2011 -- Notable deaths
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 1, 2012 1:50 AM
Dr. Burkette Raper -- The eloquent Free Will Baptist minister who was brought up in a church-sponsored orphanage and served as the first president of Mount Olive College, guiding it for more than 40 years before continuing his work as its director of planned giving, died Aug. 1. He was 83.
Retired Army Maj. Bob Stone -- The Silver Star recipient -- who earned the medal for saving the lives of four comrades in Vietnam -- and tireless volunteer, especially for the Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross, died Jan 22. He was 75.
Lehman Smith -- The former Wayne County Board of Education member, who relentlessly pursued the improvement of the county school system's facilities and was elected chairman in 2004, died Dec. 8. He was 74.
Charles Ellis -- The local historian, who likely knew more about Wayne County's past than anyone else and helped found the Wayne County Museum and North Carolina Cotton Museum, died Feb. 11. He was 81.
Dr. Paul Bennett -- A beloved "old-time family doctor," who first opened up his Goldsboro practice in 1959 and whose bedside manner comforted many patients over a 40-year career, died Jan. 8. He was 83.
William Whitfield "Bill" Smith -- The soft-spoken attorney and former chairman of the Wayne County Democratic Party, who was known as a devout advocate for education, died Jan. 17. He was 82.