Watauga, Avery Obituaries – Jan. 31, 2017

Published Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Compiled by Jesse Wood

The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. Send obituary notices to [email protected]


Margaret “Maggie” Calhoun Harrelson (Aug. 4, 1998 – Jan. 30, 2017)

Margaret “Maggie” Calhoun Harrelson, 18, of Boone, passed away Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. 

HarrelsonMaggie is survived by her father and mother, James Newson Harrelson and Grace Engstrom Harrelson, two sisters, Abby Harrelson and Katie Harrelson, one brother, Andrew Harrelson, all of Boone, three uncles, Calhoun Harrelson and wife Julie of Myrtle Beach, Wilford LeRoy Harrelson, Jr. of Marion, and Mark Engstrom and wife Kathryn of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, one aunt Faith Engstrom of St. Maarten. She is also survived by several cousins. 

She was preceded in death by; her maternal grandparents, Reverend Ted and Verna Engstrom, paternal grandparents, Wilford LeRoy and Harvey Harrelson.

Funeral Services for Maggie Harrelson will be conducted Saturday afternoon, February 4, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Alliance Bible Fellowship. Officiating will be Reverend Scott Burns, and Reverend Scott Andrews. Internment will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 o’clock, at Alliance Bible Fellowship.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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


Dorris Benfield (Nov. 5, 1932 – Jan. 30, 2017)

Dorris Stanley Benfield, 84, of Newland passed away on Jan. 30, 2017 at her residence.

Dorris-Benfield-1485793205A native of Dalton, GA, she was born November 5, 1932 a daughter of the late Rafie and Margie Walston Stanley.
She retired in 1994 after serving 30 years as the Assistant Avery County Tax Assessor. She was a member of the Newland Presbyterian Church. Dorris was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and enjoyed knitting, quilting, Gardening and Canning. She was an avid collector of Aunt Jemima Dolls.

Along with her parents, Dorris was preceded in death by her: husband, Beryl L. Benfield; a son, William Benfield; sister in law, Audrey Benfield; brother in law, Doyle Benfield; great nephew, Dalton Reese; brothers, Larry Stanley, John Stanley; and a sister, Lee Haywood. 

Dorris has left to cherish her memory her: daughter, Linda K. Benfield of the home; sister, Lou and Ronnie Hixenbaugh of Augusta, GA; nephews, Ray, Mark, Johnny, Darrell, Doug, Lamar, Jeff and Oren; nieces, Donna and Connie; a great niece, Paige; and great nephews, Blake and Nicholas.

Funeral services for Dorris Benfield will be conducted on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm at the Newland Presbyterian Church with Revs. Michael McKee and Billy McGuire officiating. Interment will follow in the Newland Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 12:00 noon until the service hour Wednesday at the church.

The family would like to give their thanks to the Nurses and Staff of Medi Home Hospice for the care and attention they showed to Dorris during her final days, your kindness and concern will never be forgotten; to her family at Newland Presbyterian Church for your loving support and being there will always be cherished; and to the Doctors and Staff of the Seby Jones Cancer Center for their personal kindness.

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 family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.


Lawrence Junior Hollifield (Jan. 20, 1942 – Jan. 28, 2017)

Lawrence Junior Hollifield, 75, of Meat Camp Road, Boone, passed away Saturday morning, January 28, 2017, at his home.

HollifieldLawrence was born January 20, 1942 in McDowell County, a son of the late Quince and Garnie Hollifield. He was a retired painting contractor and a member of Church of Deliverance in Boone.

Lawrence is survived by his wife, Carolyn Miller Hollifield of the home; one daughter, Lisa Ann Hodges and husband Darren of Boone; one granddaughter, Carissa Hodges of Boone; two grandsons, Tyler Hodges and Cory Hodges, both of Boone; one sister Pauline Holgate of Hartsville, South Carolina; two brothers, Harold Hollifield and wife Doshie of Newport News, Virginia, and Cecil Hollifield of Claremont; three sister-in-law, Mary Bell Main of Boone, and Wanda Hicks and Olive Reece of Todd, and one brother-in-law, Bruce Miller of Todd.

He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Faye Denton, and three brothers, Bill, Kenneth, and Carl Hollifield.

Funeral services for Lawrence Junior Hollifield will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, January 31, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Church of Deliverance. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 12:30 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Bruce Miller and Reverend Kenny Phelps. Burial will follow in Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon, from 12:30 until 2:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery Fund, in care of Len Moretz, 215 Len Moretz Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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


Mr. Niel Stewart (Nov. 22, 1940 – Jan. 28, 2017)

Michael Niel Stewart, 76, of Pineola passed away on Jan. 28, 2017 at his residence.

A native of Avery County, NC, he was born November 22, 1940 a son of the late William Carl Stewart Sr. and the late Ruby Irene Elliott Stewart. Early in life he began to serve in his community by working with his parents at what later became Stewart’s Store.

Niel-Stewart-1485794610Niel graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and his Master’s in Educational Administration. A very dedicated educator, Mr. Stewart served as a Biology teacher and an administrator for more than 30 years in Avery County Public Schools. Many of his former students can still identify local flora due to nature walks during Mr. Stewart’s high school biology class.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, he served as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 814 in Crossnore and served as a Camp Counselor at Camp Yononoka for many years. He was enthusiastic about teaching the boys skills and was deeply involved in helping them to develop their individual strengths and character. He was a person who was very active and was very self-sufficient in improving and maintaining his home and property and restoring 1939 and 1940 Fords. Mr. Stewart enjoyed genealogy and history and was a member of the Audubon Society and the Pineola Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society and was instrumental in getting the old Linville Depot moved to its current home at the Avery County Museum.

In addition to his parents, Niel was preceded in death by a brother, William Carl Stewart Jr.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory and life lessons, his loving wife of 55 years, Sharon Miller Stewart of the home; sons, Michael and wife Jane Stewart of Harrisburg, NC, Bill and wife Andrea Stewart of Murfreesboro, TN; sister, Renie Stewart and husband Larry Perry of Pineola; brother, Roger and wife Janet Stewart of Adams, TN; four much loved grandchildren, Marie and Rob Stewart and Angus and Phoebe Stewart: his loving aunt, Pauline Stroup of Altamont; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Funeral services for Niel Stewart will be conducted at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from the Grandfather Chapel of the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with the Rev. Keith Freeman officiating. The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm until the service hour Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will follow on Wednesday at 1:00 pm in the Pineola Cemetery.
The family would like to offer their sincere thanks to the Nurses and Staff of Medi Home Hospice of Avery County for the loving care and support they have provided to Niel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657 or to the Pineola Presbyterian Church PO Box 550 Pineola, NC 28662.

Words of Comfort and memories may be shared by visiting www.rsfh.net


Sheila McCoury Perry (Nov. 14, 1949 – Jan. 28, 2017)

Sheila-Perry-1485773832Sheila McCoury Perry, of Banner Elk, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at her residence.

Sheila was born November 14, 1949, a daughter of the late Eddie C. and Anna Roth McCoury. Her paternal grandparents were the late TY and Maude (Pittman) McCoury of Avery County, NC and her maternal grandparents were the late Adam and Rosa (Kremer) Roth of Boone County, IN. 

She is survived by her husband Jim Perry of the home; her son, Braxton Perry of Charlotte; three sisters: Bertha Young and husband Dale of Newland, NC; Mary Perez and husband Roberto of High Point, NC; and Rosa King and husband John of Lebanon, IN; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and her many former Scouts from Troop 807 in Banner Elk.

She was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, two sisters, Dr. Colleen McCoury-Martincak and Barbara Ward, four brothers: Tommy, TY, Eddie, Jr. and David McCoury and two nephews. 

The family will receive friends on Monday, January 30, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017 at the St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Linville, NC with Father Christopher Gober officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Judes.

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


Ronald McQuay Stewart (May 3, 1940 – Jan. 27, 2017) 

BigStewart. Ron - 2Ronald McQuay Stewart, 76, of Watauga River Road, Sugar Grove, passed away Friday evening, Jan. 27, 2017 at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Lenoir.

Born May 3, 1940 in Point Marion, Pennsylvania, he was a son of Robert and Helen McQuay Stewart. Mr. Stewart served in the US Army from 1958 to 1972, including a tour in Vietnam in 1968. He owned and operated a dental laboratory in Valle Crucis from June, 1975 until November, 2016. Ronald was an avid deer hunter.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

Mr. Stewart is survived by his wife, Linda Hawkes Stewart; daughter, Carolyn Stewart and grandson, Orion Childers, both of Florida; sisters, Cheri Stewart of Pennsylvania, and Meredith Stewart of Alabama; and brothers, Richard Stewart of Pennsylvania and Charles Stewart of Connecticut. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, David Stewart. 

Services for Ronald McQuay Stewart will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Stewart family.


Fred Arnette (July 27, 1937 – Jan. 27, 2017) 

BigArnette, FredFred Arnette, 79, of Old Slabtown Road, Zionville, passed away Friday evening, January 27, 2017 at Watauga Medical Center, gone to be with the Lord after a long battle with cancer. Born July 27, 1937 in Watauga County, he was a son of James Wesley and Margaret Hicks Arnette. Fred was a retired race car owner and farmer. For more than 20 years, he worked as a cook at Hound Ears Club. 

Mr. Arnette is survived by his wife of 60 years, Virginia Pennell Arnette; son, Steven Arnette of the home; daughters, Betty Presnell and husband, Dennis of Union, SC, Judy May and husband, Bobby ,of Zionville, and Tammy Arnette and fiancé, Bronson Pardue, of Zionville; six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Glenn Arnette; great-grandson, Matthew Tester; and several brothers and sisters. 

Memorial services will be conducted Wednesday afternoon, February 1st, at 1 oclock, at the Arnette residence. Friends may visit the family at the residence, 142 Old Slabtown Road in Zionville anytime.

The family appreciates memorial donations to Virginia Arnette at Post Office Box 122 Zionville to help with expenses. A special thanks to the Seby Jones Cancer and Dr. Grey and all the staff for taking excellent care of him. He loved them all.

Online condolences may be shared at the website austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com


Cheryl Armstrong Velikova (Jan. 8, 2017 – Jan. 26, 2017) 

Ms. Cheryl Armstrong Velikova of Fox Hill Rd, Vilas, passed away Thursday morning, January 26, 2017 at her home. Cheryl was born and grew up in Staunton, Virginia. She had been employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant. 

Cheryl is survived by her sister, Paige Casper and husband, John, of Pelham, NC; niece, Ashlee Willis and husband, Jammie, of Walkertown; nephew, Cory Casper and wife, Nia, of Greensboro; and three great nephews, Wyatt and Cole Willis of Walkertown, and Caine Casper of Greensboro. 

Services for Cheryl Velikova will be private. 

Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Velikova family.


Mrs. Betty S. Mahaffey (Nov. 4, 1956 – Jan. 25, 2017) 

BigMahaffeyMrs. Betty Miller Mahaffey, 60, of Lansing, passed away Wednesday morning, Jan. 25, 2017 at Forsyth Medical Center.

Born November 4, 1956 in Ashe County, she was a daughter of the late Burton R. and Ethel Stike Miller. Betty was a homemaker and a member of Oak Hill Baptist Church. She enjoyed quilting, scrapbooking and her family and friends. 

She is survived by her husband Bobby Mahaffey, one daughter, Vicky Mahaffey and fiancé Geoff Hayes of North Wilkesboro, one sister, Mary Steelman and husband Larry of Jefferson, two brothers, David Miller and wife Shelia of Fleetwood and Allen Miller and wife Debbie of Jefferson. 

Memorial services will beheld at Badgers Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 29th with Rev. Doug Halsey officiating. A private burial will be held at a later date. The family respectfully requests no food or flowers. Memorials may be made to the Oak Hill Baptist Church in Lansing. 

The family also greatly appreciates the loving care shown and given by the nurses and staff of Novant Health at Forsyth Medical Center during Bettys hospitalization.

Online condolences may be shared with the Mahaffey family at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Mahaffey family.


Terry Lee Isaacs, Sr. (July 24, 1949 – Jan. 22, 2017)

Terry Lee Isaacs, Sr., 67, of Brown Farm Rd., Boone, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 at Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem. Born July 24, 1949 in Lander, Wyoming, he was a son of William Benjamin and Mary Stadnick Isaacs. Terry was an exceptional father, and by trade, a master painter. 

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Isaacs; daughters, Donna Sartin of Newton and Melissa Teague of Hickory; sons, Terry Lee Isaacs, Jr and wife, Shannon of Lenoir and Michael Isaacs and fiancé, Whitney Leonard of Boone; four grandchildren, Harley Scoe Isaacs, William Charles Church, Jr., Lacey Teague and Jamie Teague, Jr.; step-mother, June Ward of Boone; and brothers, Martin Isaacs of Boone and Dale Isaacs of Oklahoma. 

Memorial services for Terry Lee Isaacs, Sr. will be conducted Saturday afternoon, February 4, at 2 oclock at Trinity Baptist Church in Deep Gap. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 oclock, prior to services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Terrys son, Michael Isaacs at 419 C Double F Farm Road, Deep Gap, NC, 28618 to help the family with expenses. 

Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Isaacs family.

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