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Griffin Chapel

Our Staff


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Lyle W. Donaldson

Lyle W. Donaldson

President, Owner, Funeral Service Licensee

Lyle  Donaldson is President and Owner of Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory.   He grew up in Pittsboro and is the seventh generation of his family to live in Chatham County.

Lyle graduated from Greensboro College with a BS in Business Administration and Economics.  After experiencing the loss of his Grandmother while in college, Lyle found himself working a summer job at Hall-Wynne the following two years.  After graduation, he followed a different career for a few short months. 

The desire to help families in their greatest time of need lead him to pursue a career as a Funeral Director.  He enrolled in the Funeral Service Licensee program at Fayetteville Technical Community College and graduated in December, 2014.  He was fortunate to serve his apprenticeship in Sanford, NC at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home under the leadership of the legendary, Mr. Tommy Bridges.   

Lyle always had the desire to return home and serve the people of Chatham County.  In 2015, the dream of owning his own funeral home, in his home town, became a reality when he purchased Hall-Wynne in Pittsboro. 

Lyle is very proud to return the business to private local ownership.  The business was founded in 1916 by Mr. George Jeter Griffin at our same location and continued through three generations.  Mr. William "Bill" Griffin, Jr., still active in the business today, was an important part of Lyle's decision to choose a career as a Funeral Director, mentoring him along the way.  

Lyle is a life-long member of Hanks Chapel United Church of Christ in Pittsboro, NC.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time at the beach, baseball, and most outdoor sports.  

In September 2017 Lyle was selected by Department Chair of Funeral Service Education Ronald Montgomery, Jr.  to serve as a Board Member on the Funeral Service Education Advisory Board at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

In October 2018 Lyle and Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation were asked to serve as a Board/Coalition Member for Chatham-Orange Grief Oasis. A Grief Support Group in Chapel Hill. 

Lyle is a member of Columbus Lodge #102 A.F. & A.M. and a member of Rotary Club of Pittsboro, Chapter #88190. 

Lyle is the youngest of three children of Mark and Sara Donaldson.  He is the proud Uncle of Chase and Finley.   


Telephone: 1-919-542-3057

Email: 


Mitch Jenkins

Mitch Jenkins

Funeral Service Licensee

Mitch is a native of Guilford County and resident of nearby Siler City. He came to Pittsboro in February 2012.  He began working in funeral service in 2000 and received his  degree from Fayetteville Technical Community Colleges funeral service program in 2007.   Mitch began his career as a Funeral Director in Pittsboro in 2012.    

A veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Mitch loves caring for people in their greatest time of need. Mitch is the father of a son and daughter.  

Telephone: 1-919-542-3057

Email: 


Billy Lewis Griffin

Billy Lewis Griffin

Funeral Service Licensee

William L. "Billy Lewis" Griffin, Jr., is a native of Chatham County and resides in Pittsboro. Bill attended UNC-Chapel Hill and is a 1963 graduate of Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN.

Following graduation, he joined his father and uncle in the family business - Griffin Funeral Service in Pittsboro.

After his father's and uncle's deaths in 1973, he became owner/manager until 1997. He then served on a part-time basis until 2010.

Billy Lewis was Lyle’s mentor from the beginning of serving his apprenticeship at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home in Sanford, NC where Lyle served under Lee County Native Tommy F. Bridges.

Billy Lewis came back home and began working at Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation on a part-time basis when Lyle purchased the funeral home from Hall-Wynne. He continues to work and serve families that he has served in the past and families that he knows today.

Bill is a member of Pittsboro Baptist Church and a member of Columbus Lodge 102, AF & AM.

At present Bill is a musician-singer with Front Porch Ministry, a gospel band.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, he is the father of four children Darlene, Daryl, Kathy, and Brian, and grandfather of eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.  


Telephone: 1-919-542-3057


Lisa Wooten

Lisa Wooten

Licensed Funeral Director specializing in Advanced Planning

Lisa Wooten

NC Licensed Funeral Director, specializing in Advanced Planning. 

Lisa comes from a long family history of funeral directing, her father having help to build Rose & Quesenberry Funeral Home in Beckley, WV.  She tells folks, she was the funeral director’s kid, a funeral director’s wife and then became the funeral director herself. 

Lisa is a Virginia girl by birth but a West Virginia girl while growing up.  She graduated with honors from Fayetteville Technical Community College, Mortuary Science Program in September of 2005.  Lisa is a member of the NSDAR, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution where she is an Honorary Regent and Chapter Chaplain for the Asbury Station Chapter in Cary.  She is also an associate member of the General Davie Chapter in Durham, NC and serves as the NC State DAR Magazine Chairmen.  Her and her husband Chip Wooten are members of the Cary FUMC where they both teach Sunday School classes.

When she is not busy helping families secure their final wishes in advance, she loves doing genealogy research, planning events for our Veterans and helping to promote Patriotism, Education, and Historic Preservation. Lisa is here to help families plan their funeral or cremation services in advance so that burden will not be left to family members after a death occurs. Feel free to reach her directly by email at lwooten@donaldsonfunerals.com or by calling her direct at 919-749-3941.

Telephone: 1-919-749-3941

Email: 


Archie Hackney

Archie Hackney

Funeral Service Associate

Archie L. Hackney is a native of Chatham County and a resident of Pittsboro. Archie has been the owner and operator of Pittsboro Appliance Center for more than 30 years.

Archie served proudly in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  He is a member of the Joe Wagner VFW Post 7313 and is very active in building a Veterans Memorial in Pittsboro. He joined the Hall-Wynne family in 2013. 

Archie is married to the former Peggy Riddle of Pittsboro and they have one son, Donnie Wayne. Archie and his wife are active members of Hanks Chapel United Church of Christ.


Tommy Perry

Tommy Perry

Funeral Service Associate

Tommy Perry is a native of Chatham County and a life long resident of Pittsboro.  He spent 30 years with the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections and joined the funeral home in 2009 after his retirement.

Tommy, and his wife Kelly, are active members of Pittsboro United Methodist Church.   They are the proud parents of a daughter, Candace.  


Ken Ellis (Retired)

Ken Ellis (Retired)

Funeral Service Associate

Ken Ellis is a native of Chatham County and resident of Pittsboro.  Ken is retired from the State of North Carolina. He and his wife are members of New Salem Baptist Church

Ken is married to the former Betty Jean (BJ) Council. They have a daughter, Gidget Jenkins and a son, Wyatt Ellis.  They are the proud grandparents of Brandi Morris, Kasey Jenkins, Angelica Ellis, and Cheyenne Ellis.

Ken retired in August 2020 after 13 years of dedicated service to the community and funeral home. Thank you very much for all of your hard work and support. 


Larry Hipp (Retired)

Larry Hipp (Retired)

Funeral Service Associate

Larry O. Hipp is a native of Chatham County and a resident of neighboring Moncure. Larry is retired from the Town of Pittsboro Police Department where he served as Chief of Police.

Larry grew up in Moncure and graduated from Moncure High School. He served nine years in the National Guard in the 30th Infantry Division.

Larry is married to the former Mildred Thomas and they have two children Jamie H. Hinsley and Christopher L. Hipp.  He enjoys fishing, reading, and traveling the western United States.

Larry and his wife are active members of Gum Springs Baptist Church in Moncure.

Larry retired in March 2020. Thank you very much for all of your hard work and support.  


Jimmy Roberson

Jimmy Roberson

Funeral Service Associate

Jimmy Roberson is a native of Chatham County and resident of Pittsboro. He is retired from UNC Chapel Hill Campus Police.

Jimmy has two boys, Allen Roberson and wife Robin and David Roberson and wife Christie along with two grandchildren, Taylor and Wesley Roberson.

Jimmy is a member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church and has been working at the funeral home since 1999.


Ed High

Ed High

Funeral Service Associate

Ed High is a native of Durham, NC and now resides in Chatham County after retiring from IBM.  Ed is the proud father of Jennifer Rhodes and Chris High.  He enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren, Kaitlyn Rhodes, Daniel Rhodes and Sadie High.  

Ed is a member of Rocky River Baptist Church in Siler City, NC.  He has enjoyed working in the funeral industry for over 20 years.  


Kenneth Farrell

Kenneth Farrell

Funeral Service Associate

Kenneth Farrell is a native of Chatham County and resident of Pittsboro. 

Kenneth grew up in Pittsboro and graduated from Northwood High School. 

Kenneth joined our team in 2020 and has been a great asset working visitations and funerals. 


Ronnie Vaughn

Ronnie Vaughn

Funeral Service Associate

Ronnie Vaughn is a native of Chatham County and resident of Pittsboro. Ronnie is retired from the Alamance County Tax Office.

Ronnie grew up in Pittsboro and graduated from Pittsboro High School.

Ronnie is married to the former Glenette Mann and they have two sons: Brian Vaughn and Todd Vaughn. Ronnie and Glenette are proud grandparents of four grandchildren: Amber, Victoria, Layla, and Carter. He enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time.

Ronnie and his wife are active members of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Ronnie joined our team in 2018 and has been a great asset working visitations and funerals. 


Patt Sturdivant

Patt Sturdivant

Funeral Director Apprentice, Funeral Service Associate, Administration

Patt is a native of Chatham County, growing up in the Bells Community and attending Bells Baptist Church growing up.  After graduating from Northwood, she received a BS in Chemistry from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patt also has a AAS in Respiratory Therapy.

Patt retired in 2011 from UNC Hospitals after 30 years of service, with 10 years of service on the Carolina Air Care Team and Manager of Anesthesia Support for 20 years.

Patt is married to Terry Sturdivant of the neighboring White Cross community.  They have two children, son Blaine, and he is married to the former Elizabeth Parks of Pittsboro, daughter Brittany Sturdivant and one grandson, Colby Sturdivant.

Patt and her husband attend Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. They are also very active with Living Free Ministries and the Durham Rescue Mission.

Patt joined the funeral home in 2015 and has been a major key to our Administrative team. She is currently in school at Fayetteville Technical Community College in the Funeral Service Education program to obtain her Funeral Director’s License.

 



Judy Lewter

Judy Lewter

Funeral Service Associate/Administration

Judy a native of Chatham County, resident of the Bells Community, and graduated from Pittsboro High School. 

Judy retired from UNC in July 2003 after 31 years. In 2004 she became a tax preparer for H&R Block, retiring in 2019 after 15 years. 

Judy is currently the treasurer for Bells Baptist Church and enjoys baking, needle work, and golfing in her spare time. 

Judy joined our team in 2019 as an Administrative Assistant.  She has truly been an asset to our team, working in the office as well as visitations and funerals. 


Sue Merritt

Sue Merritt

Marketing and After Care Specialist

Sue Merritt grew up in Cumberland, Maryland. Before retiring to Fearrington Village, she and her late husband Dale owned and operated Merritt Funeral Home & Crematory for 40 years in Cumberland, Maryland. 

Sue joined Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation in January 2019.

In her spare time, Sue is a dress designer for toddlers clothes called Sue Merritt Designs. Along with her two daughters, Kimberly and Jennifer, she designs dog collars for their business, Good Dog in a Box. 

In her extra spare time, Sue sings with the Fearrington Village Singers and plays bridge. 

Telephone: 1-919-542-3057


Don Whitt

Don Whitt

In Memory 1939-2020

Donald “Don” Joseph Whitt, age 80, of Pittsboro, passed away, Monday, November 30, 2020 at UNC Hospitals.

Don was born in Chatham County on December 7, 1939 to the late Dewey Whitt and Mazie Sumner Whitt. He was also preceded in death by 4 brothers, 3 sisters. Don served the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years, retiring as Sheriff in 2000. He served 6 years in the US Navy, was a 32nd degree Mason and Past Master of Columbus Lodge 102 and past President of the Pittsboro Kiwanis Club in Pittsboro. Don was active in Pittsboro Baptist Church. He was a farmer and loved horseback riding.

Surviving Don include his wife; Betty Jean Roberson Whitt, three daughters; Pam Whitt Brady and husband Phil Brady of Bennett, Donna Whitt and husband Wade Minges of Pittsboro, Robin Davis and husband George Davis of Pittsboro, son: Jamie Whitt and wife Tiffany Whitt of Bear Creek, brother C.D. Whitt and wife Lucille of Sanford. Grandchildren, Corey Sturdivant, Whitney Brady Clendenin, Chloe Brady Lundy, Michaela Brady Buchanan, Sawyer Whitt, Cody Whitt, Tanner Whitt, Jonah Minges and Eli Minges, 6 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Service will be held Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:00AM at Pittsboro Baptist Church with Rev. Ray Gooch and Rev. Bob Wachs presiding. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Military Rites and Masonic Rites. There will not be a public visitation. Masks are required to attend the church service and committal service.

In lieu of flowers the family would like memorial contributions to be made  in Don’s memory to Pittsboro Baptist Church and the American Heart Association.

Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory is honored to serve the Whitt family


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