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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 18, 2020

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

Charles Dean Church
1941 – 2020

Charles “Dean” Church, a resident of Boone, NC passed away March 14, 2020 at the Watauga Medical Center.

Dean was born on February 17, 1941 to the late Charlie Hale Church and Edith McGuire Church. He was preceded in death by special uncles, Fin, Wendell, Jack and George Church.

He was hard working, strong and proud. As a young man, Dean’s interest and love for automobiles and motorcycles led him to a career as a mechanic for the NCDOT for 32 years. After retirement his interest transformed to carpentry. He spent two years helping to build a home for his family on the same street they had lived on for 56 years. His last and most loved venture took him fishing on every lake, creek or pond he could find.

Dean is survived by his wife of 57 years, Betty Eggers Church, one son, Jason Dean Church and wife Emily Spinks Church, two grandsons, Tucker Hale and Quinton Garrett, one sister, Linda Trexler, one brother, Kenneth Church and a number of beloved aunts, nieces and nephews and cousins. He will always be remembered as a good father, husband, son, brother, friend and neighbor.

Due to concerns about the Coronavirus, services for Dean Church will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in his memory to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. Online condolences may be shared with the Church family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Church family


Herman Karl Dietrich, Jr.

March 29, 1928 – March 11, 2020

Herman Karl Dietrich, Jr., age 91, of Columbus, Ohio and Zionville, North Carolina, passed away Wednesday March 11, 2020 at his home in Zionville.

Mr. Dietrich is survived by his wife, Ruby Mast Dietrich of the home; four daughters, Jeanne Dietrich and husband Jay Kelsey of Nashville, Tennessee, Marian Dietrich and husband Charles Schwartz of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Carol Dietrich of Columbus, Ohio, and Joy Timmens and husband Eric of Vilas; two sons, John Dietrich and wife Cassie of Nashville, Tennessee, and Dr. David Dietrich and wife Collen of Panama City, Florida, and one sister, Dorothy Hoover of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Herman Karl Dietrich, Sr. and Helen Marie Heighton Dietrich.

Funeral services for Herman Karl Dietrich, Jr. will be conducted Sunday afternoon, March 15, 2020, at 2:00 o’clock, at Piney Grove Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Robert Williams and Pastor Ken Bose. Burial will follow in the Piney Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Piney Grove Baptist Church, 4829 Rominger Road, Banner Elk, North Carolina, 28604.

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

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


Martha Glenn Ward

November 26, 1942 – March 16, 2020

Martha Glenn Ward, age 77, of Lower Rush Branch Road, Sugar Grove, passed away Monday afternoon, March 16, 2020, at Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Martha was born November 26, 1942 in Watauga County, a daughter of the late Dudley and Priscilla Presnell Glenn. Martha was a member of Antioch Baptist Church and loved her church family but above all she loved her Lord and Savior. She enjoyed gospel music, flowers and when she was able she loved to travel. Her two sons were the apple of her eye and she was very proud of them. 

Martha is survived by her husband of 50 years, Larry Ward of the home; two sons, Lester Ward and wife April of Mountain City, Tennessee, and Jimmy Ward of Sugar Grove; two sisters, Barbara of Shelby, and Wanda of Mountain City; one brother, Charlie Glenn and wife Shirley of the Beech Creek Community, and one brother-in-law, Allen Ward and wife Peggy. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Roy and Roger Glenn, two brothers-in-law, Tommy Reid Ward and James Ward.

Funeral services for Martha Glenn Ward will be conducted Thursday afternoon, March 19, 2020, at 2:00 o’clock, at Antioch Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Daniel Lawrence, Pastor Eric Cornett, and Pastor Greg Thompson. Burial will follow in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Thursday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00, at the church, prior to the service.

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

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


Tammy Miller Tester

July 31, 1969 – March 16, 2020

Tammy Miller Tester, age 50, of Grandin Road, Lenoir, a native and former resident of Watauga County, passed away Monday morning, March 16, 2020, at Wake Forest Baptist Center in Winston-Salem.

Tammy was born July 31, 1969 in Watauga, daughter of Boyd and Judy McLean Miller. Tammy loved to shop, loved her shoes and she also collected pocket books and purse’s. Most of all she loved her family including our dogs Gizmo, Oliver, and Tiny. 

In addition to her parents, she is survived by her husband, Terry L. Tester of the home; two daughters, Dane Lee and Brittany Gail; one son, Gavin Carpenter; one brother, Jeff Miller; her mother-in-law, Mattie Tester, and her sister-in-law, Kim Tester.

At Tammy’s request, there will be no memorial services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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

Steve Allen Singleton
January 4, 1952 – March 11, 2020

Steve Allen Singleton, age 68, of Spruce Pine passed away Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. He was born on January 4, 1952 in Burke County to the late Hazel C. and Hansel Singleton Sr. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by one sister, Linda Lunsford and one grandson, Lucas Jeffrey Nixon.

Steve was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He played football for Avery High School proudly wearing his #65 Jersey. He enjoyed history, watching the Sci-Fi channel and fast cars. He loved to watch the boys play football and basketball and spending time with his family in his free time and before becoming disabled he dearly loved to hike. To those who knew him, he was 10ft tall and bullet proof.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Lori Singleton; five sons, Michael Carpenter Jr. (Laurie) of Cranberry, John Scott Singleton of Jonas Ridge, Joshua Alan Singleton (Ella) of Newland, Matthew Bradley Singleton of Spruce Pine, and Glenn Marker of Ohio; four daughters, Nikki Singleton of Jonas Ridge, Cheryl Rae Nixon (Steve) of Land Harbor, Hazel Candace Good (Brandon) of Marion, and Becky Love (James McCoury) of Foscoe; nine grandchildren, Brooklyn Singleton, Madalyn and Annabell Marker, Gracie and Sadie Good, Emmy and Ethan Singleton, and Kylie and Everett Nixon; two brothers, Hansel Singleton Jr. (Donna) of Frank and Bill Singleton (Pam) of Meggett; two sisters, Joan Lunsford (Butch) of Roan Mountain and Jean McCellan (Alfred) of Spruce Pine; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3:00 P.M. in the chapel at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland with Pastor Ken Staton officiating.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 to 3:00 P.M. one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123

Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Singleton family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net <http://www.rsfh.net/>;

The care of Steve and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.


Jack Robert Hicks
May 18, 1942 – March 11, 2020

Jack Robert Hicks, 77, of Elk Park, NC passed away on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. A native of Avery County, he was born May 18,1942, the middle of the late Henry and Ruby Hicks’ seven children.
If you loved Southern Gospel Music, shiny trucks, and stories of years on the road, then you loved being around Jack-a man with an 8th grade education who built a business to be proud of. The trucks that he loved so much all bear John 3:16.
Jack was born to drive. He took a 1940 Ford truck with a flathead engine and 95hp and drove it to Crank’s Creek, KY to pick up a load of coal. In 1977 he bought his first truck; ten years later he started Jack Hicks, Inc., the company that has been his life’s work and passion. Jack was quick to share the credit for his success with his wife and employees.
In addition to his parents, Jack is preceded in death by brothers Junior and Jerry Hicks, and sister Delores Issacs.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of twenty-seven years, Angela Hicks; daughters Donna Spencer (Donald) and Melissa Hampton; grandchildren Jack McCloud (Sarah), Jacqueline Gilliam (Jesse), Aiden, Dawson, and Gavin Spencer, Luke, Mallory and Jed Childress, Sunni Dearmin, and Hayden Brewer, and Jake and Briana Pritchard; brother Jim Hicks (Lena), sisters Barbara Blackburn (Bob) and Aleta Cornett (Jim); great-grandchildren, Brianna and Nathan McCloud and Chase, Logan, and Mason Gilliam, and many nieces, and nephews.
Funeral services for Jack Hicks will be held Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Elk Park Christian Church. Rev. Matt Dibler and Rev. Tommy Carver will officiate. The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. until the service hour. Interment will follow in the Hicks Family Cemetery. Robert Burleson, Patrick Childress, Jed Childress, Luke Childress, Chris Bare, Tudor Hicks, and Perry Daniels will serve as pall bearers.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Hicks family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Jack and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.


Jim L Hicks
December 22, 1937 – March 14, 2020

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Jimmy L. Hicks ,age 82, a lifelong resident of Elk Park, N.C. passed from this earthly home to his eternal home in heaven due to complications of Parkinson Disease.
Those left to cherish his memory include the love of his life and wife of 58 years, Lena Clark Hicks. Together they built successful businesses and raised a wonderful family that includes a daughter, Messie Harris and husband Mark; three sons, Larry Hicks and wife Kim, Tim(Hoss) Hicks, Robert (Tooter) Hicks and wife Shannon; Beloved Grandchildren, Holly Barker and boyfriend JoJo Yorke, Alex Barker and wife Allison, Haley Manus and husband Brandon, Trey Hicks and wife Megan, Trevor Bollinger, Madison Hicks and boyfriend Logan Street, Natalie Hicks, Josh Harris and wife Cassie, Dane Harris and fiancé Mary Potter, Kaylea Shelton, and Great-Granddaughter, Pailyn Hicks; two Sisters, Aleta Cornett (Jim) and Barbara Blackburn; special family members, Doug and Donna Atchley, Mike and Kim Davis, Brian and Theresa King, Bruce and Sherry King, Dean and Tami Hagie and many more who throughout his lifetime he called family.
Jim was the son of the late Ruby and Henry Hicks of Elk Park, NC. Preceding him in death are brothers Junior, Jack, and Jerry Hicks; Sister, Deloris Isaacs; Brother in- Laws, Buck Isaacs and Bob Blackburn; Nephew, David Hicks, and Niece, Jenny Blackburn.
Jim dedicated his life to being a devoted and loving husband, Dad, Papaw, Uncle, Brother, and friend. Jim delighted in family time. Jim’s dinner table was always large enough for the entire family as they gathered for Lena’s Sunday lunch. He was a member of the Cranberry High School Class of 1956 and a bus driver and member of the football team. Jim was proud to be a lifetime member of Elk Park Christian Church, where he served as a board member and deacon. Jim was a founding member of the Liar’s Table at The Country House. He served his community as a Town Alderman, board member of Carter County Bank and the Cranberian Corporation. He sponsored Elk Park’s Little League baseball and football teams for many years. Jim loved opportunities to advance his community and help others.
Jim was a lifelong truck driver, businessmen and tree farmer. He drove millions of miles with fellow truckers at Underwood and Weld, Rufus Henley Trucking, Northeastern, and Carolina Western, traveling north to south and east to west. In the 1980s, Blue Peterbilt’s began hauling east to west as H&H Express, Inc.
From 1972 until 1990, Jim and Lena also owned and operated a grocery store in Elk Park ,selling groceries, gas, feed, coal, fence post and just about anything that was needed. After selling the store business, they purchased Blue Ridge Orchard growing trees and nursery stock. Jim enjoyed his later years working on the farm, daily visits to Brinkley Hardware, Post Office, Country House , and hanging out with the boys at H&H.
Jim loved God and lived his life at the foot of the cross as a living example. Jim leaves his family uncountable life lessons, memories, unlimited and unconditional love. His family will always remember his words to them; ” pray for each other, and take care of each other,” and “time changes all things.” He would always tell his grandchildren to “keep your eyes on the road and your mind on your business ” as he taught them to drive anything with a motor. When you ask Jim how he was doing he would say “not good, but super good.” He told his children many times “in this life we will have to do a lot of things, but one thing we do not have to do is complain.” His advice to everyone ‘ was always to pray about it first before making a decision.” As he would say to us today, “Carry on!”
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Hicks family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net