Obituaries for September 24, 2020

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photo by Vickie Carpenter

Deleda Drinnon McGaha

Deleda Drinnon McGaha

Deleda Drinnon McGaha, 80, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

She was the daughter of the late William Madison Drinnon and Wellis Smith Drinnon of Franklin, N.C. She attended Greenville General Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1961.  She worked for many years as a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, S.C., until her retirement about 18 years ago.  She moved to Georgia to be near her three children, Kathy, Stephen, and Mandy, living the last four years in Athens, Ga.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens.  She was predeceased by her parents and brothers, J.D. and Ray Drinnon.

She is survived by her younger brother, Bill, and her three children.  She loved listening to bluegrass music, gardening, and watching birds from her screened porch, but her greatest joys were her three children and her four “granddogs.”

A memorial service was held outside at Burningtown Baptist Church on Friday, Sept. 18. A private burial followed the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 2535 Jefferson Road, Athens, Georgia. 30607.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the local arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Robert (Bob) Lowrance Taro

Robert (Bob) Lowrance Taro

Robert (Bob) Lowrance Taro, 89, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.

Born in Nutley, N.J., he was the son of the late Thomas Delano and Blanche Lowrance Taro. He loved hunting, fishing, wood carving and landscaping his home. He graduated from the University of Miami, and he was an accomplished athlete who played football and baseball. He played professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers for two years before going into the service. He proudly served his country in the Army through the Korean Conflict in the 101st Airborne Division. After being discharged from the military, he was appointed the Regional Detention Director for the Florida Division of Youth Services in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. Gov. Reubin Askew appointed him to serve on the Miami-Dade Criminal Justice Council, and he was also a member of the Miami-Dade County Police Chiefs Association and of the American Judiciary Council. He and his wife, Nancy, retired to Franklin after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nancy Taro; four children, Linda Taro of Lakeland, Fla., Gaile Taro and husband Gary Smith of Miami, Fla., Tracy Taro of Franklin, and Robert Taro Jr. of Atlanta, Ga.; five grandchildren, Ashley, Brian, Taylor, Jeremy and Alexis; and one great grandchild, Bailey.

No services will be held at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice House Foundation of WNC.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Porter Coy Duncan

Porter Coy Duncan

Porter Coy Duncan, 96, of Franklin, N.C., died peacefully at home Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

Born in Clayton, N.C., on June 23, 1924, the son of Wilbur Duncan and Leona Patton Duncan, he lived in Franklin for most of his adult life.

Disqualified from active service in WWII due to eyesight problems, he served in the war effort as a civilian by initially working on the Fontana Dam project and later working at the National Defense Facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

While at Fontana, he met Cleo Barnes, who transferred there from work on the Kentucky Dam project near Paducah, Ky. They were married on April 13, 1945. The couple returned to Franklin in 1946 and lived happily together until Cleo passed away on Aug. 31, 2011.

After returning from Oak Ridge to Franklin, he initially worked at a service station on courthouse square. He later bought the business and operated it for several years until he went to work for the Nantahala Power & Light Company. He retired from the power company in 1984 and, until his recent decline, lived a full and active life.

He was a lifelong member of the Patton United Methodist Church. He was a role model husband and father, working hard to provide for his family and trying to follow Jesus’ teachings to care about and help others.

Surviving are his son, Don, and daughter–in-law Beth Swan Duncan, of Andrews, N.C.; two grandchildren, Lawrence A. Duncan (Laura Altvater) of Scappoose, Ore., and Lisa E. Duncan (Ross Smart) of Brattleboro, Vt.; a cousin, Lawrence (Pat) Patton and wife Donna Poole Patton; and several nephews and nieces.

The family wishes to express special thanks to several close friends and residents of Patton Community, members of Patton United Methodist Church, Dr. Gustav Wilde, and individuals from Carepartners Home Health for their kindness and compassion.

A simple, private graveside service was held with interment following at the Patton United Methodist Church cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Patton United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Patton United Methodist Church.

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

Patricia Ann Hurst

Patricia Ann Hurst

Patricia Ann Hurst, 67, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020.

Born and raised in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Arthur and Eliza Elliott Hurst. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers, Junior Hurst, Richard Hurst, Bruce Hurst and Leon Hurst. She attended Emanuel Baptist Church.

She is survived by three sons, Jeff Hurst, Calvin Hurst and Matthew Hurst, all of Franklin; four sisters, Ruby Collins of Franklin, Judy Lawing of Westminster, S.C., Myrtle Jones of Hiawassee, Ga., and Evelyn Swafford of Candler, N.C.; eight grandchildren, Kaitlyn Hurst, Alston Hurst, Natalie Hurst, Daylon Hurst, Jessica Chandler, Shyanna Parker, Cayla Hurst and Jonathan Hurst; two great grandchildren, Hazel Hurst and Silas Chandler; and several nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Mulberry United Methodist Church Cemetery. Rev. Wesley Price officiated.

The family served as pallbearers.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Norma Jean Welch

Norma Jean Welch

Norma Jean Welch (Jean), 84, passed away on Sept. 16, 2020, at her home in Franklin, N.C. She was retired from an extensive career as band director for the band and music program at Franklin High School. She is loved, admired and missed by the many hundreds of students who were part of music education and marching band programs at the High School.

She was born in 1936 in Franklin to a musical family which influenced her life’s work. The Wilburn Welch family occupied an idyllic valley at the end of Edwards Road in Burningtown where her father, Ralph “Red” Welch, his parents and many brothers and sisters enjoyed playing a wide variety of instruments. She grew up with her father, her mother, Ethel Teague Welch and her sister, Shirley Marie Welch (Rowe) at the same house on Curtis Street where she spent her last night. She attended both Franklin Elementary School and Franklin High School. The old high school burned to the ground before her eyes and she soon found the only surviving instrument in the music department ashes was her horn which she took as a sign for her to set her life’s goals. She graduated from Western Carolina “cum laude” with a music degree and returned for her Master’s degree in 1970. The next nine years were spent touring Europe in a Volkswagen Camper, seeing the Western U.S., Canada and teaching music in the schools of Craven County. She was elusive as to which she enjoyed most. In 1968, she came home to Franklin where for the next 20 years she became a bit of a legend in band circles, teaching literally thousands of students more than just music. Character, intellectual growth and integrity she felt, were just as important as learning to play an instrument. She taught that developing a love and appreciation of music that her students carried with them for the rest of their lives usually departing with a graduation present of a copy of Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” and instructions to, above all, live a good life.

She developed a love of golf in later years and was surrounded by new, loving friends who shared her passion for hitting a small white ball, walking after it and hitting it again. The relationships which grew from her love of the game lasted until the end and she was surrounded by their warmth and love every day for the last months of her life. She took to heart her advice to departing students and lived a very good life in order to, “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

She is survived by her nephews, Michael Rowe (Susan), Gregory Rowe (Rhonda); niece, Linda Rowe Nolin; and great nephews and nieces, Collin Rowe (Heather) and children Hudson, Vayle, and Isabelle; Tyler Rowe and daughter Skylar; Aaron Rowe, Katie Rowe, Shelby Elaine Nolin Magers (Patrick) and son Anderson, Justin Cotton (Kelly) and daughters Caroline and Allie, and Jonathan Cotton and son Raymond.

A going home service was held on Monday, Sept. 21, at the Bryant-Grant Funeral Home. Graveside services followed at Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Burningtown Cemetery maintenance fund.

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

Helen Jacobs Byrd

Helen Jacobs Byrd

Helen Jacobs Byrd of Hendersonville, N.C., formerly of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.

She was one of six children born to Eugene and Bessie Baldwin Jacobs. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Byrd; brothers, J.C. Jacobs, Radford Jacobs, and Carrol Jacobs; and sisters, Kate Jacobs Cowan and Lois Jacobs Meadows.

She was born and raised in Macon County. During her working years, she worked for “The Twins Shop” in both Bryson City and Franklin. She also was the bookkeeper for her husband, Frank, in the farm supply business. Among her many other jobs, she worked as a medical transcriber, dental radiologist and in her later years as a caregiver to others.

Helen and Frank were married for 61 years. They moved to the Hendersonville area over 40 years ago after living in Bryson City, Franklin and Brevard. In Hendersonville, Helen and Frank were members of Mud Creek Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School. She enjoyed serving in her church; she was in a women’s weekly prayer group and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the entire group every year for many years. She was also a long time member of the Business and Professional Women’s Association of Hendersonville. She was an avid dog lover. She had many friends and loved her family. and will be sorely missed.

Surviving are her sons, Ronald Byrd and wife Rhonda, Gary Byrd and wife Phillis; granddaughter, Carley Byrd Nevills and husband Don; and great grandchildren, Abigail Nevills and Samantha Nevills.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Her niece, Rev. Janet Greene officiated. Burial was in the Iotla Baptist Church Cemetery.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

William ‘Bill’ Beik Howard

William ‘Bill’ Beik Howard

William “Bill” Beik Howard, 90, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at his home.

Born in Marion, Ind., he was the son of the late Homer and Ethel Smith Howard. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Barbara Joan Howard, just this past January.

He is survived by his children, William H. Howard of Franklin, Catherine J. Ziegler (Michael) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Steven W. Howard (Irene) of Lake Wales, Fla.; four grandchildren, Stacy Ziegler, Kevin J. Ziegler both of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Mark Maglischo (Rebecca) of Lakeland, Fla., and Tracy Maglischo of Lake Wales, Fla.; and two great grandchildren, Colt and Brix Maglischo both of Lakeland Fla.

No services are planned at this time.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Kenneth Dan Adcock, MD

Kenneth Dan Adcock, MD

Kenneth Dan Adcock, MD, 82, died peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Born on Nov. 12, 1937, in St. Petersburg, Fla., he was the youngest child of Lila Anderson Adcock and Louie Norman Adcock Sr. He graduated from St. Petersburg High in 1955. On Aug. 17, 1957, he married his high school sweetheart and best friend, Judy Liggett. He attended Duke University and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He continued his education at the University of Florida, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1959 and his Medical Doctorate degree in 1963.

From 1963 to 1966, he completed his OB/GYN internship and residency in Charlotte, N.C. In 1967, he joined the United States Air Force and served as Captain at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La. In 1969, he moved to Greenville, S.C., and developed a thriving OB/GYN practice. He loved his patients and staff and was known for how committed he was to all of those in his care.

After 35 years in practice, he retired to Highlands, N.C., in 2004. He enjoyed life in retirement by becoming active in the Episcopal church. He completed The University of the South School of Theology, Education for Ministry course and completed training to teach and participate in the Stephen Ministries program. At The Church of the Incarnation he served on the vestry and many volunteer positions. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and with the Four Seasons Hospice program.

He celebrated life by keeping in touch with friends and family far and wide. He was a compassionate and enthusiastic supporter for the many people he held dear. These connections enriched his life tremendously and brought him great joy and comfort in his later years. He was truly a bright light that illuminated all of our lives.

He was predeceased by his former wife, Judy. He is survived by his partner, Thomas Mitchell Cox; daughters, Sarah “Sally” Adcock Chambers of Diamondhead, Miss., Elizabeth “Betsy” Adcock Baumgardner, and husband Jim, of Greenville, S.C.; four grandchildren, Elizabeth Collett Chambers, William Adcock Chambers, James Krae Baumgardner Jr., and Benjamin Easton Baumgardner; one great grandchild, Charlotte Mae Chambers; a brother-in-law, Frank Rahm Liggett, III and wife Mimi LeBlond Liggett; and several nieces and nephews.

He was also predeceased by his brothers and their wives Louie Norman Adcock Jr., (Mary) and Jack Anderson Adcock (Sarah Jane) and his sister-in -law Sarah (Sally) Liggett Smith (husband George).

A private family service will be held at The Church of the Incarnation (Episcopal) in Highlands. A celebration of life service will be held in Greenville in November.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Church of the Incarnation, 520 Main Street, Highlands, NC, 28741.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family. Online condolences may be made at www.moffittfamilyfuneralcare.com.

Thomas Edwin Gardner

Thomas Edwin Gardner, 69, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Born in Hamilton County, Ohio, he was a son of the late Bertram Joseph and Nancy Jean Gardner. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Gregory Joseph Gardner. 

He moved to the area in 2000 and faithfully attended Cowee Baptist Church. He was a great auto salesman and enjoyed astronomy. He was fascinated by and learned a lot about gemstones. He loved his dogs, watching and feeding the wild birds and all animals.

He is survived by his loving wife, Marie Pierce Gardner; his siblings, Christine Kehle Mercier (Ronald) of Sylva, Paul Gregory Kehle (Lara) of Pittsboro, N.C., and Stephanie Shumate of Richmond, Va.

No services are planned at this time.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Samuel Dewey ‘Pops’ Wykle

Samuel Dewey ‘Pops’ Wykle

Samuel Dewey “Pops” Wykle, 76, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

A native of Macon County, he was a son of the late Samuel Pearson Hall and Rosetta Perley Wykle. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, John Henry Wykle and a sister, Ruby Mullins. 

He attended the Olive Hill Gospel Chapel where he enjoyed singing in the choir. He enjoyed singing bluegrass music and playing the banjo. He played and sang all over the U.S., including the Grand Ole Opry. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam campaign. He was employed by the U.S. Forest Service as a Park Ranger for 20 years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, digging ginseng and sitting under an ole’ shade tree.

He is survived by one daughter, Adalia Lynn Wykle; sister, Patsy Lieshman of Havre de Grace, Md.; granddaughter, Sylvia Lynn Bowman and his faithful service dog, “Tuffy” who was by his side for more than 10 years.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m., at the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Barry Bowman will officiate. Burial will follow in the Locust Field Baptist Church Cemetery in Jackson County.

The family will receive friends an hour prior to the service at Macon Funeral Home.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Xzanthus Burnell Webb Wilson

Xzanthus Burnell Webb Wilson

Xzanthus Burnell Webb Wilson, 82, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

Born and raised in Macon County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Leonard and Rittie Jenkins Webb. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thaddius Jerry Wilson; brothers, Glen Webb, Duane Webb and Conard Webb; sisters, Joyce Wilburn, Catherine Carpenter, Rindikye Henry, Nevilee Byrd and Mozille Derrberry. 

She enjoyed vegetable gardening, quilting, canning and homesteading. She was a good cook, a good woman and an animal lover. She liked everyone and loved her family, but above all, she believed that God came before anything; her love for Jesus was immeasurable and she instilled that love into each of her children.

Survivors include her sons, Jerry Wilson, Robert Clark Wilson and Carver Wilson (Lynn); a sister, Donnavee Bradshaw; four grandchildren, Jason Wilson, Alvin Wilson, Simon Wilson, Dakota Gillespie and husband Patrick; two great grandchildren, Jason Taylor Walkingstick and Winter Nicole Walkingstick; a special daughter-in-law Kathy Sitton; and very special friends, Gail Kling and Lynn Hyde.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 19, at Miller Cemetery, Highlands, N.C. Rev. Neal Ammons officiated.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

Lynne Finney Lehtinen

Lynne Finney Lehtinen, 59, of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.

Born in Germany to an Army veteran, she was the daughter of the late Chester Arnold Finney and Myrna Cochran Finney. She managed several restaurants in Athens, Ga., and when she wasn’t working, she could be found reading murder mysteries.

She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Michael Lehtinen; mother-in-law, Sherry Lehtinen of Franklin; brother, Steve Finney; nephew, Brandon Finney and niece, Dana Finney all of Georgia.

No services will be held at this time.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made to the family at www.maconfuneralhome.com.

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