Obituaries: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017


Barbara Kate Conley

Barbara Kate Conley, 88, of Bakersville, passed away Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, at her home surrounded by her family. She was the daughter of the late Angus and Blanche Robinson Masters.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Robert Conley; brothers, Harold Masters, Angus Masters Jr. and Gene Masters; sisters, Sarah Huffman and Maudeline Masters; a special son-in-law, Brian Peterson; and grandson, Brandon Peterson.

Barbara was a member of the Vians Valley Presbyterian Church. She and her husband owned Masters Fabric Shop in Loafers Glory and she loved to sew, make quilts and she adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Barbara is survived by her daughters, Sue Brady and husband, Rickie, and Becky Peterson, of Bakersville; sons, Robert Conley Jr. and wife, Libby, of Marion, and Ricky Conley, of Johnson City, Tennessee; brother, Dean Masters and wife, Margaret, of Bakersville; grandchildren, Tommy Conley, Beth Rhinecker, Justin Conley, Megan Greene, Blake Peterson, Cody Byrd, Jessica Conley and Ridge Conley; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in the chapel of Henline-Hughes Funeral Home with the Revs. Bill Whiteside and Neil Payne officiating. Burial followed in the Bowditch Cemetery. The family received friends from 12:30-2 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

Henline-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the Conley Family.



Sara June Garland Horst Fuhr

Sara June Garland Horst Fuhr, 91 of Maryville, Tennessee, passed away Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. She was a 62-year member of New Providence Presbyterian Church, was a delegate to the General Assembly and was in leadership positions with the women’s groups. She served three terms as an elder on the Church Session and worked as a board member at Overlook Mental Health in Knoxville. She attended Montreat College, Maryville College and received her master’s degree at U.T. She was preceded in death by her first husband of 20 years, the Rev. A. Thomas Horst, and after his death was a widow for 12 years before she married another Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Tom Fuhr for 25 years; parents, Charles Garland and Pansy Herrell; and stepmother, Mary Garland.

Survivors include her children, Gail and David Romer, and Dale and Teresa Horst; grandchildren, Tommy and Jessica Horst and Tiffany Horst; and great-grandchildren, Presley Horst and Lincoln Horst.

A private interment will be at Grandview Cemetery.

The family received friends from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the atrium of New Providence Presbyterian Church followed by a memorial service at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary with the Rev. Steve Musick officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Maryville College, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804 or to New Providence Presbyterian Church, 703 W. Broadway Ave., Maryville, TN 37801.

McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home in Maryville is in charge of arrangements.



Helen Ada Greenlee Haberneck

Helen Ada Greenlee Haberneck, 95, of Dale Road, Spruce Pine, died Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at the Rose Hill Retirement Community in Marion.

Born on April 7, 1922, in Mitchell County, she was the fourth daughter of the late Thomas Samuel and Amelia Meares Greenlee. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William Haberneck Sr.; an infant daughter, Susan Marie Haberneck; and sisters, Elvira Bryant, Jane Robinson and Rebecca Boyd.

Helen attended Harris High School and graduated in 1938 as salutatorian of her class. She attended Western Carolina Teachers College for two years and transferred to Duke University School of Nursing. She graduated in 1943 from Duke with honors (one of three). She worked for two years as an operating room nurse at Charlotte Memorial Hospital. When World War II ended, she was married to Lt. William V. Haberneck, of Caledenia, New York. They moved to Oak Field, New York, where she worked at the hospital in Medina for two years. After moving back to Spruce Pine, she worked for 10 years at the Spruce Pine Community Hospital. She then worked as an office nurse for Dr. David Phillips for 17 years. Helen was a member of the Grassy Creek Presbyterian Church and served as first woman elder of the church. She also served as secretary and treasurer of the women of the church for many years.

Left to cherish her memories are her son, William Haberneck and his wife, Laura, of Spruce Pine; granddaughters, Myra Strebe and her husband, Paul, of Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, Erin Halpainy and husband, Jaik, of Cornelius; and a sister, Elizabeth Davenport, of Spruce Pine.

A memorial service honoring the life of Helen Haberneck was 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at the Grassy Creek Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Jim Taylor officiating. A time to support the family, share memories and receive friends was 5:30 p.m. until time of service Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at the church.

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



Lawrence Bill McMahan

Lawrence Bill McMahan, of Bakersville, went home to heaven Nov. 25, 2017, four days after his 86th birthday. The last months of life he was cared for in his home by daughter, Pamela Almanzar, with the assistance of Hospice of the Blue Ridge. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Rev. Bis and Bertha McMahan, of Micaville. In addition to his parents, Lawrence is preceded in death by his wife, Madge Duncan McMahan; son, Scott McMahan; daughter, Rita McMahan; sisters, Lydia McMahan, Ola Young, Dollie Martin, Gladys Saylor, Betty Ann Cassingham and Glenna Randall; and brothers, Paul McMahan, Silas McMahan, Charlie McMahan and Walter McMahan.

Lawrence was the eighth of 13 children. At age 21 he met and married the love of his life, Madge Duncan, and they were wed 59 years. From his childhood, he was a member of Claymound Baptist Church in Yancey County where he faithfully served as a deacon and teacher. He often would assist with plays and programs reciting chapters of scripture, poems or monologues. Some services Lawrence played his Gibson guitar and he and Madge sang to the glory of God. He served the Lord well.

He loved his church and family well, but most of all Lawrence loved Christ. If you knew Lawrence you would know about Jesus. He believed and committed God’s word to memory, “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed,” 2 Timothy 2:15. His exuberant personality would not only display this, but his heart lived it daily.

Seldom seen without a smile on his face and a song in his heart, a conversation came easy and he never met a stranger. In his humble and gentle spirit, he gave advice, encouragement and offered forgiveness. Lawrence also had a great sense of humor. All who knew Lawrence loved him. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather and friend. In his later years, you could find him at the Mitchell County Senior Center where he enjoyed Bible Study and shooting pool with his buddies.

A true lover of God’s creation and beauty, Lawrence was an outdoorsman spending many hours walking the hills and mountains. His love for wildlife, plants and flowers was evidenced by the yard he landscaped. With skillful hands, this carpenter and fix-it man constructed more than a dozen houses, and completed countless building projects for family and friends.

His heritage continues through his children and their families, daughter, Pamela Almanzar, of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; grandchildren, Kelly Cross and her husband, Brandon, of Carthage, New York, Jason Hughes, of Johnson City, Tennessee, Misty Bates and her husband, Harvey, of Spruce Pine, and Eric McMahan, of Spruce Pine; great-grandchildren, Noah Cross, Mariah Caldwell and her husband, Marcus, Tyler Hughes, Amaya Hughes, Hezekiah Hughes, Carrie Bates, Justin Bates and Dalton McMahan. Also surviving are his brother, Claude McMahan, of Burnsville, and a sister, Violet Buchanan, and her husband, Donald, of Spruce Pine; as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to recognize all the family and friends who loved and supported Lawrence throughout his life and especially in these last months when visits and phone calls meant so much. A special thank-you to Hospice of the Blue Ridge.

Funeral services were 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Bear Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville. Pastor Daniel Whetstine and Pastor Bruce Cannon officiated. Burial followed at Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family requests memorials are made to Hospice of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Dr., Spruce Pine, NC, 28777, in memory of Lawrence. Condolences may be made to the family at



Constance Rae Thatcher

Constance Rae Thatcher, 83, of Northport, Michigan, passed away Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at home surrounded by dear friends and her loving family.

Connie was born April 21, 1934, in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of William Nace Damsel and Gertrude (Carpenter) Damsel. On Dec. 4, 1954, in Columbus she married James Arthur Thatcher.

As a young lady, Connie sang professionally in a women’s barbershop group called “The Barberettes” and was the opening act for noted comedian Jonathan Winters. Connie had a lifelong love of singing: she sang in church choirs, was a member of Northport’s Village Voices and was always involved with singing no matter where she resided.

Connie was a fantastic cook, whether it be wild game, breads, pies, prime rib, Thanksgiving or Sunday dinners. Her culinary skills were featured on Mort Neff’s Michigan Outdoors television show, for which she won the 1965 trophy with her “Beaver par Excellence” dish.

She was an avid fan of Ohio State University sports. Connie wintered for the last 30 years in the American Southwest and fell in love with Native American art and culture and used those influences in her crafts.

Connie is survived by her four sons, William A. Thatcher, Jon W. Thatcher, James T. (Deb) Thatcher and Joseph D. (Laura Kalchik) Thatcher; two sisters, Sharon Hall and Lillian (Charles) Bethel; and five grandchildren, Samantha, Hannah, Lucas, Jacob and Meredith.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband of 58 years, James.

A memorial service was 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, at the Trinity Church of the United Church of Christ in Northport.

Memorials may be directed to Trinity United Church of Christ, P.O. Box 156, Northport, MI 49670 and The Leelanau County Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 235, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653.

Share memories and condolences with Connie’s family at

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.



Ola Nora McMahan Young

Ola Nora McMahan Young, 102, of Micaville, passed away Nov. 24, 2017, at her home. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Rev. Bis and Bertha Carroll McMahan and granddaughter of the late Judge Bis Ray, of Burnsville, as well as the late Samuel D. Carroll, of Bowditch. Welcoming her into heaven also are her husband of 65 years, Douglas Young, who passed away in 2001; sisters, Lydia McMahan, Dollie Martin, Gladys Saylor, Betty Ann Cassingham and Glenna Randall; brothers, Paul McMahan, Silas McMahan, Charlie McMahan, Lawrence McMahan and Walter McMahan; and a son-in-law, Robert Danforth. Ola was the oldest of 13 siblings and was always concerned for her siblings’ well-being and felt a responsibility to watch over them, as their mother had passed away at a young age. Ola was a graduate of Micaville High School Class of 1936. She graduated with honors and received scholarships to two different colleges, but due to circumstances at the time, was unable to attend. She also later graduated from Hinshaw Beauty College of North Wilkesboro in 1941. She owned and operated her own beauty shop in Marion and in Cincinnati, Ohio. Because of her determination to go to college, she entered Bible College in 1972 and graduated with honors five years later, making the dean’s list at the age of 62. She majored in theology because of her love for the Word of God. After graduation, she taught the Bible in various churches and in a Christian School in Cincinnati.

Ola and Doug moved back to NC in 1989. They were active in their church. Doug loved to sing and play his guitar and Ola taught Sunday School and Bible School, leading various programs and activities. Ola was a very creative person and wrote many poems and church plays and programs.

Working in her garden was the joy of her life. She loved working with her flowers and canning the vegetables out of their garden. Ola also sewed and created many beautiful quilts and other sewing projects. Her memory was sharp and she was quick to remember poems even from childhood. Ola loved animals and all of God’s creations so much she was always taking in strays and nursing them back to health. She was a member of the Yancey County Humane Society. Ola was a very energetic person and had a wonderful sense of humor and she will be so missed. We love you, mom, and will miss you terribly.

Left to cherish Ola’s memory are her daughters, Carolyn Danforth, of Bakersville, and Jacqueline Singer and her husband, Jerry, of Charleston, South Carolina; siblings, Claude McMahan, of Burnsville, and Violet Buchanan and her husband, Don, of Spruce Pine; grandchildren, David Danforth and his wife, Susan, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dianna Bowman and her husband, Henry, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jennifer Glendening and her husband, Kent, of Charleston, South Carolina, and Jeffrey Singer, and his wife, Sharon, of Hockessin, Delaware; 11 great-grandchildren; and two great great-grandchildren. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Chapel of Yancey Funeral Service. The Rev. John Hall of Micaville Presbyterian Church will officiate. Burial will follow at McMahan Cemetery at Double Island. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ola’s memory to Yancey County Humane Society, 962 Cane River School Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 or to Micaville Presbyterian Church, 587 Micaville Loop, Micaville, NC 28755. Condolences may be made to the family at

The MItchell News

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