December 21, 2012

Dec. 20, 2012 @ 06:02 PM

Lennie Alston Jr.

DURHAM - Mr. Lennie Alston Jr., 72, departed his life on December 18, 2012. He leaves behind his dear wife, Patricia Alston; 16 children, 17 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and a host of other relatives.
The services are Saturday at Markham Chapel at 11 a.m. with visitation half hour prior to service.
Arrangements entrusted Holloway Memorial Funeral Home.

Howard Cleveland Buchanan
Durham - Howard Cleveland Buchanan, 91, of Durham died on Thursday, December 20, 2012. He was a native and lifelong resident of Durham, the son of the late Lofton Buchanan and Bessie Hancock Buchanan. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp. during World War II and was a member of the Masonic Temple 352, Sudan Temple, Elks Club, Life Veteran of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion. He retired from American Tobacco Company as a mechanical supervisor.
He is survived by his son, Barry Buchanan of Durham; two grandchildren, Mark Buchanan and Michelle Watkins; four great-grandchildren, Matthew Watkins, Mark Buchanan, Tyler Watkins and Aaron Buchanan; one great-great granddaughter, MacKenzie Buchanan.
The family will receive friends on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the home of Michelle B. Watkins, 4716 Old NC 10, Durham.   Family assisted by Hudson Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at

Charles H. Cooper
DURHAM - Charles H. Cooper, 92, passed away Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at home in Durham surrounded by his loving wife of 69 years, Nell, and other family following a period of declining health.
Born July 17, 1920 in Clinton, N.C., he was the son of the late John Howard and Ella Jane Bass Cooper. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister and her husband, Tabitha and Frank Langhenry; and four brothers, Theodore Cooper, Leon Cooper, Craven Cooper and Houston Cooper. At the age of three, he moved with his family to Sanford, N.C. for a brief period of time and then settled in Durham in late 1923. He would remain a lifelong resident of Durham. He married Nell Elizabeth Slaughter on January 2, 1943, prior to his departure for Europe during World War II, and upon his return they would have and raise two sons in Durham.
He was educated in the Durham city schools and, upon answering his country’s call to service with his enlistment in the US armed forces in 1942, graduated from the Air Force Technical School of Photography in Denver, Colo. He served at a number of posts in the United States military during World War II, ultimately joining the 654th Bombardment Squadron, 25th Bombardment Group (Reconnaissance), with Jimmy Doolittle’s Eighth Air Force stationed in England. His team of photographic specialists played an important role in providing timely reconnaissance photos in support of the Eighth Air Force’s daily bombing raids on the European mainland. At the end of the war in Europe, his outfit was scheduled for deployment to Okinawa, but the swift conclusion of the conflict in the Pacific theater in August 1945 allowed for his discharge in September 1945. He was awarded six bronze service stars and the ETO medal for his three years of service.     
Leveraging the education and skills he gained from military service, he was hired in October 1945 by the Durham Herald-Sun newspapers as their first full-time news photographer. He went on to establish their Photo Department, serving as the Chief Photographer and Photo Department Manager for 40 years ultimately retiring in 1985. He won numerous photo awards during his time with the newspaper at both the state and national level. During this time, he also served for ten years on the Durham Citizen’s Safety Committee, and was a member of the Durham Jaycees. He also served with the United States Information Agency Operating Reserve from 1963 to 1970. Upon his retirement, he was honored with a special showing of many of his memorable photographs by the University of North Carolina School of Journalism. 
Concurrent with his full-time duties with the Durham newspapers, he became very active in several state and national news photography organizations. He served as President of the Carolinas Press Photographers Association, Chairman of the Southern Short Course in News Photography, Regional Vice President of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), National Secretary of the NPPA, Insurance Administrator of NPPA, and Chairman of the Miss NPPA Pageant on three occasions. In 1963, he established and served as the first Executive Director of the NPPA, a role that allowed he and Nell to work together for many years in their home office while he continued his role with the Durham newspaper and eventually, upon his retirement from the newspaper, continue their work together fulltime at the newly created NPPA National Office in Durham. He retired from this position after 34 years of service in 1997 but continued as Executive Director Emeritus until his death.
Over the years of NPPA membership and work, he was awarded many honors by the association including: the Joseph A. Sprague Award, photojournalism’s highest honor; the Joseph Costa Award, the Fellowship Award, the Merit Award and a Citation Award. He was a life member of the North Carolina Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association and is listed in “Who’s Who in America”.        
Throughout his long life with its many professional accomplishments and long hours, nothing was more satisfying to Charles than the time he spent with his wife, his sons and the extended family. He served as a great role model for his sons imparting a work ethic, love of family, love of country, and an inquisitive approach to living life. Time spent with each son was treasured, even if it meant doing those simple things such as yard work, a home building project, going on a late night news photo call, or being with him in the photo laboratory, that only later in life comes into focus as treasured time well spent.   He made a point to use his commitment to the NPPA to provide the opportunity for an annual family vacation that provided travel each summer to great places across the breadth of the United States. Later in life, the memories of these family trips served as the catalyst for many fond recollections. The term "life well lived" certainly applies to this man. 
Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Nell Elizabeth Cooper; his sons, Charles H. Cooper II and wife, Mary Rose, of Atlantic Beach, and John Phillip Cooper and wife, Yvonne, of Hillsborough; grandchildren, Sean Joshua Cooper and wife, Sarah, of Fuquay-Varina, Kimberly Rose Ballinger and husband, Jim, of Raleigh, Lindsay Cooper Butler and husband, Philip, of Hillsborough, and John Phillip (J.P.) Cooper Jr. of Hillsborough; great-grandson, Jackson Rhett Butler of Hillsborough; and many nephews, nieces, grand nephews and nieces, and a lifetime of friends all across the United States. 
The family would like to thank the Duke Home Care and Hospice and caregiver, Gerri Suhadolink, for their loving care.   Graveside services will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Maplewood Cemetery with Rev. Jimmy Bland officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Heart Association, American Heart Association, 1101 Northchase Parkway, Marietta, Ga. 30067 would be appreciated.
Condolences may be sent to

Augustus Coolidge Elkins
DURHAM - Augustus Coolidge Elkins, a lifelong resident of Durham, died on Thursday, December 20, at the age of 87 after a long struggle with myasthenia gravis. Coolidge was born to Augustus Burns and Sarah Kenyon Elkins in Mebane on March 4, 1925. He graduated from Durham High School in 1942 and three years later from Duke University School of Engineering (Phi Beta Kappa).   After completing the officer training program at Duke, he joined the United States Navy, serving at the age of 20 as head of the motor pool on Guam. He returned to assist his father in the running of the family business (since 1918), Elkins Chrysler-Plymouth, becoming the owner just a few years later until his retirement in 1999. Coolidge served many years as Chairman of the Airport Authority during its critical expansion years, as Chairman of the Durham Board of Wachovia Bank, as Chairman of the Board of the Durham YMCA, as President of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, and as a lifetime member of the Durham Kiwanis Club. In 1984 the Durham Chamber of Commerce presented him the Civic Honor Award, its highest honor.
Coolidge, known to his family and friends as “Big Daddy,” was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Wilkerson Elkins. He is survived by their daughters, Cindy Lowe of Durham and her husband, Jim, and Betsy Elkins-Williams of Chapel Hill and her husband, Stephen; their grandchildren, Jay Lowe of Durham and his wife, Nikki, Craven Lowe of Durham and his wife, Carolina, Tyler Elkins-Williams of Chapel Hill and his wife, Priti, and Peter Elkins-Williams of Washington, D.C.; their great-grandchildren, Ethan and Logan Lowe of Durham, Julian and Susana Lowe of Durham, and Walker Elkins-Williams of Chapel Hill; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held at Epworth United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 22. The family will receive friends directly after the service in the fellowship hall. Donations may be made to the Durham Rescue Mission, Epworth United Methodist Church, or the capital campaign of the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill.

Kassie Daryle Bernice Graves
DURHAM – Memorial service for Kassie Daryle Bernice Graves, 12, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Holton Career Center, 401 N. Driver Street.
She was a student at Githens Middle School.
Survivors include her mother, Sirena Graves-Wilkins (Kenneth); father, Darell Johnson; siblings, Karena Graves, Kenneth Wilkins Jr. and Krystal Wilkins; maternal grandparents, Robert and Bernice Graves; maternal great grandmother, Ruth Graves.
Public viewing, 1 to 7 p.m. Friday only at Fisher Funeral Parlor.

Edward Simeon Henson
DURHAM - Mr. Edward Simeon Henson, 81, of Durham, died on Wednesday, December 19, 2012.
Mr. Henson was born in Harrodsburg, Indiana, to the late Cisero and Flossie Henson. He retired after 35 years from Owens-Illinois Mold Shop. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Lucy Meyer Henson; son, Ricky Henson; daughter, Nancy Wargo; grandson, Brian Ivesdal; and daughter-in-law, Shirley Henson.
He is survived by two sons, Gary Henson of Durham and David Henson (Sherri) of Alton, Ill; two daughters, Donna Ivesdal (John) of Asheville and Roxane O’Brian (Mike) of Franklinton; four sisters, Dorothy Anspach and Vickie Whitfield both of Arizona, Pat Paxton of Ohio and Sue Cravey of Georgia; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Chapel, officiated by the Rev. Hugh O’Shields. Interment will be in Oak Grove Memorial Gardens. Active pallbearers will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be Jack Downey, Don Mulford and Bill Patrick.
The family will receive friends today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home and other times at the home of Gary Henson, 2002 Patterson Road. Flowers are acceptable, or donations may be made to the Lucy Henson Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Gary Henson, 2002 Patterson Rd, Durham 27704. The family would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Juan Alva and the caretakers at the Hock Pavilion and Eno Pointe Assisted Living. Online condolences can be made at

Hilda Grady Knight
DURHAM - Hilda Grady Knight, 94, died peacefully December 18, 2012 at Carver Living Center. A native of Durham, she was born Sept. 24, 1918 to the late Needam Grover Grady and Dora Howell Grady.
Hilda was a member of Angier Avenue Baptist Church. She graduated from Bethesda High School and later retired from Bellsouth in the early 80’s while residing in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Hilda is survived by her niece, Linda Fuller and husband, Willie, of Roxboro; her nephews, Charles Grady and his wife, Ginger, of Georgia; Robert Long and his wife, Frances, of California; her great nieces, Angel Simpson of Raleigh, Crystal Simpson of Atlanta, Ga., Robin Grady Johnson and husband, Cary, of North Wilkesboro; her great nephew, C.E. Grady of Florida; her great- great niece, Ava Johnson; and her great-great nephews, Peyton Johnson, Brody Johnson, Gavin Johnson, Cameron Johnson
A graveside service will be held 12:30 p.m. Saturday, December 22, 2012 at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens with Rev. Jim Baggett officiating.
Friends may visit from 11 – 12 p.m. Saturday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W. Main Street in Durham.
On-line memorials: Select obituaries.

Joseph M. Redden
DURHAM - Joseph M. Redden, 89, passed away on December 19, 2012. Joe was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 29, 1923 to John and Gertrude Redden. After graduation from South Side High School in Newark, Joe became a sheet metal apprentice in the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Newark. At the age of 20, he joined the United States Army and served in both the European and Pacific Theatres in WWII. He was honorably discharged in 1945, holding the rank of First Sergeant.
After returning from his wartime service, Joe joined the Newark Fire Department in March of 1947 at the age of 24 and rose quickly through the ranks. In the state of New Jersey at that time, a firefighter’s performance on the statewide Civil Service examinations was the deciding factor in his promotion. He was promoted to Captain at age 30, Battalion Chief at age 34, and Deputy Chief at age 37. Then, in 1962, at the youthful age of 39, he placed first on the Civil Service exam and attained the position of Fire Chief of what was then about the 30th largest city in the nation according to population rank. Joe was a founding member of the Metro Chiefs Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Metro Chiefs Committee is comprised of the Fire Chiefs from the largest cities in the nation. After retiring from the Newark Fire Department in 1977, Joe was hired by the National Fire Protection Association of Boston, Mass. and worked at NFPA for 12 years. He started as Chief Service Specialist, then was promoted to Division Director, and finished his career at NFPA as Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs. He left the NFPA in 1989, having successfully served the Fire Service for 42 years, first as a front line firefighter and completing his service as an advocate for national fire standards. In 1989, Joe and his wife, Anne, moved to North Carolina to live near their children and grandchildren. Not content to be retired, Joe became a volunteer for the Duke University Men’s Soccer Camp during his son-in-law’s tenure as Duke Soccer Coach, and, later, for the Triangle Futbol Club. He was devoted  to his wife, his children, and his grandchildren and lived a life of service to his family, his community, and to God.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Anne, in 1998. He is survived by his son, Michael Redden; daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and John Rennie; son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Holly Redden; and grandchildren, Theodore Rennie, Grace Rennie, David Redden, Benjamin Redden, and Hannah Redden.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, December 22nd at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, with burial immediately following in Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. Visitation shall be from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday evening, December 21 at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham.
Memorial donations to Duke Children’s Hospital, Office of Development, 512 South Mangum Street, Suite 400, Durham 27701 or flowers would be gratefully appreciated.
Arrangements for the Redden family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences

James Kay "Tweet" Toomer Jr.
DURHAM — James Kay "Tweet" Toomer Jr., age 64, passed on December 16, 2012 at Duke Medical Center.
He leaves to cherish his loving memory his fiance, Vicki Umstead, of the home; two sons, James K. Toomer III of Durham, and Jermaine K. Toomer of Charlotte; sisters, Theresa Toomer, Savaire Cameron, Doris Cates, and Jackie Carter of Durham. Brother, Russell Toomer, and sisters, Shelia Farrington and Stephanie Toomer, preceded him in death.
Funeral service for James "Tweet" will take place on Saturday, December 22 at 12 noon at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, 404 Dowd St., Durham. Viewing will be today from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Scarborough and Hargett Memorial Chapel.

Marian Marie Gordon Trice
DURHAM - Funeral services for Mrs. Marian Marie Gordon Trice, 80, of Durham, will be conducted on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bethel Tabernacle United Holy Church, and the interment will follow in the Glennview Memorial Gardens. The family will meet with their friends 30 minutes before the funeral service.
Survivors are her husband, Mr. Arthur Trice; one brother, Mr. Clyde Lee Bittle; one sister, Mrs. Virginia Stone; two daughters, Ms. Tiquia Bittle, Ms. Kayla Rice; one son, Mr. Deshawn Bittle; three grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Final care and arrangements are entrusted to Hanes Funeral Service.

Willie Mae Williams
DURHAM — Willie Mae Williams entered eternal rest on December 18th. She was born on August 3, 1921 in Spartanburg, S.C. to the late David and Mary Askew. The family later moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Later in life, she moved to Durham to be close to her son.
Willie Mae would always greet everyone and was known for saying, "I thank the Lord for my time."
She leaves to cherish her memory two sons, Lawrence Griffin and Leverne Bernard "LB" Pickett (Joann); several grandchildren; two nieces, Mary Grooms (Louis) and Vicki Miller; three nephews, Walter Mobley (Christine), Ronald Miller (Paula), Jerome Miller, and a host of cousins and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 23 Dec. 2012, at Community Baptist Church, 4821 Barbee Road, Durham 27713.

Bryant Lee Minor

BUTNER — Bryant Lee Minor, 81, a longtime resident of Granville County, passed away Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at his home.
A native of Granville County, he was the son of the late Henry Hunt and Nellie B. Freeman Minor. He was a member of Butner First Baptist Church and a retired traffic manager after forty years of service with Mt. Hope Finishing Company in Butner.
Funeral Services will be conducted at 2 p.m., Friday, December 21, 2012 at Butner First Baptist Church by Rev. Lenny Rogers and Rev. Mack Thompson. Burial will be in Carolina Memorial Gardens in Creedmoor.
Surviving are his wife of twenty years, Virginia Little Minor of the home; a daughter, Donna M. Brinkley (Glenn) of Durham; two sons, Larry B. Minor (Donna) of Butner, Tim Minor (Gloria) of Raleigh; a brother, Al Minor of Creedmoor; one granddaughter, five grandsons and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife of thirty nine years, Alma Brown Minor; a sister, Kay Ellis; and a brother, Jimmy Minor.
Flowers accepted or memorials may be made to Butner First Baptist Church.
Visitation will be held from 7 – 8:30 p.m., Thursday, December 20, 2012 at the Butner First Baptist Church in Butner and other times at the home.
Online condolences may be submitted to Select obits.
Eakes Funeral Home in Creedmoor assisting the Minor family.

Bobby Gray Spaugh

CHAPEL HILL — Bobby Gray Spaugh of Chapel Hill, with family at his bedside, passed away Wednesday night, December 19th at UNC Hospitals at the age of 76. Bobby was originally from Winston Salem. He was predeceased by his parents, Allen P. Spaugh and Beatrice Long; and one brother, Jim. He has one surviving brother, Bill.
He served 8 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves while accumulating 41 years of service with the UNC-Chapel Hill, Chemistry Department. His accomplishments are overshadowed by his unwavering commitment to be a devoted husband and wonderful father to their three sons. Bobby met his surviving wife, Beth Sparrow, through a blind date and they have enjoyed 55 years of marital bliss. Their three sons live locally. Gary Leonard lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Jana, and their two children, Ben and Mary Leah. Richard Allen lives in North Raleigh with wife, Cindy, and their son, Tyler. Their youngest son, Gregory Robert, also lives in Raleigh.
Bobby was a very dedicated and active member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church where he had served as a Deacon for many years, beginning in October 1959.
The family will receive friends at Walker's Funeral Home on Friday, December 21st from 6-8 p.m. Funeral Services will be conducted at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, on Saturday, December 22nd at 11 a.m. A graveside service will follow at the Sparrow/Mt Carmel Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Playground Fund-Mount Carmel Baptist Church (2016 Mt. Carmel Church Road, Chapel Hill 27517).

Drew “Hunky” Tarlton Jr.
HILLSBOROUGH – Mr. Drew “Hunky” Tarlton Jr. died Wednesday, December 19, 2012, in Duke University Hospital. He was a native of Durham County. He was a graduate of Orange High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army stationed in Germany. He was a supervisor at K Products until his illness. He was a member of the Hillsborough Moose Lodge. 
Surviving are his mother, Faye Womble Tarlton; three aunts, cousins, and his three dogs. He was predeceased by his father, Drew Tarlton Sr. (March 25, 2012); grandparents, Vernon and Lela Tarlton and Tommy and Bessie Womble.
The memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday in Walker’s Funeral Home Chapel by Chaplain Tommy Kidd. Visitation will be 1-2 p.m. Saturday prior to the service. The family will be at Doug and Teresa Hackler’s home at 823 Brookhollow Road, Efland.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alamance-Caswell Hospice, 914 Chapel Hill Rd., Burlington 27215.

Traci Diggs

MORRISVILLE - Traci Diggs (formally of Decatur, Ill.) lost a long battle with cancer and was called home on Tuesday afternoon, December 18th, at the age of 48. She was a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur. and a member of First Calvary Baptist Church in Durham.
Traci was born in Chicago on December 2nd, 1964 and grew up in Decatur, graduating from MacArthur High School, then obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University (Washington, D.C.), and earning a Juris Doctorate from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. While in college, she became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Sigma Tau Omega Chapter, Cary) and participated in many benefit programs and attended many conferences throughout the U.S.
Traci leaves behind to cherish her too short time on earth, parents, Cornelius and Forrestine Diggs of Decatur, Ill.; brother, Michael G. Diggs (Angelia) of Decatur; nephew, Timothy M. Diggs (Jennifer) and children of Anoka, Minn.; niece, Rachelle K. Diggs of Decatur and many other relatives, friends and pets. 
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to your local American Cancer Society in Traci’s name.
A memorial service will be held at First Calvary Baptist Church, 1311 Morehead Avenue, Durham (919-489-4181), officiated by Pastor Fredrick A. Davis, M.Div., on Saturday, December 22nd at 12 noon, with a special AKA recognition at 11:30 a.m. A family visitation will begin at 11 a.m. 
A memorial service at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur will be scheduled for some time in January.
Fisher Funeral Parlor

Louis Ephriam Wilson

MAURY — Mr. Louis Ephriam Wilson, 34, of Maury, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. He was born in Denver, Colorado on August 13, 1978, to Sylvia Hight and Larry Wilson. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Lois Mae Harding and Louis Canapa Wilson; his maternal grandparents, Myrtle Gaskin Hight King and Henry Alton Hight; and by an uncle, Joseph Donald Hight. 
Louis attended Southern High School in Durham before moving to New Jersey where he earned his GED. He was always studying to learn new information. He always had a good heart and welcomed helping others. Louis was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and was active in the Boy Scout program. He loved fishing, camping and his family. He will be remembered for his jokes and wittiness.
In addition to his parents he is survived by the joy of his life, daughter, Isabella Grace Mowery; brothers, Jared Harding Wilson of Lillington and Allen Scott Wilson (Joanna) of New Jersey; a sister, Rebecca Dianne Wright (Timothy) of Grover; aunts, Dianne Woodell (Woody) of Sanford, Frances Reaves (Bob Shepherd) of Moncure, Susan Hilliard of Pittsboro, Dolores Welch (Haywood) of Cameron, Elizabeth Goins of High Point, and Mary Linda Drake of Sanford; and many nieces and nephews and cousins.
There will be a graveside service Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Shallow Well Cemetery in Sanford with Bishop Gary Hatch officiating.
Condolences may be made at
Arrangements by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home, Inc.