The following are recent obituary notices from Austin & Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland
Vaughn A. Brown
1930 – 2020
Vaughn A. Brown, age 90, of Clover, South Carolina, and formerly of Watauga County, passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill. Born November 7, 1930 in the Bethel community, he was a son of Stuart Braton and Annie Vines Brown. Vaughn was a member of Willowdale Baptist Church. He served in the US Army, 758th Field Artillery Division, during the Korean Conflict and was awarded the Purple Heart. After his tour, he returned to Watauga County, his beloved mountains, and continued service as a commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90 and commander of the American Legion Post #130. Vaughn retired from IRC in Boone. He loved traveling anywhere and acquired quite a collection of brass figurines during his many trips. He also fancied himself as “quite the carpenter”.
Mr. Brown is survived by his sons, James Vaughn Brown and wife, Peggy, of Cincinnati, Ohio and John Thompson Brown and wife, Stefanie, of Clover, South Carolina; six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren; his brother, Junior Brown and wife, Earline, of Deep Gap; and sisters-in-law, Faye Brown of Boone and Georgia Brown of Winston-Salem. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Thompson Brown; sister, Martha Jean Greene; and brothers, Carson and Lewis Brown.
Military graveside services provided by the North Carolina National Guard and the American Legion Post 130, will be conducted Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2020, at 3 o’clock at the Adams Cemetery in Vilas. Officiating will be Rev. Ralph Johnson. The family respectfully requests attendees to please wear a mask and observe social distancing.
Those wishing to pay respects and sign the memorial register book may call at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Saturday from 10 AM until 4 PM and Sunday from 10 AM until 1 PM.
Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Vaughn Brown family
Valerie Mary Grace Barnes
1942 – 2020
Valerie Mary Grace Barnes, 77, passed calmly and peacefully at home from cancer on Dec 3, 2020.
Known as “Val” to her friends, she loved doing for others. Val was very social, always displayed a positive attitude and never met a stranger. Together with her life partner Carolyn Moffitt, she was active in the High Country women’s games, brunch and dining-out community. She exercised three times a week at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, where she made lots of friends.
Val loved dogs and had many as pets over her life. She was an excellent homemaker and enjoyed working in her yard and talking to her neighbors. She was a retired home economics and food science teacher, having taught at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from 1965 to 1997. She directed the school’s drill teams for various sports and was selected Teacher of the Year several times. She remained a patient life-skills teacher throughout her years. Val earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida State University in 1964 and loyally followed Seminoles athletics the rest of her life. She also enjoyed attending Appalachian State University women’s basketball games.
She is survived by her partner of 23 years, Carolyn Moffitt; and niece Perry Sneed, nephew Paul Sprague and husband Ivan, and brother-in-law Norm Sprague, all of Dunedin, Florida. She is also survived by her partner’s niece, Lynn Gray, who helped care for her in her last days.
No memorial service is scheduled. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care at 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, NC 28645 or online at www.caldwellhospice.org.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Barnes family.
James Drufus Griffin
August 02, 1942 – November 30, 2020
James Drufus Griffin, Jr, age 78, formerly of Holden Beach, passed away peacefully at his home in Foscoe, NC on Monday, November 30, surrounded by his loving family.
Jim, as he was known by most, was preceded in death by his parents, James D. Griffin, Sr (Drew), Mae Lois Dougherty Griffin, sister, Patricia Griffin Sandifer, brother-in-law, David R. Sandifer, and honored hunting dogs, “Sinker”, “Buck” and “Dottie”.
Left to cherish his memory are all his beloved girls; his wife of 54 years, Jo Ann Davis Griffin of the home, daughters Virginia (Ginny)Griffin Varnum (Jamie) of Bolivia, NC, Ashley Griffin Copeland (Haden) of Boone, NC, granddaughters Carter Drew Hewett of Southport, NC, Griffin Elizabeth Hewett and Davis Virginia Varnum both of Bolivia, NC and many special nieces, nephews and dear friends. Jim was born August 2, 1942 in Washington, DC while his father was serving as a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force. Raised in Anderson and Easley, SC Jim was a graduate of Anderson Boys High School and later occasionally attended Wilmington College where he studied psychology and business.
The family moved from South Carolina to Brunswick County in 1962 where Jim joined his parents in starting Holden Beach Realty and construction, Jim Griffin Builders and later with his late partner Virgil Roberts, Holden Beach Enterprises. The Griffin family was instrumental in the incorporation of the Town of Holden Beach and it’s subsequent development. Jim served on the Town’s first Board of Commissioners and several terms following, was Mayor-Pro-Tem and sat on the Town’s Board of Elections, Planning Board and was the Town’s first Postmaster General. Along with countless other endeavors, Jim was dedicated to community service and was instrumental in securing county water for the Town. His love of nature and the outdoors fueled his desire to preserve the integrity of the island’s natural beauty which led him and his business Holden Beach Enterprises to donate several large areas of coastal property to North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, one of which is named the Drew Griffin Environmental Research Facility after his late father. Jim attended Camp United Methodist Church in Shallotte and Valle Crucis UMC in Valle Crucis, NC. Jim was a charter member of the Shallotte Lions Club, a member of the Sudan Shriners of Shallotte and a 33rd
Among Jim’s many skills, he was an excellent marksman and loved upland bird hunting and fly fishing all over the world. He was an extremely talented and accomplished craftsman, woodworker and home builder, and together with his wife, JoAnn they created beautiful spaces
where they took great pleasure in entertaining family and friends. Jim enjoyed cooking and an occasional glass of fine bourbon. He had a quick wit, an indelible sense of humor and was rarely at a loss for words. An unapologetic unreconstructed Southerner, Jim was passionate about history and heritage and truly epitomized what it meant to be a Southern Gentleman. Known as “Dadaddy” to his three granddaughters, he nurtured in them a love of animals, horses in particular, and indulged their hobby by accompanying them to countless horse shows and competitions across several states, later becoming the founding force behind Honalee Farms. Jim was a dynamic, charming and charismatic personality that made a positive impact on everyone he came in contact with but love of family was the most important facet of his life. Though his absence will be deeply felt, Jim shaped his daughters and granddaughters to be fiercely strong and capable individuals.
Memorial services and a celebration of Jim’s life (following all Covid-19 restrictions) will be held in Brunswick County at a yet to be determined date.
The family is profoundly appreciative of the great care given by Caldwell Hospice and requests with gratitude that donations be made in Jim’s name to 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, NC 28465-5121. www.caldwellhospice.org
Online condolences may be sent to the Griffin family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
Raymond Parker Howell
June 27, 1933 – December 01, 2020
Ray was born on June 27, 1933 in Suffolk, Virginia, son of Joseph John Howell and Sallie Maie Parker and brother to Joseph Jarvis Howell. Ray was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army, serving his country during the Allied-occupied Germany era after World War II. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1960 and Master of Commerce from University of Richmond in 1965. As Principal of Howell Associates Architects, he and the team delivered 30 years of services to the High Country with projects ranging from education, commercial, recreational, and residential. He founded Deer Valley Racquet Club in 1986, a family business that, under new ownership, continues to provide year-round recreational opportunities for Watauga County and seasonal residents.
Ray was a loving husband, father, grandfather, teacher, and friend. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Billie Brandon Howell; his son William Brandon Howell, wife Tiffany and grandson Kody Raymond Howell; his daughter Dottie Howell Diamant, husband Steve; and his son Joseph John Howell.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Brandon Howell Family Scholarship Fund in support of Watauga High School seniors interested in studying computer science. Online donations can be made at www.bhfsf.org or via mail to North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave, Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612.
Online condolences may be sent to the Howell family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
Nila Jane Harris
October 02, 1956 – December 02, 2020
The daughter of the Phil Harris and the late Ann Johnson Harris, she was born October 2, 1956 in White County Arkansas.
She is survived by two sons, Daniel Hanna and wife Meagan of Virginia Beach, Virginia and Christopher Justice and wife Jodi of Moorehead City, North Carolina; six grandchildren, Kylie, Lacey, Kaelyn, Isabelle, Charlotte and Jacob, one sister, Raenelle Bailey and Tab of Orlando, Florida.
In addition to her mother she was preceded in death by one sister, Marcia Harris.
A memorial service for Nila Jane Harris will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be sent to the Harris family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
Howard Beatty Johnson, Sr.
June 16, 1928 – December 04, 2020
Howard B. Johnson, Sr., age 92 of Atlanta, GA and Blowing Rock, NC, passed away Friday, December 4, 2020 at his home in Blowing Rock. Born June 16, 1928 in Nashville, TN, he was a son of the late Virgil Claire and Mamie Tabb Johnson and the husband of the late Carolyn Hamilton Johnson. Other than his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Claire Johnson and sisters, Mae Johnson, and Virginia White.
He was drafted into the Army in 1950 and served as a combat medic with the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division in Korea where he earned the Bronze Star.
After leaving the Army in 1952, he was employed by the American Tobacco Company and went on to work in Pharmaceutical Sales and retired from Glaxo Smith Kline in the early nineties.
He spent most of his retirement volunteering for South East Guide Dogs, Inc.
Mr. Johnson is survived by his sons, Howard B. Johnson, Jr., and wife Mariesa; Stephen Johnson and Jay Johnson and wife Diva; granddaughters, Sara Quin Lewis, Kate, and Kara Johnson; grandson, Edward Johnson and Kevin Johnson and his Labrador, “Andy”.
The family will hold a private service at a later date.
Memorials may be made to S.E. Guide Dogs, Inc, 4210 77th St., Palmetto, FL 34221, or Watauga County Humane Society, 312 Paws Way, Boone, NC 28607.
Online condolences may be sent to the Johnson Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements
Leroy Jay Burgess
January 18, 1943 – November 25, 2020
Boone, NC- Mr. Leroy Jay Burgess, age 77, passed away Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at Watauga Medical Center. Born January 18, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan, he was a son of the late John Victor and Ina Velle Travis Burgess and the husband of the late Arlene Cravet Burgess.
Mr. Burgess was a US Army veteran and retired from Flint Ink Manufacturing.
He is survived by his son, John Burgess of Boone, his daughter, Nicole Lea Burgess of Boone, 2 sisters, Judy Burgess and Nancy Corstine both of Detroit and 11 grandchildren.
No services are planned at this time.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service of Boone is in charge of arrangements.
Georgia Edney Day
November 18, 1936 – December 05, 2020
Georgia Ruth Edney Day, age 84, of Boone, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Transitions Life Care Hospice in Raleigh.
She was born in the Edneyville Area of Henderson County and Graduated from Edneyville High School. She was a Retired Registered Nurse (Graduate of Presbyterian Nursing School in Charlotte) and a Retired Seamstress from Belk’s. She had a love of sewing and spending time with her family.
She is survived by three sons, John E. “Jack” Day, Jr. and wife Cindy of Lenoir, Charles M. Day Boone, and Andrew Day and wife Lesley of Cary, and nine grandchildren, John C. Day and Stephanie Day of Germany, Dillion and Landon Day of Boone, Jared Roberts of Crescent City, Illinois, Jake Day And Griffin Day of Cary, and Ethan Cassavaugh and Kelsey Cassavaugh of Lenoir and one sister, Norma Jean Wright of Hendersonville.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Charles Edney and Lucy Jackson Edney, seven sisters and two brothers and the father of her children, John Day.
Graveside services and burial will be conducted Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1:00 o’clock at Moore Cemetery. Pastor Raymond Spann will officiate.
The body will lie in state at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel from 9:00 until 5:00 Wednesday, so family and friends may come by and pay their respects and sign the register book.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Moore Cemetery Fund in care of Charlie Day, 175 Gordon Day Road, Boone, North Carolina 28607.
Online condolences may be sent to the Day family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
May 4, 1942 – November 30, 2020
Juanita Carpenter, age 78, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Monday, November 30, 2020 at the Brian Center in Spruce Pine, NC.
She was born on May 4, 1942 in Avery County, North Carolina.
Juanita leaves behind to cherish her memory her: husband, Leroy Carpenter of Jonas Ridge, NC; Children, Jolene Carpenter, David Carpenter and Susan Mayberry; several grandchildren.
Services will be at a later date.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Carpenter family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Juanita and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Harrison Horney Jr.
May 30, 1926 – November 30, 2020
Harrison Martin Horney, Jr. “June”, age 94, passed away Monday, November 30. June was the son of Harrison Martin Horney, Sr. and Ethel Smith Horney who preceded him in death.
Born in Banner Elk, NC on May 30, 1926. He was the youngest of 9 children and was preceded in death by all of his siblings; Roscoe, Richard, Ralph, Don, Arthur, George, Tom, and Mildred. Also preceding him in death was his only son, Harrison Martin “Harry” Horney and 2 great- granddaughters, Ansley Claire and Claire Elizabeth Horney. He was a graduate of Cranberry High School where he played football and basketball. June worked on the Savannah River project in Aiken, SC. He was a commercial truck driver for 6 years before finding his true calling as a farmer in Crossnore, NC. His dad bought the farm in 1936 of which June took ownership of in 1945. He was first a produce farmer growing cabbage, beans, and potatoes. Several years later he tried his hand cattle farming. He raised prize winning Black Angus cattle. During the cold winter months, he made snow at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. In the early 70’s, he began transitioning from raising cattle to Christmas tree farming. He found his greatest success in growing fraser fir Christmas trees on the Horney Farm where his legacy continues through his 3 grandsons and great-grandchildren today.
June served as the president of the Avery County Farm Bureau for 16 consecutive years. He was the recipient of the Avery County Farm City Farm Family of the year in 2013. June made a lasting impression on many young men who worked for him on the farm. He mentored many of them in their own careers. He helped raise many of these workers including his brother-in-laws, Ben and George Ware.
June lived a fun and fulfilling life. He enjoyed fishing with his buddies in the Surfside Pier Float Fishing Association and playing golf at Racoon Run while at their home in Surfside Beach. When at home in the mountains, he loved playing golf at Mtn. Glen. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, Ellen Dora, and Hazel and Bernice Carpenter. They travelled all over the US enjoying the many sights. When not traveling the US, June attended church at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church where he was a member. June had many vegetable gardens all over the farm where he grew plenty of crops to enjoy during the summer and then to can for later months. He had a green thumb with flowers also that beautified their home on the Horney Farm.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 75 years, Ellen Dora Ware Horney, his 3 grandsons; Harrison Martin Horney IV & Leslie of Crossnore NC, James Matthew Horney & Amy of Cranberry NC, and Mitchell Robert Horney & Becca of Spruce Pine NC; 7 great-grandchildren Harrison Martin Horney V, Chandler Horney, Ethan Horney, Elli Horney, Maddie Horney, Ayla Horney and Mattux Horney. June had many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
A private family graveside service was held on Thursday, December the 3rd at Johnson Cemetery on Mount Pleasant Rd. A memorial service will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge at hospiceblueridge.com or by mail to 236 Hospital Dr. Spruce Pine, NC 28777.
James Abraham Robbins
March 25, 1934 – December 2, 2020
James Abraham “Abie” Robbins, 86, of Pineola, North Carolina, passed away at Water of Roan Highlands in Roan Mountain, TN on December 2, 2020.
He was born March 25, 1934 at Garrett Memorial Hospital in Crossnore, NC to the late Edward P. Robbins and the late Veda Aldridge Robbins.
He retired from the Charlotte Fire Department with 30 years of service. After retiring, he moved to Avery County in 1987. He enjoyed many retired years playing golf, fishing and hunting in the mountains he loved so much.
He was a member of the Fellowship Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder and in 2017 he received the honor of Elder Emeritus.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Genevieve; brother, Truman; and a grandson, Knox Wagner Shelby.
Abie is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Hazel Woodruff Robbins; sons, Curtis and Ernie (Margaret); daughters, Marti Shelby and Lisal McDonald; twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Brothers, Page (Claudia), Doran (Betty); sisters, Katy Fletcher, Edwina (Junior) Sluder and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on December 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Fellowship Presbyterian Church, 1336 Walt Clark Rd, Crossnore, NC. Rev. Lonnie Barnes and Abie’s son-in-law, Steve Shelby, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bridgemont Camp and Retreat Center where he served on the board of directors for over 30 years. Bridgemont is a Christian camp for youth. Memorials may be sent to: Bridgemont c/o Fellowship Presbyterian Church, 1336 Walt Clark Rd, Newland, NC 28657.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.rsfh.net
The care of Abie and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Joey Ray Hodge Jr.
January 1, 1964 – December 2, 2020
Joel “Joey” Ray Hodge Jr. age 56, of Newland passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. He was born on January 1, 1964 in Mitchell County to Carol Isaacs and the late Joel Ray Hodge. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Rev. Mack Hodge and wife Leona Hodge and Fred Buchanan and his wife Dorothy; and two uncles, Johnny and Jerry Buchanan.
Joey was chief of security for Sugar Top Resort in Banner Elk. He was of the Baptist Faith. Joey was a true friend to many people and loved to make people laugh. Joey was fun, loving, and a caring man. Joey loved to ride his Harley every chance he had and was the UNC Tarheels #1 fan.
Those left to cherish his memory are his Mother, Carol Isaacs and husband Charles of Newland; one sister, Holly Isaacs of Newland; and numerous loving uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Due to the current COVID-19 regulations, our staff is committed to taking care of our guests and families that we serve. Please understand we will be following the State’s COVID guidelines. All guests attending the visitation and service must bring and wear a mask and social distancing will be required. Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM in the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Phil Murdock officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the funeral home.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Hodge family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Joey and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Louise Billo Shissler
October 30, 1931 – December 3, 2020
Louise Billo Shissler “Miss Spuz” of Newland, North Carolina, and formerly of Ringoes, NJ and Willow Grove, PA went home to be with her Lord on December 3, 2020. She was born October 30, 1931 in Scarsdale, New York to Geoffroy Billo and Rebecca Louise Benson Billo. She was a 1949 graduate of The George School in Newtown, PA and also attended Wheaton College in Norton, MA. She married Wallace E. (“Mick”) Shissler III in March 1954.
In 1962 Spuz and her husband Mick, along with several neighborhood parents, founded Cub Scout Pack 577. Spuz became a den mother and national Boy Scout instructor for five years. From 1959 to 1976 she was a program planner and swimming instructor at Sunny Willow Swim Club and Upper Dublin High School. During that time she also served as an AAU swimming official and diving judge.
Spuz had a lifelong love of crafts. Her laundry room became a craft workshop where she created decoupage purses, plaques, macrame plant hangers, and decorative items for friends and neighbors. When a new craft came out, she tried it. Her love of crafting led her to open one of the first arts and crafts supply stores in the Dresher, PA area, By Spuz Crafts. She operated the store and taught crafts classes to many. During this time she attained several national teacher accreditations. Later she focused her attention on another passion, needle crafting, and was a member of the Bucks County Embroiderer’s Guild of America. Many of her needlepoint and embroidery creations won awards at local and regional competitions and exhibitions.
She also loved drawing and painting, nature photography, growing spectacular irises and lilies, and bird watching. She loved the NC mountains, especially the Linville Falls area and Wiseman’s View.
Left to cherish her memory are her sister, Gene Billo Haddon (Jim Metzger) of Chevy Chase, MD; two sons, Wallace E. (Mike) Shissler IV and wife Helen (Fowler) of Willow Grove, PA, and William John (Bill) Shissler, and wife Julie (Lamb) of Pineola, NC; three granddaughters, Jessica Louise Shissler of Langhorne, PA, Rebecca Christine Shissler of Tabor City, NC, and Danielle Christine Shissler of Levittown, PA; and one great-grandson, Andrew Patrick Bangs of Levittown, PA.
Her family would like to express a special thank you to her caregivers at Heritage of Sugar Mountain, and to the ministering angels of Caldwell Hospice. Your kindness and caring will not be forgotten.
Per Spuz’s wishes, there will be no services; her family will gather at a later date for remembrance and celebration of her life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Avery County Senior Center or to Linville Falls Community Church.
The care of Louise and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Clifford “Lee” Shirley
November 6, 1943 – December 5, 2020
Clifford “Lee” Shirley, age 77, of Newland, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville. He was born on November 6, 1943 in Avery County to the late Edgar and Nellie Mae Deaton Shirley. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three sisters, Marlyn Greene, Wilma Knudesn, and Kathy Robbins.
Lee attended First Baptist Church of Newland and retired from the furniture factory.
Those left to cherish his memory are his brother, Michael Greene and wife Kaye of Lenoir; and two nieces and a nephew.
Graveside services will be held at Newland Cemetery on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:00 AM with Dr. Bill Jones officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to First Baptist Church of Newland, 160 Cranberry Street, Newland, NC 28657.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Shirley family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Lee and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.