Obituaries, Nov. 9, 2013

Nov. 09, 2013 @ 12:34 PM


Marie Gregoris Council

May 9, 1923 – November 5, 2013

Marie was born May 9th, 1923, to Kiriaki (Coula) Stavroulakis Gregoris and Nicholas Efstratios Gregoris in New York City where she lived until 1930 when her family moved to Durham.

She attended a French school in Chania, Crete, Greece in 1927-29. She was elected to National Honor Society in 10th grade and graduated in 1942 from Durham High School with honors.

Marie was awarded the “Angier Duke Merit Scholarship” but the country was in WWII and she did not attend Duke and was employed by the Federal Government - OSS Division.

Marie was employed by WD Sorrell Real Estate Attorney and the law firm of Umstead-Fuller until 1965 when she moved to Miami Beach until 1970. .

In 1970, she was employed by the UNC, Chapel Hill, Economics Department. Marie was advanced to the Department of Anesthesiology where she was a supervisor until she retired in 1990.

In 1987 Marie was married to Jackson Lawrence Council, the love of her life. He was a great fellow and they enjoyed traveling and an active social life until Jack’s death in May, 2008. She missed him every day, until she passed away.

Marie was a founding member of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church and a founding member and first secretary of the Ladies Society of the Church. She was a member of the choir and a Sunday school teacher.

Marie was a lifetime member of the Ladies Auxiliary, VFW.

Marie, eldest of four children, dearly loved her late brothers, Nicholas, Strat and her surviving sister, Marina. 

Marie’s life was happy and eventful until she was called to God on Sunday, November 5th at the age of 90.

In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to honor her memory please make a memorial donation to St. Barbara’s Building Fund, 8306 NC Highway 751, Durham, NC 27713.

Her wake will be held on Sunday, November 10th from 6-8 PM at Hall Wynne Funeral Home. The Trisagion Service will be at 7 PM.

Marie’s funeral will be held at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church on November 11th at 11:00 AM.

The family wishes to invite everyone in attendance to join them at a Makaria luncheon in memory of Marie at Parizade at 1:00 PM

May her memory be eternal.

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Julian Holt Ferguson

DURHAM -- Julian Holt Ferguson, Jr., 54, of 100 McCallie Avenue, Durham, NC, died early Thursday morning, November 7, 2013.
He is survived by his Father, Julian Holt Ferguson, Sr., Step-Mom, Lois P. Ferguson, two sons, Andrew Holt Ferguson and Fiance, Shae Wills, Shane Ferguson, and Grandson, Levi Andrew Ferguson; two sisters, Mary F. Clayton, and husband, Nicky Clayton, Teresa F. Bass, and Suzanne Ferguson; two nieces and two nephews, and two great-nephews, and one great-niece.
He is predeceased by his maternal mother, Edith S. Ferguson, and niece, Jenna Marie Clayton.
A memorial service will be held at Leesville Road Baptist Church on Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 2:30 pm., with Pastor Sam Bullington officiating.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to Leesville Road Baptist Church Building Fund at 6211 Leesville Road, Durham, NC 27703.

Nellie Bridges Smith

DURHAM —Mrs. Nellie Bridges Smith, 86, of 3108 Cheek Rd., Durham, died at Duke Hock Pavilion,
Friday, November 8, 2013.
She was a lifelong resident of Durham, the daughter of the late William H. Bridges and Effie Hackney Bridges.  She was a faithful steward of Faith Baptist Church and a member of the Ruth Sunday School Class.  She was a dedicated employee of Rayless Department Store for twenty five years.
Nellie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Vernon C. Smith, a brother William Bridges Jr., and a sister Nora (Catherine) Smith.  She is survived by her daughter Linda Adams and husband Darcus of Apex , two sons, Ronald Smith of Durham, and Larry Smith and wife Sheila of Durham; six grandchildren, Terri Bacot, Greg Veasey, Tracy Horner, Steven Smith, Daniel Smith, Scott Smith and fourteen great-grandchildren.  The family is being assisted by Cremation Society of the Carolinas. Donations can be made to Duke Hospice, Hock Family Pavilion, 4023 N. Roxboro Rd. Durham, NC  27704.   Online condolences at

John R. Umstead

DURHAM - John R. Umstead died on November 7, 2013 at the Durham VA Medical Center.
He was born in Durham on January 16, 1927, the son of William L.  and Clara Roberts  Umstead.  He lived in Durham all his life attending the Durham City Schools and graduating from Durham High School in the class of 1945.  He served as the monthly luncheon meeting chairman of his class until he died.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his  brother William (Bill) Umstead,  sister Clara U. Kerr, stepsons, Daniel Holloman and Michael Holloman and grandson Brian Umstead.Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Pamela Bray Umstead of Durham, sons John R.  (Bob) Umstead, Jr. and wife Sandy of Cary, Rick Umstead and wife Dana of Angier, Randy Umstead and partner  Mary of Durham and Ray Holloman of Durham.
Other surviving and close loving family members are sister Sara Manoogian and husband  Ed of Mebane,  brother-in-law Bill Kerr of Mebane, daughter-in-law Donna Holloman of Durham and nephews Ron Kerr and Jay Mitchell.  John truly loved and cared for his entire family including his grandchildren  Charlotte Umstead, Devin H. Maymon,  Brandi  Umstead, Morgan Holloman,  Alison Umstead, Robert Tarpley, Jessica Daye, and eight great-grandchildren.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1945-1947 with service primarily in the 9th Division Military Police in Berchtesgadeen, Germany.  He was a participant in the last Flight of Honor to Washington,  DC,  After service, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1951 with a B.S. Degree in Marketing.  His career at the Durham Herald Sun Newspapers spanned 34 years; six years as a retail salesman, eleven years as  National Advertising Manager and the final seventeen years as the Advertising Director.
John was active in various community affairs,  including past president of the Friendly City Civitans,  past chairman of the Herald-Sun Retirees, reunion  chairman of the Durham High School Class of 1945,  past  president of the Durham Jaycees,  past vice-president  of the N.C.  Jaycees,  founder and past president of  the Durham Roosters,  past board member of the Durham Merchants Association, past president of  the Century Club, and past vice-president  of the Sales and Marketing Club,  Judge Advocate for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Durham Post 2740, and a participant in the Senior Citizens Club.  He was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church.
Funeral services will be held Monday, November 11 at 2:00 PM at the Howerton & Bryan Funeral Chapel, 1005 W. Main St., Durham, Rev. Jimmy Weaver officiating.  A private family burial will follow at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Bahama, N.C.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Bethany United Methodist Church,  2809 Guess Road, Durham, N.C.   27705.
The visitation will be on  Sunday, November 10  from 6 to 8 p.m.  at Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home.

Minnie Rushing Laws
YANCEYVILLE, NC – Mrs. Minnie Rushing Laws, 79, of the Caswell House, passed away at 11:15 pm Monday, November 4, 2013.  She was the daughter of the late Hampton and Aggie Mae Rushing. A native of Monroe, NC, she was known as the Don’t Let the Devil Ride Lady lead singer of the Wondering Stars Gospel Group. 
A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 pm, Sunday, November 10, 2013 at Haw River Baptist Church, 1099 Mount Gilead Church Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312 with Rev. Dr. Junious Jones, Pastor, officiating.  Burial will follow at Haw River Baptist Church Cemetery.
Arrangements by Jones Funeral Home, Chapel Hill, NC.