Obituaries, January 28, 2014

Jan. 28, 2014 @ 05:17 PM


Nola Day

DURHAM — Mrs. Nola Day, 94, longtime resident of Durham, passed away Sunday, January 26, 2014 at her son’s home in Roxboro. She was born in Granville County to the late Lester Williford and the late Lillian Dean Williford. Mrs. Day was also preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Jones Day, Sr.
Mrs. Day is survived by her son, Thomas Jones Day, Jr., and wife, Tammy; grandchildren, W. Samuel Day, Elizabeth J. Day; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be held 1 p.m., Wednesday at Durham Primitive Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Surl Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Person Co. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 11:30 to 12:45 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Durham Primitive Baptist Church and mail to, Mr. Larry Byrd, 715 North 9th St. Mebane NC 27302.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Virgie Matthews Lewis
DURHAM — Mrs. Virgie Matthews Lewis, 81, passed away Sunday, January 26, 2014 at Carver Living Center. She was born in Harnett County to the late Nelson Hall Matthews and the late Dessie Catherine Babbs Matthews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Lee Jackson Lewis. Mrs. Lewis was a member of Durham Memorial Baptist Church. She loved to read, listen to country music and loved animals.
Mrs. Lewis is survived by her daughters, Betty Lee Lewis of Durham, Rose Lewis Hunt (Terry) of Durham, son, Bobby J. Lewis (Sandra) of Clayton and daughter, Diane Lewis Miller (Steve) of Durham.
Funeral Service will be held 12 p.m., Wednesday at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. at Clements Funeral Home.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Gayle C. Felton
ROUGEMONT — Reverend Doctor Gayle C. Felton, 71, preacher, teacher and theologian, died at her home in Rougemont on January 25, 2014.  Gayle was a native of Pinetops, NC.  She graduated with a B.A. in History from North Carolina Wesleyan College where she was the first valedictorian of the newly opened college.  Gayle taught high school history and civics in Edgecombe County before answering the call to ministry.
She received her master’s of divinity and doctorate from Duke University.  After teaching religion at Meredith College for two years, she returned to Duke where she taught in the divinity school for over a decade, guiding and influencing a generation of pastors and others serving the United Methodist Church.  Gayle’s scholarship largely focused on the history of Methodism with special emphasis on the sacraments.
Among her published works are This Gift of Water, By Water and the Spirit, This Holy Mystery, United Methodists and the Sacraments, and The Coming of Jesus.  She was also the editor of How United Methodists Study Scripture and the writer of numerous studies and other works used across the United Methodist Church.  She was a frequent participant in United Methodist General Conferences and was appointed for many years to the General Board of Discipleship.
Gayle had a deep commitment to social justice, working to integrate the public schools in Edgecombe County and as a pioneer in building the Reconciling Movement, a group advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church.  She was honored to serve as the national board chair of the Reconciling Ministries Network.  Gayle also was a role model for women seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church, working tirelessly to remove many of the obstacles she herself had to overcome in becoming an ordained elder.
Gayle is survived by her son, Reverend Alan Felton and wife, Joan, along with her grandchildren John Alan and Virginia Gayle of Apex, NC.  Gayle loved the life she shared with Reverend Deborah Morgan and Deborah’s two children, Joanna and Morgan.  Gayle is also survived by her brother, J. Phil Carlton of Pinetops and his family; and her former husband, Al Felton of Newport, NC.  She was preceded in death by her daughter, Marilyn Lewis Felton and her parents, Lewis and Kittye Snow Carlton.
A service of remembrance will be held on Tuesday, January 28 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Calvary UMC in Durham where Gayle served for many years.  A service of death and resurrection will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29 at Apex UMC with Reverend Laurie Hayes Coffman officiating.  The family will greet friends immediately before the service.  Burial will be in the Pinetops Cemetery on Friday, January 31 at 11:00 a.m.
Memorials may be made to Calvary UMC, 304 E. Trinity Ave., Durham, NC  27701; or to the Reconciling Ministries Network, 123 W. Madison St., Suite 2150, Chicago, IL  60602.
Arrangements for the Felton family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham.  On-line memorials:  Select obituaries.

Roger "PawPaw" Thomas
DURHAM — Mr. Roger "PawPaw" Thomas, 70, died Sunday at Duke University Hospital. Mr. Thomas was born in Rowan Co., the son of the late Edward Allen Thomas and the late Sara Eakins Thomas. He was a former Highway Patrolman and retired as a Deputy Sheriff from the Durham County Sheriff's Department. He was preceded in death by a brother, Richard Thomas.
Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Glenda Honeycutt Thomas; son, Ryan Thomas of Hillsborough; daughter, Rhonda "Petey" (Brad Lewis) Newcomb-Lewis of Durham; grandchildren, Zak Newcomb and Taylor "Alex" Newcomb; a brother, Ronald Thomas; and his dog, Bogie.
A memorial service will be held Saturday 2:00 p.m. at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham. The family will receive friends Saturday from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at Clements Funeral Home in Durham and following the service at their home.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at


James Leon Porter
BURLINGTON — James Leon Porter, 75, passed away Friday, January 24, 2014 after a brief illness at UNC Memorial Hospital. He was born in Oconee County, SC to the late William Earl Porter, Sr. and the late Alice Madden Porter, and was the husband of 52 years to Ellen Terrell Porter who survives. He was a resident of Burlington, NC since 1958.
Mr. Porter was an employee of Syke’s Machine Shop (1956-1966) and then formed Porter Construction Company and was owner of the former Donut Grill and 6 to 1 Mini Mart in Graham, NC. Leon was of the Church of God Faith.
Survivors other than his wife, Ellen of the home, include his daughter, Sondra Porter Komada and husband, Dr. Michael Komada of Chapel Hill, NC. Leon was blessed with three loving grandchildren, Leah, student at Virginia Tech, and Alex and Anna Grace, both of Chapel Hill; brothers, Roger Dean Porter and William Earl Porter, Jr.; sisters, Edalene Kelley all of Seneca, SC, Pat Deaton of Walhalla, SC and Genelle Tate of Lincolnton, NC; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son, Joey Porter and brothers, Jerry, Harrison, Rupert, Cleo and Tommy.
The funeral service will be held 4:00pm Monday, January 27, 2014 at Lowe Funeral Home Chapel by Rev. Tommy Madden, Leon’s cousin. The family will receive friends from 3-4pm Monday prior to the service at Lowe Funeral Home and other times at the home. There will be a private burial held Tuesday at Alamance Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Lung Association at or 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004. You may sign the online register book at


Mary Elizabeth Barbee Berry

HILLSBOROUGH — Mary Elizabeth Barbee Berry, 86, formerly of Hillsborough, NC, passed away on January 25, 2014 in Charlotte, NC.
Mary was born January 13, 1928 in Badin, NC to Spurgeon Vaniel Barbee and Mary Eugenia Howell Barbee. After graduation from Bethesda High School in Durham, Mary met and married W.P. Berry, Jr. The Berry’s lived in Hillsborough, NC for 61 years. Mrs. Berry retired from Western Electric and enjoyed years of traveling throughout the country and abroad. She was a huge Atlanta Braves fan. Mary was a charter and life-long member of Fairview Baptist Church in Hillsborough where she was active in the choir, Sunday School, and mission groups. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother who always wore a beautiful smile and had endless patience. Her sweet spirit will be missed by all who knew her.
Mary was preceded in death by W.P. Berry, Jr, her husband of 61 years. Survivors include a brother, Van Barbee; sister, Lillian Dry; daughter, Linda Berry Slinkard (Mike) of Panama City, FL; son Michael Wayne Berry (Linda) of Charlotte, NC; grandchildren Elizabeth Berry Havens (Mike), Kristan Berry Blanton (Adam), Lindsay Slinkard Kline (Eric), and Jonathan Slinkard (Susan). Also surviving are six great-grandchildren; Noah and Micah Kline; Reagan, David, and Harrison Slinkard; and Ellie Blanton.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 30 at Fairview Baptist Church in Hillsborough, officiated by the Reverend Hoyt Shuford. Burial will follow at Berry’s Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 11 a.m. to noon at Clements Funeral Home in Hillsborough.
Memorials may be made to The Ivy, 6030 Park South Dr., Charlotte, NC 28210; the Bay County Council on Aging, Respite Program, 1116 Frankford Ave., Panama City, FL 32401; or Fairview Baptist Church, 600 Cornelius St., Hillsborough, NC 27278.
The family would especially like to thank The Ivy and Bay County Council on Aging for the loving care they provided to Mary.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at


Harriet Brewer Buckley Wagstaff

ROXBORO — Harriet Brewer Buckley Wagstaff of Roxboro passed away on January 26, 2014 surrounded by her children. Harriet was the daughter of late John Maywood and Willie Ava Smith Brewer and the wife of the late Dandridge Withers Buckley. In 1976, she married the late Robert (Bob) Hester Wagstaff.
Harriet was preceded in death by her brothers: Kelly Brewer, Edgar Brewer, John Wilson (Root) Brewer, Robert Brewer and Bill Brewer; and sisters: Beth B. Crutchfield, Odell B Wilkerson, Hannah B. Bradsher, Rachel B. Long and Ann B. Sigmon.
Harriet attended Elon College. She was a longtime member of Long Memorial United Methodist Church where she was the treasurer, choir member and a member of the United Methodist Women. She retired from First Union National Bank. She was a charter member of the Roxboro Woman's Club, was an avid golfer, and dearly enjoyed her bridge clubs and friends, "The Matrons".
Surviving are her children: Mary Beth Hunt (Bob) of Kernersville, Stella B. Thompson of Siler City and Dandridge Withers Buckley, Jr. (Susan) of Apex; grandchildren: Robert G. Hunt, Jr. (Oni) of Charlotte, Dan E. Thompson (Amber)of Siler City and Hannah E. Buckley of Apex; and great grandchildren:  William Buckley Hunt and Colton Robert Hunt.
A funeral service celebrating her life will be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Long Memorial United Methodist Church. Visitation will precede service beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall. Pallbearers are: David Bradsher, Jr., Marcus Bradsher, John E. Buckley, Jr., Edwin Long, Al Taylor, Clay Tuck, and Maywood Wilkerson. Burial will immediately follow at Person Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Long Memorial United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 310, Roxboro, NC 27573 or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 165, Roxboro, NC 27573.
Condolences may be made to