Avery, Watauga Obituaries – Dec. 1, 2015

Published Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

John Gillis McKethan (Nov. 11, 1948 – Nov. 30, 2015)

Mr. John Gillis McKethan, 67, of Boone, died Monday morning, Nov. 30, 2015, at his home.

McKethanBorn on Nov. 11, 1948, in Fayetteville, he was one of three sons of the late Eugene L. McKethan, Sr. and Leslie Gillis McKethan. John was a longtime member and former elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Boone.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Kathy Nance McKethan; three sons, John Gillis “Jack” McKethan, Jr., Aaron Nance McKethan and wife, Sarah, and Benjamin Blue McKethan and wife, Sarah; one brother, Eugene L. McKethan, Jr. and wife Fay; one sister-in-law, Diane McKethan; six grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, William “Bill” McKethan.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday morning, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Boone. Officiating will be the Rev. Jeff Smith with assistance by Mr. Mark Valentine. The family will receive friends following the service. A reception and graveside service will be held on Friday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m., at the MacPherson Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, N.C.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center Patient Emergency Fund (c/o Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation; PO Box 2600, Boone, NC 28607) or the First Presbyterian Church Capital Improvement Fund (131 Big Valley Street, Boone, NC 28607).

The family would like to acknowledge and thank the wonderful doctors, staff, and other healthcare professionals, specifically those of the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center of Boone, who have provided excellent, compassionate care over the last 13 months.

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

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

Virginia Christine Critcher (March 31, 1929
- Nov. 28, 2015)

CritcherMrs. Virginia Christine Critcher, 86, of Eagles Path, Boone, wife of Mr. Dean Critcher, passed away Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 at Watauga Medical Center.

Mrs. Critcher was born March 31, 1929 in the Mabel Community of Watauga County, a daughter of the late Luther Charles Oliver, Sr. and Margaret Norris Oliver. She was a retired seamstress at Shadowline of Boone, and was of the Baptist Faith.

Mrs. Critcher is survived by her husband, Dean Critcher of Boone.

A memorial service for Mrs. Virginia Christine Critcher will be announced in the spring of 2016.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MediHome Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

Mariann M. Clawson (May 12, 1936 – Nov. 28, 2015)

BigClawson, MariannMariann Margaret Clawson, 79, died on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at her home in Blowing Rock, North Carolina after her valiant fight with Stage 4 Lung Cancer during the past two years. Her strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried her through months of grueling treatment and chemotherapy. Yet throughout her struggle with cancer, she reached out to others with love and laughter.

The oldest of 2 beautiful girls, Mariann was born on May 12,1936 in Hartford Wisconsin to Roy and Francis Fries. Her sister, Barb, lives with her husband Ron, in their home state of Wisconsin.

Known for her contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor, Mariann maintained a sweet and simple demeanor. She won the trust and hearts of many, who even now are being changed by her witness of constant nurturing love and faith. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking around, will never be forgotten.

After graduating from Random Lake High, Wisconsin and while attending Sheboygan County Normal Teachers College she met her Sweetheart, Joe Clawson, during an encampment with the Civil Air Patrol. The couple was married the same year on July 14, 1956 at St. Kilians Church in Hartford, Wisconsin.

Married for 40 years, Mariann & Joe raised their 3 children, Mike, Marcia and Frank over the years in many places while serving in the United States Air Force and after Joes retirement, in Blowing Rock North Carolina. Mariann, possessing a true servants heart continued to raise her children while at the same time, faithfully cared for Joe whom suffered for many years with significant disabilities. During this time Mariann returned to higher education earning her dream job of becoming a school teacher. Even after Joes death in December 1996, Mariann continued teaching for many years and even volunteering to teach after her own retirement. To this day, she is remembered and recognized for being a devoted and inspirational school teacher for hundreds of elementary students.

A woman of faith and the heart of the Clawson family, Mariann shaped their spirituality by her tireless Christian example, and also through various Catholic charismatic prayer groups and activities. With a genuine zest for life, Mariann spent much of her time giving back in various organizations such as, VFW, Boone Civitan, The Royal Order of Moose, North Carolina Retired Teachers, Blowing Rock Historical Society and volunteering at Blowing Rock School. Mariann loved to pray, travel, read, bowl, chat with friends, play Bingo…especially play bingo, and spend time with her grandchildren. Mariann was our angel that lived, laughed, and loved.

Mrs. Clawson is the Mother of three children, Mike and (Susan) Clawson, Marcia and (David) Winkler and Frank and (Diane) Clawson; Grandmother to seven; Drew Clawson, Carrie and Chris Winkler, Corbyn, Hunter, Cody and Nate Clawson; immediate family; sister, Barbara Jacobson and husband, Ron; and of course, Willie, her beloved four-legged companion.

For friends and family of Mariann Clawson, there will be Visitation and a funeral service at Austin and Barnes Funeral Home (194 Queen St, Boone, NC), Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Visitation from 11:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m., with the funeral service beginning at 1:00 p.m. Officiating will be Father Matthew. All are invited to a graveside service that follows.

Pallbearers will be her son-in-law, David Winkler and her grandsons, Drew, Chris, Hunter, Cody and Nate.

In lieu of flowers Memorial donations can be made to Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue Squad, Boone Civitan or Moose Charities. Online condolences may be shared at the website austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support. This is truly a tribute to her memory, which will be carried on in the legacy of love which is now each of us – the lives she formed and touched by her love.

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

Kathleen W. “Kat” Hodges (April 3, 1921
- Nov. 27, 2015)

HodgesMrs. Kathleen W. “Kat” Hodges, 94, of Sarasota, Fla., and a former resident of Boone, widow of R.D. Hodges, passed away Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

Funeral arrangements for Kathleen W. “Kat” Hodges are incomplete at this time and will be announced by Hampton Funeral Service.

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

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is charge of the arrangements.

David Lawrence Moore (Sept. 28, 1977
- Nov. 27, 2015)

MooreMr. David Lawrence Moore, 38, of Ivy Terrace, Boone, passed away suddenly Friday morning, Nov. 27, 2015 at Watauga Medical Center.

David is survived by his mother, Irene Moore. 

Funeral services for Mr. David Lawrence Moore will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, December 1, 2015 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Reverend Ben Carson. Burial will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Parks and Gardens.

The family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon, at Hampton Funeral Service, from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m., prior to the service.

Online condolences may be sent to the Moore family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com. Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

Walter Otts Pope (Nov. 29, 1949 – Nov. 27, 2015)

Walter-Pope-1448714753Walter Otts Pope, 65, of Banner Elk passed away peacefully on Nov. 27, 2015 at Watauga Medical Center, Boone, NC surrounded by his immediate family after losing a courageous battle with cancer.

Born Nov. 29, 1949 in Columbia, SC, he was the son of Mary Smith Pope of Banner Elk, NC and the late Walter C. Pope, Jr. He was preceded in death by a niece, Amy Lee Powell and a brother in law, Geary L. Powell.

Walter retired from the SC Department of Mental Health after many years of service, before relocating to Banner Elk, NC in 1996 where he enjoyed fishing, spending time with family and friends and painting ceramics at the Avery County Senior Center. Walter was a member of the Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church and the Elk River Fishing Club.

He was a loving, kind, and gentle soul who will be greatly missed.

In addition to his mother, Walter is survived by his sisters, Novelene P. Powell of Columbia, SC, Linda P. Martin (Furman) of Elgin, SC, Jane P. Hudson (Marty) of Chapin, SC, Lane Yates (James) of Banner Elk, NC; niece, Ashley Powell-Thompson of Lexington, SC; nephews, Michael Ellinger (Paige) of Chapin, SC, Brian Ellinger (Sarah) of Simpsonville, SC, Justin Yates of Banner Elk, NC; great nieces and nephews, Ethan, Mackie and Lola Ellinger, Zachary and Zoe Thompson; a dear friend, Danny Ollis and his family of Banner Elk, NC.

Funeral services for Walter Otts Pope will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at the Arbor Dale Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Tee Gatewood officiating. Interment will follow in the Smith Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to: Avery County Humane Society PO Box 1213 Newland, NC 28657.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Carol Smith and the staff of Medi Home Hospice of Avery County for the wonderful support and loving care they provided Walter during this difficult time.

Words of comfort and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.rsfh.net.

Rose L. Absher (March 14, 1942 – Nov. 26, 2015)

BigAbsher, Rose, 1Rose Lee Miller Absher, 72, of Martin Lane, Boone, passed away Thursday morning, Nov.26, 2015 at her home. Born March 14, 1942 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of the late David and Bina Greene Miller. Rose retired from Watauga Medical Center. She enjoyed yard sales and flower gardening. The love of her life was her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by three sons, George Miller of Boone, Jerry Absher and wife Patty of Icard and David Absher and wife Janice of Hildebran, her former daughter in law, Sylvia Blackman of Boone, five grandchildren, Lucas Miller and wife Susan, Ira Miller and wife Nicky, J. R. Absher, Roger Hamby, and Amanda Pyatte and husband Adam, six great grandchildren, Lucas Miller, Madison Miller, Graves Miller, Lilliana Miller, Ailya Hamby and Lacy Pyatte. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by one sister, Ann Miller Crater.

Funeral services for Rose Lee Miller Absher will be conducted Monday morning at 11oclock at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Rev. Virginia Purifoy. Burial will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens.

The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 6 oclock until 7:30. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC 28607.

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

Rebecca S. Councill (Dec. 28, 1933 – Nov. 26, 2015)

BigCouncill, BeckyRebecca Sue Shoemake Councill, only child of James Dee Shoemake and Reka Eugene Waddell, born December 28, 1933, died November 26, 2015 in her hometown of Boone, NC.

She is survived by three children: John Hardin Councill, Jr., Tracy Dee Councill, and Benjamin David Councill; six grandchildren, Amanda Lee Councill Dickerson, Cody Dee Councill, Grace Hartley Ellison, Molly Perkins Ellison, Dalton Ward and Quinton Lewis; and two great-grandchildren, Ava Grace Dickerson and Hadley Rebecca Dickerson.

There will be a private graveside service for family only on Monday, November 30 at 2:00 pm at Mount Lawn Cemetery in Boone. Memorial contributions may be made to Tracy’s Kids, www.tracyskids.org, a nonprofit that provides art therapy to pediatric cancer patients and their families, which was started by her daughter, Tracy.

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

Cynthia Louise “Cindy” Glenn (July 9, 1954
- Nov. 26, 2015)

GlennDespite decades of debilitating illnesses that had resulted in more than 100 surgeries, Cindy Glenn died peacefully in her sleep in her own bed with her beloved cats and her sister near-by. She had suffered primarily from the nervous system disorder called Syringomyelia with a complicating Chiari Malformation, and her prolonged contact with various medical specialists had helped further inform the medical community concerning these problems. An organization she was involved in forming, the American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project (www.ASAP.org), has become a clearinghouse for information concerning these disorders. Her mother had suffered with Syringomyelia throughout her adult life as well.

In much of her contact with the medical community, Cindy was known as “The Bubble Gum Lady” because she made a habit of providing bubble gum to her various care providers. Her concept was that if she treated THEM like real people, they would regard HER as a person, too, rather than just another patient. One surgeon was enjoying his gum so much that he blew a bubble but forgot he was wearing a surgical mask! Cindy laughed about that image again and again.

In 1968, however, long before she was stricken with the effects of Syringo, Cindy was involved in the Junior Olympic trials as a championship fencer. A talented artist, she briefly attended Detroit School of Arts & Crafts (now the Art Institute). Though her work careers were varied as a chef, a restaurant manager, and a prison guard, art was a mainstay of her life. She was especially skilled at portraiture and used her skills especially to portray Star Trek and other science fiction characters, appearing herself as a featured guest artist at various Star Trek-related conventions. It amused her that one of her artworks is shown in the documentary movie “Trekkies”.

Cindy felt spiritually in tune with her Cherokee heritage and regarded that as an important part of her life. She was preceded in death by her mother, Loretta B. Glenn, and her father, E. Clifford Glenn, and her infant brother John Scott Glenn. She is survived by her sister, Susan (Sue) Glenn. A celebration of Cindy’s life will be held in July 2016.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the American Syringomylia & Chiari Alliance Project (www.ASAP.org) or the Watauga County Humane Society.

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

Michael Jeffrey Cox (D. Nov. 26, 2015)

coxMr. Michael Jeffrey Cox of Blowing Rock, went home to be with the Lord Thursday, November 26, 2015 after an extended illness. He passed away at the Blowing Rock Davant Extended Care. 

He was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida at the United States Air Force Base. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock, the Blowing Rock Country Club, Grandfather Golf and Country Club and he served on the Blowing Rock Community Service Day Committee for many years.

Michael graduated from Mississippi State University with degrees in Marketing and Business. He was president and owner of two pharmaceutical companies in South Carolina and one in North Carolina. 

Michael dedicated his life to the care of families and children in his community and elsewhere. One of the recipients of his kindness and support was The Crossnore School for Children in Crossnore, North Carolina. He received many honorariums from Crossnore, including the Friend of Children Award, The Mary Martin Sloop Award, and the Academy Library is named in his honor. These awards were given to him because he was a faithful benefactor in many areas. He funded the renovation of the Sloop Chapel, and provides a four year college scholarship each year for a deserving senior. 

Michael also showed his quiet and compassionate generosity through a life changing contribution to a local organization, with a directive to administer this gift to those in need of food, heat and emergency needs in Watauga, Avery and Ashe Counties. He also supported St. Jude’s Hospital for Children and “Angels Among Us”, a fundraiser to fight cancer at Duke Medical Center.

A quite man with a loving Christian heart, Michael will be missed greatly by his loving wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Cox, his three sons, Stephen Cox and wife Sabrina, Blake Cress and wife Kelly, and David Cress; and his four grandchildren whom he adored, Anna Meadows, Gunner, Davis and Cole Cress. He is also survived by his mother Joan Cox, his brother, Christopher Cox and sister Linda Lewis. 

He was preceded in death by his father, Donald E. Cox, and his mother-in-law, Allie Rhea Price. 

A memorial service for Michael Jeffrey Cox will be held at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel in Boone, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015 at 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Marshall Edwards, Michael’s pastor and close friend. A private burial service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

A reception will follow at The Inn at Ragged Gardens in Blowing Rock.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charities listed above.

The family would like to thank Dr. Charles Davant, III, all the employees of the Blowing Rock Davant Extended Care, and the many friends and caregivers who took loving care of Michael.

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

James “Jim” Cade (Aug. 17, 1941
 – Nov. 25, 2015)

CadeMr. James “Jim” Cade, 74, of 105 Deep Gap Estates, Fleetwood, passed away Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 25, 2015 at Glenbridge Health Care Center.

Mr. Cade was born August 17, 1941 in Ramsey, Illinois, a son of the late Samuel Floyd Cade and Nina Murphy Cade. He was a retired mechanic for 421 Auto Repair, and was a member, deacon and former youth leader at Laurel Springs Baptist Church.

Mr. Cade is survived by his wife, Kay C. Cade of the home; two daughters, Brenda Reed and husband Timothy of Boone and Kendra Melcher and husband Jimmy of Fleetwood; three granddaughters, Tiffany Reed Dunst and husband Jason of Taylorsville and Ashton Poe and husband Michael of Ashe County and Terri Melcher of Lock Port, NY; two grandsons, James Melcher and Robert Melcher, both of Fleetwood; and six great-grandchildren, Cole, Christian, Cadence, Kyle, Konnor, and Kelsi. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Frank and Tom Cade. 

Graveside services for Mr. James “Jim” Cade will be conducted Friday afternoon, November 27, 2015 at 1:00 o’clock at Laurel Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. Officiating will be Mark Lail. 

Online condolences may be sent to the Cade Family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Robert B. Ohlen (Feb. 26, 1943 – 
Nov. 25, 2015)

OhlenMr. Robert B. Ohlen, age 72, of Freds Drive in Critcher Meadows, Boone, passed away Wednesday evening, November 25, 2015, at his residence.

Mr. Ohlen was born February 26, 1943 in Pipestone, Minnesota, a son of Mildred Thiele Ohlen Skogmo and the late Dr. Virgil Ohlen. He attended high school in Pipestone, Minnesota, and graduated in Mitchell, South Dakota. He attended South Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, and received his Masters Degree in Hospital Administration from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. He retired after 44 years in hospital administration. Mr. Ohlen was a member of Rotary of Boone, North Carolina, a Fellow of Royal Society of Health, a Fellow of American Hospital Executives, a member of the International Hospital Federation, and a member of the Boone United Methodist Church.

Mr. Ohlen is survived by his wife of Gudrun Ohlen of the home; two daughters, Christine Lamont and husband Jason of Germany, and Nicole Ohlen and husband Jay of Overland Park, Kansas; his mother, Mildred Skogmo, of Mitchell, South Dakota; and two grandsons, Marshall and Carson Lamont of Germany.

He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Virgil Robert Ohlen and step-father, Dr. Bernhoff Skogmo.

A celebration of life service for Mr. Robert B. Ohlen will be held Wednesday afternoon, December 2, 2015 at 2:00 o’clock at Boone United Methodist Church. Officiating will be Pastor David C. Hockett and Christine Lamont.

The family will receive friends Wednesday afternoon, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hospitality House of Boone, Post Office Box 309, Boone, North Carolina 28607 or the Watauga Humane Society, Post Office Box 1835, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

Frances Ellis Coffey (July 22, 1938 – Nov. 23, 2015)

Frances Ellis Coffey, 77, of R J Aldridge Road, Banner Elk, passed away Monday afternoon, November 23, 2015 at Watauga Medical Center. Born July 22, 1938 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Edgar and Carmalee Aldridge Ellis. Mrs. Coffey was a member of Shulls Mills Baptist Church in the Foscoe community. Before returning to Foscoe, Frances was a residence of Lenoir for 45 years. She retired from the Thomasville Furniture Plant. Frances loved her Lord, adored her family, and cherished her church and community family. She was a charitable lady who, when she saw a need, did not let it go unnoticed.

Mrs. Coffey is survived by her son, Rev. Tim Coffey and wife, Carolyn, of Banner Elk; four grandchildren, Chad Coffey of Granite Falls, Lacey Kincaid and husband, Caleb, of Lenoir, Alecia Aldridge and husband, Dustin, of Banner Elk, and Jennifer Officer and husband, Billy, of Ferguson; two great-grandchildren, Eden Kincaid of Lenoir and Parker Aldridge of Banner Elk; sister, Pat Welch and husband, Jerry, of Hamptonville; and brother, Terry Ellis of Zionville. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Tatum Coffey; brothers, Tom and Jack Ellis; and parents, Edgar and Carmalee Aldridge Ellis.

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, November 29th at 2 PM at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel, officiated by Rev. Zane Tester. The family will receive friends Sunday from 12:30 until 2 oclock, prior to services, at Austin & Barnes. Graveside services and burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in Lenoir.

Flowers are appreciated or the family suggests memorials to the American Diabetes Association, 222 South Church St., Suite 336 M, Charlotte, NC 28202.

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

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



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