Courier Obituaries 11-6-19


PICKENS — Pauline “Polly” McCall Lusk, a longtime resident of Pickens County, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at the age of 85, surrounded by her family.

She was born in Mountain Rest on Jan. 3, 1934, to the late Erby and Bertha (Nicholson) McCall. She married the late Fred Lusk Sr. on March 4, 1955. Polly was a licensed practical nurse for many years.

She is survived by two children, Linda (Larry) Roach and Fred Lusk Jr.; grandchildren, Heather (Corey) Hefner, Blaire Roach, Sarah Lusk, Savannah Lusk and Christopher “Kit” Lusk; and great-grandchildren, Ryleigh Hefner, Carolina Hefner and Walker Hefner.

She was preceded in death by siblings, Ralph McCall, Grady McCall, Erby McCall Jr., Aileen King, Carrie Shelor and Beulah Hamilton.

Memorial services were held at Fred W. Symmes Chapel “Pretty Place” (4336 Camp Greenville Road, Cleveland, SC 29661) on Nov. 2.


SENECA — Janice Mayne O’Connor, 84, of Seneca, died Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Oconee Memorial Hospital.

Born Jan. 5, 1935, in Archbald, Pa., she was the daughter of her late parents, Russell and Isabel Mayne of Archbald, Pa.

She was predeceased by her late husband of 45 years, Eugene F. O’Connor of Seneca, and son, Jeffrey D. O’Connor of Charleston. Two brothers, Richard and David Mayne, also preceded her in death.

Janice and her family arrived in the Upstate in March 1975 and joined University Lutheran at that time. She worked in the environmental engineering department and, after 19 years of service, retired from Clemson University in 1995. She enjoyed gardening, bird watching, traveling, church activities, bowling and being a grandmother. Janice was a lifelong avid reader, expert seamstress and Clemson Tigers fan.

Surviving are a sister, Roberta Culver of Potsdam, N.Y.; three daughters and two sons-in-law, Linda O’Connor of Altadena, Calif., Diane and Mike Logan of Seneca and Karen and Greg Arburn of Marion, Ohio; three sons and three daughters-in-law, Kevin and Shirin O’Connor of Sugar Land, Texas, Brian and Dilce O’Connor of Haymarket, Va., and Glen and Taffi O’Connor of Clinton. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be conducted at University Lutheran Church on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at 1 p.m. by Pastor Jon Heiliger. The family will receive friends in the church fellowship hall after the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Janice O’Connor to Wounded Warriors, P.O. Box 27232, Greenville, SC 29616 ( or to University Lutheran Memorial Fund, 111 Sloan St., Clemson, SC 29631.


PICKENS — Edna Mae Pilgrim Trotter, 79, widow of William A. “Bill” Trotter, went home to be with her Lord on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

Mrs. Trotter was born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late Cleo and Velma Stewart Pilgrim. She was retired from the purchasing department of Ryobi in Pickens and she was a member of East Pickens Baptist Church. Mrs. Trotter loved her Lord and loved to garden both flowers and vegetables.

Survivors include her daughter, Sherry Burrell (Scott) of Pickens and a brother, Joe Pilgrim (Linda) of Six Mile.

Funeral services were held on Nov. 4 at Dillard Funeral Home. Burial followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

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

Memorials may be made to Hospice of The Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621 or to East Pickens Baptist Church Senior Group, 2244 Gentry Memorial Highway, Pickens, SC 29671.


EASLEY — Ethel Cox Cassell, 92, of Easley, wife of the late Harold Houston Cassell, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Born on Jan. 6, 1927, in Pickens, she was a daughter of the late Robert Lawrence Cox and Dessie Yates Cox.

Mrs. Cassell was a homemaker and member of United Wesleyan Church. She loved spending time with her family, cooking, listening to gospel music, reading her Bible and devotions and traveling.

Surviving are her children, Edie Cassell McGaha (Roger) of Orange Park, Fla., Phyllis Cassell Venable (Joe) of Easley, Kathy Cassell Phelps (Frank) of Easley and Scott Houston Cassell (Lisa) of Pickens; grandchildren, Melissa Rorabaugh (Tub), Wendy Wilson (Kenny), Eric Venable (Angie), Heather Suttles (Eric), Christi Turner (Benji), Charlie Phelps (Gabby), Brittney Cassell and Houston Cassell (Catherine); 13 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Jessie Mae Meece of Easley; and a brother, William Cox of Easley.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by a daughter and son-in-law, Betty Cassell Stewart (John); a granddaughter, Karen Cassell; four brothers; and a sister.

Funeral services were held on Oct. 31 at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown. Burial was held at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pickens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Palladium Hospice, 10 Enterprise Blvd., Suite 202, Greenville, SC 29615 or Bags of Blessings with United Wesleyan Church, 738 Rice Road, Easley, SC 29640.

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


LIBERTY — Jack Clinton Posey, 89, of 104 Posey Hill Road, died on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at his residence.

Born in Liberty, he was the widower of Hilda Mae James Posey and a son of the late Leo and Lou Ella Wilson Posey. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Mr. Posey was retired from Greenwood Mills and was a longtime member of Ruhamah Baptist Church. He loved Clemson football and for many years, he and his wife had raised and shown AKC-registered Cocker Spaniels.

Surviving are a daughter, Judy King and her husband Randal of Liberty; a grandson, Michael King of Liberty; a granddaughter, Melanie Samples and her husband Chase of Greenville; five great-grandchildren, Canaan King, Hendrix King, Cade Samples, Ezra Samples and Avery Samples; many nieces and nephews; and a very special friend, Florence Gillespie.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Jessie Melton; and four brothers, Ernest, Duke, Calvin and Ralph Posey.

The family would like to express their gratitude to very special nieces and nephews, Shirley and Bobby Carver and Wendell and Nancy Melton. They would also like to offer a special thanks to Interim Hospice and Home Care Assistance for the wonderful care that was provided to Mr. Posey.

Graveside services to honor the life of Mr. Posey were held on Nov. 2 at Westview Cemetery in Liberty.

Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to the Pickens County Humane Society, P.O. Box 83, Liberty, SC 29657, or the American Cancer Society by visiting

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


GREENVILLE — Jessica Lynn Harris, 37, wife of Travis Harris, passed from this life on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019.

Born in Greenville County, she was a daughter of Mary Jane Galloway Moody and the late James Larry Murphy. Jessica was a member of Open Praise Fellowship Holiness Church in Easley and loved her family and her dog, Bella.

Survivors include her mother, Janie Moody of Easley; her husband, Travis Harris of Greenville; a stepdaughter, Lily Harris; a brother, Buck Galloway; a sister, Jennifer (Barry) Griffin; three nieces, Payton, Chelsea and Annabelle; two nephews, Kole and Jasper; six aunts; three uncles; father-in-law, Randall Harris; mother-in-law, Belinda Harris; and a sister-in-law, Kelli Harris.

Jessica was predeceased by her father, “Chub” Murphy; a daughter, Jasmine Hope Harris; and grandparents, Fannie Mae and Sonny Murphy and Harold and Mary Galloway.

A memorial service was held on Nov. 2 in the chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home.

Mountain View Funeral Home is serving the Harris family.


EASLEY — Mrs. Patricia Mae Seifert Sawasky, 68, wife of John David Sawasky, passed away on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019.

Born in Miami, Fla., a daughter of the late John Joseph Seifert and the late Marabee Jeanne Brierton Seifert, Mrs. Sawasky graduated from Missouri Southern State College, where she received her master’s degree in sociology and was a homemaker. She was of the Jehovah Witness faith.

Surviving, in addition to her husband, are three daughters, Angela Calame (Ian Calame) of Madison, Wis., Audrey Khairghdam (Howard Jones) of Janesville, Wis., and Joni Wait of Fountain Inn; a son, David John Sawasky of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.; a sister, Mary Susan Fellows of Easley; nine grandchildren, Andrew Aslam, Lillian Clark, Brayden Jones, Adrianna Calame, Owen Calame, J.D. Sawasky, Scott Dominowski, Michael Nelson and Megan Wait; and two great-grandchildren, Carlie and Taylor Striebich. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Sawasky was predeceased by a brother, John Patrick Seifert.

Private memorial services will be held at her home at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Patricia to NAMI, “National Alliance of Mental Illness”, 2320 E. North St., Greenville, SC 29607, or by visiting their website at

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


NORRIS — Walter Furman Norris Jr., 77, of 148 Melton Road, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, at Richard Campbell Veterans Nursing Home.

Born in Anderson, he was a son of the late Walter Furman Norris Sr. and Martha Lee Smith Norris.

Mr. Norris was a veteran of the United States Army and the United States Navy. He was retired from Greenville Memorial Hospital and attended St. Andrews Catholic Church. During his free time, he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Surviving are his wife, Edna Kennemore Norris of the home; three sons, Brian Norris, Paul Norris and Marlin Norris (Jennifer); five grandchildren, Matt Holcombe, Kenny Norris, Karly Norris, Nathan Norris and Aden Norris; and two great-grandchildren, Jared and Jonathan Holcombe.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sherri Denise Norris, a sister, Jennie Lee Kelley; and a grandson, B.J. Holcombe.

Funeral services to honor the life of Mr. Norris were conducted on Nov. 3 in the Liberty Mortuary chapel. Burial was held at Memory Gardens.

The family will be at the home. Condolences may be left for the family by visiting Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.


EASLEY — Viola Willis Talley, 86, born Sept. 9, 1933, went to be with her Lord on Oct. 31, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, she was the daughter of the late Lenhardt Willis and Dessie Nations Willis and wife of the late Jonah B. Talley.

Viola was proud of her family and loved working in her yard. She loved her church, Jones Avenue Baptist Church, where she had been a member since 1965. She was a member of the Golden Circle Sunday School Class and member of Widows of Faith. She enjoyed cooking for family and was known for her fried chicken and banana pudding.

Viola leaves behind her children, Michael Talley (Jan) of Liberty, Judy Dalton (Ronnie) of Easley and Kathy Mazzoli (Jeff) of Easley; a sister, Louellen George (Billy) of Greenville; brothers, L.C. “Bud” Willis (Beth) of Williamston and Jim Willis of Greenville; and several grandchildren, Matt Talley, Misty Ross (Alan), Jodie Posey (Ricky), Joey Kelley (Kim), Nikki Stone, Mitch Talley (Bridget), Jennifer Talley and Lyncoln Henderson. She also leaves behind 16 precious and loving great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Talley was predeceased by brothers, W.R. Willis, David “Pete” Willis and Leroy Willis; and one sister, Violet Powell.

A service was held at Jones Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 3. Interment followed at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Easley.

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the Talley family.

Online condolences may be sent to


PICKENS — Jim Simms, 69, husband of Linda Collins Simms, passed from this life Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Jim was born in Transylvania, N.C., a son of the late David Lee and Ethel Mae Blythe Simms. He was known to fish some, but most of all Jim loved hunting.

Survivors include his wife of more than 45 years, Linda Collins Simms of the home; a daughter, Jessica Diane Andrews (Bubba); two sons, Lesley Allen Simms Calhoun (Steve) and James “Wade” Simms; four grandchildren, Patrick Ryan Simms, Cameron Alexander Simms, Robin Ethan Andrews, III and Haley Christine Andrews; and a sister, Carolyn Fredrick.

Jim was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Margaret Ann Simms.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Mountain View Funeral Home is assisting the Simms family.


LIBERTY — George John Belan III, 61, of Liberty, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.

Born in Fort Eustis, Va., he was a son of Mary Ellen Witt Ross and the late George John Belan Jr.

Mr. Belan served in the United States Air Force following his graduation from high school. He was the owner/operator of Belan Pest Control. He was very humble, generous and kind. He loved spending time with his family, helping others and being involved with the community and Liberty First Baptist Church, where he was a member.

Surviving, in addition to his mother, are his wife, Angela Belan; two daughters, Tiffany Belan (James) of Dewey, Ill., and Mandy Holliday (Ryker) of Easley; two sons, Devin and Daniel Belan, both of the home; three sisters, Rosemary Spoljarick (Jeff) of North Huntington, Pa., Anna Traynham (Kyle) of Travelers Rest and Cathy Hawkins (Randy) of Travelers Rest; a grandson, Madyx Faulkner of Dewey, Ill.; his mother-in-law, Myra Abraham (Dick) of Anderson; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services to celebrate the life of Mr. Belan will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Liberty First Baptist Church. Burial will be at Liberty Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Liberty First Baptist Church Preschool, P.O. Box 207, Liberty SC 29657, or Liberty Recreation Department, Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 716, Liberty SC 29657.

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


NEWBERRY — Thomas Franklin Trammell Jr., 74, died on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at Prisma Health Richland Heart Hospital.

Born on Sept. 6, 1945, in Pickens County, he was the son of the late Thomas F. Trammell, Sr. and Pearly Gillespie Trammell. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and a retired textile employee. He attended Park Road Baptist Church and Freedom Baptist Church, where he participated in the worship services as a pianist. He was an avid fan of the Clemson Tigers, Liberty Red Devils and Newberry Bulldogs. Mr. Trammell had a great passion for fishing and watching motor sport races.

Mr. Trammell is survived by his wife, Brenda Hendricks Trammell; a son, Bradley Franklin Trammell of Atlanta, Ga.; a daughter, Beranda April Trammell of Newberry; sisters, Lucille (Gary) Foster of Easley, and Maebell Hendricks and Barbara (Duffy) Elrod, both of Pickens; grandchildren, Ebony Ellis and Alexus Ellis; and a great-granddaughter, Nevaeh Ellis.

He was predeceased by a granddaughter, Amber Ellis, and his feline companion, Beanie Bear Trammell.

Funeral services were held on Nov. 5 at the McSwain-Evans Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.


LIBERTY — Mr. Donnie Carl Hayes Sr., 54, passed away Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, a son of Carl Randy Hayes (Kathy) of Liberty and the late Mary Elizabeth Moore Hayes, Mr. Hayes was employed with International Textile Group and was of the Baptist faith. He was a U.S. Army veteran.

Surviving, in addition to his father, are two sons, Donnie Carl Hayes, Jr. and Chad Winford Hayes, both of Easley; four brothers, Tommy Hayes (Jeannine) of Greenville, Matt Riddle (Shelly) of Pickens, Mark Hayes (Elizabeth) of Piedmont and Nick Gaddis (Cindy) of Easley; one sister, Tiffany Lusk (Ron) of Liberty; and three grandchildren, Paxton, Zayden and Layla Hayes.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial at a later date.

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


LIBERTY — Claude C. Whitmire, 86, husband of Mildred Holcombe Whitmire, went to be with his Savior on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, Mr. Whitmire was the son of the late Clyde C. Whitmire and Essie Porter Whitmire. He was retired as a self-employed construction worker. Mr. Whitmire was a member of Roanoke Baptist Church, where he was a former deacon and Sunday School teacher.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 68 years, are a daughter, Vickie (Roger) Stephens of Abbeville; five sons, Joe (Carol) Whitmire of Pumpkintown, Jimmy (Emily) Whitmire of Pickens, Steve (Debbie) Whitmire of Liberty, Donnie (Doris) Whitmire of Sunset and Wally (Marisol) Whitmire of Alabama; a son-in-law, Mark Henning of Liberty; 18 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren, 17 great-great-grandchildren; five sisters; and one brother.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Debbie Henning, one granddaughter, one great-grandson, two sisters and four brothers.

A service will be held at the Dillard Funeral Home chapel on Friday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Interment will follow the Friday service at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pickens.

Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to Roanoke Community Center, 400 Roanoke Road, Liberty, SC 29657.

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the Whitmire family.

Online condolences may be sent to


EASLEY — Mr. Reinhold A. Gassmann, 85, husband of the late Deanna G. Gassmann, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of the late Frederick William Gassmann and Esta Carol Schwartz Gassmann.

Mr. Gassmann graduated from Pennington High School in New Jersey in 1952 and lived an extraordinary life. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served as a traffic controller from 1952-1972, retiring in 1972. Following retirement from the Air Force, he began working for the Greenville Post Office from 1975-1992, retiring in 1992. He was a former chaplain for the Disabled American Veterans and was a founding member of St. Matthias Lutheran Church in Easley.

Surviving are his children, Carol Owens (Clarence), William Gassmann (Ann) and Karl Gassmann, all of Dacusville, and Dianna Morris (Butch) of Pickens; grandchildren, Christy Jacks (Dan), Rikki Owens, Joey Owens (Sarah), Erik Gassmann, Madi Gassmann and Koryo Gassmann, Noah Morris and Tori Morris; and great-grandchildren, Annsley, Adison, Will, Nate and Ava.

A graveside service was held on Nov. 3 at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Easley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, 6437 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209 or, or St. Matthias Lutheran Church, 501 Powdersville Road, Easley, SC 29642 or Pickens County Meals on Wheels, 349 Edgemont Ave., Liberty, SC 29657 or

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


EASLEY — Monty E. Wilson, 63, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

Born in Easley, a son of the late Elmer Wilson and the late Gladys Sumter Wilson, he was a loving father, brother and grandfather who enjoyed swinging in his swing, riding around in the country and listening to music. He was retired from Alice Manufacturing after many years of service.

Surviving are daughters, Tasha Golden (Jeff) and Tonya Wilson (Zach Phillips), both of Greenville; a brother, Dan Wilson (Elaine) of Easley; and grandchildren, Israel Moore, Kaleb Moore and Nate Golden.

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


SIX MILE — Albert Douglas Gilstrap Sr., 76, of Six Mile, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.

Born on Jan. 30, 1943, in Fayette, Ala., he was the son of the late J.C. Gilstrap and Alma Farley Gilstrap. Albert loved witnessing to everyone about Jesus. He was also a gun enthusiast and a member of Fairview Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by two children, Albert Gilstrap Jr. and Sandra Renee Gilstrap, and one brother, James “Butch” Gilstrap.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Geneva Patterson Gilstrap; one son, Donald Jackson; two daughters, Sheila Renee Gilstrap and LaShay Nichole Gilstrap; one brother, Larry Gilstrap; one sister, Annie Ruth Mathis; and many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A gathering of friends and memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, from 4-6 p.m. at Fairview Baptist Church. The family would like to give a special thank you to all Six Mile first responders for their care.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to Fairview Baptist Church and/or Six Mile Fire Department, 106 S. Main St., Six Mile, SC 29682 Online condolences may be expressed to the family at