Friday, March 28, 2014

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 06:39 PM

Jessie Obery

NEWARK, N.J. — Jessie Obery died Feb. 9, 2014.

A memorial service will be held at Church of Christ, 804 Hughes St., Henderson, N.C., at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29.


Dr. Joseph C. Farmer Jr.

DURHAM — Joseph Farmer Jr., M.D., age 76, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on March 19, 2014.

A pioneer in the development of cochlear implants and hyperbaric and diving medicine, and a devoted physician, scientist and leader, Dr. Farmer was a treasure to his profession, to Duke and to the countless patients, trainees and colleagues who had the good fortune to cross his path.

Dr. Farmer, a native of Henderson, came to Duke in 1955 as an undergraduate and then stayed for medical school, his surgical residency and a fellowship in thoracic surgery. After serving at the National Cancer Institute, he returned to Duke and joined the division of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, where he remained for his whole career. He served as division chief at Duke for more than a decade. Dr. Farmer also served at the Durham Veterans Affairs Hospital for more than 20 years.

Dr. Farmer co-founded the Duke Hearing Center and the cochlear implant program, one of the first of its kind in the world. Under his energetic leadership, this program provided first-rate clinical care and pursued pioneering research that paved the way for the extraordinary devices available today. In the early 1980s, little was known about how to restore hearing for a totally deaf person using electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. Dr. Farmer and his team filled gaps in the knowledge and developed progressively better ways to transmit speech and other sounds to people who were previously deaf. Through his contributions, he provided hope and hearing to countless individuals worldwide.

Dr. Farmer also was a pioneer in hyperbaric and diving medicine, contributing significantly to research on the inner ear response to diving. Always an active leader at Duke, during the latter part of his career he co-led the Medical Center’s Institutional Review Board for Clinical Investigations and helped make it a model for IRB programs nationally.

A revered and respected teacher and mentor to many now-eminent physicians, Dr. Farmer was known by colleagues for his dedication to the profession, his kindness, his commitment to collaboration and his intellectual spirit. But his greatest joy was always his patients, and his devotion to them was always returned in spades.

Being a physician was important to him; equally important were his roles as husband, father and doting grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Margery (Newton), formerly of Wilson. They met as students at Duke and were married in Duke Chapel in 1957. He is also survived by his son, Tom; daughter-in-law, Shauna; and three granddaughters, Suzanne, Catherine and Elizabeth.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Bettie (Eatman) Farmer, and his oldest son, Joseph Farmer III.

A memorial service was held in Duke Chapel on Wednesday, March 26.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider donating to the Joseph Farmer III Memorial Fund at the Durham Academy Development Office, 3601 Ridge Road, Durham, NC 27705, or the Duke Hearing Center, care of Kristina Bowman, Duke Medicine Development, 710 W. Main St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701.

Arrangements are by Howerton & Bryan Funeral Home, which accepts online condolences at


Sybil A. Lloyd

OXFORD — Sybil Averette Lloyd, age 69, died March 25, 2014.

She was a native of Granville County and was the daughter of the late Hazel Gray Averette and Farris Sadler Averette.

Sybil retired as a financial secretary with Union National Bank and National Finance County in Durham. She was a member of Providence Baptist Church.

Sybil loved her family dearly and was a devoted friend and aunt. She loved her nieces and nephews, their children and her friends’ children and grandchildren.

Memorial services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Chapel by Rev. L. Jack Glasgow Jr.

Surviving are her husband, Billy Lloyd; daughter, Renée Lloyd Owen (Tommy) of Marietta, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by a brother, W.G. Averette.

Flowers are accepted, or memorials may be made to the Christen Foundation with Amedisys Home Health, 3320 U.S. 1, Franklinton, NC 27525, and Commitment.

The family will receive friends following the services at the funeral home.

Arrangements are by Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home, which accepts online condolences at


Margaret P. Barrett

HENDERSON — Margaret Ann Pilkinton Barrett, 79, died Monday, March 26, 2014.

A private graveside service will be held today, March 28, at Sunset Gardens.

Arrangements are by J.M. White Funeral Home.


Alice T. Covington

WINTERVILLE — Alice Thomas Covington, 72, of 3919 Sterling Point Drive, Winterville, died Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at Vidant Hospital in Greenville.

Arrangements will be announced by Davis-Royster Funeral Service.