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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – September 4, 2018

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


James Randall “Randy” Collins

July 14, 1957 – August 30, 2018

James Randall “Randy” Collins is now umpiring on the “Field of Dreams”. Randy passed away Thursday afternoon, August 30, 2018.

Randy was born July 14, 1957 in Surry County, North Carolina, a son of Jim Collins and the late Sara Schuyler Collins.

Randy retired from teaching and touching many children’s lives at North Stokes High School, C.B. Eller Elementary, and Green Valley Elementary School in 2010.

He lettered in football, baseball, and basketball at North Stokes High School and was All-Conference in multiple sports.

He graduated with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education/Fitness at Appalachian State University and a Master of Arts in the same field at Gardner-Webb University. Randy was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

He was an Elder in the Fransisco Presbyterian Church and a member of Fransisco Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as Chief and was twice named Rescue Person of the Year before moving to Watauga county.

While in Boone, he served as Chief of Watauga County Rescue for 26 years. He was also an EMT, emergency vehicle operations course instructor and a North Carolina Emergency Medical Technician examiner, and he served on the Appalachian State University Yosef Advisory Board. Randy was the official scorekeeper for Appalachian State Men’s Basketball and in charge of first aid gameday operations for the Appalachian State Football Team. He most recently volunteered for the Folds of Honor Golf Marathon at Snee Farm Country Club in Mount Pleasant, SC and was volunteering at the Peter Pedroni Memorial Golf Tournament when he passed.

Randy had two hobbies he loved, the first one was saving lives through his service at Watauga Rescue and Watauga Medics. His second was as a college baseball umpire, in which he was either behind the plate or on the bases in the Big South, Southern, South Atlantic, and Carolina conferences. His smile got even larger when “he was called up” to umpire for the Hickory Crawdads and the Asheville Tourist baseball teams.

Randy lived a life of service.

Randy is survived by his wife of 27 years, Jeannine Underdown Collins and his beloved Bella, his father, Jim Collins, his brother, Greg Collins, and wife, Susan Hathcock, and nephew, Will Collins of Fransisco, Stokes county, NC, and many special friends.

Family will receive friends from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on Wednesday, September 5th at Hampton Funeral Service.

There will be a Celebration of Life at Boone United Methodist Church at 11:00 am on Thursday, September 6th with a gathering of friends to follow at the Appalachian State University Baseball Field, rain or shine as there is cover if needed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Randy Collins Athletic Training Scholarship – Yosef Club,  c/o the ASU Foundation, P.O. Box 32064, Boone, NC 28608 or Watauga County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 3394, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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


Laura “Jean” McGuire

October 25, 1934 – August 31, 2018

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Laura “Jean” McGuire, age 83, of Mast Gap Road, Sugar Grove, passed away Friday evening, August 31, 2018, at The Foley Center in Blowing Rock.

Laura “Jean” is survived by three step-daughters, Debbie Scholl and husband Don of Sugar Grove, Mary Ann Hodges and husband James of Boone, and Laurie Phillips and husband Danny of Sugar Grove; two step sons, Jim McGuire and wife Janet, and Doug McGuire and wife Caroline, all of Sugar Grove and two sisters, Kathleen Moore of Sugar Grove and Jo Isaacs of Boone. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Odell McGuire; her father and mother, Lee and Bertie Storie Combs; five brothers, Robert, Rufus, Rex, Norman, and Carlton Combs; and three sisters, Eula Norris, Ila Weaver, and Velma Johnson; one step-grandson, Chris Scholl, and one nephew, Greg Isaacs.

Funeral services for Laura Jean McGuire will be conducted Monday afternoon, September 3, 2018, at 2:00 P.M. at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M. Officiating will be Reverend Keith Freeman and Reverend Virginia Peurifoy. Burial will follow in the Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday afternoon, from 1:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M. at the funeral home, prior to the service.

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

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


Kathy Braswell

October 11, 1970 – September 01, 2018

Kathy Braswell, age 47, of Beaver Dam Road, Vilas, passed away Saturday morning, September 1, 2018.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Michael Braswell of the home; two sons, James Braswell and wife Kayla Miller of Boone, and Ray Braswell of Boone; one daughter, Vanessa Braswell of Vilas; one granddaughter, Arabella Braswell of Boone; one grandson, James Braswell, Jr. of Boone; her father, Marvin Edward “B.J.” Jones of Eight Mile, Alabama; two brothers, David Natusch of Elizabethton, Tennesse, and Andy Natusch of South Carolina, and her step-father, Warren Natusch of Elizabethton.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Heidi Natusch, and one sister, Mellissa Jones.

Funeral services for Kathy Braswell will be conducted Friday morning, September 7, 2018, at 11:00 o’clock, at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 10:00 until 11:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Bud Russell. Burial will follow in Mount Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Friday morning, from 10:00 until 11:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the family, in care of Hampton Funeral Service, Inc., 683 Blowing Rock Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28692.

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

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