Obituaries: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019

Betty Buchanan

Betty Ann Buchanan, formerly of Spruce Pine, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, of natural causes in Martinsville, Virginia.

She is preceded in death by her parents Arthur David Buchanan and Nora Hicks Buchanan.

She is survived by her sisters, Carolyn Riddle, of Candler, Janelle McMahan, of Fayetteville; her two sons, Frank Arthur Young, of Martinsville, Virginia, and Ralph Shawn Young, of Jacksonville, Florida; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

The family request instead of flowers, donations be made to Mountain Valley Hospice, 730 Church St., Suite 13, Martinsville, VA 24112.

A celebration of her life will be in a private family service at a later date.

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019


Jerry Burleson

Jerry Lee Burleson, 79, of Morganton, went to his heavenly home Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, following a battle with Alzheimer’s at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care. Jerry was born Jan. 5, 1940, in Mitchell County to the late Kate Carpenter Burleson and Ernest Burleson. 

He was a member of First Baptist Church of Morganton for more than 40 years, where he served as a Deacon. Jerry enjoyed helping the community through his church by building handicapped-accessible ramps for those in need. He also volunteered his time to assist with hurricane and disaster relief. Jerry loved to play golf, especially with his son and friends. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren. Jerry was co-owner and helped develop Debi’s Uniforms, where he worked with his family for 21 years. Jerry served five years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. He worked as a Clinical III Social Worker at Broughton Hospital for 30 years where he was respected by his patients and his coworkers. He always acted as an advocate for the broken.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Jeremy Burleson; sisters, Ernestine Carpenter and Maxine Silvers; and brother, James Burleson. Survivors include his wife, Debbie Burleson, of the home; sister, Loraine Willis, and husband, Lewis, of Morganton; brother, Phillip Burleson, and wife, Rita, of Icard; daughter-in-law Stacie Burleson, of Morganton; and grandchildren, Sydney Burleson and Hayden Burleson. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews. 

Entombment will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the Columbarium of First Baptist Church in Morganton with the Dr. Tom Bland Jr. officiating and military honors presented by the NC National Guard, followed by a Memorial Service in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church. The family will receive friends following the memorial service. Instead of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601; Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690; or to the Benevolent Fund at First Baptist Church of Morganton, P.O. Box 459 Morganton, NC 28680. 

An online guestbook and obituary are available at Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory is serving the Burleson family.

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019


Dorothy Peterson

Dorothy Bryant Peterson, 83, of Poplar, passed away peacefully Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, at her sister Betty’s residence. She was a lifelong resident of Poplar and a daughter of the late James and Naomi Howell Bryant.

Dorothy worked many years as a Seamstress for Blue Bell. She was a member of Poplar Freewill Baptist Church. Dorothy served as the church custodian and church secretary. She kept the church spotless for years.

Dorothy enjoyed gardening, flowers, cooking, canning and quilting. She grew a beautiful flower garden.

Dorothy was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She was the best mother a son or daughter could ever have.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years, Garfa Peterson, on June 30, 2014; one daughter, Donna Pate Beam; and two brothers, Charlie and Alonzo Bryant.

She leaves behind to cherish her memory, one son, Norman Pate (Katrina), of Erwin, Tennessee; two grandsons, Justin Pate and Daniel Beam; one great-grandson, Cooper Pate; one step-granddaughter, Miranda Thomas; two step-great-grandchildren, Gabriel and Isabella Thomas; five brothers, Richard Bryant (Pat), of Erwin, Douglas Bryant (Carolyn), of Poplar, and Dewey Bryant, Kenneth Bryant (Charlotte) and Wayne Bryant, all of Green Mountain; two sisters, Betty Peterson, of Erwin, and Daphne Phillips, of Garner; and several nieces and nephews, who consider her a very special aunt, also survive.

The family received friends from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, at the Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Roger Hilemon officiated the 7 p.m. funeral service. Music was provided by Inez Chandler. Committal was 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Millers Cemetery in Poplar. The family served as pallbearers. 

Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Peterson family through the interactive Book of Memories at

Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Peterson family.

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019


Carroll Rogers

Carroll Pickens Rogers Jr., a resident of Tryon Estates, 621 Laurel Lake Drive, Columbus, North Carolina, passed away quietly the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. He was 107 years old at the time of his passing. Carroll was born March 30, 1912, in East Flat Rock, to the late Carroll Pickens Rogers Sr. and Susan Erskine Rogers.  

He spent his early years in East Flat Rock and Tryon and graduated from Asheville School in 1929. He was a 1933 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce (now Business Administration) and earned membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. While at Chapel Hill, he was a member of Delta Psi Fraternity (St. Anthony’s Hall) and served as a student manager of the UNC wrestling team.  

After college, Carroll went to work in the mining industry in Western North Carolina. There he met and later married Eleanor Floyd Rogers, of Asheville, on July 24, 1937. They settled first in Burnsville and moved to Spruce Pine in 1950. Over his long life and career, Carroll was a leader, member and supporter of many organizations. He served successively as the vice president and general manager, president and chairman of the board of The Feldspar Corporation in Spruce Pine until his retirement in 1984. Carroll also served on the board of directors of Pacific Tin Consolidated Corporation in New York City, Blue Diamond Coal Company in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Northwestern Bank in North Wilkesboro. He served a term as president of the North Carolina Mining Association and a term on the board of directors for the North Carolina State Minerals Research Lab in Asheville. He was also chairman of the Mitchell County nominating committee of the John Motley Morehead Foundation Scholarship. 

Carroll was a founding member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Spruce Pine, and after moving to Tryon Estates in 1996, became a longtime member of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross. 

Carroll is survived by his sister, Barbara Hope Rogers Metcalf, of Watertown, New York; his son, William Zimmer Rogers (Mary), of Dawsonville, Georgia; and daughters, Eleanor Susan Rogers Campbell (Danny, d.) of Inman, South Carolina, and Margaret Erskine Rogers, DVM, of Columbus, North Carolina; his grandchildren, William Zimmer Rogers Jr. (Catherine), of Dawsonville, Georgia, Major Christopher Talmadge Rogers, USMC, of Twentynine Palms, California, and Nora-Megan Allison Rogers Patterson (Sean) of Cumming, Georgia; and his great-grandchildren, Christopher Roberto Rogers, Kylie Grace Patterson, Oliver Scott Rogers and Charlotte Eleanor Rogers. 

Carroll was predeceased by his loving wife of 77 years, Eleanor; his brother, Erskine Rogers; his sister, Susan Perry Rogers Haynes (Baxter, d.); his sons, Carroll Pickens Rogers III (Mary Ann), and George Floyd Rogers II; and his great-grandson, William Zimmer Rogers III. 

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at McFarland Funeral Chapel in Tryon with Fr. Robert Ard officiating. Private interment at Tryon City Cemetery will follow the service. A Celebration of Life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Tryon.  A reception will follow the service at the church. Instead of flowers, memorials may be made to The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, 150 Melrose Ave., Tryon, NC 28782-3327.  An online guest register is available at McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory in Tryon is assisting the family. 

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019


Jerry Russell

Jerry Robert Russell, 79, of Swiss Pine Lake Drive, Spruce Pine, died Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at his home surrounded by loved ones. Born April 24, 1940, in Los Angeles, California, he was the son of the late Joseph Lawrence and Alice Patricia Egan Russell. 

Left to cherish his memories are his wife of 31 years, Suzanne Ballew Russell, also of Spruce Pine; his daughters, Kimberly Young Russell, of Burbank California, Blythe Schafer Palamara and husband, Jim, of Houston, Texas, and Brandi Wilson Mull and husband, Shawn, of Morganton; his sons, Scott Russell and wife, Marika, of Lancaster, California, and Chris Wilson, of Asheville. In addition to his children, Jerry is survived by 10 grandchildren, Zachary Duran-Russell, Samantha Russell Oklesson and husband, Dustin, Matilda Russell Wolfe and husband, Zane, Craig Joseph Young, Max Young, Julia Palamara, Preston Palamara, Cassidy Mull, Claire Mull and Serena Wilson. Along with these beautiful grandchildren, Jerry was blessed to enjoy his first great-granddaughter, Emma Marie Oklesson. Jerry is also survived by brothers Edmund Russell and wife, Shirley, and Ronald Russell and wife, Valeta. He will also be forever remembered by his nieces and nephews, extended family and dear friends. Jerry served proudly in the United States Navy from 1957-1961 at the beginning of the Vietnam era as an engineer on a submarine tender. 

A few years after leaving the Navy, Jerry joined Active Sales Company, a five-person firm located in downtown Los Angeles. Active distributed stapling and nailing machines and fasteners to the shoe-making, window display and packaging industries. When pneumatic stapling and nailing tools were developed, Active expanded into the woodworking and furniture industry. Jerry was very successful in developing this business for Active and was offered an ownership position. In addition to managing major accounts, Jerry was instrumental in developing a line of tools and fasteners for joining mitered corners in high production picture frame factories. He was responsible for developing a micro-corrugated fastener, flexible fitting tabs and V nails and the tools to drive them. He started a division at Active named Frame Fastening Systems and headed it up until his retirement. At that time, it was Active’s most important product line. During his career, Jerry became known throughout the picture-frame industry in the U.S. as the “go-to-guy” for joining mitered corners. His gentlemanly demeanor, integrity and knowledge were admired by all that encountered him. 

Jerry loved his family, loved traveling and was an avid fan of boating and golf. He was a member of the Huntington Harbor Yacht Club, the Sea Gate Yacht Club and The Mickey Mouse Golf Club in California. He loved to cook for his family and entertain grandchildren with pajama parties and homemade popcorn. The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence at the Gravesite Service at noon Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, at the Grassy Creek Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Larry Greene officiating.  Following the service will be a time to support the family, receive friends and share memories from 1-3 p.m. at the Chalet in Little Switzerland. 

The family would like to thank Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, especially Cynthia Wilson and Mike Collis. A special thanks also to his caregivers, Margaret Renfro, Faye Burnette, Lexy Fischer and Louise McClellan for the wonderful care given Jerry during his illness. Thank you all and God Bless. Instead 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

Words of comfort may be emailed to the family by going to, selecting Jerry Russell’s name and signing his guestbook. Webb Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Russell family. Jerry’s obituary has also been posted on Facebook. 

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019


Dorothy Trivett

Dorothy M. Trivett, 88, died Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at the home of her daughter, Rachel Murdock, in Bakersville. Born Feb. 23, 1931, in Mitchell County, she was the daughter of the late Clarence and Ethel Thomas Buchanan. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Junior James Trivett, who passed away in 2004. She was also preceded in death by a son, Gerald Trivett; a sister, Genevieve Holder; and her brothers, Bert, Calvin and Harold Buchanan. 

Dorothy was a member of the Gouges Creek Baptist Church and was retired from Hampshire Hosiery following 35 years of service. She loved Jesus and knew where her heavenly home was and was ready to go. She truly loved her family and neighbors. Throughout her life, she was a marvelous mother and grandmother. She was also known as the mother of her church and church family. She enjoyed cooking and was a great cook. 

Left to cherish her memories are her daughter, Rachel Murdock and husband, Kenneth, of Bakersville; her son, Charles Trivett and wife, Wanda, of Marion; her daughter-in-law Lynn Trivett, of Marion; her grandchildren, Kenny Trivett and wife, Tracey, Kristy Radford, and Christy Hollifield and husband, Bill; her great-grandchildren, Abigail, Will, Chelsey, Katie, Kayla and Hunter; her great-great-grandchild, Addison; her brother, Robert Buchanan and wife, Martha, of Shelby; and her sister, Velva Franklin, of Marion. A funeral service for Dorothy Trivett was 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at the Gouges Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. Tommy Thomas and the Rev. Donnie Thomas officiating. A time to support the family, share memories and receive friends was 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at the church. Interment followed in the Gouges Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. Instead 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. The family would like to extend a special “thank you” to the staff of Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge for its wonderful care of Dorothy during her illness. 

Words of comfort may be emailed to the family by going to, selecting Dorothy Trivett’s name and signing her guestbook. Mrs. Trivett’s obituary has also been posted on Facebook.

Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 18, 2019

The MItchell News

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