Obituaries Week of August 2, 2017




James William Owens, 77, of Pelzer, husband of Jill Davis Owens, died Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Born in Greenville County, he was a son of the late Clarence and Frances Chastain Owens. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and retired from Yellow Freight.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter, Tina Alewine of Belton; sisters, Brenda Thurston, Martha Bagwell, Suzanne Barnett; brother, Ricky Owens; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral service was held Friday, July 28, in the Chapel of Gray Mortuary, Pelzer. Burial followed at Greenville Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to Meals on Wheels of Greenville, 15 Oregon St., Greenville, SC 29605.


Funeral service for Tammy Jo Davis Darnell, 57, of Piedmont, was held Wednesday at Mount Airy Baptist Church. Burial followed at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery.

Born in Greenville, she was a daughter of Brenda Joyce Bennett Davis and the late Edward Joe Davis.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by sons, Jason Darnell of Williamston, Jeremy Darnell and Jacob Darnell, both of Piedmont; sister, Cindy Coleman of Greenville; brother, Joey Davis; and three grandchildren.


Betty Zane Roberts Trotter, 74, of Williamston, widow of William Robert Trotter, died Friday, July 21, 2017 at her home.

Born in Greenville, she was a daughter of the late Herbert Hugh and Sally Mae Suddeth Roberts. She was former owner/operator of Betty Zane’s Beauty Shop and a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Surviving are her daughter, Sally Trotter McIntosh of Williamston; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; brother, Edward Hugh Roberts of Taylors; and sister, Janice Lynn Jordan of Greenville.

A memorial service was held Monday, July 31 at M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery.


The Unity Mortuary of Williamston announces that family and friends gathered at noon, Monday July 31 to celebrate the life of Lloyd Belton. A public viewing was held Sunday, July 30, 2017 at the Roosevelt Thompson Memorial Chapel, 110 N. Hamilton Street, Williamston.


Edna Ruth Kelley Cobb, 85, of Greenville, wife of the late J.W. Cobb, died Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Born in Anderson she was the daughter of the late Paul and Aliene Kelley.

She retired as founder of E.C. Industries.

She was a member of Greenville first Wesleyan Church.

Surviving are her sons, Dr. Larry W. Cobb of Piedmont and H. Marett Cobb of Fort Worth, TX; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and three brothers, Charles, Calvin, and Carroll Kelley.

Funeral service was held Monday, July 31 at Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Northwest. A private entombment followed at Greenville Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.


COLUMBIA, SC – Wilbur “Mr. Wil” Ashley, 86, passed away on July 27, 2017 at his home following a brief illness.

Mr. Ashley was born in 1931 near Belton, SC, the eldest son of John Thomas and Mamie Wilson Ashley.  A 1951 graduate of Erskine College, Mr. Ashley began work with South Carolina National Bank in 1953.  There, he met his future wife, Gloria Owen; the two were married in 1954.  In 1959, Mr. Ashley and his family moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where they have since resided.

An honor graduate of Erskine College and the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Banking and Finance, Mr. Ashley had a long, distinguished career with South Carolina National Bank/Wachovia, from which he retired in 1992.

After retirement, Mr. Ashley dedicated many years to volunteer work at various Columbia Institutions, including the Lions Club International, Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, Palmetto Health Baptist, and Providence Hospital.

Mr. Ashley is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gloria Owen Ashley; brother, Wendell (Polly) and their children; daughter-in-law, Darlene Ashley; son, Donald Ashley (Kelly); grandchildren, Jason (Saundra), Brittany (Steve), Meredith, Eric, Steven (Shannon) and Bonnie (Steven).  Mr. Ashley was predeceased by his eldest son, John, who passed away in 2002 and with whom he will be laid to rest.

The family received friends from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at Thompson Funeral Home of West Columbia, 200 State Street.  Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 31, 2017 in the chapel of the funeral home.

Mr. Ashley’s family would like to thank the dedicated works of Palmetto Health Hospice and Home Care.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may the sent to Kilbourne Park Baptist Church and/or Palmetto Health Hospice.

Family and friends may sign the online guest book at


Mahlon Helmuth, 76, of Piedmont, died Friday, July 28, 2017 in his home.

He was born July 11, 1941, in Nappanee, IN, to the late Henry and Lydia Ann Helmuth. He was a bishop and pastor of the Tabernacle of Faith in Piedmont, and married to Mary Hollingsworth Helmuth of LaFrance.

Survivors include his wife; four sons, Victor, Cleveland, TN, Marvin, Rose Hill, VA, Paul, Piedmont, John, Pelzer; 14 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; three brothers, John, Elmer, Lester, all of Nappanee, IN.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, August 2, at the Life Church on Hwy. 20 in Piedmont. Memorials may be made to Piedmont Christian Academy of Piedmont.


EASLEY—Esther Lenora Gwin “Essie” Morris, 87, widow of David Milton Morris, passed away Sunday, July 30, 2017.

Born in Chester, she was a daughter of the late John Harper and Sara Wallace Gwin. She was retired from the Greenville Hospital System after twenty-five years and a member of Piedmont Presbyterian Church.

For the last year, she resided at Oakview Park Assisted Living in Powdersville, where she received excellent care.

She is survived by daughter, Teresa Wolfe and son-in-law, Jerel of Easley; grandson, Daniel O. Nunn and Kristi and Jaksen of Lewis Center, OH; granddaughter, Stacey Atkins of Hiwassee, VA; great-granddaughters, Mahaley Mabry and Regean Phillips; and great-great-granddaughter, Makenna Mabry.

She was predeceased by eight siblings; and grandson, Davis Wolfe.

Visitation will be held Friday, August 4, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at Piedmont Presbyterian Church, 4 Academy Street, Piedmont, SC. The funeral will follow at 2:30 p.m. with burial at Greenville Memorial Gardens.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Piedmont Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 422, Piedmont, SC 29673; or Agape Hospice, 529 Mills Avenue, Greenville, SC 29605.

Gray Mortuary, Pelzer