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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – Aug. 29, 2017

The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. Send obituary notices to jesse@highcountrypress.com.

Wayne Downing (May 1, 1953 – Aug. 28, 2017)


Wayne Downing, 64, of Deep Gap, North Carolina passed away on Monday, August 28, 2017 at his Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem. 

He was born on May 1, 1953 in Island County, Illinois the son of Richard Lyle Downing and Glenna Marie Sutton Downing. Wayne worked with Modern Toyota of Boone for the past 10 years most recently as the internet sales manager.

He was preceded in death by his father Richard Lyle Downing, mother Glenna Marie Sutton Downing. 

Wayne leaves behind to cherish his memory his: Wife; Katie Downing of Deep Gap, NC; Daughter; Sister; Linda Hay of Pekin, Illinois, Adopted Children; Linsay Downing of Morganton, NC, Michael Downing of Iowa, Stepsons; Isaiah Stronach of Boone, NC. and Aaron Stronach of Mill Springs, NC.  Four Grandchildren. 

The family will receive friends beginning from 2:00PM – 4:00PM on Sunday, September3, 2017 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to;
De La Cruz Farms
6696 Old 421S
Deep Gap, North Carolina 28618

Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Downing family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net. The care of Wayne and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

Carleen R. Berndt (Aug. 21, 1955 – Aug. 26, 2017)

Carleen Berndt of Blowing Rock passed away Saturday morning at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation. She is survived by her son, William Berndt of Blowing Rock, her brother, Craig Richardson and wife Dena of Fort Mill, SC and two nieces, Megan Richardson and Jacob West and Lauren Tuck and Connor. 

Funeral arrangements for Carleen Berndt are incomplete. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 131 Big Valley Street, Boone, NC 28607.

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

John E. & Mary Emily Read (Sept. 9, 1922 and Sept. 16, 1923 – Aug. 26, 2017)

John E. and Mary Emily Read, ages 94 and 93 respectively, passed away of natural causes, Saturday and Sunday, within sixteen hours of each other.

Mary and John Read

Mr. Read was born September 9, 1922 in Detroit, Michigan, son of Lawrence and Marion Read, and raised by Edna Read. He was a former metallurgical engineer, and an avid outdoorsman with a passion for adventure and travel. John was a Captain in the United States Air Force, where he served with the 27th Fighter Group in the 12th Air Force and flew a P-47. In two and a half years of service, he completed 104 missions over Italy, Germany, France, and Corsica. He received the D.S.C., Air Medal with six clusters, six battle stars, also the Presidential Unit Citation. His group was given the Presidential Unit Citation six times, which was the most any one unit was ever given.

Mrs. Read was born September 16, 1923 in Beaumont, Texas, daughter of the late William Taylor Woodward and Emily Braden. She was a dedicated teacher for over 20 years, where she was a truly innovative educator and was loved by all her students. Mrs. Read is someone who will always be remembered by her beautiful smile and positive attitude.

Mr. and Mrs. Read are survived by their three children, Carole Towers, Mark Read and Brad Read. They are also survived by their grandchildren, Elea Faucheron, India Towers, Reanna Read, Evan Read, Dakota Read, Jackson Read, as well as their great-granddaughter, Malina Read.

A celebration of life for John E. and Mary Emily Read will be held Saturday afternoon, September 2, 2017, from 1:00 until 4:00 o’clock, at the Mark Read Studio, 1898 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, North Carolina, 28645.

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

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

Emmanuel Gabriel Lowery (June 21, 1963 – Aug. 26, 2017)

Emmanuel Gabriel Lowery, 54, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at his Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC.


He was born on June 21, 1963 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of Cecil Lowery and Bonnie Baldwin Lowery. Emmanuel worked for many years as a shrubbery man.

He was preceded in death by his Mother, Bonnie Lowery; Father, Cecil Lowery; Sister, Cora “Sissy” Andrews; Brother, Robert Lowery.

Emmanuel leaves behind to cherish his memory his: Daughters; Jessica Bassnett of Morganton, NC and Kaitlyn Lowery of Banner Elk, NC; Brothers; James (Dorothy) Lowery of Newland, NC., Richard (Tracy)Lowery of Deep Gap, NC., Grandson: Levi Bassnet

Services for Emmanuel Gabriel Lowery will be held on Wednesday August 30, 2017, beginning at 7:00PM at the Church of Jesus in Linville, NC. with Rev. Steve Turbyfill officiating. 

The family will receive friends beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 prior to the service.

Interment will be in the Newland Cemetery, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at 9 a.m.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the funeral home to help with expenses.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Lowery family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net

Christine Mayberry Taylor (Sept. 20, 1919 – Aug. 24, 2017)

Christine Mayberry Taylor passed away at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Aug. 24, 2017, only six months after the passing of her beloved husband, Carl James Taylor. Chris and Carl were married for 77 years. She was born Christine Kemp Mayberry in Hiddenite, NC, and would have been 98 on Sept. 20th of this year.


Chris was a true matriarch of her family, leading by example with a combination of love, strength, and humor. She was a feisty and fearless woman who eloped with the love of her life, raised four rambunctious boys, and worked side-by-side with her husband Carl in sales for many years, criss-crossing the U.S. and living in California, Utah, Nevada, and North Carolina. 

Chris was known for her sense of humor, her chocolate pies, a fondness for handbags and shoes, her ability to corral rowdy kids (and adults), and a distinct affinity for the wry use of one particular mild curse word. She gave the best back scratches if you nonchalantly sat down anywhere close to her – it was automatic. She made herself busy her entire life, and never sat idle right up until the very end, whether it was crawling in the floor with her great grandchildren, skipping down the block, or completing daily chores around the house …and keeping Carl in line! Most of all, Chris had a deep abiding love for her family, and had a way of making each one feel like they were her favorite!

She is survived by her younger sister Virginia Elam of Columbus, Ohio, a sister-in-law Pat Seal of Mt Airy, NC, as well as her four sons: Todd Taylor (Anne) of Meadows of Dan, Va.; Jerry Taylor (Candy) of American Fork, Utah; Michael Taylor (Penny) of Boone, N.C.; and Randy Taylor, who lived with Chris and took such good care of her during her short illness. Her extensive family also includes 13 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren, who will all miss their Chris-Mom.

Services will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, at 2 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mt. Airy. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Winston-Salem, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27103.

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

Mr. Talmage W. McGuire (Sept. 5, 1921 – Aug. 24, 2017) 


Talmage Wesley McGuire, 95, of Sugar Grove, passed away Thursday night, Aug. 24, 2017 at the Foley Center. Born Sept. 5, 1921 in Watauga County, he was a son of the late James Monroe and Martha Rominger McGuire. Mr. McGuire worked as a carpenter and a farmer. He was an active member of Bairds Creek Presbyterian Church and a member of Snow Lodge #363 AF & AM. Talmage was a Navy veteran, having served during WWII on the USS Hayter.

He is survived by his wife, Bernice Brown McGuire, two sons, Michael McGuire and wife Luci, and their children; Jake McGuire and wife Lauren Hayworth and Dr. Meghan McGuire and husband Drew Meyer, Mark McGuire and wife Sue and their daughter Sarah Joanne McGuire, and one brother, Howard Jack McGuire and wife Ellen. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Jo Ann McGuire. 

A service to celebrate the life of Talmage Wesley McGuire will be conducted Monday afternoon at 2 oclock at Bairds Creek Presbyterian Church. Officiating will be Rev. Keith Freeman and Rev. John Bollinger. Private graveside services with military honors provided by American Legion Post 130 will follow at Bairds Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery. A reception will follow at Bairds Creek Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Online condolences may be shared with the McGuire family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. 

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

Mary Barnes (April 16, 1928 – Aug. 23, 2017)

Mrs. Mary Berry Barnes, 89, of Greensboro, Southern Pines, New York, Jonas Ridge, and seven foreign countries, died at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at Banner Elk Lifecare after a brief illness.


A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 North Greene Street, in Greensboro. Mary was born on April 16, 1928, a daughter of the late Dr. John Berry and Mary Strudwick Berry, and raised in Southern Pines and Greensboro. She was educated at The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro), Arizona State University, and the Boston Museum School.

A versatile artist, she was married for 49 years to the late William Barnes, an ExxonMobil executive in the same Holy Trinity church where they will now rest together. They travelled throughout South America and Europe on Bill’s successive postings. During their career, Mary exhibited her varied paintings, sculpture and textile hangings in Peru, El Salvador, Spain, Italy, and this country.

With extraordinary energy, she also did her best to ensure that each of the family’s successive postings was a loving, hospitable and supportive home for her three children. She enthusiastically enriched the life of everyone she knew, and especially of the two grandsons she adored. Her family grieves to have lost a mother, grandmother, and close friend.

Up to her death she was always attentive and loving to us all, collectively and individually, with an ear ready for us at any time. Mary is survived by her sons William Barnes Jr and wife Caitlin Randall; Adam V. Barnes and wife Cheryl Barnes; and her daughter Mary Barnes Brothwell and husband Darren Brothwell, as well as by her grandsons Luke Barnes and Austin Barnes. Memorial contributions may be directed to Avery County Human Society (www.averyhumane.org <http://www.averyhumane.org> ). Online condolences may be offered to the family at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home (<http://www.rsfh.net>).