Obituaries for Feb. 2, 2013

Feb. 02, 2013 @ 01:28 PM

Robert Rutter

Mr. Robert “Smiley” Edward Rutter, 76, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at Westwood Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wilkesboro. He was born in Johnson County, Tenn., on April 6, 1936, to the late Ernest E. Rutter and Ellen Rankins Rutter. He was married to the late Helen Hurley Rutter. He retired from Bernhardt Furniture Industries and was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Lenoir.

In addition to his parents,  he was preceded in death by his brothers, Willard and Ciscro Rutter, and sisters, Florence Mahala and Ocea Wood.

He is survived by his children from Tennessee, Tammy Price; Keith Rutter; Lester Rutter and wife Tina; Bryan Rutter and wife Gloria; brother James Rutter and wife Felicia of Lynchburg, S.C.; Wanda Caudill of Thurmond; and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Mr. Rutter’s life will be held in the Chapel of Evans Funeral Service on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 1:30 p.m. with the Rev. Russell Cook officiating. Interment will follow the service at Center Baptist Church Cemetery in Thurmond, with the Rev. Jimmy Gilreath officiating.

The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to: Second Chance Boys Home, c/o Trinity Baptist Church, 104 SW Mulberry St., Lenoir, NC 28645.

Online condolences can be sent to the Rutter family at

Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir are serving the Rutter family.

Lydia Farr

Lydia Garnes Farr, 95, of Sawmills went to her heavenly home on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.

The last survivor of 14 children, born on July 6, 1917, in Haywood County, Lydia was the daughter of the late William McConnell Garnes and the late Dona Henson Garnes. She attended Harris Chapel Baptist Church until her health prevented her from doing so.  

In addition to her parents, Lydia was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Robert Earl Farr, and a special daughter, Dona Earlene Farr.  

Loved ones left to cherish her memory include a daughter, Audrey Farr Duncan of Hickory; two sons, Danny E. Farr and wife, Linda of Hudson and Thomas (Thom) W. Farr and wife Rebecca of Wartburg, Tenn.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, Feb. 3, at Harris Chapel Baptist Church on Cajah Mountain Road in Hudson from 2 to 3 p.m.  A Celebration of Life will follow at 3 p.m. with Pastor Carl Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The family wishes to send many thanks to all staff and caregivers of Cambridge House in Hildebran, Camelot Manor in Granite Falls and a very special thanks to Sharon, Kelly, Elizabeth, Amy, Coyene, Evelyn and all the others from Caldwell Hospice for the excellent care of their precious Mother.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial be made to Caldwell Hospice, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir NC 28645.

The Farr Family has entrusted arrangements to Mackie Funeral Home in Granite Falls.

You may view the obituary online at

John Jones

Mr. John Alphonso Jones, 70, of Lenoir passed away on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem following a period of declining health. Service arrangements are being scheduled. Ebony Funeral Services of Lenoir is caring for the family.

Brad Sweeney

Brad Shannon Sweeney,  61, of Boxwood Street, Hudson, died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Hudson. He was born Jan. 17, 1952, in Lincoln County, Ore., to the late James and Barbara Hawkins Sweeney. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one daughter, Buffy Carson; and one brother, Jody Sweeney.

Mr. Sweeney was retired from the United States Navy after 23 years of service. He served as the chief of the boat on the USS Pulaski. He attended Hudson United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Jackson Sweeney of the home; two daughters, Amanda Stuber and husband Rick of Oregon, and Helen Carson Bowman of Hudson; two brothers, Terry Sweeney of Oregon and Drew Sweeney of California; three sisters, Debra Sweeney, Martina Conn and Shelley Sweeney, all of Oregon; eight grandchildren, Chelsey, Jacob, Brittany and husband Cody, Daniel, Avery, Jordyn, Naomi and Mackenzie; and one great-grandchild, Maverick V. Phillips.

Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home Chapel conducted by Dr. Timothy Brittain. Interment will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Park with full military honors.

The family will receive friends Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, N.C. 28645, Hudson United Methodist Church, 383 Main St., Hudson, N.C. 28638, or ALS Center of Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27157.

Online condolences may be left at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Margarette Tilson

Margarette Strickland Tilson, 83, of Davidson passed away on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, from complications resulting from a stroke. She was a resident of Sardis Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Charlotte at the time of her death.

Born December 25, 1929, in Andersonville, S.C., Margarette was the daughter of the late Grace and Joseph “Collie” Strickland of Asheville. She was a graduate of Limestone College, where she received a degree in home economics. After growing up in Asheville, Margarette spent much of her life in Lenoir before moving to Davidson. She was always quick to share that her favorite home was Kabul, Afghanistan, where she resided in the late 1960s with her former husband, Bryson “Hugh” Tilson, and three sons.

Margarette embraced the wonders of the world. She loved to travel, valued cultural differences, and was a student of fine food and ethnic cuisines. She enjoyed entertaining, dancing, bridge, decorating, the arts, reading, and long walks on the beach. Her creativity, resourcefulness, spirit and style were central to her pursuits.

Margarette is survived by her three sons and their respective spouses: Joseph H. Tilson and his wife, Diane, Larry K. Tilson and his partner, Joseph Craig III, and Jeffrey A. Tilson and his wife, Lisa; four grandchildren and their respective spouses: Adam and his wife, Sarah, Ramsey and her husband, Brian, Travis Murphy, and Haley; great-grandson Silas; and sister, Joyce McKelvey and her husband, Robert.

The family is grateful to and honors the memory of Iretta Cornwell, Margarette’s caregiver and trusted friend, who preceded her in death.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 11 a.m., at Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, 1111 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Crisis Assistance, 500-A Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206.

Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service; please share condolences online at

David Phillips

David Brent Phillips, age 42, passed away on Friday, February 1, 2013 at his residence. Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Evans Funeral Service. Online condolences may be sent to Evans Funeral Service & Crematory is serving the Phillips family.

Doris Bruner

Doris Esther Elder Bruner, 85, of Taylorsville passed away Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in the Valley Nursing Center in Taylorsville. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir.

Russell Anthony

Russell Everett Anthony, 86, of Lenoir passed away Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in the VA Hospital in Asheville. Arrangments are incomplete and will be announced by Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir.