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Deaths & Funerals


Bill BatemanBill Bateman

Bill Bateman, 86, passed away Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at his residence, he was born Dec. 5, 1928, in Macon County to the late Carl Bateman and Eula Cope Bateman. He worked for Stanley Furniture Company and worked for Macon County Solid Waste. He was a member of Aquone Baptist Church where he served as a deacon; he loved carving, hunting, fishing, and sports especially the Atlanta Braves, and he loved his black lab, Dodger. Most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Velva Roper Bateman; two daughters, Rhonda Bateman Beaver (Herbert) of Charlotte, N.C., and Sally Bateman White (Phil) of Nantahala, N.C.; four grandchildren, Kimberly B. Watson (Jeff), Marcy B. Williams (Jeff), Amber White, and David White (Candice); eight great grandchildren; a sister, Frances Mintz of Laoma Iowa; and a brother, Kenneth Bateman of Andrews, N.C.

He was preceded in death by three sisters; and four brothers.

A funeral service was held Monday at Aquone Baptist Church with the Rev. David Postell officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were David White, Trevor Miller, Rock Roberts, Carl Bateman, Gary Roper, and Justin Mintz. Honorary pallbearers were Elderidge Bateman and Jamey Bateman.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Billy Joe ‘Jobey’ Miller

Billy Joe "Jobey" Miller of Franklin, N.C., passed away Aug. 16, 2015.

He is survived by his two children, Steve and Cindy, and his seven grandchildren.

A graveside service was held Friday, Aug. 21, in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, N.C.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.



Muriel Grant Denny

Muriel Grant Denny, 91, of Nantahala, N.C., passed away Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. She was born in Macon County, the daughter of the late Amos and Flossie Mason Grant. She was an inspector for Berkshire Mills and worked for 10 years with Dell Electronics in Robbinsville, N.C. She was a loving and affectionate wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and a member of Briartown Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband of 74 years, Orrin Luther Denny; one daughter, Rita Cable of Nantahala; two sons, Doug Denny and his wife Eula Mae of Whittier and Austin Denny of Kernersville, N.C.; sister, Della Campbell of Robbinsville; one brother, Jack Grant of Newton; seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a son, Tony Denny; sisters, Cora Morgan, Paralee Douthit, Hope Franklin, Margie Robbins, June Pauline Grant and Evelyn Morgan; and brothers, Buren Grant, Noel Grant, Gene Grant and Clint Grant.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at Briartown Baptist Church with Rev. S. J. Waters officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Townson-Rose Funeral Home in Andrews.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Margaret James Jones Owenby

Margaret James Jones Owenby, 87, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.

Born in Forsyth County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late John James Sr. and Lois James. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Harley N. Jones Sr.; her second husband, Donald “Don” Owenby and a brother, Grady James. She loved crocheting, crafts, cats and gardening. She was a member of Hopewell Moravian Church in Winston Salem.

She is survived by two children, Harley N. Jones Jr. and wife Judy and Marcia J. Smothers all of Franklin; three sisters, Virginia Barber, Shirley James and Nancy Whitt all of Winston Salem, N.C.; two brothers, Bobby James of Winston Salem, N.C., and Johnny James of Mocksville, N.C.; grandson, Harley N. Jones III; two great grandchildren, Grayson Jones and Savannah Rose Jones and several nieces and nephews.

No services have been planned.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Angel Hospice, 170 Church Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.



Lillian S. StottLillian S. Stott

Lillian S. Stott, 87, passed away Aug. 23, 2015. She was born on the Biltmore Estate where her father worked for Biltmore Dairy. She attended WCU. She was employed by Nantahala Power and Light for 38 years followed by three and a half years with Duke Power.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Stott, and her sister, Willie Shillinglaw.

She is survived by her daughter, Sherry Henderson and husband Jerry of Franklin; three granddaughters, April Innis (Joe) of Franklin, Kristi Henderson of Denver, Colo., and Angela Henderson of Franklin, and three great grandchildren.

A family graveside service was held Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Woodlawn Cemetery. A memorial service was held Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Franklin First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Tempe Fussell officiating.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Christopher Edward CreamerChristopher Edward Creamer

Christopher Edward Creamer, 43, passed away Saturday, Aug. 15, in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Born on June 12, 1972, in Westminster, Calif., he was a resident of Vacaville from 1976 to 1993. As a child, he attended Paden Elementary School, Will C. Wood Jr. High and Vacaville High. He then moved to Florida and North Carolina. He worked as a project manager in the architectural aluminum and glass installation industry. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, boating, and whitewater rafting. He had a deep love for his family, and for the majestic Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

He is survived by his son, Matthew, University of Tennessee freshman; daughter, Emma; parents Paul and Lolita Creamer of Gainesville, Fla.; sister, Paula M. Creamer of Sacramento; halfbrother, Carl Creamer of Miami, Fla.; half-sister, Mary Phillips of Fort Worth, Texas; fiancée, Kristina Brasi of Altamonte Springs, Fla.; friend and mother of Matthew, Sonija Phillips Quinn of Altamonte Springs, Fla.; mother of Emma and ex-wife, Jackie Hughes Miller, plus countless other extended family who loved him very much.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 29, at 12:30 pm in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Rev. Forest Jones officiating. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday from 11:30 to 12:30, one hour prior to the service, at the funeral home.

Donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Lea Schafer Martin

Pamela Lea Schafer Martin, 47, passed away peacefully on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Asheville, N.C. Born June 24, 1968, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and adopted at three months old by Raymond J Schafer and Faye T Schafer, she had a zest for life in everything she did. Her professional career spanned the spectrum of health care, children and elderly care, but her heart’s desire was to work with animals and people at the same time. A gifted animal trainer, in 1997 Pamela, with her beloved Fenway, founded Therapy Dogs of Georgia. She also established her “Paws To Read” program in the public schools. She had a genuine gift of compassion coupled with straight talk and a generous nature in helping other adults, children and the animals she loved. She also cherished her extended church family of St. John’s Episcopal- Cartoogechaye, Franklin, NC.

She is survived by her husband of 25 years Kev Martin; daughter, McKinney Martin of Franklin, N.C.; son, Cole Martin, USCGWalnut, Honolulu; her beloved Aunt Beulah House; cousins, Faye Sexton, Sonya Begley and family, David and Linda Cupp, and Leslie Ryser and family, of London, Ky., as well as nieces and nephews, Christopher Asbury, Amanda Lindsey, and Scott and Nicholas Huddleson of the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater, Fla. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 29, at 4 p.m., at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 542 St Johns Church Rd, Franklin.

A memorial message may be shared at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to http://pamelamartinmemorialfund.mydagsite.com/the_story



William Lee Keener

William Lee Keener, 93, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. He was born in Fannin County, Georgia, the son of the late William Leander and Nettie Jane Ray Keener. He was a general mechanic for DuPont for 25 years, and was a U.S. Navy Veteran of World War II. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather. and great great grandfather. He liked gardening, making furniture, building houses, and fishing. He was a member of Selica United Methodist Church in Transylvania County and attended Goldmine Baptist Church. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Len Keener.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Allie Price Keener; his six children, Kathryn Lee Reece of Waterloo, S.C., Gary Price Keener of Pisgah Forest, N.C., Keith Allan Keener of Hendersonville, N.C., Michael Dennis Keener of Cedar Mountain, N.C., Susan Jane Holland of Brevard, N.C., and William Wade Keener of Highlands; three sisters, Ella Mae Zoellner and Roberta Dendy, both of Highlands, and Betty Dills of Colorado; 12 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

Memorial services were held Thursday, Aug. 20, in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home, with Rev. Alton Dendy officiating.

Bryant-Grant Funral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



John Franklin Marr, Jr.

John Franklin Marr Jr., 68, of Franklin, N.C., passed away peacefully, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Mission Hospital, Asheville, surrounded by family.

Born in Milton, Pa., he was the son of the late John Franklin Marr Sr. and Burdell Stanfield Marr. He was a 1964 graduate of Milton Area High School and a graduate of Williamsport Tech. He worked at Ceramet Inc. in Bethlehem, Pa., until moving to North Carolina in 1999. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, watching his grandson’s play football, and watching NASCAR. He loved his family, friends and pets. He has touched many lives.

He is survived by his wife of whom he celebrated 49 years of marriage in June, Judy A. Marr; two sons, John K. Marr Sr. and wife Cynthia and Christopher D. Marr all of Franklin; grandchildren, Christopher J. Angelucci of Wisconsin; Erica Adams and husband Jason of Franklin; Airman John K. Marr Jr. of Franklin and Daniel C. Marr of Franklin; great grandchildren, Caroline Adams and Jaydon Adams; longtime friend, Joseph Richie of Franklin and lifetime friend James Patterson of Pennsylvania.

Memorial services will be conducted at a later date.

Memorial donations may be offered in his name at the The Rathbun House, Mission Healthcare Foundation, PO Box 5363, Asheville, NC 28813-5363 (mission-health.org)

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.



James Harve DillsJames Harve Dills

James Harve Dills, 56, of Franklin passed away Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Howard Jake and Gertrude Willis Dills. He owned and operated a landscaping business and liked hunting, fishing, and camping. He was a member of Liberty Baptist Church. He loved and cherished his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by two daughters, Sarah Dills and Ashley Dills both of Franklin; two sons, Jamie Dills of Peoria, Ill., and Josh Dills of Kitchener, Ontario Canada; a half-sister, Joan Shepherd of Sylva; three brothers, Edward Dills, Joe Dills and Benny Dills, all of Franklin, and a half-brother, Randy Brooks of Gastonia.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Ronnie and Jerry Poindexter, Denny Dills and Thomas Lee Dills.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Aug. 23, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Rev. Andy Cloer officiating. Burial was in Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bryant-Grant Funeral Home, 105 West Main St., Franklin, NC 28734.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Earl Tommy ‘Tom’ PendergrassEarl Tommy ‘Tom’ Pendergrass

Earl Tommy "Tom" Pendergrass, 84, of Nantahala, N.C., passed away on Aug. 25, 2015. He proudly served his country in the Army, was a veteran of the Korean War and was a past member of the Nantahala Volunteer Fire Department. He dearly loved his family. Until he fell ill, he was in his garden providing for his family and others. He loved digging ginseng and ramps and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Willafae; daughter Teresa "Cricket" Jones of Nashville, Tenn.; son, Doug Pendergrass (Lottie) of Murphy, N.C., son, Wayne Pendergrass (Jennifer) of Franklin, N.C.; daughter, Marie Pendergrass of the home; 10 grandchildren, Elizabeth Bryant-Black (David), Megan Jones, Martin Jones, Travis Pendergrass, Kaitlyn Corn, Mia Pendergrass, Samantha Pendergrass, Matthew Pendergrass, Daniel Pendergrass and Maggie Pendergrass

Funeral services will be held Friday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m., at Aquone Baptist Church with Rev. S. J. Waters and Rev. Marlin McMahan officiating. Burial will be in the Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Kenny Cope, Joe Rowland, Adam Sutton, David Black, David Ellison and Bud Gibby.

The family will receive friends Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Aquone Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Lewis Rathbun Wellness Center, 121 Sherwood Road, Asheville, NC 28803 or The Wounded Warrior Project, 3343 Peachtree Road NE # M20, Atlanta, GA 30326.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.



Lettie Bell Stiwinter Cochran HoustonLettie Bell Stiwinter Cochran Houston

Lettie Bell Stiwinter Cochran Houston, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Aug. 21, 2015.

Born in Macon County, North Carolina she was the daughter of the late Lester Stiwinter and Mary Jenkins Stiwinter. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert William Cochran and second husband, E.G. Houston; one brother, Troy Stiwinter; one sister, Pearl Holt and one grandson, Josh Collins. She loved people and enjoyed caring for the elderly. She enjoyed quilting and gardening. She was Baptist by faith. The family would like to extend a very special “thank you” to Jane Stamey for everything she has done.

She is survived by five children, Patsy Brown and husband John, Peggy Armstrong and husband Alfred, Bobbie Collins and husband Bill, Jeanie Beaver and husband Eddie, and Raymond “Buddy” Cochran and wife Glenda all of Franklin; one brother, LeRoy Stiwinter of Franklin; one sister, Ella Mae Armstrong of Franklin and special caregiver, Renie Mathis. Several grandchildren, great grandchildren, step-children and step-grandchildren also survive.

Funeral service was held Monday, Aug. 24, in the Chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. John Hartley, Rev. Wayne Sheffield, Rev. Phillip Cochran officiated. Burial was in the Riverview Methodist Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Robert Armstrong, Tim Cochran, A.J. Beaver, Bob Collins, Tony Collins and Billy Collins.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Cartoogechaye Church of God Building Fund, PO Box 438, Franklin, NC 28744.

Macon Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.maconfuneralhome.com.


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