Obituaries for May 6, 2021

First United Methodist Church photo by Vickie Carpenter

Dana ‘Dan’ Murvin Reynolds

Dana ‘Dan’ Murvin Reynolds

Dana “Dan” Murvin Reynolds, 58, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Saturday, April 17, 2021, after a brief period of declining health.

Born  in Winnsboro, S.C., he was the son of Tony Reynolds of Lugoff, S.C., and Edna J. Payne of Camden, S.C. He was of the Baptist faith. He was a carpenter by trade, enjoyed woodworking and was known to always be willing to help his neighbors and friends.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Marscher Reynolds; children, Ladonna Berry of Charleston, S.C., Brianna Arzenti of Clarkston, Mich., and Dana Reynolds Jr., of Pueblo, Colo.; stepmother, Sylvia Reynolds of Lugoff, S.C.; and brother, Brett Reynolds of Landrum, S.C.; four grandchildren; aunt, Amy S. Whitehurst of Franklin; cousins, Sherry Davis and Roland Whitehurst; and a special friend and “daughter,” Megan Renee of Franklin.

A Celebration of Life was held Friday, April 30, at Macon Funeral Home Chapel. 

Rev. Brandon Breedlove officiated.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Ronald Gary Christie

Ronald Gary Christie

Ronald Gary Christie, 86, of Franklin, N.C., passed away April 27, 2021.

He was born in New York to the late Robert and Cassie Albee Christie. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Richard Christie and Kenneth Christie.

He spent the last 30 years in Western North Carolina where he dedicated his time to serving others through Meals on Wheels and in prison ministry at Craggy Correctional Center in Asheville. He was a skilled stained-glass artist and enjoyed golfing. 

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Carol Christie; children, Cheryl Natiello (Joe) of St Augustine Fla., and Wenda Kohler (James) of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; grandchildren, Krista McGill (Lyndon), Michelle Acree (Alex), Alyssa Fraser (Ryan Fine); and great grandchildren, Logan, Riley, Savannah, Aubrey, Max, Carleigh, Harper, Damien.

A memorial service was held Friday, April 30, at First Pentecost. 

Rev. Tracy Tallent and Rev. Eric Bolick officiated.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Ronald Christie Family, care of First Pentecost Church, 164 Iotla Church Road Franklin, NC, NC 28734

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

Eugene ‘Ted’ Gilbert Spring

Eugene ‘Ted’ Gilbert Spring

On May 1, 2021, Eugene “Ted” Gilbert Spring passed away while at home with his family and pets, Holly, Bella, Zeus and Willow. His family finds comfort knowing that he is in Heaven and at peace with the love of his life, Cher.

He is preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Cheryl; many beloved fur babies; parents, Gladys and Elmer; and sister, Cookie.

He is survived by brother, Robert (Linda); children, Michael Spring (Karen), Kirk Spring (Karen), Sandy Harvey (Tim), Jim Heberger (Laura); and his grandchildren, Eric, Hannah, Jade, and Colin.

At a young age, he went to military school and excelled to become a paratrooper for the two original United States Special Forces groups (10th and 77th) “Green Beret.” He eventually retired as a Corporal from Bloomfield Township Police Department.

Cher was his perfect match and best friend. They made incredible memories together living in Missouri and Florida before finding their forever home on Cherokee land in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains – the beautiful Nantahala National Forest, Land of the Noonday Sun. He spent his later years exactly how he wanted: smoking his pipe on his porch swing and watching the birds and squirrels play.

He was a decorated man with eccentric tastes. He was as sharp as he was funny. He had a passion for hobbies like ventriloquism with Jerry, magic tricks and wacky comedy bits that could warrant a “viewer discretion advised.” If you knew Ted, then you also knew the “Fool Killer.” His entertainment will be dearly missed.

After 88 years of life, Ted is survived by an unquestionable legacy of badassery.

Online condolences can be left at

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

Freddie Clay Scarlett 

Freddie Clay Scarlett was born on Aug. 7, 1960, to Fred F. Scarlett and Geneva Carol Payne Ward. He passed from this life on April 30, 2021.

Although he was an avid football fan, his very favorite thing to be doing was anything outdoors. He was definitely an outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and camping. He liked his trips through the woods, looking for that elusive patch of ginseng. Any time he spent in nature was a good time for him.

He was of the Christian faith. He will be remembered as someone who tried to help others and strived to be a good person.

He is survived by his niece, Tarha Sturgeon; his great-nephew, Tristan Scarlett; and his extended family, Joanne Miles, Damon Miles, and Danielle Williams. He is predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Sheila Sturgeon and Donna Scarlett.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve his family and friends.

Online condolences may be made at

James ‘Jimmy’ Homer Taylor 

James ‘Jimmy’ Homer Taylor

James “Jimmy” Homer Taylor was unexpectedly called Home to be with his Lord on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

He was born in Loraine, Ohio, on Jan. 7, 1961, to the late JoAnn S. Maney and late Jim Taylor. He was raised by his mother and step-father, the late James M. Maney.

As a young man, he was into many activities, especially those that kept him outside, including FFA, gem mining, and many others. He also spent time in the Army in the ’70s.

He was an avid outdoorsman and had a true love of nature. He loved to hunt and loved passing that passion, knowledge and experience onto his family and friends. Whether he was working, hunting, fishing, camping, digging ramps or ginseng, playing a game of horseshoes, or just listening to the crickets chirp in the warm evenings, he was most happy, content and at peace when he was outside, surrounded by nature.

He was a jack of all trades, never afraid of hard work or getting his hands dirty, but was a plumber by profession all of his life, working side by side with his father, James Maney and family friends.

He had an infectious personality, and could make friends anywhere he went. He was a man overflowing with history, knowledge, experience, jokes, pranks, tall tales and love. He had a heart and soul that was purely immeasurable; he would never hesitate to help anyone in need, at any time, whether it be with clothing, food, or even paying their power bill; with no need for an explanation nor expecting any payment in return. His smile and laugh was contagious and a huge part of his personality.

He loved to play jokes and pranks on people, jumping out of the shadows or fooling someone with a slight of hand trick. He would always naturally become the life of the party and the center of attention, someone that everyone in the room would be drawn to.

He is preceded in death by his mother, JoAnn Maney, step father, James Maney, biological father, Jim Taylor, brother, Jerry Taylor, and many beloved special cousins and family friends.

He is survived by his son, Michael James Taylor; daughter, Chelsi Jean Coggins-Taylor and her mother, Johnna Taylor; grandchildren, Michala Cheyenne Taylor, Meana JoAnn Taylor, and Royce Jamesen Ulsh; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Taylor; special friend, Lynn Webb; and extended family members and friends too numerous to count.

He was a friend, partner, teacher, father, grandfather, provider, hero and so much more. He truly seemed larger than life itself. His absence leaves a gaping hole for those that loved him, that no amount of time will help to heal. He had a soul that permeated everyone he knew, and helped so many people feel like they had someone they could turn to.

He will be a name that lives on in many stories to come, reminiscing about his life and adventures. He will be a man that is missed by everyone that truly knew him, until that blessed day when we can all be reunited on God’s Holy Mountain.

The family will be holding a private, intimate service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Moffitt Family Funeral Care, the VA, or the charity of your choice.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve Jimmy’s family.

Online condolences can be made at

Lula Rebecca Alexander Kloss

Lula Rebecca Alexander Kloss

Lula Rebecca Alexander Kloss, 101, a longstanding and beloved figure in the Hickory Knoll community in Macon County, North Carolina, passed away on April 27, 2021. 

She was born in Jackson County, North Carolina, on July 31, 1919. She was the oldest of nine children to Thomas Luther Buchanan and Carrie Sutton Buchanan. 

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her first husband and father of her four children, Cecil Delonius Alexander, who died in 1981; her second husband, Paul J. Kloss, who died in 1988; her son, William Carl Alexander and son-in-law, Dr. John Hume Killian; and her siblings, Don Henry, Robert Dan, Carl Jackson, Joe Mack and Nancy Carolyn Buchanan. 

She is survived by her children, Robert James Alexander (Joyce) of Greensboro, Ga.; Frances Alexander Killian of Asheville, N.C., and Richard Cecil Alexander (Janfra) of Lawrenceville, Ga.; her sister, Helen Buchanan Morgan of Clemmons, N.C.; her brothers, Billy Ray Buchanan (Evelyn) of Sylva, N.C., and Tommy Marion Buchanan (Gail) of Brevard, N.C.; sisters-in-law, Victoria Buchanan and Cereeta Buchanan; as well as seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. 

She worked for many years providing for her family at the Clairborne Manufacturing Company in Clayton, Ga., and at the Belden Electric Company in Franklin. She was a prolific quilter and contributing artisan to the Maco Crafts cooperative through the 1980s. She was a devoted and engaged member of the Hickory Knoll United Methodist Church for more than 65 years. 

She was an extraordinary woman and the quintessential, mountain matriarch of a Scotch-Irish family in the Southern Appalachians. She nurtured and carried her family gracefully through the 20th century. Like many of her generation, she was raised in rural poverty and faced the duty and responsibility of maintaining the home and caring for her siblings at an early age. This experience instilled in her a quiet strength, work ethic and resolve that would serve her well the rest of her life. 

She was timeless. She was well-respected for her Appalachian traditions and heritage skills. She made her own lye soap, canned rigorously, ate her own garden vegetables, and cooked from scratch. She always had a hot meal ready for a guest and a well-tended fire. She also loved sharing her sewing and quilting gifts with the community. However, her greatest passion was watching things grow. She particularly loved her tomato plants and perennial flowers.

She embodied many of the great virtues of her regional culture such as self-reliance, resourcefulness and resilience and we are grateful for it. But her greatest strength was her faith in God and the love for family, friends and community which stemmed from it. The family appreciates all the wonderful care she received at the Franklin House and Macon Valley Nursing Home. 

She will be buried in the Shepherd Cemetery in Macon County and a memorial service to celebrate her life will be held Saturday May 8,  at 2 p.m. at Macon Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. prior to the service. Rev. Don Moffitt will officiate, and Frank Killian, Mark Alexander, and Jeff Musser will speak. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Hickory Knoll United Methodist Church. 86 East Hickory Knoll Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

Jackie Sumner Hurst

Jackie Sumner Hurst

Jackie Sumner Hurst, 58,  of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Born in Tampa, Fla., she was the daughter of the late Cecil and Mary Frances Hilburn.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by the love of her life, Jack Hurst; a sister, Brenda Muncey; and a brother Johnny Hilburn. She was known by many for her huge caregiver’s heart. She was always looking for ways to help others; often cooking for and feeding anyone that she could.  She loved to sing and recently had been attending Discover Church in Franklin.

And as Jackie would always say “Jeremiah was a bullfrog.” 

She is survived by her five children, Sandra Franks, Cecil Middleton, and Julia Hamlin, all of Franklin, Henry Hatfield of Tampa, Fla., and Eddie Kresal of North Carolina; a sister, Patricia Hajipour; and a brother, Robert Hilburn both of Florida; 16 grandchildren; three great grandchildren (plus one on the way); and numerous nieces and nephews.

In keeping with Jackie’s wishes, there will be no formal services. The family will have a gathering of family and friends on Tuesday, May 11, at Macon Funeral Home from 1 to 2 p.m. 

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Virginia Furnish Beu Caskey

Virginia Furnish Beu Caskey, 93, passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at the Franklin House in Franklin, N.C. 

She was born June 24, 1927, in Cardington, Ohio, to the late Arthur Furnish and Wilda Haynes Furnish. She was married to the late Walter Beu who passed away April 8, 1969, and to the late Glenn E. Caskey for 45 years who passed away in 2017.  She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Franklin. She worked as a leader in the Head Start program and later as a psychometrist/counselor in the public school system in Indiana and southwest Georgia. 

Survivors include her son, Frederick Beu of Centreville, Md.; a daughter, Elizabeth Spencer Beu of Franklin; three grandchildren, Christina Beu, Diana Nilsson, and Janay Rice; and five great grandchildren, Andrew Nilsson, Madeline Nilsson and Henry Nilsson, Tyden Rickard and John Luke Rice. 

In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by a son, Arthur Beu; and two sisters, Margaret Burt and Ruth Steinmetz. 

In addition to being a beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she enjoyed a successful career as a psychometrist/counselor to special needs children. She traveled extensively and never shied away from an adventure.  She became a certified scuba diver at 60 years old and went hot-air ballooning over the mountains and deserts of Arizona well into her 70s.  She lived life boldly, with integrity and great faith in God.

Online condolences can be left at

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

Dennis ‘Denny’ Candler Vanhook

Dennis ‘Denny’ Candler Vanhook

Dennis “Denny” Candler Vanhook, went on to Glory on April 30, 2021. He was born on July 5, 1953. Even though he missed the big Fourth of July celebration by one day, he had it in him to celebrate daily, enjoying life to the fullest.

He was an awesome athlete in his younger days, possessing the ability to play higher level sports. Even though he had different plans, he never lost that competitive trait. He was a lifelong sports enthusiast and found the greatest pleasure in following his grandchildren as they excelled in basketball, baseball, or volleyball. He was a diehard Carolina fan and became a Mountaineer fan, celebrating his grandson’s success on the Appalachian State University baseball field.

Soni, who was the love of Denny’s life, always said before she fell in love with Denny, she fell in love with his parents, Bill and Isabell. Whatever the circumstances, it worked, and they were married for 50 years. His parents were very important to him, and the love they instilled in him was passed on to many people. He enjoyed helping take care of them and was always approachable and willing to help anyone that he could.

Those who knew Denny knew how much he loved Soni and and their daughter, Kim, but his grandchildren made his eyes light up like nothing else could. He just couldn’t get enough of them and had the great pleasure of living close enough to get daily visits. He was devoted to each of them.

When Jesus chose His disciples, seven of the 12 were fishermen. Denny, therefore, must have been one of Jesus’s favorite kind of people since he’d rather be fishing than anything. He and his old friend, Sam Henderson, and others spent many days terrorizing the fish in Western North Carolina and north Georgia. No mountain stream was safe.

He was one of those rare people who enjoyed a joke on himself. He would tell what foolish thing he’d done and get a bigger laugh than anyone. His recognizable laugh was so contagious that there was no choice but to laugh with him.

He was a believer – a man of faith. He had a passion for doing what he could for the Baptist Men’s Association, whether it was raising money or participating on mission trips. He enjoyed being with like minded believers and helping others.

He leaves his wife, Sonja Stamey Vanhook; his daughter, Kimberly Vanhook Terrell (Brian); his grandchildren, Andrew, Andrea, and Anderson; his brother, Billy Vanhook (Sherry); a sister-in-law, Becky Powers, a brother-in-law, Dennis Stamey (Terry); his nieces and nephews, Amy, Ben, Breanna, Jake, and Leah; and his special friends, Walter and Terri Hunter with many happy and funny memories. He was predeceased by his parents, William Henry “Bill” and Isabell Ray Vanhook.

A Celebration of Life was held Tuesday, May 4, at Prentiss Church of God. Don Moffitt, Mark Bishop, and Tim Hayes officiated.

In lieu of flowers,  consider a contribution to the NC Baptist Men’s Association, PO Box 1107, Cary, North Carolina 27512.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Sandra ‘Sandy’ Ellenburg

Sandra ‘Sandy’ Ellenburg

Sandra “Sandy” Ellenburg, 71, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  She was born July 3, 1949, in Macon County, to the late Frank Raby and Alice Cabe Frazier.  She was a homemaker and a lifelong resident of Macon County.  She was an avid reader and a country music fan, loved growing roses and cross stitching.

She is survived by her mother, Alice Cabe Frazier of Franklin; her husband, Julius Ellenburg; sons, Jason Ellenburg (Christina) and Patrick Ellenburg both of Franklin; daughter, Sharon Gravitt (Darrell) of Franklin; brothers, Ellis Raby and Milton Frazier both of Franklin; sisters, Sybil Cabe and Sheila Frazier; nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her step-dad, Milton Frazier.

No services are planned at this time.

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

Online condolences may be made at

Geneva Ann Donaldson

Geneva Ann Donaldson

Geneva Ann Donaldson, 61, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on April 29, 2021.

She was born to James and Virginia Webster Donaldson. She was a caring and giving homemaker and a very loving mother and grandmother. She was a fan of Christian Music and enjoyed fashion and shopping sprees. She was very active in church and attended Son Rise Ministry in Franklin. 

She is survived by children, Kelsey and Tyler Scruggs, both of Franklin; siblings, Judy Donaldson of Sylva, Linda McMahan of Sylva, and Hubert Donaldson of Bryson City; and two grandchildren, Levi Watts and Garrett Combee.

A service was held Wednesday May 5, at Macon Funeral Home. 

Burial was at Oak Grove Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Linda Weaver officiating.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.