Obituaries, December 29, 2013
Imogene Elizabeth Anderson
DURHAM — Imogene Elizabeth Anderson (Gene), 81, beloved by her family and a cherished good friend to many, was reunited with her Lord and Savior, on December 17, 2013.
Imogene was born May 13, 1932, in Charlotte, NC. Her parents, Ernest B. Walker and Mabel M. Walker, predeceased her. An only child, she grew up in Concord. She graduated from Concord High School in 1950 and attended Woman's College, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She married Kenneth G. Anderson of Durham at St. James Lutheran Church in Concord August 16, 1953. Soon she accompanied Kenneth, an Air Force Lieutenant, to Texas, Illinois and England. They lived in the Thames Valley near London (Windsor Castle visible in the distance) and traveled in England and Europe. Daughter, Melanie, was born there. Imogene went to Washington, as Kenneth attended law school. She earned her PHT as a civilian Air Force employee at the Pentagon. In 1958, as Kenneth was admitted to the bar, Imogene "semi-retired" to devote herself to her family. Jacksonville became home in 1960, once she "got sand in her shoes."
Mostly, she loved Kenneth, her children, grandchildren and great-grandson. She was a wonderful, warm companion and made a gracious home. Always true to her convictions, Imogene was active at Lakewood United Methodist Church as a young mother and a member for life. Her interests included bridge club (since 1962), stock club (an organizer), painting, sewing, gardening, pottery and standard poodles, to name a few. She was artistic with impeccable taste. She excelled in interior design at home, and fashioned five separate law suites for Kenneth. She aided Kenneth in law office accounting for many years. She co-authored building plans for their Mandarin home. With son, Chip, then 10, she was a family "super" supervisor, most days. No change orders. She was President of Inner Wheel of Jacksonville (Rotary) and volunteered at St. Luke's Hospital for many years. At San Jose Country Club she belonged to the nine-hole golf group and served as its secretary. She was a member at Ponte Vedra Club. She and Kenneth enjoyed many foreign travels.
She is survived by husband of 60 years, Kenneth G. Anderson, children, Melanie Elizabeth O'Leary (Joseph T. O'Leary, Jr.), North Grafton, Mass; Michael D. Anderson (Ginger M. Anderson), Wake Forest, NC; Kenneth G. Anderson, Jr. (Kara Julianne Anderson), Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren, Katherine Elizabeth O'Leary, Joseph Timothy O'Leary III, Mackenzie Danielle Anderson, Sara Frances Anderson; and great-grandson, Ethan Paul, beloved sister-in-law, Christina Anderson (Durham) (John Q. Anderson, deceased); cousins, Regina Helms and Gary Walker (both of Concord), and Barbara Ivey (Greensboro) and members of the Anderson family: Mary Anderson Leggette (Durham), Roger Anderson (Kure Beach) and Bird Anderson Baldwin (Pine Bluff, WY).
The family thanks caregivers, Kristie, Katrina, Lisa, Rita and Sharon; and Jane Kowalski, her devoted staff at Clare Bridge and also Community Hospice for their kind care for Imogene.
Funeral services were at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 28, at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 6133 San Jose Blvd., with reception at the church following the services. Rev. Eric Williams officiating.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at Maplewood Cemetery, Durham, NC. Rev. Taylor Mills, Trinity United Methodist Church, officiating. Hall Wynne Funeral Home, Durham, also assists the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.
Words of comfort can be left at www.hardage-giddenshendricksave.com.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 4115 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207. (904) 346-3808.
Leonardo “Leo” Itzak Bortiri
DURHAM — Leonardo “Leo” Itzak Bortiri died on Thursday, December 19, 2013, while traveling with his parents in Argentina. Leo was a bright-eyed 7-year-old in the second grade at George Watts Montessori Magnet in Durham. He was born in Berkeley, California, but loved his adopted state of North Carolina. Leo was in perpetual motion. He was an avid soccer player, playing many seasons with Hillandale Sports Association and later Triangle Futbol Club. He rode his bicycle all over his Trinity Park neighborhood, and relished summer camps at the Eno River and the Levin JCC. He would eat platefuls of homemade pasta, and had just learned to play the theme to Star Wars on the piano. A week before his death, Leo proudly hiked up Mt. Tronador in the Argentine Andes, and walked across the Alerce Glacier. Leo is survived by his parents, Rachel Raney and Esteban Bortiri; his grandparents, Carolyn Raney and Curt Raney; his abuela, Ana Maria Bortiri; along with many aunts, uncles, and cousins, both in the US and Argentina. And his beloved dog, Nelly. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Levin Jewish Community Center on Cornwallis Road in Durham, with support from Triangle Family Schule, where Leo and his family are members. Leo's many friends and classmates are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the George Watts PTA in Leo's honor.
James Henry Hawkins Sr.
DURHAM — Funeral Services for Mr. James Henry Hawkins Sr. (87) of Durham N.C, will be conducted on Monday at 1:00 p.m. from the United For Christ Church at 1802 Angier Ave., Durham, NC 27703 and interment will follow in the Woodlawn Memorial Park. The family will meet with their friends 1 hour before the Funeral Services. Survivors are one son, James H. Hawkins Jr.; three daughters, Ms. Sharon Daye, Ms. Sheryl Johnson, Ms. Soffiann Barnett; one sister, Ms. Soffiann Barnett; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.
Final care and arrangements are entrusted to Hanes Funeral Service.
Mae Lee Byrd Lockamy
DURHAM — Mae Lee Byrd Lockamy died unexpectedly Saturday morning, December 28, 2013 at her home. Mrs. Lockamy was born in Durham to the late Fannie Mae Byrd and Etoy Bennett Byrd. She was also predeceased by her husband, Norman J. Lockamy.
Surviving are a daughter, Donna Jones; two sons, Steve Lockamy and Mike Lockamy; three grandchildren, Andrea Breeden, Jonathan Jones and Patrick Lockamy; two great-grandchildren, Casey Breeden and Travis Breeden; a special niece, Angela Westbrook; and a treasured daughter-in-law, Donna Lockamy.
Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham. The family will receive visitors prior to the service from 1 to 1:45 p.m. at Clements Funeral Home and then following the service at the home. The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at www.clementsfuneralservice.com.
James Gilbert Upchurch
DURHAM — Mr. James Gilbert Upchurch, 87, died Friday, December 27, 2013 at Rose Manor Healthcare Center. He was born in Wake County to the late Elvey Dwight Upchurch and the late Jessie Mae Sorrell Upchurch. Raised in Dunn, he later joined the Merchant Marines serving for three years before joining the National Guard where he served for ten years. Mr. Upchurch was also predeceased by his wonderful loving wife, Robena Beasley Upchurch, whom he married in Erwin, NC on May 30, 1951, and his brothers, Murphy Upchurch and Harold Upchurch. Moving to Durham in 1958 he retired from retail furniture sales and was a member of Grace Baptist Church.
Mr. Upchurch is survived by his daughter, Barbara Ann Wilson and husband, Randy, of Ardmore, OK; sons, James Robert Upchurch and wife, Nina, of Creedmoor and John Allen Upchurch and wife, Chris, of Durham; brother, Larry Upchurch and wife, Janice, of Stem; 6 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Graveside service will be held 2 p.m., Monday at Greenwood Cemetery in Dunn. The family will receive friends 6–8 p.m., Saturday at Clements Funeral Home in Durham.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at www.clementsfuneralservice.com.
Richard Nyles Gunter
CHAPEL HILL — Richard Nyles Gunter, died Friday, December 27, 2013 at the age of 75. He was born in Durham County and graduated from Chapel Hill High School. He was an electronics instructor for 4 years in the United States Air Force at Chanute AFB in Illinois. Following graduation from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, he worked as an insurance Actuary for companies in Winston-Salem, Columbia SC, and Austin, TX. He and Ka made Chapel Hill their home again after retirement.
Mr. Gunter is survived by his wife of 54 years, Katherine (Ka) Smith Gunter; daughter, Lynn Gunter Kennedy of Bracey, VA; two sons, Kevin Gunter of Pittsboro and Eric Gunter of Grapevine TX; four grandchildren, Tera, Kayla, Austin, and Logan Gunter; two great-grandchildren, Allie and Tanner; sister, Linda Williams; and two nieces, Kimberly Scott and Lisa Blackwood. He was predeceased by his parents, Barl and Hazel Gunter.
Visitation will be held Monday, December 30, at Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at 7721 Six Forks Rd., Suite 136, Raleigh, NC 27615.
Alice Mendenhall Welsh
August 30, 1920 – December 23, 2013
CHAPEL HILL — Alice Mendenhall Welsh, a Chapel Hill activist and bon vivant, passed away on December 23, 2013 after a short illness and diminishing health over the last few years. Her husband, George, a UNC-CH psychology professor, preceded her in 1990. They were married in 1946 and shared a vibrant life together for 44 years, including many trips to Italy where they had made friends when George had a Fulbright.
Alice Welsh was born August 30, 1920 near New Castle, Indiana to Lola Alice Wood Mendenhall and Horace Warner Mendenhall. The family has proud Quaker roots in Guilford County, North Carolina. Alice received a B.A. from Ball State University and an M.A. from Louisiana State University. She did additional graduate work in speech at the University of Minnesota and in art history and foreign language at the University of California, Berkeley, and also worked for a period of time in Biloxi, Mississippi as a speech therapist before marrying George. The year of her marriage she published an article, Linguistic Problems of Deafened Veterans Returning to the Universities in The Quarterly Journal of Speech.
In 1953 she and George moved to Chapel Hill where she rapidly involved herself in scores of civic and University activities. Between 1962 and 1966 she was registrar and publicity writer for the Ackland Art Center. Soon thereafter she served on the Chapel Hill Appearance Commission and the Chapel Hill Planning Board. In 1970, she was appointed and subsequently was elected to the Chapel Hill Board of Aldermen [now called Town Council], becoming the first woman ever to serve on the Board. As a member, she led initiatives to create or expand open space, parks, and recreation facilities as well as bicycle paths and greenways. Alice was instrumental in persuading property owners to voluntarily give the Town easements along Bolin Creek between Airport Road and Franklin Street which are now part of the Bolin Creek Greenway; and with others she successfully pursued obtaining land in the property now developed as Cedar Falls Park and for the Charles Jones Park, the Ephesus Road Park, and the Emily Braswell Perry Park. Programs in recycling and civil rights also drew her interest and leadership. In 1971, Alice almost single-handedly prevented the former North Carolina National Bank from erecting a five-story building on Franklin Street by walking in front of the proposed site with a helium balloon attached to a five-story high cord. It is believed that this was the first occasion in the country when this approach was used to bring attention to the height of a proposed building.
Though she retired from the Board in 1975, Alice continued to serve the community. She was a member of the North Carolina Energy Policy Council, the Board of Directors for the American Dance Festival, and the North Carolina Board of Ethics. In 1983, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Museum of Art and to the Board of Directors of the University Women's Club. In 1984 Alice served on the Growth Management Task Force appointed by the Chapel Hill Town Council.
After her tenure as Alderwoman, Alice continued to serve by appointment on local and state boards and commissions. Just a few of these activities include the Chapel Hill Concert Series, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Art Society, the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, the Conservation Council of North Carolina, Triangle Hospice, Common Cause, The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, the Save West House Coalition, and the Democratic Party. Alice was among the core group of people who founded the PlayMakers Ball, a Chapel Hill “institution” which in 2013 celebrated its twenty-fifth year. She also donated a small collection of 19th and 20th century prints and lithographs to Duke University’s Nasher Museum.
Alice—lifelong student, gourmet cook, activist, traveler, art collector, and hostess—was honored by the Town of Chapel Hill in 1995 for her service to the community, especially the development of the greenway system and other parks and recreation properties, when the first phase of the Bolin Creek Greenway was dedicated to her. In 1997 the town erected a stone in her honor at the west end of the Bolin Creek Greenway near the Chapel Hill Police Station. In 2011 she was honored, once again, by being designated a Chapel Hill Treasure by the Chapel Hill Historical Society.
In 1992, after her husband’s death, Alice and George’s enduring engagement with Town and Gown led friends to establish in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences the Dr. George and Alice Welsh Term Professorship. The three-year professorship provides a salary stipend and a research fund for books, equipment, travel, research assistance, or other expenses.
In 2006, Alice established the Milly S. Barranger Distinguished Professorship in Dramatic Art in recognition of her fondness for her dear friend Milly Barranger, former dramatic art department chair and producing director of PlayMakers Repertory Theater. For many years, Alice lived within walking distance of PlayMakers and rarely missed a play. “I’ve always been interested in theater, even when I was very little,” Alice said at that time, “When you’re in Chapel Hill, you start to meet people interested in the arts.” Alice and George’s generosity also made possible the George and Alice Welsh Acting Studio in the Center for Dramatic Art.
Alice and George are remembered for their contributions to historic architecture in Chapel Hill: their 1955 house on Tenney Circle designed by Jim Webb and California Modernist architect Cliff May, their 1970 Modernist house on Friday Lane designed by Jon Condoret, and Alice’s sensitive expansion of the Woolen-Roberts-Welsh House (ca. 1935) on Hooper Lane. A quote from Alice in the August 1967 Chapel Hill Weekly still rings true today: “People enjoy moving through Chapel Hill and part of the reason is variety—open green spaces, charming homes, winding streets and the campus which is the core of the town, linked of course to the business district. There are islands [that form] their own character, reflecting always the individuality of the dwellers. The mixture is satisfying…the serenity, the trees, shrubbery and grass produce the virtues of Chapel Hill. The community and campus need a variety of forms representing both present and past.”
Alice’s sweet smile will never be forgotten, nor will her spirited, and sometimes feisty, personality along with her drive to agitate and advocate for progress and change. Her friends remember fondly George’s attempts to calm Alice with a loud, “Oh Alice!” or “Shut up, Mort!” to which her response was invariably spirited and usually unprintable. She famously summed up the good times she and George shared with their many friends when she proudly if too humbly, declared, "We eat, we drink, we talk, that’s what we do!” Clearly, they all did much more, and they sure had fun doing it. It is fitting that Alice left this world at Christmas. Alice and George’s friends will always remember the annual Christmas dinner which gathered many of their circle in the warmth of the Welsh home.
Alice’s surviving friends are grateful to Alice’s caregivers at Durham’s Hillcrest Convalescent Center since 2011, to her doctors and nurses at Duke Medical Center for the superb care and attention they gave to her during her last two days, to Jane McNeer and Julia Nelson for their friendship and care early in Alice’s dementia, and to Stanley Finch and his partner Jeffery Beam for their friendship, guardianship, and constant care during the last years of her life.
A memorial service will be held at a later date this winter. Alice’s last gift to her beloved University is the creation of an endowment for an undergraduate scholarship at UNC. It is hoped that people wishing to honor her memory will contribute to the Alice and George Welsh Undergraduate Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Arts and Humanities when the Endowment becomes public.
David Nichols Frazier
ROUGEMONT — David Nichols Frazier, 64, of 111 Winchester Rd., Rougemont, died Friday, December 27, 2013. Born in Person County, Mr. Frazier was son of the late Lewis David Frazier and Peggy Gentry Simpson, who survives. Mr. Frazier was a retired truck driver and a member of Red Mountain Baptist Church. He loved going to Carolina Beach and was an avid beach music fan. Mr. Frazier was preceded in death by his brother, Michael "Mike" Frazier.
In addition to his mother, Mr. Frazier is survived by two daughters, Lana Frazier and Kelly Frazier Long and husband, Matt, all of the home; one brother, Mark Lewis Frazier, of Rougemont; two sisters, Melody Myers of Rougemont and Ramona Brogden of Stem.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Monday, December 30, 2013, at Red Mountain Baptist Church by the Rev. Joe Glenn. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held 6-7:30 p.m., Sunday, at the Brooks & White Funeral Home and at other times at the home of Peggy Simpson, 56 Winchester Rd., Rougemont.
Pallbearers will be Matt Long, Eddie Chambers, Allen Jacobs, Rodney Chandler, William Myers and Dennis Oakley.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family, c/o Brooks & White Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1135, Roxboro, NC 27573.
Condolences may be sent to www.brooksandwhite.com.
William Jennings Owen, Jr.
ROXBORO — William Jennings Owen, Jr., age 94, of 3404 Boston Road died Friday, December 27, 2013 at Roxboro Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. He was born in Person County to the late W.J. (Bill) Owen and Relia Walker Owen. He was also predeceased by two sisters, Margaret Owen Fuller and Rachel Lee Owen.
Mr. Owen (mostly known as Junior) retired from Collins and Aikman. He served in the U.S. Army and was in WWII from 1942 through 1945. Junior (not one to boast) earned the Purple Heart as well as other medals. He was Prisoner of War during WWII.
Surviving are two sisters, Sue Owen Rogers (Wingate-deceased) of Roxboro and Helen Owen Parham (W.E.) of Raleigh. Also there are several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Ronald Mooney for his support and friendship over these last several years.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, December 29, 2013 at the Brooks and White Chapel by the Rev. Dupre Sanders. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
Memorials may be made to a charity of one's choice.
Condolences may be sent to www.brooksandwhite.com.
Eileen Regan Jones
HAMPSTEAD — Eileen Regan Jones passed away Friday, December 27, 2013, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington. She was born December 22, 1923, in Durham, the seventh and youngest daughter of the late Luther E. and Sarah Wallace Regan.
She attended Durham public schools and lived in Durham most of her life before retiring from W.A. Adams Co. and moving to Myrtle Beach, SC, with her late husband, T. Douglass Jones Jr.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her sisters, Gladys Regan Bunting, Vera Regan Andrews, Hazel Regan Cash, Iris Regan Pritchard, Mildred Regan Beel and Bertha Regan Kent.
She is survived by her children, Jetta Purcell Boyd (Pascal) of Wilmington, Ann Purcell Rouse (D.C.) of Raleigh, Martha Purcell Simmons (Carol Johnson) of Hampstead, and E.G. “Trip” Purcell III (Jackie) of Ocean Isle Beach; her grandchildren, Beth Adams of Wilmington, Bear Boyd (Jamie) of Spartanburg, SC, Jim Thompson (Hollyn) of Wake Forest, Michael Thompson (Evelyn) of Raleigh, Sarah Brinson (Dan) of Hampstead, Mac Simmons (Jennifer) of Lexington, SC, Skip Purcell (Sarah) of Greensboro, and Laine Purcell of Raleigh. She also is survived by 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A private family memorial service will be held in Durham.
Memorials may be made to a charity of choice.
The Jones family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online memorials at www.hallwynne.com. Select obituaries.
David Earl Miles Jr.
ALPHARETTA, GA. — David Earl Miles Jr., 90, died December 22 after a period of declining health. A native of Durham, North Carolina, Earl was the son of David Earl and Mamie Couch Miles. He is survived by his loving wife, Betsy Bob Holt Miles. Earl was devoted to his children, Mary Beth (Stan) Stoudenmire, Candace Adeimy, and David (Donna) Miles. His grandchildren are Miles Stoudenmire, Laura (Robbie) Brock, Marian (Nick) Avise, William Adeimy, Camille and Leah Miles, and his great-granddaughter is Harper Elizabeth Brock. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and served in the Air Force during WWII. He and his family lived in Durham, NC; Palestine, TX; and Greenville, SC, where he worked for Texize Chemicals, Inc. until his retirement.
He was a devout Christian who served at First Baptist, Greenville, SC as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and member of The Seminar Sunday School class. He was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and the Greenville Soup Kitchen. Earl also enjoyed bridge with friends and playing golf.
Family graveside services will be held in Durham, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Crossnore School, PO Box 249, Crossnore, NC 28616 (www.crossnoreschool.org). Condolences can be mailed to Betsy Miles, 12200 Arbor Terrace, Crabapple Rd., Alpharetta, GA 30004.