Obituaries

Mr. Leonard Eugene “Gene” Mott, 75, of Bostic, died Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at Rutherford Regional Medical Center.

Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Washburn & Dorsey Funeral and Cremation Service…


Sergeant Major Robert Allen (R.A.) Smith of Rutherfordton, North Carolina, passed away on October 1st, 2018 surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of his home.

Robert grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where he enjoyed spending time at the Southside Youth Center.  It was here that he grew to love sports, becoming accomplished in tennis, boxing, and karate.  Robert also loved the ocean and was an avid fisherman.  He enjoyed surf fishing, competing in bass tournaments, and running shrimp boats with his two brothers.

Robert was a 23-year veteran of the US Army, serving several combat tours in Vietnam. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 7th Special Forces Group, specializing in parachute assault operations.  As a Green Beret, he led Long Range Reconnaissance and Patrol units, was a Combat Medic, and spent many months in the field training Montagnards, the indigenous troops of Vietnam.  Robert had a special fondness for the Montagnards who were fiercely loyal to him.  He not only led them in battle, he embraced their culture and became their friend.

After retiring, Robert enjoyed many hobbies including fishing, golfing and instructing karate.  He had a passion for music, singing lead and playing bass and harmonica in a rock-and-roll blues band.  Always the entertainer, he would often step off the stage and amuse the crowd with his slick dance moves, shagging well into the night.  Robert also had a gig as a disc jockey.  Known as “R.A. the D.J,” he entertained crowds from all over with his jokes and engaging personality.

In his later years, Robert became a beloved member of the Rutherfordton community. He could frequently be found swinging “golf bats” at Rutherfordton Golf Course.  Rod Blalock, Hugh White and Robert’s son Bob were some of his special golf buddies.  Robert also loved supporting his two daughters at sports games and other events throughout their high school and college years. He was famous for doting on his many nieces and nephews, calling them “honeybug” or other pet names and entertaining them with stories about his colorful life. Robert is remembered by all who knew him for his quick wit, his pride in serving his country, his resilience and inner strength, and his unwavering kindness and love for those around him.

Left to cherish Robert’s memory are his wife, Sallie Summey Smith of Rutherfordton, NC; son Robert Allen (Bob) and wife Amy Currie of Monroe, NC; daughter Sarah Morse and husband Milton of Spindale, NC; daughter Laura Morse Koepke and husband Mack of Denver, CO; sister Gloria Rigdon and husband H.A. of Melbourne, FL; brothers Perry and Carroll Winters of Jacksonville, FL; sister-in-law Jane Summey and husband Dale Mullennix of Charlotte, NC; sister-in-law Susan Summey Wilkening and husband Leif of Locust Grove, VA; beloved cousin Clawson Smith of Jacksonville, FL; and a number of nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Robert’s life will be held on Friday, October 5th at Second Baptist Church in Rutherfordton. Receiving of friends will begin at 4:30 PM and the memorial service at 5:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Second Baptist Church: 191 Green Street, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, 28139


Eleanor Weir Davis of 1995 NW Cary Parkway in Morrisville, NC went to be with the Lord Saturday September 29, 2018. Eleanor was born in Forest City, NC and was married to Philip Neale Davis, Jr., who proceeded her in death in 2008. Mrs. Davis was 94 years old.

She is survived by her two sons, Tim Davis, married to Susan Safely Davis of Decatur, GA and Neale Davis, married to Bonnie Davis of Cary, NC. Her grandchildren from Neale and Bonnie were Taylor, Philip, and Anna (Davis) Smith.

Mrs. Davis was a fun and loving wife, mother, and friend. Prior to her husband Philip’s passing, she lived in Rutherfordton. Eleanor was a member of Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church. She was retired after 30 years with Southern Bell. She was known for her smile and sense of humor, and enjoyed gardening, reading, and doting on her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is remembered by her two sons has a spectacular mom. She made it clear that they were loved and that she was proud of them. She was a delight to care for in her last years. Eleanor will be missed by family and friends.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in her honor, Eleanor Weir Davis, to Hospice of Wake County (250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607I) or Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church (P. O. Box 1133; Rutherfordton, NC 28139).

Her memorial graveside service for family and friends will be Saturday, October 6th at 2pm at Rutherfordton City Cemetery in downtown Rutherfordton off Highway 221 at Cemetery Street with Reverend Dr. Don Scofield officiating. A guest register is available at www.mcmahansfuneralhome.com. McMahan’s Funeral Home & Cremation Services in charge of arrangements.


Frances Johnson Bailey, age 85, of Columbus, NC, died Saturday, September 29, 2018, at Ridge Rest Assisted Living in Columbus, NC.

She was the daughter of the late Thomas J. Johnson and the late Mae Guffey Johnson and native of Rutherford County. She was first married to the late Memory Heaton and they made their home in Rutherfordton for many years. She later married the late William “Bill” Bailey and moved to Morganton. Frances was a lifelong member of Oak Springs Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by two sisters; Lucy Vickers and Ira Briscoe Adkins.

She is survived by:
two nieces Crystal B. Holbert of Tryon.
Jody Owens of Rutherfordton.

Two Step-sons: Harold Bailey of Hickory.
Rodger Bailey of Morganton.

Her funeral was last weekend.


James Glenn “Jimmy” Owens, 28, of Spindale passed away on Sunday, September 30, 2018.

Receiving of friends will be held at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church at 3PM  with the funeral service to follow at 4PM on Thursday, October 4, 2018. Pastors Scott Courtney, Richard Bass, Greg Hathaway, and Josh Apple will officiate the service with the assistance of Crowe’s Mortuary and Cremation Services.

Jimmy was born in Rutherford County on March 23, 1990 to James Michael “Mike” and Rhonda Jolley Owens. He graduated from RS Central High School in 2008.

Jimmy is also survived by his sister, Carol Anne “Annie” Owens, paternal grandmother Annette Shehan and maternal grandfather Glenn Troy Jolley, along with a number of aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his paternal grandfathers James “Jimmy” Owens and Donald Shehan and by his maternal grandmother Carolyn Jolley.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Camp Kudos, PO Box 1122, Matthews, NC 28106.

Online condolences at crowemortuary.com