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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – December 3, 2019

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

Linda Jean Trivette
1948 – 2019

Linda Jean Sawyer Trivette, after a long illness, passed away peacefully at her home in Fleetwood, NC the morning of December 2, 2019. She was born at home in Petersburg, VA on December 3, 1948 and was the daughter of the late SSG John R. Sawyer, Sr. and the late Joyce Ann Bailey Sawyer. Linda was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Welcoming Linda into Heaven will be her parents as well as her infant son, Thomas Randall, and infant brother, Larry Sawyer. She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her husband, Gary G.Trivette of Fleetwood and her two beloved and spoiled fur babies. She also leaves behind three sisters; Janice Long of Boone, Myra Trivette of Banner Elk, Georgia McLean and husband Joey of Banner Elk; two brothers, John Sawyer Jr. and wife Donna of North Adams, MA, and Robert Sawyer and wife Heather of Winston-Salem. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews that she loved like her own children. Although she has no surviving children, Linda treated us all as her children and cared for us like we all belonged to her. She will be greatly missed by her family as well as her husband’s family who were very close with her as well.

Linda requested to have no public service and will be buried with her infant son in North Adams, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to Hospice or the Humane Society. Condolences may be sent to Gary Trivette at PO Box 375, Deep Gap, NC 28618.


James “Jim” Paal

March 26, 1943 – November 29, 2019

James “Jim” Paal, age 76, State View Road, Boone, passed away Friday morning, November 29, 2019, at his home.

Jim was born March 26, 1943 in Duluth, Minnesota. He served in the United States Air Force.

Jim Paal, affectionately known as Mr. Whiskers, was a former junior high school teacher and co-owner of the Dan’l Boone Inn. He is survived by his wife Patt of the home, additional family and a number of cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was a gentle, nurturing, patient and encouraging man.

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs 

in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You

will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters

never fail.  Isaiah 58:11

He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs

in his arms and carries them close to his heart…Isaiah 40:11

May we honor the life he led by reaching out to others in kindness and compassion. Jim requested that there not be a service for him.

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

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


George Avery Cooke
March 18, 1935 – November 27, 2019

George Avery Cooke age 84, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family and friends, on Wednesday, November 27th at 1:50 pm. He was the son of the late Dick and Delana Cooke of Linville. He was proceeded in death by the love of his life, wife, Martha Cooke; brothers Bob Cooke, Lee Cooke; sisters Lillian Ellis and Martha Kincaid; and son-in-law Jay Luttrell.

Left to celebrate his life and cherish his memory, his daughters Donna Luttrell and Laura Padgett (Donald); granddaughter Madison Hollar (Wesley); grandson Coston Padgett (Abby); brother David Cooke (Ramona); sisters Janice Payne, Mamie Luther (Tony), Linda Pittman, and Peggy Sherwood; countless family and friends – too many to name.

George was best known for his ability to grow all things – most importantly his family. He was a deeply devoted husband, father, brother and papaw. By his two daughters, he is most remembered for developing in them a strong work ethic. Spending time with him on the golf course, sleigh riding, and ice skating gave them a love for being outside and an appreciation for nature. He also loved spending time with his little brother, David, both on and off the golf course. They enjoyed hunting and fishing together. David was also his assistant superintendent for many years.

Those who crossed paths with George were likely to hear stories about his fifty-five year career at Linville Resorts starting as a caddie in 1945 and ending as golf course superintendent in 2000. He loved to tell about his first caddying jobs with members, including one of his very favorites, the late Aggie Morton, who taught him the game of golf and how to dance. In the late 50s he served in the United States Army beginning his training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, stopping in Fort Collins, Colorado and finishing his service at Fort Lewis, Washington. He took great pride in having stood honor guard for General William Westmoreland with whom he later became good friends with when Westmoreland spent summers in Linville. After returning home, he soon met the love of his life, Martha McGuire, and they spent 56 years building a wonderful life and family. Unless you knew him well you might not know that he loved to shine his shoes every day and he made his bed in military fashion – you could bounce a quarter off of it. In his early years he called square dances in Blowing Rock and was musically gifted – playing guitar, autoharp and dulcimer.

In his 32 years as golf course superintendent he was best known for running a tight ship with his crew – many of whom spent their entire career working alongside him. In addition to taking care of the golf course and surrounding resort, he loved taking care of the fish in the lake and creek, the parade and fireworks on July 4th, and keeping watch over the homes and families of the resort membership.

After retirement in 2000 he proudly took on the role of school drop-off and pick-up driver for his “grands,” Madison and Coston. School pick-ups always included a stop off at Christa’s in Pineola or the Linville Mart to grab favorite snacks including Yoo-Hoos they fondly named and still call “Papaw’s Coke.”

During his retirement years he also enjoyed looking after the Linville United Methodist Church, Wee Kirk Presbyterian Church and several of the homes of his lifelong member friends. He spent time in his yard daily, which was visited frequently by family, friends and passers-by. He loved mowing, trimming, planting, blowing leaves and watering his miniature golf course, as his family fondly named it. When he wasn’t in his yard, he was spending time playing a weekly game of Rook with dear friends JC & Brenda Smith, taking Martha out to dinner and reading his Bible, Billy Graham devotions and daily newspaper. He kept detailed, daily weather records for decades and could tell you at any given time the temperature, wind speed and rain amount. He didn’t particularly like snow but he loved to push snow off of neighbors’ driveways and church parking lots. He called it his “John Deere Ministry.” He also loved to decorate his entire yard with Christmas lights each year, especially to the delight of his neighbors, family and very special friend, Jake Costner, who made nearly daily trips to visit him.

George’s greatest joy came from helping others. He and Martha spent their lives dedicated to the Linville United Methodist Church through membership and service and most enjoyed the shoebox ministry, angel gift nursing home ministry and back pack ministry. He also enjoyed opening the church each Sunday morning, putting out the bulletins, greeting visitors and setting up communion. He was a charter member of the Linville Volunteer Fire Department and one of the first EMTs and volunteer firemen to serve there. He also served on the Board of Trustees and as chairman for Sloop Hospital for many years. While George was many things to many people, he was first and foremost a servant for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations, in George Cooke’s memory, to:
Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center
7156 NC Hwy 194 S
Banner Elk, NC 28604

George’s very special neighbor and friend, Jake Costner, benefits from the therapy provided by this program. “Spirit Ride provides children with special needs the opportunity to learn, grow, and strive to become their ideal selves through equine related therapeutic activities.” Spirit Ride is a nonprofit organization that serves the special needs communities of Western North Carolina. You can find more information at spiritridenc.org.

Please join George’s family for a celebration of life and love at the Alan Dickson Center Pavilion, across from Eseeola Lodge, in Linville on Sunday, December 1st at 2:00 pm.


Bonita Carmen Guy
June 27, 1935 – November 29, 2019

Bonita Carmen Guy (Douthwaite) passed away on November 29, 2019 at her residence in Concord. She was born on June 27, 1935 to the late Robert P. and Craythie Shell Guy. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister: Mary Elizabeth Guy Gentry, and her brother: Carson Guy, who died in World War II.
A native of Banner Elk, Carmen attended both Lees McRae College and Appalachian State University, receiving her teaching degree in elementary education. “Mrs. Douthwaite” taught in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, retiring in 1993. Most of her teaching years were at Newell Elementary and later at Mallard Creek Elementary. Many of her students still visit her and tell of fond memories having her as their teacher.
Carmen enjoyed owning and breeding German Shepherd Dogs, singing in the Charlotte Oratorios, hiking, skydiving, the beach, had a great love of nature, her cats and just loving life and people.
Carmen leaves behind a lifelong friend and guardian, Caroleen Sanders; Tommy Thompson, who was like a son to her; and special friend, Patti Hart. Special thanks to Lorie Jones and the employees at The Gardens of Taylor Glen where Carmen spent the last years of her life.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at the Elk Cemetery in Banner Elk.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, Cabarrus County Humane Society or to your favorite charity.


Billy Ray Rupard
March 11, 1946 – December 2, 2019

Billy Ray Rupard, age 73, of Banner Elk, North Carolina passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019 at Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC.

He was born on March 11, 1946 in Banner Elk, North Carolina, a son of the late Carter Preston Rupard and the late Gertrude Shook Rupard.

He was preceded in death by his Parents; Wife of 40 years Debra Jean Rupard and 10 Brothers and Sisters.

Billy was a member of White Rock Baptist Church. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but most importantly he enjoyed and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He loved listening to Southern Gospel music.

Billy leaves behind to cherish his memory his: Daughter, Deana (Terry) Coleman of Newland, NC, Son, Charles (Kristi) Rupard of Banner Elk, NC, Daughter, Mindy (Tony) Hicks of Lafayette, IN, Grandson, Cody Minton of Naples, FL, Grandson, Jacob Hicks of Banner Elk, NC, Grandson, Anthony Hicks of Newland, NC, Sister, Shirley Brown of Morganton, NC, Brother, Jerry (Ollie) Ruppard of Banner Elk, NC, Special Friend, Dale Townsend of Banner Elk, NC and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services for Billy Ray Rupard will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 2:00 pm at White Rock Baptist Church with Pastor Lynn Shook officiating.
The family will receive friends beginning at 12:00 pm up until the service hour at 2:00 pm on Saturday at White Rock Baptist Church.
Interment will follow in White Rock Cemetery.

The Family of Billy would like to offer a special thank you to the nurses and staff of 3-West at Watauga Medical Center for their wonderful care they gave to Billy.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: White Rock Baptist Church Cemetery Fund; 2030 Pigeon Roost Rd. Banner Elk, NC 28604.

Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Rupard 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.