Bea Dorr; a son, Billy Thomas; a daughter, Kimberley Belue; and four grandchildren, Rodney Thomas, Tyler Thomas, Stone Belue, and Brendle Belue. 

Funeral service was held Thursday, March 25, at Mackey Funerals and Cremations chapel. Burial followed at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hilltop Memory Care, 352 Pelham Road, Greenville, SC 29615; or to Hampton Heights Baptist Church, 2511 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29615.

Announcement courtesy of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Cremation. 

Marvin Francis Leech

Marvin Francis Leech

Marvin Francis Leech of Franklin, N.C., passed on the morning of March 18, 2021. 

He was born in Gilman, Wisc., March 24, 1950. He graduated from Gilman High School where he played football and participated in track. After high school, he attended Eau Claire Technical College and majored in computer programing. With a desire to see more of the world, he loaded up his Opal GT and headed west. He found himself in Santa Cruz County. There he met the McKey family whom were also from Wisconsin. He spent lots of time with Clara, Mac and their daughters, Ethel and Mary. He also met and married Cynthia Bernal. Together they had a son Jeffery and raised a daughter, Sara. He wore many hats throughout his life. He worked for Amatek Extrusion, was a volunteer fire fighter, a realtor, worked in construction, and in his later years he retired from Wrigleys. He was a quiet man until game day. He was a Die Hard Green Bay Packers fan (even in the early ’70s). He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his grandchildren, taking trips out west to see his son Jeff and his yearly trips to see his brothers and sisters.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Cecil Leech and Dorothy Turner Leech; sister, Dianne Leech; brothers, Earl Leech and Edward Leech. 

He is survived by and will be deeply missed by his son, Jeffery S. Leech; daughter, Sara Hughes; son-in-law, David Hughes; grandson, Trevor Bernal; granddaughter, Hollie Little; grandsons, Tucker Ray O’Kelly and Zachary O’Kelly; granddaughters, Taylor O’Kelly, Sara Beth O’Kelly and Sophia May O’Kelly; great granddaughter, Walela Bernal; special friend Oreo; siblings, Doris Kmieciak, Alice Karpinski, Esther Barth, Leon Leech, Arlene Henry, Delmer Leech and Karen Pataczek.

No services are planned at this time

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

Thomas D. Tardy

Thomas D. Tardy, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away March 23, 2021.

He is survived by his wife, Laura Agnes Tardy; two sons, Mark Tardy and Charles Tardy (Katie); one daughter, Laura Doolittle (Craig); and one grandson, Blain Doolittle.

No services are planned at this time.

Dylan Page Maxfield

Dylan Page Maxfield

Dylan Page Maxfield, 30, of North Augusta, S.C., lost his long, hard-fought battle with depression, Wednesday, March 17. He was born May 3, 1990, in Burlington, Vt., the son of Bruce R. Maxfield, and Sandra D. Fisher, of Johnson, Vt.  He was the proud companion of his four-legged best buddy, Thor, and beloved by friends and family. 

A memorial service was held on Friday, March 26, in the Rowland-Ford Funeral Home Chapel. Online condolences at

Two words that are recurring in commentary about Dylan are “genuine” and “authentic.”   No matter who you were or what your role in his life was, you would get the same version of him.  He was a gifted and talented musician who had been drumming since the age of two and in his later years became a self-taught guitarist. He lived in Vermont his first five years, then between South Carolina and North Carolina in his remaining years.   He attended Franklin High School in North Carolina where his passion for music grew and flourished and overflowed to playing with local bands, the French Broads, for one, in community musicals, and various churches. Music was his greatest passion.  He was well-rounded though and had many passions and talents that he put to use endlessly for the greater good, all of which was returned to him with love, respect, and a long list of forever friends.  He spent countless hours lending an ear or shoulder to friends, strangers, and family just to keep someone- anyone- from going down the path he was on, fighting many silent battles along the way. He was dedicated to helping others with their own battles, be it mental health issues, addictions, or suicide prevention. One of his greatest achievements was overcoming his own substance abuse and using that knowledge and courage to save others.  

He recently celebrated his second anniversary of employment with the Mistras Group in Georgia as an NDE Technician, a job he loved where he again grew his circle of friends and fellow beard aficionados.  The best part was that he got to work alongside his very best friend, his brother Brett.  

Left loving him are his parents, Bruce (Carol) Maxfield and Sandra Fisher; his brother, Kevin (Kelly) Maxfield and Brett (Nina) Maxfield; his sister, Sarah Berry, and step-sister, Susie Sweet; 12 nieces and nephews whom he loved fiercely, Michael, Jonathan, Emma, Hannah, Emma, Wyatt, Ethan, Sylvia, Nolan, Norielle, Lily and Gavin; and his paternal grandmother, June Dodge;his step-grandmother, Diana Maxfield, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins.  

He was pre-deceased by his step-dad, Menford “Bo” Simpson, his Grampa Clark Dodge, and his maternal grandmother, Juanita Fisher.  

He was blessed to have the love of innumerable friends as well as family that was not bound by blood or marriage; there are too many to list, but notably, Amy Leonhardt and Susan and Mike Williams, each of whom was loved like an extension of family to him, and Amanda Hughes and her daughter Persephone whom he loved immensely.    

The family has set up a GoFundMe page under Dylan’s Journey to raise money to fund scholarships for those pursuing music, and for other causes meaningful to him.

David Eugene Hodges

David Eugene Hodges, 62 of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, March 23, 2021. He was born April 2, 1958, in Florence, Ala., to the late Rufus Hodges and Eva Motif Hodges. He was a veteran of the Airforce and was a manager in the landscaping business. He enjoyed motorcycle riding and gardening. He was of the Church of Christ faith.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Hodges; a brother, Ray Hodges; and two sisters, Linda Parker and Trisha Hodges.

No services are planned.

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

Jim Binning

Jim Binning

A beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, Jim Binning went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Tuesday, March 23, 2021,  surrounded by his wife, sister, and nephew.

James Randel Binning was born in Coshocton, Ohio, on Aug. 10, 1934. He was the son of the late Forrest and Ruth Finnell Binning. The family of six moved from Ohio to North Miami, Fla., in October 1949.

After graduating high school, he joined the Coast Guard and served the USA proudly.

In 1956, he met Arline and they were married in 1957, enjoying 64 wonderful years of life together.

For a short period of time, he worked in the field of ceilings and floors. He built his own office and warehouse to begin his career, installing ceilings, floors, and carpeting in commercial and home structures. He and his wife ran their business “All City Ceilings and Floors” for many years.

Their many visits to North Carolina resulted in a permanent move to the mountains in 1996. He built his dream home and he and Arline continued their mountain life until current day. He enjoyed gardening and for a brief period of time raised cattle, until he realized they were overfed, as he treated them more like pets.

He was totally accomplished in all home repairs and construction, but his real joy in life was his wife and family. Knowing and having Jesus Christ in his heart and soul was what instilled him to live a life that was pleasing to God as well as the family that loves him dearly.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Ruthena A. Morgan; one brother, Richard D. Binning; and one brother-in-law, Joseph R. Eyler.

He is survived by his wife, Arline Stanley Binning; one son, Rick Binning and his wife Angela; two grandchildren, Michael and Christina Binning; and two great-grandchildren, Taylor and Adam; one sister, Sandra A. Eyler; one brother-in-law, Robert G. Morgan; and one sister-in-law, Margaret Binning.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Monday, March 29, at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Franklin, with Pastor Tom Nahlen officiating. 

An online registry is available at

Appalachian Funeral Services of Sylva is serving the family.

June Teague Hardin

June Teague Hardin


June Teague Hardin, 87, of Las Cruces N.M., passed away on March 25, 2021. She was born April 30, 1933, in the community of Prentiss, Macon County, North Carolina, when there was a Prentiss Post Office and the Tallulah Falls RR ran two trains daily. She grew up surrounded by a large family of beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. She was the daughter of J. Ned and Gay Bennett Teague. 

She graduated from Franklin High School and earned a Master’s Degree from Western Carolina University in Education. She was a skilled teacher and taught both fourth grade and Special Education in Jefferson County, Colo. She was especially known for her sense of humor, her outgoing nature and her many unusual pets, among which were a mischievous lamb, a talking crow, a skunk and a buffalo. She is sorely missed by her family and many friends.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Ira; step-daughter, Laura; sister, Ann Teague Nandrea (Larry); and niece, Lorri Nandrea (Steven Sill).

Her ashes will be placed in Union United Methodist Church Cemetery, Franklin, N.C., later this summer.