Obituaries, Nov. 20, 2013

Nov. 19, 2013 @ 07:17 PM


Alton L. Copley
DURHAM - Mr. Alton L. Copley, 87, died Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Duke University Hospital. He was born in Durham County to the late Benjamin Lafayette Copley and the late Esther Brown Copley Davis. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was an auto parts salesman for Hutchins Auto Supply. He was also a member of the Summit Church.
Mr. Copley is survived by his wife of 65 years, Annie Copley; daughters, Becky Fowler and Susan Johnson; son, Tom Copley; grandchildren, Lisa Fowler, Jonathan Strickland and Laney Copley; and step-grandchildren, Parker Cannady, Meaghan and Cailyn O’Mary.
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham with Chaplain Phil Wiggins officiating. Burial will follow at Little River Presbyterian Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Clements Funeral Home.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

Lawrence DeBuys Long, Sr.
DURHAM - Lawrence DeBuys Long, Sr., 90, died Sunday, November 17, 2013. He was born on August 29, 1923 to the late Lawrence Long and Evelyn Douvillier Long.
Lawrence was a recipient of The Purple Heart and The Bronze Star which he received for serving his country with valor during WWII and the Korean War.
Lawrence is survived by his wife of 65 years, Merritt Long; his sons, Lawrence “Larry” Long, Jr. and wife, Mary of Marietta, GA; John Long of Durham; his daughters, Sarah Lee and husband, Varnell of Mobile, AL; Elizabeth Keena and husband, Richard of Pittsboro; his grandchildren, Lisa Hess, Jason Long, Donna Schloer, Kyle Long, and Adam Long; his great-grandchildren, Harrison Hess, Sarabeth Hess, Kalindi Hess, and Henry Schloer.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:00 AM Thursday, November 21, 2013 from Holy Infant Catholic Church with Fr. Dave Devlin presiding.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, attn.: Advanced Guard, P.O. Box 758518, Topeka, KS 66675.
Arrangements are with Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences: Select Obituaries.

Shirley Harrington Farmer
DURHAM - Mrs. Shirley Harrington Farmer, 66, of 1812 Billingham Court, died Saturday, November16, 2013 at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Her service will be conducted at 12pm on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at Christian Faith Center, 101 S. Peachtree St, Creedmoor, 27522. Interment will follow in Mt. Hope Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday at the church from 11am-12pm one hour prior to the service. Arrangments by Burthey Funeral Service.

Sidney Wallace Ray
DURHAM — Sidney Wallace Ray of Durham died November 18th at Duke Hospital. Mr. Ray was born in Carrboro, North Carolina on October 23, 1924. He was the son of Ira and Mary Durham Ray. He graduated from Jamestown High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946. Mr. Ray acted as Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education while coaching football, basketball and baseball for the "Counts" of Durham County Schools. He taught and coached at Creedmoor and Northern High Schools. He later was principal of Mangum and Bethesda Elementary Schools and Southern High School. Mr. Ray retired in 1987 after serving thirteen years as a central office administrator for Durham County Schools.
Surviving are his wife, Betty Owen Ray; children: Robin Derr and husband Eric, Cindy Keene and husband Mike, Bill Ray, Jeff Ray and wife Libby; stepchildren: Larry and Beverly Travis; grandchildren: Caroline and Samantha Ray, Sydney and Brian Derr, Elizabeth and David Efird, Miles and Brooklynne Travis, Evan and Kelly Travis; great-grandchildren: Keelie Keene, Halleigh Jane, Beau and Emily Travis, Anna, Everett and Grace Efird, Webb and Harris Travis; brother: Dr. Graham Ray and wife Helen; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters: Mildred Ray and Doris Wehry; and Doris' husband Don.
The pallbearers will be Brian Derr, Miles Travis, Evan Travis, David Efird, Brandon Ray, Dr. John Saunders, and Bobby Saunders. Honorary pallbearers will be his fellow coaches and all the "boys" he coached along with their wives.
Mr. Ray was an active member of McMannen United Methodist Church where the service will be held at 2:00 pm, Thursday, November 21st. Burial will be in the church cemetery. There will be a reception at the church following the service.
The family will receive friends at Clements Funeral Home Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Friends may also visit and sign the memorial book from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Wednesday. Memorials may be made to McMannen United Methodist Church, 4102 Neal Road, Durham, NC 27705 or to the United Methodist Retirement Home Benevolent Fund, 2600 Croasdaile Farms Parkway, Suite 500, Durham, NC 27705.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

Ricky Holt Rigsbee
DURHAM - Mr. Ricky Holt Rigsbee, 62, of Durham, died on Monday, November 18, 2013. Memorial services will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Hudson Funeral Chapel. Read the full obituary at

Roy Melton Petty
HILLSBOROUGH - Mr. Roy Melton Petty was called home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Monday, November 18, 2013. He is a graduate of Orange High School. He retired from State Farm after more than 30 years of service. He was an avid salt water fisherman who loved the coast.
Surviving are his wife, Linda G. Petty; his son, Doug Petty (Yarbi) of Wilmington, his daughter, Marsha P. Obremski (Josh) of Hampstead; four grandchildren: Makayla and Kaitlyn Obremski, Emily and Logan Petty; three stepsons: Shawn Summey, Aaron Summey (Sonya), and Josh Summey (Christy); five step-grandchildren: Taylor and Mason Summey, Olivia Summey, and Malia and Tommy Summey; his brother, Lowell Petty (Vickie); two sisters-in-law: Wynnie Petty and Dot Petty; nieces, Gwyn, Molly, and Leslie; and nephews, Ty and Lowell, Jr. He was predeceased by his parents, Ruth and Edgar Petty, two brothers: Gilbert Petty and Vernon Petty, and one niece, Jo Petty.
Funeral services will be held 2 PM Friday in Walker’s Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be 6:30-9:00 PM Thursday in the funeral home.

Gary Ross Downey
BATH - Gary Ross Downey passed away on November 17, 2013 in Bath, NC after a year-long battle with cancer.
Gary was born April 30, 1952 to Jack Ross Downey and Jane Harris in Durham, NC. He attended Oak Grove Elementary School. He graduated from Southern High School in 1970. He married Jackie Holt in 1970 and in 1972 he was drafted into the Army. While in Fort Jackson, SC, Gary and Jackie had a daughter, Angela Nicole, born May 18, 1973. They divorced in 1990. In 1991 he met and married Judy Hanson. Judy had two children from a prior marriage, Christopher Glenn and Bethany Ann, who Gary legally adopted.
Gary worked for Liggett & Myers for 9 years, owned Atlantic Countertops for 13 and was a general contractor for 6. He owned Downey Homes for over 10 years. He ran Bath General Store for 1 year and was a member of the Bath Ruritan Club.
Gary enjoyed fishing, boating, golfing, cooking, hanging out at the local general store and playing with his grandchildren. He was a hard worker, loyal friend and beloved father, husband, son and brother.
Gary is survived by his wife, Judy Ann Downey of Bath; his parents, Jack and Jane Downey of Durham; his sister Wanda Lorbacher (and husband Pressley) of Durham; his brothers Ray Downey (and wife Jennifer) of Stem and Jay Downey of Creedmoor; his children Angi Downey Fowler (and husband Shane) of Raleigh, Christopher Downey of Bath and Bethany Baer (and husband Jared) of Beale AFB, California and his 3 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 80 Cedar Circle in Washington, NC on November 20th at 6:30 in the evening with a video presentation at 6 o'clock. Graveside service will be held on the 21st at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens in Durham, NC at 11:00 am. Flowers can be sent to the church at 80 Cedar Circle in Washington after 12 noon on Wednesday before the funeral service. Family will receive visitors after the graveside service at 3717 Freeman Road in Durham. A full obit can be viewed at  Jimmy D. Sawyer Funeral Director Licensee is serving the Downey family.