The R-C News-Herald Obituaries for January 11, 2007

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Joseph R. Ward Sr.

SUFFOLK, Va. – Joseph Ray Ward Sr., 85, a native of Gates County, died January 7, 2007, at Sentara Obici Hospital. He was the widower of Frances Darden Ward.

Ward was a retired farmer and a member of Great Fork Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon. He was past master of McAllister Masonic Lodge No. 185, past chairman and board member of ASCS, past president of the Nansemond County Farm Bureau and former member of the Suffolk Shrine Club. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

Survivors include his sons, R. Darden Ward and Joseph Ray Ward Jr., both of Suffolk; a sister, Ellen Faircloth of Suffolk; and two grandchildren.

A funeral will be conducted Thursday at Great Fork Baptist Church by the Rev. Dr. Donald Ray Jones. Burial will be in Holly Lawn Cemetery. R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home & Crematory, was in charge. Memorial contributions may be made to the Nansemond Suffolk Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1515, Suffolk, VA 23439. Condolences may be registered at

Roger Thrift

NEW BERN – Roger Grange Thrift, 80, died January 7, 2007.

Thrift graduated from Chapel Hill High School. He was a veteran of World War II where he served in the Navy. He attended UNC, then transferred to ECU where he excelled in athletics winning many distinguished awards. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but instead followed his coaching passion. He began his coaching career at Murfreesboro High School, then moved on to Williamston, Sanford, and later as an assistant football coach at Davidson College.

In 1965 he moved to New Bern where he worked as Head Football Coach until 1976 and continued as Athletic Director at New Bern High School until his retirement in 1985. Roger was inducted into three Halls of Fame for his achievements as a college player, high school coach and administrator.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Frances Thrift; son, Michael Thrift of Wilmington; daughter, Kristi Thrift Gilgo; two sisters, Vera Rabin and Tut Thrift, both of Greensboro; and two grandchildren.

Funeral service was conducted Wednesday at Trinity United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 12867, New Bern, NC 28561. Pollock-Best Funerals and Cremations were in charge.

Cora L. Vaughan

COLERAIN – Cora Lawrence Vaughan, 79, a native of Tyrrell County, died January 8, 2007 in her home. She was the widow of Willie Godwin Vaughan.

Mrs. Vaughan was a homemaker and a member of Earlys Baptist Church.

Survivors include three daughters, Rose Davis and Jean Martin, both of Milwaukee, and Sue Coefield of Colerain; four sons, Bill Vaughan, Monte Brickhouse and Allen Brickhouse, all of Ahoskie and Glenn Brickhouse of Margarettsville; one sister, Mae Cummings of Ahoskie; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie, by the Rev. Al Hughson. Garrett Funeral Home is in charge.

Senator Robert L. Holloman

AHOSKIE n Senator Robert Lee Holloman, a native of Hertford County, died January 8, 2006 at his residence.

A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2006 at Nebo Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, NC. The Rev. Robert Richardson

will be officiating.

Burial will be in Highland Memorial Gardens.

There will be a viewing from 2 to 6 p.m. followed by a memorial service from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center in Murfreesboro, NC, on Thursday.

On Friday there will be a viewing from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Nebo Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, followed by the service. Hertford County Undertakers, Winton, is in charge of arrangements.

Senator Holloman is survived by his wife, Velma Holloman of Ahoskie, NC; one daughter, Jacqueline Holloman of Creedmoor, NC; one grandson, Keenen Evans of Creedmoor, NC; two brothers, Jessie Holloman of Ahoskie, NC and Edward Holloman of Murfreesboro, NC; and three sisters, Diann Craft and Nellie Gray Holland, both of High Point, NC and Mary Beasley of Ahoskie, NC.

Mary B. Councill

GATES – Mary Burton Councill, 73, a native of Gates County, died January 8, 2007, in her home.

Mrs. Councill was formerly employed in the meat department at both the Village Market and Family Foods of Gates, she was a member of Reynoldson Baptist Church where she had served as the pianist and had been a nursery worker for many years.

Survivors include her husband, William Thomas Councill Jr.; a daughter, Faye Councill Edge of Wilson; a son, Tommy Councill of Gates; two sisters, Dorothy B. Liverman of Cofield and Ailene B. Rountree of Virginia Beach; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two stepchildren.

Graveside services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday in Reynoldson Baptist Church Cemetery by the Rev. Billy Presley. Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main St., Gatesville, is in charge.

Gwendolyn M. Smith

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Gwendolyn M. Smith, 57, a native of Weldon, died January 6, 2007, at the home of her mother in Suffolk.

She was a member of Wisdom Ministries, Norfolk.

Survivors include her husband, Willie D. Smith of Portsmouth; four daughters, Miriam Clanton and Kathrine Clanton, both of Portsmouth, Kimblyn C. Moore of Ahoskie and Wanda Vincent of Suffolk; a son, David Clanton of Suffolk; her mother, Dorothy Butler of Suffolk; and seven grandchildren.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday in Corprew Funeral Home Chapel, Portsmouth. Burial will be in Olive Branch Cemetery, Portsmouth. The family will be at 1000 Litton Lane, Suffolk, and will assemble there for the procession to the chapel.

Mildred C. Hampton

SUFFOLK, Va. – Mildred Jeanette Crocker Hampton, 74, died January 9, 2007.

Mrs. Hampton originally retired from Helig-Meyers furniture store and later went on to retire from Suffolk Sheriff’s Dept. as the main secretary. She was a member of First Baptist Church on Main Street.

Survivors include her sister, Linda Crocker Clements of Suffolk; and two brothers, William Harvey Crocker of Wakefield and Ronald Wayne Crocker of Gatesville.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m.

Thursday at Parr Funeral Home by Dr. Bryan J. Ray. Contributions may be made to the Nansemond Suffolk Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1515, Suffolk, VA 23439. Condolences may also be registered at

Marvin Braswell

ROCKY MOUNT n Marvin Braswell, 20, died January 5, 2007 at Nash General Hospital.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at Word Tabernacle Church, Rocky Mount. Burial will be in Gardens of Gethsemane. A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at H.D. Pope Funeral Home, Rocky Mount.

Frances C. Bazemore

LEWISTON-WOODVILLE n Mrs. Frances Castello Bazemore, age 76, died January 8, 2007. Born March 13, 1930 in Powellsville, NC, the daughter of the late Zeddie and Lessie Casper Castello. She was also predeceased by her son, Glenwood Earl Bazemore Jr. and daughter Mary Gilroy.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Glenwood E. Bazemore, Sr.; her sons, Danny and Lewis Bazemore of Virginia; her daughters, Joyce Ann Wilson and Cynthia Jane Garner of Maryland; her brothers, Carl Castello and his wife Sadie, Gomer Castello, Craig Castello and his wife Linda; 17 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren; and many other family members.

Mrs. Bazemore was a member of First Christian Church of Oak City. Besides her family members, she leaves behind many Christian brothers and sisters.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 2 p.m. at Massey Funeral Home in Aulander, NC, with Minister Morgan Daughety and Minister Don Sharpe officiating. Burial will follow at Stoney Creek Cemetery in Powellsville.

The family received friends at Massey Funeral Home, Wednesday, from 2 until 4 p.m. and 7 until 9 p.m.

Annie Whitaker

RICH SQUARE n Annie Majette Whitaker, 92, died January 8, 2007.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at Branches Chapel Baptist Church by the Rev. Tony Flood. Burial will be in the Moore family cemetery, Rich Square. A visitation will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Lionel Whidbee Funeral Home, Rich Square.

Melissa D. Johnson

SPRING VALLEY, NY n Mrs. Melissa Denise Johnson, died January 1, 2007 in Spring Valley.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at Jerusalem Baptist Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Reynolds Funeral Home, Inc., Ahoskie, is in charge.

Survivors include one daughter, Bianca Johnson of Spring Valley; one stepdaughter, Maria Johnson of GA; her parents, Johnnie M. Black Sr. and Mildred Black, both of Woodland; one brother, Johnnie M. Black Jr. of Spring Valley; and one sister, Felicia R. Black of Spring Valley.