It’s 1985: Gregorys are featured during Family Focus Week

Posted 7/24/20

The Gregory family — Albert, Betty, Lane, Larry and Blake — were featured during Family Focus Week (The Daily Record, April 4, 1985).

Pearl Johnson, 82, widow of Paul D. Johnson, had died. She …

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It’s 1985: Gregorys are featured during Family Focus Week


The Gregory family — Albert, Betty, Lane, Larry and Blake — were featured during Family Focus Week (The Daily Record, April 4, 1985).

Pearl Johnson, 82, widow of Paul D. Johnson, had died. She was survived by daughters, Lina Pearl May and Gladys Neal Dunn; a son, Paul D. Johnson Jr., and a sister, Gladys King (The Daily Record, April 8, 1985).

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Denning of Benson announced the birth of a daughter, Mary Michael. She was the granddaughter of Charles and Dorothy Denning on Denning Road, Benson.

While the Denning family was celebrating a new life, members of the Meda Snipes Ennis, 87, were mourning her death. She was the widow of Alexander and Minnie Ryals Snipes and the widow of Johnny Carl Ennis of Buies Creek. Her children were Aaron, Eugene, Herbert and Bobby Ennis; three brothers, Millard, Robert and Astor Snipes; and a sister, Elma Cox. She was grandmother to 19 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Wouldn’t you like to know who some of those grandchildren and great-grandchildren were? I always feel closer to the deceased written about if I know some of their descendants.

I do know much about the family of Council Williams. Mr. Williams, 80, and a passenger, Christine Taylor, 51, were injured when the 1974 Ford pickup they were in hit a parked 1974 Ford sanitation truck. Mr. Williams was driving in the northbound lane and hit the sanitation truck that had been pulled onto the north shoulder of the road, headed south. Two of the sanitation workers, Guana Spence and Lee Smith, were treated and released. The driver of the sanitation truck was Willis Byrd and he was not hurt, whereas Mr. Williams and Mrs. Taylor were hospitalized (The Daily Record, April 10, 1985).

Does anyone remember when Taylor Elliott saved the life of a fellow paratrooper whose parachute failed to properly open? He was deemed a hero. Frank Taylor Elliott died at age 54. The former Coats soldier was survived by his wife, Ann Page. Were there not children and siblings? Were his parents, Frank and Mary Elliott, deceased in 1985?

This I do know: Coats was experiencing rapid growth and development with Hunter’s Run, located near the Coats Park, and with Washington Street Apartments. Properties owned by Larry Godwin of Dunn and Rupert Honeycutt of Coats were being annexed.

First Citizens Bank opened in a new location with seven employees: Beverly Howard McLamb, Anne Moody, Larry Kittrell, Kecia McKee, Angela Penny Stone, Louine Stewart and Vice President Tim Brown. They were preparing for an open house that was to feature cash awards of first prize being 250 Susan B. Anthony dollars; second prize, 200 half dollars; a third prize, 200 quarters; and a fourth prize, 2,500 pennies. First Citizens had served the Coats community for 38 years and the new location was a recommitment to the town (The Daily Record, April 12, 1985).

Wonder how many of those original Coats people who were instrumental in getting the bank in Coats 38 years earlier were alive to see the bank in its new spacious building.

I do know that the April 12 edition of The Daily Record shared that the Coats Rescue Squad was planning its 12th annual fundraiser. It was to be a talk-a-thon with a musical program and an auction. Elsewhere, it was recorded that Brenda Adams was bereaved at the loss of her father, George Cleo Adams, 71, of Route 2, Four Oaks.

The Denning name has a long history in the Grove Township. Brazilla Denning married Andrew Jackson Turlington and their daughter, Nancy Isabella, was wife of Preacher James Thomas Coats, who purchased the property upon which Coats was established from the heirs of Daniel Shaw.

A descendant of that Denning family was Junius Denning of Route 2, Angier. The couple’s daughter, Dona Faye Denning, was engaged to marry Miquel Angel Aponte of New York. Dona was a graduate of Coats High School and Johnston Technical College and was a silkscreen illustrator for Champion Products of Clayton.

Elsewhere, the Kountry Kove on 201 McKinley St. was featuring reproduction furniture and country crafts and the Harnett County Glass Service located on Main Street of Coats had advertisements in the April 16, 1985, edition of The Daily Record. What buildings were these two businesses located?

In the same edition of that paper, Dr. Harold Dixon’s dental practice was featured as the Coats Area Chamber of Commerce Business Focus of the Week. Harold was a 1959 Coats High and 1963 Wake Forest graduate and received his dental degree from UNC Chapel Hill Dental School.

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