Courier Obituaries 8-11-22


PICKENS — Mrs. Mary Mauldin Holder Lark, 92, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at Foothills Retirement Community, where she had enjoyed residing for the past five and a half years.

Mary was born on Aug. 1, 1930, in Pickens, to James Gilliland and Ressie Mae Moser Holder. When her father died at the young age of 39, the family was taken in by her uncle, Earl Moser, who helped provide for them, along with numerous other family members. It was always very important to her to acknowledge the impact he made on not only their lives, but the lives of many. Before graduating from Pickens High School in 1947 (the last year the school had only 11 grades) she began working at Finley’s Market, where she met Hubert William Lark, who she eventually married in 1948. They enjoyed 59 years of marriage before he passed away in 2007.

After her marriage, she began working at REA (now Blue Ridge Electric Co-op) until their children, Ronny and Penny, were born. Once Ronny was kindergarten age, she began teaching at Pickens First Baptist Kindergarten, where she continued to teach and open the minds of small children to the world for 38 years. Mary lived to see the spark of understanding in the eyes of a child and continued to learn something new every day of her life. She was devoted to her church and taught Sunday school for close to 50 years, again teaching so many young children the importance of faith and giving them a love for the Bible. She taught piano lessons for years and also art lessons for a while — constantly trying to grow and help others around her to do the same. She sold World Book Encyclopedia for many years, enjoying meeting and impacting many people around Pickens and the Upstate, instilling in them the importance of education. She was born to travel and visited many countries over the years, enjoying touching every part of God’s Earth she could. She even smuggled Bibles into Russia on her trip there. Mary never met a stranger, and when she retired from kindergarten, she started planting flowers — everywhere. She would give them away and others shared with her, and she enjoyed watching them sprout and grow every year, keeping meticulous records of what they were and where they came from. She made numerous friends just from posting a “free flowers” sign in her yard so she could share them.

She liked nothing better than for all of her family to gather for Sunday lunch so she could cook her famous fried chicken and banana pudding. We have many good memories of those times together.

Mary is survived by one daughter, Penelope Lynn “Penny” Lark (Gary Douty); one daughter-in-law, Jean B. Lark; one grandson, Patrick W. Lark; one granddaughter, Jessica L. Morris (T.R.); great-grandchildren, Jeremy Cassell (Catherine), Adriana Cassell and Grace Morris; one sister, Mozelle Stewart (Garvin); one sister-in-law, Judy Holder; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her son, Ronald Patrick Lark; and brothers, Percy Hugh Holder, Gilliland Earl “Dick” Holder and Robert Ludlow Holder.

The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Foothills Retirement Community who lovingly cared for her the past five and a half years and gave her a home she loved.

The family is eternally grateful for you. Also, thanks to Interim Hospice for their help in her final days.

Funeral services were conducted on Aug. 29 in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home. Interment followed at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Flowers are welcome, or memorial donations may be made to Pickens First Baptist Church, 406 Main St., Pickens, SC 20671, or a charity of your choice.

The family will be at their respective homes.

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



SIX MILE —Gerald Keith Jacks, 64, loving husband of Patricia Jones Jacks for 40 years, passed away at home on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, after a brief illness.

Jerry was the son of Marianne Atwell and the late Gerald and Linda Jacks. He was of the Baptist faith.

Jerry owned and operated the family business, Jacks’ Bait Distributors, for his entire working life, which took him all over the country and into Canada servicing customers, many of whom became friends. He loved riding his motorcycle and made many cross-country trips with family.

In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Mallory and Tillman Finley; one granddaughter, Annistyn; two sisters, Victoria Benintende (Bob) and Tanya Fincannon; three brothers, Dale Jacks (Bobbi Jo), Chad Jacks (Angie) and Shane Jacks (Rona); and many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jerry will be dearly missed for the joy and laughter he brought to all who knew him.

A celebration of Jerry’s life was held on Aug. 30 in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home, with the Rev. Rick Hayes officiating.

Memorial donations in Jerry’s memory can be made to the Pickens County Humane Society, 500 Five Forks Road, Liberty, SC 29657, or the Pickens County Animal Shelter, 193 County Farm Road, Pickens, SC 29671.

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



EASLEY — Rulinda Thompson Price, 66, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022.

Born in Andrews, Texas, she was the daughter of the late Wesley L. Thompson and Claribel King Ensley.

Rulinda received a master’s degree from Clemson University in western civilization and later received another master’s degree from USC Upstate in library science. She was an archivist with the Greenville County Library System, where she worked as one of their lead experts in African American genealogy. One of her achievements throughout her career was having her thesis published in an edition of the Encyclopedia.

Along with being a history buff, she loved to garden. She also loved reading and watching old black and white films. Above all, she loved her children and was a devoted mother.

Rulinda is survived by her husband, Myron Price; daughters, Jessica Doughty, Rebecca Price and Amanda Olson (James), all of Greenville; a son, Adam Price of Easley; brothers, Greg Thompson (Lorrie) of Piedmont, Lee Thompson of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Russell Ensley of Travelers Rest; grandchildren, Tyler and Patrick Doughty; and stepfather, Hugh Ensley.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Easley.

The family will receive friends prior to the service from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her memory to Miracle Hill Ministries, 490 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29607 or to the WeGOJA Foundation, PO Box 290326, Columbia, SC 29229.

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


EASLEY — Dora Tait, 95, who lived many years in Pickens, as well as Hilton Head, died peacefully at The Retreat in Easley on Aug. 21, 2022.

Born in Cartavio, Peru, on July 4, 1927, to Julia Aurora Del Sacramento Nunez and Henrique Vega Maco, Dora later met Ian Tait, the English head engineer at W.R. Grace’s sugar mill in Cartavio. Dora and Ian fell in love, and within two years of Ian’s arrival, on Feb. 11, 1951, in Cartavio, they were married in a small Catholic church in Cartavio.

Ian and Dora moved to South Carolina in 1981, at the suggestion of Ian’s boss, Harold Clayton of Central. The Taits became United States citizens in 1993.

Dora loved living in Pickens and had many friends. She was a gardener and transformed the rose garden at Pickens’ Hagood Mauldin House and the Irma Morris Museum of Fine Arts.

Dora was featured in Hank Haskell’s book “Dora Tripping,” written following a trip together to Peru in 2014. Hank wrote: “Laura Dora Vega Nunez (Tait) was born in Peru, near the town of Cartavio. This small town located 55 kilometers north of Trujillo, the third largest city in Peru, was the site of a major sugar cane plantation and manufacturing facility once owned by the W.R. Grace Company of New York City.

“The entire town’s activities were centered around the sugar mill and the adjoining sugar cane fields.”

Dora leaves behind a brother and his family, Gilberto of Trujillo, Peru. Her sister, Gladys, died in 2021.

Dora joins her beloved husband in Heaven, Ian Tait, who predeceased her on Dec. 6, 1998.

Father Orlando from St. Sabastian Catholic Church in Greenville administered Last Rites to Dora on Aug. 14.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Contact



DACUSVILLE — Willis Steve Ramey, 72, died on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at Prisma Health-Baptist Easley Hospital, following an extended illness.

Born in Walhalla, he was a son of the late Steve and Inez Cannon Ramey.

He was a carpenter for many years. His hobbies included watching westerns, gambling, horseback riding and piddling with something.

Surviving are three daughters, Angela Ramey of Easley, Crystal Posey of Elgin and Sheila Ramey of Greenville; two sons, Will Ramey and David Howard, both of Liberty; a sister, Betsy Lee of Maryland; a brother-in-law, Ed Waddell of Easley; and several grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Essie and Bonnie; and a brother, Willie.

Funeral services to honor the life of Mr. Ramey will be held at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 31, in the Liberty Mortuary chapel. Burial at Boones Creek Baptist Church cemetery in Salem will follow the service at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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



EASLEY — Vernie Willimon “Granny” Norton, 82, passed away on Aug. 27, 2022.

Vernie was the loving wife of 47 years to Lester A. Norton Jr. and the daughter of the late Homer and Bertie Willimon. She was saved in 1965, rededicated her life in 1991 and was a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church.

Mrs. Norton is survived by her husband; children, Lynne Owens of Dacusville, Betty White (Ted) of Liberty, Linda Seymour of Greenville, Teresa McCullough (Mike) of Greenville and Tim Norton (Darlene) of Piedmont; along with 11 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren; one brother and two sisters.

Vernie was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Services for Mrs. Vernie Norton will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31. A visitation will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home in Pickens from 1-2 p.m., followed by a memorial service in the Mountain View Funeral Home chapel in Pickens at 2 p.m. A burial at Greenlawn Cemetery will take place after services are complete.

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



SIX MILE — Frank McCloy Crane, 88, husband to Marie Merck Crane, passed away on Aug. 27, 2022.

Born in Highlands, N.C., he was the son of the late Frank and Effie Miller Crane. Mr. Crane served his country in the United States Army and retired as the plumbing supervisor at Clemson University. He attended Six Mile Church of God of Prophecy. Frank enjoyed horseback riding and gardening. He was a man of great faith and found joy in the time with his family and was proud to be known as Poppy-I, a name given by his great-grandson, Timothy.

Mr. Crane is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie Merck Crane; children, Harold Crane (Vera) of Six Mile, Doris Wilson (Walter) of Six Mile, Jay Crane (Debbie) of Six Mile, Cynthia Carter (Aaron) of Cullowhee, N.C., and Susan Orr (Scott) of Central; grandchildren, James Crane (Kelsey), Wayne Wilson II (Stephanie), Jared Crane (Jennifer), Chloe Denton (Brandon), Matthew Davis, Gray Crane, Sarah Carter, Susan Carter, Ethan Orr (Lauren) and Bryce Orr; and a brother, Chester Crane (Fredda) of Seneca. He is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren.

Frank was predeceased by his parents; grandchildren, Sarah Wilson and Grail Wilson; siblings, Clarence Crane, Carlton Crane, Oscar Crane, Margaret Jane Montague, Lassie Buchanan and Robert Crane; and son-in-law, Wayne Wilson.

Funeral services were held on Aug. 30 in the chapel of Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home. Burial followed at Six Mile Church of God of Prophecy cemetery.

Flowers will be accepted, or donations can be made to Six Mile Church of God of Prophecy, Cemetery Fund, 109 Fieldstone Drive, Easley, SC 29642.

Visit or Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home and Cremations, Central-Clemson Commons.


PICKENS — Lucille Daves Brezeale, 88, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her daughter’s home to be with the Lord in the early morning, on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

Born on April 21, 1934, Lucille was the daughter of the late Mack and Viola Garren Daves. She retired from Amp Inc., where she was an inspector and made computer components. She sewed very well and gardened with a green thumb. Lucille always put her family first and was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. She will be remembered, for she was one of a kind.

Lucille is survived by five children, Linda Carter, Ervin Brezeale Jr. (Beverly), Barry Brezeale (Scheryl), Brenda Haulk and Ramona Phillips; two sisters, Sue McKinney and Shirley Bristow (Ken); a brother, Hiott Daves (Pearl); 13 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

In addition to her parents, Lucille was preceded in death by her loving husband of 74 years, Ervin Brezeale; a son, Timothy Brezeale; two brothers, John “JC” Daves and Ralph Daves; and one half-sister.

Funeral services were conducted on Aug. 25 in the chapel of 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.



GREENVILLE — Harold S. King, 81, loving husband of 62 years to Rosa Lee King, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, at his residence.

A native of Greenville County, Harold was born on Feb. 23, 1941, the son of the late Horace Greely King and Bessie Rena Campbell King. Mr. King enjoyed collecting signs and listening to country and gospel music. He was a family man and loved his family dearly.

Survivors include his wife, Rosa Lee King of the home; three daughters, Tammy Strickland of Easley, Vickie Johnson (David) of Dacusville and Penny Ballenger (Scott) of Dacusville; two sons, Sammy King (Edy) of Central and Ricky King of Easley; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; one sister, Sarah King Mason (O’Dell) of Greenville; and one brother, John David King of Travelers Rest.

In addition to his parents, Mr. King was predeceased by a sister, Mary Alice Thurston; and three brothers, Melford King, Charles “Red” King and Horace Junior King.

A graveside service was held on Aug. 30 at his home.

Flowers will be accepted.

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



PICKENS — James Randolph “Randy” Watson, 84, passed away on Aug. 25, 2022, surrounded by family.

Randy was born in Pickens on Aug. 19, 1938, to the late Quinnie and Leila Bolding Watson. Throughout his life, he was a faithful Christian, as evidenced by his devoted membership at Secona Baptist Church. He found joy in serving in the youth ministry at church, as well as taking photos at church functions. Randy was a friend to everyone and was always willing to help others in need. He was a true handyman who could fix anything. He also worked 38 years as a purchasing agent at Easley Combined Utilities. Randy had many hobbies, including H.A.M. radio, landscaping, gardening and photography — all of which he used to help others whenever he could.

Randy is survived by his daughter, Jill W. Barr of Pickens; one granddaughter, Jada Barr of Pickens; and two sisters, Martha Thrasher and Mary Brown (Chester).

In addition to his parents, Randy was predeceased by his loving wife of 61 years, Doris P. Watson; a son, Nolan Watson; son-in-law, Steve Barr; and a brother, Ray Watson.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home, with interment following at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

The family members are at their respective homes.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation be made to Secona Baptist Church, 234 Secona Road, Pickens SC 29671.

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



LIBERTY — Mary Nell Lindsey Vess, 91, passed away peacefully at the McCall Hospice House surrounded by her family on Aug. 24, 2022.

She was born in Jasper, Ala., and was a graduate of Central Wesleyan College. She worked tirelessly alongside her husband as a faithful pastor’s wife in Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, while raising her family and caring for their aging parents. She also worked as a schoolteacher, secretary and switchboard operator, retiring from Southern Wesleyan University. She was a member of Trinity Wesleyan Church of Central. She was known for her jovial spirit, positive attitude and great sense of humor. She spoke to women’s groups, was a mentor to many young pastors’ wives and typically had sage advice for anyone in need. Being around her made you feel loved, and even in her final days, as long as she could still communicate, she tried to make sure everyone else was OK.

She is survived by her children, Libby (David) Hall of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Ronda (Dan) Whisner of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Joy (Eddie) Beaver of Easley and John (Melissa) Vess of Easley. She also leaves behind beloved grandchildren, Jeremy (Christine) Hall, Danny (Melissa) Whisner, Jon (Kari) Whisner, Elizabeth (Dean) Rosencrans, Lindsey (Chad) Ford, Katie Crater, Michael Walker, Marci (Kevin) Nattinger, Will (Nicole) Vess, Jake (Emma) Vess, Michelle (Kevin) Stinehart and Janelle (Brian) Patterson.

Mamaw Vess regularly prayed for all of her family, and on her last fully conscious night on earth, her ICU nurse said she called all of her great-grandchildren by name — Ethan Hall, Trey Whisner, Stephanie Hall, Grace Ford, Leah Rosencrans, Reagan Whisner, Valerie Hall, Bethany Rosencrans, Gibbs Whisner, Amber Walker, Ryland Whisner, Nolan Whisner, Cole Crater, Zane Ford, Beckett Whisner, Eisley Walker, Payton Nattinger, Luke Vess, Garrett Ford, Numora Stinehart, Bennett Patterson, Emerson Stinehart and Bowen Patterson. When told about her newest great-grandson, Willett Micah Nattinger, born just days before her death, she whispered her last sentence, “I want to get him his first Bible.” Her greatest desire was for all her family to meet her in heaven.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 68 years, Rev. John Willett Vess Sr.; her parents, John and Maudie Lindsey; and siblings, Carlton Lindsey, Jake Lindsey, Johnnie Brown, Maudie Gosa, Lib O’Barr and Irvon Roberson.

The five Lindsey sisters shared a lifetime of remarkable closeness, and they are now reunited. Their times together, especially their famous annual sisters’ vacation, produced many hilarious stories, and we know they are all laughing together again in heaven.

At her request, a private family service will be held, officiated by her sons-in-law, Revs. David Hall, Dan Whisner and Eddie Beaver. The family received friends on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Robinson Powdersville Funeral Home.

The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of Open Arms Hospice and the McCall Hospice House for their loving care. The family also wants to say thank you to all who have expressed sympathy during their loss. Your love and prayers have been a great comfort.

Memorials may be made to Trinity Wesleyan Church, 700 Issaqueena Trail, Central, SC 29630.

Robinson Funeral Home is assisting the Vess family.



EASLEY — Mrs. Rachel Monroe Sheriff, 86, wife of the late Colonel Iva Sheriff and the late Jesse Bagwell, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

Born in Pickens County, a daughter of the late John Monroe and the late Essie Allen Monroe, Mrs. Sheriff was a homemaker and of the Baptist Faith. She loved singing and traveling to the mountains and especially loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Surviving are three sons, Robert Sheriff (Wanda Loggins) of Liberty, Dwayne Sheriff (Eve) of Pickens and James Sheriff (Michele) of New Prague, Minn.; three daughters, Brenda Nichols (Joseph) of Liberty, Barbara Bowen (Steven) of Liberty and Mary Bryant of Easley; two sisters, Jeanette Hartsell of Central and Mary Jane Whitmire of Belton; 18 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husbands and parents, Mrs. Sheriff was predeceased by a daughter, Susan Crowe; two brothers, William Wade and Lewis Monroe; two sisters, Irene Bagwell and Martha Ferguson; and a son-in-law, Keith Bryant.

Funeral services were held on Aug. 26 in the chapel of Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, with Rev. Chris Swett officiating. Burial followed at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

The family received friends on Aug. 25 at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Erica Miller for the love and care she provided for Mrs. Sheriff.

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