Obituaries for Dec. 13, 2017

Spruce Pine

Randy Cole

Randy Cole, 60, of Galax Trail, Spruce Pine, gathered hands with his Savior Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at his home.

Born July 13, 1957, in Buncombe County, he was the son of the late Glen and Donnie Hensley Cole. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Harlon Cole.

Randy was a member of The Bridge Church in Spruce Pine. He loved the Lord and his family. He will be remembered for his love of fishing, hunting and playing the guitar. He also enjoyed being by a river and loved the beach.

Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Angie D. Cole, of Spruce Pine; his daughters, Stephanie Cole Fleming and husband, James of Mars Hill and Natalie Cole of Mars Hill; his stepchildren; Camden Oaks of Spruce Pine and Chelsea Reagan, of Hendersonville; his granddaughter, Taylor Cole, of Mars Hill; his sisters, Ava Norton, of Mars Hill, and Edna Messer and husband, Thad, of Canton; and his brother, Melvin Cole and wife, Mafre, of Leicester.

The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence at the memorial service honoring the life of Randy Cole at noon Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, at the Bridge Church of WNC in Spruce Pine with Pastor Tom Anglin and Pastor Keith Dockins officiating. A time to support the family, share memories and receive friends 11 a.m. until time of service Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

The family would like to extend a special “thank you” to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge and to Cancer Care of W.N.C. for their wonderful care of Randy.

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


Tipton Hill

Sherrill Griffith

Sherrill Griffith, 75, of Tipton Hill, entered his Heavenly Home Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at Mission Hospital. A native of Tipton Hill, he was a son of the late Garfa and Edythe Harrell Griffith. He was also preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Gail Griffith.

Sherrill attended Brummetts Creek Brethren Church. He enjoyed farming and telling tall tales to his grandchildren. He adored his family and was very devoted to them, along with his friends and community. He will be remembered as an excellent husband, father and grandfather.

Surviving is his loving wife of 55 years, Patsy Hopson Griffith; daughter, Robin Griffith, of Tipton Hill; son, Randy Griffith and wife, Lisa, of Tipton Hill; sister, Ann Butler and husband, Howard, of Buladean; brother, Scott Griffith, of Tipton Hill; grandchildren, Brandie Griffith and boyfriend, Dillan, of Mars Hill, Blake Griffith and girlfriend, Rachel, of Burnsville, and Ethan Harris, of Bakersville; great-granddaughter, Kinlee, of Mars Hill; and several nephews.

Funeral services were 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, in the Chapel of Yancey Funeral Services. The Rev. Ronald Thomas and the Rev. Jerry Shelton officiated. Burial followed in the Griffith Tipton Cemetery. The family received friends from 1-2 p.m. prior to the services at the funeral home. Visit to send online condolences.



Wilma Louise Ward McKinney

Wilma Louise Ward McKinney, 82 of Cane Creek Road, Bakersville, precious mother, grandmother and great-grandmother went home to be with her Lord Dec. 5, 2017. She was the daughter of the late Ernie and Lila Ward and a native of Mitchell County. She was a longtime, faithful member of Grace Baptist Church where she enjoyed praising the Lord, listening to Gospel singing and good preaching. She was a homemaker who lovingly raised five daughters with her beloved husband, Bob.

Survivors include Patty Presnell and husband, Sam, of Bakersville, Cathy Craigo and husband, Bill, of Bakersville, Diane Miller and husband, Johnny, of Spruce Pine, Debbi Slagle and husband, Mike, of Spruce Pine, and Cindi Renfro and husband, Martin, of Green Mountain; four brothers, Bruce and Sherrill Ward, of Bakersville, and Kenneth and Richard Ward, of Spruce Pine; five grandchildren, Crystal Young and husband, Aaron, Ashley Phillips and husband Dillon, Chris Craigo, Michaela Slagle and Ethan Renfro; and five great-grandchildren, Owen, Craig and Miles Young, and Jesse and Isaac Phillips.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 54 years, Robert “Bob” McKinney, and her infant brother, George Ward.

The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Hospice of The Blue Ridge, CAP and Carolina Home Care ladies who took such wonderful care of their sweet mother.

Funeral services were 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, at Grace Baptist Church on Highway 261 with Ronnie Gouge and Randy Wise officiating. The family received friends one hour prior to the service. Interment followed the service at Cane Creek Cemetery No. 2.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

Henline-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the McKinney Family.


Spruce Pine

Bill Proffitt

Bill Proffitt, 88, of Spruce Pine, went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at his home. A native of Watauga County, he was a son of the late Charles and Thelma Osborne Proffitt. He was also preceded in death by one sister and five brothers. He attended Central Baptist Church.

Bill graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy at Chapel Hill in 1957 and worked as a pharmacist at Spruce Pine Pharmacy for 51 years. He loved his profession and the people he served. He was also an antique automobile enthusiast.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Joyce Minton Proffitt; children, Jeff Proffitt, of Spruce Pine, Lynne P. Deyton and husband, Mike, of Burnsville, and Jon E. Proffitt, of Linville Falls; sister, Susie Wheeler, of Mountain City, Tennessee; and a brother, Jim Proffitt, of Olar, South Carolina. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

There will be a private service.

Rather than food or flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777. Visit to send online condolences.



Garry Boone

Garry Boone, 53, of Lenoir, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2017. Funeral services were Friday, Dec. 8, in the Chapel of Yancey Funeral Services. The Rev. Jacob Willis officiated. Burial followed in the Gurley Cemetery. The family requests memorial donations are made to Yancey Funeral Services, 378 Charlie Brown Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 to help with expenses. Visit to send online condolences.



Norma Silver Fox Ledbetter

Norma Silver Fox Ledbetter, 75, of Weaverville, formerly of Marion, died Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. A service of remembrance and celebration of her life was Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in the chapel of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion. Burial followed in the McDowell Memorial Park. An online register is available at



Phillip Ray Greene

Phillip Ray Greene, 83, of Marion, died Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. Currently, there are no services planned. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Tri-County Christian School, 207 Pinebridge Ave., Spruce Pine, NC 28777 and CarePartners Hospice of McDowell, 575 Airport Road, Marion, NC 28752. Westmoreland Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. An online register is available at


The MItchell News

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