Obituaries for the week of Feb. 17

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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Joseph Francis Clarke

Joseph Francis Clarke, 83, of Clemmons passed away on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Clarke was born Oct. 20, 1938, in Suffolk County, N.Y. to the late Thomas and Susan Clarke.

He graduated from Manhattan College with a bachelor degree in mathematics. Clarke worked for Grumman Aerospace as an aerospace engineer for over 40 years. He had a world-changing career beginning with working on the lunar module and ending with working on the Joint STARS.

Clarke was always giving to others in his community. While living in N.Y., he volunteered at the East Northport Fire Department for over 20 years. In N.C., he was a Knight of Columbus at his home church, Holy Family.

Clarke is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Lee Bleecker Clarke; children, Joseph Clarke (Janet), Brian Clarke (Heather), Michael Clarke (Kim), and Debbie Schmitt; grandchildren, Victoria Clarke, Evan Clarke, Caitlin Clarke, Samantha Clarke (Martin Kappauf), Collin Clarke, Brendan Clarke, Morgan Clarke, Nick Schmitt, and Chris Schmitt; and many other loved ones.

A visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, at Frank Vogler & Sons in Clemmons. Funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, at Holy Family Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Tunnels to Towers Foundation (

Jack Frye

Mr. Jack Frye, 92, of Winston-Salem passed away Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. He was born April 20, 1929, in Surry County to the late Charlie Reid Frye and Zelphia Kirkman Frye. He is preceded in death by his wife, Lorene Johnson Frye and two granddaughters, Amanda Frye and Melissa Pozdniakov. Surviving are son, Edward Frye (Marybeth); grandson, Matthew Frye; three great-grandchildren along with several nieces and nephews. A funeral service was conducted at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel by Pastor James M. Brown. Burial followed in Oaklawn Memorial Gardens. The family received friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at

Gayl Barbara Surridge Nifong

Gayl Barbara Surridge Nifong, 80, most recently of Staunton, Virginia, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

She was born on April 25, 1941, to Ralph Gayland and Myrtle Rowledge Surridge in Albany, New York. Nifong graduated from Parkville High School in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1958.

On April 10, 1965, she married her beloved husband Wayne Eugene Nifong. Together Wayne and Gayl were dairy farmers in Winston-Salem and Penhook, Virginia for the next 52 years.

Nifong loved the Lord and serving others. She was a gifted organist and played the organ for each of the churches she attended. She baked bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pies, which she would give as gifts to everyone who visited the farm. On the farm, she loved her baby calves, which she fed with devotion twice a day. And she loved children, raising her own five children with joy and taking care of nieces and nephews, driving a school bus for many years, and taking care of children and grandchildren in her home.

Nifong was preceded in death by her daughter, Susanne Nifong Baker (Benjamin). Surviving in addition to her husband are her brothers, William Surridge (Delores) of Hickory, and Ralph David Surridge of Winston-Salem; sister, Marcia Surridge Peace (Bob) of Tampa, Florida; four of her children, Douglas Nifong (Melanie) of Orfordville, Wisconsin, Jennifer Nifong Morris (Shawn) of Staunton, Virginia, Rebekah Nifong of Clemmons, Stephen Nifong (Rachel) of Gretna, Virginia; and six grandchildren, Mallory, Emily, Samantha, Abigayl, Silas and Henry.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at Fraternity Church of the Brethren in Winston-Salem with Pastor David Ansley, Pastor Robert Williard, and Pastor Dave Kindy officiating. She was buried in the church cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Fraternity Church of the Brethren, 3760 Fraternity Church Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.

Donald Edward Sanford

Donald Edward Sanford, 76, passed away on Jan. 31, 2022, at Novant Forsyth Medical Center. Sanford was born in Charlotte April 5, 1945. He graduated from Myers Park High School where he played football and ran track. He attended the University of North Carolina prior to joining the Navy, where served two tours and three campaigns in Vietnam. After his discharge, he finished his degree at UNC Charlotte in 1971. Sanford worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years.

Sanford was married for 52 years to Beverly Shaw Sanford. He is survived by Bev; sons, Zachary (Meghan), Alex (Heather), and daughter, Faith; and grandsons, Jacob and Carson. His daughter Courtney preceded him in death, along with his parents, Bill and Lucille Sanford.

Sanford is also survived by his brother Bill (Beverly) and sister Ellen (Marcel) along with many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. A memorial service was held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, at Clemmons Presbyterian Church. A reception was held immediately following the service.

Sanford loved his best friend/wife and his children and grandchildren, his home, his extended family, beach music, and his private conversations with God. The family will miss his great laugh and his love for everyone.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in his memory to Clemmons Presbyterian Church, the Vietnam Memorial Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Sanford family.

Randy Robert Schmidt

Mr. Randy Robert Schmidt, 65, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. He was born Jan. 25, 1957, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the late Herbert and Janet Schmidt. Schmidt loved Wisconsin, ’80s country music, concerts, NASCAR, fishing, the Packers and Brewers, the Gators and taking pictures of friends and family. His motto, “don’t die wondering!” will live on through through the family. If he was near a lake, he would have a fishing pole in his hand. Fishing was his happy place. If the family heard bellowing at the TV, they knew he was watching the Packers or Gators and that they must’ve just had a bad play. Lovingly known as daddy and Grandpa RayRay — he will forever be loved and missed. In addition to his parents, Schmidt is preceded in death by his stepmother, Debra Schmidt. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Schmidt; daughters, Melissa (Tommy) and Kelsey (John); grandchildren, Marshall, McKinley, Maddox and Palmer; stepfather, Donald Keating; brother, Terry Schmidt (Aleta); sister, Wendi Barnett (Tim); and numerous nieces and nephews. The family received friends from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Hayworth-Miller Lewisville Chapel.

Johnnie Monroe Tally

Johnnie Monroe Tally, 80, of Lewisville went home to be with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. Tally was born Aug. 12, 1941, in Plymouth to the late John and Truma Tally. Tally is survived by his “bride” of 60 years, Ruth T. Tally; daughter, Johnsie Price (Bill); son, Jeffrey Tally (Beth); grandchildren, Amelia and Grant Tally; niece, Tina T. Joyce (David) and great-nephews, Tyler and Nathan Joyce. Preceding him in death is his brother, James R. Tally and sister-in-law, Wilma.  Tally enjoyed traveling and along with Ruth, visited all 50 states during 50 of their 60 years together. Tally found his passion when he purchased, in 1963, what would become one of his classic show cars, his 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury. He enjoyed competing in many Rod Runs and winning top awards. Tally was a member of Lewisville Baptist Church, the men’s fellowship class and served as a deacon as long as his health permitted. Special thanks to the staff at Trinity Elms Health and Rehab for their special love and care. A graveside service was held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Lewisville Baptist Church Cemetery with Mr. Jonathan Lotz officiating. The family received friends from 2:30-3:30 p.m. prior to the graveside at the cemetery. “A jolly good sport, and all-around guy; such a pal money can’t buy.” In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lewisville Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 125 Lewisville Clemmons Rd. Lewisville, NC 27023, Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street Suite 800 Miami, FL 33131 or the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Dr. Suite 1150 Chicago, Illinois, 60601.

Myrtle Mae Stone Williams

Mrs. Myrtle Mae Stone Williams, 103, passed away Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at the Yadkin Valley Senior Living in Elkin. She was born Nov. 15, 1918, in Butler, Tennessee, to Robert and Cora Proffitt Stone. Williams retired from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company after 30 years of service. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, William Gorrell Williams; son, Jerry Lee Williams; sisters, Una Livingston and Edna Seagraves, and brother, Dana Stone. Surviving are son, Dale Williams (Linda); granddaughters, Christine Hutchens (Danny) and Jessica Williams (Colby); great-granddaughter, Annalise Williams; and sister, Bobbie Jean Shepherd (Dick). A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at Forsyth Memorial Park. Online condolences may be made at

Bessie ‘Loraine’ Petree Wise

Mrs. Bessie “Loraine” Petree Wise, 96 of Winston-Salem, formerly of Lewisville, passed away Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, at Forsyth Medical Center. She was born Dec. 28, 1925, in Forsyth County to Theodore and Ella Mae Faircloth Petree. Wise grew up in Lewisville and retired from Hanes Hosiery. She was a member of Clemmons Baptist Church and loved her flowers and traveling. Wise was preceded in death by her parents; husband, James M. Wise and three sisters. Surviving are daughters, Debbie Harper (Barry) and Cathy Saunders (Michael); grandchildren, Kim Buckner (David), Pam Saunders-Phillips, Bradley Harper (Jodi) and Jonathan Harper (Jana); and 15 great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at Westlawn Gardens of Memory. The family will receive friends following the graveside service.