Obituaries: Sept. 13, 2017

Spruce Pine

Ben Bonner

July 11, 2000 — Sept. 5, 2017


Ben Bonner, 17, of Thomas Road, Spruce Pine, died Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, at the Memorial Campus of Mission Hospitals in Asheville.

Born July 11, 2000, in Catawba County, he was the son of Randy and Michelle Bonner. He was a member of the Western Carolina Church in Spruce Pine and a senior at Mitchell High School.

Ben loved life and he enjoyed school, his friends, his family, and, most importantly, serving others. He loved fishing and riding his dirt bike; and had a smile that was contagious. He loved being the kicker for the Mitchell Mountaineer football team. As a sophomore in 2015, he made 70 of 84 extra points and kicked the game-winning field goal to lift the Mountaineers to victory in the third round of the state playoffs.

Left to cherish his memories are his parents, Randy and Michelle Bonner, of Spruce Pine; his brother, Caleb A. Bonner, of Cullowhee; his sister, Priscilla M. Bonner, of Asheville; his maternal grandparents, Willis R. and Nora P. Bonner; and his paternal grandparents; Victor and Faye Bonner.

A funeral service honoring the life of Ben Bonner was noon Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at the Mitchell High School gym with the Revs. Craig Bodiford, Paul Blair and Billy Abrams officiating. Private graveside services and interment were in the Spruce Pine Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in Ben’s honor to: Student Support Fund in care of United Community Bank in Spruce Pine. This local funding supports food, shoes, clothing, hygiene supplies, school supplies and assistance with college applications for local students.

Words of comfort may be emailed to the family by going to, selecting Ben Bonner’s name and signing his guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine is assisting the Bonner family. Ben’s obituary has also been posted on Facebook.




Ken Sullins

Ken Sullins, of Monroe, Georgia, formerly of Spruce Pine, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, Sept. 6, 2017.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Sullins and Lillie Sullins, and an infant daughter, Cindy Sullins.

Ken retired in June from Honeywell Corporation as an electrical design engineer. He was a veteran of the Marine Corps and served two tours in Vietnam.

He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years, Peggy Gentry Sullins; children, Chris (Mary), of Marietta, Georgia, Bo Langham (Sarah), of Rincon, Georgia, Meg Weldon (Ben), of Monroe, Georgia, Amanda Halter (Ryan), of Charlotte, and Joshua Sullins, of Monroe, Georgia. He is also survived by his stepmother, Joanne Sullins, of Spruce Pine; brothers, Ray Sullins (Karon), of LaPorte, Texas, Warren Sullins, of Kemah, Texas, Richard Sullins, of Raleigh, Gerald Sullins (Michelle), of Asheville; sisters, Beverly Acuff (James) and Nan Sullins, of Spruce Pine; and eight grandchildren.

Services will be Friday, Sept. 15, at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Monroe, Georgia.



Gerald ‘Jerry’ Wilson

Gerald “Jerry” Wilson, surrounded by family and friends Saturday, Sept. 2, at Watauga Medical Center, joined our Heavenly Father after a long career of service and blessed life.

Born to the late Ray and Delora Wilson, of Bakersville, Jerry was the middle child of three. He graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He then earned his law degree from Wake Forest University in 1975 and remained a proud alumnus.

After law school, Jerry studied with attorney Garrett Dixon “Dick” Bailey, his mentor in Burnsville, before going into private practice with John Peterson in Bakersville. Jerry served as the Mitchell County attorney prior to being sworn in as Assistant District Attorney in 1983. Jerry was sworn in as District Attorney for the 24th Judicial District Jan. 1, 2003. He was a member of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys for more than three decades. Jerry proudly served the people of Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties for 32 years until his retirement in 2014.

When not in the courtroom, Jerry was an avid fisherman and spent many early mornings on the Elk River pursuing his passion. He also loved deep-sea fishing, spent hours reading, tinkering and listening to his vast collection of vinyl records. In retirement, he could be found at play with his beloved dogs, Sophie and Mandy.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 30 years, Karen Edwards Wilson; brother, Jim Wilson (Patsy), of Spruce Pine; sister, Judy McKinney (Kent), of Gray, Tennessee; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of Jerry’s life was at the Boone United Methodist Church Thursday, Sept. 7th. Officiating was Pastor Laura Beach Byrch followed by Austin Eggers.

The family received friends from 4-6 p.m., with services immediately following.

In addition to flowers, remembrances are encouraged to the charity of one’s choice or the Watauga Humane Society.

Online condolences may be sent to the Wilson family at

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service in Boone is in charge of the arrangements.




Kenneth Wise

July 30, 1959 — Sept. 8, 2017


Kenneth Wise, 58, of Marion, passed away Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at the John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center in Asheville. A native of Avery County, he was born July 30, 1959, he was the son of the late Frank and Gladys Dellinger Wise.

A man who loved his family and God, Kenneth enjoyed working with wood and doing carpentry work. For more than 20 years, Mr. Wise proudly served his community with the Woodlawn-Sevier Volunteer Fire Department. He attended Hicks Chapel Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah C. Wise; two sons, Shane Crawford (Katie), of Marion, Brandon Crawford (Lisa), of King Bay, Georgia, and Jennifer Wise, of Spruce Pine; one brother, Frank Wise Sr. (Sue); four sisters, Louise Yelton (Alvin), Lois Frye (Thomas), Lou Ann Elliott (Ricky) and Doris Freeman; eight grandchildren, Tyler, Ethan, Conner, Carter, Brandon, Jenesis, Sebastian and Emma Reese; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family received friends from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, at Beam Funeral Service in Marion.

A funeral service was 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, at Hicks Chapel Baptist Church with Pastor Chad Wise officiating. Interment followed at North Cove Baptist Church Cemetery.

Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Wise’s memory are asked to consider CarePartners Hospice & Palliative Care-McDowell, 68 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803 ( and/or John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center, Asheville, NC 28803.

Beam Funeral Service is assisting the Wise family. To sign the online guestbook or for more information, visit or call 828-559-8111.


Andrew Williams Arthurs

Andrew William Arthurs, 54, of Kissimmee, Florida, died Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. You may share your own special thoughts and memories by visiting

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616