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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 1, 2023

Graphic by Ashley Poore.

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



Arthur Jipson
1956 – 2023

Arthur Willis Jipson of Boone passed away Thursday, January 12, 2023. Born September 7, 1956, in Portland, Maine to Roland Cecil Jipson and Doris Elizabeth Gardiner.

Arthur spent his years working as a Sieu Chef at the Blowing Rock Country Club and spent his free time with his beloved dog, Molly and various other animals or indulging in one of his many hobbies which included, cooking, tending to his garden, hiking, working on his car or on the computer.

He is survived by his children, Micheal Arthur Jipson, Danielle Elizabeth Burfine, Amanda Lynn Jipson Olfano, Caitlin Leigh Jipson and their mother Elizabeth Rothenberger; grandchildren, Joseph Ross Olfano IV, Ricky Arthur Olfano, Maximus Scott Olfano, Sophia Reign Elizabeth Olfano, Jazmyne Nicoya Burfine, Austin Riley Burfine; great-grandchildren, Layla Nicoya Vidal; sister, Victoria Anne Jipson

Memorial Services are to be held and announced at a later date. Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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



David Milton Kimbel
Thursday, February 23, 2023

David Milton Kimbel, Jr. passed away peacefully on February 23,2022 in Boone, NC. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he is survived by his sister, Dr. Maggie Kimbel Sparks, his nieces, Megan Sparks Corrales and Jessica Caitlin Sparks, and his cousins Thomas Wedekind and Don Seitz. He was predeceased by his wife Chieko Kimbel in 2017. David served in the U. S. Army Reserves during the Vietnam War. He had an alfalfa sprout growing business for many years in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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



Rafael Atilano Ruiz
1967 – 2023

Rafael Atilano Ruiz, age 55, of Banner Elk, passed away, Monday, February 20, 2023.

He is survived by his mother, Marcelinu Ruiz Mariano, four daughters, Drana Karina Atilano, Daniela Karina Atilano, Luz Glena Atilano Ruiz and Abril Lizbeth Atilano and three sons, Rafael Atilano, Humberto Atilano and Maximilliano Atilano.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be sent to the Ruiz family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

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



Geneva Norris Hayes
1934 – 2023

Geneva Norris Hayes, better known as “Nanny” age 88, of Blowing Rock passed away on February 20, 2023 at Watauga Medical Center of Boone.

She was born August 22, 1934, in Watauga County to the late Claude and Holly Norris. She was a member of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church and was a “homemaker” for most of her life. She took great pride in being a Nanny to not only her grandchildren, but everyone around her.

In addition to her father and mother, she was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Hayes, brothers, Audna Norris, Cecil Norris, Elmer Norris, Jeff Norris, Hubert Norris, Glenn Norris, sisters, Lola Greene, Gertrude Norris, Laura Norris and Mary Elizabeth Norris, mother-in-law Roxie Hayes, brother-in-law Famon Hayes and wife Ruth, sister-in-law Georgie Lewis and husband Fred and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Hayes is survived by a daughter, Susie Hampton and husband Morris, three granddaughters, Brandy Hayes and partner Brad of Deep Gap, Jennifer Triplett and husband Jack of Blowing Rock, Julie Edmisten and husband John of Sugar Grove, 5 great grandchildren, Kendra Wyatt of Deep Gap, Kenden Critcher of Sugar Grove, Kolt Brown of Deep Gap, Hayden Critcher of Sugar Grove, and Hadley Ivey of Deep Gap. And her beloved dog, Bonnie.

She is also survived by 6 nephews, Garry, Dick, Bud, Joe, Ted, Jearl Norris, and Ronnie Lewis and 5 nieces, Debbie Matheson, Pat and Anita Cook, and Glenda and Evelyn Lewis.

The funeral services will be conducted Sunday February 26, 2023, at 3:00 PM at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Burl Jones and Pastor Tim Dockery will officiate. Interment will follow at Rhymer Cemetery in Triplett, NC.

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

Serving as pallbearers will be, Jason Cook, Piv Cook, Nate Cook, Preston Dishman, Mike Tester and Darren Wallace. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Jeffery Norris and Kevin Norris.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Amorem Hospice at 902 Kirkwood Street Lenoir, NC 28645.

The family would like to send a special thanks to the nursing staff at Watauga Medical Center, and especially to Alix Gaddy, Ashley Bracamonte, Drema Farmer, Jamie McLeod, Lindsey Smith, Kelly Trivette and Caroline Russel for their care during this difficult time.
Online condolences may be sent to the Hayes family at, www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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



Coy Jones Miller
1938 – 2023

Heaven became a little bit sweeter. Coy Jones Miller entered through heaven’s gates on Thursday, February 23, 2023.

Born on December 11, 1938, Coy was the son of the late Jones Luther Miller and Doris Hodges Miller and graduated from Blowing Rock High School in 1957. Coy was well known for his many pranks and never met a stranger. He had the gift of meeting someone, and within five minutes, knew where they were from, who their mom and dad were, what job they had and if they were happy doing it. Coy worked in manufacturing most of his life and served as plant manager at Blue Ridge Shoe, Timberland, and Carroll Leather Goods. He was dearly loved by those he worked with. In addition to being a prankster, Coy had a robust sweet tooth. The Banana Puddings, cakes and pies that was consumed by Coy was amazing. His love for God and family was exhibited everyday by his actions and love for others. He was truly a special person who loved big and cherished every minute of life.

Coy was a third-generation farmer and handed down that love to his family who will carry on his traditions and legacy. As a symbol of God’s faithfulness and Coy’s passion for farming, two baby calves arrived in the world on Coy’s homecoming day.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shelby Brown Miller of the home, son Aaron Miller and wife Angie of Boone and their children, daughter Ann McClure and husband Darrell of Ashe County and her children, and daughter Alice Bills and husband Routy of Oklahoma and their children. He is survived by eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Coy is also survived by sister Gail Coffey and husband Robert of Boone, NC, sister Lindel Perry and husband Keith of Boone, NC, sister Pam Miller and husband Eddie of Leicester, NC and brother Kevin Miller and wife Paula of Boone, NC., sister-in-law Linda Shoemake and husband Jim of Boone, NC and brother-in-law Garland Brown from Brevard, NC. In addition, he is survived by five nephews and two nieces.

Services for Coy Miller will be held Monday, February 27, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. at Laurel Fork Baptist Church. Services will be officiated by Dr. Daniel Featherstone and Preacher Derrick Wilson. Entombment will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends Sunday evening, February 26, 2023, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Laurel Fork Baptist Church and one hour prior to the funeral on Monday. Pallbearers are Casey Miller, Jacob Miller, Caleb Bills, Joshua Bills, Jason Miller, and Ethan Miller. Honorary pallbearers are Shawn Perry, Mark Wallace, Jerry Trivette, Jimmy Bowen, and Cody Dombrokowski.

To honor Coy’s memory, the family asks that you pick up a fishing pole and spend time with family or do a kind deed for another human being. Additionally, the family requests donations be directed to the cemetery fund of Laurel Fork Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1147, Boone, NC 28607 or to Amorem Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Road, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.

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

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



Patricia Sword Weaver
1954 – 2023

Patricia Sword “Trish” Weaver passed away early Saturday morning February 25, 2023, at Life Care Center of Banner Elk. Trish was born on December 13, 1954. She was a lifelong resident of Banner Elk and loved her family and pets very much.

Trish was preceded in death by her father and mother James and Lucy Sword, a daughter Julie Storie, and one brother Roger Sword.

Left to cherish her memories, one son Greg Storie, grandson, Cole Storie, granddaughter, Hailey Puckett (Shane). Other loving family members include her ex-husband, Jimmie Storie, great-grandchildren, Kinsley Arnett and Kasen Puckett, nieces, Jamie Benfield (Shannon) and Jerica Calloway, great nephews, Garren and Justin Benfield, great niece, Kallie Arnold as well as a sister-in-law, Sharon Sword.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 12:00 noon, at Banner Elk Seventh Day Adventist Church. Interment will follow in Townsend Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 until 12:00, prior to the service.

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

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



Patricia “Pat” Wilson
1951 – 2023

Patricia “Pat” Wilson, age 72, of Vilas, passed away Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Watauga Medical Center.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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



Elaine Allen Burns
1964 – 2023

Elaine Allen Burns, of Banner Elk, North Carolina, passed away unexpectedly at her home on
Wednesday February 8, 2023.

Elaine was born and grew up in Gibson County, Tennessee. She was very close with her younger
sister, Amy Epperson, of Medina Tennessee, and her brother, John Allen, of Nashville, Tennessee. She was 58 years old.

She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1986 and majored in advertising and

For the last 20 years, she worked in real estate and provided property management services for multiple property owner associations in the Boone, NC area.

Earlier in her career, she worked in the advertising business, first with an ad agency, and then as
Account Manager with Journal Communications, a magazine publishing company, in Nashville TN.

Elaine was married to David Burns for nearly 22 years. She loved travel, studying the bible, her close friends, David Burns, stepsons Sam and Russ Burns, and building homes with David.

Elaine was a leader. Strong, witty, patient, and generous.

Elaine’s joyous smile welcomed everyone she met.

Donations may be made to the Woman’s Fund of the Blue Ridge in Boone NC at 828-264-4002