Obituaries for September 23, 2021

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photo by Vickie Carpenter

Thomas Eugene Ritter

Thomas Eugene Ritter

Thomas Eugene Ritter, 60, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Sept. 18, 2021.

He was born in La Crosse, Wisc., to the late Eugene and Margaret Ritter. He received his high school education at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. He then went on to The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee for both his undergraduate and masters education in architecture where he met the love of his life, Nancy. The pair were married at Plymouth Congregational Church in Miami in 1987. The couple moved to Franklin, N.C., in 2001, after adopting their daughters Ashley and Emily. He esetablished the Ritter Architecture business which has proudly served Macon County (and many other counties and states) since. In 2004, they adopted the newest member of their family, Christian. He loved his community. He proudly served and donated his time, money, and sweat to many causes within the Macon County community and was passionate about seeing his beloved mountain community prosper. His contributions, wit, and charisma will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; their three children, Ashley (Travis), Emily, and Christian; brother, Steve (Sue), sister, Joanne, and brother, Patrick (Jennifer); and wonderful family, friends, and his inspiring dedication to community.

A graveside service was held on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Woodlawn.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to KIDS Place of Macon County, P.O. Box 693 Franklin, NC 28744; (828) 524-3199.

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

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Alma Jane Owens

Alma Jane Owens

Alma Jane Owens, 73, of Clayton, Ga., passed away Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. She was born Feb. 23, 1948, in Rabun County, Georgia, to the late Alney Owens and Ruth Chastain Owens. 

She started working for the company Itron when she was 16 years old and was still employed with the company with perfect attendance. She served for the Women’s Club at the Satolah Fire Dept. She was loved by many.

She is survived by her brother, Ellis Owens (Justyne) of Arlington, Va.; two nieces, Kelli Mullins (John) of New Berry, S.C., and Elizabeth Owens of Arlington; two nephews, Thomas Owens (Charlotte Marcus) of Clayton, and Clint Owens (Lea) of Clayton; and many great nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brother, Julius Owens.

A celebration of life service will be held Thursday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m., at the Macedonia Baptist Church. The family will receive friends following the service.

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

Maureen Kearns Williams

Maureen Kearns Williams

Maureen Kearns Williams, 87, passed away Aug. 22, 2021 in Franklin, N.C., surrounded by family members.  She was born on June 24, 1934, in New York to Thomas and Mildred Kearns.

She was an independent woman who lived in her own apartment by the age 14 while going to Catholic girls school.  She has been both impoverished and affluent multiple times in her life.

Known at one time as the Lord’s Battleaxe, she led in a world not quite accustomed to women’s leadership.  She led in business running multiple businesses over the years including as a real estate broker of her own real estate firm to running condo/hotels in Cape Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  She also led and served in her church and community serving as Scout Committee Chairman, Relief Society President, Senior Missionary, and Institute Teacher to name a few.

She loved to travel visiting many states and countries in Central America, Europe, Middle East, Caribbean, and around the Mediterranean Sea. Additionally she visited Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada.  She obtained travel agent’s and pilot’s licenses to help facilitate her travels.  Whether by RV, plane, or car, she traveled as much as time and circumstances allowed.

Maureen had a way about her.  People were often taking time to help her when she was both young and old. She opened her heart to people so they felt as if they belonged.  “That space was warm and welcoming and felt like home, but it was not confining. You didn’t have to fit in a predefined box. This doesn’t mean she’d always agree with you. Sometimes our opinions differed and our relationship felt stronger for it. Nothing that could not be remedied with chocolate, which she always kept near.” (Trish Mashburn).

She was a mentor and inspiration to many for her boundless energy and determination. “I first met her as a childhood teacher of mine and now when I teach I’m always wondering how I can impact others like she first impacted me. She was so much fun throughout all stages of her life and it was contagious. I still have postcards she would send from different travels just to say hello. She always went above and beyond.” (Rachel Winegar).

“My Oma, Maureen was the grandest of grandmothers, one of my closest confidantes and dearest friends. I idolized her in life. Forgive me for doing so even more so after her death.

“How could something, someone be so fierce and so gentle? So strong and so tender? Regardless of who she was to you, she was a force to be reckoned with.”  (Trish Mashburn). “She always lived her life on her own terms and I loved that about her.” (Jeanie Ashby).

She is survived by Debbie Hamilton, “KC” Williams, Douglas Williams, and Paul Thatcher; 15 grandchildren and a small army of great grandchildren.  Her daughter Sharon and son Zackary “Scott” preceded her.

A funeral service was held Sept, 11, in Rockledge, Fla.,. followed by an internment at Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge.

A memorial service will be held Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 33 Pine Ridge Dr, Franklin, NC 28734.

Freda Gail Stone

Freda Gail Stone

Freda Gail Stone, 63, of Franklin,  N.C., passed away on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

Born in Jackson County, she was the daughter of the late Clarence Stone and Doris Earlene Dillard. She was a homemaker; she loved cars, writing in her diary and taking pictures and videos of every big and every little moment in her daily life. She was a collector of many things. The most important thing to her was spending time with her family.

She is survived by 11 children, Rebeka Smith of Cherokee, N.C., Wesley Young of Washington, Jessica Burrell of Cherokee, Brian Burrell of Franklin, Michael Burrell of Franklin, Diamond Stone of Waynesville, N.C,. Heather Stone of Franklin, Dannyale Williams of Franklin, Danny Williams of Franklin, Crystal Williams of Franklin, and Randy Giles of Franklin; four siblings, Jack Case, David Wayne Case, Sandra Reid, and Brenda Dietz: 16 grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

No services are planned at this time.

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

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Grace Marie Ledford Bradley

Grace Marie Ledford Bradley

Grace Marie Ledford Bradley, 90, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Sept. 14, 2021.  She was born in Macon County June 19, 1931, to the late Charles T. Ledford and Hallie Marie Nichols Ledford. She had worked in the cafeteria for the Macon County School System and was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother; she loved outdoors and nature and her family was the love of her life.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Junior Bradley; a son, Charles Michael Bradley, who died in 1979,  and two sisters, Lillian Myers and Lucille Ledford.

She is survived by two daughters, Conda Marie Bradley and Rhonda Lynn Cowart (Randall) both of Franklin; a sister, Helen Ledford of Franklin; three grandchildren, Jamie Bradley (Chris), Josh Cowart (Amanda) and Justin Cowart (Rachel); eight great-grandchildren, Sarah, Logan, Ellen, Ethan, Emma, Hallie, Addison and Aubreigh.

A funeral service was held Monday, Sept. 20, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, with Rev. Josh Brooks, Rev. Eddie Stillwell and Rev. Mozart Molier officiating.  Burial was in the Church Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Josh Cowart, Justin Cowart, Chris Bradley, Logan Bradley, Randy Hughes, and Dillon Ford.  Honorary pallbearers were Denny Ledford, Randall Cowart, and Ethan Whitworth.

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

Brevon Alexander Kimsey

Brevon Alexander Kimsey

Brevon Alexander Kimsey, 21 of Franklin, N.C., passed away Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

He was born in Macon County and was the son of William and Donna Kimsey. He was very creative and artistic. He loved spending time outdoors, camping and fishing. His loving smile and big heart will be missed. 

He is survived by his loving family, William and Donna, Linda, Billy and Carlea, Beth, Ty, Angel, Nevaeh, Celia, Addison, his grandmother, Rosemary and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A Mass will be held Friday, Sept. 24, at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 11:30 a.m. 

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

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements. 

Joyce ‘Jodie’ Hodgin McMahan

Joyce ‘Jodie’ Hodgin McMahan

Joyce “Jodie” Hodgin McMahan, 72, of Franklin, N.C., went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Ed Charles and Arlee Tallent Hodgin. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Clarence Hodgin and Bryson “Budge” Hodgin.

She was affectionately known as “Jodie” to many. She was the office administrator at Corbin McMahan Heating and Air. She loved to yard sale, can and make jams and jellies to share.  She was a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 30 years, Robert “Bob” McMahan; two sons, Tony Ashe (Amy) and Alan Ashe (Sheila); two stepsons, Gary McMahan (Rose) and Tim McMahan; and one stepdaughter, Kathy “Lanie” Dills (Ed) all of Franklin; seven siblings, Vada Murphy, Bryant Hodgin, Johnny Hodgin, Willie Hodgin, Jack Hodgin, and Romaneal Hodgin all of Franklin, and Mildred Tallent of Greenville, S.C.; a special “adopted” grandson, Shawn McCall of Franklin; nine grandchildren; five great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m., at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Rev. Guy Duvall and Rev. Steve Reeves will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Jerry Sanders, Darrell Mason, Ronnie Hensley, Shawn McCall, Terry Dalton, Bryant Hodgins.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Jim Hedden and other deacons at Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

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

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Lloyd ‘Landie’ Wilson

Lloyd ‘Landie’ Wilson

Lloyd “Landie” Wilson, 67, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2021, after a period of declining health.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late John Riley and Pauline Kimsey Wilson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Vernece Anna Wilson in 2020; and three brothers, Mack Wilson, John “Junior” Wilson, and Charles Wilson.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved being outdoors and being the best uncle to his nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

He is survived by his stepchildren, Lisa Ray of Franklin, Eddie Shearl of Indiana, and John Shearl of Franklin; three sisters, Vonnie Carpenter of Cumming, Ga., Bernice Bates, and Mary Lou Farmer, both of Franklin; two brothers, James Wilson, and Edward Wilson, also of Franklin; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews surviving.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations, can be made to Hospice House Foundation of WNC, PO Box 815, Franklin, NC  28744.

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

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Ernie Pavlina

Ernie Pavlina

Ernie Pavlina, 74, went to the next universe Thanksgiving day. He was a Pisces born in 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Franklin 13 years ago. He was always ready to help neighbors. He served in the army during the Viet Nam war, did crossword puzzles and loved trivia. 

He is survived by best friend, Julie Willims and two brothers and two sisters in Ohio.

He spent much time at his grandparents’ home and learned good values and respect for the environment. He believed in the continuous cycle of life and death. His passion was feeding the birds and growing plants.

James Andrew Parker

James Andrew Parker

James Andrew Parker, 86, passed away Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. He was born Oct. 22, 1934, in Rabun County, Georgia, to the late John Frank Parker and Ethel Elizabeth Edmonds Parker. He worked as a carpenter in the construction business. He was a member of the Ed Teague & Georgia Mountain Boys Blue Grass Gospel for 18 years. He played on the square in Franklin numerous times. He was a former Baptist minister and was a member of the Taylors Chapel Baptist Church in Mountain City, Ga. He was also a U.S. Army veteran.

Survivors include his wife, Katherine Rogers Parker; a grandson, Kendall Parker; and other family and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Margie Parker; three children, Edna Elizabeth Parker, Linda Ann Holcombe, and Thomas Andrew Parker; one grandson, Chris Holcombe; and two sisters, Mildred Pauline Rogers an Ethel Imogene Morris.

A funeral service was held Monday, Sept. 20, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with the Rev. Robert Dryman and Rev. Burt Crawford officiating. Burial followed in the Mt. Zion Cemetery with the Army National Guard proving military honors. 

Online condolences can be left at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

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

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