Obituaries for the week of Dec. 9

Published 1:07 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Elsie Smith Black

Mrs. Elsie Smith Black, 97, passed away peacefully in her home Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones. Black was born in Davie County on Feb. 3, 1924, to Ottis H. and Lola H. Smith. She was the third of nine children. She married Bennett Black on Dec. 7, 1946. They lived in Lewisville for more than 60 years.

Black wore many different hats throughout her life. She was an accomplished seamstress and learned to sew at an early age, making clothes for her younger siblings and their dolls. She was an excellent student, having graduated valedictorian of her high school, only she could wear white.

After graduation, Black worked as a seamstress for Hanes Hosiery, where she met her future husband, Bennett Black. She took a break from working outside the home while raising their four young children. Black was a dedicated wife, loving mother and excellent homemaker. Her family and friends enjoyed many delicious meals using fresh vegetables from Bennett’s bountiful garden. An exceptional baker, she always had fresh desserts on hand, a treat for any guest. Her expertise with sewing, quilting, cooking, and gardening made her a valuable member of the home and garden club. She became well known for her exceptional skills and readily shared her knowledge and talents with others.

When the last child started school, Black eased back into the work force as a seamstress at Lewisville Dry Cleaners, worked at South Fork Cleaners where she was promoted to “jack of all trades” then transferred to Clemmons Cleaners as plant manager. Ready to shift gears and focus on her love for sewing, Black signed on as a sales clerk at Singer Sewing Company, where she also taught sewing classes. After retiring from Singer, she worked as a pharmacy tech at Bobbits pharmacy and part time sales clerk at Lewisville Furniture. In addition to these jobs, Black regularly took in alterations and other sewing projects, always in high demand as she was the best at her trade. Black was no stranger to hard work, but she still found time for the people and things she loved.

Black loved being Mawmaw to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She gladly ran a “daycare center” keeping her grandchildren while her own children were at work. She loved each one dearly and enjoyed their visits through the years. She always had a smile and a laugh. She poured out her love and her life on her family. She loved to just visit and “talk,” not only with her family but with her friends as well. Her door was always open and her home a welcome haven for many.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in it’s various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV.

Above all of her worldly accomplishments, of which she has many, she served Jesus Christ and she served her family and the others around her. She was a faithful member of Lewisville Baptist Church, teaching Sunday school for many years, touching others through her many roles and giving generously.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Bennett Black, and son, Larry Wayne; siblings Elbert Smith, Hebert Smith, Ella Gray Smith, Norma Mae (Smith) Cook, Maxine Smith Boger, Charles Smith and Arnold Smith. Those left to cherish and honor her memory include children, Stephen Black (Kelly), Donna Ireland (Jacky), and Patricia Etchison (Brent); grandchildren, Amanda, John (Susan), Whitney, Courtney (Thomas), Nathaniel, Bennett, Julia; five great-grandchildren, Landon, Riley, Eli, Abby and Adam; sister, Jean Smith West and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of the wonderful ladies that provided excellent care which allowed Black to stay in her home. She had several caregivers over the past few years, the most recent: Louise, Catherine, Dolly, Carmen, Nicole, LaTangela, Natalie and “Ree.”

Visitation, viewing and celebration of life service will be held at Lewisville Baptist Church on Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021. The family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. with the funeral service to follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Pastor Philip Barnes and Rev. Greg Freeman will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lewisville Baptist Church P.O. Box 327  Lewisville, NC 27023, Trellis or mail to Trellis Supportive Care 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103, or charity of your choice.

Hayworth-Miller Lewisville Chapel is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at

Jane Kyle Garnett

Jane Kyle Garnett, 72, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, passed into the arms of her savior on Dec. 2, 2021. She is survived by her husband Steve of 51 years; son Sean Garnett (Amy) of Auburn, Georgia; daughter, Jennifer Hyer (Adam) of West Salem, Wisconsin; sister, Ann Ouchark (Bill) of Sarasota, Florida; brothers, Bob Kyle (Nancy) of Jacksonville, Florida, and Dr. Jim Kyle (Barbara) of Lewisburg, West Virginia; grandchildren, Kyle, Max, and Gabby Garnett of Auburn, Georgia, and Judah, Zeke, Silas, Israel and Ellie Hyer of West Salem, Wisconsin, and several nieces and nephews.

Garnett was born Jan. 17, 1949, in Princeton, West Virginia, to Robert and Margaret Kyle. She spent the first 21 years of her life in Athens, West Virginia, where her dad was a coach and athletic director at Concord College. She graduated from Athens High School in 1966, attended Concord for one year, and graduated from Radford College in Radford, Virginia, in 1970 with a degree in mathematics. She was a 1983 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a master’s degree in education. She was united in marriage to Steve on Sept. 4, 1970, and spent the next several years in and around bases in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico while her husband served in the Navy.

Garnett was a woman of many talents. After realizing a gift for counseling others, she obtained a degree in counseling and initially put that to good use opening the Micah Counseling Center in Mocksville in 1984. In 1987, she felt lead to accept a position as an elementary guidance counselor in the Davie County school system and enjoyed many years at Mocksville Middle and Mocksville Elementary schools. In 1993, she answered the call to serve on the staff of Macedonia Moravian Church in Advance and later at Cornerstone Christian Church where she served in a variety of roles, among others director of christian education and director of family life ministry. In 1996, she was elected to and served a six year term on the Davie County School Board.  Garnett touched countless lives as a mentor mom with Mother’s of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) and Sunday school teacher at Macedonia, Cornerstone and Blaise Baptist churches. In 2011, she accepted a position as executive director of the Davie Pregnancy Care Center, ministering to young and expectant mothers, a ministry she truly loved. Garnett also found time to volunteer for several years with Forgiven Ministry, an outreach to prisons and families of prisoners. She also traveled on several mission trips to Jamaica, Mexico, and London, England. As the disease which eventually took Garnett’s life was in its early stages, she would quite often remark, “I’m trusting Jesus with all this.”  This epitomized her life and is how she wanted to be remembered: as one who trusted in her Lord and who strived to share that love with others. The family would like to extend heartfelt appreciation for all the Memory Care staff at Eagle Crest South in La Crosse for the excellent care they gave to Garnett. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Janie’s honor to Davie Pregnancy Care Center, 491 Madison Road, Mocksville, NC 27028, or Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Blaise Baptist Church in Mocksville. A memorial service will be held at Crossway Church, 1407 St Andrew Street, La Crosse, WI at 2 p.m. on Dec. 18. Online condolences may be made at .

Betty Lou Doby Higgins

Mrs. Betty Lou Doby Higgins, 91, of Clemmons, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. She was born Oct. 10, 1930, in Surry County to Clora Lowe Doby and Bina Doby. She was a longtime member of Clemmons United Methodist Church, a member of the Clemmons Civic Club and the Ladies Auxillary. Higgins was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Higgins and sister, Mary Doby Bingham. Surviving are a daughter, Cynthia Higgins Downs (Rick); sons, Brent Jackson Higgins and Adam Doby Higgins (Jamie); grandchildren, Houston Michael Downs (Sarah Grace), Cheyenne Schyler Downs and Noah MacKenzie Higgins; and great-granddaughter, Cora Jade Downs. The family received friends from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel. A private graveside service will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Clemmons Fire Department, which her family was very involved with. Online condolences may be made at

Craig Alan Holder

Craig Alan Holder passed away on Dec. 3, 2021, at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. He was born on June 14, 1959, in Forsyth County to the late Grady Holder and Eula Riddle Holder.

After graduating high school, Holder began work as a commercial electrician. He worked as an electrician for over 20 years with Lily Electric, Pinnacle Electric, and then Kenco Electric.

Holder always had a love for sports. At family gatherings, he helped pull the kids together for family games outside. He was active and even joined a bowling league. He also loved watching sports, especially the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders and the New York Yankees.

Holder leaves behind his brother, Michael Holder (Patsy); sister by assumption, Arlene Rouse; niece, Gina Groce (Allen); nephew, George Holder (Monica Walsh); great-nephew, Aiden Groce; nephews by assumption, James Moore and Mathew Moore; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and loved ones. The family would like to thank Trellis Supportive Care, Summer Stone Rehabilitation Center, and Forsyth Emergency Services for their compassion and care.

A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at Frank Vogler and Sons Funeral Home in Clemmons.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Trellis Supportive Care or your local humane society.

Phyllis Marie Roberson Kimel

Phyllis Marie Roberson Kimel, 78, of Burlington, peacefully passed away the morning of Nov. 27 in her home. Born Dec. 7, 1942, in Greensboro to Philip and Sallie Roberson, she was the youngest of seven children, born to a humble home filled with an abundance of love and laughter.

A 1961 graduate of Greensboro High School, she worked for Myers Department Store, Blue Bell, the Wake Forest men’s basketball office, and Hinshaw’s Tax Service before retiring from Piedmont Airlines/USAir after 19 years in the reservations department. She worked with and easily made lifelong friends everywhere she went. A testament to her character, she even liked Billy Packer.

In 1963 on a trip to Myrtle Beach with her niece Roni, both ladies met their future husbands. Marie married Russ in 1965, and enjoyed 27 great years of matrimony, travel, and most of all, ballgames. She was a devoted wife, and persevered after Russ’ premature death in 1992. Alas, she kept her vow to him another 29 years after his passing.

The birth of her first grandchild in 2000 put a sparkle back into her beautiful green eyes, and as always, family took precedence over everything else in her life. She was a fantastic sister, mother, aunt, and especially grandma. Her family and friends valued both her quick wit and wise counsel. She was loyal, smart, funny, and discrete. Also, her grandchildren learned quickly that she didn’t say the word “no” often.

An unforgettable lady, she was preceded in death by her parents, husband Russ, brothers JL and Jack, and sisters Faye and Deloris. She is survived by sisters Ruth and Martha, son Jack (Kerstin), grandchildren Caroline, Mac, and Claire, and countless other heartbroken relatives and friends. She was a blessing to all who knew her, and by God she was blessed.

A visitation was held from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2021, at Voglers and Sons in Clemmons, and a memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 4, at Pine Grove United Methodist Church on Jonestown Road. In lieu of flowers, honorariums should be made to AuthoraCare Collective (Hospice), 2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27405 or to the Russ and Marie Kimel Memorial Scholarship, Western Carolina University, Ramsey Center, Cullowhee NC 28723

Martha Spaugh Whicker

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

Mrs. Martha Spaugh Whicker, 97, of Clemmons went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at her home surrounded by her family. “Tece,” as she was affectionately called, was born on Sept. 5, 1924, to Carl F. Spaugh Sr., and Opal M. Spaugh in Forsyth County. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Hillis E. Whicker, and brother Carl (Bub) F. Spaugh Jr.

She is survived by her daughter Tena Trantham (Steve) of Clemmons, son Chris Whicker (Robin) of Huntersville; grandchildren, Cameron Whicker and Chandler Whicker both of Huntersville, Will Trantham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Connor Whicker (Lauren) of Louisville, Kentucky. Faith and family were the foundation of Whicker’s life as she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother who cherished her relationship with her family, friends and neighbors. Her faith in God, humility, and kindness were an inspiration to everyone who knew her.

A service to celebrate Whicker’s life was held at Hope Moravian Church, where she was a lifelong member, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, with Pastor David Merritt officiating. Memorials may be made to Hope Moravian Church, 2759 Hope Church Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.

The family would like to thank Dr. Toborg and staff, her long-time caregivers Gaynelle, Donna, and Sybil for their assistance and compassion, recent caregivers who have assisted (Bertha, Linda, Margaret), and the staff of Medi Home Health and Hospice of Lexington.

Olin Charles Willis

Mr. Olin Charles Willis, 70, passed away on Nov. 27, 2021, at Bermuda Commons in Advance. He was born in Winston-Salem, the son of Wise Willis and Phyllis Joan Marie Peppin Willis. He graduated from North Forsyth High School. He was a long-time employee for EG Forrest in many positions, most notably in the sales department where he facilitated supplying restaurants, daycares, hospitals and schools with their cafeteria and kitchen needs. He enjoyed playing canasta online with friends. He is survived by his children, Vincent Willis, Patrick Willis and Jennifer Willis, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Mike Willis and his beloved cats, Tommy and Kelly.

All services are private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Piedmont Triad, 419 S Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.