Obituaries for Dec. 5, 2013
Robin “Byrd” Lee Smith, 61, of Vance Street, Lenoir, died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at the residence. He was born July 3, 1952, in Caldwell County to the late Ester Mae Smith. In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by nephew, Gary Shannon Holman.
Survivors include two brothers, Gary Smith Sr. and wife Paulette, and Michael Smith, both of Lenoir; one sister, Brenda Carlyle and husband James of Lenoir; and two special friends, Patricia Duggins and Sally Cox.
Memorial services will be held Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Abundant Life Tabernacle conducted by Pastor David McNeil.
The family and friends will be gathering at the house of sister, Brenda Carlyle, 2614 Old Morganton Road, Lenoir, N.C.
Online condolences may be left at www.greer-mcelveenfuneralhome.com. Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
George Howard Poarch, 76, of Ravenwood Drive, Lenoir, died Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
Kathleen “Kitti” Raye Swinney Pennell, 53, of Virginia Beach, Va., formerly of Mooresville, Ind., died tragically Nov. 28, 2013, while working in Afghanistan, as a result of a terrorist rocket attack. Kitti was born Dec. 18, 1959, in Indianapolis, to the late R. Lowell Swinney and Joyce (Shelley) Swinney, who survives in Mooresville.
Kitti grew up in Mooresville, graduating from Mooresville High School in 1978. She was a tennis player and honor student in school. She graduated from Purdue University in 1982, where she was a member of Phi Mu Sorority. She had been employed as a Flight Operations Coordinator for AAR since June 2009. Prior to that, she was a flight dispatcher for FedEx in Indianapolis form 2000 – May 2009. Kitti loved learning and was a perpetual student. She was an accomplished quilter and spent many hours quilting during her flights. Kitti enjoyed racing and worked on an auto racing team in the ASA league with her late brother, Brian. Kitti will be missed by her loving family and many friends.
In addition to her father, Kitti was preceded in death by brothers, Brian L., Jonathan, and Andrew Swinney.
Survivors include her husband of nine years, Joseph Pennell; mother, Joyce (Shelley) Swinney of Mooresville; son, Wilson Clay Pennell; sisters, Lari Clayton of Mooresville, Indiana, Beki M. Poe (Ted) of Indianapolis, and Nan Alison Hebenstreit (James) of Indianapolis; a large and loving extended family, including eleven nieces and nephews.
Friends and family will gather on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 4 to 8 p.m., in the Carlisle – Branson Funeral Service & Crematory, Mooresville, Ind. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in the First Christian Church, 525 North Indiana St., Mooresville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Quilt of Valor, Wounded Warriors, to the Phi Mu Scholarship Fund, or to a local animal shelter. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Burial will be in West Newton Cemetery. Visit www.carlislebranson.com to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.
Ralph Lafate Miller, 83, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at Gateway Nursing Center. He was born in Caldwell County on Sept. 14, 1930, to the late Oscar James Miller and Bertha Mae Hall Miller.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Esther A. Miller; his son, Dale Eugene Miller; brothers, Wilson Miller, Carl Miller, and Boyd Miller; and sisters, Dorothy Miller and Clarissa Townsend.
He is survived by his grandson, Charlie Miller and wife Julie; granddaughter, Erin Simmons and husband Bradley; great-grandchildren, Dakota Simmons and Brittany Miller; sisters, Loreane White and husband Frank, and Linda Austin; brothers, James Miller, and Clyde Miller and wife Joann; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mr. Miller’s life will be held at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, at 1 p.m. with Pastor Glen Walker and Pastor Ed Warren officiating.
The family will receive friends from 12 until 1 prior to the service.
Online condolences may be sent to the Miller Family at www.evansfuneralservice.com
Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir is serving the Miller Family.
Margaret C. Corpening, 98, of Lenior died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Funeral Services are incomplete and will be announced by Ebony Funeral Services of Lenior.
Jeffrey Dean Ray, 55, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He was born in Caldwell County on July 1, 1958, to Judith E. Everhardt and the late Gary Dean Starr Ray. He was married to Deborah Bowman Ray of the residence.
Jeff was employed as a counselor with Alexander Juvenile Detention Center. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as Sergeant and was stationed in Japan, South Korea and the Phillipines. He was an ordained Baptist minister having earned his Bachelor’s degrees from Liberty University and Christian Bible College. He later graduated from World Union of Advanced Studies with a Master of Religious Art, Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Biblical Studies. Jeff was a martial artist having earned a second degree Black Belt in Warrior Spirit Jujitsu. He was accomplished marksman, competitive shooter, and an accomplished guitarist.
In addition to his wife and mother he is survived by his daughter Sarah Michelle Digh and husband David William Digh; daughter Deborah Melody Ray; brothers, Bryon Blakemore and Tony Blakemore; and grandchildren, Ava Catherine Digh, Emma Julienne Digh and Iris Genevieve Digh.
A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held in the Chapel of Evans Funeral Service on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Pastor Travis Oswald and Pastor Jim Lee officiating. Interment will immediately follow the service at Blue Ridge Memorial Park with Military Honors.
The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 prior to the service.
The family respectfully requests that memorials be sent to: SECU House, 1970 Baldwin Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.
Online condolences may be sent to the Ray Family at www.evansfuneralservice.com
Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir is serving the Ray Family.
Helen Alice Virginia Logan Kincaid, 82, died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced by Ebony Funeral Services of Morganton.