Feb. 12, 2013 @ 05:00 AM


SANFORD — Dixie Lane Hockaday, beloved wife, cherished mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and a special friend of countless others, died Saturday, February 9, 2013,  at the Select Specialty Hospital of Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC.

Born on September 24, 1931, in Johnston County, to Lillian and Oscar Lane, Dixie was the youngest of three brothers and three sisters. She was a graduate of Selma High School and attended Campbell College and Duke University.

Following her marriage to J.F. Hockaday, Dixie worked in the banking industry and championed the professional advancement of her husband. After the birth of her children she delighted in becoming a full-time, at-home mother. She was a familiar figure at ball games, concerts, and church family activities. Her children remember that she never missed any event in which they were involved.

She was never too busy to interject her own brand of fun into the lives of her sons. Christmastime was an especially happy family time as three tiny elves surfaced daily in different locales, reminding her three boys that the behavior of each was being observed. Family matters were the center of her life.

Her attention to every aspect of her children's educational lives is lovingly recollected as they related her daily questioning "Have you completed your homework? Do you have an extra assignment?" She closely monitored all their household responsibilities.

She was just as dedicated in supporting her husband in his ever-expanding educational responsibilities. As the Hockadays moved from North Carolina to Virginia and then to Arizona, her talents and expertise were recognized in many areas. Virginia Governor Charles Robb appointed her to membership in the Wives of Virginia Council Members, and Governor Fife Symington placed her on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Children's Home. She was named a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Paul Patton.

Additionally, she was invited to become a member of P.E.O., a national philanthropic educational organization with the goal of providing educational assistance to women. Involvement in activities of the family's home church was equally important to Dixie. In Richmond, Virginia, she served as a deacon at Brandermill Baptist Church.

Upon return to North Carolina and Sanford, as her husband retired from one area of education and embarked on a new role in educational leadership, Dixie continued to invest her many talents in her church. She directed her energies toward First Baptist Church, Sanford, where she taught Sunday School, was active in her church circle, and served as a deacon. She was equally involved in Sanford community life, serving on the Sanford-Lee County Board of the North Carolina Symphony and supporting local art activities.

Over the course of her life, her interest in art became a special focus as she continually acquired knowledge of the field. She took pleasure in finding and collecting works of art in diverse areas, especially southwestern, native Indian and Mexican art works. As her husband fondly relates, on several occasions when she accompanied him to speaking engagements, she visited art galleries, spending more money on art than he was paid for his lectures.

In Sanford, Dixie was a member of the Four Seasons Garden Club and was slated to be upcoming president of the Suzanne Reeves Literary Club. As reading was one of her joys, her literary club was very special to her. An excellent card player, she especially enjoyed bridge and belonged to several clubs.

In her early years she found great pleasure in playing golf. She delighted in the fact that, in her family where her husband and sons were ardent golfers, she was the only member of the family ever to score a hole-in-one!

Always exquisitely outfitted and coiffed, Dixie was never too busy to share a kind word and a friendly smile with everyone she encountered. She is remembered by all as a consummate lady, well-mannered and considerate, possessing high standards, and dealing with all in a warm-hearted and unfailingly gracious manner.

Dixie is survived by her husband, Dr. J. F. Hockaday, and was the mother of three sons: Jeffrey Fulton Hockaday and his wife, Connie, of Raleigh, Jon Lane Hockaday and wife, Jamie, residents of Sanford, and Daniel McCall Hockaday and wife, Heather, who live in Burnsville. Her grandchildren are Janna Plummer and husband, Joey, and Joshua Hockaday and his wife, Elizabeth, of Raleigh; Jordan and Jonathan Hockaday of Sanford; and  Jackson, Brennan, Thomas, Yates, and Harper Hockaday of Boone. Her great-grandchildren are Cohen, Liam, and Sophie Hockaday, and Paisley Plummer. Her sole surviving sibling is a brother, Ralph Lane, of Smithfield.

A family visitation will be held in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church, Sanford, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12. Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, February 13, at 11 a.m., at First Baptist Church, Sanford, and interment will follow in the church Columbarium at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Building Fund of First Baptist Church, 202 Summitt Avenue, Sanford, NC, 27330, or to a charity of one's choice.

Online condolences may be at

Arrangements are by Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home.

Paid Obituary



SANFORD — John Thomas "JT" Leaird passed away Saturday, February 9, 2013 at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Center United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Mr. Leaird was born in Johnston County and preceded in death by his father, Cyrus Leaird. JT was a devoted husband and a wonderful father who loved the outdoors, his yard work and animals. He was a truck driver for 45 years, driving for Thomas Farm Service, Brown Transport and for Food Lion. JT was a generous man who never met a stranger.

Mr. Leaird is survived by his wife, Sandra Spencer Leaird; daughter, Suzanne Leaird Edwards and husband Joe of Bear Creek; son, Brandon Spencer Leaird and wife Mandy of Chapel Hill; his mother, Elva Gray Leaird of Lillington; sister, Mary Lois Leaird of Lillington; brother, Van Leaird of Lillington; four grandchildren, Gavin Leaird, Tara Leaird, Kayleigh Edwards and Vance Edwards.

The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Monday at Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions can be made to CARA, P.O. Box 2642, Sanford, N.C. 27331 or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are by Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home.

Paid Obituary



SANFORD — Rodney McRay Bruce, 72, of Sanford died Sunday, February 10, 2013 at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Cameron Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Buffalo Cemetery.

Mr. Bruce was born in Lumberton, N.C., a son of the late Java Bruce and Elizabeth June Richardson Bruce. He was preceded in death by brothers, Cecil, Eugene and Wayne; and sister, Evelyn Jones.

Mr. Bruce is survived by his wife, Mary Andrews Bruce; daughters, Cindra Elizabeth Bruce and Sandra Bruce Cline and husband Mark of Sanford; grandsons, Carson and Adam Cline; stepchildren, Tony Barefoot and wife Pam of Raleigh and Kristel and Todd Lorenzo of Sanford; eight stepgrandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is survived by sisters, Betty Fulk of Lumberton, Faye Butler and husband Zeb of Raeford, and Theda Tyndell and husband James of Lumberton; brothers, John Bruce and wife JoAnne of Wendell, Kenneth Bruce and wife Toni of Lumberton.

The family will receive friends beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Chapel at Cameron Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions can be made to Cameron Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 155, Cameron, N.C. 28326; or to Liberty Hospice, 1005 Carthage Street, Sanford, N.C. 27330.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are by Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home.

Paid Obituary



SANFORD — Edith Gummo Dinkins Spell, age 83, of Sanford died on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at Parkview Retirement Center in Sanford.

She was born on May 16, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Thomas E. Gummo and Velma McFarland Gummo. For many years, Edith owned and operated her own business, Edith's Beauty Salon. She enjoyed square dancing, sewing, quilt making, and loved to be outdoors. Edith and her late husband enjoyed traveling together.

She is survived by three sons: Thomas Earl Dinkins and wife Sharon of Crestview, Fl.; William Emmanuel Dinkins and wife Christy of Winterville, N.C.; and Daniel Ray Dinkins and wife Connie of Sanford, N.C.; a stepson, William Edgar Spell Jr. and wife Sylvia of Aiken, S.C.; stepdaughter, Kathryn Spell Blackwelder and husband Donald of Sanford, N.C.; two sisters: Nora Kinney of California and Barbara Hill of Ohio; one brother, Ralph Gummo of Las Vegas, NV; 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her two husbands: T.E. Dinkins and William Edgar Spell.

A graveside service for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Lee Memory Gardens with the Rev. Greg Davenport officiating. The family will receive friends following the graveside service.

The family would like to express their deepest appreciation and gratitude for the nurses and staff of Parkview Retirement Center and Liberty Home Care and Hospice for the love and care they provided to Edith during her 9 year residency at Parkview.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Alzheimer's Association, 3800 Shamrock Dr., Charlotte, N.C. 28215, or Liberty Home Care & Hospice, 1005 Carthage Street, Sanford, N.C. 27330.

Online condolences may be made at

Miller-Boles Funeral Home of Sanford is serving the family.

Paid Obituary


BUNNLEVEL — Lewis David Johnson, 87, died Friday (2/8/13) at Highsmith Rainey Medical Center in Fayetteville.

A native and resident of Harnett County, he was the son of the late Rex O. and Ernie Smith Johnson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lee Brown “Brownie” Johnson; son, Timothy; and infant daughter, Starr. He was a lifelong farmer and was a veteran of W.W. II serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific Theatre.

Memorial service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek with the Rev. Giles Blankenship officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

He is survived by sons, David Johnson Jr. and wife Teresa of Fayetteville, and Murray Johnson and wife Yvonne of Raleigh; six grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Arrangements by O’Quinn-Peebles Funeral Home.

Online condolences at


SANFORD — Lucy Helen Wheeler Phillips, 89, died Friday (2/8/13) at Sanford Health & Rehabilitation Center.

She was born in Franklin County on April 14, 1923, to the late Henry Harvey Wheeler and Lucy Wheeler. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Bonoster Phillips.

She is survived by her son, Ernest Phillips and wife Debbie of Sanford; two daughters, Beverly Davis and husband Gerry of Fayetteville, and Peggy Dalghren and husband Larry of Florida; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held today at 6 p.m. at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home. The family will receive friends following the service.

Condolences may be made at

Arrangements by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home, Inc.


SANFORD — Ronald Lee Fenton, 47, died Sunday (2/10/13) at his home.

He was born in Columbia, Mo., on May 2, 1965, to Elaine Sexton Biggs of Columbia, Mo. and the late Richard Lee Fenton. He was an automotive manager for Perry Brothers Tire Service.

He is survived by his wife, Rose Phillips Fenton; his mother and stepfather, Elaine and Robert Biggs; brother, Rick Fenton of Columbia, Mo.; sister, DeAnn Fenton Mooney of O'Fallon, Ill.; and stepbrother, Bobby Biggs of High Rolls, N.M.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to his memorial service at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home on Wednesday from 2 until 3 p.m. Memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. with Pastor Eugene Powers officiating. The family will also receive friends at the home of Marie Gladden, 1807 Thurn Drive.

Condolences may be made at

Arrangements by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home, Inc.


SANFORD — Jeffrey Lynn Reaves, 63, of 3010 Kendale Drive, died Monday (2/11/13) at Central Carolina Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Knotts Funeral Home.


MONCURE — Fred William Perry Jr., 68, died Sunday (2/10/13) at 140 Brookstone Lane in Pittsboro. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Knotts Funeral Home.


SANFORD — Funeral service for Laura Rebecca Hall Thomas, 78, who died Thursday (2/7/13), was conducted Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Olivia Presbyterian Church with the Rev. George Walton presiding. Burial followed at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.

Pianist was Jeanne Anderson, guitarist and soloist was Jimmy Cameron, and guitarist and soloist was the Rev. George Walton at the graveside. Shirley Reinert gave a eulogy as a remembrance to her sister. The congregation sang two selections.

Pallbearers were James Thomas, Johnny Baker, Billy Thomas, David Bruner, Jimmy Cameron and Tommy Frye.

Arrangements were by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home.


SANFORD — Cleven Canzater, 65, of 2624 Brick Capital Court, died Sunday (2/10/13) at home. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Watson Memorial/Cunningham & Sons.


SANFORD — Curtis Warren Ezzell, 50, died Thursday (2/7/13) at Woodland Hills Care & Rehabilitation Center.

Memorial service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Butler Funeral Home in Roseboro with the Rev. Andy Wood officiating.

He was born on July 31, 1962, in Newport News, Va., to the late Judson Woodrow Sr. and Barbara Smith Ezzell. He was the owner of Ezzell’s Computer Service.

He is survived by his wife, Peyton Elliott Ezzell; his daughter, Barbara Ann Ezzell of Sanford; brother, Judson “Woody” Ezzell Jr. of Florida; sister, Teresa Ann Ezzell Kramer of Florida; and one grandson.

Arrangements by Butler Funeral Home in Roseboro.


SANFORD — Funeral service for John Henry Newby, 61, who died Tuesday (2/5/13), was held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Works For Christ Christian Center with Dr. Alice Hooker officiating. Burial was at Sandhills Veterans Cemetery in Spring Lake.

Music was provided by Minister Corey McCrimmon, Works For Christ Combined Choir and Jeremy Taylor.

Pallbearers were friends of the family.

Arrangements by Knotts Funeral Home.


CARTHAGE — Emma DeGraffenreid, 81, died Friday (2/8/13) at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

Funeral service will be held Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Olive AME Zion Church in Carthage. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. There will be a viewing Wednesday 30 minutes prior to the service.

She is survived by one son, Edward DeGraffenreid (Lois); two daughters, Loretta Bell (Aaron) and Katrina Reed (Johnny); and one sister, Elsie Monroe.

Arrangements by Pugh & Smith Funeral Home of Carthage.


SANFORD — John E. Reaves, 60, of 3405 Renee Drive, died Saturday (2/9/13) at his home.

He is survived by three daughters, Loretha Fortune of Clayton, Shonda Kelly of Raleigh and Debra Williamson (Alan) of Rock Hill, S.C.; one son, John Edward Reaves Jr., of Apex; three sisters, Barbara Reaves, Minister Shirley Cole (John) and Rosa Berryman (James), all of Sanford; three brothers, Jeffrey Reaves (Evelyn), Perkins Reaves (Edna) and James Reaves, all of Sanford; 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral service will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Tempting Congregational Church. Burial will follow at Lee Memory Gardens.

No wake is scheduled.

Arrangements by Knotts Funeral Home.


SANFORD — Alvin W. Hall, 60, of Raleigh, died Sunday (2/10/13) at Wake Medical Center. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by C.E. Willie Funeral and Cremation Services.


SANFORD — Wilma E. Chesney, 82, died Monday (2/11/13) at Central Carolina Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by C.E. Willie Funeral and Cremation Services.