Obituaries for March 11, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

John (Jay) Quince Sanders

John (Jay) Quince Sanders

John (Jay) Quince Sanders,  91, passed away at his home on Feb. 22, 2021. He was born July 22, 1929, to Jesse L. and Ida F. (Shope) Sanders. He was a fifth generation Maconian who lived most of his life on the old family farm located in the vicinity of the north fork of Skeenah Creek. He was preceded in death by his youngest son, Jeffrey; grandson, Jason Friedling; and ten of 12 siblings.     

We will miss the stories of his childhood/teenage years; for instance, hunting with his grandfather Zeb Shope and his prized fox hounds, walking to the movie theater in town and back in the dark, and the grand adventure of moving to the Hampton Roads, Va., area during WWII, when his dad worked in the shipyards. 

He spent time in Michigan working in the auto industry and in residential construction. He was an accomplished brick mason and carpenter; and possessed all skills necessary to build a home from the ground up. He had a long career as a supervisor for Haywood Contracting Company, heading work crews in the construction of many commercial and government buildings stretching from Clay to Buncombe counties. He was heavily involved in the Angel Hospital expansion project and the conversion of the Biltmore dairy facilities into the Biltmore Winery. He was a good provider for his family, but sometimes his dedication to his work was over the top.  Family drives on Sunday were usually an excuse to visit the current job site! John Quince Sanders lived a long life, was loved, and is now with his family and friends who have passed on. Until we see him again, those who remain will miss him.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Henson Sanders; children, Mike (Carol), Sharon (Kevin) Cates; grandchildren, Devan, Kayla, and Autumn Sanders, Brianna Stewart, and Joseph Friedling; great grandsons, Jacob and James Friedling; sisters, Olivia Reese and Amelia Trull, and Aunt Mildred (Shope) Swofford; several step-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and special family friends, including June Hodgin.  

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

Raymond Richard Bates

Raymond Richard Bates, 62 of Franklin, N.C., passed away at home March 2, 2021.

A lifetime resident of Macon County, he was born to the late George and Maebelle Bates. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Michael, and Mitchell. 

He worked in the telephone industry and later delivered for Entemanns. His hobbies included puzzle books, playing cards, and playing guitar. He loved reading westerns and watching TV. He was a pretty darn good shade tree mechanic. He walked everywhere he went and put many miles on his feet. He was one of a kind and will be missed by many.

He is survived by sisters, Kathy (Ann), Sarah and Sherri; brother, Shawn; children, Shane, Caleb, Aaron, and Nicholas, all of Franklin; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. 

A graveside service was held Tuesday March 9, at Tellico Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Wilkes officiating.

Pallbearers were Allen Wilkes, Benny Hampton, David Woods, Robert Sanders, Tommy Greenwood and Charles Bates. 

Online condolences can be made at

Leon Yaun

Leon Yaun

Leon Yaun, 92, peacefully left this earth to be with his Maker March 3, 2021. He was born in Memphis, Tenn., to Samuel Leon Yaun and Anna Anita (Swift) Yaun, Dec. 11, 1928.

From an early age his artistic talent was evident when his fourth grade soap carving of the Parthenon was selected to be exhibited at the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery in Memphis. Growing up, he spent many summers in the City of New Orleans, La., and loved its bayou country. These experiences would become the subject of much of his early art work. He graduated from Subiaco Academy college preparatory school in Arkansas and as a young adult pursued his studies at Memphis Academy of Art, where many of his paintings were on display.

He moved his young family to Connecticut where he pursued a career in the furniture industry. He was head of quality control for Jens Risom Furniture in their Connecticut Plant. A loving father of four, he spent many happy hours playing with his children at the beach. Even with the responsibilities of a family, he managed to become an active member of the Mystic Art Association of Mystic, Conn. He also exhibited at the Slater Museum Gallery in Norwich, Conn.

As his children matured and started families of their own, he  became interested in the world of antiques and was able to incorporate his newfound interest into his love of art and wood working. He exhibited his collections of antique bottles and Americana regionally and became well known in the area. He remained closely involved in his children and grandchildren’s lives as their families grew.

With the harsh New England winters, he began spending much of the winter months in Florida. In 1981, he was introduced to Hazel Giles, a fellow antique exhibitor with two young children. In 1982, he moved to Florida and he and Hazel began their lives together. When the children started college, Hazel and Leon moved to the North Carolina mountains to the little community of Glenville where he spent the remainder of his life. He spent countless hours painting and carving and exhibiting his work at Folk Fest in Atlanta, Ga., the nation’s largest folk art festival at that time. His work is held in collections all over the South and Northeast.

He remained close to his New England family and visited every summer until he was no longer able to travel. He was also especially close to Hazel’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who he treated as his own. They shared many holidays and summers in the mountains.

He is survived by Hazel Giles, his life partner of 38 years; his sister, Carol Richardson of Salisbury, Md., and her husband Wayne Hancock; nephews, Wade Richardson of Greenville, S.C., and Wesley Richardson of Del Mar, Md.; his half-brother, Eddie Yaun of Germantown, Tenn.; his son, Todd Yaun and his children, Derek Yaun and Luke Yaun of East Woodstock, Conn. and Iris Anna Gohn (Yaun) of Tucson, Ariz.; his daughter, Rory Lynch (Yaun) of Petersburg, N.Y. and her children, Clove Lynch of Boulder, Colo., and Mimosa Lynch of Munich, Germany; daughter, Jennifer Yaun Rainey (Tom) of Brooklyn, Conn., and her children, Travis Harwood of Plainville, Conn.; and daughter, Venessa Harwood Perry (Ronald), of Middletown, Conn.; daughter, Leslie McClellan of Dayville, Conn. and her children, Evan McClellan and Nathan McClellan; stepdaughter, Lynn Giles Herrera and her children, Megan Herrera Cartwright (Mike) of Milton, Del., Rebecca Herrera Joga (Matthew) of Beaufort, S.C., and Brittany Herrera of Montclair, N.J.; stepson, James Giles and wife Kristina of Rockville, Md., and their children, Christopher John (CJ) Giles and Kaitlin Rose (Katie) Giles of Rockville, Md.; and 13 great grandchildren.

Everyone who met or knew Leon was impressed by his kind, gentle humor and immense talent. He was indeed a very special gift on loan from God.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Marilyn Lyon Ilhardt

Marilyn Lyon Ilhardt

Marilyn Lyon Ilhardt, 70, originally of Miami, Fla., passed away peacefully Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in the afternoon with family members by her side in Asheville, N.C. She was born July 13, 1950, in Miami to the late Neil “David” and Margaret Lyon. She met her future husband, Ronald “Ron” Ilhardt, at the tender age of 15 and they have been together ever since that day. She graduated from Miami Senior High, Class of ’68, and wed Ron on Aug. 16, 1969. She worked in Miami until 2012 and once Marilyn and Ron retired, they began to spend more of their time in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. In 2017, they made Franklin, N.C., their permanent home. 

She is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Ron; her brother, Stephen (Nancy) Lyon; her sister, Barbara (Andrew) Clute; her daughter, Kelli (Chris) Wise; her son, Kyle (Renee) Ilhardt; grandchildren, Tyler, Brooke, Kylie, Austin, Karson, and Klayton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was the most caring, loving, and kind woman. There is not a single person who could say anything negative about her – she was a phenomenal daughter, sister, wife, mother, “Mimi,” aunt, and friend. All of our lives are better because of Marilyn. She was loved by many and will be cherished forever. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten. 

Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service at Macon Funeral Home on Saturday, March 13, to begin with a viewing at 11 a.m., followed by a service at 12 p.m. Burial will be at Iotla Baptist Church Cemetery. A celebration of Marilyn’s wonderful life will follow at The Lodge at Cat Creek. 

Rev. Steve Reeves will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Miami Police Veteran’s Association College Scholarship Fund.

Online condolences can be made at

Ada June Kiser Dowdle

Ada June Kiser Dowdle

Ada June Kiser Dowdle, 94, of Franklin, N.C., was promoted to the Church Triumphant, March 7, 2021.  She was born Feb. 23, 1927, to the late Bunyan and Nina Gillespie Kiser.  She was predeceased by two brothers, Jack and Julian Kiser, one sister, Clara Shields, and her beloved husband, Erwin (Butch) Dowdle.

She worked in the textile industry, but for most of her life she was a dedicated homemaker.  She enjoyed taking home-cooked meals and making pop-in-visits to neighbors and friends offering a simple word of encouragement and a touch of kindness.

She was a life-long member of Mt. Hope Baptist Church.  During her active years, she participated in various areas of the church work especially the Women’s Missionary Union.

She is survived by a son, Charles Andrew Dowdle; daughter, Mavis Dowdle Stiles (Billy Joe) of Rabun Gap, Ga.; two grandchildren, Juleigh Dowdle Rogers (Hank) of Franklin, and Todd Stiles (Gwen) of Clayton, Ga.; three great-grandchildren, Zeke Rogers, Laken Stiles, and Loren Stiles; and a sister, Kathryn Angel.

A private graveside service will be conducted at Woodlawn Cemetery, with Rev. Roy Lowe officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC  28731.

The family extends appreciation to the Grandview Manor staff and Four Seasons Hospice for their kind, attentive and compassionate care.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at

Sandra Duane Parr

Sandra Duane Parr, 72, of Cullowhee, N.C., went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Born in Tampa, Fla., she was the daughter of the late JD and Doris Marquart Hughes. She was a retired schoolteacher in Florida and was the owner of The Bird Barn and Gift Emporium in Cashiers, N.C.  She loved reading and studying her Bible, cooking, and watching cooking shows. She was a member of Community Bible Church in Cashiers.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Leroy Daniel Parr Jr; daughter, Jaime Duane Jones (Durl) of Banner Elk, N.C.; son, Leroy Daniel Parr III (Patty) of Cullowhee; and one brother, Douglas Charles Hughes of Tampa, Fla.; and eight grandchildren, who she loved and adored.

As per her wishes, no services will be held at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to TSI, PO Box 1566, Newland, NC 28657, Reference, Sandra Parr.

Online condolences at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Staci Marie Mashburn

Staci Marie Mashburn

Staci Marie Mashburn, 7, of Franklin, N.C., passed away March 6, 2021.

She was born in Jackson County to Kelby Mashburn and Kishi Sanders. 

She had a passion for learning. She thrived in her school environment and adored her teachers, Suzanne Younce, Phyllis Castle, and Jeremy Chapman. She loved her classmates, befriended, and genuinely loved everyone and knew no strangers. She enjoyed spending time outdoors, coloring, blocks and swinging. She always had a smile on her face and brightened every room she walked into. 

She is survived by her parents, Kelby Mashburn and Kishi Sanders of Franklin; grandparents, Rose Mashburn, Dayton Mashburn, Charlie Sanders, all of Franklin, and Emma Sanders of Hendersonville; great grandparents, Frankie and Dallas Sanders of Franklin; half-sisters, Hazel and Skyler; aunts, Kimberly Wojtkowski of Franklin, Kristin Johnson of Franklin, Emily Sanders of Glenville, and Anastasia Sanders of Franklin; cousins, Naaman, Dawson, and Paul; and special friend, Kailey Fraiser. 

Services will be held Thursday, March 11, at 2 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Jeremy Chapman and Rev Morris Tippett will officiate. Burial will be at Elijay Missionary Baptist Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Naaman Posey, Buddy Thomas, Dawson Wojtkowski, and Josh Gregory.

Online condolences at

D.L. Elliott

D.L. Elliott

D.L. Elliott, 73, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday March 5, 2021.

He was born in Macon County, to the late James and Mattie Elliott. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his long-time companion, Mary Bumgarner; siblings, David Elliott, Kathleen Webb, and Imogene Elliott.

He was a mechanic by trade and enjoyed tinkering with the motors of mowers and weed eaters. 

He is survived by Mary’s son, Glen (Sharon) who he loved like his own; sisters, Jo Webb (Johnny), Rosa Young; and a brother, Denver Elliott (Vicki).

Service was held Wednesday March 10, at Macon Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Don Bates officiating.

Pallbearers were Bud Elliot, Steve Elliot, DJ Elliot, Brandon Elliot, Scotty Elliott and Josh Houston.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association PO Box 840692 Dallas, TX 75284-0692.

Online condolences at