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michael hawkinsOid “Michael” Hawkins, age 60, formally of Wilkes County passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2013.  He was born on September 25, 1952 to the late Oid Lester Hawkins and Ruth Ellen Billings Hawkins.  He was best known for his automobile paint and body work, as well as being an automobile and diesel mechanic.  Michael loved sports, mostly football and racing.  He also liked to write stories about his family which he enjoyed sharing with them. Those left to cherish his memory include his two children – Derek Matthew and Michael Lee Hawkins, both of Taylorsville; the mother of his children – Peggy Hawkins Dockery of Conover; a brother – Lester Mitchell Hawkins of Wilkes; three aunts- Grace Billings Baity of Hiddenite, Grace Cleary and husband Vance of Wilkes, Hazel Johnson of Salt Lake City, Utah; two uncles – Jimmy J. Billings and wife Elsie of Wilkes, Bill Hawkins and wife Linda of Wilkes; and a host of cousins.

The family will have a private memorial service at a later date.

IMGDonald Ray Church, age 64, of Granite Falls passed away on Thursday, April 11 at Frye Regional Medical Center. Born April 14, 1948 to the late Shirl Louid and Helen Stilwell Church, he was retired from Hickory Springs where he was a truck driver for over 35 years. Donald attended Friendship Methodist Church in Rhodhiss before he became a member of Antioch Baptist Church. He volunteered at Antioch in many capacities and was a Sunday School Teacher, Usher, Yoke Fellow, participated in the Men’s Bible Study and was one of Santa’s “special” helpers. He was a Association Member of the Dixie Chapter of 83rd Infantry Division. Donald enjoyed traveling to conventions, hunting and fishing. He loved to be with his family, friends and making them happy and was also fond of his nieces and nephews. Including his parents, he is preceded in death by several aunts and uncles. Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 40 years – Dianne Freeman Church, of the home; sisters – Judy Landreth and husband Conner, of Conover and Pat Canipe, of Hickory; brother – Ken Church and wife Rita, of Granite Falls; aunt – Leona Church, of Rhodhiss; a number of nieces and nephews; many special friends, along with his special pet friends – “Daylee” and “Fluffy.”

The family will receive friends on Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Antioch Baptist Church. Service will be held on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm at Antioch Baptist Church with Rev. Mark Morris and Rev. Don Ingle officiating. Burial will follow at Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Antioch Baptist Church Building Fund @ 580 Antioch Church Rd, Taylorsville, NC 28681.

Betty Carol (Dunn) Perry, 70, of Afton, passed away on Monday April 8, 2013 at Augusta Health in Fishersville. Mrs. Perry was born on March 12, 1943 in Staunton, and was a daughter of the late John and Hattie (James) Dunn.  She worked for many years as a seamstress for Genesco, as a C.N.A. at Avante Nursing Home, and most recently in catering for The Miller School.  She was a lifetime member of Middle River Church of the Brethren.  Betty loved fishing and working on her flower gardens, and her greatest joy was spending time with her family. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many who will greatly miss her. On August 15 1980, she married David Perry who survives. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Perry is survived by two sons, Nathan David Perry and wife Cheryl of Crimora, David Wayne Perry and wife Sherry of Grottoes; four daughters, Kimberly Scott and husband Mike of Afton, Wilma Bradley of Fishersville, Lisa Hiveley of Afton, Crystal Dawn Perry of Afton; two brothers John Dunn Jr., and wife Juanita of North Carolina, Garland Dunn and wife Shirley of Mt. Sidney. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Perry was preceded in death by a brother, Glenn Dunn. Funeral services will be held on Thursday April 11, 2013 at 11 AM at the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes with Lay Pastor Bob Nelson officiating.  Burial will follow at Augusta Memorial Park.  The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening from 6 until 8 pm at the funeral home.  Friends may also visit the home of Wilma Bradley in Fishersville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 4335 Cox Road, Glen Allen VA 23060. Those wishing may share a memory or an online condolence by visiting www.reynoldshamrickfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements entrusted to the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes.

  Courtesy obituary provided by Alexander Funeral Service.

Todd Hefner, 49

todd hefnerTodd Hefner, age 49, of Taylorsville passed away unexpectedly Monday, April 8 at his residence. He was born September 5, 1963 to Cloyd Hefner and the late Helen Fox Hefner. Todd was self-employed and a member of Wayfound Baptist Church. Including his mother he is preceded in death by his grandparents – Garland and Beulah Hefner and Lester and Eva Fox. Those left to cherish his memory including his father is one sister – Tayne Lackey and husband Rick; niece – Brooke Williams and husband Billy; nephew – Jordan Lackey and wife Amber; great nieces – Mackenzie Williams, McKayLeigh and Kennady Lackey; great nephew – Rylyn Williams and a number of aunts, uncles and friends.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Alexander Funeral Service. Service will be held on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Wayfound Baptist Church with the Rev. Jim Bowman and Michael White officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

ed sowardsEdward L. Sowards, 82, of Hickory passed away Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in Newton after a brief illness. Born June 19, 1930 in Rockford, Illinois, he the son of the late Charles L. Sowards and Mary Denk Sowards Moore. Edward was a 1948 graduate from Rockford East High School. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. After working as a sign painter at the age of 16 for Shostrom Signs in Rockford he began his own sign painting business in Norfolk, VA while still in the service. He returned to Rockford and continued sign painting until he joined Bud Doyle’s real estate office in 1955. He became President of the Associate Members Division of the Rockford Real Estate Board in 1959. Edward founded and was president of Sowards Realtors in Rockford from 1960 until his initial retirement in 1982. During his career he served as President of the Rockford Board of Realtors. He also served as President of the Rockford Sales and Marketing Executive Club and was on the Board of Governors. He was a CRB (Certified Residential Broker) and taught real estate classes at Rock Valley Community College in Rockford as well as seminars around the country. He moved to St. Petersburg, FL, in 1982 where he continued the business he founded, SCORE Computer Systems. In 2002 he moved to Bethlehem, NC, and returned to real estate in 2005 with Keller Williams Realty in Hickory, and in 2007 joined Bethlehem Realty in Bethlehem. He said he never worked a day in his life because he so loved being a realtor. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing courses around the country. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of nearly 46 years, Billie; son Gary (wife Donna) of Norwood, CO; daughter Jane Sowards, of Taylorsville; son Todd Sowards (wife Kristy) of Taylorsville; step-son Brian Metz (wife Julie) of Sacramento, CA; step-daughter Elizabeth Metz of Taylorsville; and sister Mary Mae Mitchell.  He is also survived by granddaughter, Madeline Johnson of Kansas City, MO and 3 grandsons, Jarod, Dante and Hunter Sowards of Taylorsville, several nieces and nephews and his beloved dog Mishka..

The family will receive friends on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm at Alexander Funeral Service and Service will begin at 3:00 pm in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Marcus Benfield officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church Cemetery.

stephen bentleyStephen “Stroker” Thomas  Bentley, age 68, of Taylorsville passed away unexpectedly on Thursday morning, March 28 at Frye Regional Medical Center. Born on May 21, 1944 to the late Claude Thomas Bentley and Fannie Lucille Hoke Bentley. He was retired from the furniture business where he had worked for Fashion House, Clayton Marcus and Huntington House. Stephen loved woodworking, fishing, camping and was known for his poetry and love for his family especially his kids, friends and man’s best friends – “Tippy, Molly and Stroker.” Those left to cherish his memory include his wife – Martha “Lanie” Starnes Bentley, of the home; son – Kevin Bentley and wife Holly; daughter – Shellie Bentley, all of Taylorsville; brother-in-laws – Pete Starnes, of Taylorsville and Sam Starnes, of Granite Falls; sister-in-laws – Carolyn Clark and husband Barry, of Lincolnton and Brenda Bolick, of Taylorsville; aunt – Elvina Whitener, of Bethlehem; cousin – Martha Harwell, who was like a sister, of Hickory; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm at Alexander Funeral Service and Service will begin at 2:00 pm in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Nicky Treadway and Rev. James Cook, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Bentley Family Cemetery in Taylorsville.

 

todd lackeyTodd Jeffrey Lackey, age 50, of Taylorsville passed away after an extended illness on Saturday, March 23 at Catawba Memorial Hospital. Born November 9, 1962 to the late Tommy Alexander Lackey and surviving Jane Johnson Lackey. He was retired at Century Furniture and was a member of Oxford Memorial Baptist Church. Todd loved to travel and just be in the great outdoors. Including his father, he is preceded in death by his grandfather, Butler Johnson and brother-in-law, Clay Teague. Those left to cherish his memory including his mother and his wife – Elizabeth Setzer Lackey; daughters – Emily Durmire and husband Brent, Leanna Lackey and Sarah Lackey; son – Joshua Lackey and wife Christine; grandson – Mac Lackey; granddaughter – Abbie Gilley; brother – Tommy Doyle Lackey; sister – Melinda Teague and husband Greg; nieces – Lauren Setzer, Mandy Lackey and Carol Ann Teague; nephews – Caleb Teague, Landon Setzer and Lawson Setzer; and great niece – Laina Arnold.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Alexander Funeral Service. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm at Oxford Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Neal Walker officiating.

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