James (“Jim”) Earl Stocker, 82, of Kenansville, NC passed away on December 31, 2019 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro, NC after a twelve-year bout with colon cancer.
Jim was born on December 7, 1937 in Palmer, TN to Alfred and Norma Stocker. He was the middle child of three boys and had a twin brother that died at birth. As a child, he worked on the family farm, referred to as the homeplace, atop the Cumberland Plateau. It was an idyllic 1,700-acre farm with rolling hills of green pastures, hardwood tree-covered mountains, a meandering creek, and mountain springs that must have been reminiscent of the Stockers’ Swiss origins. They grew most of what they needed for survival and sold any excess. They sold timber and raised chickens, hogs, and cattle; grew apples, potatoes, beans, greens, and many other vegetables. This was his Rocky Top.
He met his wife of 60 years, Betty Scott, while attending Sequatchie County High School in Dunlap, TN. Their love was cemented on their senior trip when she came to his rescue after he got sick on an amusement ride, and the rest is history. After completing high school in 1955, he became the first of his family to attend college. In 1959, he received a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). He helped fund his education through cattle sales, barbering, and being a pool shark.
In 1960, he began his career at Central Soya Company in Chattanooga, TN and ultimately held positions in Orangeburg, SC and Charlotte, NC as credit manager. After 13 and a half years with the organization, Wendell Murphy recruited him to work for Murphy Farms. In a tenure lasting 28 years, he reached the highest levels of management in one of the most successful agribusiness firms in recent history. Serving as vice-president, executive vice-president and general manager, president, and vice-president of the board of directors, he helped the company expand to swine operations in eight states and engineer and manage the development of many cost-reducing technological production changes.
Over the years, he was a trusted advisor to many organizations. He was a member of the board of directors for Harrells Christian Academy for twenty-five years. He was active in the North Carolina Pork Producers organization and served on various committees, including the budget committee and as chairman of their political action committee. He served on the North Carolina pseudorabies task force from its inception until the disease was eradicated. He served as a member, appointed by the Governor, of the James Sprunt Community College Board of Trustees. He was elected to the board of directors of the National Pork Producers Council and served as chairman of the NPPC Swine Health Committee. He was involved in the development of the North Carolina State Animal Response Team. He served on the Ag Alumni Council at the University of Tennessee, later serving on the Ag Development Board, and eventually chairing the board for two years. He also served as President of the Duplin County Cattlemen’s Association and represented Duplin County as a director of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association. He received the North Carolina Pork Council’s Hall of Fame award in 2019, which is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, one reserved for outstanding lifetime achievement and contributions to the industry.
His primary hobbies were playing the guitar, golfing, and tending to his herd of some 300 black angus cattle, all of which he knew by number. Being a strong advocate of education, he created a trust after his cancer diagnosis for descendants of his mother and father that would pay for any level of higher education they wished to pursue. To date, this trust has helped put six family members through college. He also established the James E. Stocker Scholarship for Agricultural Economics at the University of Tennessee. He will be remembered as a man of good humor, intelligence, integrity, and epic snoring. He said often, “I tell everyone that there is plenty of time for sadness, and we need to live every day for doing better.”
Jim was preceded in death by his father Alfred, mother Norma, and brothers Don, Jarvis, and Russell. He is survived by his wife, Betty Jean Scott; son, Michael Edward Stocker and wife Pamela of Kenansville; daughter, Myra Ellene Stocker Rappl and husband John, grandchildren Samuel James Rappl and Sara Ellene Rappl of Raleigh; son Miles Edwin Stocker and wife Lora of Clayton; and many nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be on Sunday, January 5th from 6 to 8 pm at Community Funeral Home in Warsaw, NC. A private funeral will be held. A celebration of life event will be held at the River Landing Clubhouse on Sunday, January 26th at 3pm with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the REX Cancer Center Campaign Fund, c/o REX Healthcare Foundation, 2500 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 325, Raleigh, NC 27607, https://rexhealthcarefoundation.com.
Warsaw-Waitus Lee Beasley, 79, of Warsaw passed away suddenly Sunday, December 29, 2019. Mr. Beasley was born October 21, 1940 in Sampson County to the late Clarence Beasley and Udelle Roberts Beasley.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00am Thursday, January 2, 2020 at Community Funeral Home of Warsaw. Burial will follow in the Devotional Gardens. A visitation will be held at 10:00am prior to the service.
Mr. Beasley is survived by wife, Frances Garris Beasley of the home, sons Craig Beasley and wife, Diane of Warsaw and Rodney Beasley of Warsaw; sister, Ann Hobbs of Faison; grandchildren; Jared Beasley and wife, Kelsey and Rodney Beasley and wife, Jasmine; 2 great grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Beasley was preceded in death by brother, Sanford Beasley and sister Grace Hollingsworth.
Warsaw - Donna Jean Divine Fonvielle Cates, 92, passed away Friday, December 27, 2019 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro, NC.
A funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m., Sunday, December 29, 2019 at Warsaw Baptist Church. Burial will follow the service in Devotional Gardens. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
Ms. Cates is survived sons, John Fonvielle and wife, Cathy and Robert Fonvielle and wife, Laura both of Mount Olive, NC; daughter, Jeanie Fonvielle of Warsaw, NC. She is also survived by grandchildren, John Fonvielle, III and wife Amanda of Hampstead, NC, Thomas Fonvielle of Mount Olive, NC, Allison Fonvielle and Brian Simmons of San Francisco, CA, Austin Taylor and Rayanne Taylor both of Mount Olive, NC; great grandchildren, Elizabeth Fonvielle and Nathan Fonvielle; and niece, Sallie Fonvielle Tiktin of Las Vagas, NV.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Cates was preceded in death by husband, John Fonvielle and George Cates; and daughter-in-law, Betty Jo Fonvielle.
The family would like to extend a special heartfelt thank you to Gracie Sanchez and Brenda Rubalcava and Wendy’s Angels for all love they gave Ms. Donna.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Warsaw Baptist Church, 209 E. College Street, Warsaw, NC 28398 or Kitty Askins Hospice Center 107 Handley Park Court, Goldsboro, NC 27534.
Rose Hill - Eugene “Gene” Henry Hall, 90, passed away December 26, 2019 at Kenansville Health and Rehabilitation. Mr. Hall was born December 10, 1929 in Duplin County, NC to the late William Heman Hall, Sr. and Annie Jones Hall.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Oak Plain Presbyterian Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held 7:00 - 9:00pm, Friday, December 27, 2019 at Community Funeral Home in Warsaw.
Mr. Hall is survived by daughter, Kathryn Hall Cavenaugh and husband, Henry of Kenansville and granddaughter, Eliza Cavenaugh.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Hall was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Kathryn Quinn Hall; brothers, William Heman Hall, Jr. and Charles Jones Hall, Sr.; and sister, Elizabeth “Betsy” Hall Marley.
Richlands - Edna Jones Hollingsworth Baysden, 87, passed away December 11, 2019 at Vidant Duplin Hospital. Mrs. Baysden was born April 23, 1932 in Lenoir County.
A graveside service will be held 10:00am Friday, December 13, 2019 at Rose Hill Cemetery.
Mrs. Baysden is survived by sons, Gerald Hollingsworth and wife, Nell of Rose Hill and Ricky Hollingsworth and wife, Loura of Richlands; grandchildren, Gary Hollingsworth, Christy H. Cole, and Curtis Hollingsworth; step-grandchildren, Nancy, Everette and Mark; 6 step-great-grandchildren; sister, Dot Dail.
Mrs. Baysden was preceded in death by sons, Ronnie Hollingsworth and Chris Hollingsworth.
Kenansville - Brenda Gail Darden Mobley, 68, Kenansville passed away Sunday, December 8, 2019 at Vidant Medical Center Greenville. Mrs. Mobley was born August 11, 1951 in Gadston, AL to the late Adean Williams.
A funeral service will be held 2:00pm Friday, December 13, 2019 at Community Funeral Home of Warsaw. A visitation will be held at 1:00pm prior to the service. Burial will follow the service at 3:30 at the A. H. Batchelor at Back Swamp.
Mrs. Mobley is survived by her loving husband, Donald Mobley of the home; son, Chad Mobley of Kenansville; daughter, Tracy Mobley Tucker and husband, Jerry of Kenansville; brother, Nathan LaWayne Ard of Kenansville; grandchildren, Callie Batts and husband Michael, Jenna Kennedy and husband, Johnny, Logan Tucker and Joshua Tucker; great grandchildren, Nathaniel Batts, Kayden Batts, Mason Ward, Raelynn Kennedy, Tristanie Kennedy, Kourtney Kennedy and Maddox Kennedy.
Mrs. Mobley was preceded in death by her mother Adean Darden.
Katie Mae Storms Graham, 92, formerly of Warsaw, passed away peacefully on November 28, 2019, at the Gardens of Rose Hill.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Monday, December 2, 2019, at Warsaw Baptist Church with visitation at 1:00 p.m and burial to follow in Devotional Gardens.
Katie was born in Bladenboro on October 24, 1927, to Albert and Martha Hester Storms. She married Norwood Clayton Graham on December 8, 1943.
After moving to Warsaw in 1956, Katie opened Graham’s Beauty Shop and worked there until 2014. She was loved by all who knew her and showed others Jesus not only by her words but by the way she lived, loved, and treated others. Katie used her beauty shop and later her assisted living residence as places of ministry.
Katie was a dedicated and active member of Warsaw Baptist Church where she became a deacon in 2010.
In addition to her husband and parents, Katie is predeceased by her children, Bobbie (George William) Schandel, Clayton (Jeannette) Graham; brothers, Byron Storms, RJ Storms, George Storms, Bennie Storms; sister, Tessie Bowles.
Katie is survived by her three daughters, Connie (Butch) Outlaw of Faison, Feetin (Doug) Smith of Roseboro, Kaywood (Stan) Draughon of Kenansville; seven grandchildren, Barri Ann Smith (William) Piner, Sean (Melanie) Outlaw, Palmer (Amy) Smith, Kyle Outlaw, Cady Outlaw (John) Yates, Clay Draughon, Colin Draughon; 11 great-grandchildren, Helen Wills Piner, Bracey Outlaw, McCartney Kate Piner, Abbey Mae Piner, Garrison Outlaw, Justin Outlaw, Blythe Outlaw, Graham Yates, Phoenix Outlaw, Emmie Yates, Ryder Smith; brothers, Bill Storms, Earl (Betty) Storms; sister, Beck (Tony) Sessoms; sister-in-law, Doris Storms.
The family sends special thanks to Kendall Boose, Edith Sykes, special roommate Mary Drew, Katie’s loving family of caregivers at the Gardens of Rose Hill, and the Vidant Home Health and Hospice team.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Warsaw Baptist Church, Warsaw, NC, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Warsaw - John Kilby Byrd, 70, passed away Sunday, November 24, 2019 at his home. He was born April 5, 1949 in Duplin County, NC to the late Thomas Kilby Byrd and Ruth Grady Byrd.
Johnny, as most knew him, was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and a friend to many. He will be dearly missed by a host of family and friends. He placed his faith in God and had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.
A funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 26, 2019 in Community Funeral Home Chapel in Warsaw, NC. Burial will follow the service in Devotional Gardens. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Johnny is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Best Byrd of the home; beloved children, John Byrd and wife, Denise of Warsaw, Cheryl B. Bass and husband, Timothy of Warsaw and Anna B. Avent and husband, John of Warsaw; grandchildren, Amber Craft and husband, Travis; Seth Bass and Heather, McKenzi Byrd, John Thomas Avent, Emma Haze Avent, Cal Avent, and Eli Avent; great grandchildren, Averie Craft, Hudson Craft and Emery Bass. He is also survived by sister, Ann B. Alphin and husband, Vance of Mount Olive, Janet B. Jones and husband, Cecil of Kenansville, Joyce B. West of Kinston, sister-in-law, Ann Outlaw, his best friend, Jimmie Rich and his trusted companion, Little Bit.
In addition to his parents, Johnny was preceded in death by brothers, C. M. Outlaw, Oliver Outlaw, and Woodrow Byrd; sister, Arlene Gower and brother-in-law, Kermit West, Jr.
Memorials may be made to: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, 21301 S. Taniami Trial, Suite 320 PMB 226, Estero FL 33928.
Rose Hill - Jessie Ruth Brown Lanier, 87, died on November 21, 2019 at her home at The Gardens of Rose Hill, 571 S. Sycamore Street, Rose Hill, NC.
She was the daughter of Otis David and Sally Spell Brown of the Dobson Chapel community near Kenansville. She married J L Lanier, Jr. On January 9, 1952 and lived her entire adult life in the Concord Baptist Church community of Rose Hill, NC.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and seven sisters and four brothers. She is survived by her brother, Bobby Grey Brown (Mary); children Benita L. Wells (Dekalb), Jesse Bryan Lanier (Pam), Lisa L. Page and Chris Lanier; grandchildren, Jason D. Wells (Brandy), David L. Wells, Jesse Kyle Lanier, Lindsey L Grady, Mason Page, Shannon P. Phillips (Ryan), Ashley L. McCartney (Josh), Ricky Andrews and Johnny Bryan Pope; great grandchildren, Lane Wells, Nathan Wells, Jacob Wells, Ireland Grady, Zachery Page and Presley Brown. She is also survived by special friend Eunice Carlton as well as her family at The Gardens of Rose Hill.
A graveside memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 3:00pm at Devotional Gardens, 1260 NC 24 and 50 Hwy, Warsaw, NC. Rev. Jimmy Johnson and Rev. Lisa Grissom will be officiating the service.
The family respectfully requests no flowers. Donations could be given to the Baptist Children’s Homes of NC, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361 in her memory.
Rose Hill - Reggie Emmons Smith, 71, passed away Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Vidant Duplin Hospital. Mr. Smith was born September 22, 1948 to the late Jonas Fennell Smith and Gladys Louise Griffith Smith.
A memorial service will be held 2:00-4:00 p.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Magnolia Methodist Church, Magnolia, NC
Mr. Smith is survived by brothers, Kenneth Smith and wife, Paula of Wilmington, NC; William “Bill” Smith and wife, Kaye of Elizabeth City, NC and Rodney Smith of Magnolia, NC.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Smith was preceded in death by brother, Jackie D. Smith.