December 8, 2012

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 11:40 AM


Reverend Milford V. Thumm
DURHAM — Reverend Milford V. Thumm, a resident of 2600 Croasdaile Farm Parkway, died Tuesday night at Hospice of the Meadowlands. He would have celebrated his 95th birthday on Sunday, December 9th.
Born in Wilmore, Ky., Milford was the second of six children born to Rev. George Wesley and Myrtle Garrett Thumm. His two brothers, Byron and Garold Thumm; and a sister, Phyllis Cunningham, preceded him in death. The family settled in the Elkview/Pinch area of W.Va. Milford was educated in the W.Va. school system and received his undergraduate degree from Morris Harvey College in Charleston, W.Va. in 1940. He then moved to Durham where he received his B.D. Degree from Duke Divinity School.
Upon his ordination, he served in the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, first in rural and then urban appointments. He served churches in Flat Rock, Summerfield, Bethel, Big Spring, Cullowhee, Asheville (Biltmore), Charlotte, (Grace and Mouzan), Belmont, Mooresville, and finally, First High Point.
Rev. Thumm served on the Bishops Committee on Investigations, was Wesley Foundation founder, and director in Cullowhee at Western Carolina College, member of the Western Conference Board of the Ministry for 11 years, and Chairman of the Conference of the Board of Trustees for 16 years and a member for 26 years.
He retired from the ministry after 44 years of service. His dedication can be exemplified by the time he and his wife, Martha, were on vacation in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and were in attendance at the World’s Fair in 1967, when his name was paged over the loudspeakers all over the grounds. He was asked to call his church and was informed that one of parishioners had died, and they asked him to return and conduct the funeral. Of course, he did.
Milford had been a resident of Croasdaile Village for the past 13 years following the loss of his beloved wife of 53 years, Martha Mallory, who died on October 19, 1996. Martha also graduated from Morris Harvey as well, and she and Milford formed an inseparable team at every charge they had. Her sister, Margaret Merryman, is also a resident at Croasdaile.
After his retirement, Milford and Martha moved to Durham to be near their only child, Michael M. Thumm, who survives, as do two grandchildren, Melinda Thumm of Raleigh and Michael Thumm of Durham. Also, two sisters, Janice Woods of Springfield, Mass. and Doris Shank of Pinch, W.Va. survive.
Milford was a member of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, keeping his involvement in the church by teaching the Spence-Kale class there for over 20 years.
A memorial service will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Few Chapel at Croasdaile Village. Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman officiating.
Visitation will be at Few Chapel 30 minutes prior to the service. Inurnment will be at a later date in the Columbarium at the First Methodist Church in High Point.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wesley Foundation, POB 2345, Cullowhee, N.C. 28723.
Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home is assisting the Thumm family. Online condolences may be submitted to, select obituaries.

Nettie Cooper Tompkins
DURHAM - Mrs. Nettie Cooper Tompkins, age 96, of 729 Cook Rd. passed on Nov. 29, 2012.
She is survived by four daughters, Allene and Gertrude Tompkins, Christine Holmes of Durham, and Beatrice Lidellebrook of NJ.
Mrs. Tompkins' service will take place on today at 11 a.m. at Gethsemane Baptist Church and visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements are by Scarborough and Hargett Memorial Chapel and Gardens.

Vera Mae Cordal Smith

CHAPEL HILL — Mrs. Vera Mae Cordal Smith, 68, of Chapel Hill, died Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, at Chapel Hill Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, Chapel Hill.
Her service will be held Monday, Dec 10, 2012 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church, 101 North Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill.  Visitation Monday, Dec 10, 2012, 12 noon to 1 p.m., at the church. Burial in Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. 
Survivors include two sons, Lorne Dudley Smith and Dexter Lamont Smith; one grandson, Blake; one sister, Betsy C. Harris of Southern Pines; sister-in-law, Rhetha Cordal of New York; a very special nephew, Donald Wesley Harris and his wife, Beverly; and a host of cousins, friends, and spiritual advisors. In addition to her parents, Vera was preceded in death by her brother, Ernest Cordal.
The family will receive friends at the home of Donald Wesley and Beverly Harris, 3614 Henningson Way, Durham.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the St. Paul AME Church building fund. 
Service provided by Jones Funeral Home, Inc. of Chapel Hill.  

Alease Massey Riley

CARY — Mrs. Alease Massey Riley, 78, died December 6, 2012. Mrs. Riley was born in Durham, the daughter of the late Hubert Wesley Massey and the late Ophelia Ardel Cagle Massey. She was preceded in death by two sons: Kenneth Wayne Riley and Jerry Lee Riley; and brother, Pete Massey.
Mrs. Riley is survived by her children, Randy Eugene Riley (Marcelle), Pat Blackburn (Danny), Gregory Leon Riley and Angela Marie Snipes; brother, Odell Massey (Amy); sister, Nancy Dixon (Lee); daughter in law, Cindy Riley; seven grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held Monday, December 10, at 2 p.m. at Woodlawn Memorial Park with Pastor Glenn Davis officiating.  The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. at Clements Funeral Home in Durham, and at other times at the home of Pat and Danny Blackburn. The family would like to thank the staff of Rex Hospital and Rehabilitation, Hospice Home of  Wake County and Dr. Vijay Patel. A special thanks to Nancy and Lee Dixon for taking such great care of our Mama.
The family is being assisted in Durham by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be made at