Courier Obituaries 2-16-22


EASLEY — John Allen Mathis entered into his eternal home in Heaven on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022.

He was the son of the late John “JB” Boyd Mathis and Marie Phipps Mathis.

Cars were his passion. He was a Ford man through and through. He was always working on cars.

He is survived by three sisters, Sheila Galbreath, Becky Mathis and Gayle Looper (Tommy); one brother, Scott Mathis; two special cousins that were like brothers to him, Eric Owen (Sylvia) and Tony Owen (Sherri); and one very special niece, Amanda Mathis. The love of his life Donna Topper will miss him dearly. Allen was loved by his children, Travis Mathis and Candy Pitts (Teddy). His grandchildren, Christian, Tara, John “JT”, Abby and Sammy were the lights of his life.

In addition to his parents, Allen was preceded in death by three sisters, Lynne Chastain, Elizabeth “Liz” Vaughn and Marcie Owens; and two brothers, Stanley Mathis and Jeff Mathis.

Services were held at Smith Grove Baptist Church, 1220 Smith Grove Road, Liberty, SC 29657 on Feb. 12.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his honor be made to Tracy and Sunshine Gantt Ministries at or mail donations to P.O. Box 223, Easley, SC 29641.

Palmetto Cremation Service is assisting the family with arrangements.



EASLEY — Marjorie West Hamilton, 95, wife of the late Ernest Lewis Hamilton, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Born in Oconee County, she was a daughter of the late Mabel Duckworth and Wight W. West Sr.

Mrs. Hamilton was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Easley, where she taught in the child development center and was a devout member of the prayer team. She loved everyone in her life and everyone who came into her life.

Mrs. Hamilton is survived by three daughters, Rebecca Jones (Warren) of Durham, N.C., Harriette Forry (Fred) of Yorktown, Va., and Claire Hamilton of Greenville; three grandchildren, Ashley Pearson (Jason), Annah Elizabeth Freeman (Andrew) and Allison Karkani (George); two great-grandchildren, Avery Claire and Colton Joseph Pearson; a loving sister-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her loving husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Wight W. West Jr.; and sisters, Madolyn West, Annie Elizabeth Aiken and Genevieve West Hamilton.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 11 at the First Baptist Church of Easley. Burial followed at the Enon Baptist Church cemetery.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Retreat of Easley for their loving care of Mrs. Hamilton.

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

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



LIBERTY — Mrs. Pansey Overa Moore O’Shields, 89, passed away surrounded by her family in her home on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Mrs. O’Shields was born on March 11, 1932, in Liberty. She married her love, Hoy O’Shields, on Dec. 21, 1948. They shared a marriage that was filled with love and chaos from their four sons and daughter.

Overa, also known as “Nanny,” loved to spend time with her family and took care of everyone she met. While at home she always had a garden, some craft project, puzzle, playing video games with grandkids or loving on a pet. She never passed up an opportunity to “Go.” She would frequently visit places to see her family, such as the bowling alley, chasing hot air balloons, camping, fishing at the lake, going to the beach, some ball game — basically any place family and friends might be located. When able, she attended Cedar Rock Baptist Church in Easley.

Mrs. O’Shields was preceded in death by her husband, Hoy Z. O’Shields (Papa); one son, Charles J. O’Shields; one daughter-in-law, Mary J. O’Shields; one brother, Olin Moore; and one sister, Orthey Moore.

She is survived by her children, James “Mack” O’Shields (Jackie), Wayne O’Shields (Amber), Darlene Walden (Terry) and Jerry O’Shields; 10 grandchildren, Paul O’Shields (Marie), Gretchen Haskett (Nathan), Derrick O’Shields (Lisa), Jessica Clark (Eli), Jeremy Tutt (Misty), Jeremy O’Shields (Priscilla), Dylan O’Shields, Christina Burke (Matthew), Melissa Ruff (Matt) and Emily Wolf (David); 16 great-grandchildren, Matthew, Linsey, Raven, Hailey, Piper, Sullivan, Sawyer, Stephen, Landon, Isabella, Kira, Kylie, Kaamryn, Emma, Weston and Everly; and two great-great-grandchildren, Jasper and Natalie.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 11 in the chapel at Dillard Funeral Home.

Interment followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

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



SIX MILE — Mrs. Avanell Watson Powell, beloved wife of the late Waymon Wallace Powell, passed peacefully on Feb. 11, 2022.

Mrs. Powell was born in Pickens County to the late Clarence F. Watson and Mattie Mae Bolding Watson. She was a devoted member of Praters Creek Baptist Church. She enjoyed playing both the piano and organ and served in church music ministry for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Powell was a loving mother to her children, Mike Powell (Linda) and Angie Reid (Tim); she was a grandmother to three children; a great-grandmother to seven; and a sister to C. Edward Watson (Kathleen) and Doris Whitman (Rev. Boyce).

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Helen Garrett.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends from 1-1:45 p.m. and following the service on Friday at Dillard Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either Interim Hospice, 16 Hyland Road, Greenville, SC 29615; The Gideons International, 1000 S. Pendleton St., Easley, SC 29642; or to Easley Place Assisted Living, 706 Pelzer Highway, Easley, SC 29642.

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



SENECA — Genelle Nelson Donald, 73, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, at Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital.

Mountain View Funeral Home is serving the Donald family.



LIBERTY — Jimmy Brown, 69, passed away on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, surrounded by his family.

He was born on Oct. 11, 1952. He was born and raised in Liberty. Jimmy died after enduring many years of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Jimmy was the son of Irby R. Brown Jr. (90) and the late Betty Joan Brown.

Jimmy found pleasure in hard work and being busy for both himself and for others. He also enjoyed being with others, especially his family, being outdoors and going places. He had such a joy about him that he drew people to him. He never met a stranger. If you ever met Jimmy, you always had a friend.

Jimmy is survived by his wife, Sheryl D. Brown; two sons, Andy Brown (Christine) and Anthony Brown; one daughter, Jennifer Holden (Adam); abd three granddaughters, Julie Ann Holden, Madelyn Holden and Annarose Brown, who was the joy of his life even to the end. Other siblings include his sister, Linda Schroeder (Terry and children); his sister, Diane Rentz (Al and children); brother, Billy Brown (Thelma and children); brother, Bobby Brown; brother, Mark Brown and children; and sister, Margaret (R.C. and children).

Family will receive friends on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 1-2 p.m., at the Flat Rock Baptist Church sanctuary, with a funeral Service to follow at 2 p.m.. Burial will be at the Flat Rock Baptist Church cemetery.

Flowers and/or donations of your choice are accepted.

The family will be at 117 Owen Lane, Liberty, SC 29657

Mountain View Funeral Home is assisting the family of Jimmy Brown.



SENECA — Tonya Chernae Speed, 44, passed away on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

She was the daughter of the late James C. Speed and Martha Ann Speed.

Tonya is survived by her mother, Martha Ann Speed; daughter, Charity Poland and spouse, Caleb Poland, of Central; son, Derek Speed of Clemson; grandchild, Malakai Poland; sister, Stacy Speed-Pressley of Covington Ga.; and brother, Eric Speed and spouse, Susan Copeland-Speed, of Duncan; and long-term family friend and care taker, Eric Douglas.

Ms. Speed was preceded in death by her father.

A memorial service in honor of Tonya Speed was held on Feb. 15 at Mountain View Funeral Home in Seneca.

The family will be accepting flowers in lieu of memorials.

Mountain View Funerals and Cremations – Seneca Chapel is assisting the family of Tonya Speed. Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting


PICKENS — James Vernon Stephens, born March 1, 1942, passed away on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, at the age of 79, due to complications related to diabetes.

James was born and raised in Pickens and was a member of Bethany Church of God. He enjoyed playing music and was a talented musician and singer. In his younger years, he played country music with the “Town and Country Playboys,” playing various venues and opening shows for many well known country singers. He continued to play and sing country music and applied his gift of music to the church. James was known as the “Sausage Man” in his community, as people loved to get fresh sausage from him when available. He was also an avid fisherman, who loved spending time on the lake with family and friends on his pontoon.

James is survived by Patricia Stephens, his wife of 21 years; a sister, Carolyn Todd; a son and two daughters and their families of Pickens; two stepdaughters and their families of Cumming, Ga.; as well as family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Vester and Corrine Stephens; a son, Travis Stephens; and a sister, Rosey Sentell of Pickens.

Mr. Stephens’ wishes were to have a private memorial service with a burial at Gap Hill Baptist Church in Six Mile.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bethany Church of God, P.O. Box 323, Pickens, S.C. 29671 – Attn: Richard Simmons.

Mountain View Funeral Home is serving the Stephens family.





CLEMSON — Lawrence Curtis “Larry” Thomas, 90, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, at Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital.

Born June 3, 1931, he was the son of the late James Robert Thomas and Hattie May Jarboe Thomas.

Larry grew up in Lebanon, Ky., working on his father’s tobacco farm. For fun, he and his friends would repair broken horse buggies and race them until they were beyond repair.

He was employed with L&N Railroad in Louisville, Ky., where he attended night school at the University of Louisville and earned a B.S. in accounting. Upon his graduation, his first accounting job was with Sangamo Electric in Springfield, Ill., and he transferred with the company to Clemson in 1972. Larry was employed with several manufacturing plants during his career as an accountant, including Homelite, TRW and Danfoss.

Larry was a veteran of the United States Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church since 1972 and was active with the Knights of Columbus for many years.

Larry enjoyed square dancing weekly with his wife Betty as a member of the A-Squares in Anderson. Larry also thoroughly enjoyed his monthly dinners with his friends from the Accounting Association.

Larry is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Thomas; son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Heather Thomas of League City, Texas; daughters, Judy Thomas of Duncan and Jane Thomas of Matthews, N.C.; a grandson, Stephen Thomas and fiance Ashley Parshall of Oscoda, Mich.; one great-grandchild, Levi Thomas; and one brother, Earl Thomas of Jacksonville, Fla..

In addition to his parents, Mr. Thomas was preceded in death by three of his sons, Gary, Curtis and John Thomas; brothers, Bobby and Orville Thomas; and his sister, Geraldine Russell.

A memorial service was held on Feb. 11 in the sanctuary of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Clemson, with Father Dan McLellan officiating. Interment followed the service at Memory Gardens in Clemson.

The family is with their mother in Clemson. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Larry’s memory may be made to the St. Andrew Catholic Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 112, Clemson, SC 29633.

Mountain View Funerals and Cremation – Seneca Chapel is assisting the family of Mr. Larry Thomas.



PICKENS — Ms. Nancy Louise Petit Masters, 78, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, at Quillen Manor Assisted Living in Fountain Inn.

Nancy was born in Pickens on Dec. 5, 1943, to the late Arthur and Ira Gilstrap Petit. She was one of the most generous, caring people who had an infectious smile and an outgoing personality. She always enjoyed having fun and sharing laughter with her family and friends. A woman who truly never met a stranger, she went to work for Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pickens, where she became one of the faces of the cemetery and enveloped herself in the community as a family service counselor. In her free time, Nancy enjoyed cooking, canning food and showing off her “green thumb” in her gardens. She loved her Lord and Savior and was a prayer warrior. Nancy also loved her church, the Pickens Church of God, where she was a member.

Nancy is survived by her two children, Samuel J. Masters Jr. (Rebecca) of Raleigh, N.C., and Tracy M. Armstrong (Larry) of Lyman; five granddaughters, Kayla, Jamie, Marguerite, Sophia and Naomi Masters; and one sister, Shirley Petit Massey.

In addition to her parents, Nancy was preceded in death by six siblings, A.J. “Sonnie” Petit, Alberta Stephens, Dixie Nix, Robert Petit, Clannie Petit and Patricia McAlister.

Funeral services were conducted on Feb. 13 in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home, with her son-in-law, Rev. Larry Armstrong, and the Rev. Chris Swett officiating. The family greeted friends following the services in the chapel. Entombment was at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

The family will be at their respective homes.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews via

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



LIBERTY — Joyce L. Jurkovich, 76, died on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at St. Francis Hospital Downtown.

Born in Vallejo, Calif., she was a daughter of the late Lee Sanford and Ola Mae Brown Waller.

She enjoyed sewing and quilting during her free time.

Surviving are her husband of 21 years, Collin T. “Tom” Jurkovich of the home; a daughter, Debbie Phillips (Brian) of Aliquippa, Pa.; a stepson, Collin T. Jurkovich II of Frankenmuth, Mich.; seven grandchildren, Michael Rumble, Alexis Eaton, Pamela Eaton, Ashley Eaton, Harley Rumble, Derik Moon and Kiana Rumble; and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Rick Rumble; a daughter, Kimber Rumble; and a sister, June Gilbreath.

No services are planned, but the excerpt below will give Joyce’s feelings about her death.

“The day will come when my body lies upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment, the doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

“When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by using a machine, and don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called the Bed of Life. Cremate what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow. If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man.

“Give my sins to the devil and give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.”

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




EASLEY — LeRoy Caudell, 78, husband of Christine Tedder Caudell for 56 years, went to be with the Lord on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

Mr. Caudell was born in Porterdale, Ga., to the late James Cecil Caudell and Sarah Ann Corn Caudell. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. LeRoy loved people and sharing his faith in the Lord.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are a son, Robert Caudell and wife, Sara; two granddaughters, Mary Katherine and Alice Christine Caudell; two brothers, Tom Caudell and wife, Loretta, and Reid Caudell and wife, Helen.

He was predeceased by a son, Richard Caudell; three brothers; and one sister.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Greer Memorial Baptist Church, 911 S. 5th St., Easley, SC 29640.



EASLEY — Gladys Christine Spearman Locke, 64, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.

Born in Anderson County, a daughter of the late David “D.F.” Franklin Spearman and the late Hazel Lucille Sentell Spearman, Gladys retired from Alice Manufacturing Company, was a member of Landmark Baptist Church and when she was unable to attend church, she faithfully watched services online. She was devoted to her family, honorably taking care of her mother and helping watch over her grandsons while her daughter continued her education. Gladys enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, playing Rummy and working crossword puzzles. She will be missed dearly by all who loved and knew her.

Surviving are her daughter, Shannon A. Manley (Robert) of Easley; three brothers, Roy Spearman (Faye) of Simpsonville, Kenneth Spearman of Pickens and Terry Spearman (Linda) of Easley; and two grandchildren, Christopher and Chavis Aiken (Logan).

In addition to her parents, Gladys was predeceased by four brothers, William Edward Spearman, Furman Franklin Spearman, James Oliver Spearman and David Thomas Spearman; and a sister, Linda Raby Holmes.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 15 at Landmark Baptist Church, with Rev. Gary Edwards officiating. Burial followed at Robinson Memorial Gardens.

The family is at the home.

Memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “JDRF” by visiting

Visit or Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley.



EASLEY — Judy Elizabeth Chambers, 76, died on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, at her residence.

Born in Easley, she was the widow of John Reeves and a daughter of the late William Asbery and Mary Elizabeth Berryhill Porter.

Judy worked in textiles for many years until its closing and then moved to Texas to be with her daughter and her family. She loved spending time with her family and friends. Judy was a member of the Keno Club and served on Evant City Council for 12 years.

She will be missed dearly, and this is how best to describe Judy: strong-willed, very independent and caring. She always looked out for her family and took care of business. She knew how to get things done. She wasn’t afraid of telling you how she felt about the situation. She had such a kind heart and would help any way she could. She was a pistol with opinions and straightforward in her assertion, and she was a tough lady and I respected her.

Surviving are a daughter, Tyril Simmerman (Tim Duncan) of Easley; two sisters, Wilma Hamlett (Joe) and Barbara Reeves, all of Easley; two grandchildren, Christopher Simmerman (Carolyn) of Arlington, Texas, and Gary Simmerman (Mandy) of Kempner, Texas; five great-grandchildren, Camden Simmerman, Caine Simmerman, Kelsie Gibson (Desmond), Megan Doyle and Taylor Doyle; and two nephews, Ricky and Tony Hamlett.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Cindi Simmerman; a brother, Harold Porter; and a sister, Helen Corby.

Private services will be held at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Easley at a later date.

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