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ezzie lee hilliard smith

May 19, 1938 ~ September 13, 2022

Ezzie Lee Hilliard Smith, 84, of Bear Creek, went to be with her Heavenly Father on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Ezzie was born in Chatham County on May 19, 1938, the daughter of Bob and Sally Phillips Hilliard. She was a member of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, where she attended the Sunday School Class. She spent her working years as a Handicap Aid for Chatham County Group Home. She enjoyed gardening and was beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She loved to be around people. In addition to her parents, Ezzie was preceded in death by her husband, Settie Smith; sons, Jimmy and Mark Smith, one step-grandson, one great-grandson; brothers, Roy, Robert, Archie and Harold Hilliard; and sisters, Sissy Lucas and Geneva Beck.

Survivors include her daughters, Sharon Elkins and husband Lynn, and Teresa Kearns and husband Jeff, both of Silk Hope; sister, Lenora Lucas of Bonlee; 15 grandchildren, one step-grandson, eight great-grandchildren and three step-great-gradchildren.

The family received friends on Monday, September 19, 2022, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Smith & Buckner Funeral Home. The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at Hickory Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Darrell Garner officiating. Burial followed at the Hilliard Family Cemetery in Goldston.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hickory Grove Baptist Church, 17721 N.C. Hwy 902, Bear Creek, N.C. 27207.

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home assisted the Smith family.

Online condolences may be made at

Walter Marvin Atwater

October 21, 1925 ~ September 2, 2022

Walter Marvin Atwater of Chapel Hill died peacefully September 12th in the family home where he was born and raised. After 96 blessed years, he was with all four children as he drew his last breath.

He was born to Marvin and Isma Andrews Atwater on October 31, 1925 (sharing a birthday with his father). He worked on the family farm and worked various jobs, including at the Cotton Mill in Carrboro before he entered into the Merchant Marines at age 19. He married his cherished wife, Anne Eubanks, and they built a house for their future family beside his parents in Chatham County. He provided a safe and happy home for his growing family by working as a carpenter building houses and then additionally completed a correspondence course in electronics which led to a job with IBM.

As he worked, he took care of the family farm, huge vegetable gardens while being a foundational member of Cedar Grove Methodist Church, all while he and Anne raised the family and cared for his parents and community. When he retired from IBM he purchased a sawmill then eventually a larger sawmill. He, most often along with his son James, cut, dried and planed wood for many grateful friends and neighbors. He and Anne also sold vegetables and baked goods at the Carrboro Farmers Market for years. He also sold vegetables to several area restaurants. He took great pride in his “Silver Queen” corn, “Ambrosia” cantaloupes, and especially “Pink Girl” tomatoes. People would actually drive to see how pretty the garden would be that summer.

He led an exemplary life of honest, hard work, impeccable Christian values, and a great love for his family and friends. Anyone that was lucky enough to know him, loved and admired him for his straightforward, no nonsense attitude and marveled at the wonderful couple that he and Anne were. Preceded in death by his parents, his faithful wife of 72 years, Anne Eubanks Atwater, brothers; William, Alfred, Roy and sister Eugenia Humpheries. Survived by his children; Alana (Gene) Finney of Kannapolis, James (Jeanett) Atwater of Salter Path, Beth (Pete) Junquera of Benson, N.Y., and Maria (Dwayne) Hendrix of Clemmons. He was blessed to have nine wonderful grandchildren and 14 precious great-grandchildren.

Donaldson Funeral Home is serving the Atwater family.

Tributes can be left at


July 25, 1961 ~ September 13, 2022

Christopher “Chris” Kenneth Vickers, age 61, of Chapel Hill, died Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at UNC Hospital.

Chris was born in Orange County, N.C., on July 25, 1961, to Maurice Kenneth Vickers Jr., and Ruth Hundley Vickers. He is also survived by his wife, Janet Pendergraph Vickers; two brothers, Mark Vickers and wife Lisa of Pittsboro, Eric Vickers and wife Kelly of Pittsboro; one sister, Nancy Vickers of Siler City; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. at Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory, Griffin Chapel. A memorial service followed at 2 p.m. with Rev. Barrett Freeman presiding.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Chris’s memory to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, Texas 75284-0692.

Condolences may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Vickers family.


May 3, 1939 ~ September 14, 2022

Patricia “Trish” Petty Andrews, 83, of Staley, passed away surrounded by her loved ones at her home on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Mrs. Andrews was born in Chatham County on May 3, 1939, the daughter of Lonnie and Jessie Perry Petty. She was raised in Silk Hope, and graduated from Silk Hope School in 1956 as the Salutatorian and basketball star. Patricia was a member of Moon’s Chapel Baptist Church. She retired after working as a Clerk and Carrier for over 20 years with the U.S. Postal Service. She loved reading or watching game shows, and enjoyed a good murder mystery. Patricia was famous in the kitchen cooking, and making bread. She enjoyed trips to the mountains, and collecting teddy bears and nutcrackers. Patricia adored her time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Patricia is survived by her husband of 67 years, Wayne E. Andrews; sons, Dennis Andrews and wife Donna, Keith Andrews and wife Kelly, Kevin Andrews, and Greg Andrews and wife Melanie, and Lori Andrews; grandchildren, Austin, Grayer, Audrey, and Hayes Andrews, Lane Andrews, Allison Moody and Ashley Hudson, and Samantha Andrews; and three great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Patricia is preceded in death by her siblings, Elizabeth Ferrell, L.M “Buck” Petty, Adele Brooks, Charlie May Petty, Mazil Lee Petty, G.T. Petty, and Gwyn James.

A memorial graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Moon’s Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery, 175 Moon’s Chapel Road, Siler City with Rev. Scott Faw officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Moon’s Chapel Cemetery Fund, or to UNC Hospice, P.O. Box 1077, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the Andrews family.

Online condolences may be made at


August 27, 1937 ~ September 7, 2022

Lucille Clark Phillips, 85, of Siler City, passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at Alamance Regional Medical Center.

She was born in Richmond, Virginia, on August 27, 1937, the daughter of Moyer L. and Lillie Bell Cassidy Clark. She was a hard worker, starting at a young age, and later retiring from Kellwood. Lucille loved sewing, refinishing antique furniture and sitting down to enjoy a good book. She always had a smile on her face. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her daughter, Teresa Ferguson; sisters, Annie Ruth Rachel and Carlene Blake; and brother, James Cecil Clark.

Lucille is survived by her son, Mark Phillips of Siler City; sister, Virginia C. Harrison; grandchildren, Amanda Kelly Ferguson, Alicia Dawn Ferguson, and Hayley Tippton; great grandsons, Gabriel David Anthony and Gunter Gene Tippton; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Siler City Lions Club, c/o Juanita Brown, 4468 Friendly Lane, Ramseur, N.C. 27316, or to the Camp Dogwood for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 7062 Camp Dogwood Dr., Sherrills Ford, N.C. 28673.

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the Phillips family.

Online condolences may be made at


Vivian Rover loved to dance especially the Texas two step with her partner of 10 years, Melvin Rives of Bear Creek. She loved to cook and loved country music. One of her favorite things that made her smile was being called Nana by her granddaughters and great grandchildren. She loved everyone she met. Vivian retired from UNC Hospitals in 1996.

Vivian Farrell Rover, age 86, died Monday, September 19, 2022, after a lengthy illness at SECU Jim & Betsy Bryan Hospice House. She was born in Chatham County, N.C., to the late Raymond and Lillian Eubanks Farrell. She was also preceded by her husband, Albert Rover and a son, Alan Burks.

She is survived by her son, Rodney Rover and her loving daughter-in-law, Barbara Rover of Pittsboro, and granddaughters, Rebecca Rover of Pittsboro, Melissa Spinks of Ramseur, Ashley Clark, Emma Clark of Pittsboro; and five great-grandchildren.

The visitation was Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory from 6 to 8 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Hanks Chapel Church Cemetery on Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Bob Wachs presiding.

Condolences may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Rover family.


October 13, 1920 ~ September 15, 2022

Allen Jessie Bryan, age 101, died Thursday evening, September 15, 2022.

Mr. Bryan was born on October 13, 1920, to the late J. Newton Bryan and Roetta Lawrence Bryan of the Seaforth Community in Chatham County. He graduated from Bells High School in 1938.

A WWII veteran, Mr. Bryan entered service November 30, 1942. He fought in the Napels Foggia Campaign, serving as an anti-tank gunner aboard an M-10 tank destroyer, assigned to the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 36th Infantry Division. He was wounded in combat near Mignano, Italy on November 18, 1943. His parents and wife were initially notified in error by telegram on December 2, 1943, that he had been killed in action; they received a corrective telegram on December 4, 1943, advising them that he was alive, but wounded. Mr. Bryan was awarded the Purple Heart, the American Theatre Ribbon, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with the Bronze Star, the WWII Victory Medal and the Distinguished Unit Citation. He was Honorably Discharged on December 10, 1945.

Mr. Bryan frequently reminisced about farming, hunting and fishing while living on his family farm near Seaforth, N.C., during the first half-century of his life. He also loved to share his memories of riding his Harley Davidson and playing his guitar. When forced to relocate due to the construction of what is now known as Jordan Lake, Mr. Bryan and his family moved closer to Pittsboro, N.C. He later worked for Allied Chemical near Moncure for 10 years, retiring in May 1983.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Celeste Connell Bryan, and his four sisters, Maggie Thrailkill, Hallie Beckwith, Mozelle Boone and Ruth Farrar.

He is survived by his two daughters, Amelia Bryan and Jill Bryan; grandchildren: Ashley Fischer (Shawn) and Brent Cotten (Katelyn) and great granddaughters, Hadleigh and Leighton Fischer.

Mr. Bryan was a member of the American Legion and the Pittsboro Masonic Temple.

The family would like to thank the American Legion Post 116 in Fuquay Varina for organizing two drive-by parades to celebrate Mr. Bryan’s 100th and 101st birthdays. The parades were awe-inspiring to all in attendance and particularly memorable to Mr. Bryan.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, at 3 p.m. at Bells Baptist Church cemetery at 870 Horton’s Pond Road, Apex conducted by Rev. Ray Gooch and including Military Honors and Masonic Rites.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you thank a veteran for his or her service.

Condolences may be made at

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Bryan family.


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