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Obituaries May 10, 2023

James Laylon “PeeWee” Davis Sr.

CHESTERFIELD – Mr. James Laylon “PeeWee” Davis, Sr., age 94, entered into rest on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  PeeWee lived his life to the fullest until a few weeks ago.  Services will be held at Zoar United Methodist Church, 2842 Zoar Road, Cheraw, SC at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, by Pastor Billy Jack Johnson, the Honorable Rep. Pastor Richie Yow and Brent Taylor with special music for her Papa by Karla Davis. Burial with military honors will follow in the Davis Family cemetery located within the church cemetery.

The family will greet friends from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary prior to the service and will celebrate his life with a “Snow Hill Throw-Down” reception in the fellowship hall immediately following the service.

Born at home, he was a son of the late George Robert and Rassie Turnage Davis of the Snow Hill community in Chesterfield.  He was called PeeWee because he was a small little boy.  Growing up a self-sufficient country boy, he was incredibly strong and had a very high mechanical aptitude that allowed him to build and repair all types of motors and transmissions.  PeeWee graduated from Zoar High School and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.  After his honorable discharge, he worked at Martin Motor Company in Cheraw until he opened his own business.  He was the owner and operator of Davis Garage until his retirement when his son, Jonathan, took over the business.  He continued to consult and advise Jonathan until his passing.  He was a lifelong member of Zoar United Methodist Church and served his church family in any way he could.  He was a charter member of the BWZ Brotherhood, the men’s fellowship of Brocks Mill, Westfield Creek and Zoar churches.

PeeWee was a Godly man who lived a life of serving others.  He tried to help anyone he could at any time.  He was a NASCAR fan and as long as he was able, he attended the races, drove his truck all over the region and ‘solved the world’s problems’ with his friends at Bojangles every morning.  He enjoyed antique cars and he restored numerous car and truck classics over the years.  He was a regular at the Ruby Cruise-In.  And he loved desserts, especially chocolate.  Of all things he enjoyed, his family brought him the most pleasure.  He was a devoted husband to his wife, Mary Elizabeth, and a wonderful daddy to his four children.  He provided for them, taught them right from wrong and traveled extensively with them throughout the United States in their Airstream travel trailer.  His six grandchildren took his love and devotion to new levels.  He lived to see them all graduate from college, establish their careers and have their own families.

He was preceded in death by his parents listed above; three sisters, an unnamed infant, Faye “Bootsie,” and Sarah; a brother, William R. “Bill” Davis; a brother-in-law,  Willis F. “Bill” Robeson; and a nephew, John McPherron Davis.  He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Elizabeth Vaughan Davis of the home;  daughter, Jane Elizabeth Davis Pigg and her husband, Farris of Cheraw; sons: James Laylon “Jim” Davis, Jr. and his wife, Lisa Gaddy Davis of Monroe; George Jeffrey “Jeff” Davis and his wife, Bonnie Lewis Davis of Chesterfield; and Jonathan Vaughan Davis and his wife, Connie Carpenter Davis, of Chesterfield; six grandchildren: Krysta Anne Davis Cearley and her husband, Russ, of Charlotte; Karla Elizabeth Davis Johnson and her husband, Taylor, of Greensboro;  Lauren Catherine Davis Parker and her husband, Matt, of Seattle, WA; Lindsay Elizabeth Davis of Chesterfield; Jeffrey Laylon Davis and his wife, Taylor Armstrong of Odenton, MD; Sarah Lynn Davis of Hartsville; great-grandchildren Greyson and Reagan Elizabeth Cearley; Charlie and Harper Johnson; Sawyer Elizabeth and Davis Lindsey; Ellington Graham “Ellie” Byrd;  Baby Parker coming in September;  sister, Peggy Davis Robeson;  sister-in-law, Susanne McPherron Davis; four nephews, Billy Davis and his wife Betty Ann of Ruby, Henry Davis of Chesterfield, Bob Robeson and his wife, Karen, of Chesterfield and two nieces, Denise Gulledge and her husband David of Chesterfield, Dr. Margaret Davis of Chesnee; great-niece Dr. Melanie Davis Gurkin and her husband Zack of Grantsboro, NC and great-nephew Conner Robeson of Chesterfield.

The family would like to express their sincere love and appreciation to their Zoar family, family caregivers Charlene White, Michelle Rollins and Stacey Gooden and the Gentiva Palliative Care team Kristen Sellers, Madison Lewis Sellers, Emily Chamberlain, Denim Moore and Beverly Vaughn.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to his church, Zoar UMC, c/o Debbie Foote, 2472 Zoar Rd, Cheraw, SC 29520; or to his favorite charity, St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital, PO Box 3704, Memphis, TN  38101.

Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home ( of Chesterfield, SC is serving the Davis family, and they appreciate the love and compassion Brent Taylor and his staff have given them.


Tonya Gulledge Martin

MT. CROGHAN –  Mrs. Tonya “Toni” Gulledge Martin, age 46, entered into rest on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The family hosted a memorial service at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at the Wesleyan Church/ St. David’s Anglican Church, 309 Greene St., Cheraw, SC 29520.

Mrs. Martin was born March 6, 1977 in Cheraw, SC a daughter of Ricky Gulledge and Nellie Sullivan. Toni was veteran of the U.S. National Guard who would go on to work in real estate. She liked to be outdoors where she enjoyed gardening and bird watching. Mrs. Martin also loved cooking in her crock pot which she used to ensure that no one who came to her home would go hungry. Toni was a beautiful woman with a conservatively open mind. She had a free and adventurous soul. While being a woman of modesty, Toni was not afraid to show her strength and independence as a woman and a feminist. Toni was so strong and independent that she would often refuse help when doing yard work or moving heavy objects. Toni was also a spiritual woman who would often pray. There was nothing that Toni couldn’t do with her physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. Above all other principles, the one that she held dearest was “sharing, caring, and loving family.”

Toni was preceded in death by the love of her life, Bobby Hudson.

Survivors include her children, Jasa (James) Allen of Mt. Croghan, SC, Jackie (Dillon Brown) Martin of Ruby, SC, Brandon Payne of Patrick, SC; grandson, James Danny Allen of Mt. Croghan, SC; mother, Nellie Allen of Jefferson, SC; father, Ricky (Mary) Gulledge of Ruby, SC; siblings, Ashley Dale Gulledge, Jackie Arant, Deedee Crowley, Kim Moree, Lee Moree; sisters of the heart, Mary Hannah, Jean Sikes; numerous uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews.

Memorials may be made to MRC Funeral Home (843-623-2449) 318 E. Main Street, Chesterfield, SC 29709 to assist the family.

Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home ( of Chesterfield, SC is serving the Martin family.


Ronnie Melton

CHERAW – Ronnie Wayne “Squirrel” Melton, 71, passed away on Thursday, April 27th, 2023. Born on November 10th, 1951, he was the son of the late Marvin McCoy and Grace Allred Melton. Squirrel was a highly respected employee of Crown Cork and Seal in Cheraw with many years of service. He also proudly served his country in the United States Army.
Aside from being a dedicated worker, Squirrel had a deep passion for helping others. He cherished spending time with his friends around the dining room table in his house – which he affectionately referred to as “The Conference Room”. As a science enthusiast, Squirrel found great joy learning about the Universe and revered Stephen Hawkins.
Squirrel’s love for animals ran deep, especially his dogs, Bobo and Peanut. In addition to his parents, Squirrel was preceded in death by his sister Phyllis Wooten.
Squirrel leaves behind to cherish his memory, a nephew, Shawn Quick; a stepdaughter, Jean Allison Maxwell; friends, Dennis Stephens, Troy Grooms, Walter Hancock, Jerry Graves, John Allen, Faye Quick; as well as all of his colleagues from Crown.
At this time no services are planned. Kiser Funeral Home has been entrusted with serving the Melton family during this difficult time.

Online condolences can be sent to


Johnnie Lee Steen

CHERAW – Johnnie Lee Steen, 55, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend passed away peacefully at his home on May 5th, 2023. Johnnie was born in Bennettsville, SC on November 23rd, 1967 to his late parents, Johnnie James Steen and Blonnie Pravette & Eugene W. Strine.
Johnnie is survived by his wife Elaine F. Erickson, daughters TerikaJoi Fegurgur, Raeleen Castro, ReyAnne & Vincent “Scott” Choun, Maria Erickson and Domonika Alexandar. His grandchildren Eliana, Ezekiel, Leiani and Teresa will miss their loving grandfather dearly. Johnnie is also survived by his mother Marie Jordan and step-mother Patricia P. Steen. His siblings, Linda Strine (Kelly Grant), Robert Strine, Jaime Atkinson (Eddie) and Amy Parks (Craig), brother/sisters-in-law, Joaquin T. Fegurgur (Emilia), Annie F. Quinene, Richard Hoffman, Vincent Mantanona (Eileen) and Romy Cabrito, nieces & nephews, Adrian Strine, Leon & Jamie Campbell, Frank & Kellee Strine, Robert Strine, along with numerous other aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will remember Johnnie’s kindness always.

Throughout his career at Schaeffler Group, Johnnie made many friends who became like family to him over the years. However he always found time to spend with his loved ones outside of work as well. Johnnie also previously served as a firefighter with Brightsville Fire Department in Marlboro County.
Johnnie will always be remembered for being the one with a kind spirit and heart and an infectious smile that brought laughter to everyone around him. Friends would often say that he lit up any room he walked into.
A visitation for Johnnie Lee Steen will be held at Kiser Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023 from 6:00PM until 8:00PM.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at 2:00PM at Kiser Funeral Home, with burial to follow in St. Davids Cemetery.
The loss of Johnnie Lee Steen is heartbreaking news to all that knew him personally or professionally but it is important to cherish the memories of a life that was so impactful. His kindness, compassion, sense of humor and the love he shared with his family and friends will live on for many years to come.


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