Rest in peace, Willia B. Jones Turner.

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Willia Bea Jones Turner

7 August 1923 – 27 December 2018

“’If I can help somebody … then my living has not been in vain’ personifies the life and legacy Willia Turner.

“Willia, of Wilson, was born Aug. 7, 1923. She was the fourth child of Wesley and Martha Jones. She graduated from Darden High School, North Carolina A&T State University with a bachelor of science degree, and Queens College in New York City with a master of science degree. In the 1940s she moved to New York City where she met and married the love of her life, Wilber Turner. She worked for the New York Urban League, was one of the first fashion models of the historic African American Grace del Marco Modeling Agency, was a claims examiner for New York State Department of Unemployment and was both a teacher and guidance counselor in the New York City Department of Education, retiring in 1986. After retiring, she and Wilber relocated to Wilson in 1987. While in Wilson, she filled her days with volunteer work at the board of elections and Wilson County OIC. She was an active member of Jackson Chapel Church, Wilson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Darden Alumni, North Carolina A&T Alumni and more.

“She was preceded in death by her husband, Marion Wilberforce Turner “Wilber” in 2013. Since 2012, she has been lovingly cared for by her granddaughter, Shaunna.

“Her life will be celebrated at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at the Darden Alumni Center, 1600 Lipscomb Road, Wilson.

“The family requests, in lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Willia J. Turner’s memory to the Darden Alumni or Wilson Chapter of North Carolina A&T Alumni.” — Wilson Times, 3 January 2019.

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Photographs courtesy of Shaunna M. Stevens.

The obituary of Elizabeth Parker Baines, 99.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 10.00.21 PMMrs. Elizabeth Parker Baines, 99, of Wilson, NC died Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at Wilson Medical Center in Wilson. Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, November 26, 2016, at Mount Hebron Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 700 S. Pender St., in Wilson with Pastor Derrin Davis officiating. Entombment will follow in the Thomas – Yelverton at Evergreen Memorial Park, 2706 Nash Street in Wilson. Public viewing will be on Friday, November 25, 2016, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. The family will assemble at 10 a.m. at Edwards Funeral Home on Saturday for the procession to the church. Condolences may be directed to Personal and professional services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home 805 Nash St. E. in Wilson.Obituary on-line.

The Greatest Generation: M. Elmer Carter Jr.

Milford Elmer Carter Jr. recently celebrated his 95th birthday. Born in Wilson in 1923 to Wayne County natives Milford E. and Beulah Aldridge Carter, he and his family boarded briefly in Cora Miller Washington‘s home at 701 East Green Street, around the corner from the Elba Street home of Milford Carter Sr’s uncle, Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. and, per the 1922 city directory, lived at 905 East Vance Street. The family soon migrated to Pennsylvania, then New York City. M. Elmer Carter Jr. is a veteran of World War II.

Photos courtesy of Carla Carter Jacobs.

Obituary of Hattie Tomlin, age 99.

Hattie Tomlin, 99, of 125 Narroway Street, Wilson, NC died October 12, 2011 at her residence. The funeral will be held Tuesday at 1:00pm at Wilson Chapel FWB Church, 513 Barnes Street, Wilson, NC. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be held Monday from 2-8 pm at the funeral home with the family receiving friends from 7-8 pm. The funeral procession will leave the residence on Tuesday at 12:00 noon. Professional and personal services are entrusted to EDWARDS FUNERAL HOME, 805 E. Nash Street, Wilson, NC. Condolences may be directed to

Obituary online.

Obituary of Maggie Lena F. Cooper, 99.

Maggie Lena Farmer Cooper, 99, of Wilson Pines Nursing Care Facility and formerly of 704 Maury Street, Wilson, NC died August 31, 2014. The funeral will be held Saturday at 1:00pm at St. Rose Church of Christ, 605 S. Douglas Street, Wilson, NC with Elder Ernest Melton officiating. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be Friday from 2-7 pm at the funeral home. The family will receive friends on Saturday from 12 noon to 1pm at the church and will assemble on Saturday at the residence of her son Thomas E. Williams, 501 W. Daniel Street Wilson, NC at 11:00am. Professional and personal services are entrusted to EDWARDS FUNERAL HOME, 805 E. Nash Street, Wilson NC. Condolences may be directed to

Obituary online.

Obituary of Lillie Mae Barnes Edmundson, age 99.

Lillie Mae Barnes Edmundson was called home to her eternal rest on Thursday [2 May 2013] at the Wilson Assisted Living. Born to the late Ed and Lula Mae Bullock Barnes in Wilson, North Carolina. She was ninety-nine years old.

Funeral service will be held Monday at 11 am at St. James Disciples of Christ Church, 514 Memorial Church Rd., Fremont, NC. The Rev. Tony Sutton will officiate. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery, Wilson, NC.

A viewing will be held Monday from 9:45 am to 10:45 am at St. James Church. The family will receive friends at 408 Whitehead Ave., Wilson, at all times and will assemble there one hour prior to service in preparation for the funeral procession.


In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Edwin Barnes, 45; wife Lula, 38; and children William, 10, Rosa, 9, Mary, 8, Berley, 7, Frances, 6, Louisa, 1, and James H., 1.

On 6 April 1935, Walter Williams, 22, of Toisnot township, son of Joe and Josephine Williams, married Lillie Frances Barnes, 21, of Toisnot, daughter of Ed and Lula Barnes, in Wilson. Witnesses were Eddie Barnes, Joe Williams and Lula Barnes.


Obituary online.

Obituary of Odelle Whitehead Barnes, age 99.

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Funeral service for Mrs. Odelle Whitehead Barnes, age 99, of Detroit, MI, formerly of Wilson, who died Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, at 11 am at Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, 571 East Nash St., Wilson. The Rev. Dr. Freddie I. Barnes will officiate. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery.

Odelle was the fourth child of John Henry and Victoria Whitehead. She spent her formative years in Wilson where she attended and graduated from Wilson Colored High School (Darden High School). After graduating from high school, Odelle attended North Carolina College (NCCU) where she later graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA Degree in English. Later she enrolled in the University of Michigan where she earned an MA Degree in Speech Therapy. She was the first speech therapist for Wilson City School System. It was from this position that she retired.

On July 12, 1937, Odelle married Edward M. Barnes. They were married for sixty-five years.

Odelle was a life-long member of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church where she served as president of the Nannie Barbour/Nancy Wilkins Missionary Circle; a Sunday School teacher, a Deaconess, as one of the founding members of the Fellowship Club, chair of the Board of Christian Education, a member of the Scholarship Committee and a member of three search committees.

Odelle’s community involvement included being a charter member of Alpha Chi Chapter and Gamma Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Her memory is cherished by her daughter, Carolyn Kent; two grandsons, George Howard (Janet) and Edward Barnes Kent; five great grandchildren; two sisters, Grace W. Artis and Victoria W. McCray; two brothers-in-law, Wilford McCray and Douglas Parks; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A viewing will be held Friday from 4 pm to 5 pm at Carrons Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at Jackson Chapel Church from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. They will receive freinds at other times at 2300 Tranquil Dr., Wilson, and will assemble there one hour prior to service in preparation for the funeral procession.


In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, Henry Whitehead, 48, wife Victoria, 32, and children Willie, 27, Della Mae, 13, Catherine, 9, Odell, 7, James, 5, Grace, 2, and Rosalie, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, oil mill contractor Henry Whitehead, 53; wife Victoria, 42; Katherine, 19; Odell, 17; James, 15; Grace, 13; Rosalyn, 11; Herbert, 9; Gertrude, 6; Mabel, 4; and Victoria, 2.

On 12 July 1937, Odell Whitehead, 25, married Edward M. Barnes, 32, in Wake County.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: high school principal Edward M. Barnes, 34, and wife Odell, 28, a teacher.

In 1940, Edward Morrison Barnes registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 9 June 1905 in Wilson; resided at 913 East Green Street; was married to Odell Whitehead Barnes; and employed by the City Board of Education.

Obituary online.