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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 19, 2022

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



Gerry McDade
1949 – 2022

Richard Gerald “Gerry” McDade of Blowing Rock passed away Monday July 11, 2022 at age 72 after complications from a 2021 heart procedure.

Gerry made a significant professional contribution to his community working for twenty-five years with the North Carolina judicial system as a young adult court counselor in Caldwell County. He was born and raised in Lenoir where his family lived for generations.

Combining concern for his young clients with a passionate love of the North Carolina mountains, Gerry created an outdoor adventure program that led his charges onto the highest mountains and wilderness trails of the nearby High Country.

His hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and fishing trips enhanced his youngsters’ self esteem, built confidence, inspired a love of nature, respect for the planet and the people we share it with. His groups were among the early volunteers helping Grandfather Mountain’s late 1970s trail program reclaim deteriorating trails. It wasn’t unusual for him to hear, “Mr. McDade!” on the street, and find one of “his campers” stretching out their hand.

He was also instrumental in organizing the non-profit “Caldwell Friends” organization in the early 1980s that pairs mentors with young people coping with the challenges of life and school.

Gerry wasn’t focused on academics in high school until elders at his Presbyterian church noticed the young man’s promise and regular attendance (even without other family members) and arranged a scholarship to Glade Valley School, a boarding school in Sparta.

Gerry attended and played soccer at Montreat College in the early 1970s and often recalled small student dinners at the Montreat home of Billy and Ruth Graham (longtime Montreat supporters who were married in 1943 at the school’s chapel, later named after Graham).

At Aurora University, a private college in Chicago, Gerry earned his undergraduate degree in corrections and sociology on a soccer scholarship. Closer to home, he pursued a masters in clinical psychology at Eastern Kentucky University, returning to Lenoir to get his start as a probation officer.

Gerry learned his love of the outdoors accompanying his father Earl McDade and brother Joe on visits to Blowing Rock and hikes to the waterfalls and trout pools of his beloved Wilson Creek area (where Joe earned a place in the Hall of Fame of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians).

Gerry knew that area like few other fisherman, but his career as an outdoorsman and athlete spanned the entire Southern Appalachians, and sports like cross country skiing, rock climbing, rafting and kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, and competitive road cycling, all sports he pursued even more passionately during the last 20 years of life after he retired from the court system.

At one time during the late 1980s, Gerry was a top, nationally-ranked time trial road bike racer in his age group. One friend who says he “tried to keep up” recalls, “Gerry only knew one way to ride, all out.”

Gerry was always an educator. Besides the kids he counseled, Gerry taught cross country skiing and led group ski tours with High South Nordic Guides on Roan Mountain. He loved to share his knowledge of the mountains, outdoor skills, and wisdom gained from a life spent helping others and exploring his own philosophical inclinations. That started with his parents, whose words of wisdom he often recalled at the perfect teachable moment.

Gerry was great fun to be around, but he was comfortable in his own skin and often explored the trails, streams and campsites of his mountain setting with only himself for company. He traveled the world too, places like Europe, Canada, South America, riding his motorcycle to Labrador, Alaska, Guatemala. There and in many other places, often on solo trips, he invariably made life-long friends along with epic memories.

His passion for convertible sports cars, especially Alfa Romeos, included a diverse collection of other distinctive rides, among them a “convertible” Chevy Blazer. As a dedicated “gear junkie,” he was known for his ritual gifting of outdoor gadgets.

Tall and almost “male model” handsome, McDade had rugged good looks and a big heart. One friend called him a “gentle giant.” Another said, “Gerry was courageous. But even more importantly, Gerry taught courage, independence, and self reliance. And he did it with all the love and care of an older brother.” He will be much missed.

He’s preceded in death by his mother Louise German McDade, father Earl McDade, and brothers Earl and Joseph McDade. He’s survived by nephew Phillip McDade Muma of Charlevoix, Michigan and fondly remembered by many, many friends, and girlfriend Cheryl Westbrook, whose sons Dakota and Sawyer he raised.

Celebrate Gerry’s Life:

An informal celebration of Gerry McDade’s life will be held on Wednesday July 20th, at 4 pm at Faithbridge United Methodist Church, 194 Aho Road, close to US 321 in Blowing Rock.

The gathering will take place outdoors at a prayer garden near the rushing Middle Fork of the New River, with a reception and light refreshments following.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Blue Ridge Conservancy, also very close to the church and near Gerry’s home.

Austin and Barnes Funeral Home is serving the McDade Family.



Harold J. Carlton
1941 – 2022

Harold J. Carlton, age 81, of US Hwy. 421 S., Deep Gap, passed away Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. Harold was born April l4, l941 in Watauga County to Guy and Vertie Carroll Carlton. He was a member of Stony Fork Baptist Church. Harold retired from the Ford Dealer in Boone as the used car manager.

Harold was a sweet and loving husband and father. After retirement, he always looked forward to sitting in his sunroom enjoying the view of the mountains and always with his furry buddy, ‘Tiny’ sitting by his side. Harold never met a stranger, and was the one to always start a conversation. He also enjoyed his older vehicles.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Guy and Vertie Carlton; his loving first wife, Linda Cox Carlton; sisters, Clara Lineberry and Ann Davis; brothers, Gurnie and Claude Carlton; and infant grandchildren, Troy and Melanie Ann.

He is survived by his loving wife, Joyce Hamby Carlton; son, Jeffrey Carlton and friend, Shari Radford of Statesville; daughter, Teresa Ann Carlton of North Myrtle Beach, SC, and friend, Dennis Velez of Lincolnton; step-son, Dwayne Hamby and wife, Anne, of Deep Gap; granddaughter, Laney Carlton of Gastonia; grandsons, Chad McGuire and wife, Kate, of Winston-Salem and Cody McGuire and wife, Lillian, of Charleston, SC; and four great grandchildren.

Funeral services for Harold Carlton will be conducted Saturday afternoon, July 23rd at 2 o’clock, at Stony Fork Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Sherrill Wellborn, R. D. Watson, and Rev. Phillip Woodring. The body will lie in state at the church from 1 until 2 o’clock. Graveside services will follow in the Stony Fork Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Friday evening, July 22, from 6 until 7:30, at Austin & Barnes. At other times, the family will be at the Carlton residence.

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



Janice Martel
December 23, 1949 – July 12, 2022

Janice Martel age 72, of Zionville, passed away Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

She was born December 23, 1949, in Hamilton County, Tennessee. A daughter of the late Arnold and Hilda Joyce Davis.

She is survived by her son, Jason Martel and wife Donna Kay Isaacs, one grandson, Izaiah Martel, two granddaughters, Layla and London Martel, one brother, Randy Davis and wife Stephanie and two nieces, Samantha and Casandra Davis.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

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



Margaret Jones
December 19, 1936 – July 12, 2022

Margaret Jones passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

She was born December 19, 1936, in Mount Airy, NC to the late Robert Posey Jones and Lucille Simmons Jones. After graduating from Mount Airy High School in 1955, she continued her studies at Women’s College, Greensboro, NC. Active in her faith, she was a member of Greenway Baptist Church and most recently Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Margaret moved to Boone, NC in 1960 and immediately became active in her community. While raising her three daughters, she applied her many talents helping build and provide support to local businesses, starting with a children’s shop, DeLee’s, in downtown Boone. She later enjoyed a career in hospitality and hotel management retiring in 2000. Margaret was the local chair for the March of Dimes of NC and a long-time member of the Athletics Council at Appalachian State University, advising on policies of the intercollegiate athletic programs. Margaret was proudly awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine in 1985.

Most dear to her heart, Margaret was a member of the Thursday Bridge Club which met faithfully every third Thursday for over 50 years. She also enjoyed many Saturday evenings as a founding member of the Fifty Nighters Dance Club.

Margaret is survived by three daughters Debbie Crater and husband Sonny of Charlotte, NC, Karen Graham and husband Jim of Blowing Rock, NC and Alison Sandstedt and husband Todd of Berthoud, CO. Three Grandsons, Kevin Marsh of Bozeman, Montana, Derek Sandstedt of Denver, CO and David Sandstedt of Murray, Kentucky and one Granddaughter, Madison Crater of Denver, NC. She is also survived by a niece, Gail Theard and a nephew, David Pruett both of Mount Airy, NC.

In addition to her parents, she was proceeded in death by her sister, Marianne Jones Pruett, her brother-in-law, Gary Pruett and a nephew, Paul Pruett.

A graveside service will be held at Oakdale Cemetery, 1500 N Main St., Mount Airy, NC Saturday July 30, 2022, at 11:00 AM, followed with lunch at the home of David and Kathy Pruett, 311 Howard Street, Mount Airy, NC.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Foley Center, Blowing Rock, NC and Deerfield Ridge, Boone, NC.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church Pastor Discretionary Fund, PO Box 393, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

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

Hampton Funeral Service, Boone, NC and Moody Funeral Services, Mount Airy, NC are handling arrangements.



Shirley Younce Hodges
March 20, 1935 – July 17, 2022

Mrs. Shirley Jean Younce Hodges, age 87, of 2430 Old Highway 421 South, Boone, passed away Sunday morning, July 17, 2022, at her home.

Shirley was born to Howard and Parlee Younce March 20, 1935, in Watauga County. She graduated from Cove Creek High School in 1953. Shortly after in January 1954, Shirley married her love, Ralph Edsel Hodges, and they began their life in the Rutherwood community. Together, they had two children, Chris and Mitzi. While raising their children she worked in various roles and retired as a social worker with Project on Aging.

Shirley earned the name “Nana” after the birth of her first grandchild. She made the name famous with her sweet spirit and welcoming hugs. She enjoyed flower gardening, cooking, and hosting parties for family and friends. She took care of those she loved, delivering homemade food and cakes, and making frequent visits. She was an active member of Rutherwood Baptist Church and was not shy about sharing her faith as a Christian. Her life reflected her relationship with Jesus, and she lived her life in service to the Kingdom.

Shirley is survived by one son, Chris Hodges and wife Amy of Boone; one daughter, Mitzi Hodges Wallace and husband Doug of Boone; four grandchildren, Andrew Wallace and wife Gloria, Staci Norris and husband Seth; Landon Wallace and wife Karami, and Spencer Hodges and wife Bailey, all of Boone; eleven great-grandchildren, Lyla, Aliyah, Will, Parker and Selah Norris, Charlie, Jocelyn, and Cale Wallace, Ellie and Tucker Wallace, and Ava Hodges, all of Boone. One brother, Huston Younce of Lake Lure; one sister Judy Younce Norris and husband Dudley of Bethel, along with numerous nieces and nephews, and numerous special caregivers.

In addition to her husband Edsel and parents, she was preceded in death by one grandson, Christopher Hodges, with whom she shared a special bond and friendship.

Funeral services for Mrs. Shirley Hodges will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, July 19, 2022, at 2:00 o’clock, at Rutherwood Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 12:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Seth Norris and Reverend Tim Dockery.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 until 2:00, prior to the service.

Mask are appreciated.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Rutherwood Baptist Church and the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Online condolence may be sent to the Hodges family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

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