CHARLOTTE -- Fred Emerson Smith Jr., 87, died Dec. 5, 2016, at his residence at Aldersgate in Charlotte following the complications of a stroke.  

Fred was born May 14, 1929, in Spruce Pine, to the late Georgia McDaniel Smith and Fred Emerson Smith Sr.  

Fred is survived by his wife of 60 years, Canses Moretz Smith; his daughter, Lauren Smith McCullough and her husband, Joe; and three grandchildren, Kathryn McCullough, Daniel McCullough and his wife, Sara, and Robert McCullough. 

SPRUCE PINE -- John Friel Warren, 87, of Lawson Drive, Spruce Pine, died Dec. 8, 2016, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. He was a member of Liberty Hill Baptist Church. 

A native of Avery County, he was the son of Henry and Dora Hoilman Warren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two infant daughters, Sandra and Suellen; sisters, Jeanette Buchanan and Catherine Johnson; and a brother, Henry Walter Warren.

MORGANTON -- Carver “Pop” Weatherman, 92, of Morganton, passed away Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.  

The family received friends from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center.  The funeral is 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at Walker Road Baptist Church with Dr. Rocky Branch officiating. The body will lie in state at the church from 10:30-11 a.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park with military honors provided by the U.S. Navy and the Caldwell County Veterans Honor Guard.

SPRUCE PINE -- Jessie Love Canipe, 88, of 437 Humpback Mountain Road, Spruce Pine, died Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, at the Mitchell House in Spruce Pine. 

A native of Mitchell County, she was the daughter of the late Robert “Bud” and Effie Ward Love.  In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Carroll E. Canipe; and by her sister, Mary Lee Miller. 

LINVILLE FALLS -- Bobbie Lee Dennie, 83, of Linville Falls, passed away Dec. 9, 2016, at his residence.

A native of Avery County, he was born Dec. 31, 1932, a son of the late Roy Garvel and Emily Dellinger Dennie.

Bobbie went to Clemson College. He worked at American Thread before moving to Charlotte and becoming a supervisor at Barnhardt Manufacturing Company, where he worked for 36 years and in those years missed only one day of work.

He was a member of Pisgah United Methodist Church and enjoyed traveling, gardening and being with his grandchildren.

NEWLAND -- Donald A. Wise, 75, of Henson’s Creek Road, Newland, died Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at his home.

Born July 6, 1941, in Mitchell County, he was the son of the late Aaron and Gladys Childers Wise.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Esther Johnson Wise, who passed away in 2006. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Rachel Biddix.

Donald loved the Lord, his family, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was a self-employed carpenter who enjoyed being outdoors and being in the mountains.

BAKERSVILLE -- Lorraine Lenora Simpson, 89, of Misty Cove Road, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord, Nov. 11, 2016. She had lived in Mitchell County since 2000 and had previously worked at her daughter’s business, Melony’s Restaurant, in Bakersville.

Survivors include children Melony Poppo, of Bakersville, Harry Simpson, of Kerhonkson, New York, Elaine Quick, of Orlando, Florida, Laurie Brooks, of Mount Dora, Florida; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

FORK MOUNTAIN -- Melvin D. Ledford, 85, of the Fork Mountain Community, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

He was the son of the late Rev. Floyd and Maggie Hobson Ledford. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Earnest Ledford.

Melvin was a U.S. Navy veteran, attended Bethlehem Baptist Church and was a member of the Fork Mountain Fire Department. 

He loved making a garden and doing yard work. He had worked for Air Preheater and Bethlehem Steel in Maryland. He was very active up until his death.

BURNSVILLE -- Ruby Deyton, 94, of Burnsville, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at Smoky Ridge Health and Rehabilitation.  

A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Andrew and Carrie Hensley Edwards and the wife of Earl F. Deyton, who died in 1986. She was also preceded in death by sisters, Ruth Riddle and Ethel Pate; and a brother, Phillip Edwards.  

DREXEL -- Paul Blackburn, 85, of Drexel, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. Born in Mitchell County July 25, 1931, he was the son of the late Arthur Blackburn and Dolly Duncan Blackburn.  

Paul was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and was awarded the Korean War Service Medal. He was a member and deacon of Amherst Baptist Church and retired from Great Lakes Carbon. Paul loved gardening and was considered to be the mayor of Poteat Drive in Drexel. Mr. Blackburn was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother who loved his family dearly.

BURNSVILLE -- Betty Jean Greene, of Bolens Creek, Burnsville, went home to be with her Savior Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. 

Betty was born on Oct. 5, 1941, to Troy Guy and Margie Mann Guy in Avery County.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Clifford Vern Greene Sr.; son, Clifford Vern Greene Jr.; daughter, Melissa Jean Ponder; sister, Loy Clawson; brother, Warren Guy; great-grandson, Zaiden Ponder; sisters-in-law, Willis Guy and Patsy Greene Young; as well as her mother-in-law, Alice Woody Greene.

BAKERSVILLE -- Jerry Reid, 55, of Fork Mountain Road, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. He was a native of Mitchell County and a son of the late George and Maggie Benfield Reid.  

He was a member of Spring Creek Missionary Baptist Church and loved to hunt, fish and ride his four-wheeler. He was retired from Coats North American where he worked in supervision. 

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Wade Reid. 

SPRUCE PINE -- Jewel “Jo” Grindstaff Wilson, 90, of Spruce Pine, died Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, at the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation.   

Funeral services were Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at Berry Chapel Baptist Church.  Graveside services were Friday, Nov. 18, in the church cemetery.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the funeral home to help with expenses. To send online condolences, visit  

SPRUCE PINE -- O’Barron Delaney Calhoun, 106 years plus 10 months and 4 days, of Swannanoa, left this world to join all the saints who from their labors rest Nov. 9, 2016, at the Brian Center in Spruce Pine, where he had resided since 2006. He was born Jan. 5, 1910, in Unicoi County, Tennessee, the son of David Alvin and Lottie Riddle Calhoun. He was preceded in death by his parents; by his first wife, Ruth Loven Calhoun; by his brothers, Glen D., Clyde W., Ernest C., Alvin G. and Charles M. Calhoun; and by his sisters, Maggie C. Howell, Myrtle C. Whitson, Emma C. Gehart and Mabel C.

SPRUCE PINE -- Tom Douglas “Doug” Taylor, 78, of Balsam Avenue, Spruce Pine, surrounded by love, he left his earthly body and went into the presence of our Savior Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, at his home.

Born Jan. 8, 1938, in Morgan County, Alabama, he was the son of the late Clayton T. and Lucille Holman Taylor. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Carey Winfred ‘Wimp’ Taylor. 

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Spruce Pine and retired from U.S. Gypsum with 30 years of service.


The MItchell News

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