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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 26, 2022

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



Ivan Roger Morehouse
1944 – 2022

Ivan Roger Morehouse died at the age of 77 on Sunday July 17, 2022 in Blowing Rock, North
Carolina. Following a head injury and subsequent hospitalization, Roger returned to his home
to spend his last days with his beloved Appalachian mountains in sight.

On the far side of those mountains, in the fertile land of Eastern Kentucky, Roger was born and raised on a small farm outside Morehead with siblings Robert, Wanda Geneva, Otis, and Brenda. Surviving early childhood illness, he was able to stay in school, go to college at Morehead State and medical school at the University of Kentucky. There he met his wife, Nancy, and together they wove a life of doctoring, gardening, wildflower-viewing, and
homemaking. They reared three rambunctious sons, John, Hayes, and Martin, and also hosted numerous foreign-student sons and daughters. In addition to his wife of 54 years and his sons, he is survived by three grandchildren. Roger showed his love for family, friends and patients by
baking cakes for birthdays, giving hugs when needed, and cracking jokes when inappropriate. Roger’s life brought him far away from his origins, but he always found a way to maintain a connection to the land and his upbringing through gardening. He treasured his “Little Hillside Farm” in the New River Valley of Virginia where he grew sweet corn and tomatoes and watched the birds and sunsets from his back porch. In honor of his love for the land and in tribute to his favorite author, Wendell Berry, the family asks that any donations be made to The Berry Center
or their conservation charity of choice.



James Alexander “Jim” Chaney
1936 – 2022

James Alexander ‘Jim’ Chaney, Jr., age 86, of Vilas, passed away Monday, July 18, 2022 at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation of Boone.

Graveside services for Jim Chaney will be conducted Friday afternoon, July 29, 2022 at 2 o’clock at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock. Officiating will be Rev. Rick Cornejo.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Medical Services of America, Inc. 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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



Deborah P. Greene
1973 – 2022

Deborah Phillippi Greene (“Debbie”) of Blowing Rock, NC passed away on July 18, 2022 at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC. She was born to Richard Phillipi and Juanita Peters Jones on April 4, 1973.

Deborah was a finance manager at World Finance and loved meeting new people, cooking, reading, and was always looking forward to traveling.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 17 years, Joel Steven Greene. She is survived by: a daughter, Parker Edminsten of TN; one brother, Michael Gallegher of Bristol, TN; one cousin, Rella (Hal) Duke of Milledgeville, GA; and a stepmother, Mary Philippi of Pasadena, MD.

Funeral services for Ms. Deborah Phillippi Greene will be conducted Friday, July 21, 2022 at 3 o’clock at the Austin and Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock at Austin and Barnes Funeral Home. Online condolences may be shared with the Greene family at: www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Greene family.



Pinkie Ruby Church
1930 – 2022

Pinkie was born in the Grandfather community 6/16/1930 and lived in Foscoe on Church Hollow Road all her married life.

She had 7 siblings, 2 sisters Goldie, Sylvia and 4 brothers Varden, Dempsey, Clint, Frank and her only surviving sibling, Dwight Shook. She and her late husband, Calvin [Cecil] Church had 3 children Carolyn Parsons, Betty Ann Hodges [Warren] and Michael Church [Bonnie]; 6 grandchildren David Shoemake [Theresa], Jeffrey Luttrell, Laura Jane Blood [Jeff], Mark Luttrell [Kassi], Meredith Pipes [Jesse], Olivia Vallecillo-Miller [Jason] and 9 great grandchildren, David Tyler Shoemake, Alyssa Shoemake Akers, Jason Luttrell, Damian Luttrell, Tyler Luttrell, Troy Luttrell, Vivian Vallecillo, Winona Pipes and Amelia Pipes.

Pinkie was beautiful, intelligent and witty. She enjoyed watching birds, planting flowers and hosting her family for special events – especially Christmas. She spent her last days in Banner Elk Lifecare center before entering her heavenly home on July 24th, 2022.

There will be a private memorial service at a later date.

Donations in her honor can be made to Amorem Support [Hospice] https://www.amoremsupport.org/



Reba Palmer Miller
June 1, 1924 – July 20, 2022

Reba Palmer Miller, age 98, passed away peacefully at Trinity Ridge in Hickory on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. She was a devoted Christian, wife, mother and grandmother.

She was born and raised in Beech Creek, NC. She lived in Boone for over 86 years, where she was a member of Boone United Methodist Church.

Reba’s pastimes included being an avid and impressive quilter, maintaining her vegetable and flower gardens, cooking, and doting on family.

She worked in various occupations, including a stay at home mom, old Appalachian State Teachers College Food Services (where she started at age 14 with sister Colonia), Boone Drug, Eckerd’s, and IRC/TRW.

She is survived by her son, Danny Miller (Lauri) of Boone; Son in Laws: Henry Weaver of Concord; and Tommy Cline of Cary. Grandchildren: Scott Miller (Tina) of Hickory; Kelly Jones Holland (Jonathan) of Crossville; TN; Wayne Jones, Jr. of Crossville, TN; Leslie Cline Couch (Brian) of Fuquay Varina; Jeff Cline (Jennifer) of Fuquay Varin;: Richard Miller of Boone; and Emily Miller of Asheville. Nine great grandchildren. Her Sister in Law, Della Miller of Lincolnton. Several nieces and nephews.

Reba is preceded in death by: her parents, Roy and Saphronia Palmer; her husband, Larna Miller; her daughters: Ann Miller Jones, Sallie Miller Weaver, and Jane Miller Cline. Her siblings: Calonia Palmer Hampton, Eunice Palmer Miller, Burl Palmer, Helen Palmer Horton, Clarence Palmer, and Nelda Palmer Smith.

Funeral services for Reba Palmer Miller will be conducted Sunday, July 24, 2022, at 3:00 PM at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. Reverend Hugh Whitfield will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00, prior to the service.

May she rest in peace and reunite in Heaven with her loved ones.

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

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



Charles & Betty Welch
July 22, 2022

Charles Edward “Eddie” Welch age 67, of Boone passed away June 30, 2022, and Betty Gail Welch age 64, of Boone passed away October 14, 2021.

A memorial service for Eddie and Betty will be conducted Saturday, August 13, 2022, at Holy Communion Lutheran Church, at 3:00 PM. Interment will follow in Holy Communion Lutheran Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00, prior to the service.

The family suggest that memorials be made to the Holy Communion Scholarship Fund c/o Mary Ellen Studstrup, 130 Winterberry Trail, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

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



Katherine Irene Payne
November 16, 1935 – July 23, 2022

Katherine Irene Payne, age 86, of Hendersonville, passed away Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Carolina Caring.

She was born November 11, 1935, in Watauga County. A daughter of the late Fred E. Payne and Hazel Greene Payne. She attended Appalachian High School graduating in 1954. She furthered her education at Charlotte Memorial School of nursing graduating in 1956 as a RN. She had a long career of nursing of forty years retiring from Pardee Hospital in 1999.

She is survived by two sisters, Carol J. Politte and Carolyn Janette Payne Hollar and husband Bob, one brother Vilas Payne and wife Stena, eight nieces Lavonda Payne, Angel Payne Teague and husband Jim, Debra Payne Cope, Caroline Politte Aleman and husband Gene, Misti Payne Coffey and husband Jody, Michelle Payne Scott and wife Staci, Cherie Hollar, Sonya H. Schofield and husband Hunter and Cathy Rae Lowther and husband Frank; four nephews, Richard Hester and wife Dannelle, Anthony Hester and wife Julie, Brian Payne and Baron Hollar and wife Malanie. She is also survived by a number of great nieces, and great nephews and great-great nieces and great-great nephews.

In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by three siblings, Vaughn C. Payne, Glenn R. Payne, and McDonald Payne and two nephews Reginald Payne and Ethan Hester.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at Mountain View Baptist Church at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Reverend Branton Burleson and Reverend Sherrill Wellborn will officiate.

The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers or food memorials may be made to Carolina Caring Hospice at www.carolinacaring.org or to Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery Fund 215 Mtn. View Road, Deep Gap, North Carolina 28618.

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

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



Dr. Richard Samuel “Dick” Bransford
September 3, 1940 – July 23, 2022

Dr. Richard Samuel “Dick” Bransford, age 81, of Boone, passed away Saturday, July 23, 2022, at his home.

He was born September 3, 1940, in Long Beach, California. A son of the late Richard and Rubye Bransford. Dick loved the Lord Jesus and served with his family 36 years in Africa as a missionary surgeon. He lovingly cared for his patients with a heart of compassion. His greatest desire was to meet the needs of neglected and disabled children. He never hesitated to go to some of the most dangerous and hard to reach places to provide medical care to the most marginalized populations. Even after retirement to Boone, NC in 2011 he continued to travel to Africa multiple times a year to train surgeons and served on many Samaritan’s Purse emergency response teams all over the world. Many of Dick’s children and grandchildren share his same passion to serve the neediest like Jesus did and share the Hope of His Gospel. His vision will continue through the many medical professionals he intentionally mentored during his life. Though he will be greatly missed, he is now with his Savior, the Lord Jesus, and reunited with many of the kids he loved and cared for sacrificially.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Millie, of 57 years, older brother, Jack Bransford, Son, Chris Bransford and wife, Rebekah and sons, Levi, Nate, Caleb and Joshua, Son, Rick Bransford and wife, Joy and children Kezia, Ben, Gabes, Ethan and Poppy, Daughter, Bethany and husband Edward Densham and children, Kyran and Alessandra. Son, Jon Bransford and wife, Jeni, and children Graci, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, Daughter, Susan “Kat” and husband Tom Davis, and children Kara, Calvin, Summer, and Zach, Sons, Joshua, and Philip Bransford.

A memorial service will be conducted Friday July 29, 2022, at 1:00 PM at Alliance Bible Fellowship. The family will receive following the service.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Bethany Kids at www.bethanykids.org

The service will be livestreamed at: https://abfboone.online.church/

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

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



Robert A. Foley
September 8, 1935 – July 24, 2022

Robert A. Foley, age 86, of Boone passed away Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Moses H. Cone Hospital.

He was born September 8, 1935, in Rockingham County, North Carolina. A son of the late Grover and Mary Foley. He was the owner of Foleys Auction and was a member of Gate City Baptist Church.

He is survived by three sons, Robert A. Foley, Jr., and wife Sarah of Greensboro; Timothy Mark Foley of Boone and James Richard Foley of Millers Creek;  three grandsons, Cameron Foley, Ian Foley, and Benjamin Foley all of Greensboro; one granddaughter, Kassidy Southerland and husband Will of Mountain City, Tennessee; one sister, Annie Harris of Patrick Spring, Virginia and one brother, James Foley of Patrick Springs, Virginia.

In addition to his father and mother he was preceded in death by his wife Faye Hardy Foley, two brothers, Clyde, and Ralph Foley, and two sisters, Donna Foley Ray and Margaret F. Shumate.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, July 28, 2022, at 3:00 PM, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Larry Wilson will officiate. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Jude Tribute Program at www.stjude.org

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

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



Dolores Miller Blanton
June 6, 1929 – July 14, 2022

Dolores Miller Blanton, aged 93, died on July 14,2022 at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Boone. NC. Born on June 6,1929 in Akron, Ohio, she was the daughter of William and Virginia Miller. She had four brothers: Bill, Eddie, Al, (all deceased) and Mike. She is survived by her son John (Vickie), son David, grandchildren Andy Blanton (Tracy), Jesse Blanton (Hanh), Amber Waters (Levi), and great grandchildren Avery, Ollie, Grayson, Mena, Janet, and River.

“Dee” as she was known throughout her life grew up in and graduated high school in Luray, Virginia. She then became a registered nurse after schooling in Harrisonburg, Va. The family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the 1950’s where she met William Neal Blanton, who was studying at Emory University to become a Methodist minister. They married in 1953. Bill was ordained into the Western Conference of the Methodist church in North Carolina. The Blantons spent the next 37 years in service at a number of different Methodist churches throughout western and piedmont North Carolina. Dee worked as a RN at various hospitals in the areas near these churches, primarily as an operating room nurse. In 1992 they retired to Linville Land Harbor, where Bill continued to serve at various Methodist churches in Avery, Watauga, and Burke counties. Dee was always active in the churches, especially the women’s groups.

Dee’s great joys in her life included family gatherings, most particularly Thanksgiving. She was especially noted for making a huge amount of a great variety of styles of cookies. She was also noted for her wedding cakes as well. Her hobbies also included painting, needlepoint, and quilt making. Her father was a carpenter and she inherited his love of wood working. Some of the pieces she made included two roll top desks, captain’s beds

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

The care of Dolores and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.(828) 733-2121