County, North Carolina
The first fatal automobile accident in the Tryon section took place last Thursday on the Lynn road when Ralph Carson, colored, chauffer of Dr. Palmer, was instantly killed. No one saw the accident, the car being found overturned and the driver lifeless with a cracked skull. [Western Carolina Democrat and French Broad hustler. (Hendersonville, NC), November 20, 1913]
The Greenville, S.C. News of the 4th says Mrs. Mary Hill, wife of Stanhope Hill, of Tryon, NC, died Monday afternoon at the home of her brother, Ervin Sudduth, in Chick Springs township, this county. She was a member of the Baptist church and was buried Tuesday in the grave yard of Brushy Creek church. She was about fifty years old and leaves a husband. She was a sister of Capt. W.P. Sudduth, of Asheville. [Asheville daily citizen. volume (Asheville, N.C.), February 05, 1892, Page 4]
Ruby T. Hooper
Ruby T. Hooper, who made history as the first woman to run for governor on a main party ticket and who served as North Carolina's Mother of the Year in 1993, died Friday, Oct. 12, at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville after a brief illness.
She was born Oct. 5, 1924, in Saluda, a daughter of the late Walter Lee and Lessie Mae Pace Thompson and retired there in 2001 with John, her husband of 61 years. She spent most of her professional career in Morganton, where she served as food services director for Broughton Hospital for 29 years. Following her 1941 graduation from Saluda High School, where she was class president and salutatorian, she attended Mars Hill College for two years and received an associate's degree. She then transferred to Woman's College (now UNC-Greensboro) where she received her B.S. degree in home economics with a major in institutional management. The same year, 1945, she began work as assistant dietitian at Broughton Hospital, the state's largest psychiatric hospital serving the 35 most western counties. She also worked at the School for the Deaf in Spartanburg, S.C. and at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oteen. Returning to Broughton Hospital in 1953 as food service director, she additionally was responsible for the nutritional care for patients at Western Carolina Center (now the Riddle Institute). In this role, she supervised some 160 employees who prepared 10,000 meals per day, including 700 specialized diets. She was affectionately known as "Mother Hooper" for her nurturing and compassionate relationships with patients and fellow employees alike. Following her retirement from Broughton Hospital in 1982, she then worked as chief dietitian at Grace Hospital in Morganton. She served as chairman of the Burke County Republican Party and in 1982 she ran an unsuccessful campaign for the N.C. House of Representatives' 47th District. In 1984 she was the first woman candidate of a major party to run for governor. She was defeated by U.S. Rep. Jim Martin in the May primary, but following Martin's gubernatorial victory that November, she was appointed liaison between the Governor's Office and state employees in western North Carolina. The following year, she was appointed deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Human Resources. She resigned from this position at the end of June 1991 to seek once more the nomination as the Republican gubernatorial candidate; she lost to the eventual nominee, Lt. Gov. James C. Gardner. On the state level, she served as chairwoman of the N.C. Committee on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and as a board member of the N.C. Caring Program for Children, which provides health and preventative care insurance for children of the working poor.
She also served as secretary on the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging. She received numerous honors throughout her life. In 1984, she was named the Burke County Woman of the Year and in 1987, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Western North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association in recognition of outstanding advocacy for older North Carolinas. She also received the 1987 Alumna of the Year award at Mars Hill College, the 1990 Governor's Community Service Award from Hope Haven of Raleigh, and the 1991 award from the N.C. Community Action Association for distinguished service to the poor and disadvantaged. In 1993, she was recognized as the North Carolina State Mother by the N.C. State Mothers Association. As a dietitian, she received the Distinguished Service Award in 1978 for a non-member from the N.C. Public Health Association, Member of the Year award in 1979 from the N.C. Dietetic Association, of which she also served as president, and the North Carolina Dietitian of the Year award in 1980 from the Southeastern Hospital Association of Dietitians. During her career years in Morganton, she served in various capacities in the Burke County unit of the American Cancer Society, Burke County chapter of the American Diabetes Association, N.C. Council of Women's Organizations, Women's Forum of North Carolina, the County League of the N.C. League of Women Voters, Burke County Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, Burke County Chamber of Commerce, Morganton Community House and Morganton Business and Professional Women's Club, and was awarded the North Carolina Long Leaf award by the governor. Additionally, she wrote a column on nutrition for the News Herald. An Episcopalian, she was a Sunday school teacher, adviser to the Young Churchmen and lay reader at Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton.
In recent years, she was a member of the St. Luke's Traditional Episcopal Church in Landrum, S.C. Throughout her life she was known as a woman of high energy, unyielding optimism, great faith and personal caring. In 1946, she married her childhood sweetheart, John O. Hooper, a lawyer and retired Merchant Marines ship's captain. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Hooper Jackson. Survivors, in addition to her husband, include a grandson, Daniel F. Jackson Jr. of Carrboro; a granddaughter, Katie Jackson Budris of Arlington, Va.; and a number of nieces and nephews. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the family plot at Friendship Baptist Church in Saluda with Father Fred Holck and Dr. George Jones officiating. [Source: "Blue Ridge Now", Sunday, October 14, 2007]
Mrs. Chisby McAlpine died in Tryon sanitorium last Thursday night after an illness at that place for one year. [The French Broad hustler. (Hendersonville, N.C.), June 25, 1908]
Broadus Marion McKee
Broadus Marion McKee, 78, husband of Leona Lynch McKee, of Route 2, Mill Spring, died Monday morning in Charlotte. Born in Spartanburg County he was the son of the late T. E. and Maggie Freeman McKee. He had retired from duke Power Co. and was a member of the Mill Spring First Baptist Church. Surviving beside his wife are: one daughter, Mrs. Betty Sutton of Charlotte two brothers, Paul McKee of Durham and Woodrow McKee of Mill Spring; one sister, Mrs. Maggie Walker of Dallas, NC; also three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 3 pm Tuesday [today] at Mill Spring First Baptist Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. McFarland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, June 12, 1984; Sub. by A.Staton]
Eston Eugene McKee
Eston Eugene McKee, 59, son of the late T. E. and Maggie Freeman McKee of Polk County, died Wednesday in a Charlotte Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nellie Walker McKee of 3625 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte; one sister, Mrs. Maggie Walker of Dallas, NC; 3 brothers, Paul McKee of Durham, and Broadus and Woodrow McKee of Rt. 2, Mill Spring. Graveside services will be held Friday [today] at 3:30 pm in Polk Memorial Gardens, with the Rev. Joe Burnett officiating. McEwen Funeral Home of Charlotte in charge of arrangements. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Oct. 20, 1967; Sub. by A. Staton]
Gertie Mae Gilbert McKee
Gertie Mae Gilbert McKee, 74, of Highway 9 North, Mill Spring, NC died Feb. 19, 1990 at her home.
A native of Polk County, she was the widow of Woodrow W. McKee and daughter of the late Martin H. and Ocie Williams Gilbert. She was a member of Mill Spring First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the choir, served as Training Union Director and was a nursery keeper. She was retired from C. P. Clare Co.in Fairview. Survivors include a son, Robert W. McKee of Columbus, NC; two daughters, Shelba Jean Wilson of Columbus and Juanita Bruce of Mill Spring; a sister, Georgie M. Walker of Mill Spring; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Services will be at 4 pm today [Wed] at the Mill Spring First Baptist Church with Revs. Dewey Price and George Lynch officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family is at the home of Larry Wilson, Peniel Community, Columbus, NC. McFarland Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Feb. 21, 1990; Sub. by A. Staton]
Robert Winston McKee
Robert "Bobby" Winston M cKee, Sr., 57, of Columbus, died Saturday, Sept. 2, 1995, at his home.
A native of Polk County, he was the husband of Carolyn Scism M cKee and son of the late Woodrow and Gertie M ae Gilbert M cKee. He graduated from the D. E. A. [Drug Enforcement Agency] Academy in Washington, DC. And was a former Polk County Narcotics Officer. He retired from South Carolina Elastic as a chemist and was a member of M ill Spring First Baptist Church, Mill Spring.
Survivors include one son, Robert M cKee, Jr. of M ill Spring two daughters, Carla M cKee Beam of Shelby, and Julia M cKee M cFalls of Tryon; two sisters, Shelba Jean Wilson of Tryon and Juanita M ae Bruce of M ill Spring; six grandchildren; two step-grandchildren. Services were held Tuesday at Mill Spring First Baptist Church with the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Jim Leach and Joe Foster officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Sep. 6, 1995; Sub. by A. Staton]
Tullie Epkin McKee
Tullie E. McKee, 74, retired Duke Power Co. Plant superintendent, died Thursday at 9:45 pm at St. Luke's Hospital. He had been in declining health for some time. Funeral services were held Sunday at 3 pm at Mill Spring Baptist Church with the pastor, the Rev. W. C. Keller, officiating assisted by the Rev. A. C. Martin. Burial was in the Baptist Church cemetery. McFarland Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
A native of Laurens, SC., Mr. McKee had been a steam and hydro plant engineer for 43 years.
Mr. McKee had been superintendent of the Duke Power plant at Turner Shoals from 1925 to 1952 when he retired. During his stay in Polk County he was a Mason and leader in the Baptist Church, school affairs and the Democratic Party. At one time he had been a Columbus bank director and also on the board of directors of the M&J Finance Corp.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Maggie Freeman McKee; four sons, Paul McKee of Durham, Eston, of Charlotte; Broadus and Woodrow, of Mill Spring; and one daughter, Mrs. E. H. Walker of Dallas, NC; four sisters, Mrs. Sam Wilson; Spartanburg; Mrs. Lizzie Hill, Laurens, Sc.; Mrs. Minnie Patton, Greenville and Mrs. J. C. Thomas, Danville, Va; also one brother, Jody McKee of Laurens; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were nephews: Bruce, Royce, Allen, and E. L. McKee, Jody and Maxwell Wilson. Honorary pallbearers were members of the board of deacons. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Sept. 9, 1957; Sub. by A. Staton]
Woodrow Winston McKee
Woodrow Winston McKee, 74, husband of Gertie Mae Gilbert McKee of 688 NC North, died Friday in St. Luke's Hospital.
A native of Ninety-Nine Island, Cherokee County, SC., he had been a resident of Polk County for 60 years.
He was a son of the late Tullie E. and Maggie Freeman McKee. He retired from Duke Power Co, after 42 years of service and was past president of the Hendersonville Duke Power Retirees. He was a newspaper carrier for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Asheville Citizen and Charlotte Observer for 28 years. He was a member of the Ruritan Club and Woodmen of the World. He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Mill Spring First Baptist Church.
Also surviving are: son, Robert Winston McKee of Columbus; daughters, Mrs. Shelba Jean Wilson of Columbus; Mrs. Juanita Mae Bruce of Edneyville; brother, Paul E. McKee of Durham; sisters, Mrs. Maggie M. Walker of Dallas, NC; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren Services were held Monday at 2 pm at Mill Spring Baptist Church with the Rev. Dewey Price, Rev. Houston Moses officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. McFarland Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Nov. 18, 1986; Sub. by A. Staton]
David E. Stearns
David E. Stearns, aged 79 years, one of the earliest settlers of Tryon, died on November 3 after a long and gradual decline in health. [Western Carolina Democrat and French Broad hustler. (Hendersonville, NC), November 20, 1913]
William E. Strong
Major Wm. E. Strong, a civil engineer of Tryon, died during Christmas week at the age of 69 years [Western Carolina Democrat and French Broad hustler. (Hendersonville, N.C.)January 08, 1914; Sub by KT]
Yates Franklin Walker, Sr.
Yates Franklin Walker, Sr., 71, husband of Maggie McKee Walker of Dallas, NC., died Tuesday in a Gastonia Hospital.
A native of Polk County, he was a son of the late William Martin and Sally Arledge Walker. He was a retired textile employee and a member of Mill Spring Baptist Church, Shriners Oasis Temple of Charlotte and Woodmen of the World.
Also surviving are: son, Yates Franklin Walker, Jr. of Dallas; daughters, Mrs. Ellen Rogers of Charlotte, Mrs. Nellie Rush of Dallas; brother, William Martin Walker of The Dalles, Ore., Frederick Walker of Lakeland, Fla.; Britt and John Paul Walker of Mill Spring; Thomas Walker of Shingle Springs, Calif; sisters, Mrs.
Patricia Edwards of Hendersonville, Mrs. Ethel Barton and Mrs. Annie Lola Littlefield of Landrum nine grandchildren.
Services will be held Friday at 2 pm at Dallas Funeral Chapel with burial in Gaston Memorial Park. [Tryon Daily Bulletin, Jan. 28, 1983; Sub. by A. Staton]
Edwin R. Willcox
Tryon, N.C. May 17,- Edwin R. Willcox, vice president of the Tyron Hosiery company, died rather suddenly last night at 9 o'clock from hemorrhage of the lungs. Mr. Willcox had been in poor health for several months, but had recently returned from Denver much improved. Wednesday he went to Spartanburg and while there suffered a slight hemorrhage. The deceased was a brother-in-law of Dr. Earl Grady of Tyron. He was about 30 years of age and unmarried. The funeral will occur tomorrow at 2 p. m. -- Citizen. [The French Broad Hustler (Hendersonville, N.C.), May 21, 1908]
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