Mary Fern Cleary Little

Posted at 3:40 PM on Oct 8, 2019


Mary Fern Cleary Little, 84, of Statesville, N.C., passed away on Monday, October 7, 2019, at the Gordon Hospice House.

Fern was born August 2, 1935, in Davie County and was the daughter of the late Thomas Cleary and Fern Childers Payne (Bliss). She was a graduate of Scotts High School, was a member of Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church and is married to Roy P. Little Jr.

Fern’s passions included music and travel. She was an active member of her church and sang in the choir when her health permitted. Her love of travel took her to exotic places in the world, including Saudi Arabi and Japan, but her favorite was Hong Kong.

In addition to her husband, Fern is survived by a son, Victor Cribbs (Teresa) of Panama City, Fla.; one daughter, Teresa Case of Statesville; three grandchildren, Amber Case, Sara Wiggley (Ian), and David Cribbs (Michelle); three great-grandchildren, Lily, Lydia and Logan Wiggley; four siblings, Legrand Payne (JoAnn), Sandra Myers (Randy), Allen Payne, and Jennie Payne; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two infant sisters, Shirley Ann Cleary and Jean Payne.

Fern touched the lives of all who knew her. She will be greatly missed by her family and her many friends.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, 29, at Troutman Funeral Home with Rev. Will Dulin officiating. The family will visit with friends on Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the memorial service and will gather at the residence of her sister, Jennie Payne, 518 Queens Court in Statesville at other times.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Gordon Hospice House. Online condolences may be made to the family at

The family would like to give a special thanks to the Doctors, Nursing Staff and Volunteers at the Gordon Hospice House for their love and support.

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family of Mrs. Fern Little.

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