Miscellaneous Burke County, North Carolina Obituaries

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Ruth C. Deal 

VALDESE - Ruth Campbell Deal, 87, of Rector Street in the High Peak community, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001, at Valdese General Hospital following a period of declining health. 

Born April 14, 1914, in Forsyth County, she was a daughter of the late William Campbell and Eliza Jane Selby Campbell. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by: her husband, Henry L. Deal; a daughter, Jan Deal; and a number of brothers and sisters. 

She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church. 

She is survived by: sons, Paul Deal and his wife, Tiny, of Morganton, Ted Deal and his wife, Linda, of Glen Alpine, Elmer Deal and his wife, Margit, of Kansas, and Wayne Deal of Valdese; daughters, Velva West and her husband, Keith, of Las Vegas, Nev., Kaye Penley and her husband, Arlie, of Drexel, Faye Hicks of Valdese, and Susan Lennon and her husband, David, of Icard; 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Baptist Church with the Revs. Scott Moneyham and Paul Lee Deal officiating. 

Burial will follow in the church cemetery. 

The family will receive friends Friday from 7 until 8:30 p.m. at the church. At other times, the family will be at the residence of Wayne Deal, 3780 Cook Road, Valdese. 

Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. 

Grace W. Rudicil 

MORGANTON - Grace W. Rudicil, 85, of Maplewood Drive, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001, at College Pines Nursing Home in Valdese following a period of declining health. 

Born Dec. 23, 1915, in Durham County, she was a daughter of the late George Wilson and Nancy Mangum Wilson. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Leith M. Rudicil, and six brothers and sisters. 

She retired from Drexel Heritage Furnishings after 30 years of employment. 

Mrs. Rudicil was a member of First Baptist Church in Morganton, where she sang in the church choir and taught a Sunday school class of 12-year-old girls for a number of years. 

She is survived by: a son, Stephen Rudicil and his wife, Susan, of Rutherford College; a brother, George Wilson Jr. of Raleigh; sisters, Augusta High and Margie Ellis, both of Durham, and Mable Jeffries of Charlotte; grandchildren, William Rudicil and Allison Rudicil; and a number of nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Bland Jr. and Mr. Mark Silvey officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. 

The family will receive friends today from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Drawer 459, Morganton, N.C. 28680-0459, or to Hospice of Burke County, P.O. Box 1029, Valdese, N.C. 28690. 

Cardell M. Ervin 

DREXEL - Cardell Moore Ervin, 88, of 307 Oakland Ave., died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001, at Autumn Care of Drexel following an extended illness. 

The family will be at the home of a niece, Henrietta E. Howell of 3088 N.C. 126. Ebony Funeral Services of Morganton is in charge of arrangements. 
 

John R. Whitesides 

MORGANTON - John Rhodes Whitesides, 76, of Hemlock Trail, died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001, at the Hospice of Burke County Shytle House in Valdese. 

Born Nov. 2, 1925, in Gaston County, he was a son of the late Francis Alexander Whitesides Sr. and Myrtle Rhodes Whitesides. He attended the local schools in Gaston County and the DeForrest School in Toccoa Falls, Ga. He was a member of the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, and volunteered for many years as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 4. 

He worked at various industries in Gastonia until he moved to Morganton in 1977. He worked at Whisnant's Service Station and Garage in Morganton until his retirement in 1991. 

After moving to Burke County, he joined Christ United Methodist Church in Drexel, and was a loyal member there until his death. 

In July 2001, he became a resident at the Hospice of Burke County Shytle House. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Rebecca Rhodes Whitesides Miller. 

Surviving are brothers, Francis Alexander Whitesides Jr. and Henry Monroe Whitesides, both of Gastonia; and a brother-in-law, Dr. Andrew Cleveland Miller III of Gastonia. 

The funeral will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at Christ United Methodist Church with the Revs. Doug Hochmuth and Clyde Penry officiating. 

The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service. 

A short memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia following a private family graveside service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Burke County, P.O. Box 1029, Valdese, N.C. 28690. 

Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the services in Burke County and McLean and Sons is assisting with the graveside service in Gastonia. 
 

Cardell M. Ervin 

DREXEL - Cardell Moore Ervin, 88, of Oakland Ave., died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001, at Autumn Care of Drexel after an extended illness. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shiloh AME Church and the family will receive friends prior to the service at the church. Local survivors include his sister, the Rev. Lillian Hunter. 

Maynard M. Reece 

VALDESE — Maynard Memory Reece, 73, of Lakeview Acres, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001 at his residence. 

Born Aug. 4, 1928, in Burke County, he was a son of the late Kelly McKinley Reece and Julia Ann Brendle Reece. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Maynard Karl Reece. 

He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and retired as a master sergeant after 20 years of military service. 

He worked for and retired from the Burke County school system, where he was a maintenance supervisor. 

Mr. Reece was a very active member of Morganton First Church of God, where he taught the senior adult Sunday school class. 

He was a member of Gideons International, and an active member of AARP. 

Mr. Reece also taught art classes for senior citizens at Western Piedmont Community College. 

He is survived by: his wife, Ella Osborn Reece of the home; a son, Kelly Reece and his wife, Debbie, of Morganton; daughters, Kim Coffey of Morganton, and Karen Sasser and her husband, Ronnie, of Mamers; grandchildren: Jeramie Abernathy, Daphne Abernathy, Dustyn Reece, Jara Reece, Landon Reece, Logan Reece, Quinn Reece, Ronnie Allen Sasser, Ryan Sasser and Chelsea Sasser; a brother, Dairl Reece of Granite Falls; sisters, Mary Elva Bravard and Maxine Franklin, both of Rutherford College, Marilyn Waters of Drexel, Martha Ann Whetstine of Greer, S.C., and Mozelle Woods of Lenoir. 

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. today at Morganton First Church of God with Revs. Don Smith and Henry Bingham officiating. 

Entombment will follow at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum with military rites conducted by the Morganton Veterans Ceremonial Team. 

The family received friends Saturday at Sossoman Funeral Home. 

At other times, the family will be at the residence, 4689 Lakeview Acres, Valdese. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Morganton First Church of God Elevator Fund, P.O. Box 1404, Morganton, N.C. 28680-1404, or to the Lewis Rathbun Center, 121 Sherwood Road, Asheville, N.C. 28803. 

James O'Neal 

DELANO, Calif. — James Burnswell O'Neal, 67, of Delano, Calif., lost his fight with cancer Dec. 3, 2001. 

Born Jan. 16,1934, in Waycross, Ga., he was the son of the late James Jackson and Ellen Toole O'Neal. 

Mr. O'Neal spent his youth in Jacksonville, Fla. 

He is survived by: his wife of 36 years, Nancy Mull O'Neal, the daughter of Harold J. Mull of Morganton; daughters, Linda Go of Quincy Ill., Helen Roberson of Heber Springs, Ark.; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a sister and a brother. 

A private memorial service will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Morganton at a later time. 

Memorials in Mr. O'Neal's memory may be made to the Arthritis Adaptive Aquatic Center, 1800 Westwind Drive Building 500, Bakersfield Calif. 93301, or to a charity of one's choice. 

Kirksey Funeral Home of Morganton is assisting the O'Neal family with local arrangements. 
 

Vissie Pearson 

MORGANTON — Vissie Lee Whisenant Pearson, 83, of U.S. 70 West died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001, at Grace Hospital. 

Born Feb. 16, 1918, in Burke County, she was the daughter of the late Fred and Velsie Whisenant. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by: her husband, Earnest Tate Pearson; a son, Glenn Ray Pearson; sisters Mandy Whisenant, Nellie Whisenant and Sadie Whisenant; brothers Ralph Whisenant, James Whisenant, Paul Whisenant, Leroy Whisenant and Lester Whisenant. 

Mrs. Pearson was a homemaker and had attended High Peak Baptist Church. 

She is survived by: sons Carl Pearson, Otis Pearson and wife, Jean, all of Morganton, Ernest Pearson and wife, Doris, of Valdese, and Grover Pearson and wife, Sandra, of Marion; daughters, Brenda Pearson and Doris Farnham, both of Morganton; brothers, Bobby Whisenant and wife, Rebca, of Lenoir, Arthur Whisenant and wife, Gay, of Georgia; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. 

The funeral was held Saturday at Kirksey Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Rocky Reese officiating. 

Burial will follow at the Salem United Methodist Church cemetery. 

The family received friends Friday at Kirksey Funeral Home in Morganton. 

Kirksey Funeral Home of Morganton is assisting the Pearsons with arrangements. 
 

Fred E. Farmer 

MORGANTON — Fred Eugene Farmer Jr., 55, of N.C. 126, died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001, at his residence after a period of declining health. 

Mr. Farmer was born June 9, 1946, In Lincoln County to the late Fred Eugene Farmer Sr. and Selma Daphine Carpenter Farmer. 

He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and was a retired dispatcher for the trucking industry. 

Survivors are: his wife, Mary Steward Farmer of the home; sons, Fred Eugene Farmer III of Shelby and Kevin Carroll Farmer of Cherryville; stepsons, Charles Styles Jr. of Morganton, Kenny Styles of Lenoir, Dale Styles of Drexel and Wade Styles of Nebo; a stepdaughter, Angela Styles Cates of Morganton; brothers Donald Farmer and Eddie Farmer. both of Cherryville, and Sam Farmer of Lincolnton; sisters, Carolyn Hallman of Crouse and Beckey Crumpler of Bandys; grandchildren, Fred Eugene "4/4" Farmer IV, Kevin Carroll "Buba" Farmer Jr., Harley Mikayle Farmer and Joshua Lane Allen Farmer; stepgrandchildren Haleigh Helms, Lynzie Helms, Amy Styles, Nicole "CoCo" Styles, Johnathon Styles, Jessica Jones, Christopher Styles, Roseanna Hughes, Cody Cates and Jeffery Styles. 

The funeral will be held at 3:30 p.m. today in the chapel of Heritage Funeral Service, Valdese, with the Rev. Gary Garner officiating. 

Interment will be at noon Monday at the N.C. State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain. 

The Farmer family will receive friends from 2 to 3 p.m. today at Heritage Funeral Service, Valdese. 

Memorials may be made to Enon Baptist Church at 2059 Enon Road, Morganton, N.C. 28655. 
 

"Buddy" Meyer 

MORGANTON — Kenneth "Buddy" Meyer, 82, of 219 Evans St., died Friday, Dec. 7, 2001, following a lengthy illness. 

He was born Dec. 25, 1918, in Leavenworth, Kan., to Albert Meyer and Mae Johnson Meyer. 

His early years marked the beginning of what would become a lifelong love for baseball. At age 11, in Boulder, Colo., he was the mascot and bat boy for the University of Colorado. 

At 13, he joined an American Legion team, and at 16, he played in the St. Louis Cardinals' Arkansas/Missouri League, on the Fayetteville Angels. During this time Spalding signed him to a contract and pronounced him to be the "Most Promising Player." 

In 1941, as his career in the major leagues was about to take off, he was drafted into the Army, where he served as an athletic director in the Special Services. A service-related injury put an end to his big-league career plans, but he continued to enjoy baseball and other sports for the remainder of his years, especially as a spectator at his grandchildren's games. 

In 1955 he married Elizabeth Kreiser in West Palm Beach, Fla., and went on to become the loving and devoted father of three daughters. 

By trade, he was a glazier, carpenter and locksmith and was employed by the Palm Beach County School System. 

In 1972, he moved his family to Franklin, where he worked as a subcontractor before retiring early because of a disability. 

During his years in Franklin, he was an active member of First United Methodist Church. As an adult, his Christian faith played a major role in his life, and over the years he served various churches as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, president of United Methodist Men, and participant in prison ministry. 

In 1998 he moved to Morganton and made his home with his daughter and son-in-law, Karla and Carl Lanier. 

Most recently, he was a member of North Morganton United Methodist Church. 

Survivors include: three daughters, Karen Meyer Eckert of Raleigh, Kathy Meyer Bryson of Franklin and Karla Meyer Lanier of Morganton; a sister, Dorothy Grant of Highland Falls, N.Y.; and seven grandchildren, Daniel Bryson, David Bryson, Kristen Bryson and Taylor Bryson of Franklin, and Luke Lanier, Bethany Lanier and Hannah Lanier of Morganton. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Mildred "Midge" Postovit and Virginia "Gin" Hager. 

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at North Morganton United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Woods officiating. 

Memorials may be made to North Morganton United Methodist Church, 990 Sanford Drive, Morganton, N.C. 28655, or Hospice of Burke County, P.0. Box 1029, Valdese N.C. 28690. 

Ebony Funeral Services is assisting the Meyer family. 
 

Carl Stoots 

LENOIR— Carl Stoots, 55, of Morganton Highway, died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001, at the residence. 

He was born Oct. 10, 1946, in Raleigh County, W.Va., to the late Grady and Mae Keith Stoots. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard and Harold Stools; and two sisters; Mrs. Jo Ann Jennings and Janice Stoots. 

Mr. Stoots was a machine operator and of the Baptist faith. 

Survivors include: his wife, Ima Jean Grandfield Stoots of the home, a daughter, Mrs. Brian (Carla) Stewart of Morganton; four brothers, James Stoots, Phillip "David" Stoots, Donald Stoots and Ronnie Stoots, all of Eccles, W.Va.; two sisters, Mrs. Kenneth (Connie) Mann of Lenoir, Mrs. David (Patricia) Coleman of Beckley, W.Va., and two grandchildren. 

Memorial services will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home chapel conducted by the Rev. Henry Bingham. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Burke County Hospice at P.O. Box 1029, Valdese, N.C. 28690. 

Ruth Prewitt 

MORGANTON — Ruth Elizabeth Queen Prewitt, 90, died Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2001, at Grace Heights. 

She was born Jan. 28, 1911, in Burke County to the late Jones C. and Lula Mae Morrow Queen. 

She was retired from Morganton Hosiery and later worked as a sales clerk at Sky City. 

Mrs. Prewitt was a member of Southside Baptist Church and after her second marriage, attended Zion Memorial United Methodist Church. 

She had been a resident of Grace Heights since 1996 and was crowned Miss Grace Heights in 1997. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by: her first husband, Roy Kilpatrick, and second husband, Marvin Prewitt; brother, Ralph Queen; grandson, David Clark; and stepson, Jerry Prewitt. 

She is survived by: a son, Bob Williams and wife, Annie Lee, of Matthews; daughter, Jo Ann Clark of Morganton; stepson, Harold Prewitt; grandchildren, Danny Clark and wife, Amie, of Morganton, Ruth Ann Suttle and husband, John, of Morganton, Connie Freeman and husband, Wayne, of Morganton, Rick Williams and wife, Beth, of Cary and Ann Voyles and husband, David, of Swannanoa; stepgrandchildren, Rhonda Stikeleather and husband, Frank, of Hickory, and David Prewitt and wife, Sherry, of Granite Falls; seven great-grandchildren, seven stepgreat-grandchildren and six stepgreat-great-grandchildren. 

The funeral was Thursday at Kirksey Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Larry Fletcher, Dr. Steve Parker and the Rev. Beth Henderson officiating. 

Interment followed the service at Forest Hill Cemetery. 

The family received friends Thursday prior to the service at the funeral home. 

Kirksey Funeral Home of Morganton is assisting the Prewitt family. 
 

Leonard A. Jordan 

GRANITE FALLS — Leonard Allen Jordan, 42, of White Pine Drive in the Sawmills community, died Friday, Dec. 7, 2001, as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident which occurred near his home. 

Born in Burke County on July 21, 1959, he was a son of Harold and Yvonne Mull Jordan of Morganton. 

He was an employee of Mom and Pops Bakery in Claremont and was preceded in death by a daughter, Melinda Sue Jordan. 

Surviving in addition to his parents are: a son, Christopher Allen Jordan of Stony Point; a daughter, Amber Jordan of Hickory; a brother, Ronnie Jordan of Morganton; and sisters, Gail Ross of Denver, Colo., and Sonya Trull of Winston-Salem. 

A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Burkemont Baptist Church cemetery with the Rev. Mark Pridgen officiating. 

The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sossoman Funeral Home.

Samuel Davis 

MORGANTON — Samuel "Sam" Hamilton Davis, 75, of 108 Alwran St., died Thursday, Nov. 29, 2001, at Britthaven of Morganton after an extended illness. 

Born Jan. 27, 1926, in Burke County, he was the son of the late Hamilton "Hamp" Davis and Sarah Scott Davis. 

He was a retired employee of Great Lakes Carbon. He was a member of Green Street Presbyterian Church, USA, and a former member of Mission AME Church. Mr. Davis worked in sales for Bowers-Greene Oldsmobile/Dodge and Steve White and Gray's Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: his brothers, J. P. Davis, Carol Davis, Nelson Davis and H. Eddie Davis; and a sister, Maxine D. Caldwell. 

Survivors include: his wife, Katherine Johnson Davis of Morganton; a brother, David Scott and his wife, Vernice, of Ellenwood, Ga.; a sister, Shirley Davis of Charlotte; an aunt, Catherine Scott of Morganton, and a host of nephews, nieces and a circle of relatives and friends. 

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today at Fleming Memorial Chapel with the Rev. W.F. McIntosh Jr. officiating. Burial will be in Mission AME Church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 12:55 p.m. today at Ebony Funeral Services, Fleming Memorial Chapel. 

Ebony Funeral Services of Morganton is assisting the Davis family. 
 

Howard A. Saunders 

MORGANTON — Howard Alexander Saunders, 85, of Pax Hill Road, died Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001, at Grace Hospital after a period of declining health. 

Born June 16, 1916, in Burke County, he was the son of the late Frank P. and Della Lowery Saunders. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, Tony Max Saunders in 1959 and Harvey Dean Saunders in 1995. Mr. Saunders had retired from Drexel Heritage Furniture Co. with 33 years of service and had been a very active and faithful member of Bethel Baptist Church, where he was a deacon and a member of the Adult IV Sunday school class. He is survived by: his wife, Grace Cannon Saunders of the home; daughter-in-Iaw, Rebecca B. Saunders of Greensboro; two sisters, Ruby Hudson, Ruth McNeely and her husband, Bill, all of Morganton, and a grandson, Reuben D. Saunders of Ithaca, N.Y. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Kirksey Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Burton Wilbur officiating. Burial will follow at the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at Kirksey Funeral Home in Morganton. Memorials in Mr. Saunders' memory may be made to the Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 3851 Pax Hill Road, Morganton, N.C. 28655. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to Burkemont Baptist Church Building Fund, 4668 Burkemont Road, Morganton, N.C. 28655. Kirksey Funeral Home of Morganton is assisting the Saunders family. 
 

Lottie Lail Brittain 

CONNELLY SPRINGS — Lottie Lail Brittain, 57, died Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001, at Grace Hospital after a period of declining health. Mrs. Brittain was born Feb. 19, 1944, in Cleveland County to Thelma Lowman Lail of Morganton and the late Jack Lail. 

She was a member of St. John's Baptist Church and was retired from Catawba Valley Community College as an accountant. Surviving, in addition to her mother, are: her husband, Jimmy Brittain of the home; a son, Mathew Brittain of the home; daughters, Karen Brittain of Chapel Hill and Amy B. Martin and her husband, Tony, of George Hildebrand; a sister, Shirley Brittain of George Hildebrand and a grandson, Hunter Martin, of George Hildebrand. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. John's Baptist Church with the Rev. Johnny Johnson officiating. Interment will follow in the St. John's Baptist Church cemetery. 

The family will receive friends from 7 until 8:30 p.m. today at Heritage Funeral Service, Valdese. 

Memorials may be made to St. John's Baptist Church, St. John's Avenue, Connelly Springs, N.C. 28612 or Hospice of Burke County, P.O. Box 1029, Valdese, N.C. 28690. 

Heritage Funeral Service, Valdese, is assisting the Brittain family. 
 

Frank Townsend 

VALDESE — Frank M. Townsend, 82, of Tom Deal Avenue, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2001, at Grace Hospital in Morganton. 

The family will receive friends from 7 until 8:30 p.m. today at Kirksey Funeral Home in Valdese. Other arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Family Funeral Care Kirksey Chapel of Valdese at a later time. 
 

Mary Ella Eaker 

CHERRYVILLE — Mary Ella Self Eaker, 89, of 557 Old Fallston Road, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2001, at Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby. 

Survivors include a daughter, Shirley and Ray Buff of Valdese. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bethlehem United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today at Carpenter's Funeral Home, 1100 E. Main St., Cherryville.


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