Willis Avenell (Nell) Smith Hughes


HILLSBOROUGH — Willis Avenell (Nell) Smith Hughes, 89, passed away Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 at her home with her daughters by her side.  She was born in Raleigh, West Virginia, the daughter of the late Willis Jennings Smith and Irene Wilton Richmond Smith.  She was also preceded in death by her husband, William Clifton Hughes; sister, Dolly Weddle; brothers, Paul Smith, James Clyde Smith; granddaughter, Ashley Allender; and son-in-law, Michael Allender. Mrs. Hughes was a graduate of Stoco High School, a loving house wife and devoted mother.  She then entered the work field and retired from Kerr Drug Store after 15 years of service. 

Nell was a loving mother and grandmother to all her family. She attended the Gospel Chapel church and loved her visits to West Virginia.  She streamed the church service devotedly every Sunday morning.

Mrs. Hughes is survived by her daughters, Mary Pope (Kevin), Shirley Allender, Donna Prince (Jimmy), Nancy Mahaffey (Robert); grandchildren, Julie Pope, Jennifer Solomon (Charles), Jessica Pope (Allen), Aaron Allender (Kimberly), Matthew Prince (Brandy), Lauren Prince, Robert “Trey” Mahaffey (Brittany), Maximus Mahaffey, Tristan Cleaver (Brianna); and great grandchildren, Alisyn Wonner, Parker Wonner, Victor Wonner, Cole Solomon, Nate Solomon, Kaylyn Pope, Braydyn Vermilya, Jacob Vermilya, Liam Mahaffey and Sophia Cleaver.

A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25 at Markham Memorial Gardens in Chapel Hill with Rev. Vinson E. Beckwith Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., at Clements Funeral Home in Hillsborough. Pallbearers will include Kevin Pope, Aaron Allender, Matthew Prince, Robert “Trey” Mahaffey, Maximus Mahaffey, Tristan Cleaver, Charles Solomon and Allen Vermilya. 

Special thanks to Duke Home Health and Hospice for their care and devotion to Nell and her family.  

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. in Hillsborough. Online condolences may be sent to www.clementsfuneralservice.com.


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