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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – May 1, 2023

Graphic by Ashley Poore

The following are recent obituary notices from Austin & Barnes funeral home in Boone.



Charles Larry Gentry
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Charles “Larry” Gentry passed away on Tuesday March 28th at Watauga Medical Center in Boone, North Carolina. Born in Brunswick, Georgia to C.L. Gentry and Louise Gentry. He lived in Ashe County for several years before moving to Boone where he spent the remainder of his life.

Larry enjoyed fishing, woodworking and four wheeling. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Penny Smith Gentry; mother, Louise Rash Gentry; son, Mitchell Gentry; stepdaughter, April Church and her husband, Travis; sisters, Lois Moyer, Linda Dolar and her husband, Rick, Peggy Shaw and husband, Gary; brothers, Carl and wife, Shirlene Gentry, Leon Gentry, Scott and wife, Kara Gentry; grandsons, Ryan and his wife Kristi Church, Dalton and his wife, Gracie Church; great-granddaughter, Raelynn Church; soon to be great-grandson, Grayson Church; mother-in-law, Nova Greene; several brother and sister in laws and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, C.L. Gentry; grandparents, Dell and Will Gentry, Dan and Virgie Rash; sister, Joyce; brother, William; brother-in-law, Walter Moyer; nephew, Kelly Moyer.

Per Larry’s wishes there will be no funeral or memorial services.
Online condolences may be shared at the website www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Gentry family.



Bobby Ray May
1959 – 2023

Bobby Ray May, age 63 of Zionville, passed away Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at his residence.

He was also a native and lifelong resident of Watauga County. Bobby enjoyed riding motorcycles and painting cars in his early teens to twenties until he eventually had health issues, so he finally stopped in his late twenties and retired.

He was a good husband, father, grandfather, brother, and son.

He was preceded in death by a brother Richard Brown; father-in-law Fred Arnette, who had passed on January 27, 2017; nephew, Eric Danner.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Judy Arnette May; one son, Scottie May; his mother, Beulah May Brown; two grandchildren, Dasia, and Tyler May; three brothers, Avery Brown, Gary Brown, and Kenneth Brown.

He was cared for also by his mother-in-law Virginia Arnette, and brother-in-law Steven Arnette, as well as his other family and friends such as Betty Presnell, Dennis Presnell, Tim Cook, Gene Brown, Tammy Danner, Justin Danner, and James Joseph.

He did enjoy seeing his special granddaughter’s pets such as her cat Moka, and her pet snakes Coco, Roxy, Sneako, Maple and Aspen.

Memorial Services will be held Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at the family’s home.

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

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



Betty Jane Upchurch
1940 – 2023

Mrs. Betty Jane Wellborn Upchurch, age 82 of Hardin Road, Boone joined her Heavenly Father Thursday March 30, 2023, surrounded by her family.

Born December 16, 1940, in Watauga County to Roy Lee and Sarah Ann Wellborn Graybeal. Betty was a graduate of Appalachian High School and Draughon’s Business College in Winston-Salem. Betty can be described using three words; Strong, dedicated, and loving. A lady that loved her family fiercely. Betty worked hard to provide for her children and believed that love was a child’s greatest need. Because of the love she bestowed on her children, her children poured love out to others. For this, she always said that her children were her greatest blessing.

Betty’s love and dedication was not just in her children. It spread through her work and in her church. In 2012, after dedicating 44 years of service to IRC, the plant was shut down and moved overseas. Betty was not ready to retire and with another grandchild on the way, she worked three days a week “loving” that child. Betty loved her church family at Laurel Springs Baptist Church where she was a long-time member and served as church treasurer, custodian, and taught Vacation Bible School. Betty was faithful to the church until her health prevented her from attending. In addition to her parents, she was proceeded in death by one sister, Mildred Faye Hicks, two brothers, Wayne, and Gary Graybeal; two brother-in laws, Franklin Hicks, and Arvil Baker; three grandchildren, Troy and Melanie Carlton, and Logan Ballard. Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Kimberly Miller, and husband Dink, of Boone, Sheri Guyton, and husband Tony, of Asheville, Melissa Greene, and husband Doug, of Wilkesboro, David Upchurch, and wife Shannon, of Purlear, and Andrea Finney and husband Chris of Boone. Grandchildren: Nikki, Brittany, Gabriel, Alex, Aaron, Graci, Stacey, Marty, Sam, Nate, Andrew, and Phillip. Great grandchildren: Hazel, Amelia, Casey, Thomas, Lizzie, Tiana, Ella, Bristol, Lily, Faebian, Phoenix, Braelynn, Allena, and Cora. Sisters, Donna Huffstetler and husband Gary, and Joyce Baker and brother RD Graybeal and wife Martha. Sister-in-laws: Linda Graybeal and Nina Graybeal. Several nieces and nephews who she loved as her own.

Anyone that had the privilege to know Betty, knew that she had a God giving talent for baking. She never wasted her talent and used it to show her love and appreciation. With Betty’s love, you were shown God’s love. You never received a loaf of sour dough bread, a cake, or her Christmas candies without hearing about the love and grace of her Savior Jesus Christ.

Betty will be missed by all that loved her and was loved by her. Our minds are left with memories, and our hearts full of her love. We will never be able to express our gratitude to our sister, Melissa, for the extraordinary loving care you gave our mother, especially during these last five years. Debbie, Emily, Jennifer, and Kyle with MediHome Health for the wonderful care you provided for our sweet Momma. To the team of Ashe Memorial Hospital, thank you for treating our mother with love, compassion, dignity, and respect. We as a family are forever grateful.

A celebration of life will be held Thursday April 6th at Laurel Springs Baptist Church. Family will receive friends from 1 until 2:00 pm prior to service. Service will be held at the church with burial following in the church cemetery.

Flowers are appreciated or the family request memorials be made to the Laurel Springs Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Jerry South, PO Box 390, Deep Gap, NC 28618, or to MediHome Health & Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive Suite 100B, Boone, NC 28607.

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

(1 John 3:18) “Let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

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



C. B. Reese
1923 – 2023

Mr. C.B Reese, Jr. age 100, of the Beaver Dam Community went home to his Lord and Savior on Saturday morning, April 1, 2023, at his son’s (Steve & Sandra) home. Born March 6, 1923, in Watauga County, he was the son of Clyde B. Reese, Sr. & Margaret Hagaman Reese. C. B. was a member of Beaver Dam Baptist Church. He grew up on a farm and spent his time working in the fields and sawmilling. While growing up on the farm, he learned the value of hard work which he carried throughout his life. He was known for his horsemanship as he led Wagon Trains all over the country from N. C., Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. He was the leader of the famous Daniel Boone Wagon Train that traveled from Wilkesboro to Boone every Fourth of July week. He led up to a 100 wagons on this journey. The last day of the trip they would parade through the town of Boone as he led them. He also filled his home with trophies from horse pulls in the area as he continued enjoying his life with horses. He was a proud World War II Army Veteran and loved to tell his life experiences with all who were willing to listen. After returning from the war, he married his wife Ruth Eggers Reese, and they were married 73 plus years.

C. B. is survived by his four sons, Gary Reese and wife, Sherry of Vilas, Hite Reese, and Steve Reese and wife, Sandra of Sugar Grove, and George Reese of Vilas, and daughter, Freda Reese of Boone and Naples, FL; nine grandchildren, Gregory Reese and wife, Mitzi, Duane Reese and wife, Misti and Wayne Reese of Vilas, Jeffrey Reese and wife, LeAnne of Purlear, N.C. Selena Reese Dollar and Stephanie Reese Glenn and husband, Tony of Sugar Grove, Shawn Reese and wife, Amy of Vilas, Hannah Reese Gorman and husband, Phil and Brant Reese of Raleigh, N.C. He is also survived by 13 great-grandchildren, Nicole Dollar Greene, Elizabeth Dollar Farmer, Alex Reese, Casey Reese, Samantha Reese, Garin Reese, Gideon Glenn, Jacob Reese, Dalton Reese, Melea Glenn, Gracie Reese, Madi Dollar and Gabe Reese; and one great great-granddaughter, Magnolia Ruth Farmer; two sisters, Dorothy and husband, Ed and Reba Eller; and a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Eggers Reese, his parents, Clyde B. Reese, Sr. & Margaret Hagaman Reese; his sisters, Juanita Reese Thomas and husband Russell, and Annie Reese Moody and husband, Pete; brother-in-law, Ted Eller; and daughter-in-law, Joyce Reese.

Funeral services for C. B. Reese, Jr. will be conducted Wednesday afternoon, April 5, 2023, at 3:00pm at Beaver Dam Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Derick Wilson, Rev. Keith Brown, and Rev. Thomas Brown. The body will lie in state at the church from 1:00pm until 3:00pm. Graveside services with Military Honors provided by the American Legion Post #130 at the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90 will follow in the Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Flowers are appreciated or the family requests memorials to the Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery Fund, in care of David Scott, 3476 Mountain Dale Road, Vilas, NC 28692.

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

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



Beverly Ann Rosen
1941 – 2023

Beverly Ann Rosen, 81, daughter of Ann Makar and Bruno Bukowski, of Detroit, Michigan, died peacefully on March 9th, 2023, at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation in Boone, NC.

Bev, a resident of Boone since 1987, was a ceaseless volunteer and still managed to hold jobs while raising three children. She volunteered for many organizations which included the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Humane Society, working with the elderly and various duties within the Catholic Church. She was a prominent member of M.A.S.C. in Boone and supported equal rights for all.

Bev became a nurse later in life after obtaining her degree at Spruce Pine College. Among her many jobs, Bev was a private duty nurse, a medical secretary, a legal secretary, and a salesclerk.

She loved ballet and theatre and acted in many Little Theatre Productions. She sang as often as she could including St Hugo of The Hills Church choir, barbershop and glee clubs. A lover of music, she took violin instruction for five years, played piano for many and instilled that love of music in her children.
She had a passion for needlework (counted cross-stitch) and many people were the recipients of her handwork. One of her proudest accomplishments was getting six groups together to sew six of the quilt panels for the National AIDS Memorial Quilt, for those lost from Boone during the epidemic.

Bev loved to travel and visited many countries including England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Thailand. With her late husband Harry, they flew in his private plane to 49 of the 50 states.

She hosted international exchange students from France and Brazil.

She was preceded in death by Harry Rosen, her husband and Lori Lynn Cavanaugh, her daughter.
Bev is survived by Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh and Christopher Michael Cavanaugh, her sons, Ryan Patrick Cavanaugh, her grandson, Jaxon Scott Cavanaugh, her great grandson, and sister Nancy Adamski.

A memorial mass and reception for Beverly will be held Wednesday morning, April 19, 2023, at 10 o’clock at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Boone.

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

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



Beulah Storie
1923 – 2023

Beulah Norris Storie, age 99, of Sampson Road, Boone, passed away Friday morning, April 7, 2023, at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation. Born May 24, 1923, in Watauga County and was one of eleven children of Everette and Harriet Clawson Norris. Beulah was a member of Friendship United Methodist Church. She announced many times that she had three wonderful children. She was most proud of all of her grandchildren and held a special place in her heart for her great-great grandsons. Visitors were always welcomed into the Storie home, and most were treated to a slice of her famous homemade sourdough bread or a piece of her freshly baked cream cheese pound cake.

Mrs. Storie is survived by her children, Nelson Storie and wife, Gail, of Blowing Rock and daughters, Norma Cook of Boone and Judy Wellborn and husband, Buck, of Boone; grandsons, David Edmisten and Douglas Edmisten; granddaughters, Shelia Bledsoe and husband, Tim, and April Herron; great-granddaughter, Elyse McDaniel and husband, Stephen; and great-great grandsons, Holden, Keegan, and Donovan. Many nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Kermit Nelson Storie; brothers, Russell, Allie, Grant, Reid, Grady and Tracy, and sisters, Annie, Orpha, Bertie, and Ruby; son-in-law, Tom Cook; and sister-in-law, Agnes Miller.

Graveside services for Beulah Storie will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, April 11, 2023, at 1 o’clock at Friendship United Methodist Church Cemetery, officiated by Rev. Sam McGinn.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Friendship United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Becky Miller, 494 Sampson Road, Boone, NC 28607, or to Amorem Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645.

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

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



Caleb Daniel Watson
1992 – 2023

Caleb Daniel Watson, age 30, of Sugar Grove, received his ultimate healing Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

Caleb was a faithful husband, loving father, son, brother, and friend. Caleb married the love of his life, Holly, on October 1, 2016, and showed her Christlike love every day, while keeping God as the center cord of their marriage. God blessed Caleb and Holly with 3 beautiful boys, Cade, Nash, and Lane. His boys were his whole world, and you could regularly find them fishing, hiking, and playing in the creek. One of their favorite things to do was read bedtime stories together. From Elementary school to high school, football, baseball, and basketball were a large part of Caleb’s life. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved spending time in his deer stand in the fall and chasing turkeys in the spring. When he wasn’t in the woods, he was busy planning his next hunting trip. Caleb also loved spending time on the golf course with his friends. He was able to live his dream by becoming a contractor and working alongside his dad building their construction company, Watson & Son. Caleb was born again in April of 2011 and was a faithful member of Vanderpool Baptist Church. His faith in his Savior guided him through every aspect of his life, which was evident to anyone who knew Caleb. He often talked about how good God has been to him and he could feel His loving arms around him.

We’re thankful for the peace we have knowing we will see Caleb again in Heaven and as he would say “I’m alright.” He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother Barbara Watson and his uncle Doug and wife Elizabeth Watson.

Caleb is survived by his loving wife, Holly; his three sons Cade, Nash and Lane Watson; his parents Andy and Lisa Dianne Watson; two brothers, Luke Watson and wife Katie, and Benjamin Watson; maternal grandparents Mike and Faye Blevins; step-grandpa Bill Stewart; uncle Jim Watson and wife Audrey, and uncle Robbie Blevins and wife Jennifer; father-in-law Dwain Henson and his wife Tracy; mother-in-law Tami Harrigan; brother-in-law Ethan Henson; two nieces Isabelle and Harper Watson.

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, April 16, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. in Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, 169 Cornerstone Lane, Deep Gap, NC 28618. Graveside services will follow in the Vanderpool Baptist Church Cemetery, Vilas.
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory

194 Queen Street, Boone, North Carolina 28607

(828) 264-8888 – FAX (828) 264-8889

The family will receive friends Saturday, April 15, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to International Dana-Farber NUT Midline Carcinoma Registry.

https://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/site/TR:jsessionid=00000000.app20122a?team_id=3358 &fr_id=1200&pg=team&NONCE=4855BD74E87CAE2C777395931815B6DB

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

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



Jerry Franklin
1937 – 2023

Jerry Rudolph Franklin passed away Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Boone, NC after a short illness. He was born on April 17, 1937, to Samuel S. Franklin and Kathleen McKenzie in West Liberty, Kentucky. He attended Morgan County High School where he excelled in basketball, football, and baseball. Upon graduation, he attended and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in English, later receiving his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.

Jerry was a lifelong educator. He began his career as a middle school teacher and basketball coach. He moved on to teach high school English and became a high school guidance counselor before eventually becoming a professor at Morehead State University. He touched the lives of many as a teacher, counselor, and supervisor of student teachers. Jerry loved reading and spending time with his family. He was an avid fan of University of Kentucky basketball, the LA Dodgers, and Kentucky thoroughbred horse racing.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel S. Franklin, and Kathleen McKenzie; beloved sisters, Gwendolyn Walter, and Ruth Evelyn Haney. He is survived by his loving wife, Robin Conn Franklin of Boone, North Carolina; daughter, Allison (Don) Franklin McDowell of Georgetown, KY; sons, Rudy Franklin and Bo (Michelle) Franklin of Boone; grandson, Daniel Franklin McDowell (Kayla) of Florence, KY; granddaughters, Sarah Kathleen McDowell of Lexington, KY; Madison Layne Franklin of Boone; step granddaughters Kaelin and Leah Gaydon; great-grandson; Dawson Chase McDowell of Florence; nieces, Kathy (Sam) Ponsoll, of Danville, KY; Beverly (Gary) Macey of Morehead, KY; Kim (Ron) Lee of Lexington, KY; Kara (Scott) Landis of Brookville, OH; and nephew, Kyle (Melonie) Haney of Maineville, OH. He is also survived by his loving sister-in-law Stacy (Rob) Conn of Boone, NC; and special family friend, Wendy Gordon of Boone. His family paid this tribute to him. “Jerry always took care of his family and was a loving husband and father. He championed all the “underdogs” and was greatly respected for his grammatical knowledge.”

Celebration of life services & burial will take place at a later date.



Geneva Sue “Betty” Trivette
1945 – 2023

Geneva Sue ‘Betty’ Trivette, age 78, of Lexington, passed away Wednesday evening, April 12, 2023, at Atrium Wake Forest Wilkes Medical Center. Born February 4, 1945, in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Lemmie Frank and Clara Hicks Trivette. Betty can be described as a sincere, caring, giving, funny and fun-loving lady who loved children and enjoyed her vehicles, Cheerwine, fireworks, and especially her little dog, ‘Buffy’.

Betty is survived by her sister, Janice Trivette Coffey of Clemmons and brothers, Rev. Richard Trivette and wife, Margaret, and Dean Trivette and wife Pauline, all of Banner Elk, and Roy Trivette and wife, Connie of Lexington; sister-in-law, Mary Trivette of Banner Elk; six nieces, Patricia Hurst, Rebecca Bivens, Tammy Colbert, Angela Cooper, Kriston Jolly and Stephanie Platt; and three nephews, Mark Coffey, David Trivette and Brandon Trivette. Several great nieces and nephews and special friends, Katie and Beth Lemly also survive. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Marvin David Trivette; brother-in-law, Howard Coffey; nephew, Stevie Trivette and great nephew, Nathan Bivens; great nieces, Jessica Talley, and Janet Coffey; and brother-in-law, Howard Coffey.

Funeral services for Betty Trivette will be conducted Monday afternoon, April 17th at 2:30 at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Richard Trivette. Ms. Trivette will lie in state at Austin & Barnes from 10 until 2:30, prior to services. Graveside services will follow at the Trivette Family Cemetery, 4134 Andy Hicks Road, Banner Elk.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memorial Processing, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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



Virginia Faye Greene
1938 – 2023

Mrs. Virginia Faye Greene, age 84, of Lenoir, passed away Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at TerraBella Assisted Living of Newton. Born November 25, 1938, in Blowing Rock, she was a daughter of Charles Robert and Lola Greene Spann.

Mrs. Greene was a member of Middle Fork Baptist Church and attended as long as health permitted. She enjoyed traveling with her husband during his Air Force Military career and especially loved living in Germany and Puerto Rico. Always a sports enthusiast she excelled in the position of pitcher in women’s fast pitch soft ball, however, she felt being an excellent mother was her priority in life. Mrs. Greene retired from Belk Department Store in Lenoir as a sales associate.

She is survived by her sons, Michael John Greene and wife, Cynthia and Gary Robert Greene and wife, Deborah, all of Hickory; grandson, Brandon Michael Greene and wife, Leah of Advance and granddaughter, Kelly Andrew Greene of Lexington; great grandchildren, Ty, and Glen Greene; brother, Clarence Spann and wife, Barbara of Collettsville; and step grandchildren, Justin Wilcox of Singapore, and Brooke Wilcox of Kannapolis.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John B. Greene, Jr.; brother, Phillip Spann and half-brother, Lawrence Greene.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday afternoon, April 15, at 2 o’clock at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Raymond Spann. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 o’clock, prior to services, at Austin & Barnes.

Graveside services will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock.

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

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



Ruby Arnold
1917 – 2023

Mrs. Ruby Ragan Arnold, age 106, of The Foley Center, Blowing Rock, passed away Friday evening, April 14, 2023, at Watauga Medical Center.

Born Ruby Ragan on March 23, 1917, in Todd, she is the last surviving of 16 children. Ruby and her siblings were raised on the family farm. “We grew everything we ate with the exception of flour and sugar”, she said. While her older siblings worked outside on the farm, she helped primarily with the indoor chores. But she did love playing outside with the boys. “They didn’t give me much slack. They expected me to hold my own and I did.” She had fond memories of attending Elkland School in Todd, where she played basketball “quite well,” and graduated at age 16.

When asked, have you enjoyed life? She replied “Yes, I can say that I have. I always try to see things in a positive light and make the best of most situations.”

Ruby always loved to cook and bake and was known for a couple of specialties.

“My peanut brittle and pound cakes have become favorites of several people.”
Blessed with a green thumb, she always loved raising flowers and working in a garden, and among her hobbies, she always enjoyed knitting.

At Boone United Methodist Church, Ruby has been a faithful and active member for a number of years.

Mrs. Arnold was preceded in death by her husband, Carol Arnold in 1974 and is survived by a number of nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Memorial services for Mrs. Ruby Arnold will be celebrated Saturday, August 5, 2023, at 2 o’clock at Boone United Methodist Church.

The family suggests memorials to Boone United Methodist Church, 471 New Market Blvd., Boone, NC 28607 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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

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



Ryan Keith Kimery
1971 – 2023

Keith “Rooster” Kimery, age 52 of Sugar Grove, passed away Friday, April 14, 2023.
He was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and the son of the late Paul and Judith Kimery.

Keith was a wonderful husband, son, and brother. He was very helpful to anyone in need. He was an avid collector of Hot Wheels cars, as his extensive collection showed.

He was loud and proud.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Ernest Kimery.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Tiffany Rice Kimery; two sons, Stephen Woods of Sugar Grove, Aaron Woods, and wife Tiffany of Illinois; and his two grandchildren Sophie and A.J.; his two sisters, Janna Ricker of Greeneville, TN, and Anna Marie of TN; one brother, Kevin Kimery of Greeneville, TN.

Funeral services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to offset funeral expenses.

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

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



Samuel Bradley Washburn
1990 – 2023

Samuel Bradley Washburn, age 33, of Boone, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on Monday morning, April 17, 2023, at home. He was born on March 4, 1990, in Boone to Bob and Glenda Washburn. He attended Parkway Elementary School and Watauga High School, graduating in 2009.

Samuel was a lifelong fan of basketball, football, baseball, and soccer. He enjoyed music, watching his favorite movies, and video games. Sam loved sports cars and could give you details on all of them. He was always generous towards those he loved and sought out ways to show them how he felt. He enjoyed volunteering and was touched by those in need. His family is ever grateful for the ACT team in the energy, time, and love they dedicated to him. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Rachel Woodring, and Roland & Jean Washburn, aunt Lori Furr, and uncle Andy Washburn, and we know they had a celebration when they were reunited with him in heaven. 

In addition to his parents, left to remember him is a brother, Matthew Washburn and wife Brittnai of Huntersville, sisters, Sarah Eggers and husband Braxton of Vilas, and Rebekah Washburn and fiancé, Nathan Bates of Boone. He was a loving uncle to his nephews and niece, Graham Eggers, Davis Eggers, Eli Washburn, Tucker Eggers, and Rosie Washburn. He is also survived by his grandfather, Earl Woodring, aunts and uncles, Brenda & Ricky Miller, Steve & Piper Woodring, and Liz & Brian Moore. He is remembered fondly by close cousins Christina Harris (Ben), Callie Crump (Matt), Ethan Woodring, Zoe Moore, Brody Moore, and Lizzie Mak Crump. He is also survived by his great aunts, Mildred Hayes, Wilma Sutherland, Thelma Taylor, Lona Woodring, and many other extended family members.

Sam was optimistic about what could be and was always happy to see his family and friends, whom he kept in touch with, both in-person and on facetime. He was a lifelong member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church and was blessed to participate in a number of mission opportunities, including trips to Sri Lanka and Peru.

Celebration of Life service for Samuel will be conducted Friday morning, April 21, 2023, at 11 o’clock at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Bud Russell. Graveside services will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6 until 8 o’clock at Austin & Barnes.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Sam’s memory to the ACT team, an organization in the community that assists individuals with mental health issues, or the MVBC Equip Sports Ministry.

ACT Team:

Daymark Recovery Services-ACTT

132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite B

Boone, NC 28607

Equip Ministry:


3505 Bamboo Road

Boone, NC 28607

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

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



Barnie Lee Reece
1946 – 2023

Rev. Barnie Lee Reece, age 76, of Old US Highway 421, Vilas, passed away Thursday, April 18, 2023, at his home. Born April 23, 1946, in Watauga County, he was a son of Brownlow and Martha Elizabeth Oliver Reece. Lee served in the US Marine Corp during the Vietnam Conflict. His strong religious family background led him to become a preacher. He was the current pastor of Charity Baptist Church in the Bethel community and was a member of Unity Baptist Church.
Lee was a loving and protective husband and father. He was a man with a great sense of humor, never met a stranger and loved good conversation. Lee was an avid fisherman, enjoyed watching football games, but especially was a loyal follower of Panthers Football.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Hollar Reece; daughter, Patosha Yvonne Reece of Mountain City, TN; sons, Preston Colter Reece and wife, Karen, of Zionville and Justin Alzado Reece of Vilas; grandsons, Jacob Enoch Reece of Raleigh and Simon Adler Reece and Zachary Colter Reece, both of Zionville; brother, Lester Reece and wife, Janet of Zionville; and sisters, Sue Hayes of Vilas and Phyllis Dugger of Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by seven sisters, Mary Bowman, Daisy Lane, Pearl Dugger, Ruth Wright, Lillian Dugger, Minnie Cook and Mollie Greenwell and two brothers, Joe Reece, and Stanley Reece.

Funeral services with Military Honors provided by the American Legion Post 130 and the Disabled American Legion Chapter 90, will be conducted Sunday afternoon, April 23, 2023, at 2 o’clock at Charity Baptist Church, 261 Dave Greene Road, Vilas, NC 28692. Officiating will be Rev. Derick Wilson. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 o’clock, prior to services, at the church. Graveside services will follow services in the Miller Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to assist family with expenses.

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

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



Betty Dawn Conway
1962 – 2023

Betty Miller Conway, 60, joined her ancestors on April 22, 2023. She passed peacefully at her home in Todd, NC, with her family by her side and an army of beloved creatures outside her window.

Born November 5, 1962, in Boone to parents Preston and Elizabeth Miller, Betty was an eighth-generation Watauga County native. She grew up on Chestnut Grove Road riding (and occasionally being tossed from) horses, learning how to take care of the many animals in her family’s care, and reading books that helped her dream of far-away places.

After graduating from Green Valley Elementary School, Watauga High School, and Appalachian State University, Betty moved to Texas, Florida, and eventually Halifax, Nova Scotia with her first husband. In Halifax, she obtained a graduate degree in English from Dalhousie University, where she wrote her dissertation on Ann Tyler while pregnant, standing at the kitchen counter, under the watchful eye of a demanding toddler.

After 10 years away she returned to the mountains with two young daughters in tow. She began her teaching career at Appalachian State University’s English department, where she fell in love with fellow instructor Walton Conway after meeting over a dictionary definition – a beginning that would please even the most discerning romantic comedy fans.

Walton and Betty married in 1997 and completed their family with the addition of one more daughter. Betty continued to teach at Appalachian State for more than 20 years, grading papers in purple or blue (never red). In addition to inspiring her students, she managed the university’s literary journal, Cold Mountain Review, and the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series. She was herself a published author, with several poems and personal essays in publications like Still: The Journal and Anthology of Appalachian Writers.

In addition to these more formal works, Betty kept a blog of farm stories ranging from memories of her childhood on the small farm where she grew up to musings about her adult farm life. Her talent for finding beauty in unlikely places fills these charming glimpses into her past and present.

Central to Betty’s life was the great joy she derived from riding and tending horses, a passion passed down from her father. In 2005 she realized her life-long dream of starting her own horse farm and found her happy place on the back of a Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse named Dakota. The hobby farm soon evolved into a vacation farm, and for fifteen years Betty shared her passion for animal husbandry with countless guests, inspiring their children to yearn for the country.

She cared for humans and beasts alike. Abandoned dogs and stray cats that wandered by became Betty’s charges. She diligently doctored hooves, treated eye infections, and disguised heartworm pills in hot dogs. And she used many of these veterinary medications to treat her family, since, according to her, they are the exact same as human medications, just not FDA-approved.

Those lucky enough to have known her can attest to her gift for making people feel welcomed,
heard, and loved. She knew how to make things lovely, whether it was creating the magic of a
fairy garden, the perfect towering bouquet of gladiolus, or an elegant cake topped with sugared violets. It is this legacy of nurturing and delight that made it an extra special honor for Betty’s family to care for her in her final days with support from Amorem Hospice.

Like her second favorite animal, the humble donkey, Betty was strong willed and slow to spook. She lived with cancer for more than 11 years after being told she only had a handful at best. Her family is grateful for this fighting spirit that gave them extra time with her. In her final days, she clung to life ferociously, waiting for and relishing the arrival of the mountain spring. She passed just as her beloved dogwoods flowered.

Betty is survived by her husband, Walton, and three daughters: Olivia Bowler (Troy Smith) of
Durham, NC, Mary Ellis Bowler of Arlington, VA, and Carolina Conway of many places, as well
as one anticipated grandson, due in May, who she did not get to meet on this side.

Also surviving are her sister Ann Miller Wilson (Mike) of Fleetwood, NC, her uncle Ernest Miller (Darline) and aunts Margaret Miller and Josephine Miller of Boone, Brenda Baird of Banner Elk, and Jerlene Baird Swift (Jim) of Appling, GA., as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

She will be sorely missed by one clever Old Time Scotch Collie named Piper, six horses, a donkey, a pot-bellied pig, many rabbits, chickens, peafowl, turkeys, and guinea fowl. A host of
formerly rescued and well-loved creatures must have run bounding towards her as they saw her coming through the pearly gates.

A celebration of life service will be conducted Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in Blackburn’s Chapel, Todd.

The family will receive friends prior to the services on Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. until the service time.

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

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



Howard James Coffey
1953 – 2023

Howard James Coffey, age 69 of Fleetwood, passed away Saturday, April 22, 2023.
He was born in Banner Elk in 1953, the son of the late John William and Helen Marie Townsend Coffey.

Howard was a retired furniture factory worker, and he absolutely loved his dogs and grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife Brenda Sue Brown Coffey.

He is survived by his two sons, James and wife Monica of Boone, and Joseph Coffey of Boone; three brothers, Jesse Coffey of Lenoir, Lonnie Coffey and wife Linda of Mountain City, TN, and Daniel Coffey and wife Edith of Boone; five grandchildren, Kortney Critcher and husband Benjamin of Boone, James Malichi Coffey of Houston, TX, Hannah Coffey of Boone, Ashley Coffey of Boone, and Kristy Coffey of Boone; three great-grandchildren also survive.

Services for Howard James Coffey will be conducted Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 12:00 noon in Austin & Barnes Funeral Home.

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

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



Tammy Wolfe
Monday, April 24, 2023

Tammy Regina Wolfe passed away on Monday, April 24, 2023 in Vilas, North Carolina. She was born on February 27, 1966 in Carter County, Tennessee to Lewis and Evelyn Welch.

Tammy will be remembered by her family, friends and community for her unconditional love of the lord, benevolent soul, and the phenomenal job she did of witnessing her faith whole heartedly to the young people in her community. “Momma T”, as some may know her, had many hobbies and interests. She was very skilled in graphic design, loved arts, and crafts of various sorts and going on picnics. She enjoyed cleaning with the belief of cleanliness is next to godliness. Caring for her family and home, singing gospel music, and being a help to others was her top priority. She was an avid animal lover and more specifically a dog lover. Tammy also devoted a huge portion of her time and life as a humanitarian in her community. She was and forever will be a light in many lives. Her light will shine through the ones that are still yet to join her.
Tammy was preceded in death by her brother, Teddy Ray Welch: sister, Carolyn Knightford; granddaughter, Kaidance Potter.
Tammy will be forever remembered and is survived by her loving husband of 33 years, Gary Wolfe of Valle Crucis, North Carolina; daughters, Dannielle and Cierra Wolfe both of Boone, North Carolina; parensts, Lewis and Evelyn Welsch of Elizabethton, Tennesse; twin granddaughters, Faith and Jewel Matheson; grandson, Auston Potter of Boone, North Carolina, granddaughter, Heavenly Potter of Boone, North Carolina, and brother, David O’Reilly of Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The family requests no food please.
Saturday, April 29, 2023

A Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM with a Celebration of Life Service to be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Services will be officiated by Derek Wilson & Jimmy Settle. A Burial will follow at
Cove Creek Cemetery.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Wolfe family.



Edward Gale Robinson
1940 – 2023

Edward “Ed” Gale Robinson, age 82, of Vilas, North Carolina went to heaven on
Tuesday, April 25, 2023. He passed peacefully in his home. Ed was born August
19, 1940 in Watauga County. He was a son of the late George W. and Drilla
Wilson Robinson. Ed moved and lived in Charlotte for 58 years and returned to
his home place in the Beaver Dam Community in 2017. He was married to the
late Reba Vines Robinson for 32 years and was then married to the late Ruth
Dover Robinson for 29 years. Ed was a General Contractor and business owner.
His passion was loving his Lord, Jesus Christ, helping others, and going on Mission Tours. He was active at Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Vilas, then Sunset Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, then Bethel Baptist Church in Vilas, and lastly was a member of New Beginnings Church in Trade, TN.
He is survived by son, Tommy Robinson and wife Tammy of Charlotte, NC;
daughter, Teresa Robinson Greene, of Vilas, NC; daughter, Debbie McCord and
husband Phillip of Denver, NC; and son, Mike Elliott of Matthews, NC. Along with
eight grandchildren: Josh Greene and wife Amy, Haley Shriner and husband Nick,
Tabitha Lauer and husband Austin, Jeffrey Greene, Jake Robinson, Hannah
Ashland McCord, Amanda Elliott, and Miles Elliott and four great grandchildren:
Aubree Greene, Gabe Greene, Chloe Greene, and Taylor Lauer and a multitude of
other family and friends. He was also preceded in death by six sisters: Hazel
Wilson, Grace Eggers, Chloe Hathcock, Helen Jean Senter, Georgia Lewis, and
Barbara Ann Wallace, by his brother Kent Robinson, an infant brother, Blain
Robinson, and an infant great-granddaughter Lily McCord.
A Funeral Service will be held for Ed Robinson on Friday, April 28, 2023 at 11:00
AM (Family will receive friends from 10-11 am at the church) at New Beginnings
Church, Trade School and Mill, Corner of Highway 421 and 228 Modock Road,
Trade, TN 37691.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 1 pm (Family will
receive friends after the service) at Sunset Road Baptist Church, 2317 Sunset
Road, Charlotte, NC 28216.
Graveside service will be Monday, May 1, 2023 at 10 am (Family will receive
friends after the service) at Forest Lawn West Cemetery, 4601 Freedom Dr,
Charlotte, NC 28208.

Ministers officiating are Rev. Charlie Martin, Rev. Steve Bass and Rev. Chuck
Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory, Boone, NC, will be serving the
Robinson family.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be made to New Beginnings
Church Land Acquisition Fund, P O Box 95, Trade, TN 37691.
Also, Ed would like to tell everyone to “Be Sweet”.



David Wayne Coffey
1964 – 2023

David W Coffey of Linville Creek Rd. age 58, passed away Thursday afternoon in the home surrounded by those who loved him.

Born October 17, 1964, In Bay County Florida to Deward Burris and Mary Evelyn Wilson Coffey. He spent his life in Watauga County, NC

David was a member of Brushy Fork Baptist Church and loved his church family dearly. David loved the Lord and lived his life showing how important truly knowing the Lord is. David was a person that never knew a stranger and treated everyone equally. He saw value in everyone and greatly cared for all who he knew.

David started as an auto technician from an early age working beside his dad and never stopped. He became a Master Auto Technician and mentored many young technicians. David cared for young people enough that he was not teaching them just about cars, but he provided lifelong mentorship about life and cars.

David loved cars but his great love was motorcycles and riding on the open road with his brothers. He loved seeing the world God created on two wheels. One of David’s favorite bible verses was Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” David always felt he was free as the eagle on his motorcycle.

Preceded in death by his father Deward Burris Coffey, and his mother and father-in-law Everett and Sylvia Hicks.

Surviving is his wife of 35 years Diane H Coffey, his mother Mary Evelyn Wilson Coffey, one son Samuel L Coffey of the home, one daughter Kelly D Parsons and husband Jamie of Boone, NC, and two grandsons Blake and Lucas Parsons. Along with his brother by love Stacey Miller, his loved nephew Casey Miller, his sister-in-law by love Kelley Ford, two loved nieces Brittany Morris and Heather Ford and his loved brothers the Ramblers.

Memorial service for David will be private.

The family suggest memorials to Brushy Fork Baptist Church Youth fund in care of Brushy Fork Baptist Church 3915 US-421 Vilas, NC 28692

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



Thomas Dewey “Tommy” Harmon
1950 – 2023

Thomas Dewey ‘Tommy’ Harmon peacefully went home to be with his Lord, surrounded by his family and ‘Little Bit’, his dog at him home on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Born January 6, 1950 in Banner Elk, Tommy was a son of Bert and Frankie Harmon. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland but spent his time between Baltimore and Beech Creek, NC.

Tommy met the love of his life, Phyllis Dishman in 1965. They were married in 1968 as teenager sweethearts in Ellicott City, Maryland and would have been married 55 years on July 31, 2023.

Music and singing was a big part of his life. He began singing for the Lord with various groups, but when he was able to sing with “his girls” he was more than proud. Tommy loved his girls and was so proud being able to travel and sing with them for eight years. The Harmon Family sang for several years until his health failed and he wasn’t able to travel anymore. Music Man, as he was well known, loved to sing for the Lord and told everyone he met about Him. He drove a truck for six years until he got sick in 1997. He knew the Lord left him here to sing for Him with his girls.

A great honor for Tommy was when he was ordained as a deacon at Beech Valley Baptist Church. He took this appointment very serious and was faithful to this task.

Tommy went through a lot of sickness but through it all his faith remained strong, knowing that one day he would meet the Lord and get to walk, talk and sing with the heavenly choir. He was ready to meet Jesus.

Tommy is survived by his wife of 54 years, Phyllis Dishman Harmon; daughters, Lisa Harmon of Sugar Grove, April Harmon Pritchard and husband, Toby, of Banner Elk and Erin Harmon Demster and husband, Danny, of Sugar Grove; his grandsons that he loved very much, Jeremiah and Andrew Hodges and Wyatt Demster; and his dog and constant companion, ‘Little Bit”. Also surviving are his sister-in-law, Norma Greene; nephew, Randy Farthing and wife, Lana and niece, Felicia Perry and husband, Donovan; and great niece, Hope Perry and great-nephew, Lee Perry. Numerous cousins also survive.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Dewey and Sadie Harmon, brother, Howard ‘Worth’ Harmon, sister, Vickie Farthing, nephew, David Harmon, and step-dad, Henry Oakes.

Celebration of Life services for Tommy Harmon will be conducted Monday afternoon, May 1, at 4 o’clock at Beech Valley Baptist Church, officiated by Rev. Ray Greene and Rev. Chad Cole. The family will receive friends from 2 until 4 o’clock, prior to services, at the church. Graveside services will follow in the Family Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Beech Valley Baptist Church, in care of Barry Stansberry, 2715 Buckeye Road, Elk Park, NC 28622.

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

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



Robert Clinton Hodges
Thursday, April 27, 2023

Robert Clinton Hodges, age 61, of Morganton, North Carolina passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023. He was born on December 10, 1961 in Watauga County to Kemp Hodges and Eleen Trivette Hodges.

Robert enjoyed woodworking, gardening, and building bird houses. He was known as a kind neighbor. Robert not only tended to his own lawn; he would take time to mow the lawns for his widowed neighbors. His generosity extended on as he continued to tend to his mother’s flowers long after she passed away. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Kemp Hodges and Eleen Trivette Hodges; infant brother, John Ralph Hodges,; paternal grandparents, John and Julie Brown Hodges; and maternal grandparents, Ray and Ossie Trivette.

Robert is survived by his aunts, Evelyn Hicks, Doris (Johnny) Greer, Barbara (Buddy) Ashley, Marilyn Watson, Juanita Miller, all of Boone, North Carolina, June (Joel) Weaver of Crumpler, North Carolina; uncle, Grayson (Phyllis) Trivette of Boone, North Carolina; special friend, Connie Wingate and her son, Darnell Wingate both of Morganton, North Carolina; special cousin, Tony Trivette of Boone, North Carolina; and numerous cousins.

A Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at Jont Brown Cemetery, 100 Harmony Mountain Ln, Boone, North Carolina officiated by Mike Townsend.

The family request in lieu of flowers memorial donations be sent to the Jont Brown Cemetery Fund, care of Steven Trivett, 140 Pine Valley Dr., Boone, North Carolina 28607.

Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory, Boone, NC, will be serving the
Hodges family.



Thomas Pitts
Saturday, April 29, 2023

Thomas Oscar Pitts (Tommy), age 72, of Fleetwood, North Carolina passed away on April 29, 2023 at 12:05 AM at the the Robbins House NC. He was born April 15, 1951 and graduated from Watauga High School. He also attended ASU.

Tommy retired from Watauga County with over 30 years of service. Tommy enjoyed fishing and trap shooting but mostly spending time with his family and friends.

Tommy was preceded in death by his father, John C. Pitts; grandparents, Tom and Fannie Townsend and Orpha Pitts; and brother-in-law, Steve Welch.

Left to cherish his life is his wife, Dianna Lynn B. Pitts; mother, Nancy B. Pitts, one daughter, Jessica Abernathy; two sons, Jason and Jared Pitts. Tommy had two grandsons, Will and Oran Abernathy that he loved deeply; two sisters, Ann Pitts Welch and Cindy (David) Hinshaw. Tommy had several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins that he loved dearly.

Family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM with a Funeral Service to be held at 2:00 PM at Poplar Grove Baptist Church, 1228 Poplar Grove Rd. S., Boone, North Carolina conducted by, Rev. Tim Kirby. Graveside Service with Military Honors provided by the Amcrican Legion Post #130 and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #90 will follow at Pitts Cemetery.

Flowers are accepted or donations can be made to the Pitts Cemetery care of Ann Welch. 214 Old Clayton Rd in Boone, NC 28607

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

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