Obituaries, May 25, 2014
Gwendolyn Winston Ettson
DURHAM — Mrs. Gwendolyn Winston Ettson, 68, departed this life on May 21, 2014.
She leaves behind one daughter, two sons, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; two sisters and two brothers.
Visitation will be held at Immanuel Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church on Tuesday from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm and funeral services to follow at 1:00 pm.
Arrangements entrusted to Holloway Memorial Funeral Home.
Hazel Adams Hobgood
DURHAM — Hazel Adams Hobgood, 95, passed away February 24, 2014 at Magnolia Square where she was a dementia patient. A lifelong resident of Durham, she relocated to Springfield in 2010 to be with her daughter. Born to the late Raymond and Lola Ferrell Adams, her sister was Mrs. G.N. (Pansie) Green. Hazel was employed at Liggett-Myers for over 25 years. She was a member of Grace Baptist Church where she taught the Kindergarten Sunday School Class. Mrs. Hobgood is survived by her daughter, Cathie Fay Weir; brother, Raymond Adams of Kenley, NC; and several nieces, nephews and cousins who loved her dearly.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. May 28, 2014 at Grace Baptist Church in Durham. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the church parlor.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Baptist Church, 1004 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC 27701 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 3250 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65807.
Leland Richter Phelps
DURHAM — Leland (“Lee”) Richter Phelps passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 15, 2014, at the age of 96. He was born on March 31,1918, to Leland Hobart and Esther Richter Phelps in Flint, Michigan. The son of a manager of numerous A&P grocery stores, Leland grew up with two sisters in Detroit, Michigan, where his passion for reading and learning began. He attended Wayne State University and joined the Air Force in 1942, where he was trained to be a meteorologist. He served 4-1/2 years in New Mexico and was recalled in 1952, stationed for a year in Germany during the Korean War.
When World War II ended, Lee returned to the university to major in German (because he wanted to know what all of his German relatives were saying when they didn’t want their children to understand!). He met the love of his life and wife of 65 years, Ruth Seifert, at Middlebury College, Vermont, at their summer foreign language school where she was teaching German and folk dancing. They married a year later in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After receiving his PhD from Ohio State University, he taught in the German department of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, for 10 years.
In 1961 he joined the German department at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he taught for 25 years before retiring. During his long tenure as chairman he introduced the use of computers as an aid to the acquisition of spoken foreign language skills. He was the visionary and driving force behind one of the earliest such programs, Computer Assisted Language Instruction System (CALIS), which spread worldwide and was part of the drive to online learning.
Leland has always been a “Renaissance Man” with interests diverse and widespread. He published numerous articles in professional publications and books, and co-authored a highly regarded anthology of 20th century German short stories entitled Aus Unserer Zeit that went into four editions and was used in universities all over the world. He had deep interests in a broad range of topics from Frank Lloyd Wright to the making of sausage, from classical music to history, from poetry to modern art. He loved conversing with anyone about anything.
Leland Phelps will be long be remembered for his amiability and gentleness, his intellectual curiosity, and his unfailing kindness and ethical life. He will be sorely missed by his daughters and their families: Christine Phelps of Greensboro, NC; Karin Phelps Murray and her husband Link of Jamestown, RI; Linda Phelps Pate and her husband Marty of Sanford, NC; plus six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren (soon to be nine).
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Leland’s passionate interests in honor of him: the Leland R. Phelps Endowment for Rare Books (Duke University Libraries, Box 90197, Durham, NC 27708) or the Chamber Arts Society at Duke (Duke Performances, Box 90757, Durham, NC 27708).
Janice Cassandra Muse Thomas
DURHAM — Mrs. Janice Cassandra Muse Thomas died at Duke Hospital on Sunday, May 18, 2014, following a brief illness. She was born in Greentown, WV on April 24, 1939 and was a graduate of West Virginia State College (now called WV State University). She also earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an Associate Degree in Accounting from Durham Technical Community College.
"Jan" is survived by her husband of 50 years, Nathan L. Thomas of the home, and son, James Nathan Thomas of Rochester, NY. She was "big sister" to a number of younger cousins. Also dear to her heart was our "friends family," comprised mainly of families who had relocated to the Triangle area, dating back 50 years.
The family is being assisted by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Lessie Mae Johnson Jones
HILLSBOROUGH — Ms. Lessie Mae Johnson Jones went home to be with the Lord on Friday, May 23, 2014 at her home.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm at South Side Church of Christ, 800 Elmira Street, Durham, NC 27707.
Visitation will be held at the church one hour before the funeral.
Services entrusted to Jones Funeral Home, Chapel Hill, NC.
Lola Pauline Parker
HILLSBOROUGH — Lola Pauline Parker of Hillsborough, passed away Friday, May 23, 2014 at Duke University Medical Center with her family by her side. Born in Orange County, Ms. Parker was the daughter of the late Ira Lee Parker and Ruby Lee Combs Parker. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Warren Parker, and her daughter, Sheliah Denise Parker. Ms. Parker was a retired nurse. She was a loving and giving daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Ms. Parker is survived by her daughter, Deborah L. Parker of Mebane, NC, and her son, Reggie D. Parker (Marie) of Efland, NC; five grandchildren, Bryan Mebane, Zackery Parker, Cody Parker (Joy), Nathaniel Parker and Makayla Parker; three great-grandchildren, Trevor and Marlee Mebane and Cooper Parker; four sisters, Coleen Barbour, Doris Walker (Harold), Linda Taylor (Bob), Mary Dean; and one brother, Lee Parker (Kaye).
A funeral service will be conducted at The First Pentecostal Church of Durham on Tuesday at 2 PM by her Pastor Johnny Godair. Burial to be immediately following the service at the Town Cemetery in Hillsborough, NC. The family will receive family and friends from 6-8 PM on Monday at Walker’s Funeral Home, Hillsborough. The family is assisted by Walker’s Funeral Home of Hillsborough. walkersfuneralservice.com
Dr. William Beverly Tucker, Sr.
HENDERSON — Dr. William Beverly Tucker, Sr., 73, of Henderson, NC, died in the comfort of his family and friends at his home on Friday, May 23, 2014.
Born on April 17, 1941 to G.R. and Maude Tucker in Hertford, Perquimans County, NC, Dr. Tucker received his baccalaureate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Following dual training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, he was one of the first physicians in the U.S. to complete rigorous certification in Family Medicine (which he faithfully maintained throughout his career). During the Vietnam War, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.
Upon completion of medical residency training in Chapel Hill, Bev moved with his wife, Anne, and their young children to Henderson, NC, where he spent the next 34 years as a Family Medicine physician.
Service to God, family, and community was an organizing principle in Dr. Tucker’s life. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Henderson for over 40 years, where he chaired the Board of Deacons and sang in the Chancel Choir. As one of the first members of the Laffman Sunday School Class, he and his friends pushed themselves towards active spiritual engagement with one another as well as with people of other faiths and congregations in the community. He was instrumental in the formation and early development of the YMCA of Henderson, which now serves over 6000 people. In his thirty-eight years as a member of Rotary, he was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Tucker worked diligently for the improvement of local schools, giving free physicals, mentoring aspiring students, and chairing the Vance County Public School Foundation. During his years as Chairman of the Maria Parham Medical Center board, he acted as an effective advocate for the citizens of Vance County while shepherding a sustaining merger of MPMC with the Duke LifePoint system. Among other benefits to the Vance County region, this merger endowed a community foundation with assets of over 30 million dollars.
Dr. Tucker maintained an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Duke University Medical School. Many aspiring nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, and residents came to study with and work alongside Dr. Tucker and his partners at Henderson Family Medicine.
During his medical career, Dr. Tucker served as Chief of Staff of Maria Parham Hospital, and was a Councilor for Region 2 of the NC Medical Society. In 1984, he presided over the Seaboard Medical Association, which covers coastal Virginia and the Carolinas. For 25 years, Dr. Tucker was Vance County’s Medical Examiner. He directed medical care at the Senior Citizens’ Nursing Home and provided on-site medical supervision for the local hospital’s cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program at the YMCA.
In retirement, he was passionate about his volunteer activities. He traveled to Nicaragua and Panama as a volunteer to help build schools, libraries, and medical clinics. As a very skilled tennis player, he won many state and national matches well into his late sixties.
Dr. Tucker was frequently recognized for service to his local and regional communities; most recently, these include the 2011 Outstanding Alumnus of the UNC School of Medicine and the Henderson–Vance Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Citizen of the Year. On a national level, Duke LifePoint Health System honored him with its highest award for service and leadership for 2013. In 2008, an endowed scholarship was created in Dr. Tucker’s name by the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Medical Center, honoring Dr. Tucker’s years of service to the hospital as both a physician and volunteer. It was presented as a gift of $25,000 to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund to be awarded in perpetuity. In 2009, he received the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Professional Award (Occoneechee Council). During 2013-2014, the Laffman Class created Bev’s Baptist Buddies to participate in the Angels Among Us events for the benefit of The Preston R. Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. Through their contributions and matching funds, an amount of $24,000 was donated in Dr. Tucker’s name.
Dr. Tucker was a man of vision and careful consideration. His counsel was highly valued by all. He was direct, honest, and sincere-–with wit and a great social presence. At the 2012 Henderson–Vance Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award ceremonies, the following (authored by Sarah Patton Boyle) was read as a summary of Dr. Tucker’s spirit:
"He is one whose glory is an inner glory, one who places culture above prosperity, fairness above comfort, courtesy above triumph, courage above safety, kindness above welfare, honor above success.”
Dr. Tucker is survived by his wife of 50 years, Anne Brinn Tucker; sons William Beverly Tucker, Jr. (Jennifer) of Denver, CO and Preston M. Tucker (Sarah) of Berkeley, CA; daughters Megan Tucker Adkins (Robby) of Raleigh, NC and Blair Tucker Tate (Knox) of Hickory, NC; grandchildren Reese and Holland Tucker, Liam and Lincoln Tucker, Tucker and Molly Adkins, Lewis, Fletcher, and Watts Tate; and the last of many faithful golden retrievers, Max. Dr. Tucker’s brother and longtime medical partner, Reginald Tucker (Maude), lives in Chapel Hill, NC.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 2pm at The First Baptist Church of Henderson by Dr. Marion D. Lark and Dr. Ronald S. Cava. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall. The family requests that gestures of remembrance be in the form of donations to Vance County Public School Foundation, P.O. Box 2956, Henderson, NC, 27536. Arrangements are by J.M. White Funeral Home.
Allen Benton Walker
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Allen Benton Walker, 83, died Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at North Florida Regional Hospital, in Gainesville FL, after a brief illness.
Born July 31, 1930 in Hillsborough, North Carolina, Allen served in the United States Army in Germany during the Korean War and was honorably discharged.
Allen was predeceased by his parents, Addison and Donnie Walker, and 14 bothers and sisters.
Allen is survived by his wife, Carole Walker of Gainesville, FL; one sister, Mary Elizabeth Carter of Graham, NC; 5 children, David, Teri, Bonnie, Allen, and Randy; 5 step-children, Laura, Pam, Mike, Mary, and Eddie; 5 grandchildren; 12 step-grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; 9 step-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at New Sharon United Methodist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina, Saturday, May 31 at 11am.