Obituaries for March 23, 2023

Spring flowers at Rankin Square photo by Vickie Carpenter

Tommy Nicholson

Tommy Nicholson

Tommy Nicholson, 69, was healed and went to live eternally with Jesus on March 18, 2023, after a courageous fight with cancer. 

He was born in Jackson County, North Carolina, and moved to Franklin, N.C., when he was three. He worked for A&P in his teen years, Burrell Motor Company with Lynn’s brother Keith, where he met Lynn. He married Lynn Shope Nicholson and learned to square dance with family and danced with Lynn on a team for many years. He later worked for Bryant Funeral Home and Jim Brown Chrysler Dodge. He was a member of the Franklin Fire Department. 

He and Lynn retired in 2011 and began a fun journey of mowing yards and antiquing. In 2017, they bought the business of the Classy Flea where he witnessed and was a friend to many. He was saved at South Macon Baptist Church on a day that Macon Citizens for the Handicapped came and sang. They touched his heart, and he asked Jesus to be his savior that day. He was a deacon of Tessentee Baptist Church. He was a Christian not only in church but everywhere he went and to everyone he met. He loved and was loved by many. He always saw the good and the hope for folks who may have turned the wrong way in life and was never one to judge. He would always pray and encourage folks. He was one to see when folks needed a helping hand in life and would always encourage, pray, and help folks when he learned about hardships they were having.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Janie Nicholson of Franklin.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lynn Shope Nicholson; daughter, Kimberly Ledford and husband Ben; granddaughters, Hannah and Macie; aunt, Lila Jo Queen of Sylva, N.C.; and cousins, Billy Queen, Ricky Queen, Katrina Frizzell, Vera Banks, Charlie Ashe, Vaughn McClure, and many other cousins: sister-in-law, Gail Shope; brother- and sister-in- law, Wade and Carolyn Shope; nephew, Wade Shope Jr., Tracy, Sydnie and Lucas; brother- and sister-in-law, Ronnie and Ruth Dowdle; niece, Delena Raby and Bobby; great niece, Chelsie Raby and fiance’ Cody Villagomez; niece, Crystal Dowdle; and his Tessentee Baptist Church family.

A funeral service was held Tuesday, March 21, at Pine Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Carl Carpenter, Steve Reeves, Greg Rogers and Lloyd Fish officiating. Burial followed at Woodlawn Cemetery

Pallbearers were Bobby Raby, Jeff Tallent, Joe Rogers, Chad Pilkerton, Mike Breedlove, Joe Breedlove, Jim Ledford, and Jason Francis.  Honorary Pallbearers were Marvin Shepherd, Ronnie Dowdle, Wade Shope, Roy Carr, Wade Shope Jr., Guy Grant, Ricky Queen, Mike Wooten, Calvin Buchanan, Bill More, Dearl Ledford, Eddie Jones, Greg Soloman, Chuckie Bates and Burt Raby.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you just love as you have loved us and to help someone along the way as folks have helped us.

Donations may be made to Mens Challenge of the Smokies, 336 Living Hope Way, Franklin, NC 28734; or No Wrong Door, PO Box 1594, Franklin, NC 28744.

Tommy leaves one sentence to always remember, “Guard your testimony.”

Online condolences can be left at

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

Patricia ‘Pat’ Louise Beck

Patricia “Pat” Louise Beck went home to be with the Lord on March 12, 2023. She was born in Macon County, North Carolina, on Sept. 17, 1938, to the late Fred Littleton Sr., and Lucy Littleton Henry. She was a homemaker, a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Mildred “Susie” Rogers; brother, Fred Littleton Jr.; and her husband of 63 years, Sammy Beck. 

She is survived by her daughter, Debbie Brock of Pensacola, Fla.; granddaughters, Melissa Brock of Irvine, Calif., and Ann Brock of Westville, N.J. 

A funeral service was held on Friday, March 17, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Burial was in the Highlands Memorial Park. 

Online condolences may be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. 

Charles Hayse Jennings

Charles Hayse Jennings

Charles Hayse Jennings, 75, of Cashiers, N.C., passed away on Saturday March 18, 2023. He was born on June 15, 1947, to the late Glenn and Florene Jennings.

He never met a stranger and he loved to joke around. He was most known for his Jennings hello. He retired from Hayse Jennings Grading and the Glenville Cashiers Rescue Squad.

He is survived by two sons, John (Berta), Sam (Sandy); three grandsons, Michael (Kassie), Jonathan (Emilia), CJ (Karmen); and two great grandsons, Tucker and Cane; two brothers, Melvin (Louise), and Marvin (Kaye); one sister-in-law, Brenda; and many nieces and nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Ann; and by one brother, Merrill.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad, 63 Norton Road, Cashiers, NC 28717.

An online registry is available at

Frederick Bryan Runken

Frederick Bryan Runken

Frederick Bryan Runken, 72, of Scaly Mountain, N.C., passed away Monday, March 13, 2023.  He was born June 16, 1950, in Darmstadt, Germany to the late Roy and Johanna Becker Runken.  He owned and operated Scaly Mountain Builders, he loved motorcycles, camping, RVing, jewelry making and woodworking.

He is survived by his children, Leslie Dryman (Stacey) of Scaly Mtn., Mandy  Barnes (Richard) of Dillard, Ga., Lori Brooks (Ross) of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Charles Robinson and Kendra Johnson both of Scaly Mtn.;  grandchildren, Christopher Barnes, Bryant Barnes, Kelli Barnes, Carol Barnes, John Barnes, Danielle Reese, Ethan Crisp, Caleb Moore, John Brooks, Payton Robinson, Karalee Robinson, Susan Johnson and Kenneth Robinson; brothers, Jeffrey Runken (Michaelle) of Franklin, N.C., and Michael Chris Runken (Becki) of Raleigh and Highlands, N.C.; and his former wife, Karen Runken of Florida.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m., at the Scaly Mountain Fire Department. The family will receive friends following the service.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is serving the  family.

Online condolence at

James Ernest Reagle

James Ernest Reagle

James Ernest Reagle, 88, son of late Emmet and Irene Reagle of Saegertown, Pa., entered eternal rest on March 20, 2023.  He is the eldest brother of Gary, Myrna, Neal, Edward, Gaylord, Keith, and Cindy.

He graduated from Saegertown High School 1952, worked the family farm, delivered milk, became a Real Estate agent, worked Erie Lackawanna Raidroad retiring in 1982, and then moved to Florida.  Being the hardworking man he was, he owned JR Saloon in Sanford, Fla., and started his own lawn business, retired in 1999, and moved to Franklin, N.C., to start a lawn business that he retired from in August 2022.

He met the love of his life, Mildred Doris Hosick Reagle in 1952 and wed on Nov. 10, 1954.  He is predeceased by Doris on Feb. 8, 2017, after  68 years of love and as best friends.

The couple leaves behind five daughters, Melody (Wayne), Crystal (Jim – late), Jamie, Lisa (Dan – late) and Hope (Arnold); 10 grandchildren, one late grandchild, 14 great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren.

Per Jim & Doris’s wishes, no visitation or services are planned. Donations may be made to your local Humane Society.  Their wishes were family to gather, share time together, and beautiful memories in their own special ways

Condolences may be sent to Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory, 105 West Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734; or at

Jason ‘Buck’ Gabriel Buchanan

Jason ‘Buck’ Gabriel Buchanan

Jason “Buck” Gabriel Buchanan, 46, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

Born in Sylva, N.C., he was the son of Bruce and Joan Weaver Buchanan of Franklin, N.C. 

He was a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church and had recently been attending Pine Grove Baptist Church. He started welding at an early age and while in high school, he received the VICA Welding award. He later attended Tri County Community College where he studied welding. He loved to weld and to fish

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Misty Raby Buchanan; two sons, Zachary Ryan Buchanan, and Preston Gabriel Buchanan, both of Cullowhee, N.C.; brother, Evans Buchanan and wife Angela of Jacksonville, N.C.; sister, Amy Price and husband Johnnie of Franklin; mother- and father-in-law, Jackie and Freddy Raby of Franklin; and three brothers-in-law, Chuck Norton and wife Kim, and Tony Norton and fiancée Stephanie, and Lawson Raby and fiancée Renee, all of Franklin; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.

A celebration of life was held Monday, March 20, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home with Rev. Johnny Raby and Rev. Greg Rogers officiating.

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

Online condolences can be left at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Joy Ann Robinson

Joy Ann Robinson, 86, passed away on Oct. 4, 2022, in Miami, Fla., after a time of declining health.  She was born on Sept. 2, 1936, in Miami, Fla., to Laura Wright Wimmer and George W. Wright.

She was a homemaker and later worked in the catering business until retirement.

She was well liked by everyone had many friends both in Miami and Franklin.

She and her husband built a summer home in Franklin, N.C., in 1987 and spent many summers and falls here.  They loved the mountains.

She had many interests, including crocheting, crafts, gardening and loved doing jigsaw puzzles on their front porch.  As their children grew up, she was a cub scout leader and won the Silver Beaver Award.  She loved watching NASCAR and soccer with her husband as well as traveling.  They were members of the Model A Ford Club in Miami and went on many fun rallies.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Douglas M. Robinson; son, Glenn Robinson; brother, W. Carl Wright; and a sister, Sandra Palmer.

She is survived by sons, Randall Robinson and Keith Robinson; grandsons, Kyle Robinson and Jeremy Robinson (Madina); great grandsons, Hunter Robinson and Rowlan Robinson, all from Miami area; sister, Penny Forray (Tom) Arizona; brother, Chuck Wimmer, Arizona; sister-in-law, Sharon Wright, Seattle, Wash.; sister-in-law, Linda Keenum (Neal), Franklin; and many nephews and nieces.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m., in the old chapel at First Presbyterian Church of Franklin with interment at the First Presbyterian Memorial Gardens.  Dr. Royce Browder will lead the celebration and interment.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Care Partners, Franklin.

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