Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jan. 02, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

Frederick D. Kesler

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Frederick Donald Kesler, the former principal of Henderson High School in Henderson, N.C., died Dec. 31, 2013, in his home, The St. Paul Senior Living Community in Nashville, Tenn.

He was born April 5, 1916, in Nashville, Ga., the youngest of five children of Georgia Lucretia (O’Kelley) and Phillip Jonah Kesler.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Verel Ward Kesler; his parents; his brother, Dr. Augustus Durward Kesler; his sisters, Louise Kesler, Rachel Kesler Sutton and Agnes Kesler Miller; his son-in-law, Dr. John Ward Hollifield III; his nephews, Robert Lynn Sutton and Philip Joseph Sutton; and his niece, Geraldine Miller Fluharty.

Mr. Kesler is survived by his children, Lou Ross Penland and husband Robert Tideman Penland Sr. of Texarkana, Texas, and Phyllis Hollifield Avant and husband Dr. George Avant of Nashville, Tenn.

His grandchildren are Col. Robert Tideman Penland Jr. and wife Nicole Miller Penland; Elizabeth Ross Penland McFarland and husband Lt. Col. Jason Scott McFarland; Frederick Joseph Ward Penland and wife Stephanie Licausi Penland; Catharine Lynn Hollifield; Phillip Walker Avant and wife Joanna Marks Avant; and Charlotte Brooks Avant.

Mr. Kesler’s great-grandchildren are Eliana Victoria Ross Penland; Joseph Parker, Isabella Ross and Sarah Scott McFarland; Anna Leigh and Cole Hovis Penland; Elise Charlotte and Brooks Douglas Avant.

Mr. Kesler had special relationships with his nieces and nephews, retired Col. B. Parker Miller III of the U.S. Marine Corps and wife Elizabeth Thomas Miller; Walter Kesler and wife Susan Setcavage Kesler; Bonnie Kesler Tanner; Nancy Webb Sutton; Carolyn Nunn Sutton; and Benjamin P. Jenkins III and wife Marianne Wilson Jenkins.

Mr. Kesler was a graduate of Furman University and earned his master’s degree at the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill. In June 1941, Mr. Kesler entered the U.S. Army, completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry. Subsequently, he was assigned to Camp Blanding, Fla., and trained infantry replacements for the European Campaign. After the surrender of Germany, he was transferred to Leyte, Philippines, to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Following the conclusion of World War II, he remained in the U.S. Army Reserve and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Upon completion of his active duty military service, Mr. Kesler became a coach, teacher and ultimately principal of Liberty High School in Liberty, N.C. He married Verel Jeanette Ward of Liberty on Aug. 20, 1942. In 1951, the Keslers moved to Henderson, N.C., where they lived 51 happy years. Mr. Kesler was principal of Henderson High School for many years, before retiring from the school system as associate superintendent of curricula development.

In 2001, desiring to be nearer to family, the Keslers moved to Nashville, Tenn., where they were affiliate members of Blakemore United Methodist Church.

Mr. Kesler was a husband and father who loved his family unconditionally. During the many years that he spent in public education, he genuinely cared for his students and colleagues and expressed unending respect for his faculty and staff. He was a mentor, a role model and an encourager with all he came in contact. Above all, he was a faithful friend.

The family wishes to thank Terra Bedell, Erica Jackson and Kodjo Agbyibor for their loving, intuitive and reliable caregiving. Appreciation is also extended for the excellent and compassionate care delivered by the physicians and staff of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Gentiva Hospice Care is to be commended.

Two services will be held for Mr. Kesler. Entombment with Military Honors will take place in Henderson, N.C., on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at Sunset Gardens, 3174 U.S. 158 Business, at 11:30 a.m., and a memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 205 West Winder Street. Visitation will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to First Baptist Church, PO Box 75, Henderson, NC; the Salvation Army, 631 N. First Street, Nashville, TN 37016; and Blakemore United Methodist Church, 3601 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205.

Arrangements are by J. M. White Funeral Home.

Paid obituary



Linda E. Adams

BUTNER — Linda Ann Elliott Adams, 68, died Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at her residence.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, in the chapel of Eakes Funeral Home in Creedmoor by Rev. Charlie Bryan and Rev. Lennie Rogers. Burial will follow in Carolina Memorial Gardens in Creedmoor.

Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Society, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309.

Visitation is today, Jan. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Eakes Funeral Home in Creedmoor and at other times at the home.

Arrangements are by Eakes Funeral Home, which accepts online condolences at



Brenda Gay

HENDERSON — Brenda Gay, 55, of 233 East Andrews Ave., died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at her residence.

A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at 1 p.m. at E.C. Terry’s Funeral Chapel by Rev. Wesley Crews. Interment will follow in Blacknall Cemetery.

Viewing is today, Jan. 2, from 2 to 7 p.m. at E.C. Terry’s Funeral Service.

The family will receive friends at 966 Patton Circle.

Arrangements are by E.C. Terry’s Funeral and Cremation Service, which accepts emailed condolences at



Beulah E. Pegram

HENDERSON — Beulah Elliott Pegram, 77, of 489 Daniel Harris Road, died Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in a local nursing home.

Arrangements will be announced by J.M. White Funeral Home.



Carol R. Robertson

HENDERSON — Carol Marie Rivers Robertson, 59, of 874 Van Dyke Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Forest Hills Baptist Church by Pastor Ronnie Matthews.

The family will receive friends at the home, 874 Van Dyke Road.

Arrangements are by J.M. White Funeral Home.