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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 30, 2021

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


William Elmer “Bill” Miller

1936 – 2021

Mr. William Elmer “Bill” Miller age 84, of Blowing Rock, the Aho Community, passed away Friday night at his home.  Born November 6, 1936 in Watauga County, he was the son of the late Elmer and Ruth Ashley Miller.  Bill worked for many years at Watauga Savings and Loan as an appraiser, and later retired from Centura Bank. He was a member of Laurel Fork Baptist Church where he had served as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher and on numerous committees.  Bill also enjoyed gardening and farming, raising cabbage and potatoes for many years.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruby Harmon Miller, his sisters and brothers in law, Janice Tolbert and husband Don, Edith Gryder and husband Roy all of Blowing Rock, Lena Thomas of Tallahassee, Florida, Garland Harmon and wife Reba of Pigeon Forge, TN, Herb Harmon of Blowing Rock, Melvin Harmon of Salisbury, and Alvin Harmon and wife Rubye Ann of Concord, and a number of cousins.  In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his daughter, Melanie Marnita Miller.

Funeral services for Mr. Bill Miller will be conducted Monday afternoon, March 29, 2021 at 3 PM at Laurel Fork Baptist Church.  Officiating will be Dr. Daniel Featherstone. Burial will follow in the Laurel Fork Baptist Church Cemetery.  The family will receive friends Monday afternoon prior to the service from 2 until 3 o’clock.  Those attending are asked to wear a mask and follow Covid-19 protocol.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Laurel Fork Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 1147, Boone, NC 28607. 

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

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Miller family.


Jayne Hodson

October 11, 1958 – March 22, 2021

Jayne Rosola Hodson, 62, passed away March 22, 2021. She was a resident of Boone, NC. She was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Michael Rosola, mother, Joyce Weaver, and brother, Joseph Ira Rosola.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas Sherwood Hodson, of Boone, children Denver Patterson and wife Elizabeth of Brevard NC, Jessica Courtney of Sanford FL, stepchildren Tabitha Dancy of Blowing Rock NC, Jessica Miller and husband Trevor of Fort Bragg NC, Myra Patterson of Memphis TN, grandchildren Skyler, Landen, and Brooke Courtney of Sorrento FL, and step-grandchildren Max Dancy of Blowing Rock NC, Noah Gunlock of Fort Bragg NC, and Levi, Abel, Asher, and Merritt Miller of Fort Bragg NC.

Jayne was born on October 11, 1958 in Belleville, NJ. She was a fiercely loyal wife, mother, and friend. She grew up in West Orange, NJ where she attended West Orange High School with her best friend Peggy Ann Hettrick. Jayne and Peggy were in the color guard together. The bond of childhood friendship grew into a lifelong relationship filled with laughter, inside jokes, and treasured memories.

Jayne had a wonderfully unique personality. She pushed hard to be able to take woodshop and auto mechanics in high school, which was remarkable for a female student at that time. She was also a gifted artist who could often be found doodling on a piece of paper and sending fun pictures to her grandkids.

When she was in her early 20s, she moved to North Carolina, where her lifelong passion for art played a big role in her career painting houses. She always strived for perfection. Her son, Denver, remembers moving into his first house after getting married. Jayne helped paint the downstairs and offered painting tips to Denver and Elizabeth. To this day, the specific way they hold a paint brush is because of her. Jayne’s love of art also translated into a passion for music. She was a talented bass player who played for fun and in her church’s praise band.

Jayne loved her kids and grandkids, and the love she had for her husband Sherwood was beautiful and pure. They loved attending church together, but they praised the Lord together anywhere they could, and lovingly supported each other in every aspect of life.

Jayne will be greatly missed by many, but she leaves behind wonderful memories and will not be forgotten.

The family will hold a celebration of life in honor of Jayne at a time when large gatherings are safer for everyone.

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

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



Mary Grace Harmon

January 27, 1936 – March 23, 2021

Mary Grace Harmon, age 85, of Sugar Grove, passed away Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

A daughter of the late Ed Winters and Carrie Shell Winters, she was born January 27, 1936 in Carter County, Tennessee. She was a retired nurse and a member of Beech Valley Baptist Church.

She is survived by one daughter, Sharon Rice and husband Joel of Chicago, Illinois; one son, Robert “Bobby” Harmon of Sugar Grove; three granddaughters, Melody Winebarger and Husband David of Sugar Grove; Carrie Harmon of Sugar Grove and Alissa Harmon of Sugar Grove; two grandsons, Chris Rice and wife Alexis and Jonathan Rice all of Chicago, Illinois; two step-grandsons, Devan Lewis and Kristopher Blevins both of Sugar Grove; six great-grandchildren and one sister, Louella Whittington of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Lee “R.L.” Harmon, one son, Ricky Harmon, five sisters and three brothers.

Graveside services and burial will be conducted Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:00 o’clock at Beech Creek Community Cemetery. Pastor Joe Riley will officiate.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

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



Robert J. Miller

August 04, 1931 – March 24, 2021

Robert J. Miller, age 89, of Lenoir, a native and former resident of Watauga County, passed away Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at Lenoir Health Care.

A son of the late James Donley Miller and Rose Alley Greer Miller. He was born August 4, 1931 in Watauga County, he was a retired carpenter and a member of Lenoir Church of Christ.

He is survived by one sister, Geraldine Livingston, his step-children, Tessie Miller, Ruby Bratton, Nancy Parker and husband Randy, David Icenhour and wife Shirley, grandchildren, Aimee Price and husband Travis, Crystal Hewitt, Shalia Miller, Jonathan Miller and wife Amanda, Jason Miller, Timmy Miller, Jimmy Miller, Jerry Miller, Step-grandchildren, Teresa Hicks, Tammy Lowman, Josh West, Michelle West, along with eleven more, great-grandchildren, Patsy A. Parker, Damien Miller, Stephen Conley, Jason S. Miller, Ian Miller, Jason P. Miller, Jacob Miller, Sierra Owens and Braden Miller and one step-daughter-in-law, Linda Icenhour. He is also survived by six great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to his father and mother he was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Lee Miller, two sons, Jason Miller and Roger Miller, two step-children, Ivey Icenhour and Mack Icenhour, three brothers, Lovell Miller, George Miller, and Roby Miller.

Funeral service will be conducted Monday, March 29, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Mr. Larry Bryant will officiate. Interment will follow in Potter-Main Cemetery.

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

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

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



Linda Faye Morris Harwood

December 30, 1943 – March 25, 2021

Linda Faye Morris Harwood, age 77, of Boone, passed away Thursday, March 25, 2021 at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living.

A daughter of the late James Wellington Morris and Nettie Terah Morris. She was born December 30, 1943. She was a retired high school teacher and a member of Deerfield United Methodist Church.

She is survived by two sons, Lynn Harwood and wife Yvette of Miramar, Florida and Derek Harwood and wife Doreen of Raleigh, North Carolina, five grandchildren, Spencer and wife Emily, Trevor, Lauren, and Alex Harwood and Ashton Wofford, one sister, Louise Poole and husband Tony of Travelers Rest, South Carolina and one brother, Waylon Morris and wife Linda of Carthage, North Carolina.

In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by her husband, Roger Lee Harwood, three brothers, James, Joe, Mack Morris and one sister Emma Jackson.

Graveside services and burial for Linda Faye Morris Harwood will be conducted Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 1:00 o’clock at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. Pastor Wes Austin will officiate.

The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6 until 8 at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Deerfield United Methodist Church, 1184 Deerfield Road, Boone, North Carolina 28607 or Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607.



Eldred C. “Chip” Dudney, Jr.

May 10, 1965 – March 25, 2021

Eldred C. Dudney, Jr. “Chip” passed away peacefully at his home in Blowing Rock, NC with family and friends by his side after a long battle with cancer. He fought this with great grace and courage, rarely complaining about any aspect of it.

A native of Tabor City, NC, he is preceded in death by his parents, Eldred and Peggy Dudney. He is survived by his sisters, Shannon Evans of Lumberton, NC, Pam Prince (Winfred) of Tabor City, NC and Kem Dudney of Waynesboro, VA; his beloved nieces and nephews, Dan Prince of Wilmington, NC, Seth Evans (Hayley) of Concord, NC, Amber Coleman (Jesse) of Tabor City, NC, and Rachel Evans of Kannapolis, NC. He is also survived by his life companion, Dr. John Thompson of Chapel Hill, NC and step children, Kyle Thompson (Devin) of Blowing Rock, NC and Zoe Thompson of Austin, TX, and long-time friend, Charles Long of Wilmington, NC, and many other friends whom he considered to be extended family.

Chip was a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and spent his career in banking with Central Carolina Bank in Wilmington, NC, SunTrust Bank in Raleigh, NC and First National Bank in Greensboro, NC. After retiring from the bank, Chip volunteered his expert business and leadership skills to a non-profit organization, Houses for New Hope in Durham, NC. It was there he found his true calling for assisting the organization to serve as many people in need as possible. This organization energized his spirit and he truly loved helping with its mission. He continued until recently to share his time, talent and resources with the organization.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in the NC mountains which became Chip’s “happy place.” Memorials may be made to the Legacy Fund at Housing for New Hope, Legacy Fund, 18 W. Colony Place, Suite 250, Durham, NC 27705 or to the charity of one’s choice.

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

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

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

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



Dwight Lee “D.L.” Moody

December 26, 1945 – March 26, 2021

Dwight Moody, Sr. (D. L.), ag 75 of Mountain Dale Road is forever home with his Lord and Savior. He was born December 26, 1945 to the late Gordon and Florence Moody.

Just a simple man you could hear people say, but a great man of God! D. L. loved the Lord, always carried his little Bible in his pocket, witnessed to anyone that he came across and loved working with wood.

D.L. had so many special friends, Gary, and Donna Lindabury and Tommy and Lula Lawrence just to mention a few.

He is survived by two sons; Dwight Moody and wife, Becky of Newland; Keith Moody of Newland; one daughter, Shelia Moody of Boone; one sister, Linda Seamon of Vilas, five grandchildren; Brittany Reece, Kayla Jones, Brianna Arnold, Stephanie Moody, and Cassie Moody, as well as many special nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Scottie Moody; one grandson, Wade Moody, three brothers; Ford Moody, Eugene Moody, and Charles Moody.

Funeral services for Dwight Moody will be conducted Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Mountain Dale Cemetery. Preacher Derick Wilson and Preacher Eric Cornett will officiate.

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

The family respectfully request no food or flowers.

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Hampton’s Funeral Service to help with the funeral expenses.

The family would like to express a special thanks to the Hospice House in Hudson and to all the special nurses there.

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

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


Lula Belle Ballard

September 7, 1925 – March 22, 2021

Lula Belle Ballard, age 95, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Monday, March 22, 2021 at her home in Newland.

She was born on September 7, 1925 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late John and Mary Mayberry Winkler.

Lula Belle was a member of the Stameytown Baptist Church and had worked for IRC in Newland for many years. She enjoyed spending time with her family and in her garden. Canning was always a joy to her.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her Husband, Clarence “Snooks” Ballard; Son, Michael Ballard; Two Infant Daughters, Loretta Ballard, Phyllis Ballard; Great-Granddaughter, Kristina Trivett; Four Sisters, Thelma Louise Townsend, Margie Webb, Ella Mae Winkler, Evelyn Winkler; Brother, Leonard Winkler.

Lula Belle leaves behind to cherish her memory Son, Terry (Donna) Ballard of Newland, NC; Daughter, Barbara Trivett of Morganton, NC; Six Grandchildren; Seven Great Grandchildren; Several Great Great Grandchildren; Two Sisters, Pearl Ingram of Morganton, NC, Roberta Boone of Morganton, NC.

(Funeral service is private)

Due to the current COVID-19 regulations, our staff is committed to taking care of our guests and families that we serve. Please understand we will be following the State’s COVID guidelines. All guests attending the visitation and service must bring and wear a mask.

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

The care of Lula Belle and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.



Donald R. Baker

September 28, 1936 – March 22, 2021

Donald R. Baker of Banner Elk, NC, passed March 22, 2021. He was born September 28, 1936 to the late Max and Grace Baker of Marion, VA. He was educated at Lees-McRae College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and East Tennessee State University. He worked in the art department at Delmar Printing Company in Charlotte after college before returning to Lees-McRae in 1960 as Director of Public Relations and Alumni Affairs. He also served as Sports Information Director and was in charge of media services. In 1989, he was names Vice President of Informational Services and Athletic Director. He served as Tennis Coach from 1961-1990 with a record of 508-150. He directed the Bobcat Tennis Camp from 1975-1990. Honors include induction into the National Junior College Athletic Association Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Lees-McRae Fred I. Dickerson Hall of Fame in 2001. He established the Costal Conference Football Association and served as the Executor Director from 1972-1990. He receives the Meritorious Service Award in 1992 for 20 years’ service for Region X Director of the NJCAA. He retired from Lees-McRae in 1994 after 34 years of service.

He served as President of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce in 1984; was on the Region D Council of Governments, was named Outstanding Local Government Manager of Region D (2000-2001); and was a board member of the Avery Community Foundation from 2005-2010. He served as Avery County Manager (1996-2002), was recognized by Certificate of Appreciation by Governor Jim Hunt in recognition of dedication and outstanding service to North Carolina, November 28, 2002. He served as County GOP Chair from 2003-2018. He was named to the Martha Guy Hall of Legends of Avery County in 2014. He was a member of Mountainside Lutheran Church where he served as Congregation President from 2012-2019.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce Pierce Baker (also of Marion, VA) of 62 years; daughter, Nicole Crain (Bruce) of Fuquay Varina, NC; son, Rick Baker (Angel) of Mars Hill, NC; grandson, Kyle Crain (Jordan) of Fuquay Varina, NC; grandson, Jordan Baker of Mars Hill, NC; granddaughter, Alexis Baker of Mars Hill, NC; great-grandsons, Brodhi and Brayden Crain of Fuquay Varina, NC; brother, Duane Baker (Diane) of Mathews, NC; and sister, Darlene Ray of Charlotte, NC.

A private memorial service will held for the immediate family at Mountainside Lutheran Church. Memorial gifts may be made to Mountainside Lutheran Church at P.O. Box 235, Linville, NC 28646, or to Medi Home Health & Hospice, 1955 Newland Highway, Newland, NC 58657.

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