Courier Obituaries 10-30-19


LIBERTY — Wilbur Morris “Bill” Harris Jr., 76, of Flower Lane, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.

Born on Oct. 17, 1943, in Greenville County, he was a son of the late Wilbur Morris Harris Sr. and Ruby Mae McAbee Harris.

Mr. Harris was a former employee of Mayfair Mills, Glenwood Division. He enjoyed rock collecting, gold panning, hunting and fishing. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where he was awarded several medals, including a Purple Heart.

Surviving are his wife, Barbara Jean Fox Harris; a brother, Furman Luther Harris of Liberty; and his special dog, Leroy.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his son, Tommy James Harris.

A memorial service was held on Oct. 26 at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown chapel. Burial followed in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley, which is assisting the family.


EASLEY — William Michael “Mike” Johnson, 77, beloved husband of Ellen Spencer Johnson, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

Born on Nov. 30, 1941, in Greenwood, he was the son of the late William Hazel Johnson and Sybil Jones Johnson.

Mike was a graduate of Erskine College. He was retired from sales in the automotive chemicals industry. He also was a member of Russell Community Church in Greenville, an elder and former member of Easley Presbyterian Church and proudly served his country in the United States Army Reserve.

Mike Johnson never met a stranger. He saw each person as Jesus does — worthy, lovely and valuable. Over his 77 years on Earth, by example, he taught so many people how to show kindness and decency to all, especially his children, Jamie and David, who believe they are the luckiest kids in all the world to know his love as a father. He gave them an earthly example of the love of The Father — and that love is what they are clinging to at this time.

He adored his wife, Ellen. They were married 49 years — together 50, marrying exactly one year from the day they met. They devoted their life together to God and family, each supporting the other, in ways big and small. After Ellen was called to return to teaching at Easley High School, Mike made breakfast so that at precisely 7:10 the family could sit down together. In the busyness of those years, they reserved a time for family. Breakfast ended with a family devotion and each taking a turn in prayer — starting the day solidly grounded. Ellen supported and loved Mike in a myriad of ways, but spending nearly 20 New Year’s Eves sharing her husband with hundreds of people is a vivid example.

Mike’s passion for music began at an early age, having some of the earliest mixed tapes ever known, which he shared with his little sister, Gloria, and young cousins. His dreams of performing the beach music he loved were realized when he became a founding member of the locally loved band, The Flashbacks. They played shows all over the state, as well as in North Carolina and Georgia. They were nominated for a CAMMY Award (Beach Music’s Grammy) and Mike, as male lead vocalist, got to sing with some of his all-time favorite musicians. We are pleased to report that his ultimate dream of singing with Elvis is now in progress. The Flashbacks played many, many shows, weddings and festivals and were always booked on New Year’s Eve. Ellen finally got Mike to herself just a few years ago, when he stepped away from the stage.

Mike is survived by his wife, Ellen; his children, William David Johnson and wife, Shayna, of Johns Island and Jamie Johnson DeMoura of Mt. Pleasant; grandchildren, Cally and Cannon DeMoura, and Remley, Rhett and Vera Johnson; and a sister, Gloria Johnson Causey and husband, John, of High Point, N.C.

“Mikey,” as he was called by his grandchildren, loved many things in his life: Ellen, Jamie, David, Shayna, his grandchildren, sister Gloria and her husband John, his band, his friends, going to meetings of the Possum Club, running into friends at the post office and Publix on Wednesdays, his sweet tea (not too sweet, thank you), tomatoes in every form and fashion, his view of the mountains from his favorite chair, the birds that came to visit him, his customers from his career in sales, Edisto, his family near and far on Earth and in Heaven, family poker games during the holidays, his brothers and sister-in-law, phone calls just to talk, fairness, laughter, Clemson and his faith. Mike ended nearly every conversation, be it with family, friends or frequently, complete strangers with a prayer, and the family covets yours for them at this time.

If you knew Mike Johnson, you were blessed — as you have witnessed the impact and beautiful spirit of one of God’s truest servants. He was not famous, streets will not be named after him, and his life won’t be found in history books, but on the day he joined Heaven, the celebration was deafening as he was welcomed home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in honor of Mike to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or


PICKENS — Harold Thomas Newton, 92, husband of the late Alene Bryant Newton, passed from this life on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

Mr. Newton was born in Pickens County, a son of the late John Thomas and Pearl Bradley Newton. He was a member of Tabor United Methodist Church and was self-employed in the timber industry as a logger.

Survivors include sons, Carl David Newton of Waynesville, N.C., Roger Dale Newton of Pickens and Michael Ray Newton, also of Pickens; brothers, Carl Newton of Liberty and George Newton of Seneca; sister, Janie Boggs of Pickens; grandchildren, Angela M. Frye, Jennifer Newton Moore, Patrick Newton, Charlie Newton and Nicholas Newton; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were conducted on Oct. 27 in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home, with burial following at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

A message of condolence may be expressed to the family by visiting


CLEVELAND — Carol R. Ormsby, 82, wife of Gerald R. Ormsby, was called home on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.

Born in Sandwich, Ill., Carol was a daughter of the late Evan Edwin and Dorothy Irene Larson Davis. Carol was baptized on April 8, 1949, and celebrated her confirmation on April 10, 1949. She was a member of Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, N.C. Carol was loved by many and will be remembered for her love of growing flowers.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Mr. Gerald R. Ormsby of the home; a sister, Mrs. Charlene (Robert) Ward of Ashburn, Va.; a sister-in-law, Ms.Nancey Davis of Lodi, Wis.; and many nieces and nephews.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Mr. Willard Davis.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 a.m. at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, located at 2606 Chimney Rock Road in Hendersonville, N.C. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. officiated by Pastor Jon Christensen. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Those wishing to honor Carol’s memory may do so by making memorials to Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church.

Mountain View Funeral Home in Pickens is assisting the Ormsby family.


EASLEY — Laura Black Clement, 71, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late Rufus Clyde Black and the late Ella Mable Mauldin Black, Laura was a retired receptionist and a member of Pickens First Baptist Church.

Surviving are the love of her life, Jack Cook of the home; a son, Brian Evatt of Easley; a daughter, Michelle Frady (Matt) of Travelers Rest; four grandchildren, Tyler Trusty, Rebecca Evatt, Lauren Trusty and Samantha Evatt; and three sisters.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, prior to the graveside service.

Memorials may be made to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer research, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75244.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley, which is assisting the family.


EASLEY — Mr. Jim Oliver Head, 84, husband of the late Shelba Tanner Head, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, a son of the late Toy Herbert Head Sr., and the late Mary Berry Head, Mr. Head was a graduate of Clemson University where he received his B.S. degree in textile management, and was a retired plant manager with Alice Manufacturing Company, with 41 years of service. He was a member of Calvary Hill Baptist Church, where he was a member of the Charles Mauldin Sunday school class. Mr. Head was a U.S. Navy veteran.

Jim was an avid Clemson fan and always had a smile on his face. He will be dearly missed by all who loved and knew him.

Surviving are a son, Rev. Jim Head (Lynne) of Waxhaw, N.C.; two daughters, Sherry H. Lynch (Bill) of Greenville and Gena H. Roberts (Andrew) of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; a brother, Toy H. Head Jr. of Greenville; four grandchildren, Matthew Roberts (Elizabeth), Ben Roberts, Katherine Bailey (Jonathan) and Laura Head; and five great-grandchildren, Kirra, Natalie, Leah, Makenna and Presley.

In addition to his wife and parents, Mr. Head was predeceased by a grandson, Andrew Head; and a sister, Jeanette Burgess.

Funeral services were held on Oct. 28 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, with Rev. Dave Shorter and Rev. Jim Head officiating. Entombment followed in the Hillcrest Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley, which is assisting the family.


GREENVILLE — Clarence Conway Gibson Jr. 85, husband of Susan Loftis Stouffer, passed from this life on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.

Mr. Gibson was born at Trotter Hill in Pickens, a son of the late Clarence Conway Gibson Sr. and the late Bessie Fortner Gibson. A retired textile executive, Mr. Gibson was formerly employed with Delta Woodside and was also a Wall Street investor for many years.

He was a graduate of Clemson University in 1960 with a degree in industrial management and later served his country in the United States Navy. Community was always important to him, as he served as chair of the Cannon Memorial Hospital Foundation in Pickens and also served on the board of directors of the Greenville Museum, and he was an avid golfer.

Survivors include his wife of 16 years, Susan Loftis Stouffer; a daughter, Lisa G. Barnes of Greenwood and Niki G. Cobb of Piedmont; grandchildren, Michael Gibson of Asheville, N.C., and Trisha B. Langston (John) of St. Augustine, Fla., and three great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Gibson was predeceased by his first wife, Pat Adams Gibson and his son, Conway Gibson.

A private graveside service will be held.

A message of condolence may be expressed to the family by visiting

The family wishes that flowers be omitted and memorials be made to the Cannon Memorial Hospital Foundation, 123 WG Acker Drive, Pickens, SC 29671 or to the charity of one’s choice.


EASLEY — Sheila Wade Gibson, 70, widow of William Jerry Gibson Sr., passed away on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Born in Easley, she was the daughter of the late RC and Sara Dacus Wade.

Mrs. Gibson was retired from Garrett-Henderson Tax Service. She was a lifelong member of Jones Avenue Baptist Church, where she was former WMU and Acteens director, Sunday school teacher, choir member, and member of the King’s Daughters Sunday school class and the Women of Faith.

Known to her family as Mema, she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Her greatest joy in life was serving her family and sharing the message of her Lord.

Surviving are two sons, Billy Gibson and wife, Joy, and Brian E. Gibson and wife, Susan, all of Easley; four grandchildren, Katie, Leanna, Caroline and Griffin Gibson; brothers, Phil Wade and wife, Deb and Wyatt Wade and wife, Teresa, all of Easley; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 10-11:45 a.m. at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, with the funeral service following at noon in the chapel, with the Rev. Steven Wade and Rev. Zach Shaw officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Central.

Honorary escorts will be the King’s Daughters Sunday School Class and the Women of Faith of Jones Avenue Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Scleroderma Foundation, SC Chapter, 713-D E. Greenville St., Box 194, Anderson, SC 29621 or Pickens County Meals on Wheels, 349 Edgemont Ave., Liberty, SC 29657.

The family would like to express gratitude to Meri Childress and Dretha Dorsey for their care and compassion shown toward Mema and our family during this time.

In the words of Mema, “Hug, Hug, Kiss, Kiss.”

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley, which is assisting the family.


LIBERTY — James Walter “Jay” Ellenburg, 69, of 1901 Ruhamah Road, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at St. Francis Hospital.

Born in Easley, he was the husband of Brenda Lesley Ellenburg and a son of the late Jimmy McCall and Ruby Branch Ellenburg. He was a retired construction worker and loved riding his Harley-Davidson, as well as playing his many different guitars. He was also an avid Clemson football fan.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a daughter, Ranee McCall and her husband, Eddie, of Easley; a son, Joshua Ellenburg of Greer; and a brother, Jackie Ellenburg.

In addition to his parents he was predeceased by a brother, Jimmy “Lenny” Ellenburg.

Graveside services to honor the life of Mr. Ellenburg will be conducted by Rev. Doug Goss on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. at the Flat Rock Baptist Church cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at Liberty Mortuary.

Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to the St. Francis Hospital Foundation: 1 St. Francis Drive Greenville, SC 29601, or Flat Rock Baptist Church Building Fund: 115 Slab Bridge Road, Liberty, SC 29657.

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


EASLEY — Dr. Boyce G. Tollison went to his Heavenly Home, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

He was born July 16, 1941, to Rev. Grady and Evelyn Tollison.

Dr. Tollison was a graduate of Wren High School Class of 1959, North Greenville Junior College Class of 1961, Furman University Class of 1963, and the Medical University of South Carolina Class of 1967, which was followed by an internship at Greenville General Hospital and two years in U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Upon joining the Medical Center in 1970, he was very active in Pickens County Medical Society, Easley Baptist Hospital, serving several times as Chief of Staff. He served as a member of Baptist Hospital Board of Trustees, Baptist Easley Board, and after the merger with Greenville, was on the Board of Directors.

He was an active member of South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians. During his service, he served on the Legislation & Governmental Affairs, Chair, 2000-2002; Committee on Communications, chair 1996-1999; Board of Directors 1988-1992; President Elect 1992/1993; and President, 1993/1994. He represented South Carolina as an Alternate Delegate and Delegate, 1993/2001, to the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was Family Physician of the year in 1995. As an active member of AAFP and delegate he served on Committee on Communications, chair-1999; served on credentials Committee and Reference Committee on Education.

He was an active member of the South Carolina Medical Association. He served as Delegate, SCMA House of Delegates. He served as president in 2003. He was a delegate to AMA and served on steering committee of OSMAP, (Organization State Medical Association Presidents). He served as the committee’s president 2014-2015.

As a former member of Easley First Baptist Church he served in several areas: Deacon and Chair, Finance Committee and chair, Chair of Pastoral Search Committee, Building Committee, and Co-Director of Fund-Raising Program. As a current member of First Baptist Greenville, he is active in the Seminar/Corder Sunday School Class and a member of Property Committee of the church.

One of his highest honors was receiving the Order of the Palmetto during his retirement reception in 2008. This is the state of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of S.C. for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements.

Dr. Tollison is survived by his best friend and wife, Judy; three sons, Michael, Brian, and Tim and his wife, Renee, and two granddaughters, Sydney and Ashlyn. He is also survived by his mother, Evelyn Tollison, and brothers, Truett and his wife, Gail, and Ron Tollison.

The family wishes to express our gratitude to the Cancer Center of Prisma Health, especially Dr. Jeffery Edenfield for the excellent care provided since 2007.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, at First Baptist Greenville, 847 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601. A reception will immediately follow the service in the church parlor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Foundation Fund of First Baptist Greenville, 847 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601.

Condolences may be expressed online by visiting or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley, which is assisting the family.


SUNSET — Carolyn Sexton Gilstrap went to be with our Father in Heaven to live with her, and our, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2019.

She was 92 years young.

Our hearts are filled with grief for our loss, but our souls are rejoicing over our Mom’s departure to her heavenly home to be with Our Lord in her eternal home in Heaven.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James A. Gilstrap Sr. She is survived by her sons, Robin and Jim, and their families.

A graveside service will be held at New Friendship Church Cemetery (located on S.C. Highway 11 near the Sunset Post Office) in Sunset. The service will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1.

Memorials should be sent to, Helping Hands Children’s Home, P.O. Box 561, Clemson, SC 29633.


DACUSVILLE — Darlene Dodgins, 57, wife of Roger Dodgins, went to be with her Savior Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, surrounded by the love of her family and friends.

Born in Pickens County, Darlene was a daughter of the late Gary Richard and Jeannette Elizabeth Cox Parker. She was a member of Cannon Mountain Baptist Church in Pickens. Prior to Darlene not being able to work, she operated her own day care.

Survivors include her husband, Roger, of 35 years; a son, Joseph Tyler Dodgins; a sister, Diane Crawford (Dale); sisters-in-law, Dorothy Durham (Ellis) and Brenda Yarbrough (Craig); nieces, Charlina “CJ” Simmons, Brandi Durham, Haley Barkley, Heather Crawford and Haley Crawford; and her mother-in-law, Dellar Dodgins. Survivors also include many special friends.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Richard Parker.

A memorial service was held on Oct. 29 at Cannon Mountain Baptist Church in Pickens, with receiving of family and friends prior to the service.

The family will be at the home of Darlene’s niece “CJ” Simmons.

Mountain View Funeral Home is assisting the Dodgins family.