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.

SPRUCE PINE -- Donald Earl Ollis, 57, of Spruce Pine, went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.   

A Funeral service was Friday, Nov. 11, in Chapel of Yancey Funeral Service. Graveside services were Saturday, Nov. 12 in Pine Grove Methodist Church Cemetery.  

Memorial donations may be made to Yancey Funeral Service, at 378 Charlie Brown Road, Burnsville, NC 28714 to help with expenses. To send online condolences, visit  

BAKERSVILLE -- Geneva Stilwell Brewer, 81, of Bakersville, passed away Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, at her home. A native of West Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Tuskco and Sadie Janey Stilwell. Geneva was a member of the Bakersville Baptist Church, Order of the Easter Star, former business manager for the Rhodendron Festival and retired office manager of Bassett Walker Inc. She was a devoted wife, and “Maw” to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she loved dearly.

Philip Ellis was called home to heaven, personally by God and his Momma, to spend eternity on Oct. 29, 2016. He lovingly obliged.  

If you know anything about him, if there was anything you needed or wanted, he would make sure you had it, even if he didn’t have it to give.  There would be a way.  Joyous, loving, full of life and corny jokes – the most faithful man on this earth. Love of his life – Judith Kates Ellis for almost 60 years before her passing.  He was a faithful servant to church, family, country and community.  

BULADEAN -- “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2nd Timothy 4: 7-8.

Lawrence Alvin Hughes, 78, of Buladean, died Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, at his home with his family beside him. He was the son of the late Ernest and Ilo Ledford Hughes, of Buladean. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. 

BAKERSVILLE -- Quince Hughes, 90, of Hamburg Road, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Oct. 30, 2016. He was a native of Avery County and a son of the late Zeb and Minnie Hughes. He was retired from JM Huber Mica Division in Bakersville and was also self-employed in logging and sawmilling. He was a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church and enjoyed church trips and traveling. He also enjoyed country music and spending time at the Mitchell County Senior Center.

ALTAPASS -- Clay William Lusk, 59, of the Altapass Community, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Johnson City Medical Center. A native of Avery County, he was a son of the late Harry and Edna Griffith Lusk. 

Clay loved the outdoors, hiking and fishing. He was an avid reader of science-fiction novels and more recently had a great interest in genealogy.  


The MItchell News

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