April 28, 2013
Cecil Raymond Godwin
DURHAM — To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived…this is to have succeeded. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mr. Cecil Raymond Godwin passed away April 22, 2013. He was 84 years old.
In his youth, he was a “soda-jerk” at Coleman’s Drug Store, a deliverer of the Durham Herald-Sun and the afternoon paper, the Durham Sun. He was a graduate of Durham High School and the University of North Carolina.
A Korean War veteran, he came home to meet and marry Suzanne Rollins Godwin, a hometown girl.
He fell in love with Durham as a child, knowing well the sweet smell of tobacco that permeated the town, the fun of riding his bike in the early morning hours to Duke Gardens, and playing tennis on the courts across the street from his home.
As a young person, Cecil’s parents made it clear to him that hard work and tolerance of other people would be important to his life. And as a business man his interests and knowledge of lumber and building materials was vast, thanks to his friends and mentors Jim and Bill Coman, plus his dear friends Ed Rogers and Arby Tally.
Mr. Godwin’s travels with his wife added to his horizons, but his affection for Durham was unfailing.
His uncompromising moral character, honesty, and decency were unparalled. He was a gallant gentleman, handsome and courtly, uncommonly wise, and his devotion to his family lit a spark of love that will be remembered always.
Mr. Godwin leaves his wife, Suzanne Rollins Wallace Godwin; daughters, Robin Wallace Godwin and Meredith Rollins Godwin Wellendorf; and a brother, Thomas Mark Godwin.
His family asks those who knew Cecil and wish to make a donation to please contribute their fondest memories and warmest thoughts as those are more than sufficient.
A private family funeral was held at the Rollins’ plot in Maplewood Cemetery.
The Godwin family is under the care of Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home. Online condolences may be submitted at www.howertonbryan.com, select obituaries.
Jimmie C. Harden
DURHAM — Jimmie C. Harden, of Durham, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013 at Hock Family Pavilion. Born in Durham County, Mr. Harden is survived by his wife, Betty Harden; three sons, Mark Harden and wife, Suzette, Lee Harden, Kevin Harden and wife, Cecelia; a daughter, Robin Edwards and husband, Chris; 13 grandchildren; one great grandchild; and two sisters, Bobbie and Sherry. Mr. Harden was preceded in death by parents, Jim & Nancy Harden.
A green burial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30th at Pine Forest Memorial Gardens in Wake Forest, NC. Mr. Harden, a Korean War veteran, requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
DURHAM — Ruth Hunt, of Durham, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013 at UNC Hospital. Born in Washington County, Ruth was the daughter of the late George Post and Willie Slay Post.
Mrs. Hunt is survived by her husband, Bobby Hunt; two sons, James Hunt and Kevin Hunt and wife, Perla; two brothers, Richard Post and George Hart and wife, Pat; and three grandchildren, Alan Hunt, Collin Hunt and Sofia Hunt.
A memorial service will be conducted 3 p.m. on Monday at New Horizon Church, Durham, with Leah Rade officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 2 to 3 p.m.
Flowers are acceptable. Memorial contributions may be made to Lung Cancer Alliance, P.O. Box 418372, Boston, MA 02241 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The family is being assisted in Durham by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be made at www.clementsfuneralservice.com.
John Rowland McCurley
DURHAM - Mr. John Rowland McCurley, 83, of Rougemont, died on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
Mr. McCurley was born in Chicago, Ill, to the late John and Irene Elizabeth Tillmore McCurley. He started Old Hickory Motors in 1981 and owned John McCurley Oxford Ford and several used car lots. He loved the car business, but his passion was his wife and family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Francoise Pasquet McCurley; two sons, John McCurley Jr. and wife, Terry, and Kenny McCurley; one daughter, Sonia Herndon and husband, Michael; three grandsons, Nick McCurley, Anthony McCurley and Chandler McCurley; one granddaughter, Brittany Herndon; one precious great-granddaughter, Rayleigh Raine Herndon; three nieces and a loving dog, Peppi.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Clarence Parrish. Burial will be in the Ellis Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Bill Gaskins, Nick Piornack, Richard Saverino, Peter Saverino, Sal Ruffino and Steven Ysidron.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home.
The family wishes to thank everyone at Regional Cancer Care for the care of Mr. McCurley and especially Nicki and also Durham Regional Hospital.
Flowers are acceptable. Online condolences can be made at www.hudsonfuneralhome.com.
Andrew ‘Ham’ Benjamin White
DURHAM — Andrew ‘Ham’ Benjamin White, 70, departed his life on April 25, 2013.
He leaves behind his lovely wife of 45 years, Margaret Townsend White; two sons, Daron Townsend (Annie), Patrick White; one grandchild, Chelsea Townsend; one sister, Robin Riggins; and one brother, Robert White.
Funeral services have been entrusted to Holloway Memorial Funeral Home. The viewing will be Tuesday from 12 to 1 p.m. Funeral will begin at 1 p.m. at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Cornelius E. Battle Sr. will be the officiating pastor.
James Franklin Wilkins Sr.
DURHAM - Mr. James Franklin Wilkins Sr., 78, of 5913 Tahoe Dr., quietly passed away on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Durham Brian Center after a courageous battle with cancer.
His service will held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 at Union Baptist Church, 904 N. Roxboro St. Interment will follow in Beechwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church on Tuesday from 12 to 1 p.m., one hour prior to the service.
James was born in Duplin County and spent his formative years in Onslow County, NC where he received his education in the public schools. In 1965 he relocated his family to Durham, NC. James was a "people" person. He never met a stranger and readily shared with all.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Mary Wilkins; three children, James Jr., Gary (Jackie), and Betty; grandchildren, LaSherri Leathers, Jamel Wilkins, Keisha Wilkins, Vincent Greene, Garrett Wilkins and Michael Taylor; one great grandchild, Cameron Leathers-Clayborne; sisters, Mary N. Parker, Louise W. Weeks; brothers, Thomas C. Wilkins (Rosetta) and Glenmon Wilkins (Lillie); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Arrangements by Burthey Funeral Service.
Jacquelyn Renay Melvin
June 9, 1963-April 23, 2013
RALEIGH — Jacquelyn Renay Melvin, 49, of 2003 Mirror Drive, Raleigh, died Tuesday morning, April 23, 2013. A native of Durham, Renay was the daughter of Thomas Melvin Sr. (deceased) and Cleo Melvin. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Harriett M. Alston and Rose M. Strong. Renay is survived by her loving daughter, Erica Jackson; three sisters; five brothers; a host of nieces, nephews, and other family members.
At her request, no service will be held. The family acknowledges with deep appreciation the many acts of kindness during this difficult time.
Deborah Anne Nystrom
CARY — Deborah Anne Nystrom, 48, of Cary, passed away on Thursday, April 18, 2013. A native of Wake County, Deborah was born April 5, 1965 to Janice Massengale Green and the late Robert Edwin Green.
Deborah's compassionate and caring nature was an asset to her in her work as an emergency room nurse at Duke Hospital, Wake Medical Center, Rex Healthcare, and Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. She was a survivor of both a pancreas and kidney transplants and was always trying to be an encouragement to people on their journeys. She was also a dog lover and will be greatly missed by her two dogs, Cody and Brendon.
She is survived by her husband, Andrew Nystrom; children, Christopher Nystrom and his wife, Kathryn, Nicole Alyse Nystrom, and Michael Nystrom and his wife, Virginia, and their daughter, Katelyn Marie Nystrom; mother, Janice Starnowski and her husband, Jerry; second father, Winfred V. Plyler and his wife, May; step brothers, Jeff Plyler and wife, Bonita, Sgt. John Starnowski USMC and wife, Sgt. Suzanne Starnowski USMC, Matthew Starnowski, and Luke Starnowski; and step sister, Kristin S. Barnes and husband, Josh.
A Memorial Service will be held today, April 28, 2013, at 3 p.m., at Covenant Christian Church, 2911 SW Cary Pkwy, Cary, NC 27513.
Memorial Contributions in Deborah’s memory may be made to the William Dunlap Center for Caring, Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Online memorials: www.brownwynnecary.com
Nancy Carolyn Beeker
SPARTANBURG, SC – Nancy Carolyn Beeker, of Richfield, NC and formerly of Durham, passed away Friday, April 26, 2013 at Regional Hospice Home, Spartanburg, SC. Born in Durham County, Mrs. Beeker was the daughter of the late Ernest Whittington and Ruth Johnson Whittington. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Edward Beeker; and a granddaughter, Molly Mitchell. Nancy was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.
She spent much of her life as a community volunteer with Durham City Schools and NC Extension Homemakers.
Mrs. Beeker is survived by a son, Edward Beeker II and wife, Kirsten; two daughters, Beth Sherron and husband, Michael, and Ann Long and husband, Bruce; two brothers, Cameron Francis and wife, Darlene, and Ernest Whittington Jr. and wife, Pat; a sister, Lynn Saphaugh and husband, Keith; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and one great, great-grandchild.
A graveside service will be held Monday 11 a.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, Section 3. The family will receive friends at Clements Funeral Home, 1105 Broad Street, prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Spartanburg Regional Hospice House, 686 Jeff Davis Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29303.
The family is being assisted in Durham by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be made at www.clementsfuneralservice.com.
Jonathon Scott Bennett
WILSON — Jonathon Scott Bennett, 21, died Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Funeral, Sunday, 3 p.m., First Baptist Church, 311 W Nash St, Wilson, followed by visitation.
Jonathon Scott Bennett came into this world on Friday, January 31, 1992 at 8:33 a.m. Even on that day we saw something unique in him, amazed at how a fresh newborn soul could look like a little man instead of a baby. He had a full head of hair, as full as the life he was just beginning.
Jonathon let his sister speak for him until he was well past two years old. When he decided to talk he used full sentences. His sister taught him to read when he was four, but was careful not to let his Kindergarten teacher know. She figured it out one day when he told the other kids what was on the lunch menu.
Jonathon attended Estes Hills Elementary School in Chapel Hill through fourth grade. His fifth and sixth grade years were at Nashville Elementary and Middle Schools in NC. He was a middle school student at Forest Hills in Wilson where he explored every extra curricula activity that the teachers offered except for science, which would later become his passion. At Forest Hills, he played baseball, basketball, trumpet, and sang in the chorus. He was a Math TIPS scholar, winner of the Optimist Oratorical Contest Award, a team member for Battle of the Books, Knowledge Masters, Spelling Bee Champion, and a leader in the Student Government. He was the 2005 National Geographic Society School Bee Winner. He was the unique student who could juggle it all and still earn high academic status. He had the extraordinary ability to fully focus on the task in front of him, pursuing his interests wholeheartedly.
Jonathon’s years at Fike High School in Wilson were equally full with academic achievement, music, sports, and friendships, and anything that championed the team. The Chorus was his playground, and he participated all four years and became its President. He was selected for the North Carolina Honors Chorus for four years (a rarity amongst students), and attended the North Carolina Governor’s School in Choral Studies during the summer of 2008. Jonathon also earned a spot on the JV Basketball team and ran track for four years. He loved his 4x4 and 4x8 relay teams, and also competed in the 400 and 800 meter individual races, his 2010 1600 meter relay team placed in the 3A Regional and State Championship in 2010. During his Senior year he placed 9th in the North Carolina State Track meet for the 800 meter event.
Jonathon’s academics were strong and he regularly earned top awards for English, Math, and character. He was selected for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference and the National Student Leadership Conference in Medicine at the University Maryland.
Even with his high involvement with school activities, Jonathon found time for community events. In April 2006 he stepped into a role in the Wilson Playhouse Theater production of “Hello, Dolly!” with two short weeks to learn his lines, the choreography, and songs. On opening night he applied his basketball jumps to a solo dance leap and the audience broke out in spontaneous applause, and Jonathon was hooked. He went on to perform roles in Wilson’s ACT for Youth in The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, The Mouse that Roared, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, where he played the role of Schroeder. While everyone knows that Schroeder’s tiny piano doesn’t really play, Jonathon wanted everything to look authentic to the last detail, so he learned to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata by heart. After all, his Mom and his Aunt Barbara would know the difference.
Jonathon studied voice with Elizabeth Winstead for four years and won 2nd place awards in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) on both the district and regional levels in 2008. He played percussion for the Tar River Children’s Chorus in Rocky Mount and trumpet with the Starlight Dance Band in Goldsboro. He attended basketball camps at Junior Prep Stars, UNC and Duke University. He attended a National Leadership Camp in Medicine during the summer of 2009, and worked with Dr. Ted Brna for his Senior Project, presenting to the Wilson Medical Association a need for a stronger vaccinations in communicable disease.
He began ECU as a biochemistry major and an Honors Scholar and soon joined the Student Ambassadors. In his sophomore year he changed his major to his real passion, geographic information science and technology and became a member of the Geo-Bowl. He was an Official with ECU Intramural Sports and an Expo at Winslow’s Deli.
Jonathon was fast. He learned fast, he thought fast, he lived fast, and he made friends quickly. He collected more friends in his years than most people do over decades. His friends were international students, folks from the ‘hood as well as from the hill, every age and from every walk of life. He genuinely enjoyed people.
He loved to travel, loved the beach, and particularly deep sea fishing with his cohort Lou. He recently earned citations for landing a white marlin and a sailfish. He loved his ECU sailing class. He loved basketball and was a rabid Duke fan.
There is so much more to tell. His friends hold as many stories as his family, and if you have a memory to tell, please write it down and send to his mother at email@example.com. Your stories and thoughts will be cherished by his family and help them to move through the difficult days to come.
Jonathon’s life on earth ended without warning, in a split second in a tragic accident. The circumstances were so unlikely that it surely must have been his time to leave us. Like the Christian and Eagle Scout that he was, he was prepared for his eternal journey. In that instance when the heavens opened up and received him with open arms he heard the Divine greeting, “Welcome home, my son.”
Jonathon Scott Bennett is survived by his sister, Kristine; mother, Rita; and father, John Bennett. His immediate extended family includes cousins, Christopher and Kyle, sons of Aunt Lisa Whaley Whittle; Uncle Bob and Aunt Barbara Bennett Byrd; Great Uncle Lowell Hall. He had a special connection to his Uncle Troy Dale Whaley. Jonathon’s grandparents and an aunt preceded him in death, Aunt Marilynn Bennett Brooks, Bob and Lurline Bennett, Troy and Evelyn “Nana” Whaley. Jonathon also adopted spare grandparents, Lou and Elaine Craig.
Memorials are suggested to the Jonathon Bennett Memorial Fund, PO Box 7185, Wilson, NC 27895.
Arrangements by Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Dr, N, (252) 237-7171, www.wilsonmemorialservice.com
William Scott (Bill) McGranahan Jr.
SEA LEVEL, NC — William Scott (Bill) McGranahan Jr., 84, of Sea Level, NC died April 19, 2013. He was born February 28, 1929, in Durham, NC, son of William S. McGranahan and Annie Lee Evans McGranahan. Mr. McGranahan was graduated from Duke University, Class of 1951. He spent his entire career with Richardson-Vicks, Inc. becoming Vice-President Marketing and Advertising. Mr.
McGranahan served on the Board of the Association of National Advertisers, and was Chair, Advertising Management Committee. He also served on the National Advertising Review Board, a self-regulating initiative. Mr. McGranahan served as Elder at the First Presbyterian Church in New York City, as Trustee at The Norfield Congregational Church in Weston, CT, and as Elder at The First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT. He served as Chairman, Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center in Norwalk, CT.
Mr. McGranahan was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean McLamb McGranahan; his second wife, Andrea Paula Ninivaggi McGranahan; his sons, William Scott McGranahan III and John Brent McGranahan; and his sister, Katherine McGranahan Holditch. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Jean McGranahan Schottke and her husband, David Schottke of Washington DC; his granddaughters, Beth and Kate McGranahan of Whitehall, NY; his sister, Julia (Judy) and her husband, Judge William Wimbish of Richmond, VA; and his dear friend, Gerri Adair of Sea Level, NC.
Memorial Services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Morehead City, NC, at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 17th, with Pastor Tim Havlicek officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Morehead City, NC, or to Duke University in Durham, NC.
Arrangements are by Brooks Funeral Home and Crematory Inc. of Morehead City. Access online obituary and Internet condolences through www.brooksfuneralhomeandcrematory.com.
Ashley Elisabeth Rosner
RICHMOND, VA. — Ashley Elisabeth Rosner, 40, daughter of Mary M. Crimmins and Dr. Michael J. Rosner (Sheila) passed away quietly on April 25, 2013, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Predeceasing Ashley were her grandparents, John & Edna Rosner and Joseph & Sallie Crimmins. Ashley is survived by her sisters, Meredith (Zachariah) Newman, Hope (Ryan) Ferguson; and brothers, Graham (Rebecca) Rosner and Ian Rosner. Also surviving Ashley are aunts and uncles, John (Carol) Rosner, James (Linda) Crimmins, Joseph Crimmins; and honorary aunts and uncles, William & Sandra Rigsbee, and Tom & Jerri Pitz. Surviving cousins are Kim (Brian) Phillips, David Rosner, Michael (Caroline) Crimmins and Stephen Noel. Nieces and nephew, Lily Newman, Ella and Parker Ferguson; and second cousins, Elena Phillips and Alex and Eli Crimmins. Those who worked with her, special friends and friends of her family should be recognized, as she had many who loved her.
Ashley attended Chapel Hill High School. She resided at Quail Roost Group home in Carrboro, N.C. Her five housemates were considered by Ashley to be her family, as well as those who cared for her through Residential Services; they were wonderful and very devoted caretakers. In her 23 years there, Ashley grew into an independent young woman, worked at Life Options each day and socialized with many friends in her free time.
Donations may go to Residential Services, 111 Providence Road, Chapel Hill, N.C 27514, or the Animal Shelter of Orange County, 1081 Martin Luther King Blvd., Chapel Hill, N.C., 27514, as Ashley loved 'Big Cats'.
Ashley's immediate family would like to thank the staff, nurses and doctors on 6 West at N.C. Memorial Hospital for their superb care and respect for Ashley.
Although date and time have not been arranged, there will be a memorial service for Ashley in May.
She was a blessing and gift to us all and taught us many life lessons.
Condolences may be left at www.woodyfuneralhomeparham.com.