Ragan Fender Cemetery, Yancey Co., North Carolina

Ragan Fender Cemetery of Riddle Branch

Bald Mountain Road, Yancey Co., North Carolina

Documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

updated on 01/10/15



The cemetery is named after James Ragan Fender, former property owner.  The cemetery is located at the top of the hill, fenced in, active and well taken care of.   To access the cemetery, park the vehicle near the private farm and walk up the hill.   The surrounding area is private land and the visitor must seek permission to through through Llama farm to proceed up the hill to the cemetery. There are several unmarked graves.


Directions:  Proceed on 19W east towards Burnsville to the stop sign at Bee Log Junction.  Make a right and cross the Cane River. Guys General Store/Gas Station is on the left.  Proceed 2/10 of a mile and make a left onto Bald Mountain Road.  Proceed on Bald Mountain road for about 1.5 miles and make a right onto Riddle Branch Road and then turn onto Wellspring Lane to the end of the lane.  The cemetery is on the hill.


NOTE: This project was in partnership with Julian Fender, a descendant of Ragan Fender and Zora Pate-Fender.  All photos are courtesy of Julian Fender (unless otherwise noted).  Feel free to email me your comments, photos and info.  Photo of J. Fender installing the new sign he fabricated to honor his grandparent in February 2013.


1.   FENDER, James Ragan

b.  October 4, 1904 - d. March 7, 1981

"Our Father Which Art in Heaven"

[s/o James Zack Fender and Mattie Massie (buried Zach Cem. Bald Mnt.).

OBITUARY  taken from Asheville-Citizen Times 1981


2.  FENDER, Zora [PATE]

b.  January 15, 1910 - d. March 17, 2002

[d/o Robert "Bob" Pate and Harriett Hylemon buried Mt Pleasant Church Cem.

married James Ragan on Jan. 25, 1925; 12 children; 10 alive, 2 sets of twins]

OBITUARY-Zora Pate Fender:  "BURNSVILLE - Zora Pate Fender, 92, of Bee Log, died Sunday, March 17, 2002, in Spruce Pine Community Hospital. A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Bob and Harriett Hylemon Pate and wife of Ragan Fender, who died in 1981. She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Catherine Buttke, and sons, Duke, Don and Kurl Fender. She was a member of Bald Mountain Freewill Baptist Church. Surviving are five daughters, Gladis Ward, Judy Ledford, Geneieve Phillips and Dixie Ledford of Burnsville and Jennie Lee Hensley of Marion three sons, Albert Fender of Asheville, Warren Fender of Batesburg, S.C., and Tommie Fender of Burnsville 30 grandchildren 45 great- grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. Burial will be in Fender Cemetery on Riddle Branch. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services at the funeral home."  taken from the Asheville-Citizen Times  March 2002"

3.  FENDER, Kurl

b. May 8, 1937 - d. November 11, 1965

"Sleep on faithful loved one and take thy rest,

God called thee home, He thought it best"

[s/o James Ragan Fender and Zora Pate]

4.  FENDER, Tommy

b. June 24, 1964 - d. March 27, 2007

[s/o Kurl Fender #3 and private]


5. WARD, Gladys FENDER

b.  June 3, 1930 - d. August 14, 2003

"Precious Memories - Beloved Sister"

[d/o James Ragan Fender and Zora Pate]


6.  BUTTKE, Katherine FENDER

b. December 4, 1939 - d. March 18, 1988

"Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they Shall See God" - Private First Class -PFC, US Marine Corps. 

[d/o James Ragan Fender and Zora Pate]


8.  HONEYCUTT, Emma Bann  [Suspected - Unmarked]

[d/o Andy Honeycutt]

8.  child of Don and Anna Lee Fender


9.    Unmarked


10.   Unmarked


11.  LEDFORD, Hoyle

b. May 30, 1940 - d. February 27, 2013

"Our Father Which Art in Heaven"

[s/o Mack Ledford and Naomi Honeycutt buried Cooper-Ledford Cem.]

NOTE:  Obituary link


Vista of the llama farm from the cemetery which sits on the hill; tombstones and field stones of Ragan Cemetery  --photos taken Dec 2011 by Julian Fender.


More Info on Yancey Co. Genealogy

a contribution to the NCGenWeb Project

Other Yancey Co. Cemeteries Tombstone Transcription Project






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Updated 01/10/2015