Obituaries, January 21, 2014

Jan. 21, 2014 @ 05:46 PM


Hazel "Nana" Bennett
DURHAM — Hazel Bennett (Nana) passed away on January 19th, 2014 surrounded by her family whom she loved dearly. Hazel was born in Durham, NC on April 27th, 1920, the eldest of nine children to Cora Lee Dezern Parker and George Thomas Parker. She was raised in Durham County and attended Hope Valley School. She relished the role of being a stay-at-home mom but following the death of her husband Bill in 1976 Hazel worked until age 75 as a 'Cafeteria Lady' where she loved serving the daily lunches to the children of Hope Valley Elementary School. Hazel also served as a volunteer at the UniHealth Nursing home on Mt. Sinai Road in Durham teaching Sunday school and holding weekly prayer meetings with the residents. During her38 year tenure at the nursing home,she became a strong advocate and Christian friend for many of the patients and staff she had the privilege of serving. Hazel was a life-long member of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church where she served as a Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher and as a member of various Missionary Groups.
Hazel was predeceased by her husband, William Thomas Bennett, Jr.; her daughter, Vickie Lynn Bennett;brothers, Hubert Parker and Winston Parker; and sisters, Molly Adkins, Eula Caldwell, Virginia Davis, and Lessie Rudd.
She is survived by her specialsister, Magdalene Turner of Mebane; a brother, Fred Parker of Durham; her daughters, Ann Powers (Joe) of Bennett, NC, Pamela Bullock (Michael) of Durham, and Deborah Christensen (Gary) of Hillsborough;and her son, Mark Bennett (Angela) of Durham. In addition, she was a beloved grandmother to six grandchildren, Dee Dee Dean, Lundy Powers, Heather Williams, Lorey Duggan, Amy Minchenko and Lauren Christensen; and 13 greatly loved great-grandchildren, Catherine, Caroline, Lydia, Brianna, Cassie-Anna, Trinity, Phillip, Addyson, Nathan, Magdalyn, Lily, Georgia and Charlotte.
Her funeral will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd at 11:00 AM at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Erwin Rd. in Durhamfollowed by graveside services and burial at Maplewood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM on Tuesday at Clements Funeral Home. Hazel loved flowers and they are welcome or if you wish a memorial gift may be made to Duke Hospice Services, Hock Family Pavilion, 4023 N. Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27704. The family wishes to also express our sincere thanks to the Duke Hospice Staff and especially her Nurse Beth, Chaplain Tom, and Hospice Volunteer Joannwho supported Hazel and the family over the past 2 years.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Don H. Burt, MD
DURHAM — Dr. Don H. Burt, 81, passed away Sunday, January 19, 2014. He was born in Ashley County, Arkansas to the late Frederick Norris Burt and the late Hattie Mae Ready Burt. Dr. Burt served in the Air Force and was an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Bone and Joint Clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana.
He is survived by his daughter, Lindy B. McHutchison, M.D.; son, Don D. Burt and wife, Elizabeth; grandchildren, Cameron and Kit McHutchison and Brianna and Braedon Burt.
There will not be any services in Durham. Services will be held in Crossett, Arkansas, his hometown, at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to (to honor an affected cousin) or your favorite charity.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Virginia Dare Turner Byrd
DURHAM — Virginia Dare Turner Byrd, 78, of Durham, died at her home on Monday, January 20, 2014
She was a former owner of Byrd’s Barbeque. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home and other times at the home. A full obituary is online at

Dorothy Jean Curtis "Dot" Hughes
DURHAM — Dot was born in Asheville, North Carolina to Thomas Grant Curtis and Lizzie King Curtis on April 30, 1929.  She enjoyed a rich childhood in Asheville and the surrounding mountains. Dot enjoyed playing the piano and writing poetry, and at Lee Edwards High School she discovered a love for acting on the stage, which she continued to pursue at Greensboro College.  She earned a degree in Elementary Education at GC in 1951and moved to Winston-Salem, NC to teach 4th and 5th grades.  Upon arriving at her rooming house in Winston, she met her husband of 56 years, I. Harding Hughes, Jr., when he offered to carry her trunk up the stairs to her new home.  
Dot and Harding moved to Durham in 1963 when Harding became City Manager there.  Through their many years in Durham, Dot dedicated her life to caring for her family, partnering with Harding to lovingly raise their four children, caring for her mother in their home for 10 years and then taking care of Harding during his final years with Parkinson’s disease.
A visitation for family & friends will be held Tuesday, January 21st from 4:00 to 6:00pm at Howerton-Bryan Funeral Home at 1005 West Main Street in Durham. The funeral service & reception will be held Wednesday, January 22nd at 2:00pm at Few Chapel at the Croasdaile Village Retirement Community on Croasdaile Farm Parkway in northern Durham, officiating will be Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman and Rev. M. Jonah Kendall.  Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery
Dot is survived by four children: Jean Hughes of Durham, NC; Thomas Hughes & wife Julia of East Bend, NC; David Hughes of Boone, NC; and Jo Lynn Smith & husband Ronnie of Greenville, NC.  She is also survived by two grandsons, Curtis Hughes of East Bend and Patrick Hughes of Raleigh, NC and her nephew, Charles Patterson and wife, Eleanor of Greensboro, NC.
Dot’s family would like to express sincere appreciation to Homewatch Caregivers of the Triangle, especially Denise Woody, Jacqueline Denmark and Raquel Pena for their care and friendship during our mother’s illness.
Dot passed away on January 17th.  She was loved very much by her family & friends and will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers a memorial gift may be made to one of the following:  Greensboro College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro, NC 27401or the Durham Rescue Mission, 507 E. Knox St., Durham NC 27701.
The Hughes family is under the care Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home.  Online condolences may be submitted at, select obituaries.

Elizabeth Ann Simmons
DURHAM — Elizabeth Ann Simmons, of Durham and Buck Creek Road, Marion, died December 19, 2013. Ms. Simmons was born in Asheville to Martha T. Simmons and Abraham Lincoln Simmons on November 20, 1949. She graduated from Pleasant Gardens High School in 1968 and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, where she was a recipient of the Blanchard Scholarship, with a Bachelor of Science in Science Teaching. In 1989, Ms. Simmons graduated from the NCMH Management Institute of the Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was awarded a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1995. Ms. Simmons was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Marion. She was a Medical Technologist, board certified in both Medical Technology and Special Hematology by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Her professional career spanned more than 40 years, from her first position at Biological Reference Laboratories in Burlington, then St. Joseph’s Hospital in Asheville, UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord, LabCorp in Chicago, Illinois, Clark Regional Hospital, Winchester, Kentucky to her second and final position at UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. She is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother, Stuart Michael Simmons of Marion, her sisters, Edith Dawn Simmons Martin of Pittsboro and Jane Ellen Simmons of Durham, and her brother-in-law, Roel Schaaper, of Durham. Her nieces, Martha Chandler Martin of San Diego, California, Geneva Lee Martin of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Johanna Elizabeth Schaaper of Durham, and nephew, Robert Abraham Martin of Milford, Ohio, also survive. A funeral service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, Marion, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014. A reception will follow at the Parish House. Memorials may be made to the Martha T. Simmons Food Ministry, St. John's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 968, Marion, NC 28752.

Adam “Brent” Fields

OXFORD — Mr. Adam “Brent” Fields, 34, a former resident of Durham, died on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at his home in Oxford.
Brent was born in Durham on January 20, 1979. He was of the Baptist faith. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, George Russell Nifong and his paternal grandfather, James Earl Morton.
He is survived by his parents, Ronnie and Susan Fields of Oxford; his son, Camden Michael Fields; maternal grandmother, Betty Nifong of Durham; paternal grandmother, Frances Morton of Oxford; sister, Shelley Whitehead and husband, Kelley and niece, Londyn Whitehead.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Chapel. Pastor Cam Ford will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Horizons Baptist Church, 3490 Sterl Carrington Road, Oxford NC 27565. Online condolences may be made at

Louise M. Cecil
HILLSBOROUGH — Mrs. Louise M. Cecil, 83, passed away on Monday, January 20, 2014 at Hock Family Pavilion. She was born in Durham to the late Joe Lamberth Martin and the late Cornellia Bivins Martin. She was also predeceased by her husband, J.D. Cecil, Sr. and a grandchild. Louise was a graduate of Braggtown High School, retired from Belk’s after 43 years of service and was a faithful member and pianist of Gospel Baptist Tabernacle Church.
Mrs. Cecil is survived by her sons, J.D. Cecil, Jr. and fiancé, Sonya Walker, Ken Cecil and wife, Lynne; daughter, Donna Bradley; brother, Cleo Martin and wife, Mary; 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
Funeral Service will be held 2 p.m., Wednesday at Gospel Baptist Tabernacle Church with Pastor David Bolick officiating. Burial will follow at Gospel Baptist Tabernacle Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the church.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Duke Homecare & Hospice, 4321 Medical Park Dr, Ste 101, Durham, NC 27704.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Hillsborough, N.C. Online condolences may be made at

Mary Annis Woods Laws
ROUGEMONT — Mary Annis Woods Laws of Caldwell Community went to be with our Lord, Sunday, January 19, 2014. She was born in Orange County, NC on May 17, 1928, to the late Charlie Eli Woods and the late Mammie Harris Woods.
After attending Caldwell High School, she married Maynard Robinson Laws on December 24, 1946. She worked with him on the family farm for 22 years prior to working at Burlington Industries for 20 years. Later in life she worked at McDonalds for 17 years prior to retirement.
Retirement did not suit Ms. Mary as many called her. She was not content at staying at home so for the past 6 years she became a regular at Walmart on a mission to keep moving “them legs”. She enjoyed her daily walk and social visits in the McDonalds at Walmart. Her motto was “If I can get four rounds in across the store, then that’s a real good day.”
Ms. Mary was a member of New Bethel United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, her son, Bernice Ray Laws, her brother, Henry “Coy” Woods, and her beloved Chihuahua, Phebe, who shared 14 years with her.
She is survived by her grandchildren, Kimberly L. and Ricky L. Walker, Christal L. Cox Small and husband, Tim, Heidi L. Laws, and Burnice L. Laws, Jr.; six great grandchildren, Lee Walker, Nicholas Cox, Alek Walker, Kaitlyn Cox, Carmen Trembly and Halo Walker; a daughter-in-law, Janice Laws; a great great grandchild, Chloe Cox; a niece, Laura Woods Tapp and husband, Donald; and nephews, Billy Woods and Charlie Woods.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at Clements Funeral Chapel in Hillsborough with Rev. Jon Faucette officiating. A private burial will be held at New Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1-1:45 p.m. prior to service.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Hillsborough, N.C. Online condolences may be made at