Obituaries for January 21, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Annie ‘Ruth’ McGahagan

Annie ‘Ruth’ McGahagan

Annie “Ruth” McGahagan, 94, of Franklin, N.C., died on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at her home.

She was born in Fort Myers, Fla., the only child of the late Orren Thomas and Annie Kellogg Tuttle.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, George, who died in 2017; and a daughter, Sharon R. McGahagin, who died in 2019.  She was of the Presbyterian faith and loved animals, especially her dogs.

She is survived by a daughter, Gwendolyn K. Wood of Plano, Texas; and a granddaughter,  Delaney VanVraken of Austin, Texas.

No services are planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Appalachian Animal Rescue, PO Box 81, Franklin, NC  28744.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Henry Morris Austin Jr.

Henry Morris Austin Jr.

 Henry Morris Austin Jr. ,65, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Dec. 24, 2020, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Oct. 10, 1955, to the late Henry Morris Austin Sr and Roberta May Austin. In addition to his parents, he is preceded by his brother in-law, LaVern Rothfuss.

Surviving are his wife of 33 years Lori Austin; children, Henry Morris Austin IV and wife Gabrielle, Edward Austin, Lucas Austin and Coty Leatherwood and wife Jourgette; grandchildren, Henry Morris Austin V, Alexander Alleric Austin, Logan Austin Leatherwood and Ellie Mae Leatherwood; sisters, Judy Rothfuss and Corinne Houtz and husband Ray. 

He was a biker, a naturalist at heart and even worked for “Nature’s Way” environmental corporation cleaning up chemical spills. He loved woodworking and carpentry. He carried the mail for 15 years for the USPS.

A memorial service was held at Jan. 10, at North Toxaway Baptist Church, in Lake Toxaway,with Rev. Steve Reeves officiating.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the service

Condolences may be made at

Floyd Virgil Sigler

Floyd Virgil Sigler, 93, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.  He was born Sept. 17, 1927, in Hudson, N.Y., to the late Harvey and Alma Stickles Sigler.  

He worked for General Electric for 38 years and was a volunteer at Canaan New York Fire Company where he left as Captain of the Fire Police. He also volunteered at the Volusia County Florida Sheriff’s office as a courier; and was known for his volunteer work for the Deltona, Fla., civic center where he created a park for the community.  He moved to Franklin permanently eight years ago and was a member of Hickory Knoll United Methodist Church.  He loved his family and put them first, and had a tremendous love for all his pets.  His smile was the window to his soul.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara Hocking Sigler; son, Kenneth Sigler of Sky Valley, Ga.; daughter, Margaret Dey (Derryl) of New Hill, N.C.; two grandsons, Christopher Dey and Andrew Sigler; a granddaughter, Nicole Margulies; a great-grandson, Aiden Sigler; former daughter-in-law, Tammy Sigler of Otto, N.C.; three nieces, Denise Hocking, Diane Dobbs, and Michelle Hocking.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth H. Sigler.

No services are planned at this time.

Memorials may be made to Animal House Vet Clinic, PO Box 509, Franklin, NC  28734.

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

Lucille Pickens McCall

Lucille Pickens McCall

Lucille Pickens McCall, 85, passed away Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, surrounded by her family at home.  She was born Feb. 12, 1935, in Macon County, North Carolina, to the late James Marvin Pickens and Edith Hurst Pickens. She was married to the late Kenneth R. McCall who preceded her in 2009. She worked as a legal assistant in law work. She was a member of Rose Creek Baptist Church where she was a Sunday School teacher, church clerk, and treasurer.

Survivors include her four children, Vicki Van Marter (Bill), Debbie Albrecht (Mark), Randy McCall, and Lori McCall; nine grandchildren, Tamara Reeves, Tommy Geisy, Tiffani Tallent, Tanyr Thomason, Mark John Albrecht, Tyler Albrecht, Caleb Albrecht, Kristen Rice, and Hailey McCall; 13 great grandchildren, Ellee, Brylee, Maverick, Renley, McCray, Palmer, Aulex, Shuttera, TJ, Telia, Gavin, Alivia, and Emma; a sister, Kathy Rogers (Michael); and a sister-in-law, Judy Pickens.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Harold Pickens.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Moore-Welch Cemetery with Rev. Morris Tippett officiating. Pallbearers were Chuck Tippett, James Thomason, Edwin Grant, Caleb Albrecht, Dickie Phillips, and Adam Tallent.

Online condolences at

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

Joyce Cassada Bryant

Joyce Cassada Bryant

Joyce Cassada Bryant, 90, passed away Jan. 11, 2021.

Even at 90 years old, she kept the twinkle in her eyes and her easy going way of making and keeping friends. Born in Clay County on Nov. 14, 1930, she came to Franklin, started from scratch, and was able to make a name for herself in Macon County.

She began her career when she was employed at Calvin Henson Real Estate. Her ability to connect with people prompted Mr. Henson to encourage her to further her career by becoming a broker. She obtained her brokerage license and built a good reputation, working only on referrals. Her most famous customer was Larry Csonka of the Miami Dolphins and, was resident broker for Mr. Csonka and fellow Dolphin, Jim Kiick, for their Riverbend land development. She continued in real estate during her working years, eventually retiring from DeSoto Trail Realty.

She was active in her community, serving as a PTA officer at Franklin Elementary School, as a Den Mother for the Boy Scouts of America, as secretary of Little League Baseball, and as three time president of the High Hopes Garden Club. She was honored by Lady Bird Johnson’s Rural Beautification Project as a top award recipient and was invited by Gov. Dan Moore to Raleigh to the recognition banquet. A member of First Baptist Church of Franklin, she was a woman of faith and a prayer warrior. Her favorite passage from the Holy Bible was Psalm 23.

She absolutely adored her family. She was blessed not only with her husband and son, but also grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Toward the end of her life, she enjoyed a special relationship with her caregiver, Joel, and doted on her cat, Cassie.

She is predeceased by her husband, Henry Cullen Bryant; her parents, Hardy Frank and Rose Hogsed Cassada; and her siblings, Frankie Ledford, Blaine Cassada, Neal Cassada, Lillian Thomas, and James Cassada.

Left with many wonderful memories are her son, Henry Cullen (Tony) Bryant Jr. (Gloria); her grandchildren, Jennifer L. Bryant (Eric), Matthew C, Bryant (Cori), and Joshua A. Bryant (Tamara); her great-grandchildren, Kelsey L. Trombatore, Andrew C. Bryant, Ian S. Bryant, Marisa L. Bryant, Alec Parthe, Braelyn H. Bryant, and Tallulah J. Bryant; and her great-great grandchildren, Magdelina Trombatore and Adriana Trombatore; and several nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to either St Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Habitat for Humanity.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Samuel ‘Calvin’ Queen

Samuel “Calvin” Queen, 73, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, after a period of declining health.

A native of Rabun County, Georgia, he was the son of the late John Claude and Gladys Holcomb Queen. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a sister, Virginia Norton; and four brothers, Bob , T.J., Jim, and Dean Queen.  

He lived in this area all his life, loved to hunt, fish, play ball, and watch sports. When his sons were younger he would coach their teams in Little League.  He worked with the NCDOT Bridge Dept., and as a carpenter building houses and was a member at Newman Chapel Baptist church.

He is survived by his longtime friend, Yvonne Rogers of Franklin; two sons, Michael D. Queen of Hendersonville, N.C., and Mitchel L. Queen of Scaly Mountain, N.C.; two sisters, Barbara Roberts of Marble, N.C., and Annette Dockins of Marietta, S.C.; and three brothers, George Queen of Charlotte, N.C., Allen Queen of Mtn. City, Ga., and Keith Queen of Lockhart, S.C.; two grandchildren, Preston Queen and Amelia Queen: and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at later date.

Memorial donations can be made to the charity of one’s choice in his honor.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Florence Laverne Coggins Fox

Florence Laverne Coggins Fox

Florence Laverne Coggins Fox went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020.

An active member of Newman Chapel Baptist Church since 1953, she taught Sunday School and Training Union Beginner Classes. She was very supportive in Vacation Bible School, teaching for over 25 years and served many years on the Social Committee.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Weaver Nelson Fox; her grandparents who raised her, Oscar and Alice Owens Coggins; her mother, Daisy Coggins Shuler Williamson; and two brothers, Ray and John Shuler.

She is survived by her three daughters, Deanna (Bill) Rogers of Greenville, S.C., Wanda (Mike) Ashe of Webster, N.C., and Carolyn (Lewis, Jr.) Fouts of Franklin; five grandchildren: Michael (Laura) Rogers, Brian Rogers, Jonathan (Christina) Lunsford, Hannah Lunsford, and Josh Fouts; nine great grandchildren, Evan Rogers, Leanna Rogers, Thomas Armachain, Payton Lunsford, Samuel Lunsford, Isabel Lunsford, Josiah Lunsford, Andrew Lunsford, and Tanner Fouts; one great great grandchild, Josiah Hopson; and brothers, Howard, Vance, Leroy, and Verlon Shuler.

A funeral service was held Saturday, Jan. 2, at Newman Chapel Baptist Church with Rev. Dennis Ledford and Rev. Rick Potts officiating. Speakers were Jonathan and Hannah Lunsford. Burial followed in the Newman Chapel Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Edward Holland, Ernest Chastain, Joe Buchanan, Terrell Dodgins, Richard Shope and Tim Nicholson.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Broyhill Baptist Children’s Home, 111 Sneed Drive, Clyde, NC 28721 or to Samaritans Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607.

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

William Charles ‘Charlie’ Long

William Charles ‘Charlie’ Long

William Charles “Charlie” Long, 81, passed away Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.  He was born in Macon County Aug. 15, 1939, to the late William Doyle Long and Faye Howard Long.  He was a truck driver in the trucking industry. He was a Mason and a member of Calvary Baptist Church, where he was former chairman of deacons and Sunday School teacher; he loved to work for the church.  He loved watching the squirrels and  birds eating off the porch, he kept tractors, planted a garden, grew watermelons, enjoyed reading western novels and watching western movies, he loved to watch the show  “Pickers” on TV, and he loved gospel music.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Martha Dills Long; a son, Greg Long (Marcia) of Mooresville, N.C., and he was Uncle Charlie to many special nieces, nephews and cousins.

A funeral service was held Friday, Jan. 15, in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home, with Rev. Kelly Andrews and Rev. Mike McConnell officiating.  Burial was in Newman Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Jerry Dills, Allen Dills, Fred Dills, Jerry Shaffer, Lex Ramey and Chris Dills.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church Building Fund, 1028 Bell Rd. Otto, NC 28763.

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

Frankie Deitz Holbrook

Frankie Deitz Holbrook

Frankie Deitz Holbrook, 90, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

A native of Jackson County, she was the daughter of the late Lawrence and Rosanna Deitz. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Jacob Weaver Holbrook, six brothers and three sisters.

She loved the mountains and lived most of her life in Franklin. She was an avid reader and an exceptional cook. She cherished time with her family.

Surviving are her children, Kenneth (Roberta) Holbrook of Mandan, N.D., and Linda (Marjoe) Davis of Anderson, S.C.; a sister, Nancy Joyce Scully of Franklin; grandsons, Brian, Shannon, and Nicholas; two great-granddaughters, Charity and Raelyn Davis; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

A graveside funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 20,  in the Tellico Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family is grateful to the staff at Eckerd Living Center in Highlands, N.C., for their diligent and patient care over the past seven years.

Online condolences at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Jay ‘Boyd’ Fouts

Jay “Boyd” Fouts, 79, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. 

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Nondus and Vira Farley Fouts.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers, Jack Ray, Ken, Max, Sherrill, and Gene Fouts; one sister,  Betty Lou Crawford; two sons-in-law, Tim Webb, and Ronnie Webb.

He was a loving dad and Papaw. He enjoyed the outdoors, reading westerns, working in the garden, taking walks, and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara Cagle Fouts; six children, Joyce Webb, Debbie Welch (Ben), Randy Fouts, Dana Holden (Mike), Teresa Fitch (Raymond) and Matthew Fouts (Jessica); two brothers, David, and John Fouts; 17 grandchildren.; 14 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

James Marion Moore Sr.

James Marion Moore Sr., 82, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, Jan. 13, surrounded by his family.

Jim or Jimmy to those that knew him well, was born in Franklin, Dec. 18, 1938, to Sadie Cunningham Moore and Thomas Harley Moore. He was the youngest child of Sadie and only child of Thomas. He graduated from Rabun Gap Nacoochee School and then attended University of Georgia for a year before enlisting in the Air Force. After being honorably discharged in 1964, he re-enrolled at UGA and graduated with a minor in economics and major in agriculture. He reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Judy Clark, and they were married in the summer of 1967. It was his dream to be his own boss and have his own dairy farm. After the many years of hard work and sacrifice that he and his family made on the  farm, he was finally able to open the Spring Ridge Creamery. The Creamery was open for 21 years and was sold due to his declining health in 2018. His death was preceded by his loving wife, Julia (Judy) Clark Moore. 

He is survived by his children, Catherine Moore Poteet (David Poteet), Thomas Alan Moore, James Marion Moore Jr (Rebecca Moore); his grandchildren, Braden Poteet, Gavin Poteet, Kayley Moore and Alexander Moore; great grandson, Grayson Crisp; sister, Billie Carson; and many extended family members.

No service will be held as it was Jim’s wish for people wanting to honor his memory to donate to the Judy Moore Memorial Scholarship Fund at

A CaringBridge site has been created for those who wish to share their condolences.

Margie Marie Hooper Gibson

Margie Marie Hooper Gibson

Margie Marie Hooper Gibson, 97, of Franklin, N.C., went to be with the Lord Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. She was born Oct. 8, 1923, in Macon County to the late Fred Hooper Sr. and Hester Gibson Hooper. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, George Robert Gibson; two sisters, Irene Carter from Florida and Roma Nell Mashburn of Franklin; three brothers, Lloyd Hooper and Fred Hooper Jr. of Franklin and Laughty Hooper of Hayesville; two granddaughters, Heather and Ashley Jennings.

She is survived by four sons, J. D. Gibson (Helen), Isaac Gibson (Freda), R. L. Gibson, Bobby Gibson (Margie Car); two daughters, Mary Wiggins (Jim) and Shirley Jennings (Vance); three sisters, Ruth Hooper, Olene Sanders, both of Franklin and Willa Fay Pendergrass of Nantahala; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren.

She was a Charter member of Mashburn Branch Baptist Church.  She loved her family and enjoyed them coming at meal time.  While she was able, she loved gardening, canning and freezing the produce for the winter.  There was a new member of the family, a baby doll named Suzie which she took care of like a child of her own.

Mrs. Gibson will lie in state from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at Bryant-Grant Funeral Home Chapel.  A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. with Rev. L. E. Angel and Rev. Richard Salmonson officiating.  Burial will be in the Sugar Fork Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be grandsons, Gary Gibson, Caleb Gibson, Tanner Gerber, Brannon Gerber, Chris Gerber, and Mitchel Kirkland.  Honorary pallbearers will be granddaughters, Patsy Kirkland, Kimberly Gerber and Cindy Cope.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Gibson family. Condolences at

Walter ‘Walt’ Lewis Duhl

Walter ‘Walt’ Lewis Duhl

Walter “Walt” Lewis Duhl, 87, departed this life on Jan. 8, 2021, at Grandview Manor Care Center in Franklin, N.C. He is reunited with his beloved wife, Arlene Duhl; his two sons, David and Robert; and his cherished furry companion, Boomer. His youthful spirit is carried on by his daughter Marianne Olson, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and countless friends from every walk of life. 

Funeral services will be postponed until a time in which we can all celebrate Walt’s life in the way he’d have expected—dancing together to a live bluegrass band, with plenty of Bud Light to share. If you would like to be notified of future services, you may email contact information to

Last but certainly not least, would like to thank the actual angels at Grandview Manor Care Center for the loving care and company they provided during his final days. They held his hand, kissed his forehead, and provided comfort when we could not. There are not adequate words to express our gratitude for their bravery and kindness during the last weeks of Walt’s mortal journey. From the bottom of our hearts—thank you.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family. Walt’s complete obituary is at