Ethel Ophelia Wellman Bennett, 99, of Stony Point, N.C., passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family. Ophelia finished her life as she lived it full of grace, dignity and a positive attitude. She was admired and her legacy will live on in all who knew her. She was loved by many friends and worked with and was well taken care of, especially by her daughter, her caregiver and her family. She was born on March 7, 1931, and departed her life on Monday, November 2, 2020, at her home.

She was the daughter of the late Austin and Laura Parker Wellman. Losing her mother at the age of two weeks, she was reared in the home of her late maternal grandparents, Albert and Harriet Parker; her aunt Mary; her foster mother, Ella; and her foster brother, Harvey Parker. A sister, Hazel Bratcher, and a brother, Hillard Miller; two sisters-in-law, Marie Rankin and Idell Bennett; four brothers-in-law, Wilbur Bennett, Harry Bennett, Garland Bennett and Henry Bennett, also preceded her in death.

Ophelia attended Third Creek Baptist Elementary School and Happy Plain School. She accepted Christ at an early age, and became a member of Third Creek Baptist Church. She was a charter member, president and treasurer of the Senior Choir. Ophelia showed her love for five years to the choir by hosting a backyard cookout for the members to enjoy. She was a charter member of the usher ministry, Sunday School secretary, and served as chairwoman of the Hospitality Committee. She was a member of the North Carolina and Alexander County Singing Convention, and the Gold Women’s Club.

Ophelia was employed in 1947 until 1950 at Stony Point Cafeteria, Days Inn and El Tio’s in Statesville for her tasty food. She was employed a the opening of Alexander County Hospital in Taylorsville, N.C., in the culinary department for many years. Among the many delicious meals, she was especially noted for her yeast rolls, where everyone was standing around the oven waiting for a hot buttered roll. She was a wonderful chef. Ophelia always found time after she married to go back home to her grandparents to can food from the garden, cook and take care of them. She was a jolly and lovable person. Her hobbies were riding bicycles, embroidering, playing the organ, quilting, fixing hair, baking cakes for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, special events and growing flowers.

Ophelia was honored at her church in 2012 by Taylorsville Mayor George Hollman for her dedicated service to the hospital and community.

She was married to the late De Arcy Bennett on June 16, 1939. They enjoyed many years together traveling and sightseeing until his sickness. She left her job at the hospital trusting in God without any income to take care of her husband. He preceded her in death on March 6, 1988.

She leaves to cherish precious memories of her sweet and loveable life a daughter, Velma Bennett Patterson and son-in-law, B. F. Patterson, both of the home; daughter number two, Gladys Allen of Roaring River, N.C.; one granddaughter, Sylvia Poole; one grandson, Reginald Patterson; one great grandson, Jerome Poole of Stony Point; Ailene Keaton of Statesville, who was reared in the home; one sister-in-law, Betty Bennett of Stony Point; and a host of cousins, other relatives, the Third Creek Baptist Church Family, and friends.

Celebration of Life Services will be conducted Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Third Creek Baptist Church in Stony Point. Reverend Tommy Carpenter will officiate and burial will follow in the Third Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

There will be no public visitation due to the COVID-19 Virus. You can only enter the funeral with a funeral pass, which will be given to the family.

General public viewing will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, from 4 until 7 p.m. and resume Thursday, November 5, 2020, from 9 a.m. until taken to the church to lie in sat at 1 p.m.

Visit the Book of Memories for Mrs. Bennett at Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Dunlap Family.

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