Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 18, 2017

Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

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 jesse@highcountrypress.com.


Leslie Nielson Owen (Dec. 9, 1947 – July 19, 2017)

Leslie “Mimi” Hilary Nielsen Owen was born to Marguerite “Mama” and Lester “Papa” Nielsen on December 9, 1947 in Miami, Florida.

She grew up in Florida playing, laughing, and loving, along with her sister, Lucy, and her brother, Ralph – or “Butch” for short. In 1983 she married William B. Owen in Banner Elk, NC, and in 1989 they settled in Wilmington, along with Leslie’s children, Cary and Ashley, and their youngest son, Zach. In Wilmington, Leslie was an active member of St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church, a lover of
music, a wonderful mother and grandmother, and one of the kindest people you would ever meet.

She passed in peace on July 19, 2017, with family at her side. She is survived by her husband of 34 years, her children, and her brother and sister. She will be deeply missed, and her love will live long and bright through the ages.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00pm Saturday, July 22, 2017, in the Parish Hall at St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church with The Rev. Richard G. Elliott III and The Rev. Sarah K. Smith officiating. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends in the Parish Hall from 12:00pm until the service hour. Interment will follow the service at Oleander Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Leslie’s memory may be made online or by mail to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, 733 Third Avenue, Suite 510, New York, NY 10017.


Nancy Ann Whitehead (July 8, 1931 – March 1, 2016)

Nancy Ann Whitehead, 84, of Boone passed away on March 1, 2016 at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

Her memorial service will be held in the chapel this Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Born on July 8, 1931 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Nancy was adopted by Dr. Russell and Irene (Pigott) McGinnis shortly after and started a new life in Cleveland, Ohio. At age 14, she became the 65th person to have open-heart surgery due to being born with a congenital heart defect, enabling her to have a brighter future. Although this became one of many surgeries, her family and friends marveled that, for a baby to have such a rocky start, she lived much longer and experienced a fuller life than most thought possible.

Nancy attended Laurel School for Girls in Shaker Heights, Ohio and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Philosophy from Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia while studying music and voice, including opera. She was able to share her talented voice and love for the piano with her family as well as participating in organized settings such as Sweet Adelines.

Nancy was a den mother for the Boy Scouts, helped as her daughter’s Girl Scout cookie chairman and was involved with the PTA heading up the school carnival.

Knitting, needlepoint and sewing were some of her favorite personal activities.

Nancy is survived by her brother Robert McGinnis, sons Michael D. Picard, Mark A. Picard and Marshall D. Picard, her daughter Lucia I. Haskell as well as ten grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a niece and nephew.

Preceded in death were her parents, first husband William H. Picard, second husband Schuyler S. Haskell and third husband Thomas Whitehead IV.

Her memorial service will be held in the chapel this Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow.


Floy Tolbert Baird (Sept. 26, 1922 – July 17, 2017) 

Mrs. Floy Tolbert Baird, 94, of Boone, passed away Monday morning, July 17, 2017 at the Ashe Family Care Home in Todd.

Born September 26, 1922 in Caldwell County, she was the last of ten children born to Jiles Finley and Louellen Rich Tolbert. Mrs. Baird was a member of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. She retired in 1976 as a pastry baker in food services at Watauga Medical Center. 

Mrs. Baird is survived by her son, David Marshall Baird and wife, Juanita, of Mt. Airy; daughters, Helen B. Crump and husband, Jay, of Lenoir, Geneva B. Tester and husband, Bill, of Sugar Grove and Pauline B. Hayes and husband, Harold, of Palm Coast, Florida; granddaughters, Angela Barnhill of Atkinson, NC, Stacey Stewart and husband, Clint, of Marion, and Katrina Small and husband, Shannon, of Buford, GA; grandsons, Gerald Hayes and wife, Michelle of Raleigh, Dwayne Tester and wife, Kim of Boone and Scott Baird and wife, Betsy, of Boone; ten great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lucille Tolbert of Lenoir; and a number of nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and siblings, she was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Marsh Baird. 

Funeral services for Mrs. Floy Tolbert will be conducted Friday afternoon, July 21st at 2 o’clock at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel, officiated by Rev. Dwayne Tester and Rev. Burl Greer. The family will receive friends Friday afternoon from 12:30 until 2 o’clock, prior to services, at Austin & Barnes. Graveside services will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens. 

The family respectfully requests no food. Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to the Ashe Family Care Home, 523 Milt Houck Road, Todd, NC 28684. Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Baird family.


Louise Holshouser (May 19, 1911 – July 15, 2017)

Louise VonCanon Holshouser, 106, of Banner Elk, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at her home in Banner Elk. As she had always wished, she died in the family home where she was born. She was preceded in death by her 2 infant sons, her husband, William Luther Holshouser, and her son William Holshouser Jr.

Louise was born on May 19, 1911, the daughter of the late F. W. VonCanon and Bess Jennings. She graduated from Flora MacDonald College in 1933, receiving her teaching certificate. She then taught history and natural sciences at Cranberry High School and later worked as a librarian in Blowing Rock for several years. In 1935 she was married to William Holshouser of Blowing Rock. They moved to Washington D.C. in 1938 and lived there for many years. Louise cared for her children, volunteered in her church, and provided a place of welcome for people from all over the world.

Surviving are her two daughters, Laura Nunn of Arlington, VA, and Linda Holshouser of Banner Elk. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She now has family scattered all over the world from Indonesia, to The Philippines, Viet Nam, Holland and Australia. As Louise has said many time: ”I’ll always be happy as long as I have a home full of music and plenty of kids.”

A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 22, at the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church. The Reverend Feild Russell will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations to any of the following groups would be appreciated:

Banner Elk Presbyterian Church: PO Box 158 Banner Elk, NC 28604
Feeding Avery Families: P.O. Box 1075, Banner Elk, N.C. 28604
Medi Home Hospice: PO Box 1357, Newland NC 28657 

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


Brenda Calhoun Grinar (Aug. 17, 1949 – July 14, 2017)

Brenda Calhoun Grinar, 67, of Crossnore, North Carolina passed away on Friday, July 14, 2017 at Novant Brunswick Medical Center in Bolivia, NC. 

She was born on August 17, 1949 in Avery County, to the late William “Bill” Calhoun and Beulah Johnson Calhoun. She was a member of the Chestnut Dale Baptist Church. Brenda was a Respiratory Therapist at Sloop and Cannon Hospitals until her retirement. Brenda loved to go on road trips in her RV and seeing the many sites that our Country has to offer. She was an avid lover of animals, was artistic and loved working in her yard. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Jerry William Calhoun. 

Brenda leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Step-son, James Lee Thompson and wife, Melanie, and their daughter Elizabeth; Niece, Wendy Reams, husband Daniel, and their children, Kyla and Riker, of Waynesville, NC. Niece, Quincy Childers and daughter Alexa of Knoxville, TN. Beloved Chihuahua, Angel. 

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Fork Mountain Cemetery. The family will receive friends beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home. 

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


Wayne Warren (March 23, 1962 – July 13, 2017)

Wayne ‘PORKY’ Warren, 55, of Hwy 105, Boone, passed away Thursday morning, July 13, 2017 at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. Born March 23, 1962 in Watauga County, he was a son of Dave and Shelby Warren. Wayne was of the Baptist faith. He was employed as a truck driver for McCoury Nursery in Elk Park and loved boating, racing and trucking. 

Wayne is survived by his son, Dwayne Warren of Lexington; brother, David Warren & wife Julie, of Wilkesboro; sisters, Brenda Cornell and husband, Tommy, of Vilas and Sandra Warren of Morganton; special friend, Teresa Perry of Trade, TN; five nephews, Blaine, Caleb, Zack, Jonathan and Tyler, four nieces, Alisha, Lindsay, Jordan and Bailey; aunts and uncle, Helen Warren of Boone, Roy and Helen Warren of Sugar Grove and Jeanette Barkley of Waco, NC; and a number of cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dave and Shelby Warren. 

Funeral services for Wayne Warren will be conducted Sunday afternoon, July 16th, at 3 o’clock at Willow Valley Baptist Church With Rev. Ray Greene officiating. The family will receive friends from 1 until 3 o’clock, prior to services, at the church. 

At other times, the family will be at the home of Brenda and Tommy Cornell, 717 Laurel Fork Road, Vilas. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Warren family to assist with expenses. Online condolences may be shared at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Warren family.


Faye T. Cornett (Feb. 12, 1933 – July 13, 2017)

Faye T. Cornett, 84, of 901 Stone Mountain Road, Vilas, passed away Thursday morning, July 13, 2017, at her home.

Faye was born February 12, 1933 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late David and Loy Campbell James. She was a homemaker, and a member of Mountain Dale Baptist Church.

Faye is survived by her husband, Coolidge Cornett of the home; two daughters, Zola Reece of Butler, Tennessee, and Brenda Dancy and husband Gary of Zionville; two sons, Ricky Cornett, and Dexter Cornett and wife Dina, all of Vilas; two granddaughters, Donna Skillman and husband Blair of Vilas, and Crystal Holmes and husband Kelly of Winston-Salem; two grandsons, David Reece and wife Michelle of Butler, Tennessee, and Stanley Dancy of Zionville, and two nieces, Sherry Reece and husband Gary of Beaver Dam, and Marlene Oliver of Elizabethton, Tennessee. She is also survived by eight great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Lucille Cornett.

Funeral services for Faye T. Cornett will be conducted Sunday afternoon, July 16, 2017, at 3:00 o’clock, at Mountain Dale Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 2:00 until 3:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Eric Cornett and Preacher Daniel Lawrence. Burial will follow in Mountain Dale Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon, from 2:00 until 3:00
o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

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

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


Geneva F Mohr (Sept. 12, 1920 – July 13, 2017)

Geneva M. Mohr, 96, of Crossnore, North Carolina passed away on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at Cannon Memorial Hospital.

She was born on September 12, 1920 in Avery Co. County, North Carolina, a daughter of J. Arlan Franklin and Mamie Johnson Franklin.

Geneva was a 1937 graduate of Altamont Consolidated High School of Crossnore, NC and a 1942 graduate of Grace Hospital School of Nursing where she received her RN degree. She worked at Cannon Hospital in Banner Elk and for Dr. Shelby Vance. Geneva also taught nursing at Lees-McRae College. 

She was preceded in death by her Father, J. Arlan Franklin; Mother, Mamie L. Franklin; Husband, C.C Mohr; Three Brothers, Carroll Franklin, James Franklin, Thomas Franklin; Two Sisters, Frances Franklin, Annabelle Franklin; Granddaughter, Sarah M Ollis. 

Geneva leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Daughter, Margaret Ollis of Newland, NC, Daughter, Shirley M Ice of Atlanta, GA, Son, Clay F Mohr of Crossnore, NC, Daughter, Martha M Boone of Roan Mountain, TN, Grandchildren, Carol Gay, Elaine Ollis, Derek Mohr, Chan Martin, Chad Ice, Jackie Vance and Marshall Vance. Great-Grandchildren, Brian Gay, Laura Scott, Sophia Mohr, Isabella Mohr, Lucas Vance, Skyler Carver, Calvin Ice, Elaine Martin and Elizabeth Martin; Great-Great Grandchild, Turner Scott

Services for Geneva M. Mohr will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 8:00 pm from the Crossnore First Baptist Church with Rev. Lander Hefner and Dr. Phil Murdock officiating.

The family will receive friends beginning at 7:00 pm on Saturday at Crossnore Baptist Church. Interment will be in the John Johnson Cemetery Sunday July 16, 2017 at 2:00 in the afternoon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Habitat for Humanity or the Gideon’s.

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


Barbara Franks Davis (April 16, 1945 – July 12, 2017)

Barbara “Bobbie” Franks Davis, 72, of Devils Lake Drive, the Seven Devils Community, passed away Wednesday morning, July 12, 2017, at her home.

Mrs. Davis was employed at the Sock Stop of Boone for many years, and Watauga High School cafeteria.

Barbara is survived by her husband, Charles C. Davis, Sr. of the home; three daughters, Nicole Rose and husband Mark of Sanford, Nicci Chapko of Boone, and Brenda Ruth Davis Rogers of Fayetteville; three sons, Nick Chapko of Creedmore, Charles C. Davis, Jr. and wife Anna Faye of Dublin, Georgia, and Timothy L. Davis and wife Sandy of Parkton, North Carolina; one brother, Robert G. Franks, Jr., and one sister, Mary Louise Cates of Fayetteville, and seven grandchildren, Loren, Dillon, Sophia Rose, Trevor Carney, Timothy Davis, Jr., Christopher, and Gary Rogers. She is also survived by four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Robert G. Franks and Martha Krause Franks, and one son, Daniel Brent Davis.

The family will receive friends at the home, 813 Devils Lake Drive, Friday, July 14th, 2017, from 11:00 until 2:00 o’clock.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the Town of Seven Devils and all the responders and personnel, and to Tom Bookstaver.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, North Carolina, 28645.

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

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


George David Armstrong (Nov. 19, 1958 – July 11, 2017)

George David Armstrong, 58, of Blowing Rock, passed away Tuesday afternoon, July 11, 2017, at The Foley Center in Blowing Rock.

George was born November 19, 1958 in Washington, DC, the son of the late George and Edna Marchael Armstrong. George lived in the Falls Church and Reston areas of Virginia his entire life. In addition to his love of a good card game, he followed sports, especially football and was a life long Washington Redskins fan. He enjoyed working at Joyce Kilmer Center as a classroom attendant for over 20 years. We will miss his easy smile and love of going out to eat and spending time with his family.. George’s family thanks Gabriel Homes, Inc. for their caring support and guidance for the many years he lived there.

George is survived by two sisters, Sandra Parsons and husband Michael of New Port, Oregon, and Tommye A. Mangum and husband Worth of Boone; one niece, Beth Parsons of Lincoln City, Oregon, and two nephews, Jared Parsons of Los Angeles, California, and Sean Ervin and wife Melissa of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Graveside services and burial for George David Armstrong will be conducted Saturday afternoon, July 15, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Augusta Memorial Park in Waynesboro, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donors choice.

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

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

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