Obituaries – 10/19/12

Published 10:09 am Friday, October 19, 2012

Patricia Roberts

April 30, 1935-Oct. 16, 2012

PATRICIA JEAN ROBERTS, 77, of South Point, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at King’s Daughters Medical Center, Ashland, Ky. Patricia was born April 30, 1935, in Huntington, W.Va., a daughter of the late Olin Eugene and Etta Mae Hatfield Rowsey. She is survived by her husband, Ronald Roberts; one son, Richard Roberts; three daughters, Teresa Stewart of Ironton, Valerie Roberts and Dreama Miller of South Point; seven grandchildren; four great grandchildren; three great, great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

The family would like to thank Rev. Shane Cox, KDMC Chaplain, and A&L Homecare Aides for such wonderful care. There will be no visitation. Friends and family may visit the family at the residence. Slack and Wallace Funeral Home, South Point, is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences to the family may be expressed at

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Joe Todd Taylor, Jr.

June 3, 1918-Oct. 13, 2012

Joe Todd Taylor, Jr., 94, passed away peacefully on Oct. 13, 2012. Joe was born on June 3, 1918, in Statesville, N.C. where he grew up.

Joe’s wife Wilburn, born as Wilburn Trexler, grew up in Salisbury, N.C. Joe met Wilburn at a cookout in 1935 and always referred to the occasion as “probably the greatest day of my life.” They married in 1942 and celebrated their 70th Anniversary on Sept. 19.

Joe entered the Navy after high school in Statesville for a four-year stint including time on the battleship USS Wyoming. Joe re-enlisted during World War II and served again from 1942 to 1945 as a chief petty officer radioman in a naval transport squadron stationed on the Atlantic coast. After the war, Joe continued to be active in the Naval Reserve and did not receive his final military discharge until 1966. In 1967, Joe was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the U.S. Navy for his outstanding contributions to naval recruiting in the community of Salisbury.

After the war, Joe pursued a career in retail that would include 40 years with the Belk organization in Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, and bring him to Salisbury in 1964 as Vice-President and General Manager of Belk Harry Company. Through his 21-year management of Belk-Harry, then the largest department store in town, it came to be said that, “There was a time when Joe Taylor was downtown Salisbury.” In recognition of his distinguished service for the Belk organization and Salisbury, the Salisbury-Rowan Merchants Association gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joe served as president of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Foundation. During his career, Joe chaired or served as president of many other organizations including the Salisbury Symphony, Rotary and Kiwanis Club. Joe also has served from time to time as both a Deacon and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury. He was one of the earliest Eagle Scouts in N.C. and remained involved in meaningful ways as time went on.

Joe was commended for his years of unselfish extraordinary volunteer service to the United Negro College Fund Campaign of Livingstone College. In 1976 Livingstone College conferred upon Joe an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Joe was an avid baseball fan. He was a dedicated supporter and regular attendee of Rowan American Legion Baseball. Joe was also recently honored for having been the first President of the Babe Ruth League in Ashland, Ky., where his family resided for 9 years while Joe managed his first department store in Ironton.

Joe continued his community service after retirement, buying the old Wiley School and having it certified as a North Carolina historic structure to enable it to be converted in 1990 into 66 apartments for the elderly. The Taylors also bought a VFW Post building on Brenner Avenue and donated it to Salisbury Academy for a classroom building in 1994.

After retirement in 1983, Joe became able to regularly play golf for the first time in his life, and once shot a round of 8 under his age of 82 at Salisbury Country Club.

The Taylors have two sons, three grandchildren and three great-grand children.

Their son Joe III lives in semi-retirement in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Joe III lost his wife Susan Penny Taylor after 40 years of marriage in 2010 and has recently become engaged to Katherine McCormick of Ponte Vedra Beach. His daughter, Jennifer Taylor Kennedy and her husband Dr. Robert Kennedy of Satellite Beach, Florida, have given Joe and Wilburn three great-grandchildren: Brooke (5), Preston (3) and Sloane (1). Jennifer’s brother Steven Penny Taylor lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Taylors’ son Robert, who lived in Peachtree City, died at the age of 57. Robert is survived by his wife Bonnie Taylor and by Joe and Wilburn’s grandson Chad Robert Taylor, who lives in Newnan, Georgia.

A funeral service will take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury today at 1 p.m. Dr. Jim Dunkin and Dr. Randy Kirby will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at Lewis Hall. Following the reception, there will be a military burial at 3:30 at Rowan Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 308 West Fisher Street, Salisbury, NC 28144.


Lois Hedrick

Lois Legg Hedrick, 90, of Proctorville, died Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at home. Graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Proctorville. There will be no visitation. Arrangements are under the direction of Hall Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed to the family at