JOHNSON CITY, TENN. -- Lucy Jewel Greene, 91, of Johnson City, Tennessee, a native of Mitchell County, went home to be with the Lord Feb. 5, 2017, surrounded by her loving family. 

Lucy loved going to church and was faithful to her Apostolic Faith in God. She attended Fork Mountain Holiness Church of The Lord Jesus Christ the majority of her life. She was retired from Baxter Laboratories. She was devoted to her family and friends and was very gifted with gardening, cooking and canning. She so loved her flowers.  

SPRUCE PINE -- Ray Stafford, 80, of Spruce Pine, went to be with the Lord Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born June 27, 1936, in Mitchell County to the late Taylor and Mamie Gurley Stafford. Mr. Stafford was a veteran of the United States Army and a member of Pine Branch Baptist Church. He loved his church and had perfect attendance in Sunday school for 18 years. He enjoyed wildflower photography, collecting cameras and woodworking. He especially enjoyed making clocks.

Eugene “Pop” Lewis Ledford, 91, of Hickory, died Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at Catawba Regional Hospice. A service to celebrate Pop’s life was Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in the Chapel of Henline-Hughes Funeral Home in Bakersville. The Rev. Justin Houser officiated. Burial with military honors followed at Wilson Cemetery in Bakersville. Memorials may be made to Risen Baptist Church Building Fund, 571 Salem Church Road, Lincolnton, NC 28092. Condolences may be sent to the Ledford family at

BAKERSVILLE -- Bill Conley, 79, of Gage Branch Road, Bakersville, died Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Brian Center Health and Rehab.

Born July 1, 1937, in Mitchell County, he was the son of the late Charles and Florence Davis Conley. Bill was retired from the Mitchell County telecommunications department. He also worked as a bus driver and the USDA delivering food to the Mitchell County schools. 

PENLAND -- Edith Irene McKinney Hoyle, 87, of Penland Road, died peacefully surrounded by family and friends on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. 

A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late William Arville and Cleia Amanda McKinney. 

She was also preceded in death by her husband, Walter Andrew Hoyle Sr., who passed away May 14, 2014; a son, David Larry Hoyle; sister, Violet Bradford; and two brothers, John Dallas McKinney and Juan McKinney. 

BAKERSVILLE -- Lora Watson, 55, of Stewart Branch Road, Bakersville, died Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at her home.

Born on July 28, 1961, in Mitchell County, she was the daughter of the late Frank Stewart and Norma McNab Newman. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Joey Stewart, and a sister, Linda Stewart.  

Lora was a member of the Bear Creek Baptist Church. She enjoyed being outdoors, gardening and working with flowers. She loved her grandchildren and spending time with them and also loved camping, fishing and swimming.

Kikuko Sue Hannel, 76, of Penland Road, Spruce Pine, died Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, at her home. A Memorial service was Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at Bear Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. Bruce Cannon officiating. 

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC  28777 or the Tri-County Christian School, 207 Pinebridge Ave., Spruce Pine, N.C. 28777. 

Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine is assisting the Hannel family. Sue’s obituary has also been posted on Facebook.

MECHANICSVILLE, VIRGINIA -- Eula Jean Peterson Shrewsbury, 78, died at home in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. A native of Mitchell County, she was the daughter of the late Josh and Eva McCourry Peterson. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Johnny Shrewsbury; her brothers, Buck, Charles, June, Billy and Clark Peterson; and sister, Emma Lou Laberyie.

ESTATOE -- Gary Dale Smith, 61, of the Estatoe Community, died Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at his home.  

Funeral Services were Monday, Jan. 23, in the Chapel of Yancey Funeral Services.  The Rev. Randy Bonner officiated. A graveside service was Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the Liberty Hill Baptist Church Cemetery.  

To send the Smith family an online condolence, visit  

MARION -- Terry Allen Buchanan, 74, of Marion, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. 

The funeral service was 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine. Receiving of friends was from noon until time of service. Interment followed at the Ledger Cemetery.  

Terry was born Sept. 16, 1942, in Bakersville. He owned and operated “Terry’s Barber Shop” on Lower Street in Spruce Pine. 

Terry married Barbara Buchanan (Mace) on Oct. 21, 1962. They were married for 54 years.

NEWLAND -- Orpha Lee Staton Burleson, 90, of Newland, died Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville.

She was the daughter of the late Mack and Donna Buchanan Staton. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Stewart Staton, and her sister, Archie Mae Staton James. 

Born Jan. 28, 1926, she was a lifelong resident of Avery County and was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Grover Ray Garland, 92, of Johnson City, Tennessee, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. He was a native of Mitchell County and son of the late Jesse and Naomi Masters Garland. He was a member of North Johnson City Baptist Church and was retired as owner of Garland Lumber Company and was also a former employee of Mason Dixon Freight Company in Kingsport, Tennessee.

UNICOI, TENN. Don Hobson, 74, of 5729 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, Tennessee, passed away Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at his home. He was a native of Mitchell County. Mr. Hobson was a son of the late John and Helen Burleson Hobson. He was a U.S. Army Veteran and had served during Vietnam. He was awarded the Good Conduct Metal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. 

GREEN MOUNTAIN -- Elouise Peterson Renfro, 83 of Brummitts Creek Road, Green Mountain, went home to be with the Lord, Jan. 14, 2017, surrounded by her loving family.

She was a native of Mitchell County and a daughter of the late Maynard and Darliskey Peterson. She was a homemaker and attended Brummitts Creek Freewill Baptist Church. She was well known throughout the county for making storybook dolls, quilts and many other crafts. She had a special God-given talent.

SPRUCE PINE -- Beatrice Ann Buchanan Wise, 94, of Biggerstaff Road, Spruce Pine, died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at Autumn Care of Marion.

Born on Feb. 1, 1922, in Avery County, she was the daughter of the late Robert G. and Harriett Matilda Buchanan. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Sam Wise, who passed away in 1999. She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Viola Woody and Celie Wilcox; and her brothers, Addie, Jesse, Ernie and Sammy Buchanan.


The MItchell News

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