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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – Oct. 11, 2017

The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. Send obituary notices to jesse@highcountrypress.com.

Ruby Bell (May 25, 1923 – Oct. 10, 2017)

Ruby Bell, 94 Years, of Jonas Ridge, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 at Life Care Center of Banner Elk.

She was born on May 25, 1923 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of Shug Johnson and Maggie Hartley Johnson. Ruby was of the Baptist faith. 

She was preceded in death by her Father, Shug Johnson; Mother, Maggie Johnson; Husband, Charles R Bell; Sons; Johnnie Davis, Ray Hudson and Raleigh Davis Jr.; Daughters: JoAnn Johnson and Kathy Mason. Five sisters and five brothers. 

Ruby leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Daughters; Judy Clark of Jonas Ridge, NC, and Sisie Hudson of Vernon Hill, Va., 17 Grandchildren, 23 Great-Grandchildren and 4 Great-Great Grandchildren.

Services for Ruby Bell will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 beginning at 2 p.m. from the Grandfather Chapel with Rev. Lonnie Barnes officiating. 

The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in the Johnson Cemetery off Old Toe River Rd. 

The family would like to extend a special Thank You to the nurses and staff of MediHome Hospice and the staff of Life Care Center of Banner Elk. Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Bell family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net

Wayne Palmer Johnson (Dec. 28, 1935 – Oct. 8, 2017)


Wayne Palmer Johnson, 81, of Elk Park, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017 at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville.

He was born on Dec. 28, 1935 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Steve Johnson and the late Mabel Palmer Johnson.

He was of the Baptist faith. Wayne was known to almost everyone as “Pawger”. He retired from Lees-McRae after 17 years in maintenance. He loved to piddle and enjoyed fishing and boating.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: Three Brothers, Ralph Johnson, Jack Johnson, and Wendell Johnson; Two Sisters, Christine Fields, and Lucille McKinney.

Wayne leaves behind to cherish his memory his: Wife of 60 years, Dorlan Matlock Johnson of Elk Park, NC; Daughters, Terri (Phil) Whittington of Elk Park, NC, Renee and Scott (Chachi) Carpenter of Elk Park, NC, Granddaughters, Shannon (Joe) Chiera of Cary, NC, Myra (Dustin) Brown of Elk Park, NC, Dani Carpenter of Johnson City, TN, Great-Granddaughter, Meredith Brown, Sister, Willa Jean Davis of Elk Park, NC, Brothers, Leonard Johnson of Elk Park, NC, Steve (Sue) Johnson of Elk Park, NC, Glenn Johnson of Altamont, NC.

Graveside services for Wayne Johnson will be held at 11:00 A.M. On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in the Palmer Cemetery with Rev. Doug Bare officiating. The family will gather at the funeral home at 9:45 AM.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

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

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

Jerry Wayne Johnson (June 20, 1959 – Oct. 7, 2017)


Jerry Wayne Johnson, 58, of Meat Camp Road, Todd, passed away Saturday morning, October 7, 2017, at his home.

Wayne was born June 20, 1959 in Watauga County, a son of John H. Johnson and the late Pauline Reece Johnson. He was a former restaurant employee for Western Steer of Boone and a member of Proffits Grove Baptist Church.

Wayne never met a stranger and was know to many as “Big Wayne”.

In addition to his father, Wayne is survived by one sister, Treva J. Jones and husband Douglas of Boone, and one nephew, Darius Jones and fiancee Mara Parmenter of Boone. He is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Pauline Reece Johnson; his maternal grandparents, Oscar Reece and Maude Brown Reece; his paternal grandparents, Reverend Noah Johnson and Ola Miller Johnson, and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Memorial services for Jerry Wayne Johnson will be conducted Tuesday evening, October 10, 2017, at 7:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Pastor Eugene Braswell.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, from 5:30 until 7:00 o’clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service. At other times, friends may call at the home of his sister, Treva Johnson Jones, 3864 Jakes Mountain Road, Boone.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Johnson family, in care of Treva Johnson Jones, 3864 Jakes Mountain Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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

Arnold Kent Lester, Sr. (Sept. 7, 1921 – Oct. 5, 2017)


Arnold Kent Lester Sr. passed away at Glenbridge Health and Rehab on Oct. 5, 2017 at 96 years of age. Born in Rayford, Virginia, he was preceded in death by his father, Sherman Luther Lester, his mother, Nannie Pernie Weddle Lester, an older brother, Ray, and his wife of 65 years, Erline Kegley Lester. He is survived by Ray’s wife, Bernadine, younger brother, Marvin and wife, Betty Jo, a daughter, Ellen Lester Arnold and husband, Chip, a son, Arnold Kent Lester, Jr., and wife, Penny, two grandchildren, Matthew Edwin Arnold (Leigh Jolley) and Elizabeth Arnold Hull (Andy Hull), one great-granddaughter, Ashleigh Merrow Arnold, and his devoted companion, Ruby Arnold, and many much loved nephews and nieces. 

Arnold was inducted into the Army Air Corp in 1943 and instructed bomber pilots during WWII. After his discharge in 1945 he continued to teach flying at Spence Air Base in Moultrie, Georgia. Later he worked for Riverside Manufacturing for 30 years. He moved to Boone almost nine years ago, and became active with the Disabled American Veterans and the High Country WWII Roundtable History Project. In 2012, he was proud to be part of the Watauga County Honor Air Flight to Washington, DC. 

 The family will receive friends to celebrate Arnolds’ life on Tuesday, October 10th, from 3 until 4:30 at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. A memorial gathering will be held at Stevens Funeral Home in Pulaski on Nov. 4, 2017 at 3 PM.

The family respectfully requests no flowers and suggests memorials to Watauga County Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 33, DTS, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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

Edna Ruth Hughes (Jan. 13, 1935 – Oct. 4, 2017)


Edna Ruth Hughes, 82, of the Senia community was promoted to her heavenly home on Wednesday, October 4, following a brief illness.
A lifelong resident of Avery County, North Carolina, Edna Ruth was born on January 13, 1935 to Herman and Bertie Hughes. 
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Wallace Hughes; a daughter, Sheila Hughes Rhyne, son-in-law, Roger Rhyne, and brothers Donnie Hughes and Doyle Hughes.
Lovingly referred to as “Ma” by her family, Edna Ruth enjoyed a simple life of spending time with her family and friends, cooking meals for anyone that wanted to eat with her, reminiscing about days gone by through pictures and stories and indulging in her love of sweets. She enjoyed having company and continued to cook Sunday dinner for her family until her health began to decline in recent months. Edna Ruth looked forward to the vacations she took with her family and was especially fond of the beach. She was a member of Roaring Creek Missionary Baptist Church.

Left behind to cherish her memory are her daughter, Brenda Singleton and husband Tommy of Roaring Creek, granddaughter Shannon Cook and husband David of Cranberry, great-grandson Josh Cook of Cranberry; sister Judy Puckett and her husband Carson of Banner Elk; brother Farrell Hughes (Anna Ruth) of Roaring Creek; brother Damon Hughes and wife Marsha of Roaring Creek, sister-in-law Mildred Stafford (Bill) of Plumtree, sisters-in-law Alice Hughes, Evelyn Hughes (Lester) and Charlotte Hughes (Sonny) all of Roaring Creek, sister-in-law Kathy Hoilman and her husband Ivan of Roaring Creek; sister-in-law Jean Oaks and husband Von of Green Valley and a host of nieces and nephews.

A time to support the family, share memories, and gather with family and friends will be on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. 
The service will immediately follow beginning at 4:00pm. Pastors Ken Staton and Kagan Young will officiate. 
Interment will be at the Hughes cemetery. Prior to the service, the family will be at the home of Brenda and Tommy Singleton, 2160 Roaring Creek Road.

The care of Edna Ruth and her family as been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland, (828) 733-2121.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the Hughes family by visiting our website, www.rsfh.net