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Watauga County Obituaries – Compiled June 16, 2014

Watauga County Obituaries – Compiled June 16, 2014

Mr. Ralph Arnette (July 25, 1948 – June 15, 2014)

Mr. Ralph “Junior” Arnette, age 65, of Arnette Hollow Road, Vilas, passed away Sunday morning, June 15, 2014 at Watauga Medical Center. Born July 25, 1948, he was a son of the late Ralph and Grace Hayes Arnette. Junior was a member and Deacon at Timbered Ridge Baptist Church. He loved his Lord and Savior, his family and his church family. Junior was the former owner of Arnette Brothers Construction. He enjoyed hunting ginseng, garden and fishing.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Morefield Arnette, two daughters, Alice Davis and husband James and Angie England and husband Carlyle all of Boone, three grandsons; T. J. Davis, Thomas Davis and Rusty Davis, three granddaughters; Jennifer Davis, Nicole and Chasity, one brother, O. J. Arnette and wife Edith of Lenoir, two sisters, Minnie Story and husband Larry of Vilas and Linda Arnette and husband Harry of Banner Elk, one sister in law, Penny Arnette of Sugar Grove, and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and brothers and sisters in law. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Ralph Joel Arnette, and two brothers, infant Charles Arnette and George Arnette, Sr.

Funeral services for Mr. Junior Arnette will be conducted Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Timbered Ridge Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Derick Wilson, Rev. Chuck Morefield and Rev. Eric Cornett. The body will lie in state at the church from 1 until 2 o’clock. Burial will follow in the Arnette Family Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Arnette Family, 366 Arnette Hollow Road, Vilas, NC 28692.

The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6 o’clock until 8 o’clock at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home.

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

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

Charles William “Bill” Butcher (Dec. 1, 1942 – June 12, 2014)

Mr. Charles William “Bill” Butcher, age 71, of 160 Chattyrob Lane, West Jefferson, died Thursday, June 12, 2014.

Born December 3, 1942 in Martinsville, Virginia, he was a son of the late Francis Charles Butcher and Erma Lea Butcher.

A quote from Henry David Thoreau describes Bill’s life philosophy: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach…” In the course of his life, Bill helped a great many people, but he also hurt some of the very ones he was helping. To those who have been injured, Bill would have wanted you to know of his deep remorse to his last breath.

Mr. Butcher is survived by one niece, Caroline Douglas of Mars Hill, North Carolina and one nephew, Chris Mahla and wife, Kalle, of Seattle, Washington.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Mary Reynolds.

A private memorial service for Mr. Charles William “Bill” Butcher will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Thoreau Society, 341 Virginia Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742. Online condolences may be sent to the Butcher family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

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

Mr. Buster B. Burleson (May 26, 1925 – June 11, 2014)

Buster Burleson, 89, of Banner Elk, passed away on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at his home in Banner Elk. Born on May 26, 1925 in the Roaring Creek community of Avery County, he was the son of Robert Jefferson and Bonnie Young Burleson.

A U. S. Navy veteran, Buster served as a radar operator in the South Pacific. After the Navy, he worked for a period of time in Baltimore, Maryland, then returned home to attend Appalachian State Teachers College. There he earned a B.S. followed by a M.A. in School Administration.

A fan of all sports, his early career in teaching included coaching football and basketball at Cranberry High School. During his tenure both teams enjoyed great success; Buster was named Most Outstanding Basketball Coach in the Parkway Conference for the 1962-63 season.

When the Avery County Schools consolidated, he was appointed to the positions of Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of Avery County High School. In 1970 he was named Principal at Crossnore Elementary, where the school was selected to pilot the first kindergarten in Avery County. While at Crossnore, Buster was honored as Principal of the Year. After several years of serving as Principal of Elk Park Elementary School, he retired from his career in education.

Skyline Telephone Membership Corporation was a major part of Buster’s life. Where there, he served on the Board of Directors for 33 years, as vice-President of Skyline from 1994 to present, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Skybest Communications from 2002 until his death. His passion for education made serving as Chairman of the Scholarship Committee for Skyline a special joy. On a bigger scale, he was on the Meetings Committee of the National Telephone Cooperative Association.

Buster loved woodworking, antiquing, and listening to bluegrass music. He was known to tell a great story and could crack a mean joke.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Alma Hughes.

Buster is survived by his wife, Jackie Burleson, daughter Michelle Aldridge of Parkville, Maryland, son Brad Burleson and wife Kathryn of Asheville. He was also blessed with five grandchildren: Riley, Payton, Bailey and Reagan Aldridge and Holden Glenn Burleson, and a sister, Ruth Harris of Black Mountain.

A member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church of Banner Elk, Buster served on church committees and the Board of Deacons.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with the date and time to be announced in a few days.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to Mount Calvary Land Acquisition Fund PO Box 125, Banner Elk, NC 28604 or to Medi Home Health & Hospice of Newland, PO Box 1357, Newland, NC 28657.

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

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Burleson Family.

Ruth Copeland Williams (June 23, 1923 – June 9, 2014)


Ruth Copeland Williams, age 90 of Broadway, died Monday (6/9/2014) at Life Care Center in Banner Elk, NC.

She was born in Harnett County, daughter of the late Archie Oscar Copeland and Mattie Lee Kelly Copeland. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Jessie Copeland Hunter and Sarah Copeland Mansfield; and her husband Willie Barden Williams.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm Thursday at the Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Broadway with Rev. Garland Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Surviving is her daughter Diane Williams and her husband Jerry Taylor of Vilas, NC; Grandchildren Robin Greene (David) and Susan Tate (Dave Freireich); great grandchildren Tori Greene, Holly Greene, Lila Freireich and Henry Freireich; Two special nieces Cathy Thomas and Janet Harrington both of Broadway.

The family will receive friends from 1-2pm on Thursday at the Smith Funeral Home in Broadway, one hour prior to the funeral service and other times at the family home, 618 South Main Street, Broadway. Arrangements are by the Smith Funeral Home of Broadway.

Announcement is courtesy of Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory.