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The R-C News-Herald Obituaries for December 15, 2007

Norman R. Eason

SUNBURY – Norman Ray Eason, 80, a native of Gates County, died December 11, 2007, in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Eason was a retired farmer, he had served on the Gates County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for more than 40 years, was a former member of the Gates County ASCS Board, in the early years of formation was a member of the Gates County Rescue Squad, had served as a community tax collector for the Gates County Tax Dept., and was a lifelong member of Oak Grove Christian Church where he had served as a deacon, chairman of the cemetery committee and as superintendent of Sunday school.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 60 years, Myrtle Eure Eason; two sons, Calvin R. Eason and N. Wayne Eason, both of Sunbury; a sister, Grace Ober of Edenton; two brothers, Carey Eason of Gatesville and Rufus Eason of Portsmouth; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held Friday at Oak Grove Christian Church Cemetery by the Rev. Garrett Lewis. Memorial contributions may be made to the cemetery fund of Oak Grove Christian Church, c/o Annette Modlin, 590 US Hwy. 158 E., Sunbury, NC 27979.

Carol P. Hewitt

WINTERVILLE – Carol Pritchard Hewitt, 62, died December 11, 2007.

The funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday Hobbsville Baptist Church. Miller Funeral Home is in charge.

Wallace Bynum

SEVERN n Wallace Bynum, 84, died December 9, 2007.

A funeral was conducted Thursday at the J.W. Faison Memorial Chapel, Seaboard, by the Rev. Elisha Barnes. Burial was in First Baptist Church Cemetery, Severn. Faison’s Funeral Home was in charge.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Branch Byrum; his children, Annie Bynum of Severn, Ronnie Bynum of Fitzgerald, Ga., and Oscar Bynum of Spring Lake; four children he reared, Ellen Bethea and Vera Artis, both of Pendleton, Gloria Ricks of Severn and Roshawn Turner of Elizabeth City; one brother, Elton Bynum of Pontiac, MI; two sisters, Annie Jefferson of Littleton and Wanda Blanding of Roanoke Rapids; 17 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Pernell Edwards

MARGARETTSVILLE n Pernell Edwards, 45, died December 12, 2007 at Halifax Regional Medical Center, Roanoke Rapids.

A visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. Sunday with the funeral service beginning at 2 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Margarettsville by the Rev. Abraham Walton. Interment will be in the church cemetery. H.D. Pope Funeral Home, Roanoke Rapids, is in charge.

Luther S. Pierce

AHOSKIE n Luther Shawn Pierce, died December 12, 2007 at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Plains Baptist Church, Ahoskie, by the Rev. Elton Hall. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Reynolds Funeral Home, Inc., Ahoskie, is in charge.

Survivors include his parents, Sadie Pierce of Cofield and Luther J. Pierce of Winton; one son, Derrick Pierce of Charlotte; and one brother, Randy Pierce of Ahoskie.

Willie B. Hardy

SCOTLAND NECK – Mrs. Willie B. Hardy, 91, a native of Halifax County, died December 13, 2007 at the Bryan Long Term Care Facility in Scotland Neck. She was the widow of Vernon Carlisle Hardy.

She was a member of the Hope Freewill Baptist Church in Scotland Neck.

She was employed with the Freeze Restaurant in Scotland Neck.

Survivors include one daughter, Brenda Hardy Conner of Rich Square; 11 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

A funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hope Freewill Baptist Church, Scotland Neck, by the Rev. Billy Poteat. Burial will be at the Trinity Episcopal Cemetery in Scotland Neck. The family will receive friends at Sykes Funeral Service, 202 East Tenth Street in Scotland Neck on Saturday evening from 7-8:30 p.m.

Chloree V. Overton

AHOSKIE – Chloree Vick Overton, 84, a native of Bertie County, died December 12, 2007, in Roanoke Chowan Hospital. She was the widow of Herman Sherwood Overton.

Mrs. Overton was a member of Center Grove Baptist Church, and a homemake.

Survivors include a daughter, Alice Jane Beamon of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; two sons, Herman Brinkley Overton and Richard Sherwood Overton, both of Ahoskie; one sister, Helen Francis of Norfolk; seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life graveside service will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Highland Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Tommy Kiker. Garrett Funeral Home Ashley Chapel, 205 NC Hwy. 42 West, Ahoskie, is in charge. Memorial donations may be made to University Health Systems Hospice, P.O. Box 272, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or to The American Cancer Society, Raleigh Administrative Resource Center, 11 South Bolton, Suite 221, Raleigh, NC 27603.

Tony Bazemore

WINDSOR n Tony Ross Bazemore, died December 13, 2007 at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Reynolds Funeral Home, Inc., Ahoskie, is in charge.

Dolores C. Benjamin

Dolores Collins Benjamin, 94, whose parents were born in Winton, died November 27, 2007 in the Ashbrook Nursing Home in Scotch Plains, N.J.  She was 94.

Mrs. Benjamin was the subject of the recently published book, Sounds of Music: The Dolores Collins Benjamin Story, which documents her  history and that of the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club.  Founded in her Newark, N.J. home in 1939, the all-male African-American choral group is one of the nation’s longest continuously performing ensembles of its kind.

Mrs. Benjamin was a musical prodigy who began playing piano at age eight at Central Baptist Church in Berkley.  After graduating from   Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk in 1930, she entered Virginia State College in Petersburg, Va., where she came under the influence of some of the most important educators of her era, including Luther P. Jackson, an early civil rights leader, and Undine Smith Moore, who was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in musical composition. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority for 75 years.

Mrs. Benjamin’s husband, Joe Benjamin, was a noted jazz bassist. He died in 1974 after spending twenty-five years as Duke Ellington’s copyist. He also toured extensively with Ellington and other jazz greats, including Sarah Vaughan, Dave Brubeck, and Gerry Mulligan.

Mrs. Benjamin was interred beside her husband and mother in Hollywood Cemetery in Union Township, N.J., where she lived for many years. Her survivors include her cousin, Odell Reynolds Robinson, proprietor of the Reynolds Funeral Home and a second cousin, Sedonia Jones, both of Ahoskie.

Herman M. Hughes

COLERAIN n Herman Melvin Hughes, 92, a native of Bertie County, died December 13, 2007, at his home.

Hughes was a member of Colerain Baptist Church.  He was also of member of the Woodmen of the World, and an Army veteran of WWII.

Survivors include his wife, Clara Casper Hughes; two daughters, Julia A. Hughes of Colerain, and Sandra Elaine Davis of Scotland Neck; and one grandson.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Colerain Baptist Church by the Rev. Don Roberts.  Burial will be in Hillcrest Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at Garrett Funeral Home from 7 until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and other times at the home.  Flowers are welcome, or memorial donations may be made to Colerain Baptist Church, 202 N. Main Street, Colerain, NC, 27924.

Jesse Robertson Jr.

HARRELLSVILLE n Jesse Lass Robertson Jr., 66, a native of Jessup, GA, died December 13, 2007.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Harrellsville Baptist Church by the Rev. Jimmy Jarrell and the Rev. Joe Lassiter. Burial will be in Harrellsville Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 until 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Massey Funeral Home, Aulander.

Robertson was a supervisor with Red Apple Market and following his retirement had worked with Trademart stores.

Survivors include his wife, Julia Holloman Robertson; daughters, Katrina Dunlow of Aulander and Karla Taylor of Beargrass; three sisters, Jane Brown of Aulander, Katherine Lassiter of Powellsville and Thelma Williams of Ahoskie; and six grandchildren.

James Eley Sr.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. n James W. Eley Sr., died December 11, 2007 at Maryview Medical Center, Portsmouth.

A funeral will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday at Corprew Funeral Home, Portsmouth. Burial will be in the Eley family cemetery, (Big Mary Road,) Winton. Reynolds Funeral Home, Inc., Ahoskie, is in charge.