johnsonBetty Jane Jolly Johnson, age 83 of Taylorsville passed away on Friday, March 15, 2013.  Born May 15, 1929  to the late Sippy Eli Jolly and Flossie Queen Harrington, she was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and often attended Victory Baptist Church as well as Beulah Baptist Church.  Mrs. Johnson was best known as being a tobacco farmer with her late husband and she dearly loved the Lord and her family.     She loved music-  playing the piano, guitar and singing.  She was retired and had been employed by DuPont, Schneider Mills, and Carolina Glove. In addition to her parents, she was preceded by her husband, Henry “Calvin” Johnson; one son, Victor James, two grandchildren; April Leigh Sweet and Elizabeth “Libby” Marie Gibson.  There were thirteen siblings all in which preceded her in death. She is survived by two sons; Bobby and wife Ann of Taylorsville, and Danny and wife Annetta of Laurel Fork, VA.  Two daughters; Susan Marie Johnson and Linda Mae Canter both of Taylorsville.  Also surviving are seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Monday evening, March 18, 2013 from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Service in Taylorsville with funeral services on Tuesday, March 19, 2013  at 2:00 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Service.  Rev. Jamie Steele will officiate. Burial will follow in the Victory Baptist Church Cemetery, Hwy 16N  in Taylorsville. Pallbearers are Michael Jolly, Gary Jolly, Butch Carrigan, Bill Carrigan, Jason Johnson, and Tyler Gibson.  Honorary Pallbearers are Dylan Eggers and Darren Jolly.

ronald riceRonald Clifton Rice, age 65 of Hudson passed away at Caldwell Hospice’s Pine Mt. facility on Friday, March 15, 2013.  Born October 1, 1947 to the late Lewis Eugene and Mary Ross Rice, he was of the Baptist faith, and loved attending GlorylandBaptist Church in Hildebran. He was an avid pool player and enjoyed table games. He was retired from Tri Star Trucking, and was a veteran of the United States Marine Corp, Vietnam Era. In addition to his parents, he was preceded by two brothers, Mike and Tim Rice, and the mother of his children, Elveta Rice. He is survived by his wife, whom he called “the love of his life”, Shirley Wilcox Rice of the home. One daughter Ronda Yelton [Junior] of Granite Falls. Step-children:  Gary Greene [Teresa] of Lenoir and Lisa Pritchard [Ronald] of Hudson.  Grandchildren, Amanda Deal [Allen], of Granite Falls and Joshua Yelton [Venessa], of Hickory. Step-grandchildren, Brooke, Cole, and Zach Bentley, Derek Hudson [Tara], Chelsea and Skylar Pritchard.  Great grandchildren, Alexxis and Anabell Yelton, and Parker Deal. Step-great-grandchildren, Ender and Moxxi Hudson.  He also is survived by one sister – Brenda Bumgarner of Granite Falls, and two brothers; Joe Rice of Granite Falls and Mark Rice of Hickory.

Visitation will be held Sunday, afternoon, March 17, 2013 from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Service in Taylorsville, with funeral services on Monday, March 18, 2013  at 3:00 p.m. at Gloryland Baptist Church in Hildebran. The body will lie in state thirty minutes before the funeral hour. Burial will follow in the Dudley Shoals Baptist Church Cemetery in Granite Falls. Pallbearers are Wesley, Zach and Michael Rice, Ashton Burgess, Raymond and Bradley McCullough.

Condolences may be sent to www.alexfuneralservice.com.

Arrangements entrusted to Alexander Funeral & Cremation Service.

IMGHarold B. “Hal” Fortner Jr., age 58, of Taylorsville, passed away unexpectedly, at his residence on Sunday, March 10, 2013, following a lengthy illness. Born on April 17, 1954, to Harold B. and Edith Parsons Fortner Watson, he was a member of Little River Baptist Church. Hal was an avid supporter of ACHS football and basketball and will be remembered by his family for the  reading of his Bible daily and was a big fan of Louis L’Amour Western Novels. Mr. Fortner was employed by Tom Fortner Sawmill, which his family owned and had operated since 1972. He is preceded in death by his mother, as well as three brothers: Pat, Danny and Jamie. He also was preceded by his step-mother, Peggy Guy Fortner. In addition to  his father, he is survived by his wife, of twenty-two years Christine Duncan Fortner of the home. Three sons, Thomas “T” Fortner, Daniel “D.J.” Fortner, both of the home, and Alvin Moretz, of Lenoir. Hal is survived by four brothers: Tom Fortner, David Fortner, and Mark Fortner, all of Taylorville, and Mike Fortner of Leonard Township, Maryland. He has several nieces and nephews, who also survive. He had so many special friends and his pastor from the Little River Community, who have been so supportive of Hal during his illness.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at Alexander Funeral Service, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm with funeral services on Wednesday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. at Little River Baptist Church, with the Rev. Jeff Chapman, and Tommy Fortner officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The body will lie in state thirty minutes prior to the service.  Serving as Pallbearers are Nathan, Steven, and Jeremy Fortner, Randy James, Ed Shook, P-nut White, Shawn Brown, and Roger Bumgarner. Honorary pallbearers are Rickey Brown, and Roger White, along with the Deacons of Little River Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to Little River Baptist Church, 2070 Little River Rd., Taylorsville, NC. 28681.

roby kerleyRoby “Dean” Kerley, age 61, of Taylorsville passed away at his home on Friday, March 8, 2013. Born in Iredell County on October 11, 1951 to the late Roby Rance Kerley and Florence Evelyna Milstead Kerley. He was employed in the upholstery industry for most of his life. Dean was also an avid Dale Earnhardt and NC State Fan. Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 38 years – Trudy Yuvonne Kerley, of the home; daughters – Heather Kerley Johnson and Kyle Cox, of Hiddenite and Hannah Danielle Kerley and Kenneth Cox, of Taylorsville; grandchildren – Alexis Johnson, Abigail Cox and Victoria, Allyson and Natalie Cox; sisters – Kay Sweet and husband Tim, Karen Jolly and husband Lanny and Lisa Barber and husband Kelly, all of Taylorsville; along with a number of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Alexander Funeral Service. Service will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church with Rev. Stuart White and Rev. Gary Jennings officiating. Burial following in the church cemetery.


Zola Gertrude Punch Mathis, age 98, of Lenoir, passed away at Robbins Center of Caldwell  Hospice House on Friday, March 8, 2013. She was born in Catawba County on June 6, 1914 to the late William Cleveland and Mittie Adline (Stafford) Punch and had been a member of New Vision Baptist Fellowship in Grace Chapel. Besides her parents, those preceding Mrs. Mathis in death are her husband Albert E. Mathis; one daughter Betty Jo Robbins and husband Dermont; two sons Jerry and Bruce Mathis; one granddaughter Cindy Mathis and one brother James Punch and wife, Ethel. Those remaining to cherish her memories are one son – Glen Burns and one daughter- Diane Roberts, both of Lenoir.  Grandchildren include Vicki Icard and husband Phil (Taylorsville),  Jimmy Robbins and wife Theresa  (Lenoir), Becky Robbins (Granite Falls), Chris Roberts (Taylorsville), Tracy Roberts, Jerry Mathis, and Denita Mathis all of Lenoir.  Joan Bastian and husband Sam; Johnny Mathis and wife Stephanie, of Granite Falls and Gary Burns, of South Carolina; Ten great-grandchildren; One great-great grandson and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by Midgie Keller Mathis, Larry Roberts, Brenda Daniels, Geneva Burns.

The family of Mrs. Mathis will receive friends on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 1:00 pm at New Vision Baptist Fellowship, in Granite Falls with funeral services beginning at 2:00 pm with Pastor Charles Murrell officiating.  Serving as Pallbearers will be Phil Icard, Jerry Mathis, Jr., Johnny Mathis, Bradley Punch, Jimmy Robbins and Walker Robbins. Burial will follow at Dudley Shoals Baptist Church Cemetery in Granite Falls.

peggy elder

Peggy Ann Meredith Elder, 61, of Taylorsville went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 6 at Iredell Memorial Hospital. Born on May 6, 1951 to the late Sam and Esther Sharpe Meredith. Peggy was Disability Retired from the Alexander County School System in the Cafeteria at Hiddenite Elementary. She was a faithful member of Wayfound Baptist Church and enjoyed reading, especially her Bible and doing crossword puzzles. Including her parents, she is preceded in death by one brother – Jerry Meredith and one grandson – Jamie Elder. Those left to cherish her memory include her husband of 41 years – David Elder, of the home; daughter – Michelle Weaver, of Greensboro and son –  David Woodrow Elder and girlfriend, Amy Matlock, of Taylorsville. One grandson – Andrew Elder, of Taylorsville; two brothers – Roger Meredith and wife Linda, of Union Grove and Timmy Meredith, of Stony Point; two sisters – Wanda Daniels, of Taylorsville and Hilda Kennedy and husband Russell, of Stony Point; a number of nieces and nephews and her best friend – Ruth Fox, of Taylorsville.

The family will receive friends on Friday, March 8, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Alexander Funeral Service and Service will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Wayfound Baptist Church with the Rev. Jimmy Bowman officiating. The body will lie-in-state 30 minutes prior to the service. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

edward boulanger

Edward Louis Boulanger, age 79 of Claremont died peacefully surrounded by his family, at Wake Forest Medical Center on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. He was born to the late Louis Leon and Lea Marie (Grimard) Boulanger on December 3, 1933.  Edward attended Stephens High School in Rumford, ME and continued his education at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA where he completed a degree in Mechanical Design.  In his mid-fifties, he attended CVCC-Hickory to study CAD design, in which he excelled. He served in the Air Force as a French interpreter in Chateauroux, France.  He had worked as a tool and die machinist, designing and engineering computer plugs patenting several designs.  Two of his biggest achievements were designing the plug system for a defibrillator and developing the twist mechanism for the Cross pen and pencil.  He retired from Hickory Springs after a 42 year career.  He enjoyed fishing, camping, golfing, gardening, feeding the birds and anything that took him outdoors and into nature.  He played the fiddle and loved attending bluegrass festivals.  And he loved his family and friends. Besides his parents, those preceding him in death are two brothers Gerard J. Boulanger and Laurent B. Boulanger; and one sister – D. Phyllis Parisi. Those remaining to cherish his memories are his wife, Susan Pamela Miller Brant Boulanger for 23 years.  One son – Louis Edward Boulanger and wife Marilyn (Atlanta, GA).  Two daughters – Tammy Maria DuRoss (Hingham, MA), and Jennifer Louise Dana and husband Bret (Oakville, WA).  Stepdaughters – Misty Renea Allen and her fiancé Jason Townsend (Claremont), Maria Vidito (CA), and Angela Frye-Mongro (Conover). Stepson – Hershel Ray Brant (Claremont).  Two sisters – Jeannine L. Hall (Rumford, ME), Denise A. Libby and husband Clayton (Dixfield, ME), and two brothers – Jacques N. Boulanger (Rumford, ME), and Dennis Boulanger and wife Cookie (Meredith Center, NH). A brother-in-law – James Parisi, Sr. (Canton, ME). Three grandchildren – Kaitlyn and Brian DuRoss, and Victoria Miles, as well as three step-grandchildren – Miranda Hinson, Hunter Allen and Cierra Frye.

In lieu of a memorial service, friends are welcome to call on Susan at the home @ 4254 Marvin Street, Claremont, NC.


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