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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – Dec. 29, 2015

John W. Heaton (Aug. 14, 1937 – Dec. 28, 2015)

John William Heaton, 78, of Appalachian Drive, Boone, NC, passed away Monday afternoon, Dec. 28, 2015 at his home.


Born Aug. 14, 1937 in Banner Elk, he was a son of John and Faye Jones Heaton. John was a veteran of the US Army. Dr. Heaton was the Acquisitions Librarian at Appalachian State University from 1969 until his retirement in 1997. He was a long standing member the education fraternity, Phi Delta Kappa, serving as an officer on both the state and national level, and was a charter member of the Boone Kiwanis Club. John was always interested in genealogy.

Along with Ed Greene, he filmed many cemeteries in Watauga and Avery counties and donated copies to Belk Library and surrounding libraries to be used by anyone doing genealogical research. He also enjoyed collecting coins and stamps.

Mr. Heaton is survived by his wife, Myrna Wells Heaton; sister, Cheryl Ann Kuehn and husband, Richard, of Roan Mountain, TN; aunt, Blanche Heaton of Roan Mountain, TN; nephews, Paul Kuehn of Roan Mountain and Elliott Charles Wells of Clintwood, VA; nieces, Kimberly Ann Wells of Abingdon, VA and Kris Wells Stanley of Clintwood, VA; and brother-in-law, Weldon Charles Wells and wife, Versie of Clintwood, VA.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, December 31, at 2 PM at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Dennis Milhorn. The family will receive friends Thursday afternoon from 1 until 2 oclock at Austin & Barnes.

Graveside services and burial will conducted Friday, January 1, at 2 PM at Pine Grove Cemetery in Clintwood, Virginia. Officiating will be Rev. John Farmer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends of Belk Library, in care of Andrea Gimlin, Senior Gifts Director, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, or to a charity of the donors choice. Online condolences may be shared at the website austinanabarnesfuneralhome.com

Jean Hodges Reece (Sept. 4, 1940
- Dec. 27, 2015)

Mrs. Jean Hodges Reece, age 75, of Old Bristol Road, Boone, passed away Sunday afternoon, Dec. 27, 2015 at Watauga Medical Center.


Mrs. Reece was born September 4, 1940 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Ransom Dewey “Cot” Hodges and Ruby Wilcox Hodges. She was a retired Operations Manager for AppalCart, and a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.

Mrs. Reece is survived by three daughters, Kela Reece of Avery County, Kara Smith and husband Richard and Kena Mast and husband Doug, all of Vilas; one granddaughter, Courtney Carroll of Avery County; six grandsons, Wesley Hollar and wife Madison of Avery, Logan, Mason and Holden Smith and Micah and Asa Mast, all of Vilas; one sister, Patricia Denney of Boone; and two nephews, Drew and Clint Hodges of Boone. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her father and mother, she was preceded in death by a brother, Brent Hodges. 

A memorial service for Jean Hodges Reece will be held Wednesday afternoon, December 30, 2015 at 2:00 o’clock at Oak Grove Baptist Church. Officiating will be Reverend Toby Oliver.

At other times, friends may call at the home of her sister, Patricia Denney, 757 Old Bristol Road, Boone, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions for burial expenses may be made to the Reece Family, in care of Kara Smith, 891 Fletcher Branch Road, Vilas, North Carolina 28692.

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

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

Chief Master Sgt. Gilbert R. Williams (July 30, 1919 – Dec. 27, 2015)

Chief Master Sgt. Gilbert R. Williams, age 96, of Vanderpool Road, Vilas, passed away Sunday evening, December 27, 2015, at Watauga Medical Center.


Mr. Williams was born July 30, 1919 in Presque Isle, Maine, son of the late Loren and Lulu Calhoun Williams. He was a retired Chief Master Sgt. in the United States Air Force, serving in World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War. Mr. Williams was a champion boxer in the state of Maine and an avid bowler. He was raised on a farm in Maine and was a member of the Trinity Masonic Lodge in Presque Isle, Maine.

Mr. Williams is survived by three sons, Mikel Williams and wife Lynn of Gulf Breeze, Florida, Scott Williams of Huntsville, Alabama, and David Williams of Bangor, Maine, and four daughters, Deb Graves of Wade, Maine, Pam Boyce of Presque Isle, Maine, Sam Williams and husband Randall of Vilas, and Andrea Stroh and husband Joe of the Bethel Community. He is also survived by ten grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and one great great-granddaughter.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Marie Adams Williams, and one sister, Beverly Martin.

A memorial service for Chief Master Sgt. will be conducted at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, in care of Brian Barker, 441 Daniel Drive, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

Mary Lou Eggers (Feb. 16, 1932 – Dec. 26, 2015)

Mary Lou Eggers, age 83, of 2552 Dutch Creek Road, Banner Elk, widow of James Hoover Eggers, passed away Saturday morning, December 26, 2015, at her home.


Mrs. Eggers was born February 16, 1932 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Walter Eugene Eggers and Tempie Shook Eggers. She was a homemaker and was of the Baptist faith.

Mrs. Eggers is survived by two sons, Steve Eggers and his girlfriend Mandy Arnett, both of Banner Elk, and Tracy Eggers and wife Annette of Valle Crucis; two daughters, Jane Presnell and husband Dexter of Johnson City, and Evelyn Main and husband Roy of Banner Elk; four granddaughters, Sherry Blackburn of Johnson City, Catherine Tester of Banner Elk, Dawn Presnell of Johnson City, and Brittney Forrester of Valle Crucis; two grandsons, James Main of Boone, and Chris Presnell of Johnson City; two great-grandsons, Hunter Tester of Banner Elk, and Landon Main of Boone; five great-granddaughters, Elizabeth Tester and Rayleigh Tester, both of Banner Elk, Gina Presnell, Mariah Presnell and Natalie Presnell, all of Johnson City; one sister, Betty Hughes of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, and one special sister-in-law, Linda Eggers of Banner Elk. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by five brothers and four sisters.

Funeral services for Mary Lou Eggers will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 29, 2015, at 1:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 12:00 until 1:00 o’clock.

Officiating will be Reverend Gordon Noble and Mr. Roy Main. Burial will follow in the Matney-Liberty Community Cemetery. 

The family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon, from 12:00 until 1:00 o’clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.

At other times, friends may call at the Eggers home, 2552 Dutch Creek Road, Banner Elk. 

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

Florence Daniels Pittman (Sept. 21, 1934 – Dec. 26, 2015)


Florence Daniels Pittman , age 81, of Newland passed away on December 26, 2015 at her residence.

A native of Avery County, she was born September 21, 1934 a daughter of the late Sam Rhyne and Virgie Trivette.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church Newland and was a retired Beautician. Florence was a loving and kind woman who enjoyed being with hr family and friends. She loved traveling the United States with her husband, Chub.

Along with her parents, Florence was preceded in death by her sisters, Margie Carpenter and Helen Collis; and a brother, Dennis Trivette.

Florence has left to cherish her memory her: husband of 40 years, John “Chub” Pittman of the home; Children, Sam Eller, and his wife, Connie, of Powdermill, Doug Eller, and his wife, Susan, of Granite Falls, Harold Lee of Myrtle Beach, SC, Lisa Daniels, and her husband, Bobby, of Newland, Tim Farthing, and his wife, Wendy, of Newland; brothers, Jerry Trivette of Newland, Joe Trivette, and his wife, Priscilla, of Newland, Ronnie Trivette and his wife, Susie of Montezuma, Charles Trivette of Gastonia, Jack Trivette, and his wife, Debbie, of Newland; twelve grandchildren; and six Great-Grandchildren (with one on the way).

Funeral services for Florence Daniels Pittman will be conducted on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. from the First Baptist Church Newland with Dr. BIll Jones officiating. The family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. until the service hour Monday at the church. Family friends and pallbearers will gather at the funeral home on Tuesday morning at 10:00 am to go in procession to the Tanglewood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Gideons.

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

Ronnie Greene (July 4, 1954 – Dec. 25, 2015)

BigGreene, RonnieMr. Ronald Clyde Ronnie Greene, age 61, of Boone passed away Friday, December 25, 2015 at Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care. Born July 4, 1954 in Watauga County, he was a son of the late Clyde S. Greene and Jean Lawrence Greene. Ronnie was a member of Perkinsville Baptist Church. He was a code enforcement officer with Watauga County.

He is survived by his wife, Melanie Ward Greene, two children, Erin Howard and husband Matthew of Boone and Kevin Greene and wife Ashley of Sevierville, Tennessee, two grandchildren; Chase Matthew Howard and Kailey Grace Howard, three sisters, Kay Stacy and husband John, Loretta Barker and husband Ed and Tammie Spears and husband Buddy, and one brother, Rick Greene and wife Kimberly, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Memorials services for Mr. Ronnie Greene will be conducted Monday afternoon, December 28, 2015 at 3 oclock at Perkinsville Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Seth Norris. The family will receive friends Monday afternoon prior to the service from 1 oclock until 3 oclock at the church.

The family respectfully requests no food or flowers, memorials may be made to Perkinsville Baptist Church, 274 Jefferson Road, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the Greene family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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

Mary Louise Summers McClerren (May 11, 1924 – Dec. 22, 2015)

Mary Louise (Summers) McClerren, 91, joined loved ones in heaven Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

McClerrenShe was born May 11, 1924, the daughter of Joseph Guy and Grace Ethel (Harris) Summers in Cave Township, Ill. 

Mrs McClerren attended Thomsonville schools and after graduation worked in West Frankfort. She met young William “Billy” Silas McClerren at Mt. Zion Church in Thompsonville where a young Mary Lou and sister, Wilma, were singing in front of the congregation.

Story was that she called him “pie-face” on the school grounds and him saying quietly he was going to marry her some day. They were married on May 23, 1943.

During WW II she worked in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Department of Treasury where her responsibilities included contacting royalty members in asylum. She was the song leader at East Benton Baptist Church where she was very active in the 1950’s.

She was a very efficient homemaker, an accomplished seamstress and enjoyed quilting and baking. She also loved Christmas and thanked those that helped her “keep Christmas”.

The joys of her life were close and extended family–she was the hub of their lives keeping all informed of family blessings and ills.

Preceding her were loving parents; all seven siblings; husband in March 1994; son, William Richard in July 2015; granddaughter, Kelly Jo Robertson in Feb. 2015; grandson, Matthew Todd Emerson in 1974; great-grandson, Dalton Wayne Russell in 1995; and son-in-law, Dale Leroy Emerson in March 2015.

Keeping the family traditions alive are daughters, Marilyn Candace (Stephen) Hall, Boone, N.C., and Margaret Alison Emerson, Waverly; son, Samuel Silas of Springfield; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and many treasured nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 27, at Morton and Johnson Funeral Home,410 South Main, Benton. Funeral services will follow immediately at 2 p.m. Burial will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery, Thompsonville.

The family requests donations be directed to the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Thompsonville or their favorite charity. 

Condolences may be sent online to www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

Emily Suttenfield Rogers (July 13, 1928 – Dec. 20, 2015)


RogersEmily Suttenfield Shough Rogers, age 87, of 510 Kennon Road in Ruffin, formerly of Watauga County, passed away early Sunday morning, December 20, 2015 at Hospice of Rockingham County in Wentworth, NC.

She was born on July 13, 1928 in Leaksville to the late Conway Suttenfield and the late Minnie Glidewell Suttenfield. Mrs. Rogers worked as a Tax Accountant. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, where she was a Senior Ambassador and a member of the Grace Bible Fellowship Class and the Senior Adult Choir.

Mrs. Rogers is survived by her son, Ronnie Lee Shough; her adopted son and caregiver, Francisco Tamayo; a step-daughter, Laura Greene, as well as 7 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Along with her parents she is preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Lee Rogers and a son, Harold Conway Shough.

Graveside services for Emily Suttenfield Shough Rogers will be conducted Sunday afternoon, December 27, 2015, at 2:00 o’clock ,at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

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