Obituaries for July 6, 2013

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 04:38 PM

Jones Decker

Jones Osborne Decker, 75, of Granite Falls passed away Thursday, July 04, 2013, at Select Specialty Hospital in Winston-Salem.

He was born Feb. 23, 1938, in Caldwell County to the late Claude Hillard Decker and Mammie Minton Decker. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Floyd and Hillard Decker, and three sisters, Lou Savage, Irene Joyce, and Shelby Dean Minton.

Jones was a loving father, grandfather, and friend to all. He worked in the furniture industry for 50 years and retired from Bradington-Young. He was a lifetime gospel singer and guitarist. Jones attended Solid Rock Baptist Church of Granite Falls, where he served as a church musician.

He is survived by three sons, Jones Dennis Decker and wife Rena, Randy Decker, and Chris Decker and wife Angela; the mother of his sons, Ruby Townsend Decker; grandchildren, Joni Martin, Sarah Decker, Mylon Decker, Candice Decker, Christopher Decker, and Emily White; great-grandchildren, Jada Martin, Luke Decker, and Aleigha White; and his sisters, Elsie Killian and Aileen Carver. He is also survived by his longtime companion, Nancy Adams, and her children, Tracy Brookshire, Dana Parsons, and Carol Helms.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, 2013, at Solid Rock Baptist Church of Granite Falls with the Rev. Jerry Stines and the Rev. Joel Cook officiating. Burial will follow at Liberty Baptist Church. The family will receive an hour prior to services at the church.

On-line condolences may be made to the family at

Bass-Smith Granite is serving the family of Jones Osborne Decker.

Johnnie Whisnant

Johnnie Millsaps Whisnant, 88, went home to be with the Lord at 2:22 a.m. on Friday, July 5, 2013, at her home on Whispering Pines Drive in Hudson.

Born July 9, 1924, in Blount County, Tenn., she was a daughter of the late Naomi Waters and John Wesley Millsaps, and the wife of the late Erskine Augusta Whisnant, who passed away in 1986.

She attended Everett High School in Maryville, Tenn., graduating at the age of 16, and Draughon Business College in Knoxville, Tenn. She was employed by Alcoa during World War II for the war effort. She married Erskine in August 1944, and the couple moved to Hudson in 1951 after spending time in New Jersey.

Mrs. Whisnant was an active member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Hudson, where she held various positions. She was a retiree of American and Efird Thread Mills Inc. of Whitnel. Following retirement, she substituted in the Caldwell County School System, was a volunteer with Caldwell County Hospice and an enrollee in the Green Thumb Inc. program before working in the office of Caldwell County Hospice. Most recently, she was employed on a part-time basis by the Basic Skills Department of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson.

Mrs. Whisnant’s family, church, friends and her work filled her life and made her a happy person.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant son, Verdis J.; son, Gary Augusta Whisnant; a sister, Willie Marie Sipe; and brother, Verl Clayton Millsaps.

Survivors include two daughters, Verla Homesley and husband Gary of Albemarle, and Gwen Key and husband Denny of Lenoir; a son, Thurman Wesley Whisnant of Lenoir; a daughter-in-law, Gail Whisnant of Hudson; 11 grandchildren, Sonya Kirby and husband Todd of Hudson, with whom she made her home, Nathan Key and wife Misty of Hudson, Amy McMasters and husband Stephen of Lenoir, Gary A. Whisnant and wife Rebecca of Lenoir, Brian Whisnant and wife Tonya of Hudson, Lisa Seymore and husband David of Hudson, Kendall Robinson and husband Brian of Greensboro, Darren Homesley of Indian Trail, Shannon Homesley of Charlotte, Channing Roman and husband Stephen of New Egypt, N.J., and Trevor-Jon Whisnant of New York, N.Y.; 18 great-grandchildren, Seth, Allana and Trenton Whisnant, Matthew Seymore, Alex and Taylor Whisnant, Malachi, Aaron and Isaiah Kirby, Ariel, Alyssa and Carson McMasters, Landon Key, Caleb and Logan Homesley, who shares her great-grandmother’s birthday, Bria, Brandi and Larson Robinson; a sister, Dortha Yearout of Maryville, Tenn.; and 10 nieces and nephews, all of Tennessee.

A memorial service will be Monday July 8, 2013, at Fellowship Baptist Church on Fairwood Drive in Hudson at 2 p.m., conducted by the Rev. James Hamby.

The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service from 12:30 to 2 p.m. 

Interment will be in Maryville, Tenn., at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, NC 28645, Fellowship Baptist Church on Fairwood Drive, P.O. Box 306, Hudson, NC, or Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, N.C. All have had significant meaning for her.  

Online condolences may be left at

Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family.