Obituaries, January 29, 2014

Jan. 28, 2014 @ 05:16 PM


Phillip Ray Ashley
DURHAM — Phillip Ray Ashley, 56, of Durham died Monday, January 20, 2014. He was the son of the late Jim and Annie Mae Ashley. He was preceded in death by his sister, Nita Dillard.
Mr. Ashley is survived by his niece, Lori Fuquay and her husband, Jerry, of Lindale, TX; great-niece, Victoria Gardner of Durham; and two great-nephews, Andrew Black and Garet Fuquay of Lindale, TX.
Graveside service will be held on Friday at 3:00pm at Brier Creek Memorial Gardens. Online condolences can be made at

Rev. Dr. Gayle C. Felton
DURHAM — Reverend Doctor Gayle C. Felton, 71, preacher, teacher and theologian, died at her home in Rougemont on January 25, 2014. Gayle was a native of Pinetops, NC. She graduated with a B.A. in History from North Carolina Wesleyan College where she was the first valedictorian of the newly opened college. Gayle taught high school history and civics in Edgecombe County before answering the call to ministry.
She received her master’s of divinity and doctorate from Duke University. After teaching religion at Meredith College for two years, she returned to Duke where she taught in the divinity school for over a decade, guiding and influencing a generation of pastors and others serving the United Methodist Church. Gayle’s scholarship largely focused on the history of Methodism with special emphasis on the sacraments.
Among her published works are This Gift of Water, By Water and the Spirit, This Holy Mystery, United Methodists and the Sacraments, and The Coming of Jesus. She was also the editor of How United Methodists Study Scripture and the writer of numerous studies and other works used across the United Methodist Church. She was a frequent participant in United Methodist General Conferences and was appointed for many years to the General Board of Discipleship.
Gayle had a deep commitment to social justice, working to integrate the public schools in Edgecombe County and as a pioneer in building the Reconciling Movement, a group advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the United Methodist Church. She was honored to serve as the national board chair of the Reconciling Ministries Network. Gayle also was a role model for women seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church, working tirelessly to remove many of the obstacles she herself had to overcome in becoming an ordained elder.
Gayle is survived by her son, Reverend Alan Felton and wife, Joan, along with her grandchildren John Alan and Virginia Gayle of Apex, NC. Gayle loved the life she shared with Reverend Deborah Morgan and Deborah’s two children, Joanna and Morgan. Gayle is also survived by her brother, J. Phil Carlton of Pinetops and his family; and her former husband, Al Felton of Newport, NC. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Marilyn Lewis Felton, and her parents, Lewis and Kittye Snow Carlton.
A service of death and resurrection will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 31 at Apex UMC with Reverend Laurie Hayes Coffman officiating. The family will greet friends immediately before the service. Burial will be in the Pinetops Cemetery on Friday, January 31 at 3:30 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Calvary UMC, 304 E. Trinity Ave., Durham, NC 27701; or to the Reconciling Ministries Network, 123 W. Madison St., Suite 2150, Chicago, IL 60602.
Arrangements for the Felton family are under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham. Online memorials: Select Obituaries.

Eva Kate Laws
DURHAM — Eva Kate Laws, 87, departed her life on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at her residence. She leaves behind her daughters, Eva Ann Lipscomb-Payne, Mary Taybron, and Shirley Jean Barbee; preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Laws.
Funeral service will be at 1:00 pm on Friday at Cameron Grove Baptist Church, Durham NC, with a visitation at 12:30 pm.
Arrangements entrusted to Holloway Memorial Funeral Home.

Alice Marie Richards
DURHAM — Alice Marie Richards, 86, died Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at her home. Born March 2, 1927 to John and Ella Robertson in Staten Island, NY, Alice was a legal secretary in NY City before moving to North Carolina in 1962. Her husband, John F. “Jack” Richards, died in July of 2013.
Alice was a 50-year member and received the Lifetime Membership Award from Catholic Daughters of America Court Durham Chapter. She joined Catholic Daughters in 1963, less than a year after moving to Durham. In typical fashion, she became active immediately and was elected to the office of treasurer in 1964. This was the first of many offices that Alice held, including Recording Secretary, Vice Regent and Regent. She served again as treasurer in 2006. Her enthusiasm and commitment to Catholic Daughters was evident to all as she served on many committees throughout the years. These included the Famous Fashion Shows, the Quilt Raffle, Duke Fundraisers, State Raffle Ticket sales, Bingo and Oldham Towers as well as many bake sales and yard sales. She demonstrated strong leadership as chairman of several committees. Whether in a supporting role or leading role, she was a Catholic Daughter everyone could always count on.
Surviving are two sons, Don Richards of Durham and Gary Richards and his fiancée, Kathryn Gurley of Durham; grandchildren, Elizabeth and Charles “Chuck” Richards; two sisters, Elsie Weist and husband, Ray of New Jersey, Evelyn “Rusty” Ennis and husband, Jim of New Jersey.
Family will be present 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 West Main St., Durham. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 12 p.m. Friday at St. Matthew Catholic Church with Fr. Thanh Nguyen presiding. Interment will follow at St. Matthew Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Alice’s memory may be made to Duke Hospice, The American Lung Association, or to St. Matthew Catholic Church. Online condolences at See Obituaries.

Mary Elizabeth Chisenhall Smith
DURHAM — Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Chisenhall Smith, 92, of Durham, died on Monday, January 27, 2014.
Mrs. Smith was a native and lifelong resident of Durham, the daughter of the late Thomas T. Chisenhall and Eula Rosabell Rigsbee Chisenhall. She retired from Durham Drapery and Classic Food Services. She enjoyed fishing and camping. She was preceded in death by her husband, Noland Warren “Preacher” Smith and a son, Billy Smith.
She is survived by her two sons, Buster Smith and Benny Smith both of Durham; three daughters, Carolyn Cobb of Mebane, Penny Mitchell and Ruth Ann Woodall, both of Oxford; two sisters, Marie Butler of Chapel Hill, Vera Hockaday of Durham; 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens. Dr. Marc Tilley will officiate. Pallbearers will be Scott Cobb, Sammy Cobb, Ben Smith, Todd Carroll, Billy Smith and Joseph Craun. Honorary pallbearers will be Cory Woodall and Jerry Smith.
The family will receive friends at the home, 2194 Tar River Road in Creedmoor. The family would like to thank a special granddaughter and caregiver, Sharyn Harton Craun. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Duke Children’s Hospital, Office of Development, 512 South Mangum Street, Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701. Online condolences can be made at

Leon O. Whitely
DURHAM — Leon O. Whitely, 41, passed away at Duke University Hospital. Leon loved his family. He left behind his mother Sislyn Whitely, his sister Vivienne Grant, his niece, his nephews and a host of family and friends.
Leon's life celebration service will be at 12 noon on January 31, 2014 at Bell-Yeager Free Will Baptist Church, 128 E. Cornwallis Rd., Durham, NC. Visitation with the family will be from 11:00 am to 12 noon. Interment immediately following the service at Markham Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements entrusted to Holloway Memorial Funeral Home.


Oliver Baxter Aiken
CREEDMOOR — Surrounded by his loving family, Oliver Baxter Aiken, 89, born on Sept. 5, 1924, passed away at Hock Pavilion on Jan. 27, 2014. Baxter was born in Fuquay-Varina and at age one his family moved to Granville County. He graduated from Creedmoor High School Class of 1942.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver Henry Aiken and Lullie Lyon Aiken, and his three sisters, Faye Aiken Mills, Sylene Aiken Molloy and Bobbie Aiken Bragg, as well as his daughter-in-law, Melodye Haskins Aiken.
Survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Oneita Aiken, a son Wayne and wife Kim of Durham, a daughter Gina Parham and husband Ronald of Henderson, 3 precious granddaughters Bridget Parham, Courtney Aiken and Brooke Aiken, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Baxter was a tobacco farmer for most of his life before retiring and going to work at Rogers Oil Co. He was also a retired volunteer fireman with the Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Dept. He was a member of the Creedmoor Methodist Church.
The family will receive visits at their home in Creedmoor. Formal visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 30, from noon to 1 p.m. at Creedmoor United Methodist Church, 214 Park Ave., Creedmoor.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m., conducted by Rev. Jared Hanson and Rev. Charles Lancaster. Burial will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Creedmoor Volunteer Fire Dept., 101 S. Elm St., Creedmoor, NC 27522, or Creedmoor United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 368, Creedmoor, NC 27522.


Gladys Gertrude Gates Boyd
EFLAND — Mrs. Gladys Gertrude Gates Boyd, 89, died Monday, January 27, 2014. She was a native of Orange County and attended the Orange County schools. She worked at Liggett & Myers and later at Popes 5 and 10 Cent Store. She later was a teacher’s assistant in the local school system. When George returned from WWII they married. She was a member of Efland United Methodist Church where she was a Sunday school teacher. She also served as a cub scout leader. She loved her family very much.
Surviving are her husband, George Cabble Boyd; three sons, Kenneth Boyd (Gail), Cary, Tommy Boyd, Efland, and Stephen Boyd (Katherine Hare), Greensboro; six grandchildren, Niki B. Quady (Chris), Cary, Jenny B. Rodgers (Ryan), Cary, Michael Boyd (Kelly), Pittsboro, Wendy B. Wilkerson (Brock), Schley, Renee Boyd, Efland, Patrick Boyd, Greensboro; and 8 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 2 PM, Saturday, February 1, at Efland United Methodist Church by the Rev. Ken McLean. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be 12:30 PM to 1:50 PM in the church fellowship hall.
Our thanks to Uni Health at Carolina Point, Mt. Sinai Road, for the care they have provided for the past three years. Flowers are acceptable or memorials may be made to “James Dunn Building Fund” c/o Efland United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 121, 3418 U.S. Hwy. 70 West, Efland, NC 27243.


Laurie Elizabeth Tilley Haynes Davis
SUMTER, S.C. — Laurie Elizabeth Tilley Haynes Davis, age 95, beloved wife of the late Dr. Harry A. Davis, Jr., died on Monday, January 27, 2014 at National Healthcare of Sumter.
She was born in Durham, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Sallie Elizabeth Matthews Tilley and Sidney Allen Tilley. She was first married to the late George J. Haynes until his death in 1976 and later married Dr. Harry A. Davis, Jr. in 1978. She formerly worked as a legal assistant at Spears & Spears Attorneys-at-Law. She was a member of the Cosmopolitan Club, the Jimmy Snyder Sailing Club and was a devoted member of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Wesley Fellowship Sunday School Class and Circle #1.
Surviving are two daughters, Kathy Weaver of Durham, NC and Pepper Haynes of Columbia; two step-daughters, Mary Winn Davis Nelson and her husband Wilson of Taylors and Pamela T. Davis of Mt. Pleasant; a step-son, Harry "Inky" A. Davis III of Santee; sister-in-law, Elena Tilley; a niece, Betty Tilley Seddon; two grandchildren, Laurie Sparrow and her husband Michael, and Scott Parrish and his wife Sherry; five step-grandchildren, Harry A. Davis IV, Patrick Davis, Chris Nelson, Ross Nelson and Holly Nelson Rockafella; 17 great-grandchildren; and lifetime friends, Rosa Beavers and her sons, Tom and Joe and Jim Edgerton.
She was preceded in death by one sister, Luna Tilley White; and two brothers, Leslie Tilley and Layton Tilley.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3:00pm at the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery with the Rev. Reginald Thackston officiating.
Memorials may be made to The Shepherd's Center, 38 Pinewood Road, Sumter, SC 29150.
You may sign the family's guest book at
The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.