Posted 7/19/19

William Anthony Sommers

January 20, 1927 – July 3, 2019

William Anthony Sommers, a retired Foreign Service Officer and noted poet, died peacefully in his sleep on July 3rd at his home in …

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January 20, 1927 – July 3, 2019

William Anthony Sommers, a retired Foreign Service Officer and noted poet, died peacefully in his sleep on July 3rd at his home in Pittsboro, NC. He was 92 years old.

The son of Greek and German immigrants, he was born on January 20, 1927 in Duluth, Minnesota. He attended Denfeld High School and served in the Navy during the final years of World War II. With the help of the GI Bill, he went on to graduate from Middlebury College and received a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Littauer Center (now the John F. Kennedy School of Government.) In 1950, he married the late artist Joan Pokorney Sommers, also from Duluth.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Sommers left his position as a town manager in New Jersey, and, taking a leap of faith, moved his growing family to Bangkok, Thailand, his first posting as a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department’s newly created USAID. Among the initial wave of USAID officers in Thailand, he went on to build a career as an international local development specialist that spanned forty years, sending him on assignments around the world – Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, Poland, Bosnia, Hungary, Egypt and Brchko. In the latter part of his career he returned to the States and was appointed Commissioner of Inspectional Service for the City Boston, followed by Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Cambridge. In 2001, he retired from public service and, with his wife, moved to Pittsboro, NC.

Mr. Sommers was known among friends and family as a passionate aficionado of jazz, Louis Armstrong, Mozart’s duets for harpsichord and violin and the music of John Philip Souza as well as his lifelong enjoyment of New Yorker cartoons. He excelled at squash and played, for many years, at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and later at The Manila Sports Club. After living in Cairo, he became an amateur Egyptologist and a constant visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Egyptian Collection. His published works include five books of poetry, along with many short stories and essays, all chronicling his life and travels: The Ballad of Norasingh, The Dances of Shiva, The Five Names of Pharoah, Vietnam: The Five Seasons and The Teachable Heart. In 2017, he published his memoir Foreign Vistas: Stories from a Life in the Foreign Service.

Mr. Sommers leaves behind his children and three grandchildren. His beloved wife of 63 years passed away in 2013. Among his many awards, his most prized include the Thai Government’s highest civilian honor for service and being named Poet Laureate of Fearrington, NC.


Jacqueline Lee Gillen Phillips, age 85, of Pittsboro, died Friday, July 12, 2019.

Jacqueline was born in Newport News, Virginia on February 19, 1934 to the late James Robert Gillen and Nannie Hazelwood Gillen. She was also preceded in death by her husband Billie Hunt Phillips.

She is survived by three daughters, Tamsey Hill and husband Robert of Pittsboro, Theresa Pollard and husband Robert of Hampton, Virginia, Channing Persinger and husband Herbert of South Charleston, West Virginia; one sister, Nancy Autry and husband Gene of Gloucester, Virginia; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The funeral service will be held Monday, July 15, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation Griffin Chapel with Rev. Jeff Nash presiding. Burial will follow at Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in her memory to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Condolences may be made at:

Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation is honored to serve the Phillips family.


Mrs. Jeanette McLaurin, 78, passed away at home while surrounded by her family, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

Born April 19, 1941, Jeanette Garrett was a daughter to the late Ernest and Lillie Cothran Garrett. She worked 25 years in banking and 15 more as a real estate agent, before retiring full time.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. McLaurin was preceded in death by five of her brothers, Ernest Marine Garrett, James Garrett, Tom Garrett, Thad Garrett, Eugene Garrett; and her sister, Mildred Page.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, Mr. Hugh David McLaurin, Sr.; her son, David McLaurin, Jr. (Beth) of Pittsboro; her daughter, Jenny McLaurin (Christopher Crean) of Pittsboro; her brother, Ted Garrett of Raleigh; her sisters, Thelma O’Daniel (Steve) of Chapel Hill, Glynda Roberts of Myrtle Beach, SC; and two grandsons, Hughson Crean and Crozes Crean.

The family received friends and guests from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, July 12, 2019 at Donaldson Funeral Home, 396 West Street., Pittsboro, NC.

A graveside funeral was held at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at Pleasant Hill UMC with the Rev. Ray Gooch officiating.

Memorials may be made to: Pleasant Hill UMC Cemetery Fund, 7019 Pleasant Hill Church Road., Siler City, NC 27344.

The McLaurin family would like to extend a special thank you to Ester Headen and Linda Ruth for all their loving care and support.

Condolences may be made at


William H. “Bill” Brady, 79, of McLeansville, NC passed away on July 11, 2019.

He was born in Siler City, NC to the late William Hurbert Brady and Margaret Murray Stone. He proudly served his country in the US Navy.

He started his working career as a Chatham County Deputy Sheriff and later as the County Jailer. His job history also included The Greensboro Daily News and Associates Financial as the Branch Manager. Until retirement, Bill worked 39 years for Piedmont Ford and Piedmont Peterbilt as the Finance and Credit Manager.

Bill had a lifetime love of fishing at the coast; especially at his home on Oak Island. He shared this passion with his family and friends for many years.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 38 years, Vicky Brady of the home; children, Ronnie Brady (Barbara) of Knightdale, NC, Lisa Cockman (Rickey) of Bear Creek, NC, and Todd Berkeley of Burlington, NC; siblings, Becky Siler of Hot Springs Village, AR, James Brady of Greensboro, NC, Michael Brady of Staley, NC, and Karen Purcell of Garner, NC; grandchildren, Jennifer Farriss, Gina Brady, Candace Berkeley, Leslie Purvis, Jessica Marsh, Jeremy Berkeley, Elizabeth Berkeley; and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at 3 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 5120 Burlington Road, Greensboro, NC 27405. The family received friends from 2 to 3 p.m. prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church.

Family and friends may sign and view the guest book at:


JULY 9, 1959 - JULY 8,2019

Deborah Ann McCready, age 59 of 64 Williams Park Road, Pittsboro, passed on Monday, July 8, 2019 at her residence. “She is Walking with the Lord Now.”

“Debbie” as she was affectionately called by her family and friends was a loving wife, mother, sister and friend. She has always had a loving and caring soul for all. Debbie’s kind and loving heart will truly be missed by all that loved and knew her. God Bless You, Debbie.

Debbie leaves to cherish her memories forever her husband, Kevin McCready; her daughter, Brenda Tusinac and family; son, Billy Enyeart and family; stepson, Shawn McCready and family; two sisters, Margaret Sweda and Donna Viars and families; along with a host of other relatives and friends.

Arrangements By Knotts Funeral Home, Pittsboro.


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