Deaths in New Bern, NC and Surrounding Towns

Mary Elizabeth Fentress (Betty), age 64, River Bend, NC

Mary Elizabeth Fentress

Mary Elizabeth Fentress (Betty), age 64, of River Bend, NC, passed away Thursday September 26, 2019 at her home.

Betty graduated from Pamlico County High School in 1973 and from East Carolina University in 1977 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Parks, Recreation and Conservation. She was a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and completed the Municipal Administration Course and the University of Maryland’s Leisure and Aging Management Course. Betty served as a parks and recreation director for 25 of her 30 years of public service. She worked for Pamlico and Carteret Counties, the Town of Wrightsville Beach, City of Suffolk (Va.) and the Town of Huntersville. Betty was the first director ever hired to manage parks and recreation services for the Town of Huntersville.

Betty received the following tributes. In 1987, the ECU Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation named her the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. In 1991, the Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce named her Pamlico County Citizen of the Year. Betty was also honored four times by the Lake Norman Kiwanis Club which presented her with its Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and 2004; the Kiwanian of the Year Award in 2005; and the Kiwanis Key Person of the Year in 2006.

Additionally, Betty served on an executive level with the following organizations: Carteret County Kiwanis Club; the North Carolina Seafood Festival Board of Directors; Carteret County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; Region P COG Senior Games; Pamlico County Chamber of Commerce; Pamlico County Citizens Involvement Committee; Pamlico County Nursing Home Advisory Committee; 4-H and Cooperative Extension Advisory Committees in Pamlico County and the City of Suffolk, Va.; the Carteret County Area Transportation System; and on the East Carolina University Parks, Recreation and Conservation Alumni Society Board of Directors.

Finally, Betty was an active member in the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association.  She served NCRPA in the following leadership capacities:  2nd Vice-president, Secretary (twice), Region VII Chair, County Division Chair, Municipal Division Vice-Chair, Co-Editor of Publications, Program Chair for the 2001 General Conference Planning Committee, member of the By-Laws Committee and served on the Historic and Public Awareness Committees.  Additionally, Betty was the Chair and Secretary for the NC Recreators’ Foundation.

Betty Fentress was a true parks and recreation professional. Her impact was felt throughout the state and into Virginia. Betty worked tirelessly to provide the best quality parks and recreation opportunities to the citizens wherever she worked.

Betty is preceded in death by her father Carroll Edward Fentress, mother Lois Mayo Fentress Jones and stepfather Alfred Dewey Jones. She is survived by her brother, Bill Fentress, wife Susan and niece Sarah Fentress, of New Bern and by numerous cousins in the Mayo, Fentress and Jones/Shewmaker families. Betty was a beloved sister, sister- in -law, aunt and cousin. She was a true friend, loyal, and caring. She loved her niece, her family, friends and all of God’s creatures, especially cats and dogs. All will remember her big heart and infectious laugh.

There will be a celebration of Betty’s life at the family farm / renovated country store in Pamlico County in November. Online condolences may be made at  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Carteret County Humane Society; PO Box 357; Newport NC 28570.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Fentress family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111.


Robert Glenn Tyndall, 87, September 19, 2019 in Newport, NC

Robert Glenn Tyndall, 87, died Thursday, September 19, 2019 at Crystal Coast Hospice House in Newport.

He was born August 16, 1932 in Lenoir County, son of the late Oscar Tyndall, Sr. and Lossi Baker Brinson.

He worked with A & P Grocery stores for many years. He was a Korean War Veteran, with the US Navy, serving aboard the USS Fulton. Mr. Tyndall enjoyed cooking, and loved the outdoors, especially working in his yard. He loved animals and was a very kind and gentle man.

He is survived by his sister, Margaret “Peggy” Metzger of New Bern; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be 2:00 PM, Thursday, September 26, 2019 at the Lakeside Chapel at Greenleaf Memorial Park in New Bern with Pastor Jonathan Foster officiating. Those wishing to offer words of hope and condolences may visit

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Tyndall Family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111.


John P. “Johnny” Fletcher, 54, September 16, 2019 in Havelock, NC

John P. “Johnny” Fletcher, 54, passed away Monday, September 16, 2019 after suffering from Sarcomatoid carcinoma, a rare form of lung cancer. Johnny was a loving son, husband, brother and step-father and loved being with his family. He was a rabid Carolina Panthers fan, as well as NASCAR. His favorite drivers were #3 and #8. When he was younger, he enjoyed hunting with his granddaddy. Johnny was employed with Super Tire for over 20 years, and was a friend to all who knew him.

The family will receive friends from 1 – 2 p.m., Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations with the funeral to follow at 2 p.m. with Rev. Ray Penwell officiating, in the Pollock~Best Chapel. Burial will be 4 p.m. at Gethsemane Memorial Park in Newport. Those wishing to offer condolences and words of hope may visit Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the family to help offset expenses at 2015 Neuse Blvd. New Bern, NC 28560. The family would like to thank all the staff at Carolina East Medical Center for all their attention, care and love during Johnny’s stay.

Johnny is survived by his wife, Wendy Jane Fletcher, of Havelock; his mother, Terry Fletcher Walker, of New Bern; step-sons, Jesse Jones of Faribault, MN; Jonathan Hurley, of Havelock; and his step-daughter, Kari Hurley, of Elizabeth City. He also leaves behind his sister, Leigh Anne Fletcher, of New Bern; his brother, David B. Randall, of New Bern; step-brother, Michael C. Walker, of New Bern; step-sisters, Sharon Walker-Gulledge (Glen), of Saucier, MS; Kelly Ann Walker, of Gulfport, MS; and Terri Lee Walker, of Eastpointe, MI; along with his aunt Donna Gordon (Lee), of Newport; and 1 niece, 2 nephews and many cousins.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Fletcher Family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111.


Edward “Eddie” Kaplan, 37 – September 7, 2019 in New Bern, NC

Edward "Eddie" Kaplan

Edward “Eddie” Kaplan (37) passed away on September 7, 2019 at his home in New Bern.

Born in Illinois, raised in New Jersey, lived in California, Eddie made New Bern his home in 2009 remaining a life-long Cubs fan.

The beloved son of Lynne and Marc Kaplan, of Oriental NC, devoted brother to Zachary Kaplan and Elissa Vaage, both of New Jersey, adoring uncle to Vanessa, Justin and Mazzy, and loving grandson of Blossom Seigel, Chicago.

Eddie was a devoted friend to many. He had many passions, most recently pursuing excellence in wheel-thrown pottery, passing along acquired skills to his students at the New Bern Arts & Wellness Center. His latest works were most often auctioned to raise funds for his favorite charities, with a goal of “20 by 2020”.

He struggled valiantly in a battle with substance abuse, engaging with NA, earning certifications as a Recovery Coach and Peer Support Specialist helping countless others in their quest to overcome this scourge.

While he suffered from heart disease everyone knew him to have an enormously good heart. He will always be remembered for his phrase, adopted by NewBernLive as its program closing, “Love Dogs, Care for People”.

A memorial service, celebrating Eddie’s too brief but remarkable life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 15 at Temple B’nai Sholem, 505 Middle Street in New Bern, NC.

In lieu of flowers contributions welcome to: Religious Community Services (RCS), Reviving Lives Ministries (RLM), Realize U252, or Colonial Capital Humane Society, all of New Bern.

By Marc Kaplan