Obituaries, January 6, 2014

Jan. 05, 2014 @ 05:45 PM

Robert Earl “Bob” Barbour

DURHAM — Robert Earl “Bob” Barbour, 87, of Chapel Hill NC, passed away Thursday,  Jan. 2. Born April 25, 1926 in Holly Springs NC, he was the son of the late Edward Clem and Ruth Price Barbour. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, who enjoy camping, time with family and with friends, especially with his great granddaughter. A veteran of WWII, he served in the US Navy as a Fireman First Class onboard the USS Kinser in the Asiatic Pacific Area. He was a retiree from the UNC Telephone Company and AT&T. He is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Ruth Ester Roy, of Keeseville NY, whom he met on April 11th, and married on May 10th of 1954, two brothers, William “Bill” Barbour and Carl “Pee Wee” Barbour, one sister Joyce Massei. He is survived by two sons, Tony Barbour of Graham NC, Jeffrey Barbour of Cape May NJ, one daughter, Billie Whaley of Panama City FL, two grand children, Donald Barbour and Jamie McWhorter, and one great granddaughter, Stephanie Barbour. Visitation will be at 3PM at the funeral home Wednesday and the memorial service will be held at Walkers Funeral Home in Chapel Hill at 4PM Wednesday, January 8th. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the UNC Cancer Center. Online condolences may be sent to


Marlene Annette Byrd Brown
DURHAM — Marlene Annette Byrd Brown, age 44, passed away January 3, 2014, after a courageous battle with breast cancer.
She was a native of Durham and graduated from Southern High School in 1987. She worked for the Durham Clerk of Superior Courts Office for many years, before becoming disabled.
She is survived by her husband Rev. Douglas Brown; son Joshua Brown (fiancée Jodi Tilley); mother Annie Lorae Byrd; sisters Teresa Byrd McCabe (husband Don, nephew Donald, nieces Kelsey & Savannah) and Pamela Byrd Andrews (husband Sheriff Mike Andrews); nephew Brett (fiancée Brittney Hardiman) and stepchildren Crystal Brown Winders (husband Rob, grandchildren Katelyn & Jacob) and Kirk Brown (wife Rachel, grandchild Jordan).
She is predeceased by her father Billy Sherman Byrd. Marlene's willingness to participate in 4 drug trials at Duke Hospital is a testament to her undying will to find a cure for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She was an avid lover of her dogs...especially her babies: Spooky, Little Girl and Roxie. She also loved Disney and had just enjoyed a trip there with her entire family over Thanksgiving. She will always be remembered for her warmth, bravery, caring spirit and ready smile for anyone she met.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Light House of God on Junction Road. Interment will be in Oak Grove Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home and other times at the home of Mrs. Annie Byrd, 927 Junction Road. Flowers are acceptable or donations may be made to (click Donate + Tribute Donation).
Online condolences may be made at

Donna Fowler
DURHAM — Donna Fowler, 75, of Durham passed away January 4, 2014 after a brief illness. Beloved mother of five daughters: Teresa, Janice, Beverly, Pamela and Cynthia. Grandmother of Whitney, Sam, Robert and Jared. Born in Durham in 1938, she and her family lived in Chapel Hill where she graduated from Chapel Hill High School and went to UNC-Chapel Hill. She married medical student Kenneth Weaver and left college to raise the children. After their divorce, Donna was a single parent who worked alongside her brother Bobby at Fowlers Food Store, which became Fowlers Gourmet in Brightleaf Square in Durham. Later she went back to school, and received her BA at UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated from NCCU with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She traveled extensively and loved jewelry making and painting in her retirement years. She was an outgoing and charming woman who met everyone with a smile and shared laughter with her family and many friends. A celebration of her life will be held at Croaisdaile Chapel at 2600 Croasdaile Parkway in Durham Thursday, January 9, at 3:30 pm with a reception following. Contributions in Donna’s memory can be made to the battered women’s shelter in your local community or the charity of your choice. She leaves a legacy of love and laughter and will be dearly missed.

The Right Rev. Robert C. Johnson, Jr.
DURHAM — The Right Rev. Robert C. Johnson, Jr., 75, tenth bishop of North Carolina, died on Friday, January 3. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Connie Smith Johnson; son, Robert Kinley Johnson(David Oxender); daughter, Julie Johnson Hege (Pike); three grandsons, Ens. Daniel Robert Hege (Emily), Adam Bolanos Hege (Liliana) and Jacob Johnson Hege; two great-grandsons, Henry Hege and Lucas Bolanos Hege; sister, Janette St. Vincent; 7 nieces and 5 nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Mille Thomas.
Bishop Johnson was born in Columbus, Georgia, to Robert C. and Mildred Little Johnson. He graduated from Columbus High School and Mercer University. He had master’s degrees from Yale Divinity School and NC State, and honorary doctorates from the University of the South and Berkeley at Yale.
Bishop Johnson served the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina for 37 years at St. Peter’s, Charlotte; St. Paul’s, Smithfield; St. Christopher’s, Garner; St. Luke’s, Durham; and as diocesan bishop until his retirement. He was an outstanding preacher and devoted pastor.
Bishop Johnson was a founder of Habitat for Humanity in Durham, a volunteer for the crisis hotline and a member of Tobaccoland Kiwanis Club.
A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m., Saturday, January 11, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1737 Hillandale Rd. in Durham. Contributions in his memory may be made to St. Luke’s Memorial Fund. Arrangements are with Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.

Charles Linwood Townsend
DURHAM — Charles Linwood Townsend, born in Durham, North Carolina on June 1, 1943, to the late Mack Townsend and Annie Marrow Townsend. Chuck was educated in the Durham Public School System, graduating from Hillside High School. He served his country in the US Air Force and upon completion of his military tour of duty, he returned to Durham where he attended North Carolina College, now North Carolina Central University. Chuck retired from Durham Exchange Industries where he served as Supervisor. Chuck met the love of his life, Barbara Dillahunt, they were married on August 7, 1966. Upon joining Holy Cross Catholic Church, April 5, 1980. Chuck's faith, love of fellowship, and commitment to the parish, called him to service. The Parish Council, AAMEN, HEC, Holy Cross Gospel Choir, Knights of Columbus. Most recently, he served as Sacristan and Eucharistic Minister for the the Sunday 10:00am mass.
Surviving are his wife Barbara; son, Chris; grandchildren; sister, Gloria and Cynthia; brother, Thomas; and a host of other relatives and friends. Celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday, January 7, at 12noon. Family visitation 11-12noon. Arrangements by Fisher Funeral Parlor.

Mary Nell Wilson Austin

ROXOBORO — Mary Nell Wilson Austin, 84 of 2818 Breeze Road, peacefully left this earth on January 5, 2014 with her family by her side. Born in Person County daughter of the late William Coy Wilson & Missouri Brown Wilson, in addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her grandson Sean Michael Austin. She was a Homemaker and of the Primitive Baptist Faith. Mary Nell was a kind and loving wife, mother, grandmother & great-grandmother.
She leaves behind to cherish her memories her husband of almost sixty-three years Curtis Austin, Jr. of the home; her daughter Linda Bowes of Roxboro; her son Wayne Austin & wife Angela of Roxboro; five grandchildren Lori Osbone, Jeffrey Bowes, Brian Bowes, Thomas Austin & Carla Stone; eight great-grandchildren Georgia Ann, Lily, Connor, Landon, A. J., Aubrey, Henry & Philip; her brother Carlton Wilson of Hurdle Mills.
Funeral Services will be held 2:00 PM Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at Brooks & White Funeral Home Chapel by the Elder Bobby Daughtry. Interment will follow in the Norris Family Cemetery. The Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Tuesday, January 7, 2013 at Brooks & White Funeral Home and other times at the home.
Pallbearers will be: Jeffrey Bowes, Brian Bowes, Thomas Austin, Bernice Parker, Howard Parker & Norman Parker.
In lieu of Flowers Mrs. Austin asked that Memorials may be made to UNC Children's Hospital, 88 Vilcom Circle, McClamroch Hall, LL, 100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7237. Condolences may be sent to