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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – April 20, 2021

The following are recent obituary notices from Austin & Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland


Mary Lorraine Kwiatkowski

1917 – 2021

Mary Lorraine Kondeusz Kwiatkowski, age 104, of Boone passed peacefully at the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge on Monday, April 12, 2021. Born January 20, 1917 in Chicago, she was the daughter of Andrzej Kondeusz and Maryja Trela, who immigrated from Sandomierz, Poland in 1913. She was orphaned at age 7 and raised by John and Catherine Kolodziej Buczek of Chicago. During and after graduation from Harrison High School, Mary kept books for the Buczek tavern and other properties. Over the years she worked for the family Polish deli and as a caterer and restaurant server. She volunteered for many years at the Southwest Senior Center in Chicago. In 2002, Mary moved to Boone to be close to family.

All her life Mary was very proud of her Polish heritage. As a member of the Polish Scouting Organization of Illinois she served as a leader and camp counselor to young girls. She played the snare drum for numerous parades and performed in the Lehici folk dance ensemble sharing Polish culture in the Chicago area. Mary was very inquisitive and enjoyed ballroom dance, art, and music.

In addition to both sets of parents, Mary is preceded in death by her husband Stanley Ted Kwiatkowski, her brother Valerian Kondeusz, her sisters Jenny Kondeusz Wallenga and Josephine Kondeusz Niecikowski, and her “adopted” sister Lorraine Buczek Jarzynski. Mary is survived by her three children Janet Kwiatkowski Zupko of Waukegan, Illinois; Kathleen Kwiatkowski Kascewicz (Martin Kascewicz) of Fifleld, Wisconsin; and Jon Kwiatkowski (Kathleen Brinko) of Boone; two grandchildren Sarah Zupko (Karen Zarker) of Chicago and Mieszko Kwiatkowski of Boone; and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family extends much gratitude to Mary’s many caregivers at Appalachian Bryan Estates, the Foley Center, and Medi Home Health & Hospice for their dedication and care.

No funeral or memorial service is scheduled. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to OASIS of Boone.

Abandoned child,

life done you wrong;

treasured adult,

you done life better.

Online condolences may be shared with Mary’s family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Kwiatkowski family.


Ralph Edward Yates

A well-known community leader dies…

Ralph Edward Yates of 335 Cool Woods Drive, Boone, NC, left his earthly home on April 17, 2021. Anchored in his faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Ralph joined his family and friends in the presence of his Living Savior.

Ralph was the youngest of twelve children born to Ed and Mamie Matheson Yates.  He grew up in the Matney Community and attended schools in Watauga County.  He continued his education at Caldwell Community College, Wilkes Community College and Appalachian State University.    

Ralph is survived by his wife of 61 years, Evelyn Edmisten Yates, his granddaughter Darby Lee Bailey Yates and his daughter-in-law Angie Yates, both of Hickory, NC.  He is also survived by two sister-in-laws, Doris Yates and Mary Yates, his brother-in-law, Stuart Shook Sr. and a number of nieces and nephews. 

Ralph Yates was preceded in death by his two sons, Ricky Edward Yates and Randall Duane Yates.  He was also preceded in death by six sisters: Gladys Presnell, Marilyn Trivette, Wilma Shook, Lola Townsend, Irene Storie, Rose Edna Harmon, and Ruby Yates.  Four brothers:  Winfred Yates, Tommie Yates, Charlie Everett Yates, and Herbert Yates.

Ralph felt that the most important decision in his life was made on June 5, 1995 when he opened his heart to the living Jesus Christ.  His wish was for God’s blessings for all his loved ones and friends. 

Memorial services will be held on Monday April 19, 2021 at 3:00 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Boone, NC. Due to Covid-19 social distancing and masks will be required.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.

Online condolences may be left at www.greer-mcelveenfuneralhome.com. 

Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the Yates family.



Jack Denver Storie

June 04, 1937 – April 14, 2021

Jack Denver Storie, 83, of Newland passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at Cannon Memorial Hospital.

Jack Storie hung drywall for a living before becoming disabled in 1965. The father of two sons, Gregory Storie and Mark Storie both of Maryland, four grandchidren, Christina, Courtney, Joseph and Kaycie Storie all of Maryland, a sister, Jewel Storie Cook and a host of Nieces and nephews which all loved him dearly.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Ivy W. Storie and Floy Ethel Jones Storie, seven sisters, Louise Rupard, Alverta Yates, Beulah Trivette, Ivalee Davis, Carol Sue Storie, Janice Storie Cook Davis and Nellie Pearl Storie, and two brothers, Charles Storie and Chester Storie.

Jack was of the Baptist faith and loved his church family. Fall Creek Church is where Uncle Jack rode his cart to each and every Sunday. Though he walked with a limp and a cane, he held his head high and made do with what God gave him. I’m sure he shouted HELLO as he walked through the pearly gates just like he said on earth about thirty times a day. You will be missed Uncle Jack but only till we meet again.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Adam Davis will officiate. Interment will follow in Beech Mountain Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00, one hour prior to the service at the chapel.

The family respectfully request that mask be worn.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Fall Creek Baptist Church, care of Beth Crawford, 248 Snow Hill Lane, Elk Park, North Carolina, 28622 or to Beech Mountain Cemetery Fund.

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

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements



Jimmie Graham Mast

April 13, 2021

Jimmie G Mast of Monmouth Junction, NJ passed away at home with her children at her side on Tuesday April 13, 2021. She was 85 years old.

A matriarch of the family, beloved educator and pillar of her church community, she will be missed far and wide.

Born in Boone, NC, Jimmie graduated from Watauga High School and, like her three sisters, from Appalachian State Teachers College. After a brief stint teaching in Kingsport, TN Jimmie became a kindergarten teacher at John Adams Elementary School in North Brunswick, NJ where she introduced thousands of students to the joy of learning over more than 25 years.

The United Methodist Church of New Brunswick was her spiritual home. She was specifically involved with the United Methodist Women and the church’s community outreach committee, but her presence was felt throughout the church.  Her love of crafting led her to create country flags representing the diverse church congregation, as well as worship banners hung throughout the sanctuary.

Jimmie was a quilter and so many friends and family (and babies) were fortunate to be gifted with a quilt or quilted wall hanging or hand sewn baby book from her.

Most importantly, she was generous with her time, thoughtful of others and sharing of her love. Family and friends alike will miss her homemade Valentine’s and Halloween cards, the neighborhood kids will miss the outdoor games and crafts she organized, family will miss Country Fried Steak, and we will all miss her “short cuts” that turned 20-minute trips into 2 hours journeys. While she may have physically left our lives, her love and joy and kindness and fun remain.

Predeceased by her husband Joseph E Mast, her son Joseph E Mast II, parents Grady Graham and Bina (Moody) Graham, and her three sisters Jennie Bumgarner, Melba Tugman and Joan Tolbert. She is survived by her son Mitchell Graham Mast, her daughter and son-in-law Susanne Mast Murray and David J. Murray, her grandchildren Cara Mast Murray and Sean Savino Murray, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of her life will take place on Saturday April 24th from 9 AM to noon at M.J. Murphy Funeral Home, 616 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ.

There will be a virtual funeral on Saturday May 1. Information on how to participate will be provided to any who inquire.

A celebration of her life will also take place on Saturday May 22 from 10AM till noon at Hampton Funeral Home, Blowing Rock Road, Boone NC.

For those interested in making donations in her name, she was very concerned about food insecurity, particularly of children, and was herself very giving to local food pantries (South Brunswick Township Food Pantry) and soup kitchens (elijahspromise.org). Food insecurity exists worldwide, so donations would surely be welcome at the local, national or international level.

Online condolences may be sent to the Mast Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com



Ellen Marie Flynn

May 12, 1965 – April 14, 2021

Ellen Marie Flynn, age 55, of Jefferson, passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at Ashe Memorial Hospital.

She is survived by her children, Meagan Stelchook of Boone; Nicholas Stelchook of West Jefferson and Wesley Coble of Pennsylvania and 2 Grandchildren,  Natalie Stelchook and Jade Fields.  She is also survived by 2 siblings, Patrick and Julie; a special Aunt, Sue Todd and several nieces and nephews.

No services are planned at this time

Online condolences may be sent to the Flynn Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

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



Shannon Deanne Olis Farmer

June 13, 1981 – April 16, 2021

Shannon Deanne Olis Farmer, age 39, of Boone, passed away April 16, 2021 at her home.

Arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation service is serving the Farmer family.

Condolences may be made online at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com



Kathleen Triplett Kitchen

August 25, 1935 – April 12, 2021

Lois Kathleen Triplett Pennell Kitchen, age 85, passed away April 12, 2021 at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.

She was born August 25, 1935 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina to the late Don Monroe and Erie Storie Triplett.

She was the Valedictorian of the 1953 graduating class of Blowing Rock High School.

Kathleen was in the hospitality industry. During the 1960’s she was a waitress at the well-known Patio Restaurant of Vero Beach.

Kathleen was of Methodist faith. She was a founding member and one time President of the “Pairs and Spares” Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church, Vero Beach.

Survivors include son, Jack Walter Pennell, Jr.; sisters, Coleen T. Bush, Marlene T. Bentley, and Arlene T. Frye; brothers, Steve Triplett, and JC Triplett; grandsons, Jared Tyler Halverson and Chad Allen Halverson; five nieces; 6 nephews; God-son, Mark Allen (Connie) Good; and her beloved friend/sister Eleanor Good (Jay) Holford.

She was predeceased by daughter, Catherine Hope Pennell Halverson; brothers, Carroll Allen Triplett, Kenneth Lee Triplett, Melvin C. Triplett, and Harold Dean Triplett; niece, Angela Kilby; nephews, Hugh Kilby and Brett Frye; daughter-in-law, Barbara Jo Piedmont Pennell.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at Orchid Island Manor where Kathleen experienced the best of care.

A Visitation will be held 10:30 a.m. with a Funeral Service to follow at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, 1655 27th Street, Vero Beach, Florida 32960.

Arrangements by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.

Obituary information courtesy of Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service of Boone.



Len B. Stokes

August 14, 1929 – April 18, 2021

Len B. Stokes, age 91, of Boone, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Sunday, April 18, 2021, at his home in Boone, NC.

Mr. Stokes was born August 14 1929, in Milligan, TN, a son of the late Ed Stokes and Chloe Harmon Stokes Norris. Len was an excellent athlete throughout his life. He played high school basketball at Cove Creek High School, and was on a full basketball scholarship at what is now known as Appalachian State University. He was a champion tennis player and played until he was 80 years old. He was also a champion checker player who won many tournaments throughout his life. Len served in the United States Army, and was on the front lines in Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. Len retired from Appalachian State University, where he worked for 36 years as an electrician on campus.

Len is survived by his wife of 64 years, Frankie Oliver Stokes, and daughter Teresa Stokes Johnson and husband, Rudy. He is also survived by two sisters, Peggy Banner and Ruth Creed (Dennis) of Boone and one brother Jim Stokes (Ann) of Chilhowie, VA. He is survived by two sisters-in-law, Betty Stokes of Lexington, NC, and Elaine Oliver of Amarillo, TX. A number of nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by eight brothers: Hensel Stokes (Pearl); Roger Stokes; two infant boys; Ralph Stokes (Gladys); Edward Stokes (Christine); Bill Stokes (Mary), and Landon Stokes. He was also preceded in death by four brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law, Ray Clark, L.C Oliver, Jr. (Margaret), John Oliver (Ruth) and Jones Oliver.

Funeral services for Len B. Stokes will be conducted Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Moderating and officiating will be Neil Oliver and Rev. Mike Townsend. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens with military honors provided by American Legion Post 130.

The family requests masks and safe distancing protocol be followed. 

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00, prior to the service at the chapel.

The family requests no food. The family wishes to express love and gratitude to the Medi Home Health & Hospice personnel for their tireless efforts, genuine caring spirit, and expertise in Len’s care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Medi Home Health & Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC 28607.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation service is serving the Stokes family.

Online condolences may be made at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com



Billy Edward Oaks

December 27, 1950 – April 12, 2021

Billy Edward Oaks Sr. 70, of Crossnore, passed away at home on April 12, 2021. He was born December 27, 1950, in Banner Elk North Carolina. Son of the late Ruel DeFate Oaks and the late, Iva Lee Oaks. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Newland NC. He leaves behind his wife, Sherry Lee Oaks of Baltimore Md., Three children, Billy Edward Oaks Jr, Adam Lee Oaks Sr. , Angela Dawn Riley and Son in Law Patrick James Riley. Six Grandchildren Jason Heiland, Alexis Dixon, Morgan Oaks, Paris Oaks, Aleah Riley and Adam Oaks Jr. Also four Brothers and two Sisters.

Funeral services for Billy Edward Oaks Sr, Will be held privately, officiated by Pastor Dave Adkins.

Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Oaks family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net

The care of Billy and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.



Pansy Winnie Shook

January 30, 1922 – March 26, 2021

Pansy W. Shook, born January 30th, 1922 went Home to the Lord, her husband, family and friends on March 26, 2021. Pansy was born in Minneapolis, in the High Country of North Carolina to Jim and Nola Winters. She had a twin sister, Grace Bevan and sisters; Emma Caraway, Elsie Hall, brothers; William, Albert, Sam, Ray and Craig. Pansy grew up on Big Horse Creek and attended church at the Lewis Chapel there.

After World War II Pansy married Verne H. Shook in 1947, also from Minneapolis. They lived briefly on Big Horse Creek before moving north to Metuchen, New Jersey to take advantage of the housing construction boom in that area.

Pansy was a homemaker while raising her daughters prior to working for the Chanel Corporation in Piscataway, New Jersey until her retirement at age 65. She was an active member of Christ Community Church in Piscataway, as well as one of their longest standing members.

She enjoyed staying active gardening, antiquing and sharing her happy memories of North Carolina.

Pansy went to spend the winter in Kauai with her daughter LaVerne in 2016, as she had often done in the past – only to remain there.

She is survived by her two daughters LaVerne Bishop of Kalaheo, Kauai, Yvonne Prohaska (husband-Bernard) of East Brunswick, New Jersey and granddaughter Ariel Lilinoe Bishop.

Visitation will be held on April 24th from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, 296 Ash Street, Newland, N.C. 28657 to be followed by a 12:00 graveside ceremony at Mount Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery, 1161 Balm Highway, Banner Elk, N.C.

She will be missed by all.