Obituaries

CANE CREEK -- Arthur Ray Ledford, 75, of the Cane Creek Community, passed away Sunday, May 22, 2016 at his home. He was the son of the late Grover and Azaline Buchanan Ledford and the husband of the late Diane Lyman Ledford, who passed away in 2014. Arthur retired from the Mitchell County Clerk of Court and was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church. He also loved to hunt and travel. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his sister, Grace DeGroat, and a niece, Brenda Blalock. 

MORGANTON -- Mrs. Meredith Juanita Bradley Rathbone, 81, of Morganton, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Friday, May 20, 2016.  Born in Marion Aug. 10, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Clifford Bradley and Gertrude Murphy. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Clarence Bradley.

TEXAS -- The Rev. Bill Buchanan (Bro. Bill) passed away May 19, 2016, at the Longview Regional Medical Center in Texas resulting from complications from a fall at home April 18, 2016.

He was born Nov. 7, 1933, in Spruce Pine, to Fred and Etta (Day) Buchanan. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife and the love of his life, Mable (Robinson), in 2002; his brothers, Frank and Lee; and two dear sisters-in-law, Pearl and Ella. 

Virgil Ray Boozer, 92, of Spruce Pine, passed away on Friday, May 13, 2016, in the Brian Center. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and was the son of the late Vernon and Daisy Young Boozer and the husband of the late Vernelle Porter Boozer, who passed away in 2008. He was also preceded in death by his son, Thomas Bradley Boozer; and sisters, Vanessa Zaro and Josephine Johnson.

Sherrill Roger Byrd, 75, of Highway 19E, Spruce Pine, passed away May 4, 2016, at his home. He was a native of Mitchell County and a son of the late Marshall Lee and Mae Greene Byrd. He was a member of Estatoe Church of God and was a retired truck driver for Dwayne Ledford Trucking. 

Grover C. Conley Jr. (Johnny) died peacefully at his home in Spruce Pine May 1, 2016. Johnny was born in Penland as the first son to Grover C. Conley Sr. and Emma Young Conley on Oct. 27, 1924. 

Allen Vinson Greene, 64, of Spruce Pine, entered his heavenly home Monday, May 9, 2016, at his home after an extended illness. 

He was born in Mitchell County and was a life-long resident. Allen served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era and was very proud to have served his country. He had worked at Baxters, U.S. Gypsum and retired from the Unimin Corporation.  

Gloria Jean Hembree, 81, of Bakersville, passed away April 29, 2016. She was a native of Ottawa, Illinois, and the daughter of the late Frank and Nellie Monterastelli. 

Gloria was a homemaker and a member of Moose Lodge No. 1959 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She was also a volunteer for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts youth programs and enjoyed volunteering in the community where she lived.

Martin Dale Hughes, 51, of Tempie Mountain Road, Spruce Pine, died Monday, May 9, 2016, at the St. Joseph’s campus of Mission hospitals in Asheville.

Born July 13, 1964 in Mitchell County, he was the son of Wilma Hughes Boone and the late Bobby Hughes. 

In addition to his father, his paternal grandparents, Lynn and Addie Hughes; and his maternal grandparents, Carl and Nettie Buchanan, preceded him in death.

Nola Hughes, 84, of Ned Hughes Road, Spruce Pine, in the Estatoe community, died Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at the Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Born April 3, 1932 in Avery County, she was the daughter of the late Zeb and Minnie Hughes.  In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Emil “Jake” Hughes, who passed away in 1998.  She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Jessie McGee and Edith Hinkle; and three brothers, Ira, Herman and Vinson Hughes.  

Lace Stafford, 87, of Stafford Lane, Newland, the Plumtree community, died Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the Johnson City Medical Center. He was the son of the late Claude and Matilda McKinney Stafford. 

He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Rhiannon; four sisters; and seven brothers.

These are the words that Lace wrote for his own obituary he wanted family and friends to know about him:

Ruth H. Lowery, 91, of Feld-spar Street, Spruce Pine, died Saturday, May 7, 2016.

A funeral service took place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at Crabtree Chapel Baptist Church. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Sam John Norman, 80, of Morganton, died Sunday, May 1, 2016. Born in Burke County April 15, 1936, he was the son of the late Samuel Norman and Etta Smith Norman. 

Sam was a lifetime member of Salem United Methodist Church and was a veteran of the North Carolina National Guard.

He was an avid Tar Heel fan, photographer, nature lover, furniture builder, clockmaker and gardener.  

He worked at Knob Creek from its inception, then Ethan Allen and then retired from G&G of Morganton. 

Michael Joe Andrews, 72, of 159 Rabbit Hop Road, Spruce Pine, died Wednesday, April 27, 2016. His work years included shift supervisor at Buckeye Steel Castings from 1961-1973; sales manager for Metropolitan Life 1973-1976; and UPS package car driver from 1976-1991. He was a member of the Elks No. 2522, Inverness, Florida, serving two years as Chaplain, seven years as veterans affairs chairman and one year as district V.A. Chairman.

Olive Louise Bowyer, 97, of  Gulf Breeze, Florida, passed away Monday, April 25, 2016, in The Beacon Assisted Living. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Mattie O’Berry Townsend and the wife of the late Henry Bowyer, who died in 1997. She and her husband were former residents of Bakersville.

She was a homemaker and a member of Bakersville Baptist Church, and also a former member of The Red Hat Club in Bakersville.

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The MItchell News

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