Obituaries for the week of Jan. 7

Published 12:25 am Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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Braxton ‘Brack’ Richmond Bailey III

Braxton “Brack” Richmond Bailey III was born Nov. 15, 1937. Son of Braxton R. Bailey Jr. “BR” and Nancy Edith Mashburn Bailey, he is survived by his wife, Judith Coe Bailey “Judy,” his college sweetheart with whom he had been married 59 years and three daughters, Carole Bailey Folmar of Advance, Debra Bailey Mitchell (Steve) of Athens, Georgia, and Krystal Bailey Pennington of Wilmington. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Bailey Anne Folmar; David Paul Folmar III; Paige Elizabeth Folmar; Braxton Richmond Folmar; Sophia Louise Mitchell; Ada Lily Ruth Mitchell; Phoebe Jude Mitchell; Avery Dean Pennington; Cade Thomas Pennington and one brother, Allen Mashburn Bailey. Bailey was a native of Davie County and graduate of Shady Grove High School in Advance (1956) and Pfeiffer College (1960). He was an outstanding athlete in high school and college to include All-State collegiately in 1959 and 1960. He signed professionally with the Los Angeles Dodgers upon graduation from Pfeiffer, where he was also student body president. Bailey played professionally with the Dodgers and Cincinnati organizations for six years, retiring in 1966 from the Dodgers AAA affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. Bailey was Minor League Player of the year in the Alabama-Florida League in 1961, an All-Star player in the Sally League in 1962 and Player of the Year in the Texas League in 1964. He cherished playing on the National Championship Team in Nicaragua in 1963 and always told of wanting to forget his major league game in the spring of 1963. After retiring from baseball, he moved to Winston-Salem and went to work for Wachovia Bank and Trust and later served as regional, district and Southeastern manager of Pony Express Courier until his retirement in 1997. Never playing baseball again, Bailey soon picked up slow-pitch softball, with his senior softball teams winning several N.C. state titles. Bailey continued playing softball until the age of 80. Playing with younger players was one of his joys. A member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem since 1965, Bailey served in various capacities with the church over the years. Upon retirement, Bailey moved from Clemmons to Bermuda Run where he returned to the Yadkin River, one of his loves. In his retirement years, he authored several poems, a book entitled “Growing Up in Advance,” and enjoyed collecting data on his family tree and their migration to the “Forks of the Yadkin” since 1750. Home for him was looking from the deck down onto the Yadkin River. Although traveling to more than 80 countries during his lifetime, he said the most beautiful view was from his deck onto the Yadkin River during the North Carolina seasons. Bailey was a member of the Davie County High School Hall of Fame, Pfeiffer College Hall of Fame, and Winston-Salem Baseball Hall of Fame. However, Bailey will be most remembered for his faith, giving nature, kindness, and the love of his wife, brother and family. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at Advance United Methodist Church Cemetery by Rev. Joel Key and Pastor Angel Christ. The family will receive friends following the service. Online condolences may be made at .

Ralph Lee Cornwell

Ralph Lee Cornwell, 88, passed away at his residence in Bermuda Run on Dec. 28 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Orleans, Indiana, in 1932 as the only child to the late Lowell and Ethel Cornwell. Ralph was married for 61 years to his wife, Virginia Ann Bowman Cornwell and is survived by his daughter, Judy Fahrmeier (John) and his son, Robert (Dawn). He is also survived by his granddaughters, Anna Fahrmeier and Elizabeth Fahrmeier and his step grandchildren, Claire Jeffer and Gabe Jeffer, and his great-grandson, Isaiah. Cornwell grew up around a large family of seven uncles, played basketball and baseball, and worked various summer jobs for the Monon railroad. After graduating from Orleans High School, he spent a short period in college before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. During those four years, Cornwell played basketball for the U.S. Air Force team and found time to build his first fishing boat. After service, he graduated with an engineering degree from Mississippi State where he was a brother of the Sigma Chi fraternity. For 30 years, Cornwell worked for R.J. Reynolds in both the food and tobacco divisions. He moved from Winston-Salem to San Antonio early in his career to run the Patio Foods business where he was integral in developing new production processes and packaging of Mexican food. In San Antonio, he served as a deacon and treasurer for The Covenant Presbyterian Church. After moving back to North Carolina in 1976, he built his family’s home in Bermuda Run where he enjoyed playing golf in his free time and serving as president of the board at the Bermuda Run Country Club for several terms. After retirement from Reynolds, Cornwell took on other management and consulting opportunities in the food industry and continued to work on several entrepreneurial businesses. For 26 years, he and Ann owned and managed the Cookie House business in Hanes Mall, with his house never lacking for cookies and other goodies. He and Ann enjoyed spending time together traveling, visiting their grandchildren, and living in sunny and warm Florida in the cold season at Burnt Store Marina, near Punta Gorda. They loved to golf at the local club and Cornwell spent time on his boat fishing. As Parkinson’s progressed, he and Ann moved full time to the Village at Bermuda Run where they have spent the last five years. Cornwell was a caring and generous father and husband and one who took great pride in his family. When his children were growing up, he enjoyed going on family travels to new places and supporting and encouraging their activities and education. When his daughter, Judy, attended college at Duke University, he became an avid Blue Devil basketball fan for the rest of his life. His family describe Cornwell as a dad who demonstrated great love, values and principles. His presence remained strong in their lives and allowed them unique and meaningful opportunities along the way. He was a strong Christian and a member of Clemmons Presbyterian Church. In his last few years, as long as his eyes could manage, he enjoyed spending time in the morning reading in the word of God. Although his life on earth has ended, his family knows that his eternal life with the Lord is now filled with peace, joy and comfort which will never end. The family would like to thank the wonderful and attentive staff at the Bermuda Village Health Center for their love and care. A service of close family and friends will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Clemmons Presbyterian Church, 3730 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, NC 27012. Online condolences may be made at .

Gary Lee Eckenroth

Mr. Gary Lee Eckenroth, 79, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, at Forsyth Medical Center. He was born Aug. 8, 1941, in Reading, Pennsylvania, the son of J. Russell and Lucy Fielding Eckenroth. He was a graduate of Wilson High School and Shippensburg State University. A capsule of his career has Gary starting at Hershey Foods before moving on to the Quaker Oats Company. While with Quaker, he became the director of human resources, where he was responsible for staffing, employee development and succession planning for the U.S. Grocery Products Group. He left Quaker Oats to join RJR Nabisco as the vice president of human resources for the Planters Life Savers operating companies. In this position, he managed a full relocation of the company from New Jersey to North Carolina. After 12 years, he retired and joined Wake Forest University as the university compliance officer. Eckenroth loved to play golf and watch sports especially, the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Wake Forest University and the University of Kansas. His greatest joy was watching his grandchildren play lacrosse. A jolly person, he never met a stranger and treated everyone as his best friend. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Eleanor “Ellie” Eckenroth and a brother, Jere Eckenroth. Survivors include his children, Stephanie Walker (Randy) of Fox River Grove, Illinois, Bradley Eckenroth (Angie) of Olathe, Kansas, and Mike Eckenroth (Rebecca) of Lewisville; eight grandchildren, Rachael Sara (Mike), Kelsea Bell (Justin), Kyle Walker, Brady Eckenroth, Anna Walker, Hannah Eckenroth, Adam Eckenroth and Luke Eckenroth and a great-grandson, James Bell. A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at a later date.

Pamela Sue Lowry Holcomb

Mrs. Pamela Sue Lowry Holcomb, 68, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. She was born in Forsyth County on Sept. 10, 1952, to the late Joseph and Lorraine Culler Lowry. Holcomb was a teacher for many years. She loved the beach, collecting seashells, was an avid reader and enjoyed crossword puzzles. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, James Henry Holcomb. She is survived by her daughter, Mary Brooke Adkins (Timothy); and a grandson who she cherished dearly, Dakota James Adkins; a brother, Joe Lowry; and loving nieces and nephews. A memorial service celebrating Holcomb’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Reynolda Church. 

John Frank Hunter

John Frank Hunter went home to be with his Lord and savior on Dec. 29, 2020, at Mallard Ridge Assisted Living in Clemmons. He was born Feb. 8, 1925, in Clemmons to the late William Alfred Hunter Sr. and Mary Griffith Hunter. He graduated from Clemmons High School and married his school sweetheart, Lois Omega Jarvis, on February 3, 1945. They were married 72 years.

He served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946 during War World II. After serving his country, he and his brother, Bill, were owners of the Triangle Service Station in Clemmons. In 1957, they started Hunter Brothers Oil Company and owned it until retirement.

He was an active, lifelong and dedicated member of Clemmons United Methodist Church and served on many church committees, including being president of the United Methodist Men’s Group, church school superintendent, chairman of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee and assisted as a lay speaker. He was always willing to volunteer his time wherever and whenever needed, such as his church’s activities and support of the Clemmons Food Pantry.

Hunter was an avid golfer, loved all sports, and enjoyed carpentry, playing bridge, and extended travels in many parts of the world. He also enjoyed his coffee buddies who met daily at Arby’s for many years. He possessed a deep love for and interest in his community and served in many volunteer functions, including serving on the first Clemmons Interim Town Council, as president of the Clemmons Civic Club, and as one of the first volunteers of the Clemmons Fire Department. He also was a board member of Northwestern Bank (now Wells Fargo) and Novant Health Center, and was president of Forsyth County Oil Dealers.

Hunter possessed a gentle spirit and caring strength. He was also an incredible mentor. His life revolved around his family, his church and his many friends, and he was loved and respected by all.

Preceding him in death was his wife, Lois Jarvis Hunter; brothers James Estes “Et” Hunter and William Alfred “Bill” Hunter Jr.; a sister, Nell Hunter Pickens; and his grandson, Aaron James Daufeldt. Surviving are his daughter, Martha Hunter Daufeldt (Jim), of Greensboro; and a son, John Frank Hunter (Robin), of Clemmons; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Also surviving is a sister-in-law, Arline Hunter. A private memorial service will be held for the immediate family.

The family would like to thank everyone at Mallard Ridge Assisted Living who provided excellent care to Hunter in his later years and to Mountain Valley Hospice for their care in recent days.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Clemmons United Methodist Church, 3700 Clemmons Road, Clemmons, NC 27012 or the charity of one’s choice.

J. C. Green and Sons Funeral Home of Winston-Salem is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the Hunter family at .

Helen Swizinsky Johnson

Mrs. Helen Swizinsky Johnson, 97, of Advance, passed away Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, at her home surrounded by her family. She was born Feb. 1, 1923, in Nanty-Glo, Pennsylvania, to John and Mary Swizinsky. Johnson was a member of Redland Church, IPHC. She was a past member of Mocks United Methodist Church where she enjoyed teaching the senior ladies’ Sunday school class for many years. She loved reading, cooking, gardening, sewing, and outings with her daughter but most of all, she loved her birds and two recent loyal dog companions, Millie and Teeny. Johnson was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, W. Roscoe Johnson; two brothers, Willie and Stanley Swizinsky; a sister, Veronica “Red” Michalek. Surviving are her daughter, Veronica “Roni” Barney (Tommy); two grandchildren, Janis Mayers (Brian), Jason Barney, and her granddog, Twiggy. The family would also like to acknowledge her wonderful caregivers Joyce McClamrock, Tracie Staples-Bolduc, Vickie Frye, and all the caring staff at WellCare Hospice who loved her and treated her with the utmost compassion and respect. The family is thankful for the outpouring of love from so many friends and neighbors who have been so helpful this past year while caring for Johnson. She always greeted everyone with a smile and shared her laughter while caring for others. Her wit and sense of humor will live on through her colorful stories of her life experiences. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be sent to Davie County Senior Services, Attn: Kelly Sloan, 278 Meroney Street, Mocksville, NC 27028 for the Robotic Therapy Pet Program to give comfort to Alzheimer’s/Dementia patients or the Humane Society of Davie County Spay/Neuter Program, 1469 N Main Street, Mocksville, NC 27028. Anyone wishing to view Johnson or to sign a guest book may do so at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. A funeral service with social distancing guidelines will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at Redland Church, IPHC with Pastor Dave Richardson Jr. and Tommy Barney officiating. There will be a private graveside service following at Westlawn Gardens of Memory.

Marylyn Marie Sessums McQuage

Mrs. Marylyn Marie Sessums McQuage, 82, of Clemmons, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, at Forsyth Medical Center. She was born Feb. 3, 1938, in Virginia to David and Martha Watson Sessums. McQuage retired from Joyce Brothers in 2002. She is preceded in death by her husband, Lance Graham McQuage Jr. and a son, Lance Graham McQuage III. Surviving is a daughter, Kelly Thompson (Tony) and a grandson, Joshua Thompson (Deborah), all of Clemmons. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at Westlawn Gardens of Memory. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hemophilia of North Carolina, 260 Town Hall Dr. Suite A, Morrisville, NC 27560. Online condolences may be made to .

Martha Ann Weir Williams

Mrs. Martha Ann Weir Williams, 64, of Lewisville, passed away Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. She was born in Forsyth County on April 22, 1956, to the late Dallas M. and Wilmoth Lemons Weir. Williams was a graduate of Pakland High School. She was a loving wife, mother and friend to many that will be greatly missed.

Surviving are her husband of 46 years, Thomas “Jeep” Williams Jr.; daughter, Jodie Gibby (David); brother, Mark Weir (Gail) of Mocksville; sister, Carolyn W. Clodfelter (Kip); many loving nieces and nephews; and her two fur babies, Otis and Merle.

A graveside service will be conducted in her honor at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Online condolences may be made at .