Obituaries for March 2, 2014

Mar. 02, 2014 @ 07:43 AM

Madelyne "Matt" Hawkins

Madelyne “Matt” Hawkins, age 92, of Forest City, NC, died Friday, February 28, 2014 at the White Oak Manor in Rutherfordton.
Born January 29, 1922 in Cleveland County, she was a daughter of the late Edward Avery Scruggs and Ora Lee Lawrence Scruggs. She worked for Burlington Industries for thirty-one years and retired from Sonoco-Crellin Plastics. Matt was known for her gift of calling her friends and family and singing “Happy Birthday” to them on their special day. She was a member of Sandy Mush Baptist Church and was a choir member and a nursery worker for thirty years. She loved her family dearly and was a person with a big heart for others. Her family enjoyed her famous homemade biscuits.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Paul Thomas Hawkins; daughter, Joann Hollifield; two sisters, Madge Downey and Margaret Gurley; three brothers, Ray Scruggs, Perry Scruggs and Lawton Scruggs; daughter-in-law, Agnes Hawkins and great-great-grandchild, Andre Devonne Moore, Jr.
Survivors include two sons, Jimmy Hawkins and Tim Hawkins and wife, Kim all of Caroleen; brother, Bobo Scruggs of Forest City and sister, Betty Jean Hartley of Charlotte, NC. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Nigel Hawkins, Lonnie Hawkins, Stephenie Hollifield, Brian Hollifield, Kaitlin Hawkins, Timisha Hawkins, Ian Hawkins; seven great-grandchildren, Tiffanie Spears, Amanda Sherbert and husband, Chris, Tyler Spears, Brent Hollifield, Kelsey Hollifield, Madelyn Hawkins, Cameron Hawkins and two great-great-grandchildren, Kadyn Spears and Keyanah Moore.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at the Harrelson Funeral Chapel with Reverend Ken Linder and Reverend Lanny J. Funchess officiating. Interment will follow in Rutherford County Memorial Cemetery. The family received friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorial donations are suggested to Sandy Mush Baptist Church, 676 US Highway 221A, Forest City, NC 28043 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.
Harrelson Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family.
An online guest registry is available at www.harrelsonfuneralhome.com.

Betty Jean Crowe Searcy

Betty Jean Crowe Searcy, age 78, of US Hwy. 64, died, Thursday, February 27, 2014, at Carolina House, in Forest City. A native of Rutherford County, she was a daughter of the late, Buren Crowe and Rachel Kendrick Crowe, she was a member of Brittain Presbyterian Church where she was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, served as treasurer of the Woman of the Church for 30 years, and sang in the choir. She was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary C. Crowe Jones, Mozelle Crowe Greene, and Martha Crowe Flack, and a great granddaughter, Ariana Grace.
Survivors include her husband of the home, Robert Searcy, a son, Phillip Searcy and his wife Debbie of Cary, NC, a daughter, Pam Searcy of Forest City, a brother, Reverend William Crowe, four sisters, Irene Black, Revonda Carswell, Mary Ann Forbes Blackwell, Nina Gettys, five grandchildren, Zack Searcy, Tripp Searcy, Josh Searcy, Chelsea Searcy, and Maggie Searcy.
Funeral services will be held at three o'clock in the afternoon, Monday, March 3, 2014, at Brittain Presbyterian Church with Betty's brother, Reverend William Crowe, officiating. Visitation will be from 2 until 3 in the sanctuary prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Brittain Presbyterian Church, 3456 US Hwy. 64, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. The Padgett and King Mortuary is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com.

Lela Willis Sims

Lela Willis Sims, age 95, of 192 Sims Street, Spindale, NC died Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Lela was born in Mitchell County, NC on January 26, 1919, moved to Mt. Holly, NC in late 1919, then to Rutherford County in 1935. She became a wife and homemaker in 1938. Later she worked for 5 years at Ruth School Cafeteria.
Lela was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph M. Sims, her parents, Melvin Willis and Mae Greene Willis and three sisters, Julia Green, Chris Bailey, and Willie Mae Goode.
She is survived by three children, Melvin Sims and wife Nancy, Mary Helen Sims Toms and husband John, and Catherine Sims Walker and husband Joe; ten grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren and fourteen great-great-grandchildren.
Lela was a member of Southern Baptist Church in Ruth, NC since 1935.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Monday, March 3, 2014 at Crowe’s Mortuary with Rev. John Perry officiating. Interment will be in Southern Baptist Church cemetery.
The family requests any memorials be made to Southern Baptist Church, Ruth, NC or Hospice of Rutherford County.
Online condolences at www.crowemortuary.com

Ralph Francis Bridges

ELLENBORO — Ralph Francis Bridges, 91, of Ellenboro, died Friday, February 28, 2014. A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Walls Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Stamey Funeral Home is serving the family.

Madelyne "Matt" Hawkins

FOREST CITY — Madelyne “Matt” Hawkins, 92, of Forest City, died Friday, February 28, 2014. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at the Harrelson Funeral Chapel. Interment will follow in Rutherford County Memorial Cemetery. Memorial donations are suggested to Sandy Mush Baptist Church, 676 US Hwy. 221A, Forest City, NC 28043 or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Harrelson Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family.

William "Bill" Leigh

SHELBY — William "Bill" Leigh, 87, of Shelby, died Friday, February 28, 2014. A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Clay-Barnette Funeral Home of Shelby Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be private and at a later date. Clay-Barnette Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Kenneth Lee Williams

SPINDALE — Kenneth Lee Williams, 60, of Spindale, died Thursday, February 27, 2014. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Crowe's Mortuary.