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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – December 24, 2019

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

Randy Alan Keplar
1952 – 2019

Mr. Randy Alan Keplar age 67 of Vilas, went to be with Jesus on Monday, December 16, 2019. Randy was born September 8, 1952 in Bucyrus, Ohio, a son of the late Darrell William and Kathryn Keplar. He had many health complications with heart disease and diabetes. Through it all he grew deeper in his faith and love for Christ and always had a positive attitude about his challenges. He was a devoted Christian and a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church. Randy was a veteran of the US Navy and served during the Vietnam Era. He lived an adventurous life. He was an outdoorsman who loved fishing and traveling to St. Augustine, Sanibel Island, Florida and the Cayman Islands. He also loved Topsail Island for shelling and hunting shark teeth and spending time with his family. He loved Indian artifacts and was a very talented pencil artist and musician. Randy was known for his craftsmanship, integrity and hard work. He was the owner of Kepco Home Maintenance and worked in the Elk River Development for many years. He made many special friends while working there. He is survived by the love of his life, wife of 27 years, Mary Potter Keplar of Vilas; his daughter, Rebecca Emily Price and his special grandson Braydon Ervin Price; two brothers, Ed Keplar of Lancaster, Ohio and Curtis Keplar (Kathy) of Topsail Island and sister, Bonnie Bright (Joel) of Carroll, Ohio. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Jerry Potter (Treva) of Holton Beach, sister-in-law Betty Hodges (RD) of Boone and sister-in-law Thersia Potter of Todd and by many nieces, nephews and a special friend, Rick Foster. The family extends a very special ‘Thank You’ to Randy’s caregiver, Hannah Minton, for all her professional love and care. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters Arlene Taylor and JoAnne Turner and infant brother, Robbie Keplar all of Ohio; three brothers-in-law, Wayne Potter of Todd, Harold Potter of Mountain City, TN and Bob Farthing of Boone; father and mother In-law, Ervin and Zelma Potter of Todd; and stepfather, Robert Russell. Celebration of Life Services for Randy Keplar will be conducted Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 2:00 at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Boone. Officiating will be Rev. Ronnie Hayes and Rev. Kenneth Phipps and Rick Foster. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 2 o’clock, prior to services, at the church. Military Honors will be provided by the American Legion Post #130. In Lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Braydon Price College Fund at Lifestore, 1675 Blowing Rock Road, Boone, NC 28607 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memorials & Honors Program, 6279 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC 28210. Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Keplar family.

Jonathan Michael Topodas
1946 – 2019

On Tuesday December 17th Jonathan M. Topodas, 73, succumbed to cancer, dying peacefully in his home surrounded by his family. Jonathan was born in Springfield, MA, the son of the late Ignatius and Lillian Topodas. He served in the US Army in Vietnam as a SP5 in Military Intelligence and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. After graduating from SMU Law School, Jonathan moved to Connecticut and began practicing as a lawyer for Aetna, Inc., in Hartford. He moved to the DC area where he became Vice President and Counsel and finished his nearly 40 year career with Aetna as a Healthcare Lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He retired in 2011 to the mountains of North Carolina. He served as the first Chairman of the Advisory Board to the homeowners association at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, where he was affectionately nicknamed “Mayor.” He loved his beautiful mountain community and will be dearly missed by all those he befriended. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine Davey Topodas, who has been involved as a choreographer in InVisible Theatre Company in Boone, and served as Chairman of the Events Committee at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club. He is also survived by his 3 children: Leya Topodas, Dean Topodas (Beka), and Michael Metz-Topodas (Alyssa), as well as 7 grandchildren ages 1 to 14. Visitation will be at Austin and Barnes Funeral Home (194 Queen St., Boone, NC) on Friday Dec 20th at 3:00 – 5:00 pm and again 7:00 – 9:00 pm. An Orthodox funeral service will be held on Saturday Dec. 21st at 2:00 pm at Grace Lutheran Church (115 E. King St., Boone, NC) followed by the internment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock, NC, with Military Graveside Rites provided by the American Legion Post 130 and the Watauga Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90. All are invited to join the family for a dinner reception at Jasper House at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club (706 Reynolds Pkwy, Boone, NC). Donations may be made in his name to Sts. Peter & Paul Church, 707 NC Hwy. 105 Bypass, Boone, NC 28607. Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Topodas family

Douglas Kenneth “Doug” Moretz
1956 – 2019

Mr. Douglas Kenneth Moretz, age 63 of Boone, passed away Thursday, December 19, 2019. He was a native of Watauga County and the son of Virgie Parsons Moretz and the late Kenneth Moretz. Mr. Moretz was retired roofer and a U.S. Army veteran. In addition to his mother, he is also survived by a daughter, Sabrina Moretz Audet of Boone, one brother, Bill Moretz of Boone, and fiancée Marie Osborne of Boone. He is also survived by a grandson Todd Emmet Lunsford. A memorial service for Douglas Kenneth Moretz will be conducted Sunday, December 22, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in Bethany Lutheran Church. Rev. Laura Weant will officiate. The family will receive friends prior to the service hour from 2-3:00 p.m. on Sunday in the church. Online condolences may be shared with the Moretz family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Moretz family.

William Clyde Pierce
1965 – 2019

William Clyde Pierce, age 54, of Sherwood Road, Vilas passed peacefully into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Saturday afternoon, December 21, 2019 at Burke Hospice and Pallative care in Valdese, North Carolina. He fought the good fight through an impossible sickness and showed us all how to trust in God with it all. Will was born November 5, 1965 in Watauga County and raised in Zionville, NC. A son to Ann Trivette and the late George Trivette, Sr. Will worked for Tar Heel Capital (Wendy’s) for 34 years filling various roles. He didn’t take any work lightly and always gave it his all. Will was an avid lover of life, his family, his friends and his UNC Tar Heels. To know him was to know a big smile, outstretched arms and a good laugh. He never knew a stranger and would welcome anyone into his heart and home. Will knew Jesus was in his heart and he knew where he was going after this life. He showed grace, courage and love to us all. Will is survived by his wife Margaret Pierce of Morganton and Vilas, NC; three daughters, Christine Greene and husband Shane of Boone, NC, Evalyn Pierce of Vilas, NC and Danielle Pierce of Rocky Cape, Tasmania. He is also survived by his mother, Ann Trivette, two brothers; Jim Pierce and George Trivette, Jr., three sisters; Karen Main, Georgia Potter and husband Gene and Lu Dalton, Brother in law Shawn Miller and wife Blaire, Sister in laws; Maureen Woodard and Maria Schulte. He leaves a wonderful legacy with many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. Along with his father he was preceded in death by his father and mother in law, Jerry and Judy Miller. Funeral Services for Will Pierce will be conducted Saturday December 28, 2019 at 11am at Greenway Baptist Church. Preacher Derrick Wilson will officiate. Burial will follow at Mabel Methodist Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4:00pm until 7:00pm on Friday December 27, 2019 at Austin and Barnes Funeral Home. The family respectfully requests no flowers. Memorials may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, 1715 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690 or to Mountaineer Ruritan Club, in care of Jim Harmon, 196 Phillips Branch Road, Vilas, NC 28692. Online condolences may be shared with the Pierce family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Pierce family.

Carrie Maye Eggers
1921 – 2019

Mrs. Maye Beach Eggers of Roan Creek Road, Mountain City, TN. went to her Heavenly Home Saturday, December 21, 2019. She had lived 98 years and was the last surviving child of L.E. and Sarah Leek Beach. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dexter Eggers, six brothers, Don, Lillard, Grady, Clay, Wray and Russell, also two sisters, Cora Penley and Ruth Walls. She is survived by one daughter, Judith Shull of Mountain City, one son Beach Eggers and wife Maryln of Virginia; three grandchildren, Jim, Robin and Lori; one granddaughter-in-law Pam Shull; one step great grandson Caleb; two sisters-in-law Vivian Beach and Dorothy Beach; good neighbors Blake and JoAnn Atwood, Eric, Tonya and Shea Huyard; several nieces and nephews also survive. The family will receive friends Thursday, December 26, 2019 from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. in Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. A private graveside service will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, 3385 Roan Creek Road, Mountain City, TN. 37683 Online condolences may be shared with the Eggers family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Eggers Family.


Allan Robert “Al” Williamson

March 31, 1938 – December 18, 2019

Allan Robert “Al” Williamson, age 81, of Andy Hicks Road, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday morning, December 18, 2019, at Watauga Medical Center in Boone.

Al was born March 31, 1938 in Cook County, Illinois, a son of the late Robert and Dorothy Franzen Williamson. He was a retired computer programmer for CNA Insurance Company, and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Boone.

Al was never afraid to try something new.  Although hiking was never one of his chosen “hobbies,” when his wife, Cinda, wanted to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (2,160 miles), Al good-naturedly said, “yeah, let’s do it!”  This was when they still lived in Chicago and had never seen the Appalachian Trail.  In 1997, after moving to N. Carolina, they enthusiastically started out but Al suffered hypothermia within the first few days.  This, however, did not slow him down.  Since Cinda was still so insistent on finishing, they joined forces with another group, the “Slackpackers,” and went the whole way.  Well, Al switched from the hiking role to a supporter role and helped Cinda finish her dream.

Al and Cinda were involved in Lutheran Marriage Encounter for over 20 years both in Chicago and in N. Carolina.  They followed the LME slogan to “help good marriages become better marriages.”  They filled many roles in this ministry.  Al was also a lay minister in his church, filling in as an assisting minister and helping with “healing prayers.”  He truly enjoyed singing and was active in church choirs throughout his life.

Al was an avid reader and kept a list of all the books he had read.  He had a computer list which included the title, date read, author, copyright, and a detailed description of each book.  His list numbered over 2,300 books but at some point he had accidentally deleted many of them so the true number was closer to 5,000.

Al had a fetish for crazy socks!  For a Christmas gift one year, Cinda ordered a subscription of “Sock of the Month Club” socks.  He developed quite a reputation for his socks and always had to show them at most meetings he attended.

He also had a love of stealthy deliveries.  For a period of two years (the truth comes out!), Al and Cinda did secret deliveries in early December to various friends (usually while it was still dark out) and were only caught once!

He had a true love for the Lord Jesus Christ and is surely having a great time communing with Him in person!

He is survived by his wife, Cinda Williamson of the home; one niece, Lianna Dunten and husband Sean; one nephew, Derek Williamson and wife Marcella of Bradford, Vermont; two great-nephews, Maxwell Dunten and Aristotle Williamson, and one great-niece, Zafina Williamson.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gordon and Warren Williamson.

Memorial services for Allan Robert “Al” Williamson will be conducted Saturday, January 4, 2020, at 1:00 o’clock, at Grace Lutheran Church in Boone. Officiating will be Pastor Steve Troisi and Vicar Christopher Shealy.

The family will receive friends following the memorial service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Builders, in care of Grace Lutheran Church, 115 East King Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, Avery County Humane Society, 279 New Vale Road, Newland, North Carolina, 28657, or to the Watauga Humane Society, 312 Paws Way, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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


Carolyn Marie Georges

October 06, 1941 – December 19, 2019

Carolyn Georges, 78, passed away peacefully, at home surrounded by her loved ones on Thursday December 19th in Boone, North Carolina.

She was born on October 6th, 1941 in Glendale, California to William and Adele Eisele. Carolyn took pride in her career as a Registered Nurse. She was particularly known for her love of gardening, books, and animals of all types. She was also an avid and very talented quilter. Colorado was a place that was very dear to Carolyn and was held close to her heart until her very last days.

Carolyn is survived by her daughter, Anitra Soto, granddaughter, Aleana Poore, her cherished great granddaughter, Parker Poore, and her brother Bill Eisele.

She is predeceased by her beloved brother Jospeh Eisele.

A memorial service will be privately held.

Memorial donations may be made in Carolyn’s name to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW Lenoir, NC 28645.

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

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

Tres Magner
October 5, 1967 – December 16, 2019

James “Tres” Edward Magner III, age 52, of Newland passed away Monday, December 16, 2019 at Mission Hospital in Asheville. He was born on October 5, 1967 in Wake County to Priscilla “Alex” Lee and the late James Magner Jr.
Tres was a member of the First Baptist Church in Newland. He was the most honest, caring, funny, and loving man his family and friends have ever known. Tres was a “one of a kind” man. He loved his family unconditionally and treasured spending time with them. His family couldn’t be more proud of the man he was and the wisdom he carried within him and shared. He was the prime example of what a Godly man should be.
Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 25 years, Karen; one son, Alex Magner of Jacksonville, NC; one daughter, Kelly Magner of Greensboro, NC; two sisters, Helen “Lee” Dionne and husband Derek of Raleigh and Elizabeth “Page” Magner and husband Shaun Bagley of Asheville, NC; five nephews, Blake, Luke, and Mitchell Holsclaw, Ben and Travis Dionne. Tres will also be missed by everyone that knew him, he considered all of them family.
A Celebration of Life will be held in his honor Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church of Newland and conducted by Dr. Bill Jones and Associate Pastor Burke Jones.
The family will receive friends from 12:00 to 2:00 P.M. prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to First Baptist Church of Newland, P.O. Box 485, Newland, NC 28657 or Avery County Cooperative Extension, Summer Wow 4-H, 661 Vale Road, Newland, NC 28657 or The Tres Magner 4-H Memorial Fund, Yancey County Finance Office, 110 Town Square Room 11, Burnsville NC 28714.

Dennis Rayburn Church
October 19, 1941 – December 19, 2019

Dennis Church, age 78, of Elk Park, passed away Thursday, December 19, 2019 at Watauga Medical Center in Boone. He was born on October 19, 1941 in Carter County, TN to the late Norman R. and Louis M. Church. In addition to his parents he was also preceded in death by one daughter, Belinda Church; two brothers, Leslie and Owen Church; and one sister, Judy Parlier.
Dennis Church was a great man of faith and loved by all who had the privilege of being in his presence. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1960 where he was a member of the track team. Sometime after he graduated, his Grandma Church told him he would be her preacher. Turns out she was right. He pastored many churches in his lifetime, the most recent being Beech Mountain Missionary Baptist Church in the Beech Mountain Community for the better part of the past 26 years. He loved God and his family. Dennis was faithful and devoted to his church and his friends. He was an amazing father, grandfather and great grandfather. He loved preaching and working in his flower and vegetable gardens. If ever there was an angel to walk this earth, it was him. He is loved and will be missed by everyone. In his words and how he ended all his posts, God is Good.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 57 years, Junella Church of the home; three daughters, Melita Russell of Beech Mountain, Edwina Church of Newland, and Sheila Velasquez and husband Roberto of Elk Park; two brothers, Keith Church and wife Reba of Butler, TN and Tony Church and wife Debbie of Texas; two sisters, Merle Irick of Elizabethton, TN and Nancy Harmon of Butler, TN; seven grandchildren, Tiffany Church, Brandy Dial, Kayla Calhoun, Dillon Huffaker, Hannah Presnell, and Aiden and Kadence Russell; six great-grandchildren, Emmanuel Nichols, Sky Ramsey, Tristan and Rowan Dial, and Jace and Rosie Calhoun.
Funeral services will be held Monday, December 23, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at Beech Mountain Baptist Church. Interment will follow immediately at the Beech Mountain Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Sunday, December 22, 2019 from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to the Baptist Children’s Home of NC, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361 or Conquer Cancer, The ASCO Foundation, P.O. Box 896076, Charlotte, NC 28289.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Church family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Dennis and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.


Anna P. Reece
July 26, 1954 – December 20, 2019

Anna P. Reece, age 65, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Friday, December 20, 2019 at her home.

She was born on July 26, 1954 in Crossnore, North Carolina, a daughter of Joe Bill Calloway and Marie Issacs Calloway.

She was preceded in death by her Parents; Husband, Frank Edward Reece; Son, Carols Bailey; Sister, Wilma Jean Calloway; Brother, Jimmy Calloway; Love of her Life her dog, Lottie.

Anna was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church. Anna loved her husband Frank more than anything else and just wanted to be with him. She also loved her dog Lottie and her new dog Snowflake. She gave to people who were in need, she enjoyed hanging out with her friends and doing puzzles with them. She loved all kinds of flowers and she also enjoyed collecting Indian stuff. She was a true friend to everybody and she also prayed for all her friends and family daily. She enjoyed listening to Gospel music and anything that was the color pink.

Anna leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Son, Terry (Amy Laughter) Bailey of Newland, NC, stepson, Terry (David Blair) Reece of Elizabethton, TN, stepson, David Reece of Elizabethton, TN, stepson, Ronnie Reece of Elizabethton, TN, Sister, Edith Calloway of Burnsville, NC, Brother, Clyde (Hazel) Calloway of Newland, NC, Brother, Jerome Calloway of Hickory, NC, Niece, Margaret Miller of Newland, NC, Great Niece, Brandy (Ricky Thompson) Calloway of Newland, NC, Great Nephew, Austin Calloway of Newland, NC, Special Great Great Nieces, Tyrah & Vanessa Calloway of Newland, NC, Special Step Great Grandchildren, Memphis & Rebecca, Special Friend, Leonard Johnson of Newland, NC, and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Memorial Service for Anna P. Reece will be held on Thursday December 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Brent Price officiating.
The family will receive friends beginning at 2:00 pm up until the service hour at 3:00 pm on Thursday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.

The Family of Anna would like to offer a Special Thank You to Dr. Alfred Earwood for many years of love and taking care of her, her family at Linville Cove Apartments, all the nurses at Cannon Memorial Hospital, and the Avery Co. EMS.

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

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


Kyle Horton
April 13, 1988 – December 17, 2019

Kyle Horton, 31, of Wilmington, NC, passed away on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, December 27 at 2 p.m. at Andrews Mortuary and Crematory, 1617 Market Street, Wilmington, NC.

Kyle had a huge heart, a wonderful sense of humor, and great flair for style. He loved music, was an avid cook, and helped so many people who loved him. He struggled with addiction from an early age, and even as he helped friends overcome similar issues, in the end he lost his own battle with substance abuse.

Kyle is survived by his adored daughter Lilian Jade, devoted mother Paula Horton, grandparents Rosemarie and Randy Bigbie, and uncles David and Ric Kolenda. He also leaves his father and stepmother Maurice and Allison Horton; grandmother Laura Horton; siblings Katie, Chase, and Chaney; and aunt and uncle Beth and Dean Smith.