Courier Obituaries 5-1-24


DACUSVILLE — Margaret Fuji Kelly Smith, 75, passed away on March 26, 2024, after a three-year battle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family and husband of 57 years.

Born Aug. 28, 1948, in Yokohama, Japan, Margaret was the daughter of Yoshie Sugizaki Kelly and the late Edward L. Kelly.

Margaret worked in the banking industry and retired after 45 years of service. Her dedication to serving others is a reflection of her successful career. She was also the graduate of Furman University.

Margaret’s unwavering devotion to her family was matched only by her kindness, strength, and compassion. Her vibrant spirit and warm heart touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing her. She leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and cherished memories that will forever be treasured by her family and friends.

Margaret is survived by her loving husband, Dewey F. Smith; and two children, Stephanie Smith Hucks (Brian) and Lyn Smith (Christie). She leaves behind special memories for her grandchildren, Caroline and Jackson Hucks and Trey and Maddie Smith. Additional survivors include her sister, Kimeko Kelly Alexander (Jimmy); nephews, Cody Alexander (Shelly) and McKay Alexander; and niece, Kelly-Rae Alexander.

A celebration of Margaret’s life was held on March 30 at Dillard Memorial Funeral Home. Burial followed after the celebration of Margaret’s life at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

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



LIBERTY — We mourn the passing of Larry William Holden. Born on Feb. 2, 1955, Larry’s journey on this earth came to a peaceful end on April 28, 2024. He was a son of the late Joseph and Irene McCollum Holden.

A lover of animals and gardening, Larry found solace and joy in caring for his furry friends and tending to his yard. He took pride in simple pleasures and found beauty in the everyday moments.

He is survived by his loving spouse of 42 years, Lois Holden, who he shared many happy years with together. Also surviving are a stepdaughter, Tammy Fowler; a stepson, Karl Griffis; a sister, Vivian Dickson; five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by a stepson, John Griffis, and seven brothers and sisters.

With a heart full of compassion and a gentle spirit, Larry touched the lives of those around him with kindness and humility. Despite facing challenges, he approached life with a hopeful outlook and a resilient attitude.

As we come together to remember Larry’s life and legacy he will be cremated and laid to rest in Liberty Memorial Gardens at a later date.

Rest in peace, Larry William Holden. You will be deeply missed, but your spirit will continue to inspire us all.

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



EASLEY — Dorothy Faye Leach Cooley, 90, wife of the late Grady Welman Cooley, passed away Friday, April 26, 2024.

Born in Greenville, she was a daughter of the late Carl Morgan Leach and Beulah Nelson Leach.

Mrs. Cooley was a graduate of Mars Hill College. She was instrumental in starting the preschool and then Child Development Center at Geer Memorial Baptist Church, where she later became the director. She worked there for 30-plus years until her retirement. She and her husband enjoyed traveling, specifically following the Atlanta Braves. She was close to her neighbors, family and friends.

Surviving are her children, Karen Estridge (Ed) of Charlotte and Daryl Cooley (Lynn) of Pickens; and grandchildren, Madison Cooley and Chris Estridge (Madeleine).

Mrs. Cooley was the last surviving member of her immediate family. In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by seven sisters and four brothers.

Funeral services were held April 29 at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, in the funeral home chapel. Burial followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pickens.

Memorials may be made to Geer Memorial Baptist Church, 911 S. 5th St., Easley, SC 29640.

The family will be at the home.

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



LIBERTY — Lang Herbert Stancil peacefully passed away on April 27, 2024, at his residence.

Born in Liberty on Nov. 25, 1943, to the late Rev. Ernest E. Stancil Jr. and Vivian “Adelle” Barkley Stancil, Herbert grew up as a true country gentleman and was known as a hardworking man with a warm heart and a gentle soul.

After graduation from Liberty High School in 1964, he dutifully served his country in the Army and the Army Reserve. Herbert dedicated years of his life to the textile industry, serving diligently in maintenance at Shaw Industries, where he retired from after 35 years of service.

Along with his loving wife of 58 years, Faye Cook Stancil, Herbert was a devout longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Norris, where he found purpose as a deacon and a youth leader, touching the lives of many through his faith and compassion. He served the Lord through numerous mission trips both home and abroad. He cherished the simple joys of life, finding solace in the great outdoors while fishing, hunting and tending to his farm.

Above all, Herbert was a devoted family man, survived in addition to his loving wife by his children, Pam Gibson (Roger) and Robert Stancil (Michelle); three brothers, Roger Stancil, Allen Stancil and Rev. Tony Stancil; and his baby sister, Becky Ramey. His legacy lives on in the hearts of his grandchildren, who were dear to his heart, Holly Miller, Ivy Grace Burgess, Destaney Stancil and Cheyenne Stancil; and great-grandchildren, A.J. Burgess, Essie Burgess, Selah Burgess, Jameson Miller and Marybeth Miller.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Martha Jean Ferguson, and a brother, Greg Stancil.

Funeral services to honor the life of Herbert Stancil were held April 30 at the Liberty Mortuary chapel. Burial was at Liberty Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Norris, P.O. Box 130 Norris, SC 29667 or Patriot Hospice, Attn. Jan Breazel, 4741 Highway 153, Suite B, Easley, SC 29642.

The family will gather at his residence. You may share a memory and offer condolences to the family by visiting Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.



LIBERTY — Marion “Steve” Steven Smith, 75, passed away peacefully and entered his eternal resting place on April 27, 2024.

He was the husband of Pug Ross Smith. They shared 51 treasured years of marriage together. He was a beloved spouse, father, son, brother and Pappaw.

Steve was born on May 29, 1948 in Greenville, to the late William and Mildred (Vaughan) Smith Hewin. He graduated from Liberty High School in 1966, after which he served in the United States Navy from 1967-71. After his time in the military, he became a fireman for the city of Liberty. He served as fire chief for 13 years. Steve owned his own exterminating business, The Bug Master, until he retired.

Steve was a member of Rice’s Creek Baptist Church. He was an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman and a passionate Clemson fan. In his later years, he loved spending time with his five great-grandchildren.

Along with his wife, he is survived by two sons, Bryan Smith (Melissa) and Michael Smith; sister, Jan Verbeck (Art); brother, Donnell Smith (Lynn); two granddaughters, Jaimie Brunner (Timothy) and Rylee Medlin; grandson, Jason Smith; five great-grandchildren, Kira, Greyson, Kassi, Blakely and Nora; and several brothers- and sisters-in-law, along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and late wife, Phillys Norris Smith.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. May 1 at Rice’s Creek Baptist Church, followed by burial at the church’s cemetery. You may share a memory and offer condolences to the family by visiting Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.



EASLEY — Frank Kenneth Williams Jr., 86, of the Vinland community, passed away Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Rainey Hospice House in Anderson.

Born in Reidsville, he was a son of the late Frank Kenneth Williams Sr. and Eva Sue Holcombe Williams.

Mr. Williams retired from BASF in Anderson after 30 years of dedicated service. He enjoyed farming with cattle and loved spending time with his grandson, Garrett. He also proudly served his country in the United States Air Force.

Surviving are his son, Christopher G. Williams (Amy) of Anderson; grandchildren, Kayla Byars (Will), Chase Gabbard (Ashleigh) and Garrett Williams; great-grandchildren, Reagan Byars and Jesse Byars; and nephews, Erik Williams (Renee) of Miami and Joshua Williams (Thea) of Las Vegas.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a granddaughter, Elyse Anderson and a brother, Gary “Butch” Williams.

The family will receive friends from 3-3:50 p.m. May 3 at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, with a funeral service to follow at 4 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be at the Dacusville United Methodist Church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rainey Hospice House, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.

The family will be at their respective homes.

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



EASLEY — Mrs. Betty Fortner Griffin, 93, wife of the late Joel Newton Griffin Sr., went to be with her Lord and Savior Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

Born in Greenville County, a daughter of the late James Alonzo Fortner and the late Lois Laverne Burns Fortner, Mrs. Griffin was a graduate of Greenville High School and Draughon’s Business College. She was a homemaker and a member of Calvary Hill Baptist Church.

Betty loved camping, traveling and playing cards with the card girls, but her greatest love was for her family, especially her grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all who loved and knew her.

Surviving are a son, Mark Kerry Griffin (Michelle) of Greenville; her daughter, Beverly Ann Griffin of Greer; a daughter-in-law, Sandra Griffin of Greenwood; her special friends, Jane Hood and Jean Seeger; her grandchildren, Julie Cassell (Stacey), Alice Yatsenyuk, Joel “Trey” Griffin (Elizabeth), Luke Abrams (Sheena), Andrea Crain (Matt), Alix Griffin and Claire Griffin; and her great-grandchildren, Griffin Cassell, Sophia Yatsenyuk, Savannah Griffin, Penelope Griffin, Reese Abrams, Larson Abrams, Audrey Crain and Brooke Crain.

In addition to her husband and parents, Mrs. Griffin was predeceased by a son, Joel Newton Griffin Jr.; and three sisters, Evelyn Fortner Martin, Iris Fortner Massey and Margaret Fortner Long.

A celebration of life will be hosted by the family at a later date.



DACUSVILLE — Billy Joe (Bill) Watkins, 91, loving husband to Jane Looper Hipp, passed away on April 22, 2024, at The Gables on Pelham Assisted Living in Greenville.

Born June 4, 1932, in Seneca, Bill was the son of the late Clem B. Watkins Sr. and Bertha Lee Watkins. A 1950 graduate of Berea High School, he furthered his education at Greenville Tech, Furman and Clemson Universities. He was a U.S. Army veteran and an avid reader.

Survivors include his wife, Jane Looper Hipp; children, Mark Watkins and Chris Watkins; grandchildren, Josh Watkins (Chii-Wey), Kayla Watkins and Christian Watkins; and great-grandchildren, Wyatt, Cole, Blaine, Hunter, Kash and Landon.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Watkins was predeceased by two brothers, Clem B. Watkins Jr. and Harold Odell Watkins.

Funeral services were held on April 26 at Cross Roads Baptist Church in Easley. Burial followed the service at Cross Roads Baptist Church cemetery. Pallbearers were Tony Robinson, Jimmy Looper, John Finley, Michael Scruggs, Josh Watkins and Christian Watkins, and honorary pallbearers were the members of the Emory Jones Sunday school class.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bill’s honor may be made to the American Heart Association by mailing P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or by visiting

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



EASLEY — Grady H. “Sonny” Robinson, 79, husband of Sandra M. Robinson, passed away Saturday, April 20, 2024, surrounded by his loving family at his home.

Born in Greenville, he was a son of the late Grady H. Robinson Sr. and Francis Smith Robinson. Sonny spent 35 years as a truck driver for Southeastern Freightline. He was a devoted family man and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, especially taking trips to places like Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Edisto Island. The way Sonny cherished big family dinners, he always loved having everyone together spending time and making good memories. He was a member of Life Church in Dacusville for 27 years.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, of 62 years, are sons; Grady Dale Robinson Sr. (Melinda) and Harold Keith Robinson (Sasha), goddaughters; Ivonna Santin (Alex), Carol Guy (William), brother; Donny Robinson (Lynda), sister; Vivian Kendall, 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by a sister, Annette Moore.

Funeral services were held on April 26 at the Robinson Funeral Home Powdersville Road Chapel. Entombment followed at the Robinson Memorial Gardens Chapel of Reflection Mausoleum.

The family would like to thank Michelle Runyans for her help and care for many years.

Flowers are accepted, but donations may be made in memory of Sonny to St. Jude’s Children’s Cancer Research at

Visit or Robinson Funeral Home and Crematory – Powdersville Road, Easley.



EASLEY — Peggy Marie Meece (Sloan), 76, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Peggy passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Born on April 16, 1948, in Woodruff, she was the daughter of the late Alvin Shaw Sloan and Edna Pearson Sloan. Peggy was a loving and devoted Mother, Grandmother, Sister and Friend. Her greatest Joy in life was spending time with her family.

Upon her family moving to the Greenville, area, Peggy attended Parker High School and retired from the 3M Film industry. She loved to gather, was an amazing cook and seamstress, and had a green thumb like no other, enjoyed floral arranging, music and the arts. Road trips to the mountains and the beach were among her favorite places, spreading much love along the way.

Surviving are her two daughters, Angela M. Garvin (Brian) and Earlene M. Cassell (Heath), both of Easley; Four grandchildren, Hannah C. Mcknight (Stephen), Parker R. Cassell, Riley S. Garvin and R. Bryson Garvin, who were truly her Pride and Joy, supporting them wholeheartedly in sporting events, competitions, music and dance throughout their entire life. She was so loved by many who crossed her path along the way. Along with her daughters and grandchildren, she is survived by a sister, Janice Bagwell (Earl) of Greenville, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Peggy was preceded in death by two brothers, Garvin H. Sloan and Lawrence S. Sloan; three sisters, Janett Morton, Gail Sloan and Sylvia Sloan.

She was a member of Powdersville Baptist Church and also worshipped in the virtual services of Mudd Creek Baptist.

A private memorial service honoring Peggy’s life was held at Sunset on April 27 with the immediate family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Dream Center, P.O. Box 203 Easley, SC 29641 or

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Agape Care for their professionalism and compassion.

Robinson Funeral Home in Easley is assisting the family.

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