The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Obituaries for June 24, 2008

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ruth G. Whitley

Ruth Grantham Whitley, 69, of 106 W. High St., Murfreesboro, NC. passed away at the home of her sister and brother-in-law at 1412 Ridge Rd., Lancaster, PA on Thursday, June 19, 2008.

Born in Murfreesboro, Hertford Co., NC, where she was a lifelong resident, she was the daughter of the late Robert Eldridge and Mildred Elizabeth Boone Whitley.

Ruth graduated from Murfreesboro High School, valedictorian of her class. Following high school she was a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority.

After college, she was employed by Leggett Myers Tobacco Company, Durham, NC. After several years she returned home to teach school before becoming involved with the family business, Whitley’s Barbeque in Murfreesboro, later becoming the owner and manager of the business after her father. She developed the business to become a well-known and appreciated northeastern North Carolina restaurant destination specializing in popular foods of the region. Ruth dedicated her life to this work until August 13, 2007 at which point she suffered a devastating stroke. Until time of her death she was being cared for by her family. Ruth appreciated the beauty of many things in life and special qualities in other people. She was especially in tune with the marvel of nature. Yellowstone and places of the American West were dear to her heart. She had worked in Yellowstone during college.

She is survived by her sister, Nancy Boone Whitley Sidebottom, wife of W. Jeffrey, Lancaster, PA and a niece, Katherine Sidebottom Simpson, wife of George Lee, IV, Raleigh, NC.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Ruth’s Life Celebration Memorial Service from the Murfreesboro Baptist Church, Main St., Murfreesboro, NC, on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 3:00 PM with The Rev. Lee Canipe officiating. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

Friends may call at the church from 2:00 PM until time of service. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Yellowstone Association, PO Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190, 307-344-2289

Joanne Melinda Johnson

Joanne Melinda Herndon Johnson, 66, of Cary, died Saturday, June 21, 2008 in Wake Medical Center Cary.

She was born in Wake County on June 5, 1942 to William Thad Herndon and Annabell Nance. Mrs. Johnson retired from Duke Medical Center in 2004 after 44 years of service as an Insurance Claims Specialist in the Private Diagnostic Center. She is survived by her husband, Louis Johnson; mother: Annabell Fryar of Spring Arbor; sisters Claudia Clayton of Apex; Mary Lou Breedlove of New Hill; Step Daughters; Pam Mihovch and husband, CC of Wanchese, NC, Susan Johnson of Winter Haven, FL; grandchildren: Brent and Ashley Hymes; several nieces and nephews; many grand nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Kathy Whitfield.

The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at Apex Funeral Home, 550 W. Williams St. (Hwy 55), Apex.

There will be a funeral service at 11:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008 in the Chapel of Apex Funeral Home.

Burial will be in Roberts Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery, Pendleton, NC at 3:00 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2008.

The funeral service will be conducted by Reverend Dr. Steve Barker.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 1300 St. Mary’s St., Suite 300, Raleigh, NC


Condolences may be made to

Alvah E. Bradley

AHOSKIE – Alvah Edward Bradley, 79, a native of Bertie County, died June 21, 2008 at Roanoke Chowan Hospital.

Bradley was a former deacon of New Hope Baptist Church, Ahoskie, and retired in 1994 as a resident Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Survivors include his wife, Erva L. Bradley; one daughter. Gayle Deans of Aulander; three sons, Michael “Mike” Bradley and Kenneth Bradley, both Ahoskie, and Marshall Bradley of Franklin, Va.; three sisters, Cleo Tinkham, Betty Lou Bazemore and Elaine Witt, all of Aulander; 14 grandchildren; and 17 great grandchildren.

A service to celebrate Mr. Bradley’s life was conducted Monday at Garrett Funeral Home Ashley Chapel 205 NC Highway 42 West Ahoskie, by the Rev. Thomas Lamm. Burial

followed in Highland Memorial Gardens. Flowers are welcome or donations may be made to Alzheimers Research 22512 Gate Way Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD. 20871.

Mary F. Williams

EDENTON n Mary Elizabeth Fairless Williams, 85, a native of Hertford County, died June 22, 2008. She was the widow of Donnis Wilson Williams.

A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, by the Rev. Forrest Guthrie. Burial will be in Damascus Christian Church Cemetery. Friends may join the family at her home, 113 Creek Trail, Arrowhead Beach, Edenton.

Mrs. Williams was a cashier at the former Rountree and Riddick General Merchandise in Sunbury and was a member of Damascus Christian Church, and both the VFW and American Legion Ladies Auxiliaries.

Survivors include a daughter, Frances W. Lassiter of Greensboro; a sister, Florence Pierce; a brother, Shirley Fairless, both of Harrellsville; and two grandsons.

Robert P. Kerr

JACKSON n Robert Price Kerr, 81, a native of Mecklenburg County, died June 21, 2008 at Halifax Medical Center, Roanoke Rapids.

A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Jackson Baptist Church by the Rev. Joe McLean. Burial will be in Crestview Memorial Cemetery, Roanoke Rapids, with Masonic Rites. Memorial contributions may be made to Jackson Rescue Squad, Jackson, NC 27845. Massey Funeral Home, Jackson, is in charge.

Survivors include a sister, Catherine Kerr Price of Jackson; and a brother, Johnny Kerr of Fort Mill, SC.

Wallace Lassiter

LEWISTON-WOODVILLE n Wallace Albert “Nick” Lassiter, 49, died June 13, 2008 at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

A funeral was conducted Saturday at New Bethlehem, Windsor. Burial was in Springhill Church Cemetery, Lewiston.

Tom L. Lassiter Sr.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Tom Lee Lassiter Sr., 84, a native of Gates County, died June 20, 2008, in a local hospital.

Lassiter was a World War II veteran and was retired from General Electric, formerly of Portsmouth. He worked 20 years at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and previously owned a television repair service before his tenure at General Electric Co. He was a member of Biltmore Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Vivian Inez Lassiter; four sons, Tommy Lassiter Jr. of Sharon Grove, Ky., Steve Lassiter of Martinsburg, W. Va., David Lassiter and Carl Lassiter, both of Portsmouth; and four grandchildren.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel, by the Rev. T.M. Frye. Sturtevant Funeral Home is in charge.

Walter H. Butler

ZUNI, VA -Walter H. Butler, “Jiggs”, born May 1916,

in Zuni, VA, (92) returned to his post as one of God’s angels on June 20, 2008.

Jiggs was the son of the late Theodosia Bowden Butler and Lloyd Hudson Butler.

He was one of five siblings.

Jiggs joined the United States Army in 1935, and completed basic training at Ft. Monroe.

He served at Ft. Lee, in Hawaii, other US duty stations and in Europe, most notably through the entire duration of World War II.

He was a dedicated soldier, attaining the then highest non-commissioned officer rank of Master Sergeant.

In 1941, Jiggs and Margaret Lassiter (deceased) were married.

After returning from the war, he returned to Ft. Lee and was later reassigned to Vienna, Austria.

In 1951, Jiggs was then assigned to serve in Augsburg, Germany.

In 1952, Jiggs and Margaret adopted Gerald Wayne “Jerry”.

In 1955 the family returned to the United States.

Jiggs retired after 20 years of service and they settled in Zuni, VA.

Upon his return, Jiggs, a charter member of the Bethany Presbyterian Church, served as Elder and Sunday school teacher and was active within the men’s group.

Jiggs is survived by his son Jerry Butler, a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, Essie Woods; sister-in-law and a multitude of friends.

A celebration of Jiggs’ life was held Monday, June 23, 2008 at 10 AM in Bethany Presbyterian Church, Zuni, VA, by the Rev. Douglas L. Van Niel, with burial at Holly Lawn Cemetery in Suffolk, VA. A reception was held following the burial at the Fellowship Hall of the church.

The family received friends in the R. W. Baker & Co Funeral Home & Crematory, 509 W. Washington St, Suffolk VA 23434 on Sunday, June 22, 2008 from 3 to 5:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Jiggs to Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5358 Zuni Cir, Zuni, VA 23898 or Windsor Volunteer Rescue Squad, 19 E Windsor Blvd, Windsor, VA 23487. Condolences may be registered at

Archie Newsome

AULANDER n Archie Ray Newsome, 71, a native of Hertford County, died June 22, 2008 at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Massey Funeral Home, Aulander, by the Rev. Randy Miller. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Survivors include his daughters, Deborah Newsome Fuller of Youngsville, and Sandra Dee Newsome Brazille of Baltimore, Md.; sons, James Lee Newsome and Michael Richard Soles, both of Baltimore; a sister, Virginia Newsome of Trenton, Texas; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Wilhemina M. Weaver

AHOSKIE — Wilhemina Moore Weaver, died June 21, 2008 in Willingboro, NJ.

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