Courier Obituaries 1-24-24


CARROLLTON, Ga. — Mrs. Avenell “Nell” Stephens Thomas, 83 of Carrollton, Ga., passed away on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. She was born in Pickens County on Aug. 8, 1940, to the late Albert Stephens and Hester Rachel Durham Stephens.

Mrs. Thomas was retired from PEDS Hosiery and was a devoted Christian. Her love for the Lord was profound, and her favorite saying was, “Lord willing, I’ll be there.” She was a loving wife, mother and Nana, but her greatest joy came from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mrs. Thomas loved celebrating birthdays and sending birthday cards to her family and friends. She also had a collection of bunny rabbits.

Survivors include her husband of 62 years, OL Thomas; her son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Christy Thomas; her daughters and sons-in-law, Susan and Anthony Hill and Jean and Hal Knott; her grandchildren, Rick and Chasidy Thomas, Lori and Tanner Roach, Jack Thomas, Chris Thomas, Ben Hill, Rachel Hill, Katie and Christopher Lanier, Amy and Cody Daniel, Rebekah Knott, Thomas and Caroline Knott, Elizabeth Knott and Anna Knott; and her great-grandchildren, Hunter, Cameron, Audrey, Ansley, Caden, Bentley, Bella, McKenna, Tripp and Lily. She is also survived by her sisters, Frances Cromer, Sue Gilstrap, Ruby Duncan and Rosalee Britton. Mrs. Thomas was preceded in death by her brother, Vernon Stephens, and her sisters, Martha Holliday, Alma Reid and Mildred Powell.

The funeral service was held at the chapel of Almon Funeral Home, with Dr. Stephen Peeples officiating and members of the family giving eulogies.

Interment was at Carroll Memory Gardens.

Pallbearers were Hal Knott, Ben Hill, Thomas Knott, Tanner Roach, Christopher Lanier, Jack Thomas, Chris Thomas and Hunter Lanier.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Group of Carroll County, P.O. Box 1273, Carrollton, GA 30112.

Messages of condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Almon Funeral Home of Carrollton is in charge of the arrangements.


EASLEY — David “Terry” Williams Sr., 82, of Easley, went home to be with his Lord on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.

Born in Spartanburg, he was the son of the late William “Bill” E. Williams Sr., and Marie Parris Williams.

Terry, as he was affectionately known, began his journey at Parker High School, laying the foundation for a life of service and commitment. At the age of 17, he proudly enlisted in the U.S. Navy, demonstrating a deep sense of duty to his country.

A man of faith, Terry was a dedicated member and former deacon of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. His service extended beyond Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, as he also served as a former deacon at Bethel Baptist Church and Monaghan Baptist Church. His commitment to his faith community was a testament to his spiritual strength and love for God.

Terry was the proud owner of Tech Fab Services, showcasing his skills and dedication to his work. An all-around man, he was known for his versatility and ability to tackle any challenge that came his way. Terry’s warm and friendly nature meant he never met a stranger, making friends wherever he went.

In his leisure time, Terry found solace in the outdoors. Fishing and hunting were among his favorite pastimes, allowing him to connect with nature and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Additionally, he was an avid supporter of the S.C. Gamecocks, displaying his enthusiasm for sports.

Terry leaves behind a legacy of service, faith and camaraderie. His memory will be cherished by all those who had the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in eternal peace, having completed his earthly journey, and rejoined his Lord.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Judy B. Williams, the love of his life for over 62 years; son, David T. Williams Jr., (Dana); daughter, Maria W. Page (Danny); grandchildren, Trey (Audrey), Daniel (Taylor), Amee, Laura (Alex), Hailey and Heather; four precious great-grandchildren; his younger sisters, Rose Marie Bray (Ned) and Dottie Williams; sister-in-law, Claudine C. Williams; step-brother, Bob Jones; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, William “Bill” E. Williams Jr.

The family would like to extend special thanks to his beloved caregiver, Eboni Lyles, for her love and care of Terry over the years. She is deeply loved and appreciated by the family for her continued dedication of his care.

Funeral services were held Jan. 22 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, and burial followed at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 1623 Hester Store Road, Easley, SC 29640,

Favorite memories and condolences may be shared with the family by visiting



LIBERTY — Ethel Angela Suehiro “Angie”, 59, loving wife of seven years to David Suehiro, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Born March 14, 1964, Angie was the daughter of Robbie Blakely Evans and the late James Evans. She enjoyed playing poker, fishing, botany, and just living life. She loved animals and rescued cats and dogs.

Survivors include her husband, David Suehiro; three children, Erica Cress, Cassi Suehiro and Steven Suehiro; grandchildren, Blake Cox, Gilby Cress and Miya Suehiro; siblings, Bunny Evans, Ginger Rosemond and Lisa Criswell; 11 nieces and nephews; and a cool aunt her loved her dearly.

In addition to her father, Mrs. Suehiro was predeceased by a sister, Bobby Jane.

The family will host a gathering of family and friends and Angie’s ashes will be buried in Canada.

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



EASLEY — Griffin Edward Smith, 44, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, at his home.

Born May 20, 1979, in Naperville, Ill., Griffin was the son of William Edward Smith and Lynn Jean Webb. Griffin attended Easley High School. He enjoyed wrestling, martial arts and fast cars.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Smith is survived by a sister, Lindsay Back (Jason), and two nephews, James Boyk and Alesio Back.

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



LIBERTY — Edna Diane Coleman, 69, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, at Prisma Health Baptist Easley Hospital.

A native of Pickens County, Edna was born April 17, 1954, the daughter of the late Billie Frank Brezeale and Lou Dean Shelton Brezeale.

Survivors include her daughter, Amanda LeBlanc of Whitmire; son, Jaxon Medlin; grandson, Liam Coleman; and siblings, Frank Brezeale (Debra), Martha Hall (Keith) and Linda McMahan.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Coleman was predeceased by a brother, Billie Joe Brezeale, and a nephew, Adam F. Brezeale.

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




LIBERTY — Margaret Dodgins Perry, 84, a beloved member of the Liberty community, passed away peacefully on Jan. 14, 2024.

She was born on Nov. 19, 1939, in Pickens, to the late Rufus William and Sarah Kelley Dodgins.

Margaret was a resilient and hardworking woman who dedicated her life to her craft as a seamstress in the textiles industry.  She was a member of Liberty Church of God of Prophecy.

She is survived by her children, Ann Pilgrim (Ed) and Keith Perry (Lori); her caregivers, Carlos and Connice Dodgins; her son-in-law, William Pilgrim; grandchildren, Tony, Allen, Jacob, Holly and April; and several great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were conducted Jan. 23 at Golden Creek Baptist Church cemetery.

She will forever be remembered for the unconditional love and support she provided to her family.

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



PICKENS — Mrs. Rozzie Madell Thompson Waker, 91, wife of Edward Richard Waker, passed away Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.

Born in Tattnall County, Ga., a daughter of the late Mose Washington Thompson and the late Lala Elizabeth Bacon Thompson, Mrs. Waker was a graduate of Tattnall County High School and was a homemaker.

Rozzie was well known for her baking, especially her cakes. She loved spending time with her husband and family, which were the loves of her life. She will be deeply missed by all who loved and knew her.

Surviving, in addition to her loving husband of 71 years, are two sons, Richard Eugene Waker (Wendy) and Edward Michael Waker (Gail), both of Michigan; two daughters, Clara Elizabeth Parton (Michael) of Indiana and Angelia Dell McFarland (Gregory) of Pickens; 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Jan. 18 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown. A private burial took place in the M.J. Dolly Cooper Veterans Cemetery.


SIX MILE — Christine Maxey Pilgrim, a beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend, passed away peacefully on Jan. 17, 2024, at the age of 89.

Born on Oct. 15, 1934, in Walhalla, she was the widow of David Edrew Pilgrim and a daughter of the late Jessie James and Della Holbrooks Maxey. She resided in Six Mile, where she touched the lives of many with her warm smile and kind heart.

Christine had a great passion for life, cherishing every moment spent with her family. She shared a special bond with her children. Their love and support filled her life with immeasurable happiness.

Her educational journey, though later in life, was still something she was proud of, earning her associate degree in secretarial science in her 50s. She excelled in her career working at Roses, Garrett’s, and then later retiring from Ole Norm’s in Clemson.

Outside of her professional life, she found solace in her faith as a longstanding member of Cateechee Baptist Church. Her unwavering devotion was an inspiration to all who knew her. She found joy in the simple pleasures of life, including gardening, reading, sewing, baking, her birds and her fish. Her homemade treats and lovingly crafted gifts brought smiles to countless faces. She loved to watch her Atlanta Braves, the Clemson Tigers and Perry Mason.

Her memory will forever remain in the hearts of her children, Nancy Greer (Mark), Laura Holder (Sam), Cheree Aiken (Jeremy), Leroy Pilgrim (Dianne), Jimmy Pilgrim (Kelly), Keith Pilgrim (Katie), Greg Pilgrim (Brandy) and Brent Pilgrim (Rebecca); and her brother, Bobby Maxey. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren, Misty Gomez (Alfredo), Heather Black (Philip), Travis Robinson, Danielle Smithson (Neil), Brandon Pilgrim (Megan), Trevor Greer (Christie), Megan Pilgrim, Hunter Pilgrim, Kennedy Pilgrim, Connor Pilgrim, Avery Aiken, Blakley Pilgrim, Sidney Pilgrim, Cora Pilgrim, Sadie Pilgrim and Jessie Pilgrim; and 10 great-grandchildren.

She will also be missed by her extended family and dear friends who were fortunate to know her.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Eydie Robinson; two sons, Edrew and Danny Pilgrim; two sisters, Hazel McCall and Nettie Pilgrim; and three brothers, Clayton Maxey, Howard Maxey and Kenneth Maxey.

The funeral service to honor Christine’s life was held Jan. 21 in the Liberty Mortuary chapel. She was laid to rest beside her husband at Liberty Memorial Gardens, followed by the funeral.

Christine’s departure leaves a void in the hearts of those who knew her, but her legacy of love, compassion and unwavering faith will continue to inspire future generations. May she find eternal peace and serenity in the arms of her Creator.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cateechee Baptist Church, P.O. Box 515, Norris SC 29667.

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



PICKENS — Toni Barrett Turner, 78, of Pickens, passed away at home, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

Toni was born in Pickens to the late Thurman and Jessie Barrett. She retired from Champion Aerospace and volunteered at Cannon Memorial Hospital. She was a devoted christian of the Baptist faith.

Toni is survived by her husband of 60 years, David R. Turner; and two sisters, Judy Barrett Pace and Barbara Barrett Trotter (David).

Funeral services were held Jan. 19 at Dillard Memorial Funeral Home in Pickens. A private family committal service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Toni’s memory may be made to Hospice of the Foothills at (864) 885-7912 or the Cannon Memorial Hospital Foundation.

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



PICKENS — Patricia Dianne Roach Sexton, a beloved mother, sister, grandmother and friend, affectionately known to everyone as “Pat”, passed away peacefully on Jan. 20, 2024, at the age of 78 to join her loving husband, Richard Terry Sexton in their celestial home above. Born on July 7, 1945, in Easley, to the late Ed Lee and Estelle Wood Roach, she was a vibrant soul who lived a life full of love, laughter, and unwavering faith.

Pat was a woman who touched the hearts of everyone she encountered. With a kind and gentle spirit, she exemplified the qualities of compassion and selflessness. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to her family and was a pillar of strength for her children and grandchildren. Her unwavering belief in the power of prayer made her a trusted confidant and a comforting presence for anyone in need.

Hardworking and dedicated, Pat spent many years as a cafeteria worker in the public school system. Her warm smile and loving nature endeared her to the students she served. In her free time, she loved to cook, showcasing her culinary talents to family and friends.

Her kitchen was a gathering place filled with delicious aromas, laughter, and countless cherished memories. Pat shared a special bond with her children, often going fishing with them and creating cherished moments that will forever be treasured.

She leaves behind a legacy of love and devotion. Pat is survived by her loving children; Tammy Galbreath (Frank), Melinda Morgan (Brian), Terry Scruggs (Joanie), Bo Sexton (Carleen), Randy Sexton (Julie) and Danny Sexton (Donna). She will forever be remembered by her brothers Ronnie Roach and Frank Roach, as well as her 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband and parents she was preceded in death by two sons; David and Dean Sexton; three sisters, Ruth Porter, Earlene Sexton and Hazel Patton; and four brothers, Robert, Kenneth, Jerry and Mike Roach.

Funeral services to celebrate Pat’s life will be held on Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. at the Open Praise Fellowship Holiness Church, where she dedicated countless hours of service. A visitation will be held on Jan. 24, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Liberty Mortuary. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Though our hearts may ache at this loss, let us find solace in the knowledge that Pat’s legacy of love and kindness will forever inspire us. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

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


PICKENS — JoAnn Elizabeth Gilstrap, 76, departed this earth in faith and entered into the presence of her father, God Almighty, surrounded by her family on Dec. 29, 2023.

JoAnn was born on July 21, 1947, to the late Roscoe Allen Gilstrap and Helen Burgess Gilstrap both of Pickens.

Surviving are her children; Joy Elizabeth Gilstrap Mathis, Kimberly Dawn Turner Duffy (Jarrod) and Torrey Westley Gilstrap (Julie); grandchildren; Jessica Moses, Amanda Moses Ellenburg (Lance) and Conrad Cameron McCall (Ashley) and great-grandchildren; Hannah and Kinsley Ellenburg, Ayla Holden, Sylas Wolfrey and Susan and Martina McCall. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her sisters; Cathy Diane Gilstrap Turner and Vicky Helen Gilstrap; and her brother, Gary Allen Gilstrap.

For many years, she was a single mother and homemaker but also worked full time as a textile worker for over two decades at the Mayfair Mills Pickens plant. She retired at 62 to have more time for herself and her family. JoAnn loved the Lord and introduced her children to Jesus at an early age while living as an example to them through her kind ways and fair treatment of everyone she met. She was always there to help her family, and if she called you her friend, you were indeed blessed.

She was a dedicated caregiver who helped watch after her mother and disabled sister.

She loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Watching wildlife and observing nature were some of her favorite pastimes. JoAnn chose to be cremated and wanted her ashes scattered at a peaceful place selected by her loved ones. The cremation will be handled by Cremation Society of South Carolina – Westville Funerals in Greenville.

The family will have an informal life celebration at JoAnn’s home with close friends and family members instead of a public ceremony. Friends wanting to honor JoAnn’s memory are asked to leave condolences and pictures.


PICKENS — Mary Lou Dodson, 82, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born in Pickens County on Dec. 6, 1941, to the late Fred and Grace Chapman of Pickens.

Survivors include a daughter, Debbie Ellenburg (Dale), and a son, BJ Dodson, both of Pickens; three grandchildren, Tyler Ellenburg (Aubrey), Blake Ellenburg (Kelcie) and Maquenzie King; five great-grandchildren, Kyla, McKenna, Brayson, Rhia and Wesley; and siblings including Will Chapman and Shirley Chapman, and special foster sister, Carol Oxford.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Dodson was predeceased by her husband, Gene Dodson; a son, Scott Dodson; and a daughter, Tammy Dodson.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 4 at Pickens View Wesleyan Church for Mrs. Dodson and her daughter, Tammy, who passed on Dec. 8, 2023.

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