Obituaries for April 15, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Alvin Watson Jr.

Alvin Watson Jr.

Alvin Watson Jr., 70 of Franklin, N.C., died on Saturday, April 10, 2021, after a period of declining health.

Born in Jackson County, he was the son of the late Hayes and Villa Mae Woodard Watson.  Spending most of his life in Western North Carolina, he was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Sylva, N.C. He was known for his outstanding masonry skills; he used to love to golf and fish. 

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Freda Hyatt Watson; daughter, Angela Torres of Franklin; and two granddaughters, Zoe Torres, and Alex Torres both of Franklin; a brother, Alfred Watson of Sylva; a sister, Sue Schultz of Lake Jackson, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Mildred Guest Coward

Mildred Guest Coward

Mildred Guest Coward, 64, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, April 7, 2021. She was born Sept. 4, 1956, in Macon County, North Carolina, to the late James Wiley Guest and Lou Ogle Guest. She retired DeRoyal a medical equipment company. She enjoyed writing and publishing books, gardening in her flower garden and was a hard worker, but most of all, she loved her kids and grandkids. She was of the Christian faith.

She is survived by her companion, Howard Lethco; a son, Curtis Earl Guest; a daughter, Levia Lee Guest; four grandchildren, Madison Alee Guest, Divinity Guest, Shelby York and Lathen T. Flennigen; brothers, Robert Ramsey, Wade Ramsey, Gene Ramsey and Bud Guest; four sisters, Linda McMahan, Josie Woodall, Margie Gregory and Pearl Parton. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her sister, Mary Floyd.

No services are planned at this time.

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

Dora Ann Vinson

Dora Ann Vinson

Dora Ann Vinson, 69, of Otto, N.C,. passed away Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.  She was born May 10, 1951, in Macon County, N. C. to the late Grady Dalton and Edna Raby Dalton.  She worked as a substitute teacher and was a housewife. She loved the warm weather, flowers and gardening.  She had a smile and a laugh that would liven any room.  Most of all she loved her family and her family loved her.  She was a member of Newman Chapel Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Jerry T. Vinson of Otto; and her children, Jennifer Vinson Johnson (Alan), April Vinson Osborne (husband Jeff and stepdaughters Elizabeth and Devon), and son Stacy Vinson (Ashley) and one grandson Tyler Vinson; one brother, Lane Dalton; and two sisters, Jean Ray and Mary Catherine Cook.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Arthur Dalton, Lewis Dalton and Bobby Dalton.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 14, at Windy Gap Baptist Church, Franklin, N. C.  with the Rev. Mark Bishop officiating. Burial was in the Coweeta Baptist Church Cemetery, Otto.

Pallbearers were Tyler Vinson, Stacy Vinson, Brent Vinson, Brian Vinson, Alan Johnson and Jeff Osborne.

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

Franklin Alex Palmroos

Franklin Alex Palmroos, 78, of Otto, N.C., passed suddenly of heart failure on March 29, 2021. He was born on Feb. 25, 1943, in Binghamton, N.Y., to the late Alex and Ruth Palmroos. He spent most of his career working as a service tech for IBM corporation.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Joan; a son, Franklin F. Palmroos, his daughter Rachel and son Grant, all of Huntersville, N.C.; a daughter, Jody Palmroos of Key West, her daughter Cricket (Mike) Luna and their daughter Kaydence of Roseville, Calif. and her son Michael of Cohos, N.Y.; a stepdaughter, Connie (Mark) Scheunemann and their daughter Allyson of Millville, Pa.; a stepson Thomas (Mary) Miller of Pace, Fla., their daughters, Melissa (Micky) Caudell, children Shannon, Sawyer and Saydee of Milton, Fla., and Kinsey (Garrett) Monday of Mobile, Ala.

He was happiest either working on or driving his classic cars. 

He was laid to rest in Endicott, N.Y.

Richard Thomas Merritt

Richard Thomas Merritt

Richard Thomas Merritt, 55, passed away April 4, 2021.

He was born in Haddon Heights, N.J., to John and Anne Fay Merritt. He was an avid reader and enjoyed writing poetry. He loved being outdoors in nature and playing his guitar. 

He is survived by wife Sandra; step-children, Greg Dills of Pfafftown, N.C., and Johnny Dills of Churchton, Md.; and siblings, Dorothy Johnson of Barrington, N.J., Mary Quinn of St. Thomas, Pa., Peggy Mason of Voorhees, N.J., John Merritt Jr. of Arlington, Va., and Susan Merritt of Haddon Township, N.J.; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

Walter Reid Bumgarner

Walter Reid Bumgarner

Walter Reid Bumgarner, 84, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with Jesus on Friday, April 9, 2021.

Born in Jackson County, he was the son of the late George Clarence and Lavinia Mann Bumgarner.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, WillaMae Jones Bumgarner; brother, Bill Bumgarner; and a sister, Evelyn Childers.

He was a longtime member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church; where he was former Chairman of the Deacons, Sunday School Director and had held numerous other positions within the church. He and his wife WillaMae started Bumgarner Electric in 1969. He has helped numerous electricians get their start in the electrician profession. He was a member of the Dogwood Bowling League, loved playing softball and was an avid Dallas Cowboys and North Carolina Tar Heels fan.

He is survived by a daughter, Donna Sanders (Jerry); a son, Jerry Bumgarner (Angie) both of Franklin; four grandchildren, Stephen Sanders, Kaitlin Williams, Alex Bumgarner, and Morgan Bumgarner; and two great grandchildren, Grayson Sanders, and Reid Williams; two sisters, Martha Thelma Arnold, and Dorothy James both of Seneca, S.C.; and a brother, Earl Bumgarner of Griffin, Ga.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held Thursday, April 15, at 2 p.m., at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Rev. Guy Duvall and Rev. Steve Reeves will officiate.  Seating inside the church will be limited, social distancing will be practiced, and masks should be worn. The service will be broadcast on the church FM transmitter and will be available outside in the church parking lot. Burial will be in the Ridgecrest Baptist Church Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Stephen Sanders, Alex Bumgarner, Allen Corbin, Mark Dryman, Eddie Robbins, Tommy Bennett, Roy Ashe and Bobby McMahan.

Honorary pallbearers will be the deacons of Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Homer ‘Charlie’ Barfield

Homer ‘Charlie’ Barfield

Homer “Charlie” Barfield, 70, fell asleep in death March 27, 2021, at home with his family by his side.

He was born in 1951 in South Florida. He spent his youth and young adulthood in Palm Beach County before moving to Franklin, N.C., in the early 1980s. He loved the outdoors, gem mining, hunting, fishing and lived out his dream of having a small farm and family. He was extremely active and outgoing.

He also had a love of God and the Bible. After studying the Bible for many years, he was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2012. Despite being confined to a wheelchair for the last decade of his life, he had a zest for life and enjoyed being with others.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Barfield; daughter, Sabrina So and son-in-law Kieming So; sisters, Patricia Neilson and Joan Miller; sister-in-law, Judi Efland; brothers-in-law, Jim Efland and Jay Waldroup; and beloved nieces and nephews.

He looked forward to the Bible’s promise of the earth being restored to paradise conditions, and to being resurrected there. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family who look forward to seeing him again in that new world.

Services will be held online Saturday, April 17, at 1 p.m. For log in information, text (267)384-9132.

Stanley Q. Coss

Stanley Q. Coss, 83, died on April 9, 2021. He was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 2, 1938, to Clement J. Coss, a WWII vet, and Ruth Craven Coss.

He entered the United States Army in 1958, retiring in 1980 as an Infantry Major, a Senior Parachutist, and a Senior Army Aviator. He served two combat tours in Vietnam, and his decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with a bronze palm leaf for gallantry, and the Expert Infantry Badge as an enlisted soldier.

During and after his military career, he attended college and graduated with a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

After retiring from the Army, he became a partner with his brother, Jack, and his sister, Pat, in Franklin, N.C., as co-owners of Realty World-Mountain Homes. In 1987, he returned to a flying job as a civilian flight instructor for the U.S. Army. He also flew for Petroleum Helicopters Inc., from Louisiana to platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. He began his final flying career in 1991 as a pilot and manager in the air ambulance industry, retiring again in 2010. He returned to Franklin in 2016 where he operated Battle Group Quartermaster, a retail sales business. He attended Franklin Covenant Church.

He is survived by his former wife, Sallee Coss, of Franklin; his sons, Stan Jr., of Evans, Ga., Brian of Franklin, and Reed of Atlanta, Ga., and their wives; seven grandchildren, Michael of Loganville, Ga., Hailey of Greenville, S.C., Davis and Kayla of Grovetown, Ga., Jackson of Augusta, Ga., Van and Jesse of Atlanta, Ga., his brother, Jack Coss of Hendersonville, N.C., a veteran of the Korean war, his sister, Pat, of Hartwell, Ga., along with several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in death by his parents and his brother, Donald Coss who died in battle in Korea.

A memorial with full military graveside honors will be held on Saturday, May 8, at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery. Moffitt Family Funeral Care is serving the Coss family.

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