Courier Obituaries 7-13-16

Dee Carl LaFoy

Pickens — Dee C. LaFoy Jr. 70, of Pickens, went to be with his heavenly Father on June 29, 2016.

Born in Easley to the late Dee C. and Melonee LaFoy, Dee worked at the Daniel Building for 13 years as the chief of maintenance. He was a member of Lakeview Baptist Church and the Senior Saints Sunday School Class in Pickens. He loved racing, NASCAR and fishing.

Surviving are his sons, Cameron LaFoy (Kate) of Atlanta and Richard LaFoy (Teresa) of Easley; his daughter, Tina LaFoy of Pickens; his girlfriend, Barbara Turner of Liberty; three grandchildren, Emily LaFoy, Kaylynn LaFoy and Aaron LaFoy; sisters Emogene Daniels of Greenville and Maxine Wood (Roger) of Mooresville, N.C.; sister-in-law Marie LaFoy of Greenville; and former wife and friend Drema LaFoy. He also had many nieces and nephews all over the U.S.

He was preceded in death by both of his parents, a brother, Charles LaFoy, and his best friend in life, Richard Daniels.

Services were held July 2 in All Saints Hall at Pickens Presbyterian Church.

Wanda Lee Edens

Easley — Mrs. Wanda Lee Edens, 78, of 806 Brushy Creek Road, Easley, loving wife of the late James William Edens, passed away Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at the McCall Hospice House in Simpsonville.

Mrs. Edens was born in Pickens County on December 12, 1937, to the late Ernest and Alma Suddeth Stokes. She spent her life as a homemaker, taking care of her family and she was of the Baptist Faith.

Mrs. Edens is survived by two daughters, Cindy Hood (Steve) and Wanda Patterson, both of Easley; three brothers, Deryl Stokes, Joe Stokes and Ricky Stokes, all of Easley; and two sisters, Betty O’Shields of Liberty and Jean Taylor of Easley. She is also survived by six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband and her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Karen Lowe; a brother, John “Buck” Stokes; and a sister, Pearl Nalley.

Graveside funeral Services were held July 9 at Robinson Memorial Gardens in Easley.

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

Raymond C. Lockaby

Easley — Raymond Carl Lockaby, 87, of Brushy Creek Road, husband of Selena Brown Lockaby, passed away Saturday, July 2, 2016, at his home.

Born in Anderson County, he was the son of the late Carl and Kate Black Lockaby.

Mr. Lockaby was retired from Swirl Inc. in Easley and was a member of Corinth Baptist Church, where he was a member of the Friendly Neighbors group. His love of the outdoors included hunting, fishing, gardening and especially growing daylillies.

In addition to his wife of 67 years, he is survived by his daughters, Vicki Smith (Tommy) of Easley and Phylis Harville (Kevin) of Martinez, Ga.; grandchildren, Jill Smith of Easley and Gage Smith (Marti) of Durham, N.C.; sisters, Linda Casey and Helen Hamlin (Milton); and brothers, Bill Lockaby (Lorene) and Jack Lockaby (Katie).

Funeral services were held July 5 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown with burial following in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Flowers are accepted, or memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 508 Hampton St., Suite 200, Columbia, SC 29201.

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

Jimmy “Jim Bob” Whitaker

Liberty — Jimmy Ray “Jim Bob” Whitaker, 43, of 304 Spring Valley Road, died Monday, July 4, 2016, at St. Francis Hospital in Greenville.

Born in Seneca, he was a son of Billy Wayne and Linda Finley Whitaker of the home. Jimmy was loved by everyone who met him, and he enjoyed working with Better Skills. He was a longtime member of Winding Creek Baptist Church and an avid Clemson fan.

Surviving in addition to his parents are a sister, Sheryl Shepard (David) of Liberty; a brother, John Wayne Whitaker (B.C.); several beloved nieces and nephews, Kendra, Hope, Brandon, Danielle, Haylee and Mya; and a very special aunt, Margaret “Girlou” Whitaker.

He was predeceased by a nephew, Malachi Wayne Whitaker.

Funeral services to honor Jimmy’s life were held July 8 in the Liberty Mortuary Chapel, with burial following at Liberty Memorial Gardens.

Liberty Mortuary is handling arrangements.

Ouida M. Blackburn

Central — Ouida Maw Blackburn of Central, widow of Enoch C. Blackburn, died Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at her home.

Born in Young Harris, Ga., she was the daughter of the late Richard and Mary Elizabeth Swanson Maw. Ouida was a graduate of Central High School and a retired employee with Gerrish Milliken in Pendleton. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Central and the Gleeners Sunday School Class.

Surviving are daughter Carol Sipes of Central; sisters, Betty Jones of Greenville and Wilma Brown of Six Mile; grandsons, Maxie Sipes of Pelzer, Richie Sipes of Central; Jason Blackburn of Clinton, and Zack Blackburn of Clemson; great-grandchildren, Corey Sipes, Gabriel and Gabrielle Sipes; and a special friend, Roy Merck of Liberty.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by her son, Harry Blackburn; brother, Earl Maw Sr.; sister, Edith Brooks; and a great-granddaughter, Taylor Sipes.

Funeral services were held July 8 in the chapel of Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, with burial following in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Whitten Center Parents Club 28373 Highway 76 E Clinton, SC 29325.

Condolences may be expressed online at or at the funeral home in Central.

John Willis Kennelly Jr

Clemson — John Willis Kenelly Jr., 80, of Clemson and widower of Charmaine Voss Kenelly, died Sunday, July 3, 2016, at his home in Clemson Downs.

Born in Bogalusa, La., he was a son of the late John Willis and Erma Whittom Kenelly.

He was a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University (1957), earned his master’s from University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and his Ph.D. from University of Florida (Gainesville). He was a retired professor emeritus of the math department at Clemson University. He had a very long and distinguished career in the mathematics and science field having been the chief reader for Educational Testing Services, a past treasurer of the Mathematics Association of America and past president of International Math Olympiad. In addition to working with organizations that dealt with the SAT and ACT, he worked also in the Advanced Placement program. He also authored and co-authored a number of textbooks in the math and science field. John was a devoted fan and supporter of the Southeastern Alumni Association.

John was a member of the Clemson Rotary Club, where he was active in the Paul Harris Fellow program. He also served on the board of Hospice of the Foothills and was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson.

Mr. Kenelly is survived by a daughter, Deidre Kenelly of Travelers Rest; son, John Trent (Lynn Sparks) Kenelly of Anderson; sisters, Nell K. Ovre of Vacaville, Calif., and Mary K Ward of Spartanburg; grandchildren PFC Morgan Kenelly of New London, Conn., and Gabrielle Kenelly and John Aidan Kenelly of Anderson. He is also survived by his companion, Patricia F. Vernon of Denham Springs, La.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by brothers, Patrick and Orville Kenelly.

Memorial services were held July 9 at the Clemson Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Private interment was held at the Woodland Cemetery on the Clemson University campus.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to GHS Hospice of the Foothills, 298 Memorial Drive, Seneca, SC 29676 or to the Kenelly Voss Endowment or to Kenelly Endowment, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29633 or Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation, SLU 10293 Hammond, LA 70402. A list of his various accomplishments and awards may be found at

Condolences may be expressed online at or at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central.

Sydney Charles Simmons

Pickens — Sydney Charles Simmons, 55, a lifelong resident of Pickens, passed away on June 30, 2016, at Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head.

Sydney was born on Feb. 3, 1961, in Easley to Emma Jean Gilstrap Simmons Beard and the late Charles Edward Simmons.

Sydney was a graduate of Pickens High School in 1979 and Clemson University in 1983, where he was a member of the Marching Tiger Band. He passed the certified public accountant exam in one sitting and rose to senior manager at KPMG in Greenville until he medically retired. Sydney defied the odds living 25 years after brain cancer. He bravely and optimistically moved forward, marrying Cathlin and together raising two children who were the light of his life. Again four years ago, Sydney with a competitive spirit overcame a pulmonary embolism which caused cardiac arrest. His path was tougher, but he worked hard to recover; he and his family cherished the extra time they had together traveling, and watching and attending sports events.

Sydney is survived by his son, Charles Edward Simmons of Pickens; daughter, Jennifer Anne Simmons of Piedmont; brother, Samuel Simmons (Kristi) of Pickens; and sister, Susan Simmons (Russell Chambers) of Chapin and Hilton Head. He is also survived by his mother, Jean Beard, and stepfather, Rev. Arnold M. Beard, and the Beard siblings: Rena (Phil) Quist, Brian (Laura) Beard and Jena (Richard) Edwards, all of Pickens County.

Services were held in the sanctuary of Pickens View Wesleyan Church July 10, with burial following at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Pickens High School Class of 1979 graduates and the Men of Flame, along with accounting professionals who worked with Sydney or his sister, Susan, were honorary pall bearers.

The family suggests for those who desire memorials in lieu of flowers to the Sydney C. Simmons Scholarship Fund for a deserving Clemson University Marching Band student. Sydney regretted that due to financial needs, he was only able to participate in the band one year and hopes this scholarship will allow others to enjoy the Tiger Band experience. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to Sun Trust Bank, 210 W. Cedar Rock St., Pickens, SC 29671 or deposited in person at any SunTrust branch.

Sauls Funeral Home of Bluffton and Dillard Memorial Funeral Home are assisting the family.

Rosalie B. Gillespie

Pickens — Rosalie Bolding Gillespie, 94, widow of James Paul Gillespie, passed from this life on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at Majesty Health and Rehab in Easley.

Mrs. Gillespie was born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late Perry Clyde and Hattie Myrlee Rogers Bolding. She was retired from Sangamo Electric and she was a member of Prater’s Creek Baptist Church.

Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Brown (Carroll) of Birmingham, Ala., three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, a sister, Nell B. Hayes (Rudy) of Pickens and close friend and caregiver, Melanie Bentley of Pickens.

In addition to her parents and husband, Mrs. Gillespie was predeceased by her sons, William Fred Gillespie and Morris C. Gillespie and sister, Lucille B. Martin.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, July 13, at Dillard Funeral Home from 2:30-3:30 p.m., with funeral services following at 3:30 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be at Hillcrest Memorial Park and Gardens. Family members are at their respective homes.

Memorial may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society or to Praters Creek Baptist Church. A message of condolence may be expressed to the family by visiting Dillard Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Norma Jenkins Austin

Easley — Norma Jenkins Austin, 78, of Easley, wife of the late William C. Austin, passed peacefully Sunday, July 10, 2016, at Capstone Health and Rehab in Easley.

Born in Atlanta, Ga., to the late John Thomas Jenkins and Elsie Lillian Giles Jenkins, Norma was of the Baptist faith.

In addition to her parents and loving husband of 57 years, Norma was preceded in death by her brother, Norman Jenkins, and sisters, Barbara Keith and Johnny Mae Davis.

Left to cherish her memory are her son, James Austin of Lyman; daughters, Susan Bradley of Easley, Ashley Austin of Douglasville, Ga., Jennifer Austin, and Sherry Gwinn both of Lyman; brother, Joe Jenkins of Trenton, N.C.; sisters, Melba Willis of Newell, Ala., Sybil Camp of Dallas, Ga., and Beverly Page of Stark, Fla.; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 15, at noon at Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, 1425 Powdersville Road, Easley, led by chaplain Jim Frost. Burial will follow in Robinson Memorial Gardens.

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

Brittany Nicole Norris

LIBERTY — Brittany Nicole Norris, 25, of Liberty, passed away July 2, 2016.

She was born Feb. 26, 1991, the daughter of James Norris and Michelle Gregory and sister of Jessica Norris and Jacob Gregory. She leaves behind her daughter, Trinity Major, and son, Zymeir Major.

She was predeceased by her grandfather, Mack Gregory, grandmother, Pauline Norris, uncle, Steven Norris, and great-grandmother, Virginia Childers.

Services will be held at Bethel Church of God, 420 Old Brickyard Road in Pelzer, at noon July 16, followed by a dinner. Please bring a dish if you can.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to James Norris or Michelle Gregory.

Leeann B. Rutz

Easley — LeeAnn B. Rutz, 55, born April 7, 1961, passed away Friday, June 17, 2016, at Baptist Easley.

Mrs Rutz is survived by her husband, Rickie W. Rutz Sr. of the home.

Born in Orlando, Fla., she was the daughter of the late P. P. Carl “Buck” and Jeanette Carey Burkhalter.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Rutz is survived by four children, Jennifer J. Gregg of Easley, J. Jacob Nabors of Liberty, Rickie W. Rutz Jr. of Central and Brandie R. Rutz of Easley; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters, Donna Ross of Six Mile and Sylvia “Poochie” Fuller of Easley; and a brother, Michael C. Burkhalter of Easley.

She was also predeceased by a brother, Ronald Burkhalter.

Mrs. Rutz was a member of Smith Grove Baptist Church. She will be missed and was loved by many.