Search Obituaries

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Betsy Ann McNeill

Betsy Ann Cole McNeill of Cary, formerly of Raeford, died Thursday, May 8, 2014 in Glenaire Retirement Center at the age 88.
She was born in Hoke County on March 23, 1926 to the late Alfred Cole and Retha Jenkins Cole. She received her undergraduate degree from Women's College (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and her Registered Dietician Certificate from Harford, Connecticut. She worked as the manager of food services at McCain Hospital for 30 years and then worked with Home Health. She was very active in the Raeford Presbyterian Church where she was awarded a Life Membership in 1987. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Watson McNeill. They had been married 39 years. She moved to Glenaire Retirement Community in 2001 where she was on the Dietary Committee and Spiritual Care Committee for several years.
She is survived by her daughter, Kimberly M. Cato and her husband Daniel of Durham; her brother, Alfred Cole, Jr. and his wife Nancy of Roxboro; her sister, Sarah Cole Jordan and her husband Bob of Mt. Gilead; and two grandchildren, Sarah Ann Cato and Kenneth Allen Cato, both of Durham.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in the Raeford Cemetery with the the Rev. Michael L. McGehee officiating. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 15,2014 in the Glenaire auditorium in Cary, North Carolina.
The family will receive friends after the service at the gravesite.
Memorials may be made to the Raeford Presbyterian Church, 128 W Edinborough Ave, Raeford, NC 28376 and/or Glenaire Retirement Center (make checks to Presbyterian Homes, Inc.), 4000 Glenaire Circle, Cary, NC 27511.
Online condolences may be made at

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

John W. Dickson

John Wyatt Dickson died peacefully on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, surrounded by the love of his family. He was born on May 14, 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of the late Dr. Alvis Barnes Dickson, a surgeon in the United States Navy, and Ina Lee Willard Dickson. The family was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After Dr. Dickson's death, Mrs. Dickson and her two young sons returned to Dr. Dickson's hometown of Raeford, North Carolina, where John finished high school. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University's School of Law.
He began the practice of law as a Cumberland County assistant district attorney in 1976 and became the Senior Assistant under District Attorney Ed Grannis. He prosecuted major felonies on behalf of the people of North Carolina for 21 years. In 1997, Governor Jim Hunt appointed him to the Cumberland County District Court bench, where he presided primarily over family and juvenile court. He retired from the bench when his term ended in December of 2012.
He was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden. He was a member of the North Carolina Bar Association which, along with the Cumberland County Bar Association, honored him with its Centurion Award in 2013. He was also a member of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati and served on the boards of the Child Advocacy Center and the Friends of the Cumberland County Library, reflecting his concern for children and his lifelong love of reading.
He loved and was deeply proud of his family, and his happiest and most contented times were with his Dickson clan at Topsail Beach, where since his early childhood he enjoyed fishing and the beauty and bounty of North Carolina's coast. His agile mind and quick and clever wit were joys to all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Highsmith Dickson; his children, John Wyatt Dickson, Jr., Ann Bright Highsmith Dickson, both of Chapel Hill, and Seavy Dawson Highsmith Dickson, of Raleigh; his brother, Alvis Barnes Dickson, Jr. and Constance Elizabeth Hogan of Raleigh; cousins, Anne Dickson Fogleman and Robert Arthur Dickson, both of Chapel Hill; and a great blessing of younger cousins scattered across our nation and beyond.
The family will welcome friends at 9:30 am until 10:45 a.m. on Friday, May 9, 2014 at the Kyle House on Green Street in Fayetteville, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church. The Reverend Robert Alves, Rector, will officiate.
The family suggests that in lieu of flowers friends consider contributions to the Child Advocacy Center Endowment or the Myrover-Reese Fellowship Homes Endowment, both in care of the Cumberland Community Foundation, PO Box 2345, Fayetteville, NC 28302 or St. John's Episcopal Church, 302 Green Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Donald D. Abernethy

Donald Douglas Abernethy, 82, of Lincolnton passed away Monday, May 5, 2014 at Carolina's Medical Center Lincoln.
Born August 8, 1931 in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Ernest Glenn Abernethy and Lottie Shaw Abernethy. He was a member of Ivey Memorial United Methodist Church in Maiden and devoted his life to public service with an impact of making the world a better place. He served his country in the Korean War, and returned to complete degrees from both Lenoir Rhyne University and Duke University. He began his long career in public education as a teacher-principal at Catawba Elementary. He was principal at Wallace-Rose Hill High School, Wallace, and Hoke High School, Raeford. He continued his educational career as director of Student Teaching at Pembroke State University. He later returned to the Hoke County School System as superintendent where he led one of the first integrations of a public school system in North Carolina. This is an accomplishment that he, his family and friends are most proud of. He served as chief of staff in US Congress and finished his working career at Christian Tours.
In addition to his parents, three brothers, Ernest, Frank and William "Bill" Abernethy preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years Iris Grigg Abernethy; four sons, Donald Douglas, Jr. of Asheville, Jeffrey Glenn Abernethy and wife, Heather of Stuart, Florida, Robert Fulton Abernethy and wife, Pam of Lincolnton, and Jonathan Lloyd Abernethy of Lincolnton; a daughter, Beth Abernethy Kerrigan and husband, Chris of Charleston, South Carolina; a brother,
Tony Abernethy of Newton; five sisters, Glenda Frazier of N. Myrtle Beach, Nancy Sherrill of Maiden, Darlene Lockman of Newton, Diane Hendrix of Sherrills Ford, and Norma York of Newton; nine grandchildren, Joseph, Stephen, Nina, David, Erin, Anna, Sara, Collin, and Mary Katherine; and two great-grandchildren, Breanna and Kaitlyn.
A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Ivey Memorial United Methodist Church in Maiden with Pastor Jim Mathews and Pastor Bob Combs officiating. The body will lie in state 30 minutes prior to the service. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
The family will receive friends, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to: Ivey memorial United Methodist Church, 1360 Ivey Church Rd., Maiden, NC 28650.
Burke Mortuary in Maiden is serving the Abernethy Family.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ernest S. Brown Jr.

Ernest "Billy" Sullivan Brown, Jr., 44, of Raeford, died Monday, April 28, 2014.
He was a Navy veteran.
Survivors are: wife, Melba Webb-Brown; children, Avionna Rodriguez-Brown, Chrystal Hernandez, Kira Webb-Craig, Jerod, Brittany and Joshua; and mother, Mary Cooper.
The funeral was held Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m. in Faith Anointed Temple in Red Springs. Burial will be at a later date.

Ellen A. Underwood

Ellen A. Underwood, 60, of Raeford, died Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Survivors are: children, Her son, Michael Underwood of Denver, Colo.; daughters, Deborah McClendon (Kevin) and their two daughters, Keira and Lainey, of Saginaw, Mich., Catherine Gilpin and her daughter, Olivia, of Springfield, Mo., and Jessica Oakes (Dennis) and their three sons, Aden, Nathan, and Caleb of Lumber Bridge; and her three brothers, John Johnson (Sharon) of Lima, Ohio; Donald Johnson of Camdenton, Mo., and Robert Johnson of St. Louis, Mo.
A vigil and prayer reading will be held today, March 4, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Pinecrest Funeral and Cremation Services in Hope Mills, and a funeral Mass will be held the following day, Monday, May 5, 2014, in Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Hope Mills at noon. There will be a social lunch afterwards provided by the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Condolences may be left at