Obituaries for August 5, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

James Matthew Elsey

James Matthew Elsey

James Matthew Elsey, 47, of Durham, N.C., tragically died in a car accident on Thursday, April 22, 2021. He was a Florida native, born in St. Augustine and raised in Pensacola. He was preceded in death by his father, James LeRoy Elsey, of Cherry Log, Ga. 

He was a devoted fan of Rams football regardless of their success over the years. He was passionate about music and food. His family considered him a “grill master” who delighted in sharing the results of his talents with family and friends. Above all, he was devoted to his loving family. 

Surviving are his parents, Deborah Joy and Michael Davey of Franklin, N.C.; his three wonderful children, Elinore, James “Owen,” and Emelia Elsey of Suwanee, Ga.; his brother, David Elsey and his partner, Jeannie Klebba of McCaysville, Ga.; his niece, Mia Hester, of Graham, N.C.; and many uncles, aunts, and cousins. He also leaves several lifelong loyal friends in Pensacola. 

He was a loving, creative, kind, and inquisitive person. He will be greatly missed.  

A celebration of life was held July 30 at Woodlawn Cemetery. During this time family and close friends shared memories of James and played some of his favorite music.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Habitat for Humanity

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Bobby ‘Ferd’ Furman Myers

Bobby ‘Ferd’ Furman Myers

Bobby “Ferd” Furman Myers, 88, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Aug. 1, 2021.

Born in Macon County, North Carolina, he was the son of the late Lawrence and Bertha Cope Myers. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Myers; brothers, John Howard “Ick” Myers and Casey Myers; and sister, Betty Crawford.

He was a lifelong resident of Macon County and a member of Clarks Chapel United Methodist Church, the VFW and American Legion. He loved playing cards, especially Greek Rummy, Pinochle and poker. 

He is survived by son, Dennis Myers (Theresa) of Franklin; daughter, Carol Bates of Franklin; sisters, Dixie Nell Holland of Franklin and Sue Stewman of Brevard, N.C.; brother, George Myers of Rolette, Texas; grandchildren, Jennifer Allen Bates, Christopher Myers and Dillon Bates; great grandchildren, McKinzey Bates, T.J. Allen and Zachary Allen; and many nieces and nephews.

Military honors will be presented at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 5,   at 7 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends and loved ones from 5 to 7 p.m., prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Judes at

Condolences can be made to the family at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

George Lyle ‘Doc’ Hunnicutt

George Lyle ‘Doc’ Hunnicutt

At 96, George Lyle “Doc” Hunnicutt recounted, “I was born in Franklin, N.C., on the fifth day of January, 1923, the youngest of six. Mama was 42 when I was born. I used to joke with her, ’You made a bad mistake when you had me.’ Mama would just laugh and shake her head.”

“I was two or three years old when Daddy bought the old Junaluska Inn. It was on 29 acres, a mile and a half from the courthouse. I grew up there with my five siblings. My parents rented rooms to teachers…judges…solicitors…and whoever else came by. I was blessed to be surrounded with a big family and lots of friends.”

Doc loved bluegrass music, telling stories, and his family. On many occasions, callers could hear Maybelle Carter in the background singing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Doc believed in the circle of family and kept the family tied together through the fond memories he shared. Until the last few days of his life, George entertained us all with remembrances from the past. 

The University of Georgia played a significant role in Doc’s life. “I met Barbara at Georgia in 1948, and we got married in 1950. I majored in agronomy and dairy production. At the time, my brother, Charles, and I owned a small dairy farm together in Franklin. I bought Charles out, and Barbara and I became dairy farmers. In 1956, I sold the farm and returned to Georgia to become a veterinarian. One of my professors hired me to work in diagnostic laboratories throughout North Carolina which were set up to support the agricultural community…and I enjoyed working in many of them.”

On Monday, Dec. 16, two weeks from his 97th birthday celebration, George “Doc” Hunnicutt, DVM, left the circle of his three children and their families, Lyle and Holly Hunnicutt, grandsons, Travis and Evan of Wilmington and Adam of Boston, Mass., Renee and John Brooks of Asheville, N.C., Gina and Wes Hunt of Jackson, Mich.; granddaughter, Megan of Ann Arbor, Mich., and grandson Spenser of Detroit, Mich.; six great grandchildren of Wilmington; and his admiring extended family. He is now in the circle of those who went before him including his parents, wife, and siblings, likely still regaling stories that bind us all together – the circle will never be broken. Fitting to the man, a celebration of life will be held Saturday, Aug. 7, at Woodlawn Cemetery, Franklin, N.C. 

Officiating the graveside service will be George Hunnicutt’s nephew, Rev. Dr. Robert E. Reese and Rev. Deacon Jeannette E. Reese. Friends and family are all invited to continue the celebration after the service with lunch and fellowship at the Robert C. Carpenter Community Center, 1288 Georgia Road, Franklin.

Judith Evans Houston

Judith Evans Houston

Judith Evans Houston, 77, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, July 27, 2021.  She was born July 19, 1944, in Macon County, North Carolina, to the late C. J. Evans Jr. and Margie Stanfield Evans. She was retired from the Macon County School System and was a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church where she helped in the nursery. She loved working the switchboard at Angel Hospital, and also enjoyed cooking, crafting, canning, quilting, was an avid reader and spending time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, David S. Houston; son, Josh David Houston (Jessica) of Hendersonville, N.C.; two daughters, Shelley Mehaffey Pritchett  (Michael Yates) of Belews Creek, N.C., and  Heather Houston Belcher (Joe) of Franklin; a step-daughter, Sherri Lynn Houston of Franklin; brother, Ronnie Evans (Jean) of Franklin; three grandchildren, Hannah Houston Covington (Deven), David Sloan Houston, Lola Grace Houston; one great-grandchild, Clayton Joe Covington.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Tommy Evans and a sister, Lora Luanne Lowe.

A funeral service was held Friday, July 30, at Pine Grove Baptist Church, with Rev. Greg Rogers officiating.  Burial was at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Glenn Holland, Tony Holland, Clay Peek, David Pickartz, Jerry Arnold, and Lane Cabe. Honorary pallbearers were Ronnie Hooper and Billy Gibson.

The family would like to express a special thanks to Four Seasons Hospice and Highlands Cashiers Hospital for the wonderful care of Judith.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that memorials be made to charity of your choice.

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

Marlene Rose Day

Marlene Rose Day

Marlene Rose Day, 78, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with Jesus on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Born in Chicago Heights, Ill., she was the daughter of the late George O. and Erna Deihl Day. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Roger Day and a nephew, Geoffrey Day. She loved her church family at Franklin Covenant Church; had a passion for cooking and baking; and loved watching the cooking channel.

Her longtime friend, Michelle Finnie said, “Marlene loved the Lord, and was a good friend, sister, and aunt. She belonged to Memorial Church in Ft. Lauderdale for many years till she moved to Franklin. There, she attended Franklin Covenant Church and served as receptionist. Undoubtedly, Marlene is now whole and rejoicing with the Lord in Heaven!”

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Doreen Day of Hudson, Fla.; nieces, Carol Day-Podjan, Jacqueline Murdock, and Elizabeth Day; and nephews, Stephen Day, David Day, and Bryan Day.  Also surviving are her very special friends, Joe and Elaine DeLorenzo, Frank and Reggie Canzone, and Winnie Virga all of Franklin, and John and Cathy Makinson of Martin, Ga., and numerous other church family.  

A celebration of life was held at Franklin Covenant Church on Saturday, July 31. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Franklin Covenant Church.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Betty Louise Houston Henry

Betty Louise Houston Henry

Betty Louise Houston Henry went to be with her Lord and Savior on July 29, 2021, after an extended illness. She fought a good fight, she finished the course. 

 She was born July 13, 1939, to the late Mary Rogers Houston and Don Houston of Buck Creek Community in Highlands, N.C. She was predeceased by two brothers, Gary and Billy Houston of Highlands.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years, Malcom Fred (Micky) Henry; three sisters, Donna Houston of Highlands, N.C., Kathy McConnell of Franklin and Shirley (Tom) Murphy of Ohio; three brothers, Wiley (Dianne) Houston of Franklin, N.C., Jimmy Houston of Highlands, and Robert (Sharon) Houston of Pickens, S.C.; and sister-in-law, Patty Houston of Highlands; and close friend and extended family, James Watson, also known as her right-hand man, and wife Janet Watson; and many nieces and nephews who loved and cherished her.

The family would like to thank the faithful caregivers, neighbors and friends who helped take care of Betty. May God bless each of you.

Services will be held at Macedonia Baptist Church on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 2 p.m.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Lung Association.

Mary Grace Norwood

Mary Grace Norwood, 88, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on July 30, 2021.

She was born in Americus, Ga., to the late John D. and Mary Preskitt Hammock. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Marion Francis Powell and children, Tim Norwood and Shannon Pilon.

She had a green thumb and took pleasure in caring for her plants. She was skilled at beading and enjoyed making jewelry.

She is survived by her children, Tammy Powell of Petal, Miss.; Lexie McGowen of Petal; Rod Roberts of Franklin; and Tena Hegner (Brian) of Franklin; several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, at Macon Funeral Home Chapel. Rev. Steve Reeves will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Care Net at 130 Bidwell Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Online condolences can be made to

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements. 

Jeremy Houston Miller

Jeremy Houston Miller

Jeremy Houston Miller, 48, of Franklin, N.C., previously of Mannassa, Va., passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2021.

He was born in Augusta, Ga., to Janet Avrett and the late Jerry Houston Miller. 

He was an avid reader and entomologist and loved to challenge world views in open discussions.

He is survived by his wife, Melanie Miller of Franklin; daughter, Rowan Miller of Franklin, N.C.; mother, Janet Avrett; stepfather, Chuck Avrett, both of Augusta; sister, Jill Synenberg (Phil) of Augusta; and brother, Jamie Miller of Augusta; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Appalachian Animal Rescue, PO Box 81, Franklin, NC  28744

Online condolences can be made at www.

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

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