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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – September 10, 2019

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


Mary Jo Shane
1953 – 2019

The one, the only Jo Shane (66) has been killed doing what she loved the best, riding her Harley down the road. Her vibrant, colorful life was cut short on September 3, 2019 in Boone, North Carolina at about 2:49 pm, when she was cut off by a careless driver who did not make an effort to watch out for motorcycles. Jo was a biker of 50 years, and had just returned from her 3600-mile trip to the Sturgis South Dakota Motorcycle Rally, a trip she had made many times.

Jo worked at living life to the fullest—she was full of life and fearless, an amazingly heathy and strong woman who was always helping others and was loved by many. She truly lived by the Golden Rule of karma—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Beneath Jo’s tough exterior was a sweet, loving soul who had so much to live for.

For the last 15 years Jo spent most of the year in Todd with her life partner Eva Hyatt, Marketing Professor at Appalachian State University, and their rescue dog Story, along with many other rescue dogs through the years, including their beloved Sassafras who passed in March of this year. The rest of Jo’s time was spent at their second home in Wa’a Wa’a in the Puna district on the Big Island of Hawaii. Before moving up the mountain, she lived in the Raleigh area where she worked at AVX.

Jo’s grieving family members are her mother, Asako Shane of Wilmington, NC, her sister Cid Shane of Wa’a Wa’a, Puna on Hawaii Island, her brother Bud Shane, his wife Karyn Shane, and their son Austin Shane (Jo’s nephew) of Wilmington, NC. Jo’s big smile and zest for life will be deeply missed by Eva, Story, the Hawaii dogs Frankie, Mana, Hina, and Lulu, Jo’s family, and many, many friends near and far, old and new.

Jo requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made either to Partners! Canines at www.partnerscanines.org or mailed to P.O. Box 33, Todd, NC 28684, or to Aloha ‘Ilio Rescue at https://www.alohailiorescue.com/support or mailed to P.O. Box 492364, Keaau, HI 96749. Please go to https://austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com/ to see the full obituary.

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

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

Clara Pennington
1931 – 2019

Mrs. Clara Norris Pennington of Boone passed away Friday afternoon, September 6, 2019, transitioning from being a living angel to one in heaven. She lived her 88 years humbly serving God and all those fortunate enough to be in her orbit. She raised her family with the love and compassion that only a very strong woman could. In good times and bad, her quiet wisdom helped bring calm. She remained active in church and community until the end and sponsored children she never met all around the globe for many decades so that they might have a better chance in life. In short, she was truly a living saint. She loved deeply, gave freely and will be profoundly missed. “We love you Mom. You will live forever in the kingdom of God and in the hearts of all whose lives you have touched. You keep Dad in line up there!”

Born February 25, 1931 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of H. Earl and Mary Lyons Norris. Mrs. Pennington was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church. In addition to being a wife and mother, she was employed as a registered mail clerk for the US Postal Service.

Mrs. Pennington is survived by her daughters, Mary Frances Pennington Groff and husband, Edward, of Banner Elk and Beverly Pennington Wood and husband, Skip, of Boone; sons, Dennis Pennington of Stafford, VA, Wayne Pennington of Boone, and Kevin Pennington of Reston, VA; and twelve grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Ralph Pennington;

brothers, Willis, Merrill and Billy Norris; and sister, Betsy Howell.

Memorial services for Clara Pennington will be conducted Tuesday morning, September 10, 2019 at 11 o’clock at Bethany Lutheran Church, officiated by Pastor Laura Weant. A reception will follow services at the church. Entombment will be in the Old Mount Pleasant Cemetery Columbarium.

If you would like to donate, the family suggests memorial donations to Bethany Lutheran Church, 1030 Big Hill Road, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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


Larry Carol Marley

April 11, 1948 – August 31, 2019

Larry Carol Marley Sr., 71, of Blowing Rock passed away on August 31, 2019 at his residence with his loving wife by his side.

Larry was born on April 11, 1948 in Caldwell County to the late Ralph Vernon Marley and Melba Jean McNeil Marley. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother; Kenneth Marley.

Larry and his son were grading contractors together for many years. Larry and his wife Carolyn, own and direct the Little Miss & Teen NC Pageant system.

Those left to cherish his memory is his wife of 53 years, Caroyn Marley, children; Kymberly Faith Marley (Holden Beach, NC), Larry Carol Marley II and wife Paula (Lake Hickory, NC), sisters; Barbara Ann Pennell and husband Jim (Hudson, NC), Jeannie Corriher and husband Charles (Lenoir, NC), grandchildren; Brandon Kyle Smith (Denvor, CO), Rev. David Smith (Lake Hickory, NC), Arlexander Smith (Lake Hickory, NC), Trey L. C Marley III (Lake Hickory, NC), Paul Marley (Lake Hickory, NC) and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral Service will be held on Friday, September 6th, 2019 at Mt. Herman UMC of Hudson at 2:30 pm with Rev. Gary Shew, Rev. David Smith and Rev. Joe Parker officiating.

A receiving of friends will be held from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm prior to the service. A Private burial will follow the service.

Pallbearers are: Larry Marley II (son), Rev. David Smith (grandson), Arlexander Smith (grandson), Trey L. C Marley III (grandson), Paul Marley (grandson), Farrow Seehorn (nephew) and Johnathon Seehorn (nephew).

Words of comfort may be expressed to the family at www.pendrysfuneralhome.com.

In Lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request memorials be made in honor of Larry Sr. to the Blowing Rock Conference Center, P. O Box 2350, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

Pendry’s Lenoir Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Larry Carol Marley Sr.

Announcement courtesy of Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service.



Gene Rayfield

January 14, 1936 – September 02, 2019

Gene Rayfield, age 83, of Bryant Combs Road, Sugar Grove, passed away Monday afternoon, September 2, 2019, at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation in Boone.

He was born January 14, 1936 in Watauga County, the son of the late George and Ada Rose Miller Rayfield. Gene served in the United States Army and the United States Air Force for over twenty years.

He is survived by two sons, Mark W. Rayfield and wife Tina of Vilas and John Patrick Rayfield of Boone; three granddaughters, Crystal, Michelle and Tonya Rayfield, two grandsons, Matt and Lucas Rayfield and one sister, Nancy McLeod of Boone. He is a also survived by a number of Great Grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Shore Rayfield, one son, Michael Gene Rayfield, five brothers, Don, Albert, James, Johnny and his twin brother Dean, two sisters, Ruby and Faye.

Funeral services Gene Rayfield will be conducted Friday, September 6, 2019 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Gordon Noble will officiate. Military graveside rites and burial provided by the American Legion, Post 130 and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90 will follow in Cove Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 1 until 2, one hour prior to the service, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Cove Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 1330 Sherwood Road, Vilas, North Carolina 28692.

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

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


Clarence “C.W.” Casey

September 02, 2019

Winston-Salem- Clarence Wilton Casey, 92, passed on to be with his heavenly father at 5:28pm Monday, Sept 2, 2019.  He was born on March 7, 1927 in Forsyth County to Albert and Maxie “Muzzy” Casey. His Christian faith and love for reading God’s word sustained him over the years.  Three-character traits stood out in his life; toughness, work ethic and most importantly unconditional love. His toughness was represented by enlisting in the US Navy during WWII at the age of 17, electrocuted in his mid-20’s as a Bell South telephone lineman, heart attack in his late 40’s, and a battle of cancer.  He kept on keeping on. His work ethic includes a 30 plus year teaching career along with working many extra jobs, ambulance driver in Charlotte, Forsyth County reserve sheriff, truck driver, Sunday school teacher, coach and etc. Most importantly was his unconditional love for family and friends.  He lived his life by his quote: “Do what you can, when you can, while you can, for as long as you can and if that doesn’t work, start all over again.”

In addition to his parents, Clarence was preceded in death by brothers, Beecher and Hubert Casey, along with his sister Bonnie Frye.  

Surviving: his wife, Fern, the love of his life;  daughters, Vanessa Casey Minton (Daniel) and Jennifer Casey Caldwell (Chris) and sons Steve Casey (Renee) and Doug Casey (Jenny). Grandchildren;  Wendy Lemus, Amber Hendley, Avery and Aubrey Casey, Jessica Gehris, Hannah Albert, Colton and Jesslyn Casey.  His Aunt, Ruby Christian.  Several great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and a special recognition to Bonnie Jean and Greg.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00PM Friday, September 6, 2019 at Oaklawn Baptist Church with Pastor Jay Boyce officiating.  Burial will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens.  The family will receive friends from 6:00pm-8:00pm, Thursday, September 5, 2019 at Hayworth-Miller Kernersville Chapel.

Memorials may be made:  Word of Truth Ministries, 3806 Community Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27107.  Oaklawn Baptist Church, 3500 Kernersville Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27107.  Wine to Water  PO Box 2567,  Boone, NC 28607 Online condolences may be made to www.hayworth-miller.com

Hayworth Miller Funeral Home, in Kernersville, NC, is in charge of the arrangements.

Announcement courtesy of Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service.


Jill Johnson Ward

May 02, 1962 – September 03, 2019

Jill Johnson Ward, age 57, of Payne Branch Road, Blowing Rock, passed away Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at her home.

Funeral arrangements for Jill Johnson Ward are incomplete at this time.

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

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


William Thomas Kennedy

February 04, 1930 – September 03, 2019

William Thomas Kennedy passed away peacefully at his home in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, on September 3, at age 89.  He was born in 1930 in Greenville, South Carolina, the oldest child of Willoughby and Francina Cook Kennedy.  He is survived by his wife Nancy Glover Kennedy, his son Clarke (Marcia) Kennedy of Beech Mountain, his daughter Denis (George) Kennedy Koenig of Atlanta, and his son David (Hannah) Kennedy of Boone NC, along with 17 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.  He is also survived by his sister Margaret (John Horton) Kennedy Smith of Pawley’s Island, SC, and a great number of nieces and nephews.

Mr. Kennedy graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952 with a degree in Industrial Engineering.  He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and president of the ANAK senior honor society.

Mr. Kennedy served for two years active duty in the United States Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL as Second Lieutenant.  Following a 15-year career at Merrill Lynch in Atlanta, Mr. Kennedy joined INDATA, an investment analysis firm in New York, managing the Atlanta office and national accounts.  In 1990, Mr. Kennedy established an independent investment advisory firm based out of Atlanta where he continued to work until retirement.

Mr. Kennedy was an active member in his churches, both in Atlanta (Northside Methodist) and Beech Mountain, NC (Banner Elk Presbyterian) where he sang joyfully in the men’s choir.  He and Nancy participated in many civic and charitable activities in both of their cherished communities.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church in Banner Elk, NC, with a reception and visitation following at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Northside Methodist Church in Atlanta, or Banner Elk Presbyterian Church in Banner Elk, NC, or The Zinzendorf Mission (zmission.org), or a charity of your choice.

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

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


Donald D. “Don” Woodring

January 06, 1944 – September 04, 2019

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, Donald Dean “Don” Woodring, loving husband and father of four children and one step-son, passed away at the age of 75 at his home surrounded by his family. Don was born on January 6, 1944 in Watauga County to Granville Carl and Iva Lee Phillips Palmer Woodring. On September 4, 1992 he married Donna Jean Eller.

Don had a passion for gardening, his family, and most of all his church and God. He was a devout Christian who led by example. He was special in every way to everyone. He never knew a stranger and was a helper to many. He was a compassionate and gentle soul and a loyal friend. He loved working with his hands and was very talented at many trades and construction projects. 

Don was preceded in death by his beloved son, Stephen Dean Woodring, and his father, Granville Carl Woodring.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Jean Woodring, his three children, Randy Woodring and wife, Melissa, Karen Hall and husband, Scott, and Jean Reid, and husband, Lynn, his daughter-in-law, Cindy Woodring, his Stepson, David Eller and wife, Cassy. He has eleven grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother, Iva Lee Palmer, his sister, Sherry Palmer, brother, Junior Woodring and wife, Rosa Lee, and brother, Larry Woodring and wife, Sue. 

Funeral services for Donald Dean “Don” Woodring will be conducted Sunday afternoon, September 8, 2019, at 3:00 o’clock, at Zionville Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 2:00 until 3:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service. Officiating will be Reverend Dwayne Tester and Mr. Phillip Woodring. Burial will follow in Zionville Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon from 2:00 until 3:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Zionville Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Ollie Phipps, 800 Modock Road, Trade, Tennessee, 37691.

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

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


Linda Carol Derrick

January 01, 1946 – September 08, 2019

Linda Carol Derrick, 73, of Boone, NC, passed away the morning of September 8, 2019.

Acknowledged as the New Year’s baby, she was born January 1, 1946, in Danville, VA. Linda grew up the cherished, special and youngest child of her family and worked hard to gain education and skills. She enjoyed playing piano and organ at her home church when growing up in SC. She loved her “doggie” and her family! She dearly loved her Savior, Jesus Christ, and her church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church. There, she deeply enjoyed the sign language choir and signing ministry. She was known affectionately to many beyond her family as “Aunt Linda.”
Linda was preceded in death by her parents, William Adam Derrick, Sr. and Hazel Williams Derrick, her sister, Mary Jane Derrick Coxe, and her brother Dr. William Adam “Buck” Derrick, Jr.

She is survived by one sister-in-law, Elizabeth Derrick of Boone, NC, and one brother-in-law, Levon Coxe of Alaska, along with numerous nieces and nephews and their families who will cherish her memory.

A service celebrating her life will be held Thursday, September 12, 2019, at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, at 11:00 o’clock. Reverend Bud Russell will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church prior to the service from 10:00 until 10:45.

A graveside service will be conducted Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1:00 o’clock at Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Winnsboro, South Carolina.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 3505 Bamboo Road, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

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

Celeste Brinkley
February 20, 1923 – September 3, 2019

Celeste Brinkley, age 96, of Elk Park, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at Cranberry House in Newland, NC. She was born on February 20, 1923 in Buncombe County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Ralph Atkins and the late Emma Lou Burgess Atkins. She was preceded in death by her Parents; Husband, Robert Lee Brinkley; Grandson, Olin Brinkley; Brother, Jack Atkins, and Nephew, Mike Bowman.
Celeste was a member of Elk Park United Methodist Church. She enjoyed watching NASCAR races and wheel of fortune with Olin and cooking for him. She also enjoyed gardening, and going out with the Lunch Bunch group.
Celeste leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Son, Tim (Myra) Brinkley of Elk Park, NC, Sister, Kathleen Bowman of Asheville, NC, Nieces: Sherry (Jack) Shelton, Teresa (George) Cole, Sandra (Steve) Watkins, Debbie Atkins, Nephews: Steve (Tena) Brinkley, Mike Brinkley, Jeff (Cappie) Bowman, Rob (Elizabeth) Atkins, David (Irene) Brinkley, and Niece in Law, Susie Bowman, Best Friends: Louise Hughes of Elk Park, NC, Aleta Cornett of Elk Park, NC, Cindy Hamby of Roan Mountain, TN,
A Memorial Service for Celeste Brinkley will be held on September 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Elk Park United Methodist Church with Rev. Rhonda Campbell officiating and Rev. Preston Thomas and Rev. David Brinkley assisting.
The Brinkley family would like to thank the staff at Cranberry House and the Staff at Medi-Home Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Medi-Home Hospice, P.O. Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Brinkley family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Celeste and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.


Elizabeth (Dolly) Marra
June 16, 1926 – September 9, 2019

Elizabeth (Dolly) Marra, age 93, of Jacksonville, Florida passed away on Monday, September 9, 2019 at her summer home in Banner Elk, NC.

She was born on June 19, 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a daughter of the late Paul Morobitto and the late Angelina Mecurio Morobitto.

She was preceded in death by her Parents; Beloved Husband of 75 years Donald Marra, and 9 siblings.

Dolly leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Loving Daughter, Anna Noe of Jacksonville, FL, Loving Niece, Frances Morobitto of Hoschton, GA, Loving Niece and Nephew Judie and David Ribic, Several other Nieces and Nephews, Special Friends: Karen, Jan, Cathy, Pat, Steven, Susan, Sandy, Robin, and Mark.

Dolly loved to tell jokes, watch TV and working as a waitress. She enjoyed listening and singing to old music.

A Funeral Service for Elizabeth (Dolly) Marra will be held on Friday, September 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Deacon Donald Waugh officiating.
The family will receive friends beginning at 12:00 pm up until the service hour a 1:00 pm on Friday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
Entombment will be in Boyton Beach Memorial Park in Boyton Beach, FL on Monday Spetember 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM

The Family of Dolly would like to offer a special thank you to Medi-Home Hospice for their wonderful care they gave to Dolly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Medi-Home Hospice, P.O. Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657.

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

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