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Avery, Watauga Obituaries – Feb. 24, 2015

Janice Rimmer Nash (Feb. 29, 1928 – Feb. 24, 2015) 


Janice Rimmer Nash, 86, of Fairfield Lane, Blowing Rock, passed away Tuesday morning, Feb. 24, 2015, at her home.

Janice is survived by her husband, Mal Nash of the home; two daughters, Pamela Tibbs and husband James, and Susan Vick and husband Timothy, all of Calhoun, Georgia, and two sisters, Merial DePasquale of Durham, and Alta Winstead of Roxboro.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Arthur Hughes Rimmer and Beatrice Breeze Rimmer.

Memorial services for Janice Rimmer Nash will be conducted at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Laurel Fork Baptist Church, 1759 Aho Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, The Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas, 66675, or to St. Jude Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105.

The family respectfully requests no food or flowers.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Louise W. Bryan (Nov. 27, 1957 – Feb. 23, 2015)

Mrs. Louise Ward Bryan, 57, of Zionville, passed away Sunday afternoon at Watauga Medical Center.

She is survived by her husband, Nathan Bryan, two daughters, Cynthia Coffey & husband Scott of Boone, and Amanda Hoke of Zionville, one son, John Bryan of Zionville, one sister, Lillie Harmon of Boone, one brother, Bobby Ward & wife Della of Deep Gap, and one sister in law, Dare Ward of Boone, and eleven grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Louise Ward Bryan are incomplete. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. Online condolences may be shared with the Bryan family at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Bryan family.

Georgia A. Yates (March 16, 1924 – Feb. 21, 2015) 

Georgia Ayers Yates, 90, of West Queen St., Boone, passed away Saturday morning, Feb. 21, 2015 at her home.


Born March 16, 1924 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Ira Stanly and Venia Smith Ayers. Georgia was a member of the First Baptist Church since 1937, and taught the Childrens Sunday school for 50 years.

She was educated at Boone Elementary School, Appalachian High School, then received her B.S. and M.A degrees from ASU. After retirement from the Watauga County school system, she continued teaching English as a Second Language to over 135 foreign students from 26 different countries.

Mrs. Yates remained an active member of the First Baptist Church, the NC and Watauga County Retired School Personnel, Watauga County Humane Society, Friends of the Library, and the Watauga Literacy Association.

Georgia is survived by a cousin, Kathleen Ward of Boone, and several cousins in Tennessee; special friend and caregiver, Kevin Miller of Boone; and many international friends and ESL students.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Jackie and Jack Norris; husband, Conrad Yates; and several aunts and uncles.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 2 oclock at the First Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Roy Dobyns, Dr. George Miles, and Carroll Roberson. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 1 until 2 PM at the church. Entombment will follow at the Mount Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum.

The family respectfully requests no food, and suggests memorials to the First Baptist Church, 375 West King Street, Boone, 28607; or to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Yates family.

Annis Jones Hagaman (Aug. 30, 1921 – Feb. 20, 2015)

Mrs. Annis Jones Hagaman, 93, of 421 Timber Ridge Road, Sugar Grove, the Bethel Community went home to be with the Lord and reunite with family and friends who have gone on before her, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.


Mrs. Hagaman is survived by one daughter, Ola Mae “Penny” Arnette, three step children, Jimmy Hagaman and wife Ruby, Floy Hagaman and Paul Hagaman, all of Sugar Grove, eight grandchildren, Jackie Roten, Johnny Hagaman and wife Michelle, Glenn Hagaman and wife Mistie, George Arnette, Jr. and wife Amanda, Brad Hagaman and wife Jessica, Kimberly Hagaman, Doyle “Punkin” Puckett and wife Rebecca, Barry Puckett and wife Diane, ten step grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, two sister-in-laws, and a special niece April Auton.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Mecia Jones, her husband Reverend Lawrence Hagaman, two sisters, Lorene Harris and Mildred Hagaman, four brothers, Fredrick, Danton, Cleo, Clarence and Melburn Jones, two daughters, Wilma Puckett and Willis Hagaman, two sons, Ralph and Jack Hagaman, two step daughters, Betty Trivette and Jessie Yates, one step son, Kerman Hagaman, one granddaughter, Georgetta Grace Arnette and one step granddaughter, Patricia Hagaman.

Funeral services for Mrs. Annis Jones Hagaman will be conducted Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at 2 p.m. at Timbered Ridge Baptist Church. Reverend Derick Wilson will officiate. The body will lie in state at the church from 1 to 2 p.m. Burial will follow in Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m., one hour prior to the service at the church.

The family would like to express a special thank you to her caregiver Amanda Arnette.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607

Online condolences may be sent to the Hagaman family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Emmalene Hopkins Henson (May 12, 1924 – Feb. 20, 2015)

Emmalene Hopkins Henson, 90, of Crossnore passed away on Feb. 20, 2015 at her residence.


A native of Avery County, she was born May 12, 1924 a daughter of the late Dallas and Verda Vance Hopkins.

She was a member of Crossnore Baptist Church, the Ladies Red Hat Society of Avery County and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Emmalene enjoyed canning, gardening, flowers and loved ocean and pier fishing with her husband, Joe.

Emmalene was a pioneer of Cosmetology in Avery County and was a hairdresser for over 30 years.

Along with her parents, Emmalene was preceded in death by her: husband, Joe Henson; sons, Billy Joe Henson and Ted R. Henson; grandson, Teddy Henson, Jr.

Emmalene loved her family and adored all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She has left to cherish her memory her: daughters, Nancy Henson Owens and husband Wendell of Newland, Martha Henson Hicks and husband Steve; 10 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, Feb. 22 from 2 – 4 p.m. at Crossnore Baptist Church with graveside services to be held at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Medi-Home Hospice at PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Henson family.

Margaret Kelley (Oct. 18, 1922 – Feb. 20, 2015)

Margaret S. Kelley, 93, passed away Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 at the Life Care Center of Banner Elk.


Daughter of the late Herman and Fannie (Davis) Smith, she was born Oct. 18, 1922 in Richford, Vt.

Margaret worked as a caregiver and server and spent much of her life in northern Vermont. In her later years she moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and then closer to her daughter’s family in North Carolina.

She loved arts & crafts, the beauty of the outdoors and she especially loved birdwatching. She was an entertaining storyteller; sharing stories of growing up with her siblings, working in the sugarbush, skiing and driving the team of horses at her family homestead in Richford, Vt.

She is survived by her daughter, Clara Jean Kelley; daughter-in-law, Diane Kelley; grandchildren John (Lisa) Chenausky, Dawn Kelly, Brad (Christy) Chenausky, Daniele Simpson, Larry (Peggy) Kelley, Shawn (Chantel) Kelley; great grandchildren, Avery Kelly, Jackie Larrabee, Amanda Simpson, Stephanie Simpson, Melissa Riendeau, Caleb Kelley, Travis Kelley, Reegan Kelley, and Jordyn Kelley. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and the caring staff at Life Care Center of Banner Elk.

In addition to her parents, Margaret was predeceased by her son, Russell Kelley; sisters Irene Selby, Edith Selby, Juliette Wing and Martha McAllister; brothers, Sheridan Smith, Lucius “Billy” Smith, Addison “Bunk” Smith, and Huestus Smith.
Private, family remembrances will be held in the spring and summer months in St. Petersburg, Florida and Richford, Vermont. The family encourages each of you to remember Margaret by filling your bird feeders and whistling along to the song of the birds.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland is serving the Kelley family.

Charles B. Gill (April 04, 1938 – Feb. 18, 2015)

Charles Beatty Gill, 76, of Ski Acres Drive, Blowing Rock, passed away peacefully on Feb. 18, 2015 at CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia.

A native of McKees Rocks, Pa., he was the son of the late Martin and Catherine Saar Gill.

He was a 1961 graduate of Duquesne University and practiced his Catholic faith at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Linville, NC. After a successful career as Governor of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, he was fortunate to retire at an early age where he was able to enjoy his growing family and pursue his passion for golf.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:00PM, Saturday, Feb. 21 at St. Bernadette Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock.

The family will receive friends from 6:00-7:30PM Friday at Austin-Barnes Funeral Home in Boone.

Survivors include his wife, Gayle Gill; son, Charles Robert Gill and wife, Dana Gill; daughters, Maureen Goodson and husband, Warren Goodson, Lynn DeFazio and husband, Albert John DeFazio, III, Valerie Shuler and husband Quintin Shuler, Liz Gill and Thomas Harrison; sister, Jean Coccaro; grandchildren, Justin Hite, Milo Goodson, Kendall OToole, Jamie Hite, Katherine Mills, Ian Crosby, Grant Shuler, Albert John DeFazio, IV, Patrick Shuler, Lindsey Gill, Luke Shuler, Alli Gill and Grace Shuler; great grandchild, Reese OToole; numerous brothers and sisters in law, and nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Charles Landon Gill.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Seby B. Jones Cancer Center, 184 W. Virginia St., Boone, NC 28607 or to St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 2085 North Carolina 105, Linville, NC 28646.

Condolences may be shared online by visiting www.mcleanfuneral.com or www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia and Austin Barnes Funeral Home in Boone are serving the Gill Family.

Thomas N. Sternal (Sept. 12, 1943 – Feb. 17, 2015) 

Tom Sternal, a prolific and peripatetic sculptor, furniture maker and educator, died on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. He was 71 years old.

Sternal was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. As a young boy he quickly gravitated to art, becoming a talented, motivated artist, taking classes at the Minneapolis Art Institute and later graduating with a BA in Art from the University of Minnesota in 1965. He was admitted to the graduate Art program at the University of Montana, earning an MA in 1966 and an MFA in 1967.

His first teaching position was as an assistant Professor of Art at Arkansas State University. He quickly earned a tenure-track position at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. It was there where Sternal began to make his mark. His first solo exhibition in 1972 featured more than a 100 pieces of work, priced moderately to attract the attention and support of the local community. He was soon discovered by the prominent art collectors, Philip and Muriel Berman. His relationship with the Bermans brought about a particularly robust period of work. His large, monumental indoor and outdoor sculptures were bought and placed around the world at many art centers, museums, colleges and universities. While earning tenure at Muhlenberg, Sternal was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and lecture in Seoul, Korea, and as an artist and lecturer in residence through The Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

In 1980, Sternal became the chairman of the art department at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, quickly earning tenure and continuing to create and place large outdoor sculpture pieces around the country. He left in 1984 to become the chairman of the art department at Morehead State in Morehead, Kentucky. His administrative responsibilities grew with the much larger department. Even as he continued creating art, he curated the Universitys Claypool-Young Art Gallery and eventually founded the KY Folk Art Center as a means of providing much-needed support and visibility for under-appreciated Appalachian folk artists.

In 1996, Sternal relocated to Todd, NC. After a brief stay at Appalachian State University, he founded the Elkland Art Center with his wife and co-collaborator, Martha Enzmann. Together they became fixtures of the community, bringing energy and vision to the area. Their time together in Todd was a period of community engagement, encouraging and developing the artistic interests of local residents.

He leaves behind a legacy of teaching and inspiring a love of art, having launched and shaped the careers of many artists. His own artistic vision was shaped by an eccentric and diverse mixture of art, from Harry Bertoia to George Nakashima to Frederic Remington, from the craft traditions of Norway, Korea, Appalachia, from the natural environment. Yet, his work was unfinished, energized to the very end, filled with ideas, visions and curiosity.

Tom Sternal is survived by his wife, Martha Enzmann, his first wife, Ann Sternal, his two children, Julie Sternal of Cambridge, WI, Tom (Becky) of Ghent, NY, three grandchildren, Tessa Sternal, Finn Sternal and Christophe Hughes; his sister Janice Sternal of New Port Richie, FL, brother Stan (Judy) Sternal of Shoreview, MN.

Services will be held on Friday, February 20th at 3 PM at Blackburns Chapel, 3986 Todd Railroad Grade Road, Todd, NC. A reception will follow at Elkland School 10279.

Memorial donations may be made to Elkland Art Center, 10279 Three Top Road, Todd, NC 28684, or www.elklandartcenter.org.

Online condolences may be shared with the Sternal family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Sternal family.