Obituaries 4-21-2021


Frank McCleer, Jean Irby, Howard Hutton, Jim Harmon, Chris Herren (Neely), Louise Boyce, Maida Kelly


Maida Kelly

Pelzer – Maida Bedola Henderson Kelly, 93, passed away Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Born in Simpsonville, she was a daughter of the late William David and Estell Rodgers Henderson. She retired from Southern Bell Telephone Company and was a member of West Pelzer Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school for sixty-five years. She was a fifty-five-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter #84 and served for eight years on the West Pelzer Town Council.

The last surviving member of her immediate family, she was predeceased by five brothers and two sisters. She was also predeceased by her unofficially adopted child, Frankie Farlisi.   

 She is survived by three generations of nieces and nephews.

Visitation was on Sunday, April 18, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Gray Mortuary. The service followed at 3:00 in the mortuary chapel. A private committal followed.

Due to Covid-19, the family requests that masks be worn and social distancing observed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Pelzer Baptist Church, Building Fund, 29 Main Street, West Pelzer, SC 29669.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer


Louise Boyce

Pelzer – Willie Louise Fields Boyce, 77, wife of Gene Boyce, passed away Monday, April 12, 2021.

Born in Iva, she was a daughter of the late Lester and Lucille Simmons Fields. She retired from Michelin Tire Company after twenty-five years. 

In addition to her husband, she is survived by son, Ricky E. Boyce (Janet) of Williamston; daughter Rhonda Boyce Fields (Tony) of Anderson; and sister, Dorothy “Dot” Smith (Carroll) of Iva.

   She was predeceased by brother, Autry Fields.

A graveside service was held Thursday, April 15, at 11:00 a.m. at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. 

Flowers are optional, if preferred, or memorials may be made to the Pelzer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 94, Pelzer, SC 29669.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer


Chris Herren (Neely)

Christopher Herren (Neely) of Williamston, 48, passed away Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Born in Wichita Falls, TX, he was the son of Wanda Faye Knight Neely and the late Bobby Ray Neely.  He was employed with Hack Hammonds Grading.

   In addition to his mother of Belton, he is survived by a nephew, Tristan Riggins “Riggs” Mitchell.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer


Jim Harmon

James Willard “Jim” Harmon of Pelzer, 85, husband of Shirley Cobb Harmon, passed away Friday, April 16, 2021.

Born in Portland, ME, he was a son of the late Clinton and Lillian Harmon of Hollis Center, ME.  He served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and four years in the U.S. Air Force. He retired from 3M Company and was a member of Pelzer First Baptist Church.  

In addition to his wife, he is survived by children, Tony and Blanche Harmon of Sierra Vista, AZ, Terry and Terri Blackston, Tim and Millie Harmon, and Todd and Emily Harmon of Williamston; 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild; sister, Lois Edelson of Canada.

A graveside service was held April 19 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.  

Memorials may be made to Pelzer First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 306, Pelzer, SC 29669.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer



Howard Hutton

Howard Elmer Hutton of Williamston, 89, husband of Virginia Russell Wilson Hutton, passed away on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Born in Westchester, PA, he was the son of the late Howard Walter and Annie Elizabeth Sherrard Hutton.  He was the owner of Hutton Insurance Agency, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Clymer, PA and attended Grace Baptist Church in Pelzer.  He was a member of the U.S. Naval Air Reserves.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter, Fran Hutton of East Providence, RI; son, David Allen Hutton of Williamston; 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date at Grace Baptist Church, Pelzer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 11394 PA-286, Clymer, PA 15728 or Grace Baptist Church, 8841 Augusta Rd., Pelzer, SC 29669.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer


Jean Irby

Belton – Shelvy Jean Willimon Irby, 83, wife of Thomas Randolph Irby, passed away Thursday, April 15, 2021, after having succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s.

Born June 14, 1937 in Six Mile, Jean was a daughter of the late Luther and Sula Hendricks Willimon. She retired as the owner and manager of Mantec and Associates Personnel Agency of Greenville. She was one of only three nationally certified employment consultants in the state at that time.

Prior to the onset of Alzheimer’s, Jean was instrumental as a fundraiser for the 1981 sanctuary for Beech Springs Church. A lover of music, Jean was a noted singer and songwriter. She developed a significant fanbase from engagements at several locations in the upstate. She also performed with the Spivak Band, formerly of Greenville. Jean was generous and compassionate, ready to help anyone she felt was in need.

In addition to her husband to whom she had been married since June 16, 1973, she is survived by stepson, Christopher Irby of Easley; stepdaughter, Laura Bates of Greer; son, Craig Bruce; daughter, Foy Pritchart; sisters, Joan Stephenson and Duane Cassels, both of Easley; brother, Joe Willimon of Simpsonville; four granddaughters and ten great-grandchildren.

Visitation was held Tuesday, April 20, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Beech Springs Church. The service followed at 2:00 p.m. with burial at Greenville Memorial Gardens.

Due to Covid-19, the family requests that masks be worn and social distancing observed.

 The family will appreciate either flowers or memorials being made to the Alzheimer’s Association – Upstate SC Chapter, 123 West Antrim Drive, Greenville, SC 29607.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer


Frank McCleer

Pelzer, SC – Franklin “Frank” Delano McCleer, 78, went peacefully to be with the Lord Tuesday, April 13 at his home, in the arms of his wife, Dawn Williams McCleer, of 44 years.

   Frank was born in Joiner, Arkansas in his grandpa’s house. He was a son of the late Thomas Augustus McCleer and Lorene Kanady McCleer Palone. He was a member of Washington Baptist Church, Pelzer and of the Upward Bound Sunday School class. He battled his disease the same way he lived his life, courageously and valiantly. He was a successful businessman, with an amazing work ethic. Although his goal was not for riches; instead, it was for the security of his family as well as for helping others. His love of family was immeasurable, and his charities numerous.  He picked cotton as a young boy, worked at a Cotton Gin at age 9, in a sawmill at age 11, and on a fruit farm at age 13; just to name a few. He went to school in a three-room schoolhouse with his brothers and sisters. He was as unique a child as he was as an adult.

   In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Wendy Floyd (Glenn) of Brandon, MS; sons, Mark McCleer of Pickens, Matt McCleer of Greer, Frankie McCleer (Kelli) of Pelzer and Jeff McCleer (Michelle) of Pelzer; sisters, Loretta Peery of Summerville and Pat Stone (Chuck) of Pelzer; brothers, Tom McCleer of Enid, MS and Rick McCleer (Connie) of Owasso, OK; grandchildren, Chris, Shannon, Bridgette, Kameron, Brittany, Matthew, Madie, Marlie, Brady, Bailey, Allie, Colton, Anna, Kaden, Auggie and Dozer; and great-grandchildren, Delaney, Ethan, Eli, Rylee, Bryson, and Ryker.

   He was predeceased by step-father, Frank Palone; sister, Vicki McCleer; and brothers, Romie, Nate and Tommy McCleer.

The celebration of Frank’s life began with visitation from 1:00-2:30 pm Saturday, April 17, at Washington Baptist Church, 208 Washington Church Rd. Pelzer. The service followed at 2:30 pm in the church. Burial was at Greenville Memorial Gardens, 7784 Augusta Rd., Piedmont.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriner’s Hospitals for Children

A special thank you to everyone at Open Arms Hospice for their kind and compassionate caring.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer