Obituaries for October 1, 2020

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Leo Bennette Huckabee III

Leo Bennette Huckabee III

Leo Bennette Huckabee III, 77, of Highlands, N.C., passed away on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.  

He was born in Macon, Ga., on Dec. 18, 1942, the eldest son of the late Leo Bennette Huckabee Jr. and Randall Adams Huckabee.  After graduation from Lanier High School in 1960, he attended Mercer University where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He continued his education at the University of Georgia earning a Master of Business Administration. While attending Lanier High School and Mercer University, he was a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  Subsequent to completing his education, he served as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.  

He began his 38-year career at Huckabee Auto Co. in Macon, Ga., in 1968.  He was the owner/operator of the General Motors dealership at the time of his retirement in 2006. During his adult years living in Macon, he was a member of Idle Hour Country Club.

He was a dedicated family man, always putting the needs and feelings of his two children before all else. Both of his children believe whole-heartedly that he was the greatest “Daddy” in the world.  For many years, he enjoyed running, tennis, snow skiing and traveling.  In more recent years, he spent his time reading books of different genres and viewing thousands of photos of all the experiences and travels he enjoyed during his lifetime.  

Survivors include his wife Dorothy Moore Huckabee of Highlands, N.C.; daughter, Marjorie Huckabee Carter (John) of Macon, Ga.; son, Leo “Jack” Bennette Huckabee IV of Highlands; and his grandson, John Thomas Carter III of Macon, Ga.; his brother, William Allen Huckabee II (Patti); his sister, Mary Huckabee Howard all of Macon, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Bennette Huckabee Jr. and a sister, Randall Huckabee Flournoy.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

The family requests, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Highlands United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1959, Highlands, NC 28741 or the donor’s favorite charity.

Online condolences can be left at

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

Louise Alice Spier

Louise Alice Spier, 88 of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. She was born Sept. 19, 1932, in Allegany County, New York, to the late Hazen Carpenter and Ellen Whitney Carpenter. She was a homemaker and was a member of the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. 

She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Fred Spier; two daughters, Donna Blanco (Ruben) of Tampa, Fla., and Sheila Householder of Zephyr Hills, Fla.; a sister, Dorothy Williams of New York; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister Lois Hackett and a brother Thomas Carpenter. 

No services are planned at this time. 

The family requests in lieu of flowers to send contributions to the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, 70 Trimont View Drive, Franklin, NC 28734.

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

William Cary (Bill) VanHook

William Cary (Bill) VanHook

William Cary (Bill) VanHook, 83, of Palm Bay, Fla., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at his home in Palm Bay, Fla. He was born Sept. 13, 1937, in Franklin, N.C., to the late Cecil VanHook and Addie Ledbetter VanHook. He retired as a Master Sergeant from the United States Marine Corp. with 22 years of service. He later worked with the U.S. Forest Service and retired from FEMA-MERS (Mobile Emergency Response Support), in 1999. 

He is survived by his wife, Linda VanHook; sons, Billy VanHook of Franklin and James VanHook (Leslie) of Franklin; daughters, Jeana VanHook Hand (Jeff) of Roebuck, S.C., and Janet VanHook Newsom (Preston) of Clarksville, Ga.; step-sons, Bruce Davis of Palm Bay, Fla., and Jim Davis Jr. (Lillian) of Riverside, Calif.; grandchildren, Anthony Capaforte (Ruthie), Cory Dills, Josh VanHook, Jared VanHook, Cara McClure, Amelia Jones (Tom) and Candice Dooley (Josh); step-grandchildren, Jim Davis III (Kayla), Justin Davis (Shauna) and Corinne Mejia (Henry); great grandchildren, Carson Phillips, Ben Caudell, Cooper Caudell, Dante Jones, Addie Dills and Adelaide Capaforte; step-great-grandchildren, Xavier Mejia, Isaac Mejia, Jim Davis IV, Esme Mejia, Scarlet Davis, Emma Davis and Artemis Davis; two sisters, Beverly VanHook-Schrey (Herb) of Franklin and Betty Dowdle of Franklin; various nieces, nephews and other extended family.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Prentiss Church of God, Franklin, with the Rev. Kevin Chapman and Rev. Keith Ashe officiating. Burial followed in Rush Cemetery Otto, N.C. 

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

Robin Denise McKay Webber

Robin Denise McKay Webber, 55, of Chiefland, Fla., went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.

A native of Franklin, N.C., she was the daughter of Linda Cochran McKay, and the late Charles McKay. In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by an infant sister, Melissa Ellen, maternal grandparents, Louie and Eleanor Cochran, and paternal grandparents, John and Liz McKay. She relocated to Chiefland, Fla., in 1988, where she and her husband started a church and spent 30 years serving in ministry, blessing all who knew her with her humble spirit, hospitality, encouragement, and her beautiful voice.  She also worked in public health for 15 years serving the community and school system where she became well known and well loved. All who knew her described her as having a sweet soul and being loving and compassionate, beautiful inside, as well as out.  She loved her God first and foremost, closely followed by her love for her family.  She was in her element entertaining, decorating, and creating.

She is survived by her husband of 36 years, Rev. Dennis Webber; mother, Linda Cochran McKay, of Franklin; three children, son Bradley and wife, Amy, of Chiefland, Fla., daughter, Brittany, and son, Joshua, both of Gainesville, Fla.; grandchildren, Tarryn Givorns, Kaitlyn Webber and fiancé, Tyler Harmon, and Ansleigh Webber; and great grandson, Teagan; brother, Jeff McKay and wife, Carrie of Florence, S.C., and their children, Zachary and Claire; also surviving are numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service was held in Chiefland, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 27, and Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home in Franklin.  Her husband officiated.  Burial followed in Woodlawn Cemetery.  

Macon Funeral Home, Franklin, and Knauff Funeral Home, Chiefland, Fla., are in charge of the services.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Sammie Elmer Beck

Sammie Elmer Beck

Sammie Elmer Beck, 85, went home to be with the Lord on Sept. 16, 2020.

He was born in Macon County, North Carolina on Aug. 12, 1935, to the late Jim and Beulah Henry Beck. He worked at OshKosh Trucking Co. as a machine operator. He loved to fish and hunt. He was a hard worker, loving husband, father, and grandfather, and was of the Baptist faith. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his three brothers, Jimmy Beck, Jake Beck, and Gilbert Beck.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia L. Littleton Beck; daughter, Debbie Brock of Pensacola, Fla.; granddaughters, Melissa Brock of Irvine, Calif., and Ann Brock of Williamstown, N.J.; two brothers, Johnny Beck and Butch (Beth) Beck.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home with burial to follow in Highlands Memorial Park Cemetery, Highlands, N.C. Pastor Oliver Rice officiated.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at

Georgia Eulene Miller Bracken

Georgia Eulene Miller Bracken

Georgia Eulene Miller Bracken, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Sept. 24, 2020, at her residence surrounded by her devoted husband and family. She was born Nov. 13, 1936, in New Kensington, Pa., the daughter of the late George C. Miller and the late Dorothy Roberts Johnson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers, Dennis, Bill and Richard, a sister, Penny Phelps, and a grandson, Denver Cantwell.

She lived for many years in North Ridgeville, Ohio, as well as in Florida before settling in Franklin in 1978. She loved traveling and flower gardening but most of all, spending time with her beloved family.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Raymond E. Bracken Jr.; daughters, Cheryl Wiegard (Harold) of Talmage, Ohio, Linda Henry of New Market, Tenn., Jody Puckett Crisp of Franklin; sons, Gary Puckett (Charlene) of Franklin, Keith Puckett (Laurie) of Franklin; step-daughters, Laurene Bracken (Mike) of Sevierville, Tenn., Cheryl Wyatt of Sevierville, Tenn.; step-son, Richard Bracken (Suzanne) of Franklin; 26 grandchildren; 40 great grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 3, at 2 p.m. at Oak Grove Baptist Church with Tom Nolen officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Oak Grove Baptist Church, 28 Lakey Creek Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Special thanks to Four Seasons Palliative Care and Hospice.

Anthony Scott Walker

Anthony Scott Walker

Anthony Scott Walker, 42, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.

Born and raised in Macon County, he was the son of the Emma Jean Smith Walker and the late Jimmy Wayne Walker. He was a member of Mount Hope Baptist Church and more recently attended Ridgecrest Baptist Church. He enjoyed spending time shooting pool and fishing.

He is survived by his mother, Emma Jean Walker; two children, Angela Walker and Booker Walker; three sisters, Sarina Lynn Walker, Melody Ann Burch and Sheena Walker; two brothers, Alvin Walker and Lincoln Walker; numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles also survive.

Graveside services were held Friday, Sept. 25, in the Ridgecrest Baptist Church Cemetery.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Online Condolences may be made to the family at

Carrie Chastain Crain


Carrie Chastain Crain

Carrie Chastain Crain, 96, passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at the Eckard Living Center in Highlands, N.C. She was born May 8, 1924, in Macon County to the late David Edward Chastain and Ada Bryson Chastain. She was the last of eight children. She was a Christian lady and was a member of Clear Creek Baptist Church.

She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother. She loved cooking and having her family over to visit and eat. She also enjoyed working in her garden and flowers. She had a yard that was always full of pretty flowers and birds. 

She was married to Andrew Jackson Crain who preceded her in death in 2006. They made their home in the Clear Creek Community.

She is survived by a daughter, Lucille Nix (Steve); grandson, Lamar Nix (Melanie); three grandsons, Justin Watson (Sarah), Jacob Watson and Luke Nix; one great great grandson, Jackson Lamar Watson; three nieces and two nephews. 

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Carl Chastain, Earl Chastain (Buck) and Clyde Chastain; four sisters Maybelle Neely, Estelle Talley, Ona Beck and Frances Chastain.

A graveside service was held Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Clear Creek Community Cemetery with Rev. Mike Wilson and Rev. Zane Talley officiating.

Pallbearers were Justin Watson, Jacob Watson, Luke Nix, Stanley Houston, Stacey Houston and Ralph Reed.

The family is at the home of Steve and Lucille Nix of the Satolah Community.

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

Carol B. Kelley

Carol B. Kelley

Carol B. Kelley, most recently a resident of The Cove in Tavares, Fla., passed away on Sept. 16, 2020, following a lengthy battle with dementia. She was born on Nov. 4, 1939, in Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Albert Lee Kelley Sr., and Gladys Kelley, as well as younger sister of Al Kelley Jr., all of whom predeceased her. 

When she was 12 years old, her parents moved the family from Akron to Orlando. She graduated from Winter Park High School and subsequently earned a B.A. in religion and social sciences, followed by a master’s degree in Christian education from Scarritt College in Nashville, Tenn. 

Never a fan of hot weather, she happily returned to Ohio after she completed her education. She held several jobs in Christian education at Methodist churches before beginning her life’s work teaching teens with mental disabilities through the Montgomery County School system in Dayton, Ohio. She worked for Montgomery County for 30 years, retiring in the late 1990s. 

Her faith was very important to her, and she was active in the Methodist Church throughout her life, including serving as an elected member of the National and Conference Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. She was devoted to College Park United Methodist Church in Florida and First United Methodist Church in Franklin, North Carolina.  

Carol is survived by her dear friends Suzanne Fosselman and Rita St. Clair of Franklin, North Carolina, who contributed this lovely tribute: “Carol spent most of her life giving to others – her students, colleagues, friends and her church. She was kind and caring and seldom said anything negative about anyone. She loved her family and cared about the people in her world and did what she could to make their lives better. She loved her God, and we are certain that He loves her.” 

She is also survived by her loving cousin, Dorothy Ward, of Orlando; her sister-in-law, Norma Kelley of Santa Rosa, Calif.; her nephew, David Kelley of Apopka; her niece, Melissa Kelley of Santa Rosa, and Melissa’s husband and two daughters. 

Donations in honor of Carol may be directed to Friends of the Greenway, Franklin, N.C.; College Park United Methodist Church; First United Methodist Church of Franklin or the arts organization of your choice.

Sandra F. Maxson

Sandra F. Maxson

Sandra F. Maxson, 82, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020.

Born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she was the daughter of the late Neil and Nena Waddell Calhoun. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Maxson and brother, Donald Calhoun. She loved her cats and collecting things. She attended Longview Baptist Church.

She is survived by a son, Jeffrey Maxson (Cathy) of Hobe Sound, Fla.; daughter, Sheila K. Gies (Scott) of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; sisters, Donna Ormsby Reil and Susan Ormsby Eluett; nine grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

No services have been planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Appalachian Animal Rescue, PO Box 81, Franklin, NC 28744.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at

Patricia Ann Millikin Salenius McClure

Sandra F. Maxson

Patricia Ann Millikin Salenius McClure, 81, passed away on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

She was a native of Weldon, N.C., and the daughter of the late Almond Millikin and Jane Gregory Millikin. 

She is survived by her husband, Sam McClure; two sons, Howard George Salenius Jr. “Skip” of Antioch, Tenn., and Charles August Salenius II “Chad” of Atlanta, Ga.; one grandson, Maxwell Prince Salenius of Antioch, Tenn; two nieces; three nephews; three great-nieces and four great-nephews.

She was a two-year business major and held a B.S. degree in primary education from East Carolina University where she received the first “Outstanding Educator Alumni Award” in 1986. She was Macon County’s Teacher of the Year as well as District 9 Teacher of the Year in 1982. McClure was named “Personality of the South” and “Outstanding Woman of the World” while teaching in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1976. She served as the “Grand Marshal” in Franklin’s Christmas Parade in December 1991 and also received the “Woman of the Year” award presented by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Franklin in 1992. In 2018, she was awarded the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.

“Ms. Patti,” as she was affectionately called by her friends and students, was very active in her church and community and she dearly loved people. She taught 28 years in the public-school systems in both North and South Carolina, spending her last 14 years teaching in Franklin until heart problems forced her to retire. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Franklin where she taught Sunday School, was a youth director and delighted in doing the “Moments of Children” for many years. She was a member of the Retired Teacher’s Association. “Ms. Patti” also thoroughly enjoyed working on fund raisers for many good causes.

After retiring from teaching and having a heart transplant, “Ms. Patti” spent a great deal of time volunteering at the schools, nursing homes, churches and hospitals. She also attended the Transplant Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1996, where she won four gold medals running, race walking, 50-yard free style and 50-yard breaststroke in swimming. She devoted much of her time to “walking and talking”  and telling her “heartwarming” stories to all ages for all occasions. In 2010, “Ms. Patti” wrote a book entitled “With Every Beat of My Heart.” The book was comprised of two sections. The first section was a short autobiography of Patti and the second was filled with poems about her friends, acquaintances and events that inspired Patti to write her book.

“Ms. Patti” was a wife, mother, grandmother, poet and storyteller who loved her husband and family and her pet, “Lucy Belle” unconditionally. She certainly lived her life to the fullest and she never left home without her sense of humor.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oc. 3, at 12 p.m., at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Burial will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery. Revs. David Beam, Tracy Tallent and Margaret Freeman will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 12 p.m., prior to the service at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. For the protection of all, masks and social distancing will be required. With these measures in place, everyone is welcome.

Pallbearers will be Steve Millikin, Eddie Elias, Jim Paliouras, Lee Elks, Gary Cooke and Joe Chavis. Honorary Pallbearers will be Jason Arnold, David Parlier, Scotty Corbin and Lyle Jones.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Hospice House Foundation of WNC, PO Box 815, Franklin, NC 28744 or Kids Place, PO Box 693, Franklin, NC 28744.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at

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