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Deaths & Funerals


Diane R. ForsythDiane R. Forsyth

Diane Ramsey Forsyth, 58, of Rye, N.H., died Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, at her home surrounded by her family after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

She was born Feb. 20, 1956, in Franklin, N.C., a daughter of Margaret (Setser) Ramsey of Franklin, and the late Albert L. Ramsey, Jr.

She graduated from Franklin High School with the Class of 1974 and Western Carolina University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1978.

She worked as a registered nurse at Portsmouth Regional Hospital for 25 years.

She made her home in Rye the past 26 years where as a master gardener she enjoyed designing and planting her flower gardens. She also enjoyed skiing, hiking and the outdoors. She was presently serving on the Southeast Land Trust Board of Directors.

She shared 27 years of marriage with her husband, Mark K. Forsyth.

In addition to her husband and mother, family members include her son, Wesley R. Forsyth of Boston, Mass.; her daughter, Emily L. Forsyth and husband Christopher of Towson, Md.; her sister, Rebecca Estes and husband Thomas; two brothers, Ralph Ramsey, Joseph Ramsey and wife Theresa; and several nieces and nephews.

A visitation with family will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 at the Forsyth home, 68 Washington Road, Rye, N.H. A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, Aug. 23, at 1 p.m., at Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road, Rye, N.H., followed by a reception at the home of Robert and Eileen Eberhart, 70 Sea Road, Rye Beach, N.H.

A second celebration of life service will be held Saturday, Sept. 13, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Harrison Avenue, Franklin, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dr. David Ryan Pancreatic Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Development Office, c/o Andy Kitaff, 165 Cambridge Street, STE 600, Boston, MA 02114.

Assistance with the arrangements was by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton.



Esta Mae Stepp

Esta Mae Stepp, 79, of Aquone, N.C., passed away Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, in a Franklin, N.C., medical center. She was a native and lifelong resident of Macon County. She was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

She was the daughter of the late Richard and Elsie Dowdle Bingham. She was also preceded in death by her son, Teddie Craig Stepp; a brother, Dick Bingham; and three sisters, Sally Bingham Passmore, Elma Bingham Bates, and Mary Bingham Dryman.

Surviving are her husband of 62 years, John V. Stepp Sr.; a daughter, Elsie Stepp Hoxit and husband James of Sylva; three sons, John Vance Stepp Jr. of Franklin, James Howard Stepp and wife Katrina of Asheville, and Thomas George Stepp and wife Cami of Sheridan, Ark.; four sisters, Nelle Green of Franklin, Birdie Suttle of Mount Holly, Annie Belle Scott of Franklin, and Mildred Louise Russell of Albemarle; one brother, Ted Bingham of Harlem, Georgia; 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church with Father George Byer officiating. Interment was in the Aquone Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Brian Bateman, Terry Scott, Steve Passmore, James Hoxit, Jonathan Williamson, Jacob Stepp, Mike Bryant, and Rodney Chastain. Honorary pallbearers were Tommy Green, Howard Hughes, and members of the Nantahala Fire Department.

Ivie Funeral Home, Andrews was in charge of arrangements. An online guest register is available at www.iviefuneralhomeinc.com.



Glenda Faulkner Johnson

Glenda Faulkner Johnson, 68, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Thursday, July 31, 2014.

Born in Winter Park, Fla., she was the daughter of the late Glen Faulkner and Pauline Hayes Faulkner. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Beth Johnson; son, Stephen Johnson; and a sister, Rose Mary Gober. She enjoyed gardening, arts and crafts, quilting, cross stitching, embroidery and was very devoted to her family.

She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Paul Johnson; a daughter, Abigail “Abby” Johnson of Franklin; brother, Michael Faulkner of Crossville, Tenn.; and two grandchildren, Isaac Dewey and Kiara Dewey of Franklin.

Memorial service was held Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Vic Greene officiated.

Memorial donations can be made to Angel Hospice, 170 Church Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.



Jack Penniston Philpot

Jack "Jackpot" Penniston Philpot, 74, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, at Fidelia-Eckerd Living Center. Born in Carol County, Ga., he was a CEO for a medical lab and drove a school bus in Highlands for several years. He was a 2009 Duke Energy Volunteer of The Year. He volunteered at school, Chamber of Commerce and at Health Tracks at Highlands- Cashiers Hospital. He was a very active member of Highlands United Methodist Church where he served in several positions and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

He is survived by two brothers. He was preceded in death by a son, J. P. Philpot.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, August 14, at 4 p.m., at Highlands United Methodist Church with Rev. Paul Christy, Rev. Carrilea Potter and Rev. Zack Christy officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Highlands United Methodist Children/ Youth Fund, PO Box 1959, 315 Main Street, Highlands, NC 28741.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



C. T. Burnette

C. T. Burnette, 82, of Yellow Mountain and The Brian Center in Brevard, N.C., passed away Saturday, Aug. 9. He was born Dec. 1, 1931, in Oak Grove, Macon County to Wade and Estelle Houston Burnette.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Juanita. He is survived by his son, Tom Burnette and wife Nancy of Glenville, N.C.; grandson, Jeff Burnette and wife Sarah of Grovetown, Ga.; granddaughter, Kristy Burnette of Wilmington, N.C. and five great grandchildren, Jeffery Thomas, Bradley, Christopher, William and Elizabeth; two brothers, James Burnette of Hendersonville, N.C., Hal Burnette of Cashiers, N.C.; a sister, Judy Rogers of Franklin, N.C., and several nieces and nephews.

He was a master builder. He started his building career in Washington, DC and then moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., where his family lived for 19 years. He then worked in the Highlands-Cashiers area until he retired in 1994. He loved being outside, gardening, playing various musical instruments and tinkering around in his shop. He was a member of Yellow Mtn. Baptist Church. He will be missed dearly by his family and friends, but will remain in our precious memories.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at Yellow Mtn. Baptist Church. Burial was at Stewart Cemetery.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Josephine Greenwood BurgessJosephine Greenwood Burgess

Josephine Greenwood Burgess, 94, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at her residence. She was born in Macon County, the daughter of the late Thomas and Nannie Bronson Greenwood. She was married to Charles Burgess Jr. who passed away in 1953. She was the founder of Burgess Chapel Church of God in Christ where she was a member, served as the administrator, Church Mother and licensed Missionary Minister. She wrote poems and gospel songs and loved baking. She worked at East Franklin School as custodian for several years and worked at the U.S. Forest Service Senior Citizen program.

She is survived by her daughter, Ann Hall and her husband, Charles of Franklin; three grandchildren, Charlene Hall, Chris Hall and Christine Hall; 10 great grandchildren and eight great great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by three sisters, Isabelle Scruggs, Odella McClean and Letha Hayes; three brothers, Elwood Greenwood, Jesse Greenwood and Frank Greenwood; two grandchildren, Pat Burgess and Charles Hall Jr.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m., in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Elder John Gary, Superintendent C.W. Johnson and Superintendent Samuel Payne.

Burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery. Kevin Burgess, Greg Hall, Michael Chavis, Willis Chavis, Alex Hall and Matthew Waldroop will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.



Madgie Illene Webb DonaldsonMadgie Illene Webb Donaldson

Madgie Illene Webb Donaldson, 70 of Cleveland, Ga., formerly of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. She was born in Franklin on July 2, 1944, to the late Cresley Webb and Ruby McCall. She was a homemaker and was of the Baptist faith. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Survivors include her husband, Boyd Donaldson of Cleveland, Ga.; sons, Billy Joe Donaldson and Bobby Joe Donaldson, both of Cleveland; daughters, Mary Jo Arrant of Franklin, Brenda Newberry, Linda Bates and Bertha Pardue, all of Cleveland; brothers, Bobby Webb of Westminster, S.C. and William Webb of Cleveland; sisters, Magdalene Webb and Pearl Alexander both of Westminster, S.C.; 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren also survive.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Aug. 13, in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Rev. Mark Grizzard officiating. Burial was at Union United Methodist Church Cemetery. Ben Newberry, Ben Newberry, Jr, Robert Arrant, Josh Fitch Carl Wilson and Tyler Pardue served as pallbearers.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.alexander-funeral.com or www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of local arrangements.



George L. BlaineGeorge L. Blaine

George L Blaine, 86, of Otto, N.C., and Norcross, Ga., passed away Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. He was born in Patton Valley, in Macon County, June 1, 1928. He was the second son and the second of five siblings born to Arthur and Elizabeth Ann Hodgins Blaine. After graduating from FHS, he went to Seattle, Wash., and worked until he joined the U.S. Air Force. He served during the Korean Conflict. After competing his time in the Air Force, he came home and entered WCU (formerly Western Carolina Teacher’s College) and graduated with a business degree. He made his home in Norcross, Ga. where he worked for Lawrence Systems as an auditor for 30-plus years. He enjoyed traveling over the country, being exposed to all kinds of businesses and swapping stories with people. After retirement, he continued to do some contracting work for Colateral Control Corporation ( formally Lawrence Systems) in the same capacity.

He is survived by one sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Zeb Mehaffey, several nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his older brother, Arthur Jr. and sisters, Carol Lee Seay and Sue Palmer.

He was a generous and loyal individual. He was ready to help without fanfare and without expecting anything in return to anyone in need. He took good care of his aging parents and was always the “go-to guy” for his sisters when they needed help, encouragement, or wise counsel. Friends also appreciated his carpentry, electrical, motor, lawn and garden and entertainment skills and his willingness to go the extra mile.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Aug. 10, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Rev. Tommy Fouts and Rev. Steve Reeves officiating. Burial was in Rush Cemetery. Franklin VFW Post # 7339 and American Legion Post #108 performed full military graveside rites. Pallbearers were Matthew Ledford, Luke Ledford, Levi Ledford, Noah Ledford, Mike Seay and Jack Palmer.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Tex Raymond DavisTex Raymond Davis

Tex Raymond Davis, 73, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014.

Born in Mineral Wells, Texas, he was the son of the late John William and Eileen Starr Davis. His family settled in Newbury, Ohio, and he was a member of the ’58. He was a 50-year member of IBEW Local 38 Cleveland, Ohio.

He attended Cowee Baptist Church where he enjoyed working with the men in Brotherhood plus singing in the choir. He was a building contractor/ electrician and enjoyed bowling and riding his motorcycle.

He is survived by his wife, Betty (nee Johnson); daughter, Betsy Raines (Rick) of Mechanicsville, Va.; son, Dan Davis of Franklin; sister, Texanne Canfield of Franklin; and three grandchildren, Matthew Raines, Erin Raines and Chayse Davis.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Cowee Baptist Church or KIDS Place.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.



Keith Douglas Lakey

Keith Douglas Lakey, 62, died Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Born in Clayton, Ga. on May 11, 1952, he was the son of the late C.D. and Norva Tabor Lakey. He was a truck driver with PFG - Milton Foods. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brother, Donald Lakey. He was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Neal and Gina Lakey of Mt. Airy; his ex-wife, Gladys Norris Lakey of Demorest; brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Jeannette Lakey of Franklin, N.C.; sister-in-law, Dianne of Franklin; and grandchildren, Madison, Hunter, and Westin Lakey.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Hillside Memorial Chapel. Interment followed the service in Oak Grove Baptist Cemetery in Franklin.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillsidememorialchapel.com.

Funeral arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel, Clarkesville. Announcement courtesy of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home.



Steven Willis VinsonSteven Willis Vinson

Steven Willis Vinson, 85, of Otto, N.C., passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at a local nursing home. Born in Sheridan County, Wyo., he was the son of the late James A. and Ethel Runyion Vinson. He was first married to Blanche Ramey Vinson who passed away in 1996 and second to Maxine Teaque Vinson who passed away in 2006. He was a member of Tessentee Church of God. He liked racing and was a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather.

He is survived by his daughter, Aleta Baker and husband Raymond of Otto; sons, Allen Vinson and wife Sandy and Archie Vinson all of Clayton, Ga., and Avery Vinson and wife Karen of Liberty, Ky.; brothers, Atlas Vinson of Jasper, Ga., and Phillip Vinson of Canton, Ohio; and 11 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Alvin Vinson.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Aug. 12, at House of Hope (Tessentee) Church of God with Rev. Robert Dryman and Rev. Greg Bartram officiating. Burial was in the Lower Tessentee Church of God Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.



Sarah Jo Grice

Sarah Jo Grice, 89, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Born in Wood County, Texas, she was the daughter of the late Thomas and Beulah Hicks Thompson. She was married to Roy Macdoo Grice who preceded her in death in 1997.

She is survived by one daughter, Linda K. Parker and husband Scollay C. of Placerville, Calif., and one son, Roy Melvin Grice and wife Kathy of Maine; four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

No services are planned at this time.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Verona Blanche Ackerman

Verona Blanche Ackerman, 90, of Goodlettsville, Tenn., formerly of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, at a Hospice Center in Madison, Tenn. Born in North Platte, Neb., she was the daughter of the late John L. and Hildred McClelland Lawson. She was married to Edgar Ackerman who passed away in 2002. She was a bookkeeper for Exem House Moving.

She is survived by her son, Mike Denton of Goodletsville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Sean and Eric Denton, Brittaney Jones and Todd Burgett; great grandchildren, Sammy, Josie, Daisy and Jack Denton, Haley Campbell, Brandon Burgett; great great grandchildren, Hayden and Kiana Burgett.

Graveside services were held Saturday, Aug. 9, at Rush Cemetery with Rev. Vic Greene officiating.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.



Ralph Eugene BaldwinRalph Eugene Baldwin

Ralph Eugene Baldwin, 86, of Otto, N.C., passed away Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. He was born on June 2, 1928, to the late Wilbur Eugene and Geneva Parrish Baldwin. He was a farmer, butcher and sold produce in Macon County for many years. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Timothy Eugene Baldwin, an infant brother Bruce, brother, Gus Baldwin and a sister, Ruby Baldwin Cansler.

He is survived by daughters, Mary Jean Dreml and husband Hans of Franklin, N.C., and Margaret Elizabeth Anderson of Lake Charles, La.; six grandchildren, Daniel Baldwin, Natacha, Heidi, Patty, Kristin and Gene; and 10 great grandchildren; two sisters, Lolita Baldwin West and Nora Jean Baldwin Kinsland and husband Bo and a brother-in-law, Bill Cansler, along with several nieces and nephews. He was blessed to have had as his caretaker, Leo Gomez-Garcia and family. Also special thanks to Gary Cook and Leah McCall.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home, with Rev. Davis Hooper officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. Pallbearers will be David Kinsland, Mark West, Larry Shope, Greg Kinsland, Dan Cansler, and Leo Gomez-Garcia. Honorary pallbearers will be Pritchard "Fuzz" Chastain, David Cabe, and Bobby Conley. The family will receive friends from 10 till 11 a.m., Thursday, one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Bryant-Grant Funeral Home, 105 West Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734 to help with funeral expenses or to a charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com. Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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published: 10/18/2013
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