Obituaries Week of Aug. 19, 2015




WEST PELZER—William Edward “Bud” Brown, 91, widower of Annie Ruth Allen “Shortie” Brown, passed away Sunday, August 16, 2015.

Born in Pelzer, he was a son of the late Connor and Pauline Bradshaw Brown. An Army WWII and Korean War veteran, he had retired from J.P. Stevens. He was a former Mayor of West Pelzer, past Master of Pelzer Masonic Lodge, was a member of Pelzer Church of God, and on the church council for many years.

He is survived by daughters, Deborah B. Smith (Bill) of West Pelzer, Kimberly B. Tice of West Pelzer; son, Billy Brown of Pelzer; grandchildren, Bo and Chad Smith, Peyton Holbert, and Tyler Tice; great-grandchildren, Ty, Jordan, Carrigan, Graelyn, Karcyn, Kaycen, Kameron, and Blakely.

He was predeceased by sister, Rachel McAlister and brother, Connor Brown, Jr.

Visitation was held Monday from 6:00 – 7:30 Gray Mortuary. The funeral was held Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in the mortuary chapel. Burial followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to the Pelzer Church of God, P.O. Box 276, Pelzer, SC 29669; or to Rainey Hospice House, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.

The family is at the home.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer



WEST PELZER—Benjamin Franklin “Sonny” Ross, III, 81, of the Presbyterian Home in Clinton for the past twenty years, went to be with his Lord Friday, August 14, 2015 at the Laurens County Hospital.

Born in Pelzer, he was a son of the late Benjamin Franklin Ross II and Sara Jane McBrearty Ross Oliver. A Korean War Veteran, he had retired from the Greenville SC Highway Department. He was a lifelong member of Pelzer Presbyterian Church, where he was a former Elder, Superintendent of Sunday School, and a choir member. He lived his life serving his Lord, his family, his church, his church family, and his community. He was also a past president of the Pelzer Lions Club, was awarded The Lion of the Year 1985 – 1986, and delivered Meals on Wheels.

Surviving are his brothers, Joe Ross (Barbara) of Belton, and John Robert Ross of Knoxville, TN; sister-in-law, Marsha Ross of Williamston. He was predeceased by a brother, William Dendy “Buddy” Ross.

A graveside service was held Monday, August 17, at 11:00 a.m. at Richland Presbyterian Cemetery, 821 Poplar Springs Road, Westminster, SC 29693. Mr. Dale Harper, a family friend, officiated.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Presbyterian Home, 801 Musgrove Street, Clinton, SC 29325.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer



Kelley Williams Ali, 41, of Simpsonville, wife of Alex Ali, died Friday, August 14, 2015.

Born in Newport News, Virginia, she was a daughter of Kathleen Smith of Williamston and Jack Smith (Kelly) of Anderson. She was employed with S.C. Vocational Rehab Department.

In addition to her husband and parents, she is survived by sons, Andrew Cole of Williamston and Adam Ali of Simpsonville; brothers, Russell Jack Smith of Richardson, TX and Wally Williams of Williamston; sister, Rhonda Rosenberger  of Moncks Corner.

She was predeceased by her biological father, Murphy Wallace Williams, Jr.

Funeral service was held Sunday, August 16 in the Chapel of Gray Mortuary, Pelzer.


Iris Elaine Mitchell Childress, 72, of Honea Path, died Friday, August 14, 2015.

Born in Piedmont, she was a daughter of the late Charlie Ed and Callie Bryson Mitchell.

Surviving are sons, Dean and Eddie Childress; daughter, Kellie Childress; brothers, Lee and Jerry Mitchell; and six grandchildren.

Funeral service was held Monday, August 17, in the Chapel of Gray Mortuary, Pelzer. Burial followed at Garrison Family Cemetery in Piedmont.


Rev. Stephen Michael Cothran, 64, of Pendleton, died Thursday, August 13, 2015 at AnMed Health Medical Center.

Born in Anderson, he was the son of the late Herman Cothran and the late Marguerite Wilson Cothran.

He served as pastor for several churches, including Refuge Baptist, Wolf Stake Baptist, Brushy Creek Baptist, Bethel Baptist, Freedom Fellowship, and was the current pastor of New Testament Baptist.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Greene Cothran; children, Stephen M. Cothran, Jr., of Anderson and Rita Fowler of Powdersville; step-children, Daniel Roberts of Supply, NC, Matthew Roberts of Shelby, NC, and Jordan Roberts of Kernersville, NC; brother, Ricky Cothran of Sandy Springs; and six grandchildren.

Funeral service was held August 16 at Temple Baptist Church.

Interment followed at Welcome Baptist Church Cemetery.


PIEDMONT – Clara Lariz Finley, 75, widow of William Finley, Jr., passed away August 2, 2015. Born in Key West, FL she was a daughter of the late Andrew and Mable Lariz.

Surviving are five children, Roseine Reese of Pelzer, Vickie Evans (David) of Piedmont, Denise Rinehart (Doug) of Piedmont, Lori Steifle (Ernest) of Pelzer, and William “Billy” Finley, III (Beth) of Piedmont; ten grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren; one sister Terri Tortian of Easley; and cousins in sisterly love, Jane Rowland, Josephine Simmons and Dee Middleton.

Predeceased were a great-granddaughter, Isabelle Walton; a sister, Betty Jean Caldwell; and Rosa Maria Banks.

Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 at Greenville Memorial Gardens in the Mausoleum Chapel. The family is at the homes of Denise Rinehart and Candie Walton.


John Robert “Jack” Beeks, 91, of Greenville, widower of Melvee Jennings Beeks, died Wednesday, August 12, 2015.

Born in Greenville, he was the son of the late Samuel E. Beeks II and Lillie Mae McConnell Beeks.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and retired from Reliance Electric.

Surviving are three daughters, Yvonne Garren of Simpsonville, Yvette Davis of Powdersville, and Yville Campbell of Pelzer; son, John Robert Beeks, Jr. of Limassol, Cyprus; six grandchildren; and a sister, Marion Dyer of Greenville.

Funeral service was held Tuesday, Aug. 18 at Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown. Burial followed in Graceland Cemetery, West.

Memorials may be made to Augusta Heights Baptist church, 3018 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29605.


Wilbur C. Simmons, 78, of Pickens, husband of Anna Dunlap Simmons, died August 9, 2015.

Born in Greenville, he was the son of the late Dr. John Riffe and Gladys Hernlund Simmons.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and  was an instructor at the Air Force Academy and was later employed with Kemet in Greenville.

Surviving in addition to his wife are two sons, Scott Simmons and Bradley Simmons, both of Greenville; sister, mary Louise Anton of Easley; brother, Charles Simmons of Arizona; two step-daughters, Melissa Storay of Pelzer and Fredna Hughes of Ft. Inn; and ex-wife, Joylyn Lynch of Greenville.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 22 at 2 p.m. at Pickens Presbyterian Church.

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.


Dorothy “Dot” Hill Reid Yeager, 80, of Williamston, widow of Will Yeager, died on August 17, 2015.

She was twice married, first to the late Gene Reid.

Born in Williamston, she was a daughter of the late Fred and Emma Hill.  She taught first grade at Mauldin Elementary from 1970-1992.

She is survived by sons, Michael Reid of Greenwood, Terry Reid of Seabrook, TX; five grandchildren; siblings, Fred Harold Hill, Ann Hill, Evelyn Hudson and Fred Hill.

Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, August 20, at Gray Mortuary, Pelzer.

The service will follow at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel.  Burial will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Anderson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Four Seasons Hospice, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.