Obituaries, March 22, 2013

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 12:29 AM


Viola Ledford
FOREST CITY — Viola M. Ledford, age 88, died Wednesdat, March 20, 2013. No formal services are planned. Harrelson Funeral and Cremation Services is in charge of final arrangements.
Raymond Martin
RUTHERFORDTON — Raymond Martin, age 91, passed away on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Services will be announced at a later date. Crowe’s Mortuary is assisting the Martin family.
Joseph Edwin Sims
Joseph Edwin Sims, December 20, 1924, to March 20, 2013, was a life-long resident of Rutherfordton, NC. After a two-year battle with dementia, Ed passed away peacefully surrounded by his friends and family at the Hospice House in Forest City, NC. Despite his struggles, the Lord blessed him with a long and fulfilled life.
Edwin was the middle child born to Irene and David Sims. 
He was predeceased by his youngest sister, Mary Sue Frady and is survived by his oldest sister Evelyn Abrams. 
He was the beloved husband of Polly Frady Sims for 66 years. Ed will be forever remembered by his daughter, Diane Hamrick and her husband, Chuck; loving grandchildren, Warren and wife, Jenny, Lacey, and great-grandson, Mason Hamrick.
Ed loved tinkering with antiques, driving around on Sunday afternoons, and playing golf with his son-in-law and grandchildren. He touched the lives of countless people with his kindness and generosity.
Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service on Friday, March 22, 2013, at Southern Baptist Church in Ruth, NC, where he was a member. Visitation will be at 3 p.m. and the service will follow at 4 p.m. 
Donations may be made to the Southern Baptist Church Christian Life Center or the Hospice House of Rutherford County. 
Online condolences may be made at
                                                                                                                                         Bobbie Hovis Cox
Bobbie Hovis Cox, formerly of Charlotte and Denver, N.C., passed away peacefully at White Oak Manor in Rutherfordton on March 19, 2013.  
A native of Rutherfordton, Bobbie was born on November 26, 1922, to the late Hettie Kate and Robert Hovis. During World War II, at the age of 20, Bobbie enlisted into the Navy WAVES and was stationed in Washington, D.C. Her proudest moment was marching in the funeral procession of President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1970, as a middle-aged housewife and mother with ambition, talent, and boundless energy, Bobbie began to do what she loved best — playing the autoharp, singing and dancing for church groups, nursing homes, and corporate events — as “Granny Cobb.” Granny “smoked” a corn cob pipe, cackled and danced in her red-checked dress and bonnet. In an article in the Charlotte News in 1977, Bobbie declared that she was at her happiest when she was in costume, dancing, singing and entertaining. 
In later years, Bobbie and her beloved daughter moved to the Cross Country Campground, where she continued her entertaining and blossomed in the love of many dear friends. After moving to White Oak Manor in 2008, Bobbie continued to spread joy with her wonderful sense of humor and love to all who met her. She was truly “one of a kind” and will be deeply missed.
Bobbie was pre-deceased by her husband, Andy; beloved daughter, Andrea Kay; and two sisters, Sarah Hovis and Margaret Philbeck.  
Left to cherish her memory are her two sisters, Dot Beatty of Spindale N.C. and Sybil James of Tallahassee, Fla; nieces, Janna James and Bobbie Rushing of Tallahassee, Florida, Jane Johnson of Spindale, Ginny McCurry of Shelby, Barbara Warren of Charlotte; nephew Robert Philbeck of Raleigh; three grandnieces and four grandnephews. 
The family would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the devoted staff of White Oak of Rutherfordton who have cared for Bobbie for the last five years and for the special love and care given in her final days by Hospice of Rutherford County.  
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, P.O. Box 336, Forest City, N.C. 28043.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday March 23, 2013, at Spindale United Methodist Church, 185 E. Main St., Spindale, N.C. 28160 with Rev. Bruce M. Jones officiating. The family will receive friends at the church at 10:30 a.m. prior to the service. A graveside service will follow at 2:30 p.m.. at Sharon Memorial Park, 5716 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, N.C. 28212.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Arrangements are in the care of McEwen Funeral Services at Sharon Memorial Park.
Estelle McKinney Toney
CHESNEE - Estelle McKinney Toney, 80, of Battleground Road, Chesnee, died on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home. 
A native of Rutherford County, she was born on May 08, 1932, a daughter of the late Genous McKinney and Cassie Walker McKinney. She was a homemaker and member of Freedom Baptist Church and loved to work in her flower garden.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie Earl Toney; one brother, Warren McKinney; five sisters, Aileene Artman, Flossie Huntsinger, Velma Sprouse, Geneva Ingle and Genelle Houser. 
She is survived by her sons, Dennis Keith Bright, Sr. and wife, Earlene of Piedmont; her grandchildren, Dennis Bright, Jr. and wife, Lisa and Christopher Bright; her great grandchildren, Logan Bright and Hayden Bright.
Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, at Eternal Hills Cemetery with the Rev. Billy Kersh officiating. The body will lie in state from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at McKinney-Landreth & Carroll Funeral and Cremation Service.
McKinney-Landreth & Carroll Funeral and Cremation Service is serving the Toney family.
An online guest register is available at
Valerie Bland
Valerie Wilkins Bland, age 91, of Tanner Street, Rutherfordton, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, March 21, 2013, at Rutherford Regional Medical Center.  
A native of Rutherford County, she was the daughter of the late Thomas Wilkins, Sr. and Zena Crawley Wilkins and widow of the late Ernest Bland. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Rutherfordton where she was a member of the choir. Valerie loved her Lord, her family, music, and her church, and will be deeply missed.
Survivors include her son, Steve Bland and wife, Jennifer of Plano, TX; three grandchildren, Kimberly Keith and husband, Dylan, Brian Bland and wife, Shellie, and Lauren Boyce and husband, Blake; and five great grandchildren, Noah Boyce, Katelyn Boyce, Maci Boyce, Sawyer Bland and Hadley Bland. 
She was also preceded in death by her brothers, Thomas Wilkins, Jr., Floyd Wilkins, Charles Wilkins, and Robert Wilkins.
Funeral services will be held three o'clock in the afternoon, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in the First Baptist Church of Rutherfordton with Rev. Dean Baughn and Rev. Tim Marsh officiating. Interment will follow in the Eternal Hills Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from two until three o' clock Sunday in the church fellowship hall. 
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 246 N. Main Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. 
The Padgett & King Mortuary is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at
James Harold Kirksey
James Harold Kirksey, 66, of 4208 Somerdale Lane, died on Thursday, March 21, 2013, at his home. 
He was born in Morganton, NC, son of the late Michael Adams and Hazel Harris Kirksey. He was a member of the Oasis Temple of the Shrine.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Whaley Kirksey; three children, Roxanne Kirksey Phillips and husband, Chip of Mount Holly, Jennifer Kirksey Bradley and husband, Jeffrey of Rutherfordton, and Kyle Adams Kirksey of Charlotte; four grandchildren Kylie, Jackson, and Yates Bradley and Carson Hazel Phillips.
A service to celebrate the life of Mr. Kirksey will be held at 12 noon, Saturday, March 23, 2013, at New Life Baptist Church in Mount Holly with Reverend Allen Foreman officiating. Burial will follow at the Kirksey-Deck Family Cemetery in Dysartsville, NC. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church and at other times will be at the home of Roxanne and Chip Phillips, 209 Margarette Avenue, Mount Holly.
Memorials may be made to New Life Baptist Church, 201 Oak Trail, Belmont, NC, 28012.
Woodlawn Funeral Home in Mount Holly is serving the family.