Obituaries Week of 4-17-2013



William Frank Lark, 85, of Piedmont, widower of Freddie Lark, died Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at his home.
Born in Piedmont, he was a son of the late James Mack and Grace Bryant Lark.  He was twice married, first to the late Ruby Cockrell Lark and then to Freddie Lollis Lark.  A veteran of the U.S. Army, he also retired from Judson Mills.
Surviving are daughters, Sharon Sanders of Honea Path, and Becky Rochester of Piedmont; son, William Lee Lark of Piedmont; eight stepchildren; a special grandson raised in the home, Ray Sanders of Piedmont; eight grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and many step-grand and great-grandchildren.
He is the last member of his immediate family.
Funeral service was held Saturday at Oak Grove Baptist Church. Burial followed at Greenville Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to Open Arms Hospice, 1836 W. Georgia Road, Simpsonville, SC 29680.

Peggy Bagwell Merck, 78, died April 9th, 2013 at Emeritus Anderson Place, Anderson.
She was born in Anderson County to the late Fred and Marie Bagwell.
She retired as a teacher, and was a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.
She is survived by her husband, James K. Merck, of the home; sister, Frances Kowalski of Piedmont; daughter, Suzanne Tripp of Piedmont; son, Jim Merck of Piedmont; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Easley on Friday, April 12. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Nora Miller Farmer, 90, widow of Curtis Berry Farmer, Sr. died Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
Born in Newberry, she was a daughter of the late Frank E. and Katherine McCarty Miller.
She was a former daycare owner and was of the Methodist faith.
Surviving are six children, Curtis B. Farmer, Jr. of Shelby, NC, Shirly Neal of Greenville, Lester Farmer of Powdersville, Mickey FArmer of Greer, Rickie Farmer of Anderson and Carroll Farmer of New Hampshire; 22 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; twin sister, Docia Rash of Columbia, MO; and siblings, Mary Keith and Doris Fleming, both of Newberry, Georgia Freeman of Rock Hill, Van Rinkerkeneck of St. Cloud, FL and John Miller of Greenwood.
Funeral service was held Saturday, April 13 in the Downtown Chapel of Thomas McAfee Funeral Home. Burial followed in Greenville Memorial Gardens.

Walter H. Gilstrap, 75, husband of Louise C. Gilstrap, of Easley, died April 9, 2013.
Son of the late Ephraim M. and Mary Wood Gilstrap, he was a member of Greenville First Presbyterian Church and a US Army Veteran. He was regional manager for Winn-Dixie.
Surviving in addition to his wife, are a daughter, Gwen Gilstrap of Piedmont; and a sister, Blanche Creswell of Greenville.
A memorial service was held Friday, April 12 in Harper Chapel of First Presbyterian Church.
Memorials may be made to the Pastoral Visitation Ministry of First Presbyterian Church, 200 W. Washington St., Greenville, SC 29601.

WILLIAMSTON—Benson “Benny” Lee Bonds, Sr., 61, of 3 Gray Drive, widower of Laura Carol Bonds, died Friday, April 12, 2013, at Anmed.
Born in Anderson County, SC, he was a son of Garnie Mae Mayfield Bonds and the late John Henry James Bonds, Sr.  He was twice married, first to Mary Ann Self and second to Laura Carol Bonds.  He formerly worked at Electrolux in Anderson.  A member of the Clouds of Thunder Motorcycle Ministries, he was also a member of Christian Motorcycles Association.
Surviving are his mother, of Honea Path; daughter, Katherine Michelle Gardner, of McCormick; son, Benson Lee Bonds, Jr., of Plum Branch; step-daughter, Cheryl Mullins, of Greenville; step-sons, Donald L. Hunt, of Anderson and Denver L. Hunt, of Marysville, TN; brother, John Henry Bonds, Jr., of Honea Path; grandson, Daniel Isom Coffee; four step-grandchildren; and seven step-great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by brother, Henry Earl Bond.
Visitation was held 2:00-4:00 p.m. Sunday at Gray Mortuary, Pelzer.  A graveside service was held at 1:00 p.m. Monday at M.J. Dolly Cooper Veterans Cemetery.

Catherine Childress, of Greenville, died Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
Born in Greenville County, she was a daughter of the late John H. and Marie Adams Sullivan.
Surviving are daughters, Carolyn Jones of Fayetteville, GA, Claudia Thompson-Smith of Mauldin, Kathy Jenkins of Piedmont, Blanche Carleen Arnold and Nikita Backum, both of Greenville; son, John Kenneth Childress of the home; sister, Matilda Lee of Fountain Inn; 12 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held Monday at Rocky Creek Baptist Church. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Lottie Bishop “Dot” Swillen, 86, of Easley, widow of W.E. “Bo” Swillen, died Thursday, April 11, 2013.
Born in Greenville, she was the daughter of the late Carl Hampton and Willie Mae Sloan Bishop.
She retired from JP Stevens Parker Plant and was a member of Jones Avenue Baptist Church.
She is survived by sons, W.E. Ed Swillen Jr. of Powdersville and Richard C. Swillen of Easley; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held Sunday, April 14 in Graceland Cemetery West.
Memorials may be made to Jones Avenue Baptist Church, 614 Ross Avenue, Easley, SC 29640.

Graham Holmes, 82, of Williamston, was born in Fort Fairfield, ME.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannine Holmes; daughters, Kathryn, Juanita, Beverly, and one son, Gerald; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Bertha Calabrese of West Hartford, CT, and Maxine Manfreda of Windham, CT.
He was a lightweight boxer in his 20s and was Light Weight Champion of Connecticut. He  also worked in automobile sales for many years.
He was of the Catholic faith.
A funeral mass was held April 16 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1200 Cornelia Road, Anderson. A private burial will be held at a later date at Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Greenville.

Gladys Estelle Cheek, 81, of Belton, died Sunday, April 14, 2013 at the Rainey Hospice House.
Born in Anderson County, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Oscar Smith and the late Willie Mae Harper Smith. She was a member of Williamston Church of God.
She is survived by her children, Jerry Cheek of Lutz, FL, Donnie Cheek and Shorty Cheek, both of Belton, Juanita Neal of Anderson, Linda Raburn of Belton, Norma Grant of Anderson, Mary Cheek of Belton, Kim Hasting of Ninety Six and Candy Baker of Williamston; sister, Marlene Coyle of West Pelzer; 26 grandchildren; 56 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.
Graveside service was held April 17 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.

Ann Louise Abbott, 67, of Williamston, wife of Gerald Neal Abbott, died Monday, April 15, 2013 at St. Francis Hospital.
Born in Greenville, she was the daughter of the late Johnny Mack, Sr. and Ruby Charlotte Eaton Gregory. She owned Abbott Services for 25 years and was a member of Trinity Baptist Church.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Pamela Kennedy of Richmond, VA, Michael Abbott of Greenville, Greg Abbott of Startex, Diane Tompkins of Williamston, Becky Durham of Williamston, and Denise Weinberg of Greenville; brother, Phil Gregory of Greenville; 22 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be 1-2 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013 at Trinity Baptist Church with funeral services following at 2 p.m. Thursday. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Greenville.
The family is at the home.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Baptist Church, 324 Belton Drive, Williamston, SC 29697.

Donald Ray “Don Don” Pruitt, 42, of Piedmont, died Monday, April 15, 2013 at his home.
Born in Greenville County, he was a son of the late Hubert Ray and Georgia Ann Taylor Pruitt. He was a participant in the Special Olympics.
He is survived by a sister, Barbara Ann Jeane, of the home; and brothers, David Lee Pruitt and Forrest Clifton Pruitt, both of Piedmont.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 17 at Piedmont Presbyterian Church. Burial followed at Greenville Memorial Gardens.