Obituaries for March 23, 2017

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Claude Allen

Claude Allen

Claude Allen, 84, of Franklin,  N.C., passed away Monday, March 13, 2017.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Dewitt Allen and Lula Buchanan Allen.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters, Nancy Millstead and Edna Ferguson; and brothers, Cecil and John; and a baby brother, Roger. He was a U.S. Army veteran; a member of Iotla Baptist Church and worked for Oscar Ledford and Nantahala Meats for more than 60 years.  He was known as a hard working man with a heart of gold.

He is survived by his companion of 33 years, Barbara Passmore; three children, Steve Allen (Hazel), Tracy Passmore (Katie) and Ronnie Bates (Bonnie) all of Franklin and Connie Weatherly (Richard) of Jonesboro, Tenn.; sister, Genevia Johnson of Franklin; 14 grandchildren, Tony, Andrew, Noah, Mary, Dawn, Kylie, Kandis, Karalynn, Kyndal, Karis, Patricia, Julia, Amber and Sabrina; 14 great grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral service was held on Friday, March 17, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home.  Rev. Steve Reeves and Rev. Robert Dryman officiated.  Burial was in the Iotla Baptist Church Cemetery with military rites conducted by the VFW Post 7339 and American Legion Post 108.

Pallbearers were Ronnie Bates, Jonathan Allen, Tracy Passmore, Richard Weatherly, Tony Allen and Andrew Allen.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com

Francis Charles Venticinque

Francis Charles Venticinque

Francis Charles Venticinque, 70, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Monday, March 13, 2017.

Born in Lake Orion, Mich., he was the son of the late Dominic and Rosemary Joyl Venticinque. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Randall Venticinque. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam era. He worked as an electrician and was an active counselor for N.A. and A.A.

He is survived by three children, Anthony Venticinque of Traverse City, Mich., Victoria Rumple of Mont. Clemmons, Mich. and Jeanie Vaughnbarhart of Florida and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Saturday, March 18, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.

Carl Furman Prince 

Carl Furman Prince

Carl Furman Prince, 93, surrounded by loving family, peacefully passed into the welcoming arms of our Lord on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Born April 11, 1923, in Graham County, N.C., to Hettie Millsap and Walter Prince, he entered this world in his parent’s simple home. Although, today, the exact location is unclear, the homestead is thought to be in one of the hollers that are now buried under the deep clear waters of Fontana Lake. He was from a large family with 10 brothers and sisters, who preceded him in death.

He came of age in the ’30s, a time when Western Carolina was in the midst of the Great Depression. Under President Roosevelt’s New Deal, he went to work in the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC put thousands of men to work on public projects with environmental benefits; fighting erosion by planting over three billion trees, restocking native trout, building national parks while learning engineering skills that were necessary for the building of our nation’s schools, hospitals, dams and infrastructure. To earn a little extra money, he was known to bare knuckle box and on occasion “rassle a bear.”

During the 1940s, as an iron worker and millwright he was employed by the TVA on the construction of Fontana Dam where, due to his compact muscular frame, he volunteered as a shaft inspector.  With only a headlamp and flashlight, his job was to visually check for fissures prior to the concrete and steel footings being laid. He was manually lowered by harness and rope into the tight 30-inch diameter footing shafts to depths of 300 feet.

As an iron worker he etched the sky with high-rise buildings in the southeast, just as nimbly as if he were working on a project in his backyard. He was innovative and in every way safety conscious in his work, marking with pride his crew’s “accident free” days.

The love of his life was his wife of 62 years, Edna B. Prince (formerly of the Thomas family of Macon County.) After a long illness and with him a constant by her side, Edna made her way Home in 2005. They had seven children including a daughter who passed in infancy. He raised his family between Salisbury and Franklin.

He loved his work; he nurtured a love for nature, farming and fishing. Fontana Lake is still enjoyed by his family, and many family celebrations are held at Prince Boat Dock. He could whip up dinner over an open campfire, or weld together a multi-burner fish fryer that when cleaned doubled as a hot sink for cleaning up the dishes and silverware.

He taught his family to fish and respect the outdoors before it was “green” to do so. Low is the man who did not pack out more than he packed in on hunting or fishing trips.

The impression of his initials, CFP, can still be found on his many gadgets:  carpentry, farming tools and camping and fishing gear. CFP was one of the greatest men of the greatest generation and he made his mark widely during his time upon this earth. To his surviving 14 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 12 great great grandchildren his initials stand for: C – Christ, Carpenter, Camper; F – Father, Fisherman, Farmer; P – Stands for only one word: Papaw.

He is survived by three daughters, Mary Ellen Bowen (Harry) and Geraldine Wackenshaw, all of Franklin and Annette King (Rick) of Burnsville; three sons, Dearl Prince of Franklin, David Prince (Debbie) and Tony Prince (Lesa) all of Almond; friend, Sherry Crawford; 14 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 12 great great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Debbie and son-in-law, Adam Wakenshaw.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, March 18,  in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory with Rev. Danny Cannon, Rev. Alan Waters, Rev. Cale Stancil and Rev. Don Moffitt officiating. Burial followed in Black Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the WNC Alzheimer’s Organization, 4600 Park Rd. Suite 250, Charlotte, N.C. 28209; or Black Mountain Baptist Church Building Fund, 1548 S. Skeenah Road, Franklin, N.C., 28734; or Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation, 3195 Old Murphy Rd., Franklin, N.C., 28734 to be used to purchase chairs for the Spark Unit.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Prince family. Online condolences are available at bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

James Willard Keener

James Willard Keener, 84, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late James Robert Keener and Grace Talley Keener.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Marie Potts Keener; son, James Keener, Jr. (Leslie) of Brevard; daughter, Tammy Hall (Sandy) of Tuscon, Ark.; two sisters, Ruby Watts of Satolah, Ga. and Eleanor Blankenship (Harold) of Franklin; three grandchildren, Terri Keener, Chris Keener and Cory Hall; one great granddaughter, Faith Bryson; two step grandchildren, Jonathan Childers (Nikki) and Melissa McKinna (Shawn) and step great grandchildren, Mason Childers, Nathaniel Childers, Oakley Childers, Weston Childers, Gabriel McKinna and Daenerys McKinna.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 23, at First Baptist Church of Highlands. Rev. Randy Reid and Rev. Scott Holland will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Highlands Assembly of God, PO Box 477, Highlands, N.C. 28741 or First Baptist Church of Highlands, 220 Main Street, Highlands, N.C., 28741.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com

Katherine Marie Baumann

Katherine Marie Baumann

Katherine Marie Baumann, 79, of Franklin, passed away Monday, March 20, 2017.

She was born in Dayton, Ohio, to the late Ernest and Bernice Fink Keethler on December 23, 1937. Her family moved to Dania, Fla. in 1942; she graduated from South Broward High School in Hollywood, Fla. After graduation, she attended Sophie Newcomb College (Tulane University) until her mother’s death and returned home to fulfill her family responsibilities; she later attended the University of Florida as funds became available. After the children were raised, she worked for R.H. Miller Eng. Associates in Davie, Fla. for 15 years. She did volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity in Franklin. She also worked for The Guardian Ad litem program for children’s best interest. Katherine was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Franklin.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, George Baumann; one daughter, Sandra Caldwell and husband John of Key Largo, FL, and their daughter, Elyse who lives in Denver, Colo.; one son, Karl William Baumann, his wife Virginia and their children, Caleb and Lilly of Pickens, S.C.; one sister, Sandra Almassy of Brookshire, N.J.

Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 24 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Father Tien Duong will officiate. Burial will be held in Woodlawn Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 23rd at Macon Funeral Home, followed by a rosary.

Pallbearers will be Marvin Batchel, Karl Baumann, Richard Goodell, John Caldwell, Caleb Baumann and Charles Williams.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.

Connie Coche Neely

Connie Coche Neely

Connie Coche Neely, 68, passed away Monday, March 13, 2017.

She was born in Weaverville, N.C., Sept. 11, 1948, to the late Jamie Dee Coche and Maggie Wood Coche. She was a member of the Eastern Star and Highlands First Baptist Church. She loved gospel music but her greatest love was being a loving wife and mother.

Survivors include her husband, Harold Neely; a son, Matthew Preston Neely of Birmingham, Ala.; and a brother, Jimmy Dee Coche of Charleston, W. Va.

A funeral service was held on Friday, March 17, at the Highlands First Baptist Church with the Dr. Mark Ford and Rev. Andy Cloer officiating. Burial followed in the Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Highlands First Baptist Church 220 Main St. Highlands, N.C. 28741.

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

Teddy Lee Bates

Teddy Lee Bates

Teddy Lee Bates, 49, passed away Monday, March 13, 2017.

He was born in Macon County on January 26, 1968, to the late Howard Wilburn Bates and to Bernice Wilson Bates who survives.

He worked with heavy equipment and he love to hunt and fish.

Survivors include his mother of the home; two sisters, Leesa Sanchez and Dicey Garcia both of Franklin; a brother, Doyle Bates of Franklin; one nephew, Hank Gallaway; one great nephew, Jaiden Gallaway and one great niece, Skyller Gallaway.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, March 16, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with the Rev. Kevin Chapman and Rev. Phillip Cochran officiating. Burial followed in Oakgrove Baptist Church Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made to bryantgrantfuneralhome.com

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

William ‘Gene’ Shields

William ‘Gene’ Shields

William “Gene” Shields, 67, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Rev. William Shields and Clara Kiser Shields. He served the people of Macon County and surrounding areas for many years with Shields Monument Company.  He was a member of West Franklin Church.

He is survived by his wife, Louise Hedden Shields; two children, Tonya Hodgins and husband Bryant of Franklin and Kevin Shields and wife Denise of Franklin; two brothers, Jack Shields and wife Jessie of Sylva and Gary Shields and wife Anna of Franklin; four grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The family had a gathering of friends on Saturday, March 18, at Macon Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Hospice House Foundation, PO Box 815, Franklin, N.C., 28744 or Appalachian Animal Rescue, PO Box 81, Franklin, N.C., 28744.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com

Betty Jean Lazenby Burgess

Betty Jean Lazenby Burgess

Betty Jean Lazenby Burgess, 85, of Franklin, passed away Monday, March 20, 2017.

Born in Statesville, N.C., she was the daughter of the late James Stewart Lazenby and Viola Stewart Lazenby Messick. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Lee Burgess who died February 8, 2004; brothers, James, Stewart and Bill and sisters, Mary Lois Flemming and Dorothy Gill.  She was a retired restaurant owner from Ft. Myers Beach, Fla. and a member of South Macon Baptist Church.

She is survived by a daughter, Debbie Fite and husband, Dean of Ft. Myers, Fla.; three grandchildren, Alex, Lauren and Anthony; six great grandchildren.

A Graveside Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at Woodlawn Cemetery.  Rev. Albert Gray will officiate.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com

Emma Guffey Guest

Emma Guffey Guest, 92, of Franklin, passed away Monday, March 20, 2017.

Born in Macon Co, she was the daughter of the late Ben Guffey and Laura Sorrells Guffey. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Warren Williams Guest who died in 1984. She enjoyed playing bingo, cards, wrestling and sewing. She loved her family more than anything.

She is survived by three daughters, Donna McGaha and Linda McMahan both of Franklin and Rita Guest of Clayton, Ga.; five grandchildren; ten great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 23 in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. David Lee Williams will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m., prior to the service at the funeral home.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com

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