Obituaries for Aug. 20, 2013

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 05:33 PM

Georgia Headley

Georgia Robbins Headley, 74, of Farnham, Va., passed away Aug. 14, 2013, at Mary Washington Hospital. Georgia was born on April 20, 1939, in Caldwell County to the late R. Charlie Robbins and Cedren Bowman Robbins.

She was a 1957 graduate of Happy Valley High School and recently retired.

Survivors include her husband of 55 years, Melvin Headley of the home; one son, Jerry Headley and wire Teresa of Bealeton, Va.; one brother, Gurney Robbins and wife Linda of Lenoir; and one sister, Paula Reese of Rydal, Ga.

She was grandma to Brandy, Sara, and Kiben and three great-granddaughters. Also, she was Aunt Georgia to Sheri, Debbie, Marty, and Bobby.

Graveside services were held Aug. 16, 2013, at Oakland United Methodist Church with the Rev. Gurney Robbins officiating.

Vester Williams

Vester “Red” Williams, 86, of Morganton went home to be with his Lord on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. Born June 1, 1927, in Caldwell County, he was the son of the late James Carl Williams and Gladie Crotts Williams. Vester was a very active member of the First Advent Christian Church in Morganton. He served in the US Army during World War II. Vester was a retired employee of Henredon Furniture, and he thoroughly enjoyed shopping at Wal-Mart.

Vester is survived by brothers, Clyde Paris Williams of Lenoir, and Word Wise Williams of Georgia; a number of nieces and nephew; his church family; and close friends Tommy Carlton and Frances Pittman.

In addition to his parents, Vester was preceded in death by sisters, Connie Hollar and Lucille Watson.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, at First Advent Christian Church with the Rev. Patrick Bradshaw officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park with military rites conducted by the N.C. National Guard and the Caldwell County Veterans Honor Guard. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Thursday. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Advent Christian Church, 211 Lenoir Road, Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Condolences may be made online at

John Johnson

John Davis “JD” Johnson of Lenoir passed away Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, at Shaire Center.

Mr. Johnson was born in Caldwell County to the late Barney C. Johnson and Alice Anderson Johnson. He was also preceded in death by his brothers Barney C. “Jr.” Clinard and Claude Johnson, and a sister, Alma J. White.

He was retired from the textile industry and a veteran proudly serving during WWII. He was a member of Whitnel First Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon, Sunday school teacher and was very involved in the Food Ministry. He also served on numerous other committees in the church over the years. Mr. Johnson was also involved in many business ventures during his life which included founding J & J Motor Sales along with his brother, owning Maehill Esso Service Station and a chicken farm he operated for Holly Farms.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 66 years, Ruth Pritchard Johnson; his son, John D. Johnson Jr. (Johnny) and wife Carol of Lenoir; his daughters, Barbara J. Weeks and husband Wayne of Granite Falls, and Brenda J. Wilson and husband Terry of Maiden; a brother, Earl Johnson and wife Rachel of Wilkesboro; and sisters, Charlotte J. Matherly and husband Ronald, and Linda J. Enloe and husband Bob, both of Wilkesboro. He also leaves behind nine grandchildren, Eddie Braswell, Jeremy Saunders, Joshua Saunders, Jonathan Johnson, Cindy Wolfe, Michael Brewer, Christa Weeks, Jeffrey Weeks and Tyler Wilson, and six great grandchildren, Zachary Braswell, Penelope Saunders, Beatrice Saunders, Brodie Weeks, Nicholas Wolfe and Gage Wolfe.

Services for Mr. Johnson will be held Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Whitnel First Baptist Church with the Rev. Don Ingle, the Rev. Stuart White and the Rev. Jack Church officiating. Burial will follow the service in the church cemetery.

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

Serving as pallbearers will be Jeremy Saunders, Joshua Saunders, Michael Brewer, Jerry Wolfe, Kevin Pritchard and Dusty Weaver. Honorary pallbearers will be Eddie Braswell and Jonathan Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Whitnel First Baptist Church Food Pantry at P.O. Box 2999, Lenoir, NC 28645, or to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care at 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Pendry’s Lenoir Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of John Davis “JD” Johnson.

Online condolences to the family may be placed at

Cathy Paul

Cathy Renee Watson Paul, 54, went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.

She was born in Caldwell County on March 17, 1959, to the late Carson Watson and Caroleen Suddreth Watson.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother, Larry S. Watson.

She is survived by her two loving daughters, Heather E. Paul and fiancée Miguel; Amber A. Paul and husband Jason; granddaughters, Caroleen L. Caballero and Carson R. Paul; her twin sister, Carol Worthen; brothers, Edward Watson, Mike Watson; sisters, Lola Aiken, Joann Lutz, Carla Hampton, Phyllis Nellis, Elaine Woodruff, Debbie Ammons, Beverly Shook; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be sent to East Flat Baptist Church, 2085 East Flat Church Road, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Online condolences may be sent to the Paul Family at

Evans Funeral Service & Crematory of Lenoir is serving the Paul Family.

Ricky Bryant

Ricky Lee Bryant, 49, Jonesborough, Tenn., passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 at the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital.

He was a native of Mitchell County and son of Troy and June Buchanan Bryant of Bakersville. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Edgar and Allie Buchanan, and Dave and Rosa Bryant.

He was a graduate of Haywood Community College with a degree in Lumber Specialist. He was a lumber grader for many years and owner of Bryant Lumber Company. He went on to join his father at B&B Stone Company in Johnson City, Tenn.

Rick was an avid sports fan and a wonderful father who loved his children dearly. He was a wonderful son, brother, husband and a loyal friend to many. He will be missed by all who knew him.

He was a lifelong member of Big Rock Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville and attended the First Baptist Church in Jonesborough.

Survivors, in addition to his parents, include his wife, Beth Bryant of Jonesborough; one son, A.J. Bryant; one daughter, Kellie Bryant; two sisters, Gail Gouge and husband Ron of Johnson City, and Amy Hoilmon and husband Johnny of Bakersville; and several nieces and nephews.

A Memorial service will be held on 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Jonesborough, with the Rev. Joel Cook and the Rev. James Harrison officiating. The family will receive friends from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday prior to the service. Music will be provided by Bill Hurd.

Condolences may be sent to the Bryant family online at

Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, 753-3821

Sarah Lowe

Sarah Belle Steelman Lowe, 82, of Lenoir joined her Savior and her husband in heaven Saturday, Aug. 17.

Sarah was born in Rock Hill, S.C., May 22, 1931, the third daughter of Charlie and Mary Laws Steelman. Sarah grew up in a close, loving family that included her half-brother, Jean, and sisters Ruth, Mary, Pat and Martha. She lived most of her childhood in Oakwoods, Wilkes County, and graduated from Wilkesboro High School in 1950.

In July of that year she married Cody Lee Lowe Jr. of Moravian Falls, her high-school sweetheart. To say they were devoted to each other was understatement. They soon moved to Lenoir and were hardly separable for 21 years as they raised two sons, Cody Lee III and Michael Charles, before Cody Jr. died at age 41 in 1972.

Defying a 1950s stereotype, Sarah ingrained in her boys the idea of the equality of the sexes long before the word “feminist” became popular. When the boys were small she was a homemaker, serving as an officer in Homemaker Extension Clubs.

As the boys got older, she worked as a secretary at Fairfield Chair Co. and took classes at Caldwell Community College. Her world began to change in early 1971, when her husband was diagnosed with melanoma. Although consumed with grief at his loss a year later, she clung to her Christian faith and determined to complete her education.

She received an associate’s degree from the community college, went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, and a doctor of education degree from N.C. State University. Over the next two decades she worked in a variety of fields, teaching at business colleges, working in juvenile corrections, supervising a retirement community office, and serving as an administrator at Caldwell Shelter Home.

Sarah remained a faithful servant leader in the churches she attended, earning a state chaplaincy certification and leading an Elijah House ministry to those with physical and emotional pain.

She was a devoted grandmother to five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was also a beloved aunt of 19 nieces and nephews, a mentor to dozens of her children’s friends, and loving sister-in-law.

There will be a celebration of Sarah’s life Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 11 a.m. at Whitnel Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1890 Connelly Springs Road, Cajah's Mountain. The service will be preceded at 10 a.m by a viewing and reception at the church. A private interment will be held later. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Sarah’s name to Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, N.C. 28645.

Online condolences may be sent to the Lowe Family at

Evans Funeral Service and Crematory is serving the Lowe family.