Obituaries for June 18, 2020

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Suzanne Marie Fredrickson Thomas

Suzanne Marie Fredrickson Thomas

Suzanne Marie Fredrickson Thomas, born to Theodore R. and Grace (Gilbert) Fredrickson, in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 8, 1946, passed away in Bradenton, Fla., with her children by her side on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

She is survived by her son, Brian L. (Stacy) Thomas; daughter, Dawn M. Thomas Potts and Dawn’s fiance, Wesley Cook, all of Bradenton; two sisters, Shirley Ches of Franklin, and Karen Rice of Kettering, Ohio; and several nieces, nephews and their families.  

Residing in Macon County since 2002, she worked for a number of years as secretary for Lamplighter Realty, and then for 10 years at Harrah’s in Cherokee where she had numerous great friends, fellow employees and “regular” customers alike.  She was a passionate Franklin Lion, and initiated the Lion’s Club collection “tackle boxes” that she placed in several venues around town, which made it easy for residents to donate used glasses, hearing aids, and empty printer ink-cartridges for recycle to benefit the Lions Club mission for the blind and vision impaired. When her work hours allowed, she was an active member with Democratic Woman of Macon County, and in years past, she loved to participate with a local line-dance group.  Her many old friends in North Carolina will remember the great big smile she had for everyone she met, and have sorely missed her these past two years since she left our mountains.  We her family, though missing her so very much, are joyful that she was finally able to make her dream come true, retire and move to Florida to spend time simply being close to her son and daughter.  

Services will be at a later date in our family home town, Northport, Mich  We’ll always love you, dear little sister – till we meet again we’ll remember and treasure our special times.

Betty Lou Clontz-Tabor

Betty Lou Clontz-Tabor, 74, of Bryson City, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

Born in Haywood County, she was the daughter of the late Fred Clontz and Rosa Spain Clontz. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two sons, Fred and Terry Putnam; daughter, Sheila Dianne Putnam Smalish and five brothers and sisters. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and sister; she loved her family immeasurably. Although she loved nothing more than spending time with her family, she could often be found painting and enjoyed playing cards. She was Baptist by faith.

She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Thomas “Tom” Tabor; daughter, Callie Sneed of Covington, Ga.; and 11 grandchildren, including granddaughter, Stormy Smith, with whom Betty was very close; 16 great grandchildren; and three nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, June 20, at 3 p.m., at Tabor Family Cemetery. The family will meet at Tom & Betty’s home, 6911 Hwy 28 S, Bryson City, until 2:30 pm, prior to going to the cemetery.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at

Adam Ernest Kenyon

Adam Ernest Kenyon

Adam Ernest Kenyon, 47, of Franklin, N.C., previously of Colorado and Tennessee, passed away on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

He enjoyed camping and being outdoors. He is survived by his dad, Ron Kenyon; four children, Kayla Harrington and Katlyn Harrington both of Franklin and Natasha Kenyon and Amber Lambdin both of Grayling, Mich.; two stepchildren, Audrie Fournier and Veronika Fournier both of Grayling, Mich.; two grandchildren, Christopher Harrington and Cason Queen; fiancé, Kerry Harrington and two step children, Bailey Harrington and Ryan Craig.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at

Mary S. Thompson

Mary S. Thompson

Beloved longtime Highlands resident Mary S. Thompson (fondly known as “Nanny,” not only by her own grandchildren but by many other children) passed away Thursday, June 11, at her home after a brief illness. 

Mary Grace Smith Cleaveland Thompson was born in Westminster, S.C., on June 28, 1924, to Mary Elizabeth Harbin Smith and John Henry Smith.  She was the sixth of eight children. Her father was a sharecropper and she began picking cotton at the age of 5. At the age of 12, she came to Highlands and began working at Hotel Edwards to help support her family in South Carolina.

She remained in Highlands and at age 16 she married Wendall (Buck) Cleaveland. During the war, they moved to Vancouver, Wash., with their young son, John, where Buck led an electrical crew helping construct battleships for the war effort. Mary herself worked in the shipyards pulling wires through the bellies of battleships during their construction.

Near the end of the war, they returned to Highlands, which was in a state of economic despair. Soon after, they moved to Virginia where there was ample work available in the construction industry. Shortly after their arrival in Virginia, Buck was tragically killed in a construction accident. Mary returned to Highlands with her son John and began working at the Tar Heel Restaurant,  located in the current Masonic Lodge building on West Main Street.

In 1950, she married Magnus (Bud) Stribling Meriweather Thompson, Buck’s half brother. They had three children. In 1954, they moved for a time to Oconee County, South Carolina, to be near her elderly parents. In 1966, she and her son, John Cleaveland, bought the Highlander Restaurant on Main Street Highlands from W.C. Newton. In 1969, the business was expanded with the addition of Big John’s Sirloin Room on Oak Street. The business was operated by the family until it was sold in November 1981. Following that venture, Mary, along with her son Mike and his wife Dale, operated a business on the hill known as the Sunny Day Bakery and Deli until the fall of 1986.

Following her retirement in 1986, Mary served as a regular volunteer at Mountain Findings for over 21 years. She also continued serving others and visiting the elderly at the Eckerd Nursing Center until the age of 93. She was a longtime member of the Presbyterian Church in Highlands where she served as an elder for many years. She also served on various town committees. She was awarded the Robert B. Dupree Citizenship Award through the Highlands Rotary Club in the early 2000s. To the delight of many, she continued baking her wonderful breads, chocolate cakes, and caramel cakes, as well as her infamous buttermilk pies, until she hung up her apron at the age of 90.

She is preceded in death by her son, John W. Cleaveland.

She is survived by daughter-in-law, Edwina Goode Cleaveland and grandchildren, Mary Kristina (Kristy) Cleaveland, Marty Caye Smith, and John Caye; daughter, Pamela Thompson-Duke and husband Michael Duke of Lilburn, Ga., and grandchildren Matthew Reese and Jennifer Reese; daughter, Mary Lee Billingsley and husband Lamar of Scaly Mountain, N.C., and grandchildren Tracy Roman, and David, John, and Andrew Billingsley; son, Michael (Mike) Stribling Thompson of Highlands, and grandchildren, McKenzie and Sayward Thompson.

She is also survived by 11 great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, and an assortment of loving dogs, cats, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and birds of all kinds, which she fed faithfully.

From her home overlooking Harris Lake, she loved to watch the clouds as they rose from the West.

In addition to all of the family who attended to our mother, thanks to her faithful caregivers Sherry, Delores, and C.J.

In honor of her wishes, a private family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John W. Cleaveland Benevolent Fund at Community Bible Church, Four Seasons Hospice, and Highlands Child Care Development Center at First Presbyterian Church.

We will all miss her so!

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Thompson family.

Clara Dean Singleton Farmer

Clara Dean Singleton Farmer

Clara Dean Singleton Farmer, 83, formerly of 119 Mellon Street, Slater, S.C., passed away on June 11, 2020, at Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Franklin, N.C.  

She was married to the late Billy Landrum Farmer for 54 years and was mother of two, although her loving influence also earned her the title of “Granny Dean” to countless others.  She was known for her passion for growing beautiful flowers that she graciously shared, creating crafts of artful displays and seasonal decorations, beanie baby hopping, collecting antiques, and singing her old-time favorite songs where she could still recall every word.  She had a deep love for her family and friends.  Her most precious attributes were her generous heart and caring ways.  She showered kindness on all around her and most recently you would find her on the gray hall snuggling with “Michael” where she loved to visit with friends, sometimes caught up in memories of her loved ones and days gone by.

Born in Dascusville, S.C., near Peter’s Creek, she was the youngest daughter of the late Hovey Byard and Edna Foster Singleton.  A textile weaver by trade, she was retired from the JP Stevens Slater Plant and was a member of Slater Baptist Church where she was fondly remembered as a children’s Sunday School teacher and a woman of strong Christian faith.  She adored her long-time neighbors and friends in the mill village and greater Slater community, especially her adopted mother, Granny Daniel.

Surviving is her daughter,  Theresa Farmer Ramsey and husband Joseph of Franklin; granddaughter, Kaila Dean Ramsey Garza and husband Matt and son, Levi of Washington, DC; grandson,  Matthew Lyle Ramsey and wife Brittany and two daughters, Lilly and Emma of Hoschton, Ga.; grandson,  William Michael Ables of Pickens, S.C.; two sisters-in-law,  Alice Singleton (David) and Almeda Singleton (HB); and many loving nieces and nephews.  Her favorite people called her Nana.

She was predeceased by her son,  William Michael Farmer of Greenville, S.C.; and nine siblings,  Elizabeth Katherine “Kat” Friddle (J Roy), James Edward “Ed” Singleton (Jessie), Mary Helen Raines (Carl), John Henry Singleton (Sarah/Carrie), Myrtle Lee Singleton, Edna Faye Poole (Carlos), Minnie Eloise Bryant (Edgar), Hovey Byard HB “Buck” Singleton, Jr. and William David Singleton (Linda).  The Singleton clan was known for their hospitality, a close-knit group that treasured family reunions and gatherings.

Dean’s family wishes to express a heartfelt thank you to her “second family” for their loving care – the staff at Macon Valley – and we appreciate the support from Four Seasons Hospice during her final days.  We will be forever grateful to her wonderful friend and caregiver – Louetta Smith. Visit to view photos and more information.  

The family will share details for a “Celebration of Life Service” to be held at a later date.  

Donations in her memory may be made to Slater Baptist Church, PO Box 243, Slater, SC 29683 or we invite you to embrace the beauty of flowers around you and think of her.  

To share your favorite memory of Dean or send expressions of sympathy, mail to:  The Family of Dean Farmer, c/o Theresa Ramsey, 2547 Leatherman Gap Road, Franklin, NC 28734.