Jan. 16, 2014 @ 05:00 AM


CAMERON — Isabel Wescott McKeithen Thomas, 90, died January 6, 2014 in Pinehurst, NC.

Born in Cameron, N.C. on April 10, 1923, she was the wife of the late James Warren (Toopie) Thomas and the daughter of the late Leighton and Fay Ritchie McKeithen.  She was preceded in death by her beloved son, James Warren (Tuppy) Thomas, Jr. and her two brothers, Dr. Murdoch McKeithen and the Rev. Leighton Black McKeithen, Jr.

She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Fay Thomas of Quebec, Canada, and Merry Isabel Thomas of Cameron, N.C, and by grandchildren, Julianne Thomas-Drolet, Chloé Isabel Thomas-Drolet, James Warren Thomas III, Jeannie Thomas, Krissy Vick, Frank Tansky, Kim Avolis, Karen Avolis; sister in-law, Edna McKeithen; daughter-in-law, Doris Thomas and beloved great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Isabel graduated from Cameron High School and received degrees from Peace College in Raleigh and Queens College in Charlotte. She accompanied husband Toopie to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he was stationed for a short while before deployment overseas during World War II. Isabel and Toopie lived in Cameron where Isabel was an active member and organist at the Cameron Presbyterian Church and taught school. From 1967 until 1978, they lived in Hamlet, N.C., where Isabel served as organist of the First Presbyterian Church, worked as librarian at Fairview Heights Elementary School and was active in civic and school affairs. Upon return to her hometown, Isabel’s love of history and of Cameron inspired her work to preserve old family buildings through their transformation into antique and collectible shops (The Greenwood Inn; McKeithen’s Store; Ferguson House; Miss Belle’s Tea Room). Isabel continued to serve as Pianist and Organist at the Cameron Presbyterian Church and was active in municipal politics, serving two terms as mayor. She was a wonderful, loving, and fun mother. Her exuberance, her zest for life, and her warm and vibrant personality shown through to everyone from her dearest friends to the antiquers who encountered her as they strolled down the streets of her beloved Cameron. She was known to many as “Miss Belle “and was often described as “Unforgettable”. She will be missed by many.

The family will receive friends at the Thomas residence at 533 Carthage St. in Cameron from 10:30 to 11:30 AM on Saturday, January 18.

The funeral will be held at Cameron Presbyterian Church on Saturday, the 18th, at noon.

In lieu of flowers, please send gifts in Isabel’s memory to the Foundation Aiding The Elderly (Please find details on their website:, or Cameron Emergency Assistance Fund (CEF), the McKeithen Scholarship Fund at Cameron Presbyterian Church, Box 68, Cameron, N.C. 28326.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are by Rogers-Pickard Funeral Home.

Paid Obituary


KILL DEVIL HILLS — Phillip Howell, 62, succumbed to a 14 year battle with cancer January 13th, 2014. Phil left for glory from his home overlooking Kitty Hawk Bay. He was surrounded by his family and faithful dog Spunky.

Phil was the son of Robert and Edna Howell, brother to Steve Howell, husband to Cherry Howell, and father to Nick and Megan Howell.

Phil earned an associate's degree from Chowan College and a bachelor's degree in business from Atlantic Christian College. He also attended North Carolina State University. Phil was a long time Wolfpack Club member and season ticket holder. He owned and operated a successful business, Pattishall Distributors for 22 years.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research would be appreciated. Phil Howell now rests his feet in heavenly sand with an ice cold beer and a rod bowed up with chopper blues and red drum. He will be missed and celebrated by those he leaves behind.

Expressions of sympathy are welcome via the on-line register at

Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

Paid Obituary


MIDDLETOWN, N.J. — Mary K. Letts, 77, of Middletown, N.J., died on January 15, 2014 at Bayside Manor in Keansburg.

She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and was a lifelong resident of Middletown. Mary and her husband, former Chief of Middletown Township Police Department, Robert M. Letts, Sr. also lived in Sanford, N.C. for 20 years after his retirement. She was a member of Carolina Trace Golf and Country Club, Sanford, N.C. and was an avid golfer, devoted mother, and beloved wife for 58 years.

Surviving are her husband, Robert of Middletown; her three sons, Robert M. Letts, Jr. of Point Pleasant, Steven J. Letts of Dallas, TX, and Craig W. Letts of Middletown; her daughter, Laura A. Letts of Sterling, VA; and her sister, June Denigris of Del Ray Beach, FL. Mary is also survived by 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, William and Kathleen Lammers.

Visitation will be held on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, 115 Tindall Road, Middletown. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, January 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the funeral home. A Funeral Mass will be offered on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes RC Church, 103 Center Ave., Atlantic Highlands. Burial will follow at Fair View Cemetery, Middletown.

A special thanks to Bayside Manor in Keansburg. The staff of the Special Care Unit provided tremendous compassion, comfort, and care over the past 2 years.

In lieu of flowers donations in Mary's name would be appreciated to Alzheimer's Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter, 400 Morris Ave., Suite 251, Denville, N.J. 07834.

For more information, to send condolences, or for directions please visit

Paid Obituary


APEX — Leona Eubanks Brown, 93, died Tuesday (1/14/14) at Rex Health & Rehabilitation Center in Apex.

She was a native of Chatham County, daughter of the late Herbert and Minnie Gardner Eubanks. She was also preceded in death by her husband, William T. Brown. She was a member of Apex Baptist Church and a former member of the New Elam Christian Church on Pea Ridge Road in Chatham County. She was a former sewing instructor at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford and Dental Assistant in the office of Dr. Nowell Byrd in Pittsboro.

She is survived by two sons, William E. Brown and wife Mary of Savannah, Ga., and Douglas W. Brown of Lizard Lick; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. at New Elam Christian Church with the Rev. Peter Doubleman officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. The family will receive friends 30 minutes prior to the funeral service in the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to New Elam Christian Church, P.O. Box 272, New Hill, N.C. 27562 or Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, N.C. 27607.

Condolences may be made at

Arrangements are by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home.


SANFORD — Funeral service for Margaret Frazier Caldwell Baker, who died Thursday (1/9/14), was conducted Monday at Cameron Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Whitney Wilkinson officiating. Entombment followed at Lee Memory Gardens Chapel mausoleum.

The congregation sang two hymns.

Pallbearers were Bruce Phillips, Eric Greenwell, Curtis Greenwell, Jim Caldwell, Scott Caldwell and Craven Baker.

Arrangements were by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home.


SANFORD — Phillip James Patton, 44, of Sanford, died Monday (1/13/14) at Central Carolina Hospital. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by Smith Funeral Home of Broadway.


CARY — Martha Bolick Dixon Hatch, 69, died Sunday (1/12/14) at home.

She was born May 31, 1944 to Charles Roy and Cletus Dixon. She graduated from Sanford Central High School and the Women's College of Greensboro. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Cary. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Charles Dixon.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Charlie Hatch; two daughters, Marti Hatch (Michael Binger) of Gastonia and Mollie Hatch Moore (James Moore) of Kernersville; six granddaughters; and two sisters, Billie Jernigan of Sanford and Judy Cutts of Raleigh.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Cary. A reception will immediately follow in the fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church Music Program.

Arrangements are by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary.


LILLINGTON — Funeral service for Linda Bell Newton, 68, who died Monday (1/13/14), was conducted at 3 p.m. Wednesday at O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home with the Rev. Martin Groover and the Rev. Michael Sadtler officiating.

Vocalist was Justin Harrington.

Pallbearers were Kevin Womack, Paul Johnson, Tim Moore, Brooks O’Quinn, Marshall Pope, Steve Thomas, David Brown and Barry Cummings.

Arrangements were by O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home in Lillington.


SANFORD — Funeral service for Evelyn Lee Pace Cranford, 76, who died Saturday (1/11/14), was held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Barbecue Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Sandy Williams officiating.

The poem “Celebrate Her” was read by Rev. Sandy Williams. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

Pianist was Joey Holmes. Organist was Dorothy Hales. Soloist was Jackie Douglas Adams. The congregation also sang.

Active pallbearers were Todd Pace, Scott Pace, Brock Pace, Barney Cranford, Greg Cranford and Lynwood Jones. The “Golden Girls” consisting of Polly Holt, Estine Pace Thomas, Shirleye Meyers and Mary Reece sat together as a group.

Arrangements were by Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home.


FAYETTEVILLE — Lekeysha R. Lacy, 46, of Hunters Run, died Tuesday (1/7/14) at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

She is survived by one son, Antoine Lacy.

A memorial service will be held today at 5 p.m. at Cunningham & Son’s Chapel in Fayetteville.

Burial will be at a later date.

Arrangements by Cunningham & Son’s Mortuary in Fayetteville.


FAYETTEVILLE — Edward Earl Squires, 79, of Brockwood Street, died Saturday (1/11/14).

He is survived by his wife, Gladys Squires; son, Glen McGants; daughters, Elaine McNeil, Allrena Martino, Claudette Squires and Ronda Evans; sisters, Ann Midgette and Louise Jenkins; and brothers, Otis Squires, James Squires and Fred Squires.

Funeral service will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Lewis Chapel MBC in Fayetteville. Burial will follow at Sandhills State Veteran’s Cemetery in Spring Lake.

Arrangements are by Cunningham & Son’s Mortuary in Fayetteville.