Ramona Lee Buckner Blaylock, 90, died 16 July 2022 at Mission Hospital, Asheville, following a brief illness. A native and life-long resident of Haywood County, Ramona was born 2 May 1932 to the late William Kelly and Rowena Williams Buckner. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Joseph Frank Blaylock, who died in 2008.
Ramona was a 1950 graduate of Bethel High School where she played basketball and made lifetime memories with teammates competing in tournaments in the area. She was employed at Dayco, working 30+ plus years until her retirement in the early 1980s. In “retirement”, she and her husband Frank touched many lives in the community through their operation of Frank’s Grocery located on Highway 276 between Bethel and Cruso. When she and Frank finally sold the store and truly retired in 2000, they built a new home and enjoyed traveling, family, and friends. Ramona was a devoted daughter, wife, and mother who, despite working full-time and operating a family business, took pride in her home and provided full, in-home care for her parents and her husband in their declining years.
Ramona was a longstanding member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Indeed, Mt. Zion and her faith were driving forces in her life. She spent many years singing in the choir and served the church in other innumerable ways including teaching a children’s Sunday School class and a youth Church Training class. She participated as a member of more than one Call Committee for pastors and continued the tradition of her grandfather in recording important church activities as Church Clerk. She cherished her church family, and they graciously returned the favor by assisting her during her decline.
Ramona is survived by a son, Dr. Reg Blaylock, of Ocean Springs, MS, a sister-in-law, Hazel Inman, a first cousin, Gail Burress, three nephews, and other extended family members, to whom Reg is eternally grateful for their love and support. A special thanks is extended to her friend Joyce Smith for helping her in her final months.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The Reverend Eddie Dietz and Reverend Jack Holland will officiate. Burial will follow at Bethel Community Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Mt. Zion Baptist Church from 12 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service.
As she was a three-time cancer survivor, donations to the American Cancer Society are welcome.