Fort Mill Times

Obituaries -- March 26, 2008

Francis Ritter

Mr. Francis G. Ritter, 87, of Rock Hill passed away peacefully Thursday, March 18, 2008.

A graveside memorial service was held March 20, 2008, at Crown Memorial Park, 9620 Rodney St., Pineville, N.C.

He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He was a practical man with strong values, deep faith, a keen wit and a gentle nature.

Mr. Ritter was born Nov. 13, 1921, to George and Lucille Ritter in Weiner, Ark. He served in Panama during World War II as an Army corporal. While on leave, he met Carmella (Molly) Grasso and the two were later wed on Jan. 19, 1946, in Rome, N.Y. They had four children and were happily married for 62 years. Mr. Ritter worked as an expediter for General Electric in Syracuse, N.Y., before being transferred to Illinois and hired by Harris Intertype. The couple retired in 1986 and moved to Rock Hill.

Mr. Ritter is survived by his wife and family, Nick of Long Beach, Calif., Veronica (Ronnie) and her husband, Craig Flansburg of Fort Mill, and Joanne and her husband Michael Welch of San Rafael, Calif. His youngest son, David, passed away in 2003. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Christi and husband Ricardo Campos of Charlotte, their two children whom he adored, and by his sister, Isabel Hallmark of Jonesboro, Ark., and her family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to York County Adult Day Care Services, c/o United Way, 105 Lestina Court, Fort Mill, SC, 29715; or Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas, P.O. Box 5627, Charlotte, NC 28299.

Michael Maher

Mr. Michael Francis Maher, 64, of Leonidas Street, Fort Mill, died Wednesday, March 19, 2008, at home.

The funeral was held March 24, 2008, at the Wolfe Funeral Home Chapel, with Fr. John Giuliani officiating. Entombment was at Grandview Memorial Park-Cherry Road in Rock Hill.

Born Oct. 30, 1943, in New York City, Mr. Maher was a son of Mary Hermina Patkovick Maher and the late Martin Ambrose Maher. He was retired from Blalock Paving in Raleigh, N.C., as a senior estimator. He was a member of St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Fort Mill and Rotary International in Islip, N.Y.

Mr. Maher is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan Ann Heegaar Maher; a daughter, Lisa Dianne Baker of Fort Mill; a son, Michael John Maher and his wife Gloria of St. James, N.Y.; his mother, Mary Maher of Murrysville, Pa.; a brother, Martin Maher and his wife Norma of Ormond Beach, Fla.; a sister, Maureen Toto and her husband James of Murrysville; and five grandchildren, Sammie James Baker III and Jackson Connor Baker, both of Fort Mill, Linda Sanchez-Maher, Kelly Elizabeth Maher and Sydney Alexandra Maher, all of St. James.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Marion Maher.

Memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care, 1420 East 7th St., Charlotte, NC 28204; or to the American Cancer Society, 500 East Morehead St., Suite 211, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Condolences may be made at

Amelia Helms

Mrs. Amelia Varnadore Helms, 73, of 1150 Williams Road, Fort Mill, passed away at home Tuesday, March 18, 2008.

Funeral services were held March 21, 2008, at Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home Chapel, conducted by the Revs. Jim McGill and Edgar McCall. Interment followed at Grandview Memorial Park.

Born in Fort Mill, Mrs. Helms was a daughter of the late Robert and Maggie Ghant Varnadore. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Charles J. Helms; a sister, Donnie Varnadore; and a grandson, Zachary Knight. She was a school cafeteria manager and member of Doby's Bridge Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Helms is survived by two sons, David Helms of York and Michael Helms of Fort Mill; a daughter, Linda Helms Knight of Fort Mill; six grandchildren; a sister, Mary Chaplin of Johnson City, Tenn.; three brothers, Mack Varnadore of Huntsville, Ala., Harry Varnadore of Oak City, N.C., and Tommy Varnadore of Columbia.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society 128 Stonemark Lane, Westpark Plaza, Columbia, SC 29210.

E-mail condolences to

Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Thelma Tollison

Mrs. Thelma Etta Moss Tollison, 72, of Fort Mill, died Sunday, March 16, 2008, at her home.

The funeral was held March 19, 2008, at Independent Bible Baptist Church, with Pastors Jason Coley and Ron Roddey officiating. Burial followed at Grandview Memorial Park on Cherry Road in Rock Hill.

Born in Clover, Mrs. Tollison was a daughter of the late John Sawney Moss Sr. and Zora Geneva McCarter Moss. She graduated from Fort Mill High School. Mrs. Tollison was retired from Duke Power and was a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Rock Hill. She was a member of the Red Hat Club and active with the Duke Power Retiree Group. She enjoyed bowling, line dancing and Southern gospel music. She loved the Lord and her family. She was the widow of the late Coley Tollison.

Mrs. Tollison is survived by two daughters, Terry McGuire Roddey and her husband Ron of Rock Hill, and Robin McGuire Gill and her husband Buddy of Chester; a brother, Harold Blease Moss of Fort Mill; four sisters, Blanche Betchler, Brenda Lawson, Jenny Farmer and Wanda Collins, all of Fort Mill; four grandchildren, Suzanne Slaughter, Becky Matthews, Charity Turbeville and Anna Gill; and three great-grandchildren, Elly Turbeville, Olivia Slaughter and Etta Marie Turbeville. She was preceded in death by her son, Edward "Eddie" Downs McGuire; two brothers, John Moss Jr. and Jimmy Moss; and a sister, Cathy Snipes.

Memorials may be made to Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1054 John Street, Rock Hill, SC 29732.

Condolences may be made at

Wolfe Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Margie Walker

Mrs. Margie Walker, 98, of Fort Mill, died Thursday, March 20, 2008, at Hunter Wood Nursing Home in Charlotte.

A memorial service was held March 25, 2008, at Fort Mill Church of God with Bishop David Kemp officiating.

Memorials may be made to the Fort Mill Church of God Building Fund, P.O. Box 94, Fort Mill, SC 29716.

Condolences may be made at

Wolfe Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Joan Sharp

Ms. Joan Ickrath Sharp, 66, of Monroe, N.C., died March 15, 2008, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.

The funeral was held Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Fort Mill. The family received friends following the service and at other times at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Romano of Tega Cay.

Wolfe Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.