Obituaries for March 9, 2023

Spring flowers at Rankin Square photo by Vickie Carpenter

Wayne Vincent

Wayne Vincent

Wayne Vincent, 95, went on to his heavenly home Sunday morning, March 5, 2023, at Macon County Nursing & Rehabilitation in Franklin, N.C.  

Until Dec. 16, 2022, he lived all his life in Tennessee.  He was born July 9, 1927, on a farm in Hardeman County, to Aubrey and Alma Vincent.  In 1944, he joined the U.S. Navy and deployed to the Pacific to serve on the USS Hancock.  Upon returning after the war, he continued his service at U.S. Naval Air Station Memphis, located in Millington, Tenn., until his retirement on May 1, 1975.  During his time in Millington, he married Dot Carlisle of Lucy, and together they had four children. They lived outside of Millington and attended Lucy Baptist Church where he was ordained a deacon and remodeled Lucy Baptist Church as it stands now.  Wayne and Dot owned and operated Millington Contractors for more than 35 years until Dot passed away in 2004.  During this time he had become an active member of Gideons International, traveling across the U.S. and as far away as Venezuela and Ireland to participate in Bible distribution.  In 1987, he was elected State President of the Gideons of Tennessee.  Because his son was on the mission field in Argentina, three separate times Wayne gathered volunteers to travel to Argentina to work on churches.  In addition to Gideon service, in 1975, he became an Auxiliary Probation Officer for Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, and also worked alongside men from First Baptist in Millington to visit with and witness to men in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary.

In 2005, he married Marion Rice Anderson in Lucy.  The couple lived in Millington and attended First Baptist Church of Millington.  Here, he served as an usher and Sunday School teacher.  In August 2016, they moved to Robinwood, an independent living facility in Bartlett, Tenn.  They lived here until Marion’s death in December 2021, which led to Wayne moving to North Carolina.  While there, at the retirement facility and three miles away from his daughter, he was cared for by nurses, doctors and caregivers with whom he established such a bond.  His smile, wave, or just his presence became a joy for all of them.  In all he did, it did not matter who you were or who you’d been, he loved you and lived a life devoted to serving God.

He leaves behind his daughter, Jane “Janie” (Rusty) Renfroe of Franklin, Gene Tate Vincent (Melanie) of Franklin, Ky., Alma (Dennis) Finger of Millington; six grandchildren,  Jason (Vonda) Renfroe, Anthony Vincent, Ginger Vincent, Candace (Jamison) Hunley, Krystal (Preston) Visser; 11 great-grandchildren, Cooper and Landon Renfroe, Anzley and Kaiden Harper, and Gracilyn Vincent, Macney and Mackenzey Hunley, Aliza and Cora Visser; six surviving sisters, Helen Tolbert (Memphis), Opal (Bill) Young (Memphis), Edith Pipkin (Middleton), Emily (Marvin) Mills (Middleton), Kathrine Perryman (Memphis), and Sue (Bobby) Shelly of Middleton, Tenn.

He was predeceased by his son Glen Vincent in 2010, his brother, Emmett Vincent and sister, Jen-O Newman.

A funeral service was held at Munford Funeral Home Chapel, in Millington.

Memorials to Gideons International or First Baptist Church, Millington, Tenn.

Online condolences can be left at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Vincent family with local arrangements.

Jill Oliver Risk

Jill Oliver Risk

Jill Fay Oliver Risk, 71, passed from this life on Feb. 27, 2023. She was born on Nov. 11, 1951, to James Edwin and Joyce Morris Oliver. 

During her lifetime, she did a wonderful job in showing her great love for God, her family, and her friends. But, Jill didn’t stop there. She loved and cared about any and all who came within her reach.

She was unpretentious. Just like an open book, people always knew exactly where they stood with her. She loved everybody and proved it with her generosity. Her time, love, and resources were available to both individuals and groups. She was willing to help anyone anyway she could.

She had many interests. She liked traveling and seeing new places. She also enjoyed shopping in consignment stores. She was a stickler for good grammar and wanted everything to be precise. Even her notes and social media posts reflected her desire to communicate correctly. She owned a long line of pets with Lexi and Rocky, her last ones, being two of her favorites.

Her faith was very important to her as she was a member of First United Methodist Church in Franklin, N.C.

She was a member of Moose Lodge #1985 in Sylva, N.C., and Elks Lodge #1769 in Waynesville, N.C,. as well as being the secretary of her Homeowners Association. A big supporter of Men’s Challenge of the Smokies, she always helped provide refreshments at their graduations.

She is survived by her husband, John M. Risk; her son, Richard Thomsen (Stephanie) of Port Orange, Fla.; her siblings, Brenda Weeks (Don) of Middleburg, Fla., Ted Oliver (Susan), Sherri Leggett (Jack), surrogate sister, Joann Miller, all of Tallahassee, Fla.; and four step-children, Carolyn, John, James, and Jennifer Risk; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a number of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband and high school sweetheart, Joe Thomsen; her half-sister, Barbara Wilson; and her half-brother, Paul Oliver.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, March 12, at 4 p.m., at First United Methodist Church in Franklin. Revs. David Beam and Vic Green will lead the celebration. Another service will be held at her final resting place on Monday, April 3, at 2 p.m., at Tallahassee Memory Gardens, 4037 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Men’s Challenge of the Smokies, 336 Living Hope Way, Franklin, NC, 28734.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Cecil Johnson

Cecil Johnson

Cecil Johnson, 77, of Franklin, N.C., passed away at his residence, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, after a period of declining health. 

He was born in Murphy, N.C., to the late Ralph and Pearl Orton Johnson.  He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as four brothers, RJ, Roy, Charlie, and Danny Johnson: and a sister, Hazel Brown. 

He attended Cartoogechaye Church of God.  He owned and operated Cecil’s Auto repair and was very passionate about his lifetime career as a mechanic.  

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Teresa Kidwell Johnson; son, Adam Johnson (Tracy) of Franklin; four daughters, Tracye Holland (Jeremy) of Franklin; Erin Henson (Hollis) of Franklin, Heather Swanson (Terry) of Westville, Fla., Rosie Hash of Pinehurst, N.C.; two brothers, Kenneth Johnson of Akron, Ohio, Harvey Johnson of Jasper, Ga.; sister, Helen Johnson of Akron, Ohio; 19 grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren. 

A funeral service was held Saturday, March 4, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Pastor Eddie Brewer, Pastor Tracy Tallent, and Pastor Darian Cochran officiated.   Burial was in the Addington Community Cemetery. 

Pallbearers were Adam Johnson, Mitchell Thompson, Hollis Whitehead, Jeremy Holland, Hunter Bentley, and Terry Swanson.   Honorary pallbearers were Kenneth Johnson, Harvey Johnson, Pierce Henson, Parker Henson, Gracin Holland, Carter Johnson, and Joseph Hash. 

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Christine McCall Wilson

Christine McCall Wilson, 92, of Highlands, N.C., passed away at Fidelia Eckerd Living Center Sunday, March 5, 2023, after a period of declining health.

She was born Aug. 8, 1931, to the late Rev. Jim McCall and Dovie Moss McCall. She spent her youth in the Franklin, N.C., area and her adult life in Thompson, Ga., where she worked in the restaurant hospitality industry before returning to Highlands to spend her retirement years.

She was of the Baptist faith. Her hobbies included Stock Car Racing, reading, and riding her golf cart.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Robert Wilson; brother, James Shirley McCall; and niece, Mary Ann Houston Clayton. 

She is survived by sister, Margie Houston; and brother, Richard (Freda) McCall; niece, Cathy (Gary) Hoffman; nephews, Jeffery (Debbie) McCall, and Jason (Sarah) McCall.

A funeral service will be held Friday, March 10, at 2 p.m., at Bryant-Grant Funeral Home in Franklin with visitation at 1 p.m. Burial will be in Sugar Fork Cemetery.

Online condolences can be left at

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

George Ellison

George Ellison

George Ellison, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away peacefully on Feb. 21, 2023. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rolf and Betty Mount Ellison, and a son, Randall Ellison.  He lived a life of love and adventure.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Muir Ellison; son, Drew Ellison (Ginny) of Islamorada, Fla.; sister, Betty Eitnsier of Florida; and a sister-in-law, Jill Greene of Albuquerque, N.M.

No services are planned at this time. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to AARC, 9425 N. MacArthur Blvd, Suite 100, Irving, TX 75063-4706.

Online condolences can be made at 

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

John Allan Keir

John Allan Keir

John Allan Keir, 77, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, March 5, 2023, after a period of declining health.

Born in Staten Island, N.Y., he was the son of the late John Andrew and Bernice Moselle Welch Keir. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine Catherine Keir. 

He faithfully served in the United States Marines, where he had two tours in Vietnam. He was a member of the VFW and could often be found at Vito’s Pizza and Italian Tavern in Franklin visiting with friends.

He is survived by two daughters, Paula Keir of Franklin, and Heather Critchfield of Braselton, Ga.; two grandchildren, Cody, and Kaycie Critchfield; brother, Frank Keir (Lawanda) of Mt. Dora, Fla.; a son-in-law, Aaron Critchfield; and a nephew, Wesley Keir.

No formal services are planned.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516.

Online condolences can be left at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Dale Jarrett Dean

Dale Jarrett Dean

Dale Jarrett Dean, 83, passed away in his Franklin home on March 1, 2023. He was born on July 7, 1939, and was a lifelong resident of Macon County.

He is preceded in death by two sisters, Lolita A. Dean and Annie Ruth Dean Cabe; a brother, Ralph Dean; and his parents, John H. and Lessie Ammons Dean.

He is survived by his brother, Eugene Dean.

A graveside service was held Monday, March 6, at the Holly Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

Online condolences can be left at

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

Previous articleCommunity Calendar for March 9, 2023
Next articleWhat’s new on the plateau
Free Independent Weekly Newspaper - Distributed in Franklin, Highlands, Dillsboro, Webster, Cullowhee, Scaly Mountain, N.C.; Dillard & Clayton, Ga.