September 28, 2013

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 05:13 PM

Helen Rhodes Barbee Higgins
DURHAM — Helen Rhodes Barbee Higgins, 89, passed away on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC. She was born on January 29, 1924 in Durham, at Watts Hospital to Charles Wesley and Lillie (Rhodes) Barbee.
Helen grew up in Durham. She graduated from Bethesda High School. After high school she graduated from Meredith College. During World War II she was actively involved in volunteering with the USO at Camp Butner, NC. Following this she worked in art and advertising for WDNC Radio Station and later the Durham Herald-Sun. She retired after 40 years.
Helen married Edgar (Ed) Reid Higgins in 1947 in Durham, NC at Carr Methodist Church. Helen and Ed met at WDNC. Ed oversaw all aspects of the station on and off the air. Ed was the original “Voice of the Duke Blue Devils.” Helen and Ed traveled regularly with the football and basketball teams. They were patrons of The Masonic Home for Children, the Shriners Hospital, LA Sertoma, The Shriners Organization, Eastern Star, the Durham Jaycees and Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church – including the George Mathis Sunday School Class. In her free time, Helen was a model for local companies such as Lucky Strike, Durham Hosiery, Baldwin’s Department Store and Ellis-Stone. She also participated in local Charity Beauty Pageants.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Lillie Barbee; her husband, Ed Higgins; and her brothers, Charles and William Barbee.
Helen is survived by her sister, Louise Barbee Noel of Durham; her daughter, Bridgett and her husband, Randy Ray of Durham; and her daughter, Reid Higgins Forbes of Charlottesville, VA. She has eight loving grandchildren, Leslie and Dr. Robert Mazzei of Columbia, SC; Ashley and Kevin Utz of Wake Forest, NC; Caroline, Elisabeth, McCoy and Margaret Forbes of Charlottesville, Virginia. She is also survived by her two great-grandchildren, Madison Mazzei and Cameron Mazzei of Columbia, SC.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church at 927 West Trinity Avenue in Durham, NC at 2 p.m. the afternoon of Sunday, September 29, 2013. The family will be greeting friends and relatives following the service.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church in her honor.  Condolences may be left on Howerton-Bryan’s online guest book at

Teretha Cameron Thompson
DURHAM — Mrs. Teretha Cameron Thompson, 85, of 535 Martha St., died Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in her home.
Her service will be held at 12 p.m. on Monday, Sept 30, 2013 at St Mark AME Zion Church, 531 S. Roxboro St. Interment will follow in Oak Grove Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Monday at the church from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., one hour prior to the service.
Mrs. Thompson is survived by her daughter, Demetrius Gibson; and her son, Bernard Torain.
Arrangements by Burthey Service.


Mildred "Kookie" McNeil Harris
HILLSBOROUGH — Funeral services for Mrs. Mildred "Kookie" McNeil Harris will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at Cain's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 2001 St. Mary's Rd. Family visitation: one hour before service. A native of Durham, she was the daughter of late Thomas McNeil Sr. and Ethel N. McNeil. She was a 1963 graduate of Merrick-Moore High School and attended North Carolina Central University. She had been employed at Durham Drapery, GTE and Krogers. Survivors include: husband, Wayne Harris; son, Darrell "Heavy" Harris (Marcia); brother, Thomas McNeil Jr.; sister, Patricia M. Farrington (Walter); five grandchildren; sister-in-law, Jean Bethea (Pastor James Bethea); aunt, Sylvia Calamese; special niece (daughter), Sonya McNeil; special nephew (son), Tracy McNeil (Annie).
Public Viewing today from 12 to 7 p.m. at Fisher Funeral Parlor.

Shella Russell Bray Jr.
ROXBORO — Shella Russell Bray Jr., age 76, of Morgan Street died September 26, 2013.
Born in Guilford County, Mr. Bray was the son of the late Shella Russell Bray Sr. and Ruth Lloyd Bray. He served 21 years in the US Marine Corps where he retired as a Captain and was the former Past Master of the Person County Masonic Lodge. He was also Past Master of three different Masonic Lodges for a total of five time Pass Master. Mr. Bray was also a member of the KCCH where he served as Knight Commander Court of Honor.
Memorial services will be held Monday, September 30, 2013 at the Brooks and White Chapel at 2 p.m. by Chaplin Paul Menard with Masonic Rights.
Visitation will be held an hour prior to the service from 1 to 2 p.m.
Mr. Bray is survived by his wife, Mary Armentrout Bray, of the home; two step-sons, Jeffrey Smith and wife Mary, of Roxboro, Richard Smith, of Butner; three granchildren, Linda Smith, Jeffrey Smith Jr., and Meredith McCowan; and one great-grandchild, Bryson McCowan.
Memorials may be made to the Roxboro Shrine Club, 932 Hester Store Road, Roxboro, NC 27573.
Condolences may be made to

Katie Elizabeth Tapp Ross
APEX - Graveside services for Katie Elizabeth Tapp Ross, 96, will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. at Markham Memorial Gardens, 4028 Trenton Road. Daughter of the late Oscar Lee Tapp and Fannie Stroud Tapp, she was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard Lee Ross, in 1955.
Survivors include caregivers, Isaiah and Jocelyn Thornton.
Public viewing Saturday 12 to 7 p.m. at Fisher Funeral Parlor.