Courier Obituaries 12-11-19

Easley philanthropist and successful entrepreneur Ellenbug passes away


EASLEY — Ralph McClellan Ellenburg Sr., 97, passed away surrounded by family on Nov. 29, 2019.

He was born Feb. 2, 1922, to Ernest McClellan Ellenburg and Lillie Stewart Ellenburg. Ralph was married to Helen Patterson of Pickens for 70 years.

Ralph was a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur having started and operated several businesses in the community. In his early 20s, he owned and operated Easley Ice Cream Parlor, Ellenburg Jewelry and Ellenburg Amusement Company. He owned and operated Tri-City Lanes Bowling Center, but his crowning achievement was Ellenburg Asphalt Company. His company resurfaced Charlotte Motor Speedway. Ralph developed a method still used today for paving the high banks of a racetrack. Ralph was paving the roadways and building the railroad spur for a manufacturing park development outside Selma, Ala., when Dr. King’s Freedom March passed his jobsite. Preceding the years before retirement, Ralph partnered in real estate development along the South Carolina coast and started the family rental business in Easley.

Ralph encouraged businesses to locate in Easley and supported new entrepreneurs with his advice and, more often than not, financially as well. He was dedicated to his community. He was a tireless supporter of and advocate for the Rocky Bottom Camp of the Blind, serving as president of their advisory board and not only leading their fundraising campaigns for many years, but also could be seen working there regularly with his front-end loader or backhoe or fixing an appliance. He co-founded and served on the board of trustees of Community Bank, was president of the Easley Jaycees and held numerous other leadership positions in the community. Ralph was a lifelong member of Easley First Baptist Church. He spearheaded the fundraising to build Easley Baptist Hospital. He donated the stadium sound system for Easley High School and did play-by-play announcements for their AA football team. He loved his hometown and assisted his brother, Mayor Charles Ellenburg, in revitalizing downtown Easley and building Old Market Square.

Ralph had an ability to fix almost anything and enjoyed working in his shop in the evenings and on the weekends. He was known to his family and friends as “the fix-it man” and lovingly and respectfully called “Mr. E.” He enjoyed many years of horsemanship on his Cedar Rail Ranch, and also enjoyed traveling with his wife, Helen, and his grandchildren in his motor home throughout the U.S. (including Alaska), Canada and Mexico.

Ralph was predeceased by brothers Will Earl, Roy, Charles, Jack, Jimmie, Lafoy and Sherwood; sister, Mary Lou; wife, Helen; and daughter, Hollace Kay Hamid.

Surviving are his children, Ralph McClellan Ellenburg Jr. of Easley and daughters Heller Gwen Ellenburg of Liberty and Heather Marie McConnell of Black Mountain, N.C.; and his grandchildren, Tariq Gibran Hamid, Tara (T.K.) Redick, Jennifer Welborn, Tyson McConnell and Regina Logan. Ralph also leaves behind nine great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. A memorial service to celebrate his life was held on Dec. 7 at Easley First Baptist Church, with committal at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind at 119 S. Kilbourne Road, Columbia, SC 29205.

Dillard Funeral Home in Pickens is assisting the Ellenburg family in making arrangements.


EASLEY — Reba Estes Hill, beloved widow of the late Benjamin Knight Hill, died on Nov. 16, 2019, in Manassas, Va., at the age of 100 years.

She was born in Haralson County, Ga., the daughter of the late James Edwin and Hettie Holland Estes.

Some of Mrs. Hill’s working history includes employment by Wachovia Bank and Trust Co. in Charlotte, N.C. and employment by South Carolina National Bank in Greenville.

Mrs. Hill and her family were members of Easley United Methodist Church in Easley, where she was a member of the Wesley Sunday School Class. Mrs. Hill gave freely of herself and taught in the childrens’ and youth departments. She sang in the Chancel Choir for many years. She also served on the Council of Ministries.

She graciously served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and worked in the Free Medical Clinic in Easley.

Left to honor and remember this loving woman are her three daughters, Ramona McLeland (Bruce), Susan Hill (Lisa Gosnell) and Vickie McCall (Marty); and grandchildren, Allan McLeland, Andrew McLeland (Julie), Chris McLeland (Nicole Bouquet), Ben McCall (Abby) and Peter McCall (Tiffany). Also missing her are the great-grandchildren Ben, Jacob, Maddi, Harris and Haley McLeland and Jacob Brubacher.


EASLEY — Johnny V Hester, 80, passed away on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at Saint Francis Hospital of Greenville.

Born on Sept. 1, 1939, in Oconee County, he was the son of the late Clayton and Sally Hester, the husband of Bobbie Jean Hester, and the brother of Barbara Ann Arnold and Louise Granger.

He also was also predeceased by his three brothers, LD, Marcus and Charlie, and his one sister, Nelly.

Johnny worked as a technician at the Alice plants of Easley and enjoyed bee keeping, hunting and spending time with his family. He was a member of Smith Chapel in Liberty.

He is survived by his three sons, Clay and Glenda Hester, Matt and Gina Hester and Todd and Donna Hester; and his three daughters, Lynn and Bobby Shope, Tracy Todd and Paula and Steven Stancell. Johnny was very blessed and had 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

A visitation was held on Dec. 5 at Dillard Funeral Home in Pickens.

Donations will be accepted at the Pickens County Museum and the Hagood Mill of Pickens. A private ceremony will be held for the family at a later date.


PICKENS — William D. Rowland, 64, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Pickens.

Born in Pickens, he was the son of the late Woodrow Rowland and Katherine Grimes.

William loved hunting, fishing, camping and anything related to the outdoors. He also proudly served his country in the United States Army.

Survivors include sons, Will David Rowland and Jeffrey Burns; and a brother, Patrick Wilson Rowland.

He was predeceased by daughters, Catherine Elizabeth Rowland and Angela Marie Rowland; and a brother, Wade Lee Rowland.

A graveside service will be held at Dolly Cooper Veterans Cemetery on Friday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. with military honors. The family wishes to thank the Pickens County Veterans Affairs office for all their support and assistance.

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the family.


EASLEY — Bobby A. Rogers Sr., 87, husband of Louise Rogers, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 4, 2019, at his home.

Born in Liberty, he was a son of the late Jack and Elizabeth Gantt Rogers. Bobby was a Korean War veteran and was also a technician in the textile industry for more than five decades. He enjoyed bird watching and western movies and was a Clemson football fan.

Surviving are his wife; sons, Bobby Allen Rogers Jr. (Rita) and Timothy Glenn Rogers, both of Liberty; daughters, Kay Rogers (Rick) of Pelzer, Regina Carter (Keith) of Gray Court and Elizabeth Rogers of North Carolina; sisters, Jackie Roper of Greenville and Linda Patterson of Pickens; 12 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter, Cynthia Rogers; brothers, Kenneth “Gerald” Rogers, Jack Desmond Rogers, James “Peanut” Rogers and Larry “Joe” Rogers; a sister, Patricia Gwinn; and a grandson, Trent Rogers.

A graveside service was held on Dec. 6 at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

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


EASLEY — Clarence “Shorty” Tompkins, 85, husband of Earlene Rhodes Tompkins, passed away Dec. 3, 2019.

Born in Pickens County, he was a son of the late Melvin and Bessie Nicholson Tompkins. He was a self-employed painter. He was an avid bird watcher, NASCAR enthusiast and loved listening to bluegrass and Christian gospel music.

In addition to his wife of 49 years, he is survived by his son, Shannon Kyle Tompkins of Charlotte, N.C.; daughter, Melynda “Joy” Crumpton (Ricky) of Pickens; and brother, James Tompkins of Easley.

He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, John Tompkins; and sisters, Margaret Belk and Eloise Burns.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Shorty was held on Dec. 7 at Easley Church of God.

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


EASLEY — Mr. John Henry Boyd, 73, husband of Saralee Armstrong Boyd, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

Born in Ypsilanti, Mich., a son of the late John David Boyd and the late Velva Esther McDaniel Boyd, Mr. Boyd retired from Owens-Illinois with 47 years of service and was a member of Easley First Baptist Church. He was a member of the American Legion Post 52 and a U.S. Army National Guard veteran.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 52 years, are two sons, John David Boyd (Kara) of Greenville and Michael Andrew Boyd of Easley; a brother, James Lee Boyd (Terri) of Abingdon, Md.; and three grandchildren, Hannah Marie Boyd, Gabriel Noquiales Boyd and Ian Gryphon Boyd.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Boyd was predeceased by two sisters.

Memorial services were held on Dec. 7 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, with Rev. Dr. John Adams officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Easley First Baptist Church, 300 E. 1st Ave., Easley, SC 29640.

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


SIX MILE — Glenda Gail Davis Young, 56, of 843 Love and Care Road, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at her home.

Born in LaBelle, Fla., she was a daughter of Norman Lancaster and the late Irene Davis.

She enjoyed crafting, cooking and spending time with her family. Glenda was a member of Six Mile Baptist Church.

Surviving, in addition to her father, are her husband, Ricky Young of the home; a daughter, Chandler Young of Travelers Rest; a son, Ryan Young of Six Mile; a sister, Mitzy Grey of Mississippi; a brother, Shawn Davis and his wife Megan of Kennesaw, Ga.; and two special nieces, Maddy and Abigail Davis.

Memorial services to honor her life will be held at the home, and will be announced at a later date.

Online condolences may be left for the family by visiting Liberty Mortuary and Cremation Services is handling arrangements.


EASLEY — Fay Elliott Clark, 88, of Edinburgh Lane, loving wife of the late William B. Clark, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.

Born in Oconee County, she was a daughter of the late Raymond C. Elliott and Annie Lenora Norris Elliott.

Mrs. Clark was a graduate of Berea High School, Cecil’s Business College and Greenville Technical College. She was retired as an office manager with J.C. Penney after 27 years of dedicated service. She was past president of the Dacusville Lioness Club and the Dacusville Lions Club. She was also a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Berea.

She is lovingly remembered by her friends and family as a giving, generous person who loved others and enjoyed making them smile. She enjoyed traveling internationally and visiting the beach to soak up the sun and collect seashells.

Surviving are her sons, Michael William Clark of Augusta (daughter-in-law Rebecca of Mobile, Ala.), John Elliott Clark (Martha) of Easley; daughter, Linda Faye Clark of Easley; grandchildren, Ben Clark, Brandon Clark, Jason Clark, Jeff Clark and Jennifer Clark; and great-grandchildren, Celeste, Chase, Olivia, Bella, Owen, Cooper, Matthew, Amber, Brady, Will, Jeremiah and Jordan.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by a grandson, William Jack Clark; brothers, Lewis Walter Elliott, Norris Elliott and Raymond C Elliott Jr.; and her sisters, Lula Mae Hester, Jean Bishop and Mattie Owens.

A graveside service was held on Dec. 7 at Graceland Cemetery on White Horse Road.

Memorials may be made to the Building Fund of Bethel Baptist Church at 403 Sulphur Springs Road, Greenville, SC 29617.

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


SIX MILE — Betty Jean Batson Masters, affectionately known to most as Mema, stepped into the realm of glory out of this earthly world where she was welcomed home by her heavenly Father with arms opened wide on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at the age of 85.

Mema was a member of Gap Hill Church of God. There, she served in various ministries. One such ministry was the bereavement committee, where she worked with her army of friends to cook and serve meals to countless families in the community as they were grieving the loss of loved ones.

Another way she gave back to others was through her love for children. She taught Sunday School for many years and devoted her time and home to babysit and helped fashion the lives of young ones while their parents were at work.

Mema was a master seamstress. She utilized those skills by making prayer pillows and blankets for those facing illnesses and/or surgeries. The receivers of these gifts knew that Mema covered these items in prayer with every stitch. One of these selfless sewing projects was her dedication to making gowns and buying pajamas for residents at the local nursing home annually for Christmas.

Mema was a powerful prayer warrior. In her selfless service and love of others, she shared her faith with all and prayed fervently for anyone in need of prayer.

She had an unending passion and love for her family. Betty is survived by her husband of 66 years, Charles; children, Rick (Frankie) Masters, Pam (Tim) Putnam and Phillip (Betsy) Masters, all of Six Mile; grandchildren, Ami (Timmy) Davidson, Andrea (Tray) Brown, Allison (Brad) Mickler, Sara (Tanner) Rhinehart, Chad (Megan) Putnam, Brett (Jena) Putnam, Melissa (Scottie) Hager, William Masters and Noah Masters; and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Hazel Ellenburg of Travelers Rest.

Betty was predeceased by her parents, Jesse Dean Batson and Ollie Lee Wilson Batson; brothers, Allen Batson and Butler Batson; and sisters, Minnie Lee “Cricket” Powell and Jane Carson. The family would like to thank Manna Health and Rehab in Pickens for their outstanding care and love.

They would also like to thank family friend Sharon Mize, who took great care of Mema daily.

A funeral service was held on Dec. 7 at Gap Hill Church of God. Burial followed at Gap Hill Baptist Church cemetery.

In addition to flowers, the family would love to keep the pajama tradition alive by asking you to donate a gown or pair of pajamas to Manna Health and Rehab in Pickens in her honor. There will be a box at the front door available for drop-off purposes, as well as a place to donate at the church during the service.

Mountain View Funeral Home is serving the Masters Family.


PICKENS — Ada Lee Perry Barker, 72, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.

She is survived by her children, Cindy Burgess of Pickens and Brandon Owens of Pickens; grandchildren, Brandy Owens and Rebecca Owens; great-grandchildren, Lee and Nathan; stepgreat-grandchildren, Robert and Herschel Fuller and Issy Thomas; brothers, Ralph (Betty) Perry and Rev. Danny (Deborah) Perry; sisters, Annie Medlin, Martha Hendrix and Jean (Jim) Nixon.

She was predeceased by her parents, John B Perry and Ethel Raines Perry; and a brother, Robert Perry.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Tanglewood Pentecostal Holiness Church in Pumpkintown. Mountain View Funeral Home is serving the Barker family.


SUNSET — Ruhl Edward “Ed” Cantrell, 65, of Sunset, passed away on Sunday Dec. 8, 2019.

Born in Pickens County on Feb. 1, 1954, he was the son of the late William Jackson Cantrell and Lillie Murphy Cantrell Alexander. Ed will be remembered as a man who enjoyed solitude and gave “professional advice” and nicknames. He was always willing to share his opinion and gave every family member a nickname. Upon his recent retirement with Schneider Electrical, Ed enjoyed farming, tending to chickens and hunting. He had a love for restoring classic cars, such as Camaros, Pintos and Novas. He was of the Baptist faith.

Surviving are his two daughters, Julie Stathos (Jimmy) and Amy Sweet (Chad); four sisters, Linda McCall (Jim), Faye Patton (Bill), Doris Grant and Shirley Allen (Ken); four grandchildren, Pete Stathos, Litsa Stathos, Nicholas Sweet and Caroline Sweet, and many loving nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. in the mausoleum chapel at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

The family will be at their respective homes.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to The Dream Center, 111 Hillcrest Drive, Easley, SC 29640.

Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the Cantrell family in making arrangements.


LIBERTY — Morris W. Hendricks, 83, of 913 N. Old Pendleton Road, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at his home.

Born in Six Mile, he was a son of the late Lem and Rhoda Gray Hendricks. He was retired from JP Stevens.

Surviving are his wife, Josie Reed Hendricks of the home; a son, Robert Hendricks of the home; a sister, Frances Hickey of Pickens; a brother, Edrew Hendricks of Seneca; and two grandchildren, Taylor Bagwell and William Hendricks.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Michael Hendricks; five sisters, Jessie Mae Hayes, Bessie Mae Stubblefield, Juanita Higgins, Nellie Henricks and Lois Hendricks; and two brothers, Cleo and Bill Hendricks.

Memorial services to honor the life of Mr. Hendricks will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Liberty Mortuary chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Private burial will be at Westview Cemetery at a later date.

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


EASLEY — Alvin Julius Mahaffey, 88, husband of Dorothy “Dot” Vaughn Mahaffey, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, at McCall Hospice House in Simpsonville.

Born in Greenville County, a son of the late Earl Perry Mahaffey and the late Flora Painter Mahaffey, Mr. Mahaffey was a graduate of Welcome High School, retired from Liberty Life Insurance with 31 years of service and after retirement worked with his son, Bo, for 20 years. He was a servant of God and faithful member of Rock Springs Baptist Church, where he served as deacon and church treasurer for 43 years.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 69 years, are his sons, Dale Mahaffey (Debbie), Dan Mahaffey, Bo Mahaffey (April) and Scott Mahaffey, all of Easley; a brother, James P. Mahaffey (Nora Dean) of Atlanta, Ga.; a sister, Norah Gunderson of Fountain Inn; three grandchildren, Danielle Mahaffey Graham (Lucas), Alexis Mahaffey and A.J. Mahaffey; numerous special nieces and nephews; and special sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. In addition to his parents, Mr. Mahaffey was predeceased by a brother, Lewis Mahaffey; and a sister, Grace Walters.

Funeral services were held on Dec. 8 at Rock Springs Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. Dr. David Gallamore. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Rock Springs Baptist Church Building Fund, 201 Rock Springs Road, Easley, SC 29642; or to Open Arms Hospice, 1836 W. Georgia Road, Simpsonville, SC 29680.

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


LIBERTY — Ida Mae Neeley Miller, 72, of 121 Greenbriar Drive, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, at her residence, surrounded by her loving family.

Born in Liberty, she was the wife of Richard Michael Miller and the daughter of the late Jimmy Lee and Inez Faulkner Neeley. She was the retired owner/operator of Ida’s Styling Salon. She enjoyed many things in life, including flowers, animals, Volkswagen Beetles and listening to Elvis Presley. She also loved gospel music and reading her Bible. She was a member of Enon Baptist Church.

Surviving, in addition to her husband, are two sons, Scott Bowen of Six Mile and Anthony Bowen (Cindy) of Liberty; two stepdaughters, Leslie Thompson (Byran) of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Venessa Garza (Rocky) of San Antonio, Texas; a stepson, Shane Miller of Six Mile; a brother, Franklin Neeley (Violet) of Fountain Inn; 19 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services to honor the life of Mrs. Miller were held on Dec. 7 in the Liberty Mortuary chapel. Entombment followed at Liberty Memorial Gardens.

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