Melba Duncan Abernathy

Melba Duncan Abernathy, 86, of the Ledger Community, went home to be with the Lord Friday, March 16, 2018, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. She was the daughter of the late Earl and Margie Willis Duncan; and the wife of Pat Abernathy. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Peggy Peters; sisters, Mae Willis, Ruby Gouge, Joan Blevins and Sue Wilson; and brothers, Will, Gray, Scott, Phil, Wade and Bobby Dean Duncan.

Elden Monroe Cooke Sr.

Elden Monroe Cooke Sr., 85, of Staggerweed Road, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord March 5, 2018. He was a native of Mitchell County and a son of the late Tulsa and Mae Hopson Cooke. He was a veteran of the United States Navy where he obtained the rank of Chief Petty Officer and retired as an educator with the North Carolina School System in Western North Carolina.

Virginia ‘Jenny’ Cook

SPRUCE PINE – Virginia “Jenny” Cook, 75, of Biggerstaff Road, Spruce Pine, died Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine.

Martha Burleson Benfield

Martha Burleson Benfield, 81, of the Pyatte Community, went home to be with the Lord Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Johnson City Medical Center.

A native of Avery County, she was a daughter of the late Coleman and Bonnie Vance Burleson and the wife of Clay Benfield, who passed away in 2010.

Lennie McKinney Greer

July 3, 1935 — Feb. 17, 2018

SPRUCE PINE – Lennie McKinney Greer, 92, of Spruce Pine, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at her home.

Mrs. Greer was born July 13, 1925, in Mitchell County, to the late Charlie G. McKinney and Ella Navy McKinney. She was the former owner of the Skyline Hotel in Spruce Pine for 30-plus years. She enjoyed tending to her flowers and birds.

Samuel McDowell Steele Jr.

March 16, 1939 — Feb. 2, 2018


NEWLAND – Samuel McDowell Steele Jr., M.D., was born March 16, 1939, to Maxine Meek Steele and Samuel McDowell Steele at their home in Osawatomie, Kansas. He passed away Feb. 2, 2018, at his home in Newland.

Bernice Silver Howell

Bernice Silver Howell, 97, of Cleve Silver Road, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Jan. 30, 2018. A native of Mitchell County, she was a daughter of the late Cleve and Mamie Buchanan Silver. She was retired from Ellen Knitting Company. Bernice was a lifelong member of Silver Chapel Baptist Church where she was a dedicated servant of the church for many years. She loved gardening, and cooking for and taking care of her family and friends.

Elizabeth Edith Ollis Crowder

Doris Perkins Storie

Nov. 23, 1941 – Jan. 16, 2018


Doris Perkins Storie, 76, of Storie Road, Boone, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, at her home.

Doris was born Nov. 23, 1941, in Mitchell County, a daughter of the late George and Zeola Hughes Perkins. She was an owner and operator of Bamboo Landscaping and a member of Deerfield United Methodist Church.

Howard Silver


Dec. 27, 1922 – Dec. 5, 2017

Howard Silver, 94, of Cleve Silvers Road, in Bakersville’s Bandana community, died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, at his home.

Born Dec. 27, 1922, in Mitchell County, he was the son of the late Cleve and Mamie Buchanan Silver. His brothers, Lucian, Charles, Ray, Claude and Brown Silver; and his sisters, Revia Buchanan and Kate Byrd; as well as his wife of 64 years, JoAnn Buchanan Silver, preceded him in death.

Charles D. Hoffecker Jr.


Nov. 17, 1926 — Dec. 20, 2017

Charles D. Hoffecker Jr., of Concord, passed away Dec. 20, 2017. He was born Nov. 17, 1926, in Norfolk, Virginia, and was the son of the late Charles D. Hoffecker and Mary Simmonds Hoffecker. He graduated from Porter Military Academy, Charleston, South Carolina, in 1944 and the Citadel in 1951 after serving in the Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Army.

Robert Vincent Tomaselli


Robert Vincent Tomaselli, of the Altapass Community, Spruce Pine, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation in Spruce Pine. He was 88 years of age.

Robert was born to Anthony and Bertha Tomaselli. Anthony had immigrated to the United States in 1917. He was proud of his rich Italian heritage.

William (Bill) John Cook Jr.

Feb. 14, 1932 – Dec. 20, 2017

William (Bill) John Cook Jr. passed away Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the age of 85. Bill was born Feb. 14, 1932, to the late William Cook Sr. and Edwidge Cook of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.

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.


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.


The MItchell News

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