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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 4, 2024

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

Valerie Miller Dotson

November 18, 1937 ~ May 24, 2024

Mrs. Valerie Miller Dotson, age 86, of Sampson Road, Boone, the Aho community, passed away Friday evening, May 24, 2024 at her home.  Born November 18, 1937 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of William Stokes and Aggie Storie Miller.

Valerie is survived by her daughter, Vicky Dotson Garvey and husband, Freddie, of Boone and son, Eric Starr Dotson of Newnan, Ga.; grandchildren, Stephanie Lynn Horai and Michael Ted Horai, both of Charlotte and Connor Dotson of Newnan, Ga.; brothers, Kent Miller of Lenoir and Michael Miller and wife, Becky, of Boone; and sister, Kay Mullen and husband, Bill, of Coral Springs, Fl.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ted Wayne Dotson and daughter-in-law, Billie Jean Dotson.

Graveside services for Valerie Dotson will be conducted Monday, June 3, 2024 at 12 noon at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock, officiated by Rev. Larry Young and Rev. and Rev. Joey Byrd.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Amorem Hospice, 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.

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

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

David Bruce Norris

December 15, 1949 ~ May 27, 2024

David Bruce Norris, age 74, of Pine Branch Road, Boone, passed away Monday morning, May 27, 2024 at Watauga Medical Center.  Born December 15, 1949 in Watauga County, he was the son of Bruce Blackburn Norris and Mary Louis Greene Norris who preceded his in death.   

David is survived by his wife, Davetta ‘Dee’ La-Joyce Holycross Norris; daughters, Kristine Austin of Spruce Pine, Jennifer Dave (Justin) of Southport, NC and Marianne Maddux (Scott) of Cape Coral, Fl; five grandchildren, David Austin, Rebecca Herring, Makayla and Zackary Dove and Matthew Duffina; five great-grandchildren; and his children, Ryan Norris and Kera Ramfelt.

Celebration of Life Services for David Norris will be scheduled at a later date.

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

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

LaVonne Sophia (Henke) Constans

May 30, 1940 ~ May 30, 2024

LaVonne was born on May 30th, 1940 in Hutchinson, MN to parents Fred Henke and Sophie Dostal Henke. She was raised on her family farm, along with her brothers and sisters: Alvin, Harvey, David, Jerry, Roger, Eve and Carol. She was the first girl born to the family after 4 boys. After high school, LaVonne moved to the Twin Cities and attended beauty school. In 1979, Lavonne and her husband Brent Constans moved to Rocky Mount, NC along with their daughters, Kim and Kathy. In March of 2022, she moved into The Foley Center in Blowing Rock, NC.

LaVonne enjoyed growing flowers, tending to house plants, painting, fishing, spending time with her beloved grandson Gregory, volunteering for hospice, traveling, collecting shells on the beach and collecting special rocks. LaVonne was dedicated to agriculture, enjoying a long career working for an agricultural supply company. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Fred and Sophie Henke, and her brother Roger. LaVonne is survived by her grandson Gregory Lamm and fiancé’ Jessica Mugford of Florida, daughter Kim Constans and her significant other Denver Plude of Vilas, NC and her daughter Kathy Lamm and significant other Chris Jacobs of Rock Hill, SC.

LaVonne died peacefully on her 84th birthday, with family by her side.

Services for LaVonne will be held at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, MN, date to be decided.

Stephen Thomas Larned

August 19, 1985 – May 27, 2024

Stephen Thomas Larned age 38 of Boone, passed away Monday, May 27, 2024.

He was born August 19,1985, in Miami, Florida. A son of Elrod Larned and the late Connie Cowan Larned.

He is survived by his father, Elrod Larned of Boone; three daughters, Selah Noelle, Mercy Gabrielle, and Taliah Joy all of Lenoir; one sister, Christine Berry and husband Phillip of Boone; two brothers, Joseph Larned and wife Dana of Boone and Phillip Larned and wife Michelle of Lowell, Massachusetts; nieces and nephews, Eric Thomas Zimbelmann, Kyle Jordan, Emily Lynn Zimbelmann, Haylei Renee, Ava Brook, Sarah Danielle and Samantha, great-nieces, Mia and Stella and the mother of his children, April Larned of Lenoir.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Connie Cowan Larned, maternal grandparents, Tommy and Johnnie Mae Cowan, paternal grandparents, Elrod, and Hester Larned and one aunt, Joan Larned.

A memorial service will be conducted Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 2:00 PM at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund for his three daughters is being set up.

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

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

Mary Lillian Greene Hagaman McCrary

January 4, 1934 – May 30, 2024

Mary Lillian Greene Hagaman McCrary, age 90 of Sugar Grove passed away Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

She was born January 4, 1934, in Watauga County. A daughter of the late Reverend Dave Greene and Mary Isaacs Greene. She was retired from Shadowline and was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church.

She is survived by one daughter, Betty Hagaman Henson and Joe of Sonora, Kentucky; one son, Joe Allen Hagaman and wife Janet of Sugar Grove; one granddaughter, Adrianna Masters and husband Eric of Louisville, Kentucky; three grandsons, Ben Henson and wife KC of Wilmington, North Carolina; Jay Hagaman and wife Lisa of Todd, North Carolina and Jesse Hagaman and wife Heather of Sugar Grove; eight great-grandchildren, Emma, Paige, Faith, Daxton, Raylon, Chainey, Zack and Stevie, and two brothers, Ronda Greene of Dyersburg, Tennessee and JC Greene of Vilas.

In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by her first husband, Donald Hagaman, her second husband, Rufus McCrary, three sisters, Kate, Jean and Lucille, and five brothers, Richard, Jack, Tommy, Glenn and Dwight Greene.

Funeral services will be conducted 4:00 PM Sunday, June 2, 2024, at Zion Hill Baptist Church. Interment will follow in Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. Reverend Jeremy Hull will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 3:00 until 4:00, prior to the service.

The family would like to express the appreciation to Amorem Hospice and Glenbridge Health and Rehab for their care and compassion.

The family respectfully request no food. Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Amorem Hospice.

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

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

Juanita Jean Ramsey

September 28, 1931 – May 31, 2024

Mrs. Juanita Jean Ramsey, 92, of Banner Elk, died Friday, May 31, 2024, at Watauga Medical Center.  Born September 28, 1931, in Rutherford County, she was a daughter of the late James A. and Nannie Hogan Ramsey and wife of the late Paul Boyd Ramsey.

Mrs. Ramsey was a retired Nurse.

Other than her husband and parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings, John Ramsey, Geneva Coffey, James Ramsey, Jr., and Frances Rhodes.

She is survived by her son, Paul Ramsey of Banner Elk; daughter, Cynthia Ramsey of Hughes Community, NC; 3 Grandchildren, John Rash, Barbara Rash and Kera Thomason and 4 Great-Grandchildren, Nicholas, Samantha, Kona and Cassia; one sister, Kathy.

A Graveside Service will be conducted at 2:00 PM Sunday at the Smith Cemetery in Avery County.  In case of rain, the family will meet at Arbordale Presbyterian Church at 2:00 PM Sunday.

Online condolences may be sent to the Ramsey Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

Hampton Funeral Service of Boone is in charge of arrangements.

Reverend Paul Coffey

May 19, 1935 – May 31, 2024

Reverend Paul Coffey, age 89, died Friday, May 31, 2024, at his home.  Born May 19, 1935, in Wilkes County, he was a son of the late James Fletcher and Stella Mae Reynolds Coffey and husband of the late Dorothy Blevins Coffey.

Other than his wife and parents, he is preceded in death by siblings, Floyd, Henry, Manley, Lula, John, Cecil, William, Clyde, Mamie Ruth, and James Frank.

He is survived by his daughter, Shelia Coffey Christofalos and husband Nick of Asheville; his Granddaughter, Alex Christofalos of Asheville; and one sister, Ruth Severt and husband Wayne of Hayes, NC.

Reverend Coffey was a graduate of Mountain View High School (Class of 1954).  After High School, he was hired by Duke Power Company in N. Wilkesboro as a Line Dispatch Operator. He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Blevins on July 13, 1956.  He received his certificate of ordination on March 1, 1970, and graduated from Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in May 1970.  

He served as Airman Second Class in the U.S. Air Force 1956-1959 and was stationed at Dhahran Air Base in Saudi Arabia where he was a communications specialist.  He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal.

Reverend Coffey served as a Pioneer Mission Pastor in Northeast Ohio for 8 years.  He later pastored several churches before coming to the Deep Gap Community where he pastored 3 churches, Trinity Baptist Church, Gap Creek Baptist Church and Emmanuel Baptist Church where he would later retire.  His service of ministry spanned 50 years from 1966-2016.  He held several leadership positions in the Stone Mountain Association and taught Seminary Extension Classes.

He also had a love of service to his community.  He served as Scout Master of Mountain View Boy Scout Troop, was a volunteer fireman, part-time hospital chaplain and a volunteer Jr. High School Counselor.

Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 AM Monday, June 3, 2024, at Emmanuel Baptist Church with Reverend Billy Norris officiating.  Burial with Military Honors will follow in the Gap Creek Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00, one hour prior to the service at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to:  Amorem Hospice, 902 Kirkwood Drive, Lenoir, NC 28645.

Online condolences may be sent to the Coffey Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

Hampton Funeral Service of Boone is in charge of arrangements.

Sharon Maltba Underwood

September 21, 1951 – June 2, 2024

Sharon Maltba Underwood age 73 of 129 Mystery Hill Lane, Blowing Rock, wife of Wayne Underwood passed away Sunday, June 2, 2024, at The Foley Center.

She was born September 21, 1951, in Boone. A daughter of the late James Russel Maltba and Betty Sue White Maltba. She loved living in the mountains and working in the family business. She loved roses, wildflowers, enjoyed  walks on the Greenway and was a fabulous cook. She was a sweet and compassionate person that always put others before herself and was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

She is survived by her husband R. Wayne Underwood of Blowing Rock; three sons, Matthew Underwood and wife Angie of Lenoir, Mark Underwood and wife Crystal of Blowing Rock and Lucas Underwood and wife Alexandria of Blowing Rock; three granddaughters, Montana Smith and husband Mark of Boone; Cheyenne Rupard and husband Clay of Boone and Jessica Underwood of Blowing Rock, two grandsons, Brock Underwood of Charlotte and Roarke Underwood and wife Caitlyn of Boone; great-grandchildren, Jemmye, Eli, Chloe, Lucas, Nathan and Jane, one sister, Audrey Maltba of Lenoir; one brother, Jeffery Maltba of Hudson and daughter-in-law, Debbie Heaton and husband Jim of Boone. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date. 

In memory of Sharon, flowers may be sent to Mystery Hill for a tribute for her love of flowers.

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

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

Virginia Holman Jones

May 5, 1940 – June 2, 2024

Virginia Holman Jones, age 84 of Boone passed away Sunday may 2, 2024, at Watauga Medical Center.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements

Beulah Watson

October 31, 1939 – June 3, 2024

Beulah Watson age 84 of Boone passed away Monday, June 3, 2024, at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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

Steve Cecil Carpenter

Oct 21, 1959 – May 25, 2024

Steve Carpenter, age 64, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at his residence.

He was born on October 21, 1959 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of Mary Ruth Crump Carpenter of Newland and the late William Cecil Carpenter.

Steve worked for many years in the furniture industry for Henredon and Drexel Heritage. He retired from Avery Machine and Welding, where he worked as a Welder. He enjoyed fishing, working on cars, and collecting coins and old money.

He was preceded in death by his father, William Cecil Carpenter; wife, Deborah Ann Carpenter, who passed away on January 13, 2022; two Brothers, Phillip Dale Carpenter, William Sherman Carpenter.
Steve leaves behind to cherish his memory daughter, Cortney Carpenter of Newland, NC; son, Steven (Carrie) Carpenter of Newland, NC; three granddaughters, Erica Hope Carpenter, Zoe Grace Carpenter, Lauryn Faith Hughes; grandson, Kayden Carpenter; two brothers, Norman Carpenter of Newland, NC, Richard Carpenter of Newland, NC; four sisters, Betty Ann (Mike) Boyd of Morganton, NC, Brenda Williamson of Morganton, NC, Lola Carpenter of Newland, NC, Cindy (Steve) Thomas of Newland, NC.
A joint service to celebrate both the lives of Steve and Debbie Carpenter will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2024 beginning at 3:00 pm from the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Donald Gragg officiating. Interment will follow in the Daniels Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Thursday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Carpenter family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net

Mark Childress

Jun 15, 1967 – May 27, 2024

In loving memory of Roger “Mark” Childress, who unexpectedly passed away
on May 27th, surrounded by his family. His spirit of adventure was
apparent from a young age when he rode on the front bumper of his dad’s
truck from Crossnore to Newland.

Mark’s motto was “live to ride and ride to live.” When he wasn’t working
or spending time with his family, you could find him riding his Harley,
the wind on his back and a smile on his face.

Mark’s love for his family knew no end. He was the epitome of a devoted son, brother, dad, uncle, cousin, and Poppy. He leaves behind a legacy of unconditional love and unwavering support that will be cherished forever.

Mark is preceded in death by his father, Roger “Clay” Childress, his
brother, Ronald Childress, his stepfather, Walter “Bud” Puett, and his
wife, Jackie Childress. He is survived by his loving mother, Juanita
Puett; his sister, Shelia Childress Kramer and brother-in-law, Bill
Kramer. Sister Rebecca Childress Smith, and his past wife and friend,
Michelle B. Childress.

Mark’s memory will forever live on through his children: his daughter
Kayla Shields and son-in-law James; his son Preston Childress and his
girlfriend Veronica Clark; his daughter Seigie Lee and son-in-law Erick;
his daughter Heather Gwyn and son-in-law Jason; and his daughter Skylar
Wilson and son-in-law Justin. He was a cherished Poppy to Ashton, Asher,
Raylein, Grayson, Evermay, Brylee, Amara, and Kinsley. Mark’s love
extended beyond his immediate family, and he treated his many nieces and
nephews as if they were his own. Mark loved to have a full house, and he
was the greatest turkey-frying grill-master.

The void left by Mark’s passing is immeasurable, and his absence will be
deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His love,
kindness, and contagious spirit have left a Mark on our lives, and we will
forever cherish the memories we shared with him.

As we say goodbye, for now, to our Mark, we share the Biker’s Prayer that
reminds us of his adventurous soul:

“Don’t cry for me, I still ride free, with the wind upon my face,
Leather in black, the sun on my back,
A priceless gift of God’s grace.
I’ll never grow old, on these streets of gold, chasing a majestic sunset,
and I still recall, how I love you all,
sweet memories I won’t forget.
And when your road ends, we’ll meet again,
Inside the Pearly Gates,
And we’ll laugh awhile and ride for miles,
But for now, Heaven can wait.
When you do get here, don’t shed one tear,
and think that I’m in hiding,
Just search Heaven’s shore, where engines roar,
and you’ll find that I’ve gone riding.”

Memorial ride June 15th starting at 10 am. Kick stands up at 11 am.
Meeting spot at the old Lowe’s parking lot in Newland and ending at Shell Creek in
Roan Mountain. The celebration of life starts at 4 pm at Shell Creek.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the
faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

William “Bill” Elder

Mar 26, 1937 – May 29, 2024

William Guignard Elder went over the mountain May 29th, 2024. Son of William Taft and Mary Guignard Elder of Banner Elk, Bill enjoyed life, delighted in his friends & family, revered business, and loved Avery County, not always in that order. Born in 1937, his life took him to Burlington, NC; Belle Glade, FL; Banner Elk / Beech Mtn, NC; Brushy Mtn / North Wilkesboro, NC, and across the country many times, though his heart and home were always beautiful, cool Avery County and the wonderful people from, and drawn to, the Western NC Mountains.

From underage long-haul truck driving (“The Kid”); to apple, peach, strawberry, native mountain shrubbery farming (“Farmer Bill”), to land prospecting and development (Woodland Meadows), to tourism & event transportation (Elder Transportation), to storages (Beech Mountain Mini-Storage), among other pursuits, Bill thrived on building niche businesses. He was a devoted life/ business/ dance partner to his now-deceased wife-then-ex, Jan Robbins Elder, as well as to their very fortunate kids, Billy (Katie) of Banner Elk, NC, and Lora of Napa, CA; and his lively siblings, inlaws, and their families, namely Mary Frances & Charlie Frisbie, Cliff & Kathy Elder, John & Olga Elder, and Mike & Diane Robbins.

Bill also loved to create fun with his friends and family, teasing and flirting, dancing and eating, and spearheading annual good ole boy spring breaks that involved hunting, fishing, sightseeing, and heavy amounts of humor, pranks, and bourbon. His final years were split between CA and Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living in Boone, NC where his natural charm and persistence were strong. A huge note of gratitude to the Deerfield team who were incredible with his care and appetite. Additionally, a special message of thanks to the great Jorine Olson for the love and devotion to Bill’s happiness, well-being, dignity, and supply of fig newtons.

A service will be held Thursday, June 6th, 2:30pm at his former home of the Overlook Barn, 830 Elderberry Ridge Road on his beloved Beech Mountain, officiated by his friend and pastor, the Rev. Tee Gatewood.

Unless you can transplant an azalea in the middle of the night, donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Arbordale Presbyterian Church of Banner Elk, https://www.arbordalechurch.org/, or Lees McRae College https://www.lmc.edu/giving/index.htm .

For the many loved ones, siblings, inlaws, nephews, niece, dear cousins aplenty, friends, girlfriends, caregivers, business associates, tombstone buddies & beyond who loved Bill, please know that train ran both ways.

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland, (828) 733-2121, is handling the arrangements. Memories may be shared with the Elder family by visiting www.rsfh.net.