Obituaries, May 17, 2014

May. 16, 2014 @ 05:06 PM


Debbie Buchanan
DURHAM — Debbie Buchanan, 57, passed away Friday, May 16, 2014 at Peak Resources-Treyburn. She was born and reared in Durham County and was preceded in death by her husband, Dwight Buchanan, and step-father, Thomas Green. Mrs. Buchanan was a former employee of Johnny’s Foodland and King’s Red and White Grocery. Debbie was a people person who loved her family, friends and her customers. We will all miss Debbie’s smiling face.
Debbie is survived by her mother, Edna Earle Green of Durham; brother, John Gibson and wife, Debra of Cedar Grove; sister, Rhonda Modlin and husband, Tony of Mebane; niece, Amy Maze; nephews, Chad Modlin, Kyle Gibson; and sister-in-law, Elaine Boisvert.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham.
Flowers are acceptable or memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 2840 Electric Road, Suite 106, Roanoke, VA 24018.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Bruce Edward Gagnon
DURHAM — Bruce Edward Gagnon, 66, passed away Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at his home. He was born in Providence, RI to the late Joseph Alfred Gagnon and the late Claire Kane Gagnon. He was also preceded in death by a sister, Linda Roberge.
Mr. Gagnon served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He retired as a Project Manager at IBM in 2003. He enjoyed woodworking in his spare time and visiting with his friends at the Holden Beach VFW Post 8866.
Bruce is survived by his wife of 44 years, Alice “Deanie” Gagnon; son, Rustin Gagnon and wife, Sherri; stepmother, Denise Gagnon; sister, Candace Shuman; and a loving extended family.
The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday at Clements Funeral Home in Durham. There is no service scheduled.
In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Duke Homecare and Hospice, Office of Development, 4321 Medical Park Dr. #101, Durham, NC 27704, or to the Holden Beach VFW Post 8866 at 573 Sabbath Home Rd. SW, Supply, NC 28462.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

George Savannah Murray, Jr.
DURHAM — Mr. George Savannah Murray, Jr., 75, of Durham died on Thursday, May 15, 2014. He was a native and lifelong resident of Durham, the son of the late George Savannah Murray, Sr. and Mecie Mandy Strickland Murray. He served in the U.S. Army and National Guard. He was a member of Red Mountain Baptist Church, First graduating class of Northern High School, loved gardening, farming, was an avid hunter. He was a beloved father, husband, brother, grandfather and friend. He never met a stranger. George was preceded in death by his first wife, Margie Keith Murray, brother, Nelson Murray, sisters, Christine Massey, Betty Murray, Evelyn Murray and Eula Pollock.
He is survived by his wife, Christy Hamm Murray; son, George Michael “Mike” Murray of Durham; daughter, Denise Murray Fain and son-in-law Wendell of Rougemont; two sisters, Annie Lorae Byrd and Daphine Tingen, both of Durham; three grandchildren, Zachary and Dillon Fain, Jacob Murray; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Monday at 2:00 p.m. at Red Mountain Baptist Church. Rev. David Pryor will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Mike Renn, Jimmy Jacobs, Dustin Roberts, Danny Drye, Chris Harward, Jeff Ingram, Jack Ellis and Richard Lundy.
The family will receive friends on Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home and other times at the home. Flowers are acceptable or donations can be made to Red Mountain Baptist Church, 1322 Red Mountain Rd., Rougemont, NC 27572. Online condolences can be made at

Virginia Ruth Cornelius Wagner
DURHAM — Virginia Ruth Cornelius Wagner's brave battle with pancreatic cancer ended May 10, 2014. Although this loss will be felt by many, Virginia is survived by her husband, Bob; children, David (wife Tho, children Chris and Mason), Beth and Sara (husband Lloyd, children Philip and Kate).
Born August 16, 1941, as the only child to parents Lena and Philip Cornelius, Virginia was the light of their life. Virginia spent her early years in Ft. Smith, Arkansas until she departed for college and set her sights on becoming a teacher and later raising a family. Family was a strong influence in her life and Virginia built a network of family and friends in the various places she called home. No matter the name she went by--Virginia Ruth, Ginny, Va., Ruth, Mom, or Grammy--she will be missed by many for her generous spirit, personal courage and selfless generosity.
One of Virginia's greatest gifts was her tireless dedication to the task at hand and her belief in her ability to make a positive difference. Her passion for teaching was limitless and served to inspire countless students on their academic journey. This passion was also recognized with a statewide award from Tennessee for her accomplishments.
Virginia enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her children and grandchildren, taking years off from teaching to raise her children, and retiring just in time to play a central role in her grandchildren’s lives. She provided endless loving care, teaching them and delighting in their discoveries and accomplishments. Grammy was always planning another adventure for her grandkids. Whether it was a trip to the nation’s capital or simply an adventure into the woods, Grammy delighted in sharing the world with her grandchildren, marveling at the amazing people they were becoming. Some of the most meaningful milestones included teaching her grandchildren how to swim, read, play bridge and sharing her love for art.
Calling North Carolina home for over 20 years, Virginia was a vibrant member of the Durham/Duke community. Virginia generously gave her time and energy throughout the community. She was an active member of Duke’s Campus Club and the Unitarian Universalist church, sitting on many committees and organizing fundraisers. In the last year of her life, she became a Guardian ad litem, and felt good that she was able to help speak for those who were unable to in some way.
As a lifelong travel enthusiast, Virginia embraced the world’s diversity every chance she could. Her thirst for knowing and seeing everything there was to see was an essential part of who she was. Anyone who had the privilege of traveling with her benefited from Virginia’s passion for traveling as it enriched the experience for all those around her. Even at home, as an enthusiastic member of Duke’s Gothic Gourmet Club, her passion for experiencing other cultures was contagious. She wanted to see everything, and traveled to many destinations around the globe, most recently on an African safari.
Virginia’s love of teaching others was only matched by her passion of art. With seemingly limitless talent, no matter the medium, painting, drawing, pottery or stained glass, she shared her natural talent with others by teaching. Virginia was never happier than when she helped her children or grandchildren create something they were proud of.
Loving, teaching, creating, learning--these were the cornerstones of Virginia's life. She will be missed by many, now and forever.
The service will be held at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 4907 Garrett Rd., Durham, NC 27707 on Saturday, May 24th, at 2pm.


James Harold Culbreth, Sr.
HILLSBOROUGH — Harold was born Nov. 13, 1923, in Hope Mills, N.C. to Clarence Caviness Culbreth and Blanche Biggs Culbreth, and left his earthly body May 2, 2014, age 90.
He lived in Hillsborough, N.C. for 55 years, during which he served in the U.S. Army in Italy during World War II, graduated from Duke University, married his beloved wife, Peach (Rittenhouse), raised 3 children and retired after 33 years as an auditor for Western Electric/AT&T in Burlington, N.C. He and Peach then moved to West Jefferson, N.C. and enjoyed another 29 happy years together in the mountains.
Harold was a man of great faith, great optimism and great love. He lived his love for Jesus Christ, for Peach, the love of his life for more than 63 years, for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a lifelong outdoorsman, camper and amateur naturalist whose sweet playfulness drew all animals and children to him.
He was a deacon for many years at First Baptist Church in Hillsborough and at Buffalo Baptist Church in West Jefferson, and a mentor and active volunteer in both communities.
Among those remembering Harold/Dad/Nandad with love and admiration are Peach, children Cindy (Lee), Jim (Kate), Bill (Hallet), grandchildren Sara (Jonathan), Elizabeth (Michael), Katherine, Julia, Duncan, Madeline, Mary Hallet, Ritt, and great-grandchildren Mackenzie, James and Madelyn.
A memorial service will be held in Hillsborough on Saturday, May 24 at the First Baptist Church in Hillsborough at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that a memorial donation be to Orange Congregations in Missions.

Jennifer Kay Holt
HILLSBOROUGH — Jennifer Kay Holt, 42, daughter of the late Bobby and Daisy Tinnin Holt, died on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at home.
The funeral will be conducted 2:00 PM Saturday in Orange Cross Roads Baptist Church with family visitation one hour prior to the funeral. Burial in church cemetery.
Surviviors are her partner, Brian Little, and her precious pet (King) of the home, brother, Stacy Holt (Teresa), and sister, Beverly Holt (Jerome), all of Cedar Grove, NC.
Public viewing from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM at Chavis-Parker Funeral Home. Friends are being received at the home of Beverly and Jerome, 102 Carr Store Road, Cedar Grove, NC.


Edwin "Nolan" Kidd
ROXBORO — Edwin "Nolan" Kidd, 56, of 155 Magnolia Dr., Roxboro, died Friday, May 16, 2014. Born in Person County, Mr. Kidd was the son of the late Burwell Thaxton "B.T." Kidd and Florence Owen Kidd, who survives. Mr. Kidd worked for Duke as a postal clerk and part-time at Cole's Pharmacy. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church.
In addition to his mother, Mr. Kidd is survived by his wife, Cindy Evans Kidd; two sons, Bryan Edwin Kidd and Travis Nolan Kidd, both of the home; one sister, Laura Ann Howard and husband Steve, of Durham; two nieces, Rachel Howard and Emma Howard; and one nephew, Jake Howard.
Funeral services will be held 2PM, Sunday, May 18, 2014, at Grace United Methodist Church by the Rev. Ben Sims. Burial will follow in Person Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be held 6:30-8PM, Saturday at the Brooks & White Funeral Home and at other times at the home.
Condolences may be sent to


Brenda Walsh Hutchens
PINE KNOLL SHORES — Mrs. Brenda Walsh Hutchens, 72, of Pine Knoll Shores, NC, was called home on Thursday, May 15, 2014, to the loving arms of Jesus Christ her Lord. She was preceded in death by her father, Mr. Jesse Theron Walsh, and her mother, Mrs. Florence Alley Walsh, both of Winston-Salem, NC. She is survived by her high-school sweetheart and loving husband of nearly 50 years, Dr. Luther Hill “L.H.” Hutchens, Jr., her sons, Lance Hill Hutchens and Bradley Walsh Hutchens, her two beautiful daughters-in-law, Ashley Faulk Hutchens and Margo MacNair Hutchens, two grandchildren, Lance Hill “Hutch” Hutchens, Jr. and Walker Linwood Hutchens, and sister, Dr. Sandra Walsh Moore, of Miami, FL.
Brenda was born on November 29th, 1941 in Winston-Salem, NC, where she grew up and would meet her eventual husband in the eighth grade. A graduate of R.J. Reynolds High School, she would later receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was married to her husband in December of 1964, and they resided in Chapel Hill, NC, as he completed dental school training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Brenda would work in elementary education as a teacher in Durham, NC. Following the completion of dental school, the couple relocated to Seattle, WA, where Brenda would continue her career as an elementary school teacher, while her husband completed his residency.
The couple returned to Chapel Hill for L.H. to join the faculty at the UNC School of Dentistry. In March 1978 she and L.H. were blessed to adopt their first son, Lance. In the fall of 1981, Brenda and L.H. were again blessed with their second adopted son, Bradley. Upon the arrival of children, Brenda spent most of her time raising her family as a loving and caring mother and spouse. She would continue in the education field as a substitute teacher on a limited basis, a role she served well until recent years. Brenda was also an active member of the University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill for the 34 years that she and her family would reside there. Of particular importance to Brenda and her husband were their contributions to, and the growth of Moravian Love Feast service at UUMC, a tradition that is extremely well-attended year after year to the present. She was also active in the United Methodist Women’s Circles and a UUMC Christ Care Group.
In 2000, Brenda and her husband retired to Pine Knoll Shores, NC, where they have lived for the past 14 years. They became members of the Swansboro United Methodist Church in Swansboro, NC. Brenda was very active in her new church home, especially ministering to the elderly, and also was responsible for starting a prayer shawl ministry, known as the Hand-Maidens. She remained active in the church until her passing.
Brenda will be remembered for her unconditional love as a wife and mother, and a friend to all. So too will she be remembered for her compassionate spirit and soul, and her gift of finding joy in doing random acts of kindness for others. She was an excellent cook, who was especially gifted in the art of baking. It was not unusual for Brenda to load up her car with cakes, pies, or cookies and to take them to anyone in need, dealing with loss, or simply just to express her love. Nothing brought her more joy than bringing joy to others. She was also known to bake batches of cookies for her beloved UNC Tar Heel basketball team for almost every home game for many years. She also loved crafting, especially basket weaving and knitting. The result of which, she always enjoyed giving away her latest creation to friends, her daughters-in-law, or to anyone who might find enjoyment and comfort from them.
Family was paramount to Brenda, and she loved nothing more than her husband, her children, and grandchildren. There were many days at the coast in their retirement where she would enjoy fishing with her husband and family, a day at the beach and pool with the grandchildren, visiting with friends and neighbors, and playing bridge with her friends. She was the embodiment of love as we have been taught by our Savior, Christ Jesus.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of Brenda at the Swansboro United Methodist Church on Monday, May 19, at 4pm. Dr. Ed Gunter will preside over this service that is intended for members of Brenda’s church family, and any other family or friends who wish to honor her memory at the coast. The family will receive visitors immediately following that service.
A funeral service will be conducted on Wednesday, May 21, at 11 am, at the University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, with Rev. William H. Gattis officiating. The family will receive visitors immediately following the funeral service at a reception hosted at the church. A graveside interment service will be held at Forsyth Memorial Cemetery at 3:30pm in Winston-Salem where Brenda will be laid to rest.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed in her memory to the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, 1002 Yanceyville St., Greensboro, NC 27407, or the Swansboro United Methodist Church Building Fund, 665 W. Corbett Ave., Swansboro, NC 28584. The family would also like to express their appreciation to the many health care providers at UNC Hospitals and Duke Medicine for the care of Brenda over the past few years. The family would also like to extend their appreciation to the doctors and nurses of Wake Forest North Carolina Baptist Hospital for their compassionate care for Brenda and her family during her final days. Online condolences may be made through