Obituaries, April 10, 2014

Apr. 09, 2014 @ 05:11 PM


Doletha W. Blake
DURHAM — Funeral services for Doletha W. Blake (Dimple), 82, will be held Friday, April 11 at 12 p.m. at St. Mark AME Zion Church. The family visitation will be held one hour prior to service.
Survivors include 6 children, Norman Blake, Clinton Blake, Jr., Terri Blake, Pamela Blake, Sharon Blake and Adrienne Blake Sutton (Terry); 2 brothers; 6 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; and a host of family, friends and other relatives.
The family will receive friends at 4 Mattie Ct, Durham, NC 27704.
Arrangements entrusted to Fisher Funeral Parlor.

John Thompson Couch
DURHAM — Mr. John Thompson Couch, 54, of Durham, N.C. died on Sunday, April 6, 2014 very unexpectedly.
Mr. Couch was born in Burlington, N.C. He served in the U. S. Army and worked for the Durham Public School System as a Teacher. He was preceded by his brother, Vance E. Couch; two sisters, Jeanne Lynn and Susan Frances Couch. He was an avid historian and artist, having great passion for both.
He is survived by his son, Kenneth Bartholomew of Upland, Calif.; mother, Nancy Couch of Durham; his father and step-mother, Vance and Frances Couch of Raleigh; five grandchildren, Johnny, Andrew, Alyssa, Heaven and Kenny Bartholomew, Jr.
The family will receive friends on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Funeral Home. Potted plants are welcomed. Online condolences can be made at

James Edward Ferrell
DURHAM — James Edward Ferrell, 71, died Wednesday morning at Murdoch Center in Butner, where he had lived for many years.
A native of Orange County his family lived in the Ephesus Baptist Church Community for many years.
He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. He was predeceased by his parents, James Melvin Ferrell and Nellie Lloyd Ferrell, and two brothers, Thomas and Melvin.
A graveside funeral service will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in Ephesus Baptist Church Cemetery. Officiating will be Chaplain Willis Herman, Chaplain at Murdoch Center.
Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home is assisting the Ferrell family.

Loretta Rollins Johnson
DURHAM — Loretta Rollins Johnson passed on Friday, April 4, 2014 in Brooklyn, NY.
She was a graduate of Hillside Class of 1957. She was preceded in death by her parents, Odessa Knight Rollins and Marion Rollins, and her husband, Willie Johnson, Sr. She is survived by four children, Diana J. Jones (Michael) of Red Springs, Willie (Shirley) Johnson, Jr. of New Jersey, Jonathan Johnson of Chapel Hill and Al (Natalie) Johnson of Brooklyn; ten grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; her sister, Theodora Rollins Brinkley of Durham.
Funeral to be held at Wayside Baptist Church in Brooklyn.

Martha Inez O’Neal Pendergrass
DURHAM — Mrs. Martha Inez O’Neal Pendergrass, age 95, a former resident of Bivins Street, died Sunday night in the Gordon Hospice House of Iredell County.
Born November 26, 1918 in Johnston County, Inez was the daughter of the late Wayland Edgar and Ella Eason O’Neal. She graduated from Corinth Holder High School near Wendell in 1935, and moved to Durham with her family in 1938. Inez was employed at the American Tobacco Company for 38 years, retiring during the mid 1980s.
She was an active member of Lakewood Baptist Church where she belonged to the Fidelis Sunday School Class, later becoming a Sunday school teacher. She sang in the church choir, and was a member of the Bible Study Group. Inez loved working in her flower gardens, and belonged to the Garden Club. She was a very good seamstress.
Surviving are her husband, Norman Roger Pendergrass of Morehead City; her sister, Edna Elliott of Statesville; two stepdaughters, Brenda Tapp and husband Tommy of Chapel Hill and Linda Lilly and husband Tom of Morehead City; one stepson, Mike Pendergrass of Franklinton, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Inez was preceded in death by her first husband, Ivy Fred Crabtree, who died in 1990, and also by her sister, Agnes O. Brinkley, and her two brothers, Wayland Edgar O’Neal, Jr. and John Bryant O’Neal.
Graveside funeral services will be conducted Friday at 1:00 PM in Maplewood Cemetery, section 17, Rev. Everette Smith and Rev. Ed Denton officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to the Gordon Hospice House of Iredell County, 2341 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625 or to Lakewood Baptist Church, 2100 Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707.
The family will receive friends at Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Online condolences may be submitted to Select Obituaries.

Sybil Rigsbee Yates Wood
DURHAM — Mrs. Sybil Rigsbee Yates Wood, 86, a lifelong resident of Durham, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Brookshire Nursing Center in Hillsborough. She was preceded in death by her parents, Eubron and Eura Pope Rigsbee. She was also preceded in death by her husbands, William Clyde Yates and Claiborne N. Wood. Prior to retirement, Mrs. Wood was employed with Central Carolina Bank. She was a member of Temple Baptist Church and the Golden Circle Sunday School Class.
The funeral service will be conducted Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham with the Rev. Mark Mofield officiating. Burial will follow in Maplewood Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Clements Funeral Home in Durham on Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Mrs. Wood is survived by a daughter, Jane Yates Butler and husband Dr. Jackson E. Butler of Durham; a son, Bill Yates and wife Robin of Eden; step-daughter, Judy Wood Weaver and husband Larry; grandchildren, Rebekah Butler Temple and husband Jack, Geoffrey Butler, Meredith Yates Quilty and husband Michael, Lauren Yates and fiancé Jared Batson, Tyler Yates and wife Tabbatha; great-grandchildren, Quinn Alexander Temple and Ella Fox.
Flowers are acceptable or memorial contributions may be made to Temple Baptist Church, 4504 Sterling Drive, Durham, NC 27712.
The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham, N.C. Online condolences may be made at