Obituaries for July 26, 2018


Mary Coggins Bates

Mary Bates

Mary Coggins Bates, 79, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Thursday, July 19, 2018. Born in Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Vaughn Coggins and Thelma Tippett Coggins.  She was also preceded in death by her husband, Bruce Bates; brother, James Coggins; and sister, Audrey “Curley” Arnold. She worked as the switch board operator at Angel Medical Center for many years.  She enjoyed reading, playing checkers with her great-grandkids, games on her kindle, stringing beans with great-grandkids, going to church, flowers, her dog Bandit, and fellowship with family and friends.  She was a member of Windy Gap Baptist Church. She is survived by her two daughters, Glenda Cook (Dean) and Linda Stewart, both of Franklin; sister, Barbara Tallent, of Kissimmee, Fla.; brothers, Coleman Coggins (Dessie Jean) and Walter Coggins (Joyce), both of Franklin; three grandchildren, Deanna Cook-Henry (Wayne), Heather Norman, and Stasha Norman; and three great-grandchildren, Peyton Norman, Brady Norman, and Chance Norman. Funeral service was held Sunday, July 22, at Windy Gap Baptist Church.  Rev. Mark Bishop and Rev. Brian Browning officiated.  The deacons of Windy Gap served as pallbearers.  Burial was in the Windy Gap Baptist Church Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made in memory of Mary Bates to Hospice Foundation Franklin, 170 Church Street, Franklin, NC  28734.

Boyd Holbrooks

Boyd Holbrooks

Boyd Holbrooks, 78, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, July 20, 2018.  Born in Macon County, he was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Holbrooks and Nellie Huggins Holbrooks, wife, Frances Simonds Holbrooks and a sister, Helen Barrett. He was a lifelong member of the Coon Club and enjoyed farming and horses. He is survived by his son, Mike Holbrooks and wife Ellen of Franklin; sister, Carolyn Bell of Franklin; and two grandchildren, Joe Holbrooks (Nicole) and Austin Holbrooks (Tiffany). A graveside service was held Monday, July 23, at Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery. Rev. Don Moffitt officiated. Pallbearers were Chuck Southard, Wayne Hyatt, Mack Henry, Johnny Hodgins, Doug Chastain, Robbie Williams and Jim McConnell.  Ben Huggins served as Honorary Pallbearer. Memorial donations can be made to Burnintown Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, C/O Eddie Simonds, 279 Edwards Road, Franklin, NC  28734. Condolences can be made to the family at

Martha Elizabeth Mobley Parish

Martha Parish

Martha Elizabeth Mobley Parish gloriously went to be with her Lord on July 13, 2018, in Highlands, N.C. She was blessed with an extraordinary lif. She was born in Atlanta, Ga., on May 16, 1916, to the late Mary Layton Mobley and Louis Mobley.   After working for Southern Bell, she married Dr. Frank Mathews Parish in 1940.  During the war years while her husband served overseas in Africa, England, and Europe, she did secretarial work at the Ordinance Training Center in Atlanta. In 1946, the couple moved to Orlando, Fla., where together they established Frank’s medical practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  They became members of The Country Club of Orlando and the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando.  She was also an active member of The Rosalind Club. The couple traveled extensively throughout the world and also enjoyed vacation homes in New Smyrna, Fla.,, and in Highlands, where they were long-time members of The Highlands Country Club.  After Frank retired, they built a home in Highlands where they spent their summers.  Following her husband’s death in 1994, she moved to Chestnut Hill, a retirement community in Highlands.  She was a member of the Highlands United Methodist Church and the Bascom Center for the Arts where she worked as a volunteer for many years.  She was also involved in many fundraising events for the Highlands/Cashiers Hospital. Her interests and talents were wide and deep.  She enjoyed golf, needlework, gardening, bridge, the NY Times crossword puzzles, Words with Friends, cats and poodles.  She was an accomplished artist, working in watercolor and pastels, and many of her pieces hang in the homes of friends and family. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years; a brother, Louis Mobley; brother-in-law, Raymond Graham; sister-in-law, Betty Parish Graham; cousin, Layton Carson; and niece, Dianne Peters. She is survived by sister-in-law, Dorothy Mobley; nieces, Patricia Graham, Karen (Ray) Mobley; nephews, Kerry (Phyllis) Graham, Dennis (Fay) Mobley, Richard Mobley; Chris (Debbie) Mobley; goddaughter, Sallie Douglas; and many friends. A private burial took place July 21, at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. A Celebration of Life will be held in her honor on Friday, July 27, at Highlands United Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. Celebrants are invited to visit with the family after the service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Martha’s memory to Cashiers/Highlands Humane Society, 851 Lake Emory Road, Franklin, NC 28734. Online condolences may be sent to Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Parish family.


Braxton Michael Kimbrough

Braxton Michael Kimbrough, infant son of John and Kristin Kimbrough, passed away Thursday, July 19, 2018. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his grandparents, Mike Kimbrough and Judy Dodgins of Franklin; Lynn Scott of Franklin, N.C., and Mark Scott of Leesburg, Ga.; great grandparents, Louise Whitaker of Franklin; Shelia and Sonny Lash of Leesburg, Ga.; Linda McMahan of Franklin; Ed and Anne Kimbrough of Ft. Worth, Texas; three aunts, Misty Tallent (Logan) of Jacksonville, N.C.; Donna Collins (Rodney) of Bay City, Mich., Samantha Dodgins of Franklin; and several cousins. A Time of Remembrance will be at a later date. In memory of Braxton, the family requests that memorials be made to M.E.N.D, PO Box 631566, Irving, TX 75063. Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Condolences can be made to the family at  “It’s never goodbye; It’s see you later.”


Denise Emma Ursula Simpson-Rich

Denise Emma Ursula Simpson‑Rich, 51, went home to be with the Lord, July 13, 2018 in Franklin, N.C. She was born on Oct. 21, 1967, to Fredrick Joseph Marszalek and Marianne Catherine Marszalek, in Frankfurt, Germany. She was a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, who after birth moved to the United States at three years of age, during the height of the Vietnam War. She attended primary school at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Rockaway, N.J., and graduated from Lenape High School in Medford, N.J. She spent her young adult years studying at the University of Arizona, before moving to Atlanta, Ga., in 1986, where she attended Georgia State University and eventually attended Cosmetology School, becoming a professional hair stylist. She is famed for creating the birthday song while working as a server and trainer for Long Horns Steakhouse in Georgia. She assisted with food management at DeVry University in Decatur, Ga., with the Marszalek family business, AJA Services, and later assisted with Senior Caregiving after moving to North Carolina. She served as a PTA volunteer and room mom at St. Gabriel Catholic Church and contributed her time to helping at Sarah Harp Elementary School. She loved the music of Sarah McLachlan and she loved to travel. She traveled to Europe while in high school, where she visited the Vatican, famously taking a picture with Pope John Paul II. She was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles football team and enjoyed watching sports. She was a beloved sister to four siblings and was surrounded by a very loving family. Her father, Fredrick Joseph Marszalek, of Hoschton, Ga., precedes her in death. She is survived by her mother, Marianne Katherine Marszalek, of Buford, Ga.; daughter, Alexandra Denise Simpson, of Woodstock, Ga.; son, Joseph “Joey” Simpson, of Franklin; sister, Nicole Monique Smith (Khalif Akil Smith), of Las Vegas, Nev.; brothers, Fredrick Joseph Marszalek (Alisha Megan Marszalek), of Buford, Ga., Edward Joseph Marszalek, of Flowery Branch, Ga., Eric Joseph Marszalek of Flowery Branch, Ga.; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. Services of death and resurrection will be held Friday, July 20, at 12 noon, at Dacula United Methodist Church in Dacula, Ga. Online condolences are available at Bryant‑Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Simpson‑Rich family.


John Pohlenz

John Polens

John Pohlenz, 71, of Whittier, N.C., passed away Saturday, July 21, 2018. Born in Miami, Fla., he was the son of the late Roy and Irma Pohlenz.  He spent most of his life in Western North Carolina and was a motorcycle enthusiast, avid fisherman, and master carpenter.  He served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam. He is survived by his wife, Marie Pohlenz; daughter, Margo Pohlenz Porter, of Greenville, S.C.; and many cousins. A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 28, at 3 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home.  Family and friends will officiate the service.  Military honors will be performed by VFW Post 7339 and American Legion Post 108. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Macon Funeral Home. Memorial donations can be made to Hospice House Foundation of WNC, PO Box 815, Franklin, NC  28744. Online condolences can be made to the family at


Thomas Andrew Guertin

Thomas Andrew Guertin, 77, passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2018, at his home in Franklin, N.C. He was born on June 13, 1941, in Detroit, Mich., to Henri Octave Guertin and Marion Lee Bernhard Guertin. His family lived in Detroit, Mich., and White Plains, N.Y. before settling in Tampa, Fla. He spent many of his early summers vacationing with his family along Lake Skaneateles in the Fingers Lakes District of New York and attended Camp Kingwood near Warren, New Hampshire. He ran the 40-yard dash for his high school track team at St. John’s Prep School in Danvers, Mass. He decided to attend college close to his parent’s home, and earned his associate’s degree from St. Leo’s College near Dade City, Fla., where he met his wife, Elizabeth. Tom and Liz married on Jan. 2, 1964, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in St. Joseph, Fla. They lived in Tampa where they were members of Christ the King Catholic Church. They went on to raise six children together, during which time he earned his baccalaureate degree in accounting from the University of Tampa and provided for his ever-growing family. As their youngest finished high school, Tom and Liz prepared to move to the mountains of North Carolina, where they had vacationed over the years. A great lover of nature and talented photographer, he spent his final decades hiking the surrounding mountains and documenting the region through pictures. Tom designed the house that they built on “their mountain.” A devout lifelong Catholic, Tom’s faith carried him through to the end. He was a member of Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Franklin, North Carolina for 14 years and Saint Mary, Mother of God, Roman Catholic Church in Sylva, N.C., for four years. He served his parishes in many different ministries in both Florida and North Carolina. He also served his country in the Army Reserves. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the family of black bears that stop by his mountain every spring and summer. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Genevieve Barthle Guertin; their six children, Marie Maderal of Fort Collins, Colo., Joseph Guertin of Tampa, Fla., Louis Guertin of Franklin, Brian Guertin of Lakeland, Fla., Sharon Fessler of Fort Collins, Colo., Kathryn Guertin-Davis of Portland, Ore.; brother, Georges Guertin of Downingtown, Pa.; 15 grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Henri and Marion Bernhard Guertin, his brother, Robert Guertin, and granddaughter, Kiera Guertin. Funeral service was held Monday, July 16, at Saint Mary, Mother of God, Roman Catholic Church in Sylva. Father Casey Coleman officiated. Graveside service followed at Woodlawn Cemetery.  Military honors were conducted by the VFW Post 7339 and the American Legion Post 108. A rosary service was held Sunday, July 15, at Macon Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Saint Mary, Mother of God, Catholic Church, 22 Bartlett Street, Sylva, NC 28779; Saint Joseph Seminary, Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, 1123 South Church Street, Charlotte, NC 28203; Rathbun House, Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC; or Care Partners Hospice, Franklin, NC. Online condolences can be made to the family at

Dale Edward Wallin

Dale Edward Wallin, 89, son of Harry Axel Wallin and Mable Andreen Wallin, was born in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1929 and died on Saturday July 14, 2018, in Highlands, N.C. Though all of Dale’s young life was marked by the Depression and World War II, he claimed to have had a charmed childhood.  His family weathered the hard times of the Depression better than many because his father had a job throughout and because his extended family all lived together in a house which his grandfather had built shortly after emigrating from Sweden. He was very proud of his Swedish heritage and loved saying that all four of his grandparents had come to the United States as teenagers. He attended Thomas Lowry Elementary School, and graduated from Edison high School in Minneapolis.  He furthered his education at the University of Minnesota, but had to quit and go to work after his father died. He often said he had worked all his life, starting as a boy bagging potatoes at a neighborhood grocery store and later delivering groceries before and after school. At age 20, he began working at Donaldson’s Department Store in Minneapolis where he became a buyer in the toy department.  Also at 20 he married his first wife, Doris Westerheim, and in 1957, after adopting a three-year-old son, Todd William Wallin, they moved to Los Angeles where he worked for National Cash Register Co. and later for Ravell Model Company.  In 1960 Ravell Co. transferred him to Atlanta where he lived and worked for more than 35 years.  During those years, he and Doris adopted a three-year-old daughter, Susan Irene Wallin, and Dale and two friends formed their own company.  He loved his successful career as a sales representative for small toy companies, and he enjoyed traveling  all over the Southest meeting and making interesting friends along the way.  In later years he had many stories to tell about his adventures in the toy business. In 1969, he married Betty Baker, and they continued to live in Atlanta until moving to Highlands in the mid 1990s.  During the next five years he worked with Betty in real estate until her unexpected death in 2000. Six years later he married arah Marshall and had 12 happy years together.  They enjoyed traveling, cooking together, (Dale had a special interest in Chinese cooking) spending time with family, friends, and their furry children, participating in their church and community activities, and he was able to continue his long-time passion for golf.  Dale began to experience health problems in the last couple of years which slowed him down, but he didn’t give up.  He kept going just like the “energizer bunny” as long as he could.  He loved living in Highlands, and often talked about how lucky we were to live together in such a wonderful place. He was predeceased by his mother, father, son, brother George Wallin, and previous wife Betty.  He is survived by his wife, Sarah Wallin; his daughter, Susie Wiles (Russell) and family; a niece, Mina Wallin Shehee (David) and son Mack; nephews, Robert Wallin and son Andrew, and William Wallin.  Also surviving are three Marshall stepsons, their wives, and four Marshall grandchildren who will miss “Papa Dale” greatly. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 28, at 2 p.m., in the chapel of The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.  The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to a local charity, or the Haitian Ministry of the Episcopal Church, or the Highlands Bolivian Mission. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Wallin family. Online condolences are available at