Courier Obituaries 1-17-24


EASLEY — Joseph Lee Burgess, husband of Kathy Brazzell Burgess, passed away after a battle with heart and kidney issues on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family. He was affectionately known as Coach, JB, Pa Joe, and Pumpkin. He loved his Lord, his family, and his community.  He also loved to make people happy with a good laugh at stories he could tell on himself and others.

He was a 1964 graduate of Pickens High School and played in the first football game in the opening of the original Liberty High School Stadium. After high school, Joe attended The Citadel graduating in 1968.

That same year his coaching career began at Lexington High School as an assistant football coach. He also taught at Pelion High School and served as the athletic director. There, he coached boys and girls Basketball, a total of four teams, in the winter as well as track and baseball in the spring.

In 1969, he became an assistant football coach at Walhalla High School where he also coached girls basketball and golf.

In 1971 he became an assistant football coach at Ware Shoals High where he later became head football coach. He also served as head baseball coach and head track coach. The first victory of his football coaching career at Ware Shoals High School came with a victory over Liberty High School at the Liberty High Football Stadium.

In 1975, he left coaching to become Sports Director and Sales Representative at WELP Radio Station in Easley. There he began Buck’s Scoreboard, a weekly scoreboard program reporting high school football scores from all over the Upstate. Coaches and reporters from all over the upstate called in to report on the games. He also announced the games of the American Legion Team in Easley, and helped coach little league football with his good friend Charlie Hopkins.

While working at WELP he began a wholesale business known as Carolina Fireworks in Easley. He would go on the road in a pickup truck with a briefcase of examples of the fireworks to take orders and then deliver the orders the same way.

In 1987, he began teaching part time at Liberty High School.  In 1988, he became an assistant football coach with the Red Devils.  In 1991, he became the head football coach at Liberty High School.  He was inducted into the Liberty High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2023.

During his tenure as Head Coach, the football program made it to the State Playoffs every year except one. They won Liberty’s last Conference Championship in 1995. He was named Conference Coach of the Year as well.  In 1999, he coached in the S.C. North/South Football Game in Myrtle Beach.

He enjoyed attending Southern Gospel Music concerts and spending time with family and friends. He was a member of the Easley Lions Club; taught Sunday school and sang in the choir at Liberty First Baptist Church and later at Easley First Baptist Church.

He was so proud of his children and their accomplishments, and was known as Pa Joe to his grandchildren.

Joe was predeceased by his parents, Clyde and Blanche Looper Burgess.

Surviving are his wife of 55 years, Kathy Burgess; his children, Jabo Burgess (Angie), Kathy Ann Crowe (Roger) and Jab Burgess (Ashley); grandchildren, Tucker Burgess (Madison), Connor Friend (Seth), Wylie Crowe, Bailey Crowe, Grayson Burgess, Lauren Burgess and Ryan Burgess; a great grandson, Sullivan Friend; also surviving are his sister, Jane Burgess and his brother-in-law, Capers Brazzell (Deborah).

Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m., Jan. 18, at Easley First Baptist Church by Rev. Dr. John Adams, Rev. Travis Brooks and Rev. Seth Friend. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 5 until 7 p.m. at Liberty Mortuary. Burial will be private.

Pallbearers will be Al Melton, Eric Houston, Jeromy Arnett, William Peppers, Scott Kerwin and Andre Robinson.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests memorial donations in Coach Burgess’ memory be made to the Liberty High School Athletic Department, ATTN: Football, 124 Red Devil Drive, Liberty SC 29657, or your local high school athletic department.

The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Pruitt Health Hospice, the third floor Nurses, Doctors, and Staff of St. Francis Hospital Downtown for their exceptional care that he received along with all the love and support from all our friends and extended family during this time.

The family will be at the home.  To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family please visit  Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.



EASLEY — Betty Ann Harleston McInnis, 83, of Easley, entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Betty was born Feb. 18, 1940, in Charleston, daughter of Francis Motte Harleston and Elizabeth Frayssee Guess Harleston. She graduated from James Island High School before attending Lander College in Greenwood. She was a member of the D.A.R., First Families of South Carolina, former Regent and member of the C.A.R., and Vice President and member of the Darlington Arts Council.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Dr. James D. McInnis; her sons, James Daniel McInnis, Jr. PE (Pamela) of Charleston, Dr. David Motte McInnis (Heather) of Easley, and Dr. Mark Langley McInnis (Kristen) of Seneca; five grandchildren; Christian McInnis, Carter McInnis, Jensen McInnis, Harleston McInnis and Kingston McInnis; and her nephew William Legare Ansel, son of her late sister, Joan H. Ansel, of Dallas, Texas.

Her funeral services were held Jan. 13, in Darlington, at Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home, 315 Pearl Street, Darlington, SC 29532. The graveside service, and interment, were at Hill Cemetery, 405 South Warley Street, Darlington, SC 29532.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to; The Shriner’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or Special Olympics of South Carolina,,,

A Memorial message may be sent to the family at the funeral home’s website,



LIBERTY — Sarah Medlin Burns, 87, of Burns Hill Road, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, Jan. 8, 2024 at her residence.

Born in Pickens, she was the widow of David Eugene Burns and a daughter of the late Claude and Etta Swords Medlin. She was retired from Woodside Mills where she had worked alongside her husband for many years. She loved her family and spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a longtime member of Calumet Baptist Church.

Surviving are her two daughters, Joyce Cain (Kenny) of Liberty and Pam Quist (Lee) of Easley; two sons, David Burns (Suzanne) Liberty and Tony Burns of Six Mile; two brothers, J.D. and Guy Medlin both of Norris; seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; also surviving are her beloved little dog, Otis.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Lois Watson and Lib Dodson; and a brother, Roy Medlin.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road Anderson, SC 29621.

A private graveside service at Hillcrest Memorial Park will be held. No visitation is planned.

Online Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.



LIBERTY — George Washington Perry, a beloved member of the Liberty community, passed away peacefully on Jan. 9, 2024, at the age of 79.

Born on May 25, 1944, in Seneca, George was known for his kind heart, strong work ethic, and love for the outdoors.

George dedicated many years of his life to serving the community through his work. He began his career at Woodside Mill before joining the City of Liberty, where he worked in public works, specifically in City Sanitation. His dedication and tireless efforts made a significant impact on the cleanliness and well-being of the city.

Outside of work, George had an infectious enthusiasm for life. He delighted in spending time with children, bringing joy and laughter wherever he went. He loved the outdoors and exploring nature’s wonders.

Those left to cherish his memory are; Paul and Peggy Dodgins, Katie and Tristan Oglesby and their daughter Ember, along with Daniel Dodgins (Faith Rochester).  Also surviving are many more extended family.

His loving nature and gentle spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Graveside services to honor George’s life were conducted, Jan. 15, at Golden Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. George’s departure leaves a void in our community, but his memory will serve as a reminder of a life well-lived and the impact one person can make. May he rest in eternal peace.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family please visit  Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.



EASLEY — John William “Bill” Allsep, 66, passed away on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Born Aug. 12, 1957, in Greenville County, Bill was the son of the late Grady Leopard Allsep and Avanelle Eleanor Nix Allsep. Bill loved his family dearly and they brought him great joy, especially watching Nathan and Tasha mature in life. Bill worked with the Easley Rescue Squad for many years, served as chief for a period of time, and helped with rescue diving. He loved hunting and fishing for anything that would bite and was also a big NASCAR fan.

Survivors include his children, Nathan Allsep and Tasha Franklin (Demarco), both of Easley; grandchildren, Amaya and Lyric; siblings, Steve Allsep, Darla Nixon (Thomas) and Mark Allsep (Jessica), all of Easley; and many loving nieces and nephews.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at 2 p.m. on Jan. 26, in the chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home in Pickens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bill’s honor may be made to Home with A Heart by mailing to 240 James Mattison Rd, Liberty, SC 29657 or by calling (864) 843-3058.

Mountain View Funeral Home – Pickens Chapel is serving the Allsep family.



EASLEY — Mr. William “Bill” Howard Irvin, Sr., 92, husband of Shirley Buckner Irvin, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.

Born in North Carolina, the son of the late Howard L. Irvin and the late Kathleen Dillon Irvin, Mr. Irvin was a graduate of Furman University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree and played on the golf team. He was the retired owner and operator of H.L. Irvin Inc. and was a U.S. Army Veteran having served in the Korean War.

Bill was a Hejaz Shriner and a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his sons, William H. Irvin Jr. (Judy H. Irvin), Steven Irvin (Kelley F. Irvin), both of Easley and Michael Irvin (Cean H. Irvin), of Anderson; his step-sons, James Robbie Roberson of Easley and Michael Roberson and his spouse, Aaron Roberson, of Summerville; his sister, Martha Lou Adams of Easley; his five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family will host a memorial service 10 a.m., Jan. 18, at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

Flowers will be accepted and memorials may be made to the Building Fund of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.
Visit or Robinson Funeral Home and Crematory-Downtown, Easley.



EASLEY — Mr. Horace “Tab” Elbert Thompson, 93, husband of Myrna Harris Thompson, went to be with his Lord and Savior Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Born in Oconee County, a son of the late Henry Justice Thompson and the late Mae Moore Thompson, Mr. Thompson retired from Owens Corning Fiberglas with 35 years of service. He was a member of Easley First Baptist Church where he belonged to the Eller Sunday School Class and was active in the church prison ministry. He was a U.S. Army National Guard Veteran.

Tab was an avid outdoorsman enjoying fishing and shooting. He had a passion for building things and repairing anything that needed attention, especially firearms. Tab loved his family dearly and loved spending time with them. He will be deeply missed by all that loved and knew him.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 65 years, are his son,  Dr. Tab E. Thompson (Dr. Katherine C. Thompson), of  Columbia; his daughter, Deborah Hasty (Steven), of Travelers Rest; two sisters, Donna Styles (Charles), of Travelers Rest and Margaret Dillard (Billy), of Anderson; four grandchildren, Henry Pate Hasty, JohnHenry Tab Thompson (Sophie), Jesse Leigh Hasty and Luke Tellis Thompson; and two great-grandchildren, Poppy Louise Thompson and Tab Ernest Thompson.

In addition to his parents, Tab was predeceased by six brothers, Carlisle Thompson, James Thompson, Jack Thompson,  Floyd “Git” Thompson, Harold “Buggs” Thompson and David Thompson; and three sisters, Viola “Bokie” Griffin, Ninetta Spearman and Fredda Acker.

Funeral services were held Jan. 16, at Easley First Baptist Church. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Anderson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wren Hospice, 955 W. Wade Hampton Blvd., Greer, SC 29690, Easley First Baptist Church, 300 East 1st. Avenue, Easley, SC 29640, or to the charity of one’s choice.



PICKENS — Herbert (Papa) Harold Whitmire, 81, of Pickens, passed away at his home on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Born Jan. 11, 1943, Harold was born in Rosman, N.C., to the late Gordon and Alma Wood Whitmire.

Harold loved the Lord and was a member of Bethany Church of God. Harold worked at Singer/Ryobi until retirement. He enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, woodwork and the view of the North Carolina Mountains. He loved his dogs and especially his family.

Harold is survived by his two daughters, Emily Gilstrap and Tracy Martin; his three brothers, Larry Whitmire, Jerry “Beaver” Whitmire and Randy Whitmire; his grandchildren, Jeremy Martin, Ethan Mathis, Blake Mathis, Adrian Gilstrap, Serenitie Gilstrap, Kayla Capps and Billy Frick; along with numerous nieces and nephews to cherish his memory.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Marlene Whitmire Perry.

The family will be at the home.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



PICKENS — Mrs. Violet Mauldin Shelton Adams, 84, wife of the late Fred C. Shelton and the late Earl “Jack” Adams, Jr., went to be with her Lord and Savior, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late Louie DeWitt Mauldin and the late Margaret Kelly Mauldin, Mrs. Adams was a graduate of Pickens High School and a homemaker. She was a member of Gap Hill Baptist Church.

Violet loved traveling and reading. She was always helping others and adored taking care of her family. Her door was always open to anyone and she was a mother to many. Violet made a great impact on many lives and will be missed deeply.

Surviving are her two daughters, Vickie Shelton Towe (Lynn) of Salem and Tammy Shelton Bagwell of Pickens; a brother, Tim Mauldin of Six Mile; a sister, Bonnie Holder (Sonny) of Pickens; three grandchildren, Chad Galloway (Holly Whiteclay), Travis Towe (Ashley) and Christopher Towe (Laura); and five great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husbands and parents, Mrs. Adams was predeceased by four brothers, L.D.Mauldin, Wallace Mauldin, Nathan Mauldin and Joe Mauldin; and one sister, Eunice Saylors.

Funeral services were held Jan. 16, in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown. Burial followed in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of the Foothills, 390 Keowee School Road, Seneca, SC 29672.

Visit or Robinson Funeral Home and Crematory-Downtown, Easley.



PICKENS — Laura L. Cribbs, 90, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at Rainey Hospice House in Anderson.

Born Aug. 31, 1933, in Pickens County, Laura was the daughter of the late Elbert E. Powell and Lizzie Mae Bagwell Powell. Mrs. Cribbs enjoyed fishing, dancing, and Cooking.

Survivors include three daughters, Rhonda Gouge of Pickens, Teri Kirkland of Greenville and Phyllis Hayes of Greenville; a son, Bruce Hamilton (Dona) of Pelzer; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; four sisters, Linda Galloway (John), Debra Phillips (Mike), Ruth James (Dennis) and Lorraine Stone; and one brother, Donald Powell (Connie).

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Cribbs was predeceased by four brothers, Ralph, Earl, Ray and Harold Powell; and one sister, Evelyn Bryant

Mountain View Funeral Home – Pickens Chapel is serving the Cribbs family.