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Deaths & Funerals Deaths & Funerals - 03/28/2013

Freeman Denver RiceFreeman Denver Rice

Freeman Denver Rice, 70, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Monday, March 18, 2013. Born in Jackson County, he was the son of the late Barney and Rosa Kelly Rice. He was married to the late Doris McKinney Rice. He owned his own landscaping business; liked to play bluegrass music and was of the Baptist faith. He was a loving father and grandfather.

He is survived by his daughter, Rosa Robinson and husband Kenneth of Tuckasegee; two sons, Mitchell Rice and wife Susan and Tony Rice all of Cashiers; two brothers, Doyle Rice of Cashiers and Rev. Oliver Rice of Satolah, Ga., and 16 grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Michael Rice.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 22, at Heady Mountain Baptist Church with Rev. Johnny Norris and Rev. Burliss Powell officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were Robert Rice, Daryl Rice, Kenneth Rice, Chris Rice, Maverick Riddle and Brad Rice.

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


Thomas SzydloThomas Szydlo

Thomas Szydlo, 60, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, March 22, 2013, he is with his Higher Power. He was born in Miami Beach, Fla., the son of Stanislaus and Irene Chapes Szydlo.

He was a great athlete, father, husband, brother and friend. He was a college football player for Vanderbilt University. He had his own plumbing company, Award Plumbing. He built his own home in Franklin, which was a dream come true for him. He helped many people in the community from the goodness of his heart. He was a friend of Bill W. He will be missed by so many for his smile, sense of humor and loving help to others. We love you, Tom.

He is survived by his wife of six and a half years, Vickie Stucky Szydlo; one daughter, Lauren McCormick of Virginia Beach, Va.; one son, Kaz Szydlo of San Diego, Calif.; two brothers, Mike Szydlo of Franklin, and Stephen Szydlo and his wife Maria of Miami, Fla.; eight grandchildren; two step-children, Daniel and Holly Giffen; niece, Lisa Roque and nephew, Mark.

A memorial service will be held Friday, March 29, in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home with Rev Dorrie Pratt officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice, 171 Hospital Dr. Suite 600, Highlands, NC 28741.

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


James William Beck Jr.

James "Jimmy" William Beck Jr., 78, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Friday, March 22, 2013. Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late James William Beck Sr. and Beulah Henry Beck. He retired from the U.S. Forest Service where he had worked in maintenance. He liked fishing and being outdoors and was of the Baptist faith.

He is survived by five brothers, Sammy Beck of Marianna, Fla., Henry "Jake" Beck of Highlands, John Beck of Scaly Mtn., Gilbert Beck of Highlands, and Butch Beck of Scaly Mtn. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services were held Monday, March 25, in the Chapel of Bryant Grant Funeral Home in Highlands with Rev. Oliver Rice officiating. Burial was in Highlands Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Lamar Beck, Scott Beck, James Beck, Charles Hensley, Robbie Forrester, John Shaheen and Kenneth Forrester.

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


Stanley Ford RiceStanley Ford Rice

Stanley Ford Rice, 55, of Cashiers, N.C., went to be with the Lord on March 24, 2013, after a short battle with cancer. He is preceded in death by his father, Ford Rice.

He is survived by his mother, Shirley Rice; one brother and sister- in-law, Roger and Brenda Rice of Sylva; one sister and brotherin- law, Jeanette and Gil Rogers of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and two sisters, Karen Gregory and Rita Rice both of Glenville; and several nieces and nephews that he enjoyed spending time with. He enjoyed fishing, hunting for arrowheads and woodworking.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, March 27, in the Chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home in Highlands, N.C. Burial was at Upper Zachary Cemetery in Cashiers. Pastors Scotty Patrick and Johnny Norris officiated. Pallbearers were Timothy Rice, Kevin Woodard, Darin Talley, Joel Rice, Wayne Rice and Rex Allen.

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


Ray Edward Williamson

Ray Edward Williamson, 67, of Ridgeway, S.C., formerly of Sylva, N.C., died Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, S.C. He was born Jan. 20, 1946, in Jackson County, N.C. He is the son of the late Bill and the late Margie (Hoyle) Williamson and was preceded by a son, Richard, and brothers Jack, Fred and Roy Williamson and two sisters, Faye Dills and Zelda Dills. He worked as a telephone contractor. He loved the outdoors and especially loved to fish.

He is survived by his wife, Nellie Clara Williamson of the home; one daughter, Becky Williamson of Sylva; two step daughters, Janet Staffelback and husband Steve of Scaly Mountain, N.C., and Donna Browning and Chris of Ridgeway, S.C.; one stepson, Paul Funderburk and wife Heidi of New Castel, England; one brother, Bobby and wife Linda Williamson of Waynesville; a sister, Reba Cagle of Cary, N.C.; six frandchildren and three great-grandchildren also survive.

The funeral was held Sunday, March 24, at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Sylva, with Rev. Eddie Stillwell and Rev. Mark Bishop officiating. Burial was in Zion Hill Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Randy Williamson, Dustin Williamson, Brandon Gibson, Steve Staffelback, Chris Sanders, Rob Gilmer, Nathan Stephens, Tanner Williamson, Dean Williamson and Junior Williamson.

Online registry at

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