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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – August 3, 2021

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

Arlie Wayne Bryan

1946 – 2021

Arlie “Wayne” Bryan of Todd, North Carolina went home to be with Jesus on Friday, July 23rd at 10:28am. Wayne was born on December 3rd, 1946 to Edna Mae Ellison Bryan and Arlie Jennings Bryan. He was a life-long member of Liberty Independent Missionary Baptist Church and whole-heartedly invested his time and energy into a life of service for the Lord as deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years.  

He was a Vietnam veteran, and proudly served his country. Wayne was a painter and carpenter for many years (but would rather have been fishing). He had an eye for rock work and built many beautiful local chimneys, walls, and fireplaces that still reflect his good workmanship to this day. 

Wayne loved his family…His wife, Illa Kimberlin Bryan, his son, Anthony Wayne Bryan and wife Jennifer, his daughter, Dina Bryan Combs and husband Keith, his stepson Jonathan Gale Trivette and wife LeAndrea and he did anything to help any of them any time he could. 

He was Papaw, Pop, or Sir to his grandchildren, Jessi Lea Combs, John Anthony Lee Bryan and wife Ashlynn, Joshua Wayne Bryan and wife Lindsay, Mason Raymond Combs, Maria Combs Helton and husband Adam, Ethan Gregory Trivette, and Madison Grace Trivette.

He was GREAT Papaw to Jessi’s daughter, Bailee Grace Studstrup and John’s son Arlie Reid Bryan. 

He was brother to Linda Gentry and husband Jack, Kathy Day and husband Glenn, Lydia McLelland and husband Ed, Roy Bryan and wife Mickey, Ronnie Bryan and wife Sylvia, and Phill Bryan and wife Wilma. He was brother-in-law to Ann Kimberlin Eldreth and Paul Lambert. He was Uncle, Great-Uncle, or Great-Great Uncle to a host of nieces and nephews and had many beloved cousins as well. He loved his neighbors just like family and was always ready to lend a helping hand with day to day living. 

Wayne was preceded in death by his first wife, Minnie Kincaid Bryan. He was also preceded in death by his parents Edna and Arlie, brother Stephen Henry Bryan, sister Evelyn Bryan Mast and husband Andy, sister-in-law Leccia Kimberlin Lambert, and a one-of-a-kind loyal canine, Zack Bryan.

Pop was the best coleslaw maker, period! He knew where the best fishing holes and branch lettuce were within a hundred miles. He could walk through the woods and spot every stalk of ginseng first, name every tree, and he knew which knot on them would make the prettiest bowls or lamps. He could tell you which deer had made it from last season to this one, and how many points he expected that buck to be by fall. His love for hunting and fishing was only surpassed by his love for God and family. He was plain spoken, he would pray with you or give you a pat on the back or a kick in the pants, or sometimes all three in one visit! He gave the best hugs and “love you too young’un”s.  He put many late night hours into studying God’s word and growing closer in his prayer life and walk with the Lord. When he wasn’t studying for Sunday school, he read every Louis L’Amour book on the planet…twice! Sir taught us that the correct way to roast a hot dog was on a stick over a fire outside. He had a keen interest and knowledge of firearms, the beauty of each one, and the great importance of the right to keep and bear them. Papaw loved apples and could peel one long spiral piece that would almost touch the ground, and offer you a slice from the blade of his pocketknife as he told you a ‘remember when’ story. He never met a stranger and he loved making new friends. Whether it be with something fresh from the garden or home canned pickled beans and corn, you rarely left their house empty handed. He enjoyed his greenhouse, the garden, the fruit trees, and the blueberry patch. He took time to enjoy the birds (when they weren’t trying to eat his blueberries!) and the simple things that God made. 

He loved being “back in the mountain” making fields and trails on his “traphoe” with his faithful boy Blue ever by his side…and sometimes under his feet. At the peak of the last field he made for his dear friends Wes and Jackie Meadlock, he handpicked his own resting spot when he said, “Wouldn’t this be a beautiful place to rest while we wait on the Lord?”…and so it shall be on Thursday, July 29th where a private family graveside service will be held. At Pop’s request, Pastor Sonny Hagaman will preach his funeral. We will later announce a date and time in the fall for a Celebration of Life with gospel singing (which Pop loved) to give opportunity for a public memorial service. The one thing we want you to know is, it’s not goodbye. 

The one thing that Pop would want you to know……is Jesus.

Graveside services will be conducted Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in the Roaring Fork Cemetery, on Roaring Fork Road.

Online condolences may be shared with the Bryan family at the website www.austinandbanresfuneralhome.com.

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

Beulah Nell “Nell” Banner

1935 – 2021

Mrs. Beulah NELL Wellington Banner, age 85, of Boone, passed away Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation after a long struggle with Type II Diabetes.  Born July 31, 1935 in Beaver Dam, Watauaga County, she was a daughter of the late Ed Wellington and Dora Maxwell Wellington Horton.

Nell was a member of the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church and was employed with TRW/IRC until her retirement. During her working years she actively volunteered in many community areas.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Mr. Fred Raleigh Banner, Sr., and by sisters Hazel Wellington, Ruth Cummings and Novella Dixon.

She is survived by her son, Fred Raleigh Banner, Jr., and wife Kelly L. Parrish Banner of Winston-Salem, two granddaughters, Autumn S. Banner of Washington, DC and Sarah L. Banner of Winston-Salem, two sisters, Mary Lee Wellington Kirkpatrick Pope and Shirley Wellington, both of Bristol, VA, and one brother, George William Wellington and wife Nellie Reid Harper Wellington of Boone. She will be remembered and cherished in the hearts of many nieces, nephews and friends.

Graveside services and burial for Nell Banner will be conducted Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 2:30 PM at the Clarissa Hill Cemetery (154 Westview Heights, Boone, NC).  Officiating will be Pastor Mike Mathis.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Boone Mennonite Brethren Church, 161 Church Street, PO Box 3590, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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

Ricky Neil Church

1958 – 2021

Ricky Neil Church, 63, peacefully left this world on July 28, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center. 

Ricky was born on February 5, 1958 to Charlie and Shirley Church. He grew up in Vilas, NC alongside his two sisters Linda and Brenda. 

Ricky joined the Navy in 1975. He traveled to many places and cooked many meals on ships during his 3 years in the service. It was on those ships that Ricky discovered two of his many talents, making delicious food and trading cars with his fellow shipmates. 

After his time in the service Ricky worked at Winn-Dixie in the bakery and then at Appalachian State University in food services. While working Ricky founded RC Motors, a car dealership, In the Heart of Vilas and continued to grow this business once he retired from the college. He met many people at car auctions and bought and sold thousands of cars over the years. 

Anyone that ever met Ricky knew his incredible love for his wife Cynthia whom he met and married in 1982. Together they had three boys that Ricky was infinitely proud of Seth, Lucas, and Zach. Throughout their lives he offered the best advice and taught them the importance of hard work and how to love their family unconditionally just as he had done. 

On most weekends you would find Ricky in his happiest place cooking up a meal for his family and finishing it off with a cup of coffee always with plenty of sugar. 

Ricky is proceeded in death by his father-in-law Edward James Hayes. Ricky is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Cynthia, his sons and their wives Seth and Sarah, Lucas and Jodie, Zach and Ivy and his precious granddaughter Quinn. He is survived by his parents Charlie and Shirley Church, his sister Linda (Junior) Richards and Brenda (Gary) Howard. His brother-in-law Humphrey (Sherry) Hayes, and sisters-in-law Teresa (Keith) Greene and Dara (Eric) Kisselburg. 

The Family would like to thank the Doctors and Staff of Mountain Home Department of Veterans Services, Dr. Sobol and her team at Seby B. Jones Cancer Center, the Doctors, nurses and staff at Watauga Medical Center, Watauga Medics and Cove Creek first responders.

Funeral Services for Ricky Neil Church will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, August 10, 2021 at 3 o’clock at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel, officiated by Paxton Parrish.  The family will receive friends Tuesday from 1 until 3 o’clock, prior to services at Austin & Barnes.  Graveside services will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens.  The family requests those attending to please wear a mask and observe Covid protocol. 

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center at Watauga Medical Center, Attn. Foundation, Post Office Box 2600, Boone, NC 28607, or the Alzheimer’s Association, North Carolina Chapter, 4600 Park Road, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28209.

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

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

Deborah Sylvia Block

1955 – 2021

Deborah Sylvia Block, left this earth for a better place on July 31, 2021. She was 66 years of age.

Debbie was born on February 26, 1955 to Don and Virginia Clark in Syracuse, New York. Her family moved to North Carolina when Debbie was still an elementary school student. After a short time in Charlotte the family moved to the Raleigh area where Debbie graduated from Cary High School. Debbie attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She did not graduate but did take several classes which sparked her lifelong interest in horticulture and landscaping. She began her working career as a landscaper for the Raleigh Parks Department. She then worked for the next twenty years or so at Bland Landscaping, a private firm in Raleigh.

Debbie met her future husband, Jeffrey Block in the early 1980’s at a live music concert. She and Jeff dated on and off until 1996 and were married on August 31, 1996. Debbie moved to Watauga County permanently at that time and remained here in the Valle Crucis community until her passing. She was employed at Linville Ridge Country Club where Debbie was responsible for all the lovely flower beds on that property.

Debbie was admired and loved by all who knew her. She was known for her calm demeanor and her sharp wit. Debbie was reliable and could be counted upon to keep her word. She was a friend to all and her home was always a welcome destination for friends and family from all over the country.

On September 1, 2001 on the day following her fifth wedding anniversary Debbie was stricken and diagnosed with brain cancer. Even this terrible blow did nothing to alter Debbie’s always positive outlook toward life. She bravely and stoically underwent both chemotherapy and radiation treatments and returned to work in March of 2002. Unfortunately a recurrence of her brain tumor in 2003 and its subsequent treatment with massive doses of radiation caused bleeding within her brain which caused stroke like symptoms and forced her to leave work in 2006. Her left side became weakened and she lost her balance and began to fall frequently. Her falls became so frequent and severe that she became dependent completely on her husband Jeff who became obliged to leave his employment as a teacher at the Grandfather Home in Banner Elk and to become Debbie’s 24/7/365 caregiver. Debbie’s life was memorialized in the book, Nine Years After, which Jeff published in 2010.

It was always Debbie’s wish to remain at home and indeed Debbie did pass at home and in her own bed. She was with her two surviving sisters, Jennifer Wilson and Robin Ewing at that time. Debbie is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Wendy, Brooke, Amber, Cory, James, Jeremy, Tina, Rachel, Megan, Jennifer, Adam, Steffany, Eric, Rachel, Abigail and Ben. Debbie will be remembered fondly by all these who are old enough to remember Debbie before her cancer caused her decline. All these wonderful young people will be sharing their memories of their Aunt Debbie with their children, Debbie’s grand nephews and nieces none of whom are old enough to have met Debbie before she was stricken. 

Debbie’s strength and good humor will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, kindly contribute to the Watauga County Project on Aging, 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite A, Boone, NC 28607.

Deseray Denise Andersondeiters

July 18, 2000 – July 21, 2021

Deseray Denise Andersondeiters, age 21, of Boone, passed away Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

She was born July 18, 2000 in Watauga County, North Carolina. She had a love for playing basketball and softball.

She is survived by her mother, Danielle Ward of Boone; two sisters, Alyssa Deiters and Cadence Deiters both of Boone; two brothers, Anthony Deiters and wife Abigail of Newland and Colin Pitts of Boone; her maternal-grandparents, Harold and Debbie Deiters of Morganton; and her paternal-grandparents, Steve and Sandra Mills of Boone; and two nephews, Aaden Deiters-Torres and Aniko Deiters. 

She was preceded in death by her father, Justin Anderson.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Nathan Caparolie will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00, prior to the service, at the chapel.

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

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

Geraldine Dayton “Jerry” Rogers

January 19, 1927 – July 26, 2021

Geraldine “Jerry” Dayton Rogers Jerry Rogers, 94, of Blowing Rock NC, died peacefully at Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC on July 26, 2021, after a short illness surrounded by family and friends who loved her. Jerry was born January 19, 1927, to James & Olga Dayton in Asheville, NC.

She enjoyed a charmed life growing up there graduating from Lee Edwards High School with honors at the age of 15. She moved on to Mars Hill Junior College graduating and entering Furman University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Jerry worked as a chemist in the private sector for the American Enka Company and in Washington DC for the Defense Department. She was an accomplished female research chemist breaking new ground in the field for women in America.

She married Bob Rogers in Asheville and started their life together nearby in Weaverville, where they built a home on Bob’s family farm of which they later developed as a subdivision over the ensuing years. During this time, she earned her master’s degree from Western Carolina
University ty. Jerry taught public school in Buncombe County until 1964 when Bob was transferred to Charlotte with Southern Bell. They lived happily in Charlotte on Lake Wylie for many years raising their two daughters.

Jerry enjoyed teaching and was a leading educator in the field of chemistry and physics. Shortly after moving to Charlotte, she joined Dr. Bonnie Cone, Dr. Laura French, Dr. E.H. Garinger & others in the continued development of Charlotte College setting it on a course to become the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She was a faculty member of the newly built Garinger High School in Charlotte; a bold award-winning example of modem architecture and education that was featured in National Geographic Magazine reflecting a new emerging contemporary philosophy in a large high school educational setting.

Jerry was a skilled lady amateur golfer and avid traveler. She and her husband traveled the world playing golf on many storied courses including “The Old Course” at St. Andrews, the oldest golf course in the world. Jerry often told the story of not being allowed to play the course with her husband as women were not allowed to play the course with men. Jerry retired from her teaching career in 1982. After Bob retired some years later, they built their retirement home in the North Carolina Mountain’s “High Country.”

Jerry was a member of the Blowing Rock Country Club Ladies golf team. She competed throughout the High Country and was a leading member of that group. She was an accomplished Bridge player enjoying the game for many years at her Club. With her keen intellect, Jerry had many interests all of which she could converse on with storied knowledge. She was very sociable, always enjoying a good glass of wine and dinner with friends and family.

She is survived by her two daughters Robin Rogers Hodge & husband Al of Washington, NC. and Pam Rogers Morse & husband Garry of Belvedere, Ill and her faithful companion, Bubba. Also, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren , nieces & nephews who will continue her legacy.

Predeceasing her in death were her parents, husband Bob and brothers Bill & James, Jr.

Jerry was a long-time professional member of the American Chemical Society & North
Carolina Educators Association. She was a former member of the Charlotte Country Club
and the Blowing Rock Country Club.

A graveside service to honor Jerry’s life will be held August 2nd at 1:00 pm in Blowing Rock at Woodlawn Cemetery. All who knew her are encouraged to attend to say farewell.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested those that wish, a bequest be made in Jerry’s
memory to Shriners Hospital for Children C/O Oasis Shriners 608 Doug Mayes Place,
Charlotte, NC 28262 or call the Oasis office at 704-549-9600. Also, “The Blind Center”
in Washington, NC at 221 N. Harvey Street Washington, NC 27889.

So, I say to you……” The Music May Have Stopped, But the Melody Forever Will

Goodnight sweet Jerry. Sleep Well.

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

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

Carol Ann Gillham

April 25, 1946 – July 26, 2021

Carol Ann Gillham, age 75, of Beech Mountain, passed away Tuesday, July 26, 2021 at the Foley Center.

She is survived by one daughter, Karyn Northrop and husband Steve of Beech Mountain; one son, Scott Gillham of Beech Mountain; grandchildren, Gemma Castello, Lauren Woodard, Lewis Northrop and Megan Northrop and seven Great-grandchildren, and two sisters-in-law, Millie Davis and Tricia Marshal, and a multitude of cousins, relatives & friends in England & the United States.

A private memorial service will be held by the family at a future date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Liberty Hospice at www.libertyhomecare.com

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

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

Charlotte Machen Wilson

July 23, 1938 – July 27, 2021

Charlotte Anne Machen Wilson of Banner Elk was 83 years old when she passed from this life into God’s eternity on July 27, 2021.

She was born on July 23, 1938 to Lucille Newman and Aubrey French Machen in Richmond, VA.

Growing up in Virginia, she attended Maury and Granby High Schools in Norfolk, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond.

Charlotte was employed as an Administrative Assistant at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education; Kindergarten Teacher at St. Christopher’s Episcopal School in Lubbock, TX; Office Manager at Holston Presbytery Camp in Banner Elk; Administrative Assistant at Newland First
Baptist Church and Newland Presbyterian Church where she worked for 20 years. 

In addition, Charlotte also served in many volunteer roles. She was a Hospital Volunteer for American Red Cross, volunteer at Radford Virginia Nursing Home, Water Safety Instructor for American Red Cross, volunteer at Yellow Mountain Enterprises, Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice of Avery County, member of Banner Elk Planning Board, volunteer at Banner Elk Elementary School, and volunteer at Avery Senior Center.

Charlotte was a member of Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church where she served as elder, Sunday School Teacher, choir member, and violinist. She was also an affiliate member of High Country United Church of Christ, Vilas, NC.

Charlotte and her wonderful husband John were married for 56 years and were blessed with an amazing Christian life with many adventures. John had passed away in 2014.

Charlotte is remembered as a person who treasured all people as God’s gifts, especially her husband John, children, grandchildren, and friends. Other gifts she enjoyed were nature, sunrises and sunsets, mountains, hiking, camping, quilting, stain glass, cooking, music, pottery, flower gardening, and her rock house. She is most remembered as a wonderful mother and grandmother not only to her own family, but also to many friends.

She is survived by daughters Stephanie and husband Robert Jones, Banner Elk, NC; Rachel and husband Brad Johnson, Elk Park, NC; son Matthew Wilson, Duvall, WA; sister Nancy Wildermann and husband Bob Reeves, Durham, NC; sister-in-law Mary Butler, Memphis, TN; grandchildren Taylor Jones, Tacoma, WA; Daniel Jones, Boone, NC; Aidan Wilson and Avril Wilson, Duvall, WA; nieces and nephews Robbie Wildermann and Carl Wildermann, Durham, NC; Carol Browning, Memphis, TN; Alan Butler, Nashville, TN; and David Butler, Destin, FL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church Help Fund, PO Box 235, Banner Elk, NC 28604; Yellow Mountain Enterprises, 255 Estatoa St, Newland, NC 28657; RAM PO Box 234, Newland NC 28657; or Avery Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1016, Newland NC 28657.

A memorial service will be held on July 31, at 2:00 pm at Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends following the memorial service. Online condolences may be sent to the Wilson family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

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

Joan E. Osborne

April 24, 1962 – July 29, 2021

Joan E. Osborne, age 59, of Avery County, passed away Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Cannon Memorial Hospital.

She is survived by her husband, Kenny Osborne of the home, two daughters, Amber Hughes and husband Bobby of Spruce Pine and Breauna Edwards and husband Andrew of Newland; one son, Zach Osborne of Avery County; grandchildren, Alyssa Hughes, Clint Steiner, Jr., Jayden Edwards and A.J. Edwards, her mother, Charlotte Griffin of Lenoir, one brother, Ronnie Griffin of Caldwell County; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Reverend Carl and Alma Osborne and one niece, Stacey Osborne of Marietta, Georgia.

She was preceded in death by her father, Claude Griffin, Jr. and one brother, Chris Griffin.

Graveside services and burial will be conducted Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2:00 at Boone Fork Community Cemetery. Reverend Carl Osborne will officiate.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Osborne family in care of Hampton Funeral Service.

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

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

Jerry Dean Grindstaff

April 21, 1971 – July 30, 2021

Jerry Dean Grindstaff, age 50, of Boone passed away Friday, July 30, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center.

He is survived by his wife, Danielle Whitson of Boone, four sons, JR Grindstaff  and Joshua Grindstaff both of Mitchell County, Diesel Grindstaff and Xavier Grindstaff both of Boone and one sister, Deanna Grindstaff of Mitchell County.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Gerald Grindstaff and Carolyn Stewart Grindstaff.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

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

Wayne Blevins

March 06, 1945 – August 01, 2021

Wayne Blevins, age 76, of Lansing, husband of Tina Miller Blevins, passed away Sunday, August 1, 2021.

A private memorial service will be held by the family at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 128 South Tryon Street, Suite 1588, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202.

Online condolences may be sent to the Blevins family at www.hamptonFuneralnc.com

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

Buddy Blackburn

April 12, 1940 – August 01, 2021

Buddy Blackburn, age 81, of Fleetwood, passed away Sunday, August 1, 2021 at his residence.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Bledsoe Blackburn of the home, two daughters, Teresa Childress and husband Wayne of Highpoint and Melinda Osborne and fiancée Rick Poe of Warrensville; two granddaughters, Megan Childress of Australia and Samantha Harris and husband Andy of Sparta; two grandsons, Evan Childress of Highpoint and Seth Osborne and wife Hannah of Todd; two great-grandchildren, Drew Harris and Emery Osborne, two sisters, Mary Jo Gentry and husband Johnny of Providence and Joyce Tucker and husband Bill of King, North Carolina; two brothers, Keith Blackburn and wife Joyce of Fleetwood and Ben Blackburn and wife Sylvia of Hickory.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Donald Evert Blackburn and Anne Edwards Blackburn and one brother David Blackburn.

Funeral services for Buddy Blackburn will be conducted Thursday August 5, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at First Baptist Church West Jefferson. Reverend Michael Lea and Reverend Kenneth Morris will officiate.

The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6 until 8, at First Baptist Church West Jefferson.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105 or to First Baptist Church West Jefferson, P.O. Box 180 West Jefferson, North Carolina 28694.

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

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements

Alma Ruth Townsend

July 3, 1934 – July 26, 2021

Alma Ruth Townsend, 87, of Banner Elk, passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021 at the Life Care Center in Banner Elk. She was born on July 3, 1934 in Watauga County to the late Carson and Camoline Ward Mastin. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her loving husband, Arnel Townsend; Son, Tony Townsend; Brothers, Ray and Howard Mastin; Sisters, Clara Smith, Carolyn South, Jean Banner, Mary Townsend, and Juanita Carpenter.

Ruth enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and listening to music. She loved spending time with her family every chance she could.

Those she left behind to cherish her memory are her Two Sons, Tim (Janet) Townsend of Newland, and Bruce Townsend of Matney; Brother, Charles (Judy) Mastin of Matney; Six Grandchildren, Eighteen Great Grandchildren, and Three Great-Great Grandchildren; and Special Friend Carol Butler of Ashboro.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 3:00 PM at the Funeral Home, with Rev. Ken Staton officiating.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 3:00 PM prior to the service.

Burial will take place in the Townsend Cemetery following the service.

Online condolences can be given at www.rsfh.net.

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

Denise Aldridge Watson

January 8, 1950 – July 26, 2021

Denise Aldridge Watson, age 71, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021 at her residence surrounded by her family.

Denise was born on January 8, 1950 in Mitchell County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Elmer H. (Coach) Aldridge and the late Doris Saunders Aldridge.

She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She retired from Appalachian State University, having served as an Administrative Assistant with the University’s Football Program. She attended Crossnore First Baptist Church.

Denise leaves behind to cherish her memory her Husband of 52 years Bobby Watson; Two Sons, Trent (Jenny) Watson of Newland, NC, Clent (Heather) Watson of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Daughter, Charity (David) Chicoine of Newland, NC; Three Brothers, Robin (Lee) Aldridge of Newland, NC, Danny (Kathey) Aldridge of Crossnore, NC, Mark (Gina) Aldridge of Crossnore, NC; Two Sisters, Sherrye (Larry) Mehaffey of Little River, SC, Susan (Doug) Eller of Crossnore, NC; Eleven Grandchildren and Two Great Grandchildren.

Services for Denise Watson will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. at the Crossnore First Baptist Church with Rev. Lander Heafner and Coach Jerry Moore officiating. The family will visit with friends and family following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Seby Jones Cancer Center, 338 Deerfield Rd. Boone, NC 28607 or Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657.

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

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

Jessie L Schroeder

July 21, 1927 – July 26, 2021

Jessie L Schroeder, of 1263 Little Elk Road, Elk Park, NC, was born, July 21, 1927, in the small town of

Lavalle, Wisconsin to Fred and Jessie Costerisan. She was born 6th in a family of 8 children. She has outlived them all. Only one brother surpassed her in age. He was 98.

She married Harold Otto Schroeder, October 29, 1944 in a quaint church in Ironton, Wisconsin at the age of 17.

She met Harold when she was 13 at campmeeting in Wisconsin. Harold would park his car near the water fountain. As Jessie’s mother would say later, Jessie nearly drowned herself that year going to the drinking fountain for a drink so often. Jessie told her mom she had met the man she was going to marry. Four years later she did marry Harold. Together, Harold and Jessie Schroeder were truck farmers for 57 years in the township of Oakland, Wisconsin until Harold’s death in 2003 at which time her daughter took her to NC where Jessie had a little home of her own that she loved, nestled in the mountains of Western NC.

Jessie gave up her dream of being a teacher to raise 4 children. She had another 2 children who died in infancy. I would say the she was a very good teacher as she raised her children to love the Lord. And she continued to teach through her stories she told every Sabbath in her little church in the mountains and even when she visited her former church in Wisconsin.

She was a member of the Roan Mountain Seventh-day Adventist Church in Roan Mountain, TN. She will be buried in the cemetery at the Oakland Seventh-day Church in Wisconsin beside her husband, Harold, and near her baby boy, Richard. Together, they will rest till Jesus wakes them in the resurrection.

Left to treasure her memories are 3 sons, Roger (Elaine) Schroeder, Ronald (Annette) Schroeder, and Harold Schroeder, better known as Harry, all from Wisconsin, 1 daughter, Joanne (Bruce) White from Elk Park, NC, 10 grandchildren, and 26 great grandchildren.

One of Jessie’s fond memories that she has mentioned to several people very recently was when she made pancakes one day for her grandkids when they came over to visit at meal time. They were having a contest to see who could eat the most pancakes. She couldn’t remember who won, but, all she knew was she had to make an awful lot of pancakes.

Mother loved the Lord with all her heart and passed away with the blessed hope that when the Lord returns she will be raised up to spend eternity with Jesus.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.rsfh.net <http://www.rsfh.net>

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

John Michael Parrish

May 19, 1975 – July 26, 2021

John Michael Parrish, 46, of Banner Elk, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 26, 2021 at his residence surrounded by his family. He was born on May 19, 1975 in Charleston, South Carolina to Janice an John Parrish Jr. He is preceded in death by his Maternal Grandparents, Patricia and Donald L. Johnston and Paternal Grandparents, Edna and John M. Parrish.

John served his country in the Navy and went on to become a truck driver after he was honorably discharged. He enjoyed boating and adventures with his family. John always made sure everyone was taken care of and did everything he could to help those he loved.

John is survived by his loving spouse Sherry of the home; Son, Daniel Parrish of the home; Brother, Bob (Terri) Parrish of Hudson; Nieces, Tiffani (Josh) Barlow of Asheville, Kristen Parrish of Hudson, Megan Ruppard of Newland; Nephews, Ryan Parrish of Hudson, Austin Daniels of Newland, Jacob Daniels of Banner Elk, Travis Collins of Matthews, and Dustin Ruppard of Elk Park; and Mother-in-law, Omie Ruppard of Banner Elk.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Pastor Mack Jarvis officiating.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 PM prior to the service at the funeral home.

Military honors will be provided by the VFW Pat Ray Post 4286 in Newland, NC.

Burial will follow at Matney Liberty Cemetery in Matney.

Memorials are suggested to the Wounded War Project 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256 or the Avery County Humane Center 279 New Vale Road, Newland, North Carolina 28657.

Online condolences for John can be given at www.rsfh.net.

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

Joseph Swanger

September 27, 1931 – August 1, 2021

Joe was born on September 27, 1931 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Jack Swanger and the late Mary Mayberry Swanger.

Joe worked for many years hanging drywall. He served his country during the Korean Conflict in the United States Marine Corps. Joe enjoyed raising honey bees and was known for his vivacious personality.

Joe leaves behind his Sister, Flossie Harding of Newland, NC; Two Daughters, Padgett (Randy) McGrady of Childersburg, AL, Sandra Stampler of Detroit, MI; Son, Jamie Swanger; Brother, Henry Mayberry of Levitown, PA; Special Friend, Casey (Virginia) Gwyn of Roan Mountain, TN; Three Grandchildren.

Services for Joseph Swanger will be held on Thursday, August 5, 2021 beginning at 11:00 am in the Grandfather Chapel of the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 am on Thursday at the Funeral Home.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the wonderful staff of Medi Home Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657,

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

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

Robert Daughton (R.D.) Auton

1941 – 2021

R.D., 81, passed July 29, 2021 in Vero Beach, FL. Born in Watauga County, N.C., to the late William Henry Auton and Gladys Beatrice Auton. 

He graduated from Blowing Rock High School and moved to Vero Beach in the mid 1960’s.

Owner of R.D.’s Union 76 from 1969 until 1978, when hired by the Indian River County Sheriff‘s Office, retiring in 2005.

He enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing and was an avid follower of NASCAR. 

In the early 1990s, R.D. presented over 10,000 signatures to Indian River County Commissioners regarding the widening of State Road 60. With those signatures, along with lobbying the Florida Department of Transportation the widening of State Road 60 west of I95 became a reality. 

From the inception of the Sheriff’s Office Annual BBQ, he worked to make it a great success, raising money for the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches.

He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Judy Auton, son Billy Auton (Michelle), grandchildren Regan Fuller, Michael Fuller and Coy Auton. Daughter, Lisa Auton, grandchildren Adam Roll and Michelle Meeks.

Along with brother Frank Auton of Melbourne, FL, sister Evelyn Oleta Nelson of Lenoir and sister-in-law Rosa Mae Auton of Boone, N.C. Including many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his siblings; Four brothers; Ivan, Harley, Marvin, and Lewis. Three sisters, Virginia Auton, Margaret Bennett, Margie Wilcox.

After retirement, R.D. and Judy spent many years seasonally dividing their time between Vero Beach and their home in Boone, N.C.

The family will be holding a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches is in his name.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach. An online guestbook is available at www.lowtherfamily.com