Obituaries for October 14, 2021

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photo by Vickie Carpenter

William (Bill) Bickley Miller, MD

William (Bill) Bickley Miller, MD

William (Bill) Bickley Miller, MD, 85, passed away on Oct. 7, 2021, in Highlands, N.C.  He was born in Detroit, Michi., on April 8, 1936, the eldest of Dr. Spencer and Helen Miller’s children.

In 1962, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School. That same year, he married the love of his life, Carole Ann Miller. During the early years of their marriage, he completed his Radiology residency at the University of Cincinnati followed by Fellowships in Body Imaging and Nuclear Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. In addition to his medical training, he also served his country as a Captain in the Army Reserve during the Vietnam War.

Following his medical training, he spent three years in private practice with his father in Portsmouth, Ohio, before moving his family to North Palm Beach, Fla. He dedicated 35 years of his career to the Radiology Department at St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. He proudly served as Chief of Radiology at St. Mary’s Hospital as well as joined the Radiology Department at Good Samaritan Hospital.

He is survived by his wife, Carole Miller; and their three children, Paige Miller (Lauren Morovich), Michelle Miller Masters, and Dr. Jeffrey Miller (Anita Miller); as well as six grandchildren, PFC William Masters, Michael Masters, Megan Masters, Athan Miller, Jackson Miller and Caroline Miller; a sister, Susan Hafer; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, he enjoyed time with his family and friends. His passion for golf was unmatched. During a round of golf or at the practice areas, he was always eager to ask for advice about his game as well as share tips, especially with putting. He was so proud to have played so many of the bucket list of golf courses including Augusta National, Chicago Golf Club, Kapalua Golf Course, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and many more. One of his fondest memories was when he and his son had the privilege of playing with Tom Lehman in the 2012 Ryder Cup Captain’s Challenge at Medinah Country Club, where they finished first.

Outside of golf, he enjoyed listening to music, reading books, solving puzzles, travelling all over the world, supporting his favorite sports teams, and his devotion to watching movies on Netflix.

For the last 20 years, Bill and Carole enjoyed their time at their summer residence in Highlands Falls Country Club in Highlands.

He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed by family and friends.

The family plans to host a Celebration of Life Party in Bill’s honor in the coming months with details to be provided.

Memorial gifts may be made online in Bill’s memory to the First Tee at: https://firsttee.org/donate.

Wendy Lee Bryson

Wendy Lee Bryson, 62 of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

She was born in San Antonio, Texas, to the late Winfield and Roberta Lane Prentice. In addition to her parents, she was preceded by her husband, Larry Bryson.

She was of the Baptist faith. She enjoyed nature and loved watching birds, horseback riding and hiking.

She is survived by her children, Ron Bryson, and Kelly Bryson; and siblings, Wanda, Joe, Robin, Roxanne, Randy, Wanita, Rory, and Rusty; and three grandchildren, Gary, Anthony, and Parker. 

Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Ami Lynn Hammer

Ami Lynn Hammer

Ami Lynn Hammer, 50 of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Monday, October 4, 2021.

She was born in Orlando, Fla., to Edward Farmer and Patricia Taylor Farmer.

She attended Cartoogechaye Baptist Church. She was an animal lover and was active in animal rescue.

She is survived by her mother, Patricia Farmer; and daughters, Meagan Hammer, Lauryl Edmonds, and Katherine Hammer.

The family will receive friends and loved ones Friday, Oct. 15, from 2 to 3 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held  at 3 p.m., with Rev. Carson Gibson officiating.

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

Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

Ben Lamar ‘Oz’ Welch

Ben Lamar “Oz” Welch, 59, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.

He was born in Macon County to the late Claude and Christine Huggins Welch. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Gary Welch.

He was a talented wood craftsman, specializing in cabinetry. He enjoyed cooking, storytelling and never met a stranger. He loved spending time with family.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Debbie Fouts Welch; children, Justin Welch (Maggie), Zachery Welch (Beisha), Courtney Turner (Chris), Shannon Welch; siblings, Dale Welch (Tava) and Claudine McCraken; grandchildren, Lexi, Seth, Lilli, Charlie, Marie, Jasmine, Wyatt, and Zander; and several nieces and nephews. 

A private family service will be held at a later date. 

Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements. 

Patricia Louise Roten Henderson

Patricia Louise Roten Henderson

Patricia Louise Roten Henderson, 84, went home to be with Jesus on Thursday, Oct 7, 2021.

Born in Macon County, “Patsy” was the daughter of the late Elmer Edgar and Ira Edna Holbrook Roten. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Sammy Edwin Henderson; and sisters, Maxine McClure, Jane Ledford, Martha Schulties, Mary Sue Murray and Kathryn Cruse.

She was a devoted mother, wife and grandmother. She loved going to church, sewing, tending to her flower gardens, crafts, football games, and home building/remodeling projects, taking much of her inspiration from her favorite channel, HGTV.  She was one of a kind and could operate power tools better than most men! 

She is survived by her daughters, Kathy Seay (Daniel) and Karen Sanders (Kevin) of Franklin; siblings, Bill Roten, Tommy Roten and Linda Griffin; grandchildren, Ashley Sanders, Autumn Johnson, and Stephanie Simons; great grandchildren, Aidan Holland and Alaric Simons; and numerous nieces and nephews.

No services are planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Prentiss Baptist Church, C/O Beverly Ledford, 1220 Belle Dowdle Road, Franklin, NC 28734.

Condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.

Ronald Stuart Rold II

Ronald Stuart Rold II

Ronald Stuart Rold II, 64, passed from this life on Oct. 10, 2021. He was born on May 25, 1957, in Dade County, Florida, the son of Doug and Norma Rold. His life ended unexpectedly while he was working at home.

He was a United States Navy veteran who proudly served on a nuclear submarine.

As a result of being hit by a drunk driver, he lost both of his legs as a young man and had been in a wheelchair for the past 32 years. However, he never let his disability slow him down or define him. He had a real zest for life and for figuring out how to do things. He loved all kinds of cars, especially hot rods. He enjoyed fishing and listening to anything featuring a saxophone. His musical choices ranged from CCR all the way to jazz.

He was intelligent and knew how to repair almost anything. He had been the proud owner of Franklin’s Best Power Tool Repair for the last five years. His knowledge spanned from  taxes to tools and many subjects in between.

He had a gentle spirit about him and made friends easily. A part of his life that was missing after losing his beloved German Shepherd, Lola, had recently been filled by a stray cat that he named Milton, never knowing if Milton was male or female. 

His greatest love was his daughter, Maili. They spoke daily about happenings and even the most mundane things. After Milton’s arrival, he had also happily become part of their conversations.

He is survived by his daughter, Maili Atkinson (Terry) of Franklin, N.C.; his grandchildren, Kylie Cope of Plant City, Fla., and Thailer Carver of Franklin; his siblings, Jamie Rold, April Moore, and Georgia Roper, also of Franklin; and his best friend, Rich Tilley. He was preceded in death by his parents.

No public services are planned.

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

Online condolences may be made at www.moffittfamilyfuneralcare.com.

Myron Henry Abernathy

Myron Henry Abernathy

Myron Henry Abernathy, born on Jan. 13, 1950, to Henry D. and Marvene Geneva Burell Abernathy, passed from this life on Oct. 5, 2021.

He possessed a gentle spirit along with a big personality. Some might have accused him of being headstrong, and he probably would have agreed with them. He had a way, however, of relating to children that brought out how tender-hearted he could be and let them know they were his favorite kind of people. His own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren benefited with having him in their lives to entertain, comfort, and love.

He had many talents. He was a great storyteller and enjoyed having an audience. He was also very musical and could play multiple instruments, his favorite being the guitar. He was creative and a craftsman when it came to woodworking. He had the ability to make something from nothing. He was just great with his hands.

He is survived by his children, Ryan H. Shuman (Diane) and Nathan E. Shuman (Johanna) both of Jefferson, Ga.; his siblings, Martha Ann Gasper of Buford, Ga., Glen Abernathy of Hoschton, Ga., and Loretta Thornton of Lawrenceville, Ga.; his eight grandchildren and his eight great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents.

No public services are planned.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the Abernathy family.

Online condolences may be made at www.moffittfamilyfuneralcare.com.

Mike Kennemore

Mike Kennemore, 64 of Highlands, N.C., passed away on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.

He was born in South Carolina to the late Harley and Margie McCallister Kennemore.

He was an avid reader and one of Clemson Tigers’ biggest fans.

He is survived by his former wife, Leigh Anne Wilson; daughter, Ahzah Kennemore; grandson, Brantley McCall; and sisters, Dianne Owens and Judy Bryant.

A private service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Macon Funeral Home will be making the arrangements.

James ‘Jim’ Edward Swafford

James ‘Jim’ Edward Swafford

James “Jim” Edward Swafford, 74 of Franklin, N.C., passed away Oct. 3, 2021. He was born May 25, 1947, in Macon County, North Carolina, to Emma Jean Bryant Swafford and the late James Robert Swafford. He was a construction builder and masonry worker. He was a family man and enjoyed spending time with them and his animals but would take the time to go play bingo or hunt ginseng. He was a prankster and enjoyed making people laugh. He served in the Marines and completed two tours in Korea and Vietnam. He attended Burningtown Church of God.

He is survived by his mother, Emma Jean Swafford; his wife, Ellen Diane Rowland Swafford; three daughters, Jasmine Schrichten (Ron), Rene Glass (Bill) and Ellen Swafford; five grandchildren, Nicole Armstrong (Andrew), Thomas Slease, Dalton Schrichten, Brandi East (Eran) and Matthew Glass; two great-grandchildren, Ansley Armstrong and Axton Armstrong; four brothers, Rick Swafford, Sandy Swafford, Louis Swafford and Eddie Swafford; and several nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held Friday, Oct. 8, at the Bryant Grant Funeral Home Chapel with Pastors Ronnie Branson, Louis Swafford, Donald Bates and Matthew Glass officiating. 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Swafford family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

Sandra Jean Stockton

Sandra Jean Stockton, 77 of Highlands, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

She was born in Oak Park, Ill., to the late Frank and Sarah Donald Stockton.  Her father was in the military resulting in her growing up in multiple locations. As an adult she lived in Toronto, Canada, for many years and later in Maryland.  She moved to Highlands in 2012 to live with her sister, Vivian.

She worked as a teacher’s aide until her retirement but her true passion was art.  She trained as a potter but was also very skilled in other art mediums winning various awards for her work over the years.

She is survived by her son, Christopher O’Conner in Toronto; siblings, Vivian Brewer, Frank Stockton, and Joanne Lackey; and several nieces and nephews.  Another sister, Linda Stockton died in 2020.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Four Seasons Hospice: Four Seasons Development Office 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

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