Obituaries for April 16, 2014

Apr. 15, 2014 @ 04:33 PM

Knox Bradford

William Knox Bradford of Lenoir died peacefully April 15, 2014, two days before his 98th birthday. Born April 17, 1916, Knox was the son of the late Robert K. and Catherine Smith Bradford. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Evelyn Alley Bradford; a son, Dennis Knox Bradford; a brother, Burley "Bud" Bradford; and two sisters, Mattie and Celia Bradford.

As a child Knox was very creative, building a car from an old motor he found in a creek below his house. These skills served him well in the army during World War II, where he worked as a truck mechanic. Knox was stationed in the Philippines and Okinawa and Hiroshima, Japan, and witnessed firsthand the destruction caused by the atomic bombs.

Knox worked for years for Kent Coffey Manufacturing, then for Singer Furniture. He was a charter member of South Lenoir Baptist Church which later became College Avenue Baptist Church, where he served in many areas of leadership. He also enjoyed his time as a member of the Lenoir Optimist Club.

When Knox learned at 82 that he would need bypass surgery for the second time, he told the doctor he expected it to last 20 years like the surgery at 62 had. He became a dedicated walker, which he still did, weather permitting, around his neighborhood circle. Even in his last days, Knox did not lose his sense of humor.

Knox Bradford is survived by a son, Gary Bradford and wife Caroline of Lenoir; four grandchildren, Claire Coffey of Charlotte, Courtney Hedrick of Kannapolis, Robert Bradford of Houston, Texas, and Todd Bradford of Biloxi, Miss.; and three great-grandchildren, Drew and Will Hedrick and Knox Bradford.

The service for Knox Bradford will be held Thursday, April 17, 2014, at 4 p.m. at Evans Funeral Service conducted by the Rev. Charles Brawley, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be private.

The family would like to extend their thanks to the many close friends who visited and kept in touch with Knox on a very regular basis. A special thanks to Janet and Tim Suter. Thanks also to the caregivers at Lenoir Healthcare Center.

Memorials may be made to College Avenue Baptist Church, 1201 College Ave. SW, Lenoir, NC 28645, or to one’s favorite charity.

Online condolences may be sent to the Bradford Family at

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

Robert Merryman Sr.

Robert Wesley Merryman Sr., 78, of Morganton passed away Monday April 14, 2014, at Burke Hospice and Palliative Care.

No services will be scheduled at this time.

Cornerstone Cremation Funeral Celebrations, Lenoir is serving the Merryman family.

An online obituary is available at

Bryson McAlpin

Bryson Ulysses McAlpin, 79, of Taylorsville passed away on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Gordon Hospice House.

There are no formal services at this time.

Ronnie Howell

Ronnie Gene Howell, 68, of Taylorsville died Monday, April 14, 2014.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at Alexander Funeral Service. Services will be 1 p.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Liberty Grove Baptist Church. Burial will follow.

Shelby Hoke

Shelby Jean Smith Hoke, 73, of Piney Road, Morganton, died Monday, April 14, 2014, at Caldwell UNC Health Care. She was born Nov. 14, 1940, in Caldwell County to the late George Haywood and Beoria Adkins Smith. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Frances Fox, and one brother, Vernon Smith.

Mrs. Hoke was retired in the accounts receivable department of Bernhart Furniture. She was a member of East Flat Baptist Church for more than 43 years.

Survivors include her husband, George M. Hoke of the home; one daughter, Jennifer Lynn Wertz of Ivanhoe, Va.; one brother, George Haywood Smith Jr. and wife Loretta of Piney; four sisters, Jane S. Wilcox and husband June, and Janie S. Richardson, both of Piney, Betty Lou Smith of Hickory and Judy Smith of Morganton; four grandchildren, Vanessa Wertz, Josh Wertz, Zack Wertz and Heather Wertz; and three great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Tabitha and Lynn.

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 18, 2014, at 3 p.m. at East Flat Baptist Church conducted by Dr. Claude B. Suddreth and Preacher Brooks Kirby. Interment will follow at the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 3 p.m. prior to the service at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to East Flat Baptist Church, 2252 Collettsville Road, Lenoir, NC 28645.

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

Helen McDowell

Helen Lucille McDowell, 85, of Morganton died April 14, 2014. Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced by Ebony Funeral Service of Morganton.

Mary Corpening

Mary Corpening, 90, of Valdese died April 15, 2014. Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced by Ebony Funeral Services of Morganton.