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Watauga County Obituaries – Compiled Aug. 19, 2014

Gordon B. “Shorty” Bolick (March 20, 1924 – Aug. 16, 2014) 


Gordon B. “Shorty” Bolick, age 90, of 9069 Blackberry Road, Lenoir, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, Aug. 16, 2014, at Watauga Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family.

Mr. Bolick, who was known by many as “Shorty”, was born March 20, 1924 in Caldwell County, a son of the late Aaron Butler Bolick and Celia Ford Bolick. He was a World War II Veteran, serving his country from 1944 until 1946.

“Shorty” is survived by his loving wife of seventy-two years, Belle Knight Bolick, of the home, four sons, Jerry Bolick and wife Doris of Hickory, Jim Bolick and wife Connie of Twin Bridges, Montana, Benny Bolick and wife Carol of Lenoir and Dennis Bolick and wife Paula of Lenoir, three daughters Rebecca Miller and husband Mike of Boone, Norma Eggers and husband David of Blowing Rock, and Mildred Johnson and husband John of Lenoir, a sister-in-law Iantha Bolick of Hickory, twenty grandchildren, six step-grandchildren and thirty-four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

In addititon to his parents, Mr. Bolick was preceded in death by a brother, Doyle Bolick, a sister, Sylvia Bolick Day, two daughters-in-law, Joanne Storie Bolick and Nancy Powell Bolick, and two precious grandchildren, Robin Devanna Bolick and Jeremy Gordon Bolick.

Funeral services for Mr. Gordon B. “Shorty” Bolick will be conducted Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1 to 2 p.m. Officiating will be Reverend Brent Bolick. Military graveside rites and burial, provided by Caldwell County Veterans Honor Guard, Inc., will follow in the Bolick Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday evening, Aug. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hampton Funeral Service.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue, in care of Kent Graham, 8001 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, 28605.

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

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

Mrs. Joanne Critcher Wellborn (February 09, 1932 – August 16, 2014) 

Mrs. Joanne Critcher Wellborn, 82, of US 221 North, Deep Gap, passed away Saturday morning, Aug. 16, 2014 at Watauga Medical Center.


Born Feb. 9, 1932 in Watauga County she was a daughter of the late Fred and Lillie Hartley Critcher. Joanne was a member of Gap Creek Baptist Church. She worked along with her husband Jack at J & M Wrecker Service as the office manager and was the owner and operator of Mountain Top Ice Cream. Joanne enjoyed working in both her flower garden and vegetable garden.

She is survived by one son, Phil Wellborn, one daughter in law, Debbie Wellborn, both of Deep Gap, two granddaughters, Courtney Eller and husband Jason of Todd and Meagan Wellborn and fiancé Scottie Rich of Sophia, three great grandchildren, Sawyer and Peyton Eller and Hurley Rich, two sisters; Faye Castor and Margaret Cook and husband Roger all of Boone, five brothers, Carl Critcher and wife Ethel Mae, Tommy Critcher and wife Robbie of Boone, Dwight Critcher and wife Virginia, Sammy Critcher and wife Gloria of Deep Gap, and Ray Critcher and wife Joan of Charlotte, and one sister in law, Jan Blackburn of Deep Gap.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Wellborn, one son, Mark Wellborn, two sisters, Selma Hollars and Mary Cook, and three brothers, Bill Critcher, Jerry Critcher and an infant, Don Critcher.

Funeral services for Mrs. Joanne Critcher Wellborn will be conducted Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Laurel Springs Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Paul Coffey, Rev. Rick Critcher and Rev. Keith Wagner. Burial will follow in the Laurel Springs Baptist Church Cemetery.

Flowers are accepted or memorials gifts may be made to the family or Appalachian Senior Companion Program, PO Box 605, Jefferson, NC 28640.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m. at Laurel Springs Baptist Church Baptist Church. At other times friends may call at the Wellborn residence. Online condolences may be shared with the Wellborn family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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

Mr. Ned R. Trivette (Jan. 29, 1933 – Aug. 15, 2014) 

On August 15, 2014 the Lord welcomed Ned Reeves Trivette home.

Trivette - Photo by Lonnie Webster
Trivette – Photo by Lonnie Webster

Ned was born in the family’s farm house in the Beaver Dam Township of Watauga County on Jan. 29, 1933 where he still resided at the time of his passing.

He was the son of the late Audie E. Trivette and Susie Hagaman Trivette and was married for 33 years to the late Maxine Joyner Trivette. He was also predeceased by his brother Max Wilson Trivette.

Ned grew up in Watauga County and graduated from Bethel High School in the Bethel Community. Through the influence of his mother, who had attended Appalachian Training School, and the influence of many elementary and secondary teachers who attended Appalachian State Teachers College, it seemed natural for Ned to enter Appalachian as well where he graduated in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in business. It was at Appalachian where he met the former Maxine Joyner who graduated in 1957, they were wed that same year.

Ned began his professional career with Appalachian in July 1956 when B.B. Dougherty, Appalachian vice president and comptroller, invited him to join the business office staff of five persons. During this period, Ned took a leave of absence to earn a master’s in business administration from Florida State University in 1960 returning to Appalachian after graduation. Dougherty’s untimely death in 1964 placed Ned in a position of responsibility for the fiscal and physical affairs of Appalachian, challenging the limits his enthusiasm and dedication to the Institution. For the next twenty-five years, Ned helped facilitate the transformation of a teacher’s college into a university of more than eleven thousand students. Under the leadership of President William H. Plemmons, Appalachian experienced unprecedented growth during the late ’50s and ’60s and even more growth under Chancellors Herbert W. Whey and John E. Thomas in the ’70s and ’80s.

During the growth of the University, Ned directed the planning and construction of more than 30 major campus structures. Some thirteen high-rise residence halls were financed and built that now provide campus housing for more than 4,500 students. The University also constructed 100 apartments for campus housing, academic facilities were expanded by building seven major classroom buildings, and a new library was constructed in 1968 followed by a major renovation in 1975. The development of support facilities such as food services, a new bookstore, a new student center, a new postal and health facility, warehouse and physical plant facilities, parking, walkways, and other campus enhancement were a part of the total campus expansion effort Ned led that provided for a complete university setting. The Broyhill Inn and Conference Center was planned and constructed during Ned’s tenure and Conrad Stadium, now known as Kidd Brewer Stadium was expanded twice during his time at the University, providing artificial surfaces which gave year-round activity access to students.

In 1978 Appalachian State University recognized Ned as an outstanding alumnus. Ned retired as Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs on July 31, 1990. At his retirement dinner after serving the University for over thirty years, the administration announced that the new food services building on the west side of campus overlooking the scenic Duck Pond would be named Ned and Maxine Trivette Hall.

Community affairs were also a source of commitment and satisfaction for Ned, as demonstrated by his service in civic, church and public activities. He served as president of the Boone Jaycees, president of Watauga County United Way, Chairman of the Watauga County Planning Board, Chairman of the Watauga County Transportation Authority and chaired numerous church committees at the First Baptist Church of Boone.

After retiring from Appalachian, Ned returned to the family farm and continued his service in his church, music and the arts. He experienced great joy and love as a member of Bethel Baptist Church, where he could be found many evenings visiting members of the Bethel community with the church’s pastor, Charlie Martin. Ned was inspired by the music of Joe Shannon, the founder of Mountain Home Music and soon became an active board member and attending concerts. Ned’s love of art found a home with the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum where he was also board member. Ned hosted numerous “pig pickings” at his home in Bethel honoring both Mountain Home Music and BRAHM where attendees would delight at his skill in cooking a pig all the while engaging in conversation, enjoying the music and developing life-long friendships. In addition to his days at the family farm, Ned enjoyed traveling to Ireland and England to experience the people, culture, music and history.

Ned remarried in September of 1993 to Barbara Waters of Wilmington, NC. They resided in the family farm house in Bethel and divorced in 2003.

Ned is survived by his son, Mark Edward Trivette of Atlanta, GA, his daughter and son-in-law, Susan Trivette Black, wife of Dr. Keith Black of Asheville, NC and six granddaughters; Rachael Maxine Trivette, Holland Reeves Trivette, Leslie Reagan Trivette, Lauren Michelle Black, Kathryn Joyce Black and Sarah Elizabeth Black. Also surviving are his sister Mary Faye Tester of Sugar Grove, NC, niece Betsy Tester Church, nephew Larry Trivette , niece Mary Ruth Taylor, sister-in–law Ann Barr and nieces Pam Woods and Nicole Rice and several great nieces and nephews. In addition to family, Ned is survived by his two closest friends who he met while in college at Appalachian in the 1950s, Wade Wilmoth and Robert Snead, both of Boone, NC.

Ned’s family will welcome visitors at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home on Thursday evening, Aug. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. A private graveside service for family will follow on Friday morning. A memorial event to celebrate Ned’s life is being planned by the family and will be held at a later date.

In place of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Bethel Baptist Church Building Fund, 123 Mountain Dale Road, Vilas, NC 28692 or to Mountain Home Music, PO Box 572, Boone, NC 28607 or the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, PO Box 828, Blowing Rock, NC 28605.

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

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

Joseph G. Winfree (Dec. 26, 1937 – Aug. 15, 2014)

Joseph G. Winfree, 76, of Lansing, N.C. passed away Friday morning, Aug. 16, 2014. He was a native of Raleigh and the son of the late Gaston M. and Josephine Phillips Winfree. Joseph was a past mayor of Rolesville, N.C. for 12 years.

He is survived by his wife, Rose Winfree of Lansing, N.C., a daughter, Ashlyn Winfree and husband, Matt Brady of Gainesville, Ga., a son, Scott Winfree and wife, Renee Kennedy of Anchorage, Alaska., and a very special grandson, Brady. Two step-grandsons, two step-great grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

A gathering in his memory will be held Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 at 1 p.m. in the New River State Park at the Picnic Shelter Wagoner Access, Jefferson, N.C. Friends and neighbors are invited to share food, memories and stories. Memorials may be made to the MSA-Hospice, attention Dana Price, P.O. Box 421, Jefferson, N.C. 28640 and/or the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 176 Lansing, N.C. 28643.

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

Mr. Wilkie David Tester (Sept. 11, 1940 – Aug. 14, 2014) 

Wilkie David Tester, 73, of Smith Street, Sugar Grove, passed away Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 at Watauga Medical Center.


Born Sept. 11, 1940 in the Laurel Creek Township of Watauga County, he was a son of James and Rosa Presnell Tester. He was of the Baptist faith and served in the US Army during the Viet Nam Era. Wilkie was employed at PPG Furniture in Lexington for a number of years and in his spare time, he enjoyed woodworking, especially building and selling his birdhouses at the Foscoe Flea Market.

Mr. Tester is survived by his wife of 22 years, Florence Presnell Tester; two sons, Eddie and Shane Tester, both of Lexington; two step-daughters, Retha Brooks of Concord and Lina Church of Boone; two step-sons, Troy Hicks and wife, Martha, of Paris, Texas, and Rory Hicks of Boone; three sisters, Sarah Tester of Thomasville, Joyce Self of Stokesdale, and Lois Tester of Archdale; brother, Waldo Tester and wife, Shirley, of Julian, NC; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Marie Tester.

Graveside services will be conducted Monday afternoon, Aug. 18, 2014, at 3 p.m. at the Presnell Cemetery on Kellersville Road, officiated by Rev. Chad Cole. In the event of rain, services will be held at Beech Valley Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to assist the family with funeral expenses. Online condolences may be shared with the Testers at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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

Geneva Cannon Fox (Aug. 10, 1924 – Aug. 14, 2014)

Geneva Cannon Fox, 90, of Old Bristol Road, Boone, passed away Thursday morning, Aug. 14, 2014, at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville.


Mrs. Fox was born Aug. 10, 1924, in Watauga County, the daughter of the late Alvin Theodore Cannon and Texie Viola Cornell Cannon. She was a graduate of Appalachian State University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and her Teaching Certificate. In her early career, she was employed by Colvard Oil Company and was co-owner of Fox Phillips 66 in Boone. Mrs. Fox was the retired owner and operator of “Storehouse For Your Jewel” nursery school and kindergarten in Boone. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Boone.

Mrs. Fox is survived by two sons, Leverne S. Fox Jr. and wife Amy of Banner Elk, and Len Fox and wife Susan of Boone; one granddaughter, Meredith Fox of Banner Elk, and one grandson, Will Fox of Banner Elk.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Leverne S. Fox Sr. and one brother, William Clint Cannon.

Graveside services and burial for Geneva Cannon Fox were conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, Aug. 16, 2014, at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. Officiating was Pastor Roy Dobyns.

The family received friends Saturday morning, from 9:30 until 11 a.m., at Hampton Funeral Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Boone, 375 West King Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

Online condolences may be sent to the Fox family by clicking to www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Blanch Helen Aldridge Byrd (March 6, 1926 – Aug. 13, 2014) 

Blanch Helen Aldridge Byrd, 88, of 140 R.J. Aldridge Road, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday morning, at Watauga Medical Center.


Mrs. Byrd was born March 6, 1926 in the Foscoe Community, a daughter of the late Roy and Gladie Aldridge. She was homemaker and a member of Watauga Baptist Church.

Mrs. Byrd is survived by her husband of 68 years, Howard A. Byrd; two daughters, Janet McLean and husband Bruce of the Grandfather Community, and Vanessa Church of Wilkesboro; one son, Kim Byrd and wife Linda of Boone; six grandsons, Tracy McLean, Scott McLean, and Travis McLean and wife Angela, all of the Grandfather Community, Curtis Church of North Wilkesboro, Toby Church of Wilkesboro, and Clint Byrd and girlfriend Lauren Fontaine of Vilas; one granddaughter, Morgan Dugger and fiancé Paul Trivette of Mountain City, Tenn.; one step-grandson, Marshall Hopper and wife Tiffany of Zionville; four great-grandsons, Chase McLean of Raleigh, Holden McLean and Austin McLean, both of the Grandfather Community, and William Rhett Church of Mooresville; one step great-grandson, Cameron Fletcher of Zionville; one great-granddaughter, Emma Dugger of Mountain City; one step great-granddaughter, Mollie Grace Hopper; one great great-grandson, Peyton Million of Boone; one brother, Wade Aldridge and wife Ann of Morganton; four sisters, Verlene Roark of Boone, Bernice Byrd of the Grandfather Community, Mary Wilcox of Vilas, and Jean Gragg and husband Bobby of Lenoir, and one sister-in-law, Virginia Aldridge of the Grandfather Community. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one son-in-law, William “Bill” Church; one great-granddaughter, Kelsie McLean Million; six brothers, Stewart, Lon, Marl, Clell, Marsh, and Jim Aldridge, and two sisters, Carmalee Ellis and Princess Aldridge.

Funeral services for Blanch Helen Aldridge Byrd will be conducted Sunday afternoon, Aug. 17, 2014, at 3:00 p.m., at Watauga Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 2 to 3 p.m. Officiating will be Reverend R.D. Watson and Pastor Ken Caswell. Burial will follow in the Watauga Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Saturday evening, from 7:00 to 9 p.m. at Hampton Funeral Service.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to Watauga Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of David Shook, 314 Park Road, Banner Elk, North Carolina, 28604, or to the American Heart Association, 128 South Tryon Street, Suite 1588, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28202.

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

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

Reverend Carl M. Johnson (Dec. 3, 1935 – Aug. 13, 2014) 


Reverend Carl M. Johnson, 78, of 289 Bob Campbell Road, Vilas, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Wednesday evening, Aug. 13, 2014, at his home.

Preacher Carl, as he was affectionately known, was born December 3, 1935 in Watauga County, a son of the late Charlie and Bessie Brewer Johnson.

Preacher Carl answered the call to preach in 1975. During his ministry he pastored four churched in Tennessee and North Carolina. He served 13 years at Midway Baptist, 24 years at Zionville Baptist and 35 years at Beaver Dam Baptist. He served Mabel Baptist for 36 years until complications from a stroke forced his retirement in December of 2013. During the last 20 years of his ministry, Preacher Carl served three churches simultaneously, preaching and teaching four times a week.

Reverend Johnson is survived by his wife, Wanda Mast Johnson of the home, a daughter, Sherrye Perry and husband Larry of Vilas, five grandsons Charlie Johnson and wife Rebecca of Millers Creek, Braxton Johnson of Sugar Grove, James Perry and wife Rebekah of Vilas, and their children Cadell, Liam, Nolan, Evangeline and Isabelle of Vilas, Eric Perry and wife Jennifer and their children Cole and Connor of Lenoir, and Jason Perry and wife Deborah and their children Donovan, Hannah and soon to be Emmalynn of Vilas, one step-son, William Mast of Sugar Grove, one step-granddaughter Madison Mast and her mother Amanda Hardy of Boone, and one brother Lloyd Johnson and wife Glenna of Jefferson, and in-laws Jackie and Marie Mast of Sugar Grove. A number of nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty Ward Johnson, one son, Wendell Shawn Johnson, a brother, John Dean Johnson and two sisters, Alice Johnson Combs and Mildred Johnson Younce.

Funeral services for Reverend Carl M. Johnson will be held Saturday afternoon, Aug. 16, at 2 p.m., at Mabel Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1 to 2 p.m.. Officiating will be Reverend Ray Greene, Reverend Leonard Fletcher, Reverend Dewey Williams and Pastor Frank Johnson. Military graveside rites and burial, provided by American Legion Post 130 and Disabled Veterans Chapter 90, will follow in the Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Friday evening, from 6to 8 p.m., at Hampton Funeral Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery Fund, in care of David Scott, 3476 Mountain Dale Road, Vilas, North Carolina, 28692 or Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, 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.