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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – December 11, 2018

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

Diana Lynn Wheeler 
(March 15, 1969 – December 5, 2018) 

    Diana Lynn Palmore Wheeler, age 49, of Old Bristol Road, Boone, passed away Wednesday afternoon, December 5, 2018 at the Watauga Medical Center. Born March 15, 1969 in Baltimore, Maryland, she was a daughter of Margie Whorton Dobbins and the late Edward Lee Palmore. Diana loved her family with all her heart. Being homebound because of health issues, Diane enjoyed staying busy by keeping her home spotless, crossword puzzling, playing match cards, listening to the radio, caring for her parakeets, and on occasion, preparing her famous spaghetti meals.
    She is survived by her husband, Robert Russell Wheeler; daughter, Kimberly Wheeler of the home; sons, Brian Brooks and wife, Christina, and Jason Brooks, all of Baltimore, Maryland; her mother, Margie Dobbins and husband, Robert, of Boone; aunts, Peggy Rominger of Vilas, Barbara Brown of Zionville, and Joyce Burke and husband, Bill, and Brenda Roberts, all of Baltimore, Maryland. Nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. 
    In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her brother, Edward Lee Palmore, Jr.; uncle, Robert Lee Horton; and aunt, Robin Tagliaferri. 
    Private memorial services for Diana Lynn Wheeler, officiated by Rev. Delmar James, will be held at a later date. 
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to assist with expenses. 
    Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Wheeler family.


Ruby Vines Anderson 
(July 20, 1927 – December 7, 2018) 

    Mrs. Ruby Vines Anderson, age 91, of Hodges Gap Road, Boone, passed away Friday afternoon, December 7, 2018 at her home. Born July 20, 1927 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Roby and Edna Tester Vines. Ruby was married to the love of her life, Lewis Bynum Anderson for 59 years. Lewis passed away on Nov. 20, 2006. Mrs. Anderson was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church. She was a retired employee of ASU. 
    Mrs. Anderson is survived by her son, Lewis Hal Anderson and wife, Gail, of Boone; daughters, Jane Ann Hodges and husband Bobby, of Boone, and Kay Melton and husband, James, of Sugar Grove; grandchildren, Greg Anderson and wife, Melanie, of Charlottesville, Va., Michael Hodges of Monroe, Cheryl Dunn and husband, Bobby, of Ladysmith, Va., and Michelle Swann and husband, Julian, of Smyrna, Ga.; great-grandchildren, Callie and Cody Dunn, Gracie Hodges and Abigail and Amelia Anderson, and Judge and Emma Swann; step-grandchildren, Angie, Randy and Jennifer; sisters-in-law, Betty Vines of Burlington and Joyce Vines of Boone; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Lewis Hal Anderson, Jr., great-grandson, Corey Dunn; brothers, James Vines and wife, Eula, Hal Vines, Brownie Vines and wife, Mary Nell, and Vance and John Vines. 
    Funeral services for Ruby Anderson will be conducted Friday morning, December 14th, at 11 oclock at Oak Grove Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Greg Anderson. Graveside services will follow at Mt. Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. 
    The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6 until 8 oclock at Austin & Barnes. At other times, the family will be at the Anderson home. 
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Lewis Hal Anderson, Jr. Scholarship Fund, in care of Hal Anderson, 347 Hodges Gap Rd., Boone, NC 28607, or to a charity of the donors choice. 
    Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Anderson family.


Jeanne Hankey Morris 
(June 09, 1922 – December 9, 2018) 

    (Jivin) Jeanne Morris, the only child of John Carl Hankey and Anna Cecilia Wall of Greensburg PA, made her grand entrance into this life June 9, 1922 and has been running at full speed and half height ever since. Growing up in Greensburg afforded her many opportunities for mischief up to and throughout her high school years. In 1946 she met her lifelong love, H.V. Morris; they married in 1947, and have shared those 71 years with love, faith, hope, family. . and abandon! Boone became their stomping ground almost 25 years ago.
    Family, work and school all connected in her life. She received her BS and MSEd from the University of Louisville. For more than 30 years, many, many kids in the Jefferson County (KY) School System understood her iron rule, both in the classroom and from the Principals office. 
    No one got by her! Including 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
    After retirement she was the go to Gamms. Go to amusement parks with the grandkids? Sure! Go to Italy? Give me 5 minutes to pack and how many suitcases can I bring. Go shopping? How soon do we leave and where are my coupons? Go play Bridge? Where, when and how often? Call me anytime! Then there was Second Wednesday Club at St. Elizabeth 
    and the Red Hats ladies and Worthwhile Womens Club and Newcomers . . . . her calendar was often overbooked.
    She made a statement wherever she went: 15 years of annual Girls Trips to the beach with daughters and granddaughter. She was a young 80 when those started, but was in the ocean every year (Photographic evidence available). There was white water rafting in the Nolichucky at 78, and 
    many trips tubing down the New River with daughter and son-in-law, beer tube in tow. How about para-sailing at Myrtle Beach at 84? Or zip-lining 
    at 92? No I cant was not in her vocabulary. Even at 96, for Fun Size everything was delightfully possible!
    She is so very sadly missed by H.V. her husband and sweetheart of 71 years, daughters Karen Solomon (Steve) of Louisville, KY and Colleen 
    Brudzinski (George) of Todd, NC., grandchildren Larry Gatti (Meg), Julia Miller (John), Geof Gatti and Ron Fox (Jennifer), all of Louisville, 
    great-grandchildren Ben and Avery Gatti, Cara Miller, all of Louisville.
     A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church on Friday at 1:00 pm. Prior to Mass, at 11:30, the family will meet with friends 
    in the Parish Hall of the Church. A private burial will follow Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Church, 
    259 Pilgrims Way, Boone, NC 28607 or a charity of your choice will be appreciated.
    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Morris family.


Burl Thomas Brown 
(September 04, 1926 – December 11, 2018) 

    Burl Thomas Brown, age 92, of Burl Brown Road, Vilas, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday morning, December 11, 2018 surrounded by his wife and children. 
    Burl was born September 4, 1926 in Watauga County to Frank and Mattie Mae Greer Brown. He was a faithful member of Vanderpool Baptist Church. Burl treated everyone with respect and had the special ability to make everyone believe that they were the most special person in his life. He enjoyed wood crafting for his children and loved sawmilling, farming, and being surrounded by grandchildren.
    Mr. Brown is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Allie Hicks Brown; sons, Tommy Brown, Johnny Brown and wife, Sherry, and Joe Brown and wife, Judy, all of Vilas, Scot Brown and wife, Kathy of Zionville; daughters, Sue Hice and husband, Paul, of Lenoir, Gail Isaacs and husband, Bob, and Carolyn Wilson and husband, Tommy, all of Zionville, Lena Faye Oliver and husband, Bud, Chris Miller and husband, Sonny, Lisa Hodges and husband, Lee, and Tonya Brown, all of Vilas; 29 grandchildren, including Wesley, Steve, April and Bill Brown; 48 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren; and sister, Shirley Dancy of Vilas. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. 
    In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant brother and an infant sister; granddaughters, Reda Gail Garrison and Becky Jo Brown; daughter-in-law, Brenda Beach Brown; and son-in-law, Edward Tester. 
    Funeral services for Burl Brown will be conducted Sunday afternoon, December 16th, at 2 oclock at the Cove Creek Elementary School Gymnasium on Vanderpool Road, officiated by Pastor Andy Watson, Rev. Derick Wilson, and grandsons, Rev. Thomas Brown, Rev. T. J. Wilson and Rev. Jeffrey Austin. The body will lie in state from 1 until 2 oclock. Graveside services will follow in the Vanderpool Baptist Church Cemetery. 
    The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 4 until 6 oclock at Cove Creek Elementary School Gymnasium.
    The family suggests memorials to the Vanderpool Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Michael Greene, 325 Eagle Lane, Vilas, NC 28692; or to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood St., NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.
    The family would like to extend a special Thank You to Burls caregivers, Anita Price and Shelton Caldwell. 
    Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Brown family.


Robert “Bob” Caldwell

September 18, 1950 – December 05, 2018

Bob went into sleep in death unexpectedly, December 5th, 2018 at 68 years of age at Frye RegionalHospital in Hickory NC. Bob was born in Charlotte NC on September 18, 1950 to William Hunter Caldwell and Mildred Marion Perkins Caldwell. He was the youngest of three children, his sister, Mary Susan Caldwell Wilkie and brother William “Bill” Hunter Caldwell Jr. and they were grew up in a loving home in Gastonia, NC.

Bob was predeceased by his parents, William and Mildred and his brother Bill.

Surviving is his wife of 35 years, Sharon Schofield Caldwell of Boone, his sister Mary Susan and companion Bob Ausborne of Reidsville NC, sister-in-law Sarah Schofield Luciano & husband Ron of West Haven, CT, brothers-in-law, David Schofield and son, Songkran of Germany, Nathan Schofield of Virginia along with nephews, nieces and cousins.

He attended Frank L. Ashley High School (1968), Appalachian State University (1972) and Randolph Technical Institute (1978). He returned to Boone in 1978 and established his photography business, Bob Caldwell Photography and was active in it till his death. As a long-time resident of Boone NC, he will be missed by a host of friends, business associates and loving congregation family at the Boone Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Bob’s love of photography since a young age worked well with his love of people. He truly wanted to make people happy and look their best, whether at a wedding, family gathering, youth sports or just a quick photo of friends. He was a warm and kind-hearted person and wanted to be friends with people and help them to feel included. He was a loyal and faithful friend to those in his life. Bob battled many health problems in his life-physical and mental- but kept a positive and fighting attitude to continue on. This spirit was enabled by his close friends and by is strong faith in his God, Jehovah and the sure promises in the Bible about the future (John 5:28, 29 and Revelation 21: 3,4).

Many thanks go to the whole staff and patient family at Fresenius Kidney Dialysis Clinic in Boone for their great care and support. 

Bob was a loving husband for 35 years to me, Sharon, always looking out for my interests and happiness, fixing me coffee and breakfast in the morning! He was truly a blessing to me and he will be missed.

A memorial service will be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Boone NC (located at: 1484 Old US 421 S, Boone, NC 28607) on January 5th, 2019 at 2pm.

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

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


Walter Scott Moretz, Jr.

July 17, 1927 – December 06, 2018

Walter Scott Moretz, Jr., age 91, of Deep Gap passed away, Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the home of his son Leonard and daughter-in-law Kathleen in Durham, NC.

Scott was a life-long resident of Deep Gap and loved the Blue Ridge Mountains which he called “God’s Country”.   He was a devoted husband to the love of his life, Wilma, for almost 67 years.  A WWII Veteran, like many of “The Greatest Generation” he was an honest, hardworking man, who did things without fanfare.  After the war he worked for several years on the family farm and then went to work as a carpenter and built many nice homes in The High Country.  He was an avid hunter/outdoorsman, gardener and woodworker.  He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Boone for over 50 years, founding member of the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Dept, and a Boy Scout Leader. He loved to joke/tease with people he liked and to sing around the house.  He was a loyal friend and neighbor.

Scott is survived by his two sons, Dr. David Moretz and wife Gail of Belhaven, NC and Leonard Moretz and wife Kathleen of Durham, NC, three Granddaughters, Erin Garner and husband Ben, Heather Baldwin and husband Rusty and Lauren Moretz, two Grandsons, Matt and Noah Moretz, one step-granddaughter, Alexa Dixon, two step-grandsons, Jeffrey and Gregory Hoffmann, three great-grandsons, Kenan Garner, Riley Santiago and Sawyer Baldwin, and one great-granddaughter, Karis Garner;  three sisters-in-law, Velva Lynn Steelman and husband James of North Wilkesboro, Cora Lee Moretz of Franklin, NC and Shirley Calloway of North Wilkesboro. Survivors also include a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Wilma, his father and mother, Walter Scott Moretz, Sr. and Winnie Snow Lookabill, and three brothers, Wilmer, Austin and Jimmy Moretz.

Funeral services for Walter Scott Moretz, Jr. will be conducted Saturday afternoon, December 15, 2018, at 1:00 o’clock, at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone. Pastors Steve Troisi and John Bollinger and will officiate.  Interment will follow in Gap Creek Cemetery.

The body will lie in state, at the church, from 11:00 until 1:00 where the family will receive friends.  All are invited to join the family for a meal and to celebrate Scott’s life in the Fellowship Hall at 12:00, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace Lutheran Church or to the donor’s choice.

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

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


James Marvin Auton

August 15, 1933 – December 07, 2018

James Marvin Auton, age 85, of George Wilson Road, Boone, passed away Friday morning, December 7, 2018, at his home.

Marvin is survived by his wife, Rosa Ellis Auton of the home; two daughters, Sandra Perry and husband James of Boone, and Pat McGuire and husband Dale of Boone; three granddaughters, Tiffiany Harmon and husband Matt of Zionville, Brittany Lewis and husband Adam of Boone, and Kayla Stuber and husband Craig of Clemmons; one great grandson, Isaac Harmon; one great granddaughter, Kayla Harmon; two brothers, R.D. Auton and wife Judy of Vero Beach, Florida, and Frank Auton of Melbourne, Florida; one sister, Oleta Nelson of Lenoir; one aunt, Dorothy Norris of Boone, and one special nephew, Bill Auton and wife Sandra of Hudson.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, William Henry Auton and Gladys Hatten Auton; four brothers, Ivan, Harly, Parks, and Lewis Auton; four sisters, Margie Wilcox, Margaret Bennett, Virginia Berry, and Lois Auton; one grandson, Johnny Milton Auton, and one great-grandson, Nathaniel Ray Farmer.

Funeral services for James Marvin Auton will be conducted, Friday, December 14, 2018 at 2:00 o’clock at Watauga Baptist Church. Reverend Tim Bunten will officiate. The body will lie in state from 1 until 2 at the church. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6 until 8 at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street N.W., Lenoir, North Carolina, 28645.

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

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


Wesley Alvin “Ab” Sluder

June 12, 1935 – December 10, 2018

Wesley Alvin “Ab” Sluder, age 83, of Tater Hill Road, Zionville, passed away Monday afternoon, December 10, 2018, at Watauga Medical Center.

Ab was born June 12, 1935 in Watauga County, a son of the late Hillary and Sarah Guy Sluder. He was a retired assembly line worker of American Wicker Furniture, and was farmer.

Ab is survived by his wife, Lois Sluder; one daughter, Debbie Dixon and husband Joey; one son, William Sluder and Anita Mains; one grandson, Andrew; one granddaughter, Amanda Vance; one step-grandson, Mason Dixon; two step-daughters, Evey and Carlie Dixon; one great-grandson, William Burgess, and two special nieces, Glenda and Sandra.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Maggie Woodard; three brothers, Jim, Henry, and Calvin Sluder; six half-brothers, Onnie, Rom, Ervin, and Lloyd Sluder, and Charlie and Sam Guy, and one half-sister, Eller Reece.

Funeral services for Wesley Alvin “Ab” Sluder will be conducted Thursday afternoon, December 13, 2018, at 2:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Gary Hill. Burial will follow in the Reece Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock, at the funeral home,  prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Reece Cemetery Fund.

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

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


Sharon Kay Jones Kelley

June 04, 1952 – December 10, 2018

Sharon Kay Jones Kelley, age 66, of Deep Gap, passed away Monday December 10, 2018 at Watauga Medical Center.

Sharon was born June 4, 1952 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a daughter of the late Virgil Wilton Jones and Marie Eva Smith Jones. She was co-owner of Kelley Brothers Tire & Auto, and a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Deep Gap.

She is survived by her husband, Ronald L. Kelley of Deep Gap, two sons, Brad Matthew Kelley and wife Christa of Deep Gap and Jason Kelley and wife Leigh Ann of Charlotte, seven grandchildren, Taylor Kelley, Madelyn Kelley and Caleb Kelley all of Deep Gap, Jackson Kelley, Lauren Kelley, Amanda Kelley and Noah Kelley all of Charlotte, one sister, Sue Lewis and husband Bill of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by, one granddaughter, Megan Kelley and one sister, Marilyn Messmann.

Funeral services for Mrs. Sharon Kay Jones Kelley will be conducted Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2:00 o’clock at Trinity Baptist Church. Pastor Nathan Caparolie will officiate. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends from one until two, at the church, one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Trinity Baptist Church Playground Fund, P.O. Box 190, Deep Gap, North Carolina 28618.

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

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


Mabel Oakes February

May 20, 1916 – December 6, 2018

Mabel Elizabeth Oakes February was born May 1916 in Avery County NC she passed peacefully under the wonderful care at The Waters of Roan Highlands in Roan Mountain, Tennessee at the age of 102 on Dec 6. 
A faithful follower and servant of our Savior Jesus Christ since her Baptism at age 8 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
Mabel and her husband Charlie raised her niece, Sandra O Helton. Survivors Sandra and husband Charles Helton, their children: Charla and daughter Victoria and David and wife Jeanna and their children: Isaac, Forrest, and Zoe. She is survived by other nieces and nephews and their children of her and her husband’s siblings. 
Burial will be private at Fox Cemetery alongside her Husband. 
Memorial later in Summer 2019. 
Donations in her memory may be made to Avery Humane as she loved her cats and dogs.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the February family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net
The care of Mabel and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.


Gary (Boog Man) Massey Sr.
June 27, 1950 – December 9, 2018

Gary (Boog Man) Massey Sr., age 68, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at his residence surrounded by his family.

He was born on June 27, 1950 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Fannie Hughes Massey.

Gary was a fun and loving man. Everyone he came into contact with enjoyed being with him. He was a life long member of the Mountain View Freewill Baptist Church where he had served as a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and Sunday School Superintendent. He had served his Country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.He was a great husband, father, and papaw. He was known for his love of fishing. A day spent on the banks of the Toe river or in the salt water on the Sunset Beach Fishing Pier was a good one! He was a quiet man and had no desire to be the center of attention. His smile was contagious and was sure to be seen when his nephew, Eddie Hobson and son would entertain a crowd. He watched over everyone as the Patriarch of the family does. As he watched the “girls” across the street grow up, watched his Hay Hay graduate, watched Jake as he saw his bride walk down the aisle and we know he is watching us all now.

He retired from BASF in Morganton NC after 30 years of service. 

In addition to his mother, he was preceded in death by his Brother, McDonald Massey; Sister, Frankie Massey Thompson.

Gary leaves behind to cherish his memory the love of his life of 47 years, his wife, Peggy Jones Massey of Newland, NC; Son, Gary Massey Jr., and wife Teresa of Morganton, NC. He was “PawPaw” to Jake Baker and wife Hannah and Haven Massey also of Morganton. Great grandchildren, Connor Dyson and Everleigh Baker. He is survived by siblings, Rinda Odom, Newland, NC; Frank Massey and wife Evelyn, Morganton, NC; Phyliss Arrowood and husband Jim of Holly Springs, NC; and David Massey of Pittman, New Jersey. His special nephew, Eddie Hobson and wife Windy of Marion, NC. He also leaves numerous loving nieces and nephews, brother and sister in laws, that he loved dearly.

Services for Gary Massey, Sr. will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
The family will receive at the funeral home beginning at 1:00 pm on Saturday.

Gary’s family would like to thank Carol Smith and staff of Medi Home Hospice for the loving care and support they provided to our family.

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

Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Massey family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net

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