Watauga, Avery Obituaries – Sept. 21, 2017

Published Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm

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.


Ruth Duff Layng (Nov. 3, 1924 – Sept. 16, 2017)

Ruth Duff Layng, 92, passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Testa Family Hospice. She was born Nov. 3, 1924 in Linden, NJ to the late Alexander and Julia Jorgenson MacIntosh. She was born, raised, and lived in New Jersey until her retirement, splitting time between St. Cloud, Fl. And Vilas, NC as “Snowbirds”. She spent her final years in Shelby, NC. She authored 2 books, Letters From James and Letters From Campbells Crossing. She will be remembered for her many artistic talents and love for family and friends.

PRECEDED: She was preceded in death by her husband Robert E. Layng, and sister Regina Kasmin.

SURVIVED: She is survived by her children, Kenwood Geigel and wife Sara of Bradenton, Fl. and Sandra Fodor and husband Steve of Fords, NJ from her first marriage to Vernon Kenwood Geigel. She is also survived by her daughter, Melanie Ruth Besson and husband Gideon of Shelby, NC and her stepchildren, Marian Bryk and husband Robert of Pleasant Garden, NC, Janice Romisoukas and husband Tom of Freehold, NJ, Barbara Campbell and husband Neal of Freehold, NJ, and Robert Layng and wife Marie of Canton, PA from her second marriage to Robert Edward Layng; 13 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

FUNERAL SERVICES: A private family service will be held at a later date

FUNERAL HOME:   Clay-Barnette Funeral Home of Shelby

ONLINE CONDOLENCES: www.claybarnette.com


Mrs. Ruth W. Orsell (June 12, 1949 – September 20, 2017) 

Mrs. Ruth Wills Orsell, 68, of Manning South Carolina, and formerly of Boone, passed away Wednesday morning, Sept. 20, 2017 at Watauga Medical Center. Born June 12, 1949 in Wayne County, West Virginia, she was a daughter of the late Howard and Edith Anderson Wills. Ruth was a member of ARC United Pentecostal Church in Manning. She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband Bob Orsell, three children, Norman Orsell of Black Mountain, NC, Coleen Harrington and husband Brian of Boone, and Billy Orsell and wife Amanda of Hickory, seven grandchildren, Wil Critcher and wife Kendell of Jefferson, Robert, Benjamin and Hannah Ruth Critcher all of Boone, Jade Harrington of Statesville, Ayden Harrington of Caldwell County and Evie Harrington of Taylorsville, three great grandchildren, Kayden Clark, Judson Cash Calhoun and Waylon Critcher, one sister, Sherry Sumerall of Blowing Rock, and one brother, Jack Wills and wife Joyce of Texas. 

At Ruths request there will be no services. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the family to help offset expenses. Online condolences may be shared with the Orsell family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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


Evelyn Potter (Oct. 24, 1945 – Sept. 20, 2017)

Evelyn L. Potter, 71, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 at The Waters at Roan Highlands Nursing Center in Roan Mountain, Tenn.

She was born on Oct. 24, 1945 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of Ronald Vance and Floy Norman Vance.

She was preceded in death by her first Husband; Bobby Ross Banner, Father, Ronald Vance; Mother, Floy Vance; Great-Grandson; Abel Bryson Buchanan; Brother Randall William Vance; Sister; Patsy Patricia Bowman
Evelyn leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Daughters, Melissa (Mark) Greene of Newland, NC, Gina (Terry) McKinney of Newland, NC Sons; David Banner of Roan Mountain, TN, Tim Banner of Roan Mountain, TN, Bobby Banner of Newland, NC, Brother, Wayne (Donna) Vance of Newland, NC.

Seven Grandchildren, and Three Great-Grandchildren

The family will receive friends beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
Services for Evelyn L. Potter will be held on, Sept. 23, 2017 beginning 3:00 PM at from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, with Charlie Austin and Reverend Ronnie Pyatte officiating. 

The family will receive friends beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 prior to the service. 
Interment will be in the Montezuma Cemetery following the service. 

The family would like to extend a special Thank you to Medi-Home Hospice and The Water’s at Roan Highlands Nursing Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Medi-Home Hospice: P.O. Box 1357, Newland, NC 28657
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Potter family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net.

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


Roser Blake Watson (Nov. 18, 1927 – Sept. 19, 2017)

Mr. Roser Blake Watson, 89, of 118 Wildwood Drive, Deep Gap, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 at his residence.

Mr. Watson was born Nov. 18, 1927 in Watauga County, a son of the late Andrew and Maebelle Sanders. He was retired from the furniture industry and was a member of Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church.

Mr. Watson is survived by three daughters, Janet Trivette and Linda Watson, both of Deep Gap, and Mary Hodges of Wilkesboro; one son, Cecil Watson of Deep Gap; one brother, Homer Watson and wife Diane of Winston-Salem, and three sisters, Annlee Cobler of Trade, Tennessee, Dasie Hutchins of Wilkesboro, and Estelle Wheeler of Greenville, South Carolina.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Lockhart Watson; one daughter, Barbara Ann Watson; two brothers, Perry and Dill Watson; one sister Faye Morgan, and two grandsons, Blake Connley “B.C.” Watson and Steven Richard Smith.

Funeral services for Mr. Roser Blake Watson will be conducted Friday afternoon, Sept. 22, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Eric Proffitt. Military graveside rites and burial, provided by American Legion Post 130 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90, will follow in Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.

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

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

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


Mrs. Beulah D. Proffit (Dec. 11, 1924 – Sept. 16, 2017)

Mrs. Beulah Davis Proffit, 92, of Meat Camp Road, Boone, passed away Saturday morning, Sept. 16, 2017 at her home. Born Dec. 11, 1924 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of the late Walter H. and Emma Bryan Davis. Mrs. Proffit was a member of Meat Camp Assembly of God. She was retired from Shadowline where she worked as a seamstress.

She is survived by four sons; Ronnie Steve Proffit and wife Carolyn, David Wayne Proffit and wife Marcella and Samuel Ned Proffit and wife Kim, all of Boone, and Ted Proffit and wife Lisa of Statesville, two daughters, Charlotte Miller and Deloris Miller and husband Ray all of Boone, one daughter in law, Sandra Proffit of Yadkinville,a sister-in-law, Joyce Davis, twenty grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren, four brothers, John Davis and wife Betty of Boone, Jim Davis and wife Kris of Florida, Paul Davis of Virginia, and Arlie Davis and wife Ann of Lincolnton, and one sister, Shirley Critcher and husband Lawford of Boone and one sister in law, Joyce Davis of Boone. 

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband Cicero Proffit, two sons; James Cicero Jim Proffit, Jr., and John Bernard Pete Proffit, one son in law, Lowell Miller, three brothers, Bob, Hoyle and Carroll Davis, and two sisters, Blanche Greene and Linda Kapral, a great grand daughter, Tara Guy , and a grandson in law, Lynn Freeland.

Funeral services for Mrs. Beulah Davis Proffit will be conducted Tuesday afternoon at 2 oclock at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Rev. Jerry Moretz. Burial will follow in the Proffits Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to the Meat Camp Assembly of God Youth Fund, 3639 Meat Camp Road, Boone, NC 28607. The family will receive friends Tuesday prior to the service from 1 oclock until 2 at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. 

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

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


Bob Blackburn (Dec. 30, 1936 – Sept. 16, 2017)

Bob Blackburn, 80, of Pageland, South Carolina went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at his residence.

He was born on Dec. 30, 1936 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of Spencer Blackburn and Omalee Owens Blackburn.

Bob was preceded in death by Father, Spencer Blackburn; Mother, Omalee Blackburn; Brothers; E.S. Blackburn and Harry Blackburn and Granddaughter; Genny Lynn Blackburn.

Bob leaves behind to cherish his memory: Wife; Barbara of Pageland, SC; Sons Bobby (Cindy) Blackburn, Gregory (Chrissy) Blackburn, Michael (Julie) Blackburn; Daughter; Michelle (Jon) Phipps
Six Grandchildren and 7 Great-Grandchildren.

There will be a private graveside ceremony.

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

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


Hardrock Stamey (Nov. 5, 1968 – Sept. 14, 2017)

James “Hardrock” Stamey, 48, of Jonas Ridge, NC passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Hardrock was born on Nov. 5, 1968 in Spruce Pine, NC to Ken and Louise Stamey. Hardrock was a member of Chestnut Dale Baptist Church and a life-long member of Linville Central Rescue Squad. His passion for the rescue squad came from the joy he experienced when helping other people. Hardrock never met a stranger and would do anything to help out someone in need. He enjoyed cooking, hunting, and traveling with his family, He was an admirable husband, loving father, great son, wonderful brother, beloved uncle and exceptional friend. Hardrock was employed by Underwood and Weld, Inc.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Tina Cable Stamey of the home; daughter, Lakean Byrd and husband, James Michael of Bunnlevel, NC; daughter, Katie Stamey of Hiddenite, NC; sister, Rita Huffman and husband, Keith of Newland, NC; nephew, Hunter (Bubba) Huffman of Newland, NC; sister-in-law, Jimessa Daniels and husband, Perry of Newland, NC; sister-in-law Lynn Turbyfill and husband, Timmy of Roan Mtn, TN; nieces, Sarah Beth (SB) and Betsy (Bootsie) Daniels of Newland, NC, and Ryan (BP) and Reagan (LP) Turbyfill of Roan Mtn, TN; father-in-law, Jim Cable of Elk Park, NC; his “adopted” children, Erin Benfield, Rabecka Graham, Margie Sluder, Paul Shoemaker, Shelby Barrier, Jada Coffey, Michelle South, Jericha Jones, Katelyn Thomas, Olivia Haigler, Candace Grindstaff and numerous others; and a host of extended family and friends
Serving as pallbearers will be Hunter Huffman, Rick Moody, Mitchell Clark, Nathan Clark, Bros Ollis, Greg Andrews, Bart Farmer, John Crowe, Mike Carpenter, Edward Barrier, Hubba Aldridge, Jamie Singleton, Sim Aldridge, Gil Lewis, and Petey Aldridge. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of Linville Central Rescue Squad, Crossnore Fire Department, and the employees of Underwood and Weld, Inc.

Services for Hardrock will be held on Thursday, September 21st 2017 at 5:00pm at Avery County High School with Pastor Andy Willis and Pastor Chad Cole officiating. Interment will follow at the Stameytown Community Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, September 20th 2017 beginning at 5:00pm at Avery County High School.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Limitless Love and Linville Central Rescue Squad.
Limitless Love C/O Thomas Dellinger – P.O. Box 157 Crossnore, NC 28616
Linville Central Rescue Squad – P.O. Box 716, Newland, NC 28657

To leave condolences and share memories with the family, please visit our website www.rsfh.net.


Jean Hicks (March 19, 1943 – Sept. 14, 2017)

Phyllis Jean Hicks 74, of Elk Park, North Carolina passed away on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn.

She was born on March 19, 1943 in Washington County, Tennessee, a daughter of Carl Pierson and Ellen Skinner.

Jean was a member of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church of Elk Park, North Carolina. 
She enjoyed cooking and shopping and spending time with her family and her little dog Molly.
She will be missed by her dearly loved husband of 55 years and her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents Carl and Ellen Skinner Pierson, Daughter; Lesa Hicks; Sisters; Barbara Pierson and Sharon Sheward.

Jean leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Husband, Denton Hicks of Elk Park, NC; Daughters; Lena (Don) Winters of Butler, TN. and Kathy (Mike) Lunsford of Elk Park, NC, Granddaughters, Sarah (David) Esquivel of Lincolnton, NC, Debora (Chris) Logel of Orange Beach, AL,: Jessica Lunsford of Fayetteville, NC, Megan Lunsford of Elk Park, NC Grandsons, Daniel (Sydney) Winters of Hendersonville, TN and Michael Lunsford of Hampton, TN; Great-Grandchildren; Caleb, Tessa, Elyse, Abigail, Salomon, Isak, and Susana Sister; Karen (Patrick) Tilley of Jonesborough, TN, Brothers; Carl ( Sue) Pierson of Jonesborough TN and Allen (Tommie) Pierson of Johnson City, TN.
Several nieces and nephews and precious friend Frankie Bare.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Grandfather Chapel at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with the funerals services beginning at 6 p.m., with Reverend Lynn Pierce and Reverend Don Winters officiating.

Interment will be Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 at 12 p.m. at the Molly Guinn Family Cemetery. 
The family of Jean would like to extend a Special Thank You to The ICU Nurses at Johnson City Medical Center, Elk Park First Responders. 

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

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


Iva June Wagner (July 1, 1935 – Sept. 13, 2017)

Iva June Calloway Wagner, 82, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Cannon Memorial Hospital, Linville. She was born July 1, 1935, at home in Foscoe, NC, to Julius and Sabert Ward Calloway.

Ms. Wagner was preceded in death by brothers, Steve, William, and J.C.; sisters, Wanda, Goldie, and Norma Jean; sons, Steven, David, and Terry; daughters, Theresa and 2 infants; and grandsons, Robby and Dustin.
She is survived by 2 sons, Dennis Martin Isaacs and wife Paulette of Elk Park, and Dale Isaacs and wife Cyndie of Winston-Salem; brothers, Albert, Frank, and Gary; sisters, Sadie and Mae Belle; 16 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Ms. Wagner was employed by Watauga Medical Center for many years and was of the Christian faith.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Chris, David, Mikey, T, Doug, Joshua, and Daniel..
Funeral services for Iva June Calloway Wagner will be conducted Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in the Calloway Family Cemetery in Foscoe. The family will receive friends prior to the services from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Sunday.
Online condolences may be shared with the Wagner family at our website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. 
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Wagner family.


Sue Carroll (Dec. 16, 1946 – Sept. 11, 2017)

Sue Carroll, 70, of Deep Gap, passed into the heavenly arms of Jesus while at Watauga Medical Center surrounded by everyone she loved to the moon and back and that loved her.

Sue was born in Washington, D.C. to the late Lawrence & Gladys Wyatt. She and her family moved to the Deep Gap area when she was a teenager. She met her future husband and love of her life, JR Carroll while working at IRC/TRW in Boone, NC.

Sue was a stay at home mom who also had many little side businesses to supplement her family while raising their two daughters. Sue and JR had a hobby of restoring old Corvair cars together. Several of the cars that they restored were featured in the National Corsa Corvair magazine. She especially loved the old blue 1966 Corvair Convertible that they restored from the ground up together. Their weekends were spent traveling to car shows and making many friends along the way that have lasted for years after they stopped restoring cars.

Sue also enjoyed being on the go with an annual family vacation often spent at the beach or traveling to Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee to visit relatives. When she and JR found that they had an empty nest, they took up traveling to other regions. One of their favorite trips was up to Maine and then to Prince Edward Island. It was not long after that that they discovered the fun of camping. They often traveled to Bandits Roost in Wilkesboro and Tom Johnson’s Campground in Marion to meet up with family and friends for an extended camping period. 

Sue enjoyed the adventure of traveling and meeting people. Her new friends became like family and she would include them in all of our family gatherings. There were always new and old friends showing up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or anytime there was food to be served. It soon spilled over onto her grandchildren who were always bringing someone over to meet Mo and Poppy and eat her fried apple pies.

Sue had many talents. She was creative and could paint, draw, sew and was a very good writer. Decorating her house for the seasons or holidays was very important to her and made their home a special place to visit 

Sue was the best friend that any two daughters could ever have. She loved all people and especially little children. More people than just her family called her “Aunt Sue” or “Mo”. She also loved her fur babies, Gabby & Webster. 

Sue is survived by her husband, JR Carroll of the home; two daughters, Challe Talbot and husband Jeff of Boone, and Renee’ Carroll and her fiancé James Beck of Winston-Salem; one granddaughter, Madison Johnson and husband Charles of Creston; three grandsons, Laiken South of Thomasville, Cole South of Thomasville, and Shane Talbot and his fiancée Evie Mabe of Lincolnton & Lenoir; one great-granddaughter, Saylor Johnson of Creston; one great-grandson, Jackson Johnson of Creston; one sister, Diana Miller and husband Forest of Deep Gap, and two brothers, Paul Wyatt and wife Pam of Troutdale, Virginia, Sam Wyatt and wife Virginia of Denver, NC. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Nicole Carroll, her sisters, Mary Linda Wyatt and Monica Arnold, and her brother, Charles Wyatt. 

A Celebration of Life service for Sue Carroll will be conducted Friday morning, September 15, 2017, at 11:00 o’clock, at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Officiating will be Reverend Bud Russell and Dr. Greg Heisler.

The family will receive friends Friday morning, from 9:30 until 10:45, at the church, prior to the service.

Flowers appreciated or contributions to Mount Vernon Church, 3505 Bamboo Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, or American Cancer Society, in care of Brian Barker, 441 Daniel Drive, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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


Geraldine Cote Miller (Aug. 24, 1933 – Sept. 9, 2017)

Angels lifted Geraldine Miller of Boone, to heaven today, into the arms of our Lord and the embrace of her late husband, Worth Miller. 

Born Aug. 24, 1933 in South Bend, IN, she was the first of four children born to the late Lawrence G. Cote and Bridget (Brzezinski) Cote. 

Precious memories will be shared by her family, including her daughter, Susan Miller of Charlotte; her brother, Lawrence Cote and wife Nancy of Woodstock, Illinois; brothers-in-law Baxter Miller of Boone and Eugene Miller of Florida; her grandchildren, Scott Hanson and wife Lynne, Matthew VanHoughton and wife Cynthia, Michael Miller and wife Lauren, Jonathon Miller, Kristin Miller, Curtis Miller, James Miller and Nicholas Hanson; her great-grandchildren, Opal Deeter, Jackson Hanson, Aiden Miller and Sophia VanHoughton; daughter-in-law Erin Miller; her very special friend, Billie Main and many nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Worth Clyde Miller; her son, Donald Miller, and her sisters Sharon Phelps and Carol Travers.

Funeral services for Geraldine Cote Miller will be conducted Thursday afternoon, September 14, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral home chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 12:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Chris Thayer. Burial will follow in Bethelview United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, North Carolina, 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.

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