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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – August 17, 2021

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

Robert Lee “Bob” Cookson

1933 – 2021

On August 5, 2021, Robert Lee “Bob” Cookson Sr. of Cumming, GA and Linville, NC, passed away peacefully in his sleep after several days in hospice care.  Bob was born to Jay and Sarah Earnhardt on August 10, 1933, in DeWeese, NC. He was an only child. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Josephine.

Bob graduated from Oak Ridge Military Institute in 1952 before serving a tour in the US Navy. He attended the University of South Carolina and Pfeiffer College for undergraduate work. Soon after, he joined Gillette Corporation in corporate sales where he would retire in 1996 as a Regional Sales Executive for Papermate.

As a teenager, Bob spent summers at Myrtle Beach and came to love dancing Carolina Shag and Beach music. It was an activity that he shared with his first wife and how he met his second wife, Robin. He was a member of the Atlanta Shag Club and was in the Living Legends of Shag and has a plaque on the wall at Fat Harold’s Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach. He was most recently a member of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Alpharetta, GA. He served more than a decade as a great scoutmaster and scout leader and a season or two as a not-so-good baseball coach. He was an avid golfer and hunter for most of his life.

He is survived by his wife, Robin and two sons, Bob (Melody) Cookson and Chris (Tina) Cookson; also, grandchildren Savannah (Craig) Campbell, Bobby Cookson, Jay Cookson, and Brianna Cookson. He is also survived by stepdaughters Ashley (Brett) Marks, Taylor (Scott) Presson, and Lindsay Clarke; and their children.

A memorial service for Bob will be held on August 28, 2021 at 4 pm at Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church, 1600 W Mallard Creek Church Rd, Charlotte, North Carolina. A casual dinner reception will follow at a location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Bob to the Hall of Fame Foundation that supports shaggers with medical need (Hall of Fame Foundation, PO Box 4070, North Myrtle Beach, NC 29597) or to Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church.

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory in Boone, is serving the Cookson family.

Mark Brent Wall

1959 – 2021

Mark Brent Wall, 62, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, passed away on August 5, 2021 in Boone, North Carolina. 

Celebration of life will be held at Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia on Sunday September 12, 2021 at Noon with beloved Reverend Olen Robertson officiating. 

Mark was born in Pearisburg, Virginia to Frank Dale Wall and Ella Jane Robertson on May 3, 1959. He went to high school at Princeton High School and graduated in 1977. He retired after 42 years as a telephone lineman and project supervisor. He enjoyed working, camping, fishing, working on cars (especially his ’97 F350 “Bud”) and spending time with his family and grandchildren (his three “little shavers”). 

Mark is survived by his wife of 38 years, Pam Wall of Hendersonville, North Carolina, his son, Joshua Wall of Saluda, North Carolina, his daughter, Ashley Kernstine and husband Cole Kernstine of Boone, North Carolina, his daughter Alac Wall and husband Ben Burns of Hendersonville, North Carolina, his brother Noal Wall and wife Dorthea of Welaka Florida, his sister Gloria Wall of Pembroke Virginia, his brother Jeff Wall and wife Anna of Elliston, Virginia, his three grandchildren, Maveryk, August and Aaro, his brothers and sisters in law, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother and father, Frank and Ella Wall. 

Memorial donations may be made to Medi Home Health and Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive Suite 101 Boone, NC 28607. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the entire staff of doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians and support personnel that were a part of Mark’s 11 month journey at the Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville, Florida.

The family would also like to acknowledge and specially thank Dr. Murthy and all of the bone marrow transplant team at the Mayo Clinic and Medi Home Health and Hospice of Boone for their phenomenal care and support. 

All of our love, until we meet again,


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

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

Martha Norris

1934 – 2021

Mrs. Martha Worley Norris, age 87, of Boone, the Big Hill community, passed away Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center.  Born February 22, 1934 in Ashe County, she was a daughter of the late Samuel Isiah (Ira) and Mary Leona Howell Worley.  She was a graduate of the Elkland School in Todd.  Martha was a member of Blackburn’s Chapel United Methodist Church. 

Martha was a kind woman; loving and supportive to her husband for 51 years, her daughters, sons-in-law, and each grandchild, supporting their individual interests and cheering them on enthusiastically. She was a genuine friend to many throughout the years.  She very much enjoyed God’s creations and had, and shared, unfailing faith in the Lord until the day she saw His face.  Martha will be remembered for her canopy fringe, beautiful flowers, and her magnificent vegetable gardens. She enjoyed canning the fruits of her labors to feed her family all year long and teaching these skills to her family and friends. Recently, she enjoyed countless hours watching the birds that came to her bird feeders and the squirrels who came to eat the birds’ food.  

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, G. C. Norris; son-in-law, Ben Chappell; three brothers: James Cyrus Worley, T. A. (Buster) Worley, and Stanley Worley; four sisters: Mary Katherine Richards, Doris Worley, Betty Southern, and Jeannette Harrison; and a number of cousins and nephews, including a special nephew, Scott Norris.  

Those left to cherish her memory and carry on her legacy are daughters Debbie Wilson and husband Pete; and Anita Chappell; and her five grandchildren: Aaron Wilson and wife Emily of Boone, Amanda Wilson Lyda and husband Nathan of Hendersonville, NC, Andrew Wilson and wife Savannah of Boone, Benjamin Chappell of Hampstead, NC and Ivy Chappell of Hendersonville, NC.  She was also blessed with four great grandchildren: Anna Wilson, Ruby Wilson, Ava Lyda, and Isaiah Lyda.  Martha is also survived by four brothers-in-law: Joe Norris and wife Anne of Julian, NC; Mike Norris and wife Marie of Boone; Hubert Matheson of Boone; and Spencer Harrison of Cleveland, NC; one sister-in-law, Johanna Burns of Greer, SC; and a number of beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by her faithful and protective GrandDog, Teddy Chappell.

Funeral services for Mrs. Martha Worley Norris will be conducted Friday, August 13, 2021 at 2 PM at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1 until 2 o’clock at the Austin & Barnes chapel.  Burial will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens.  

Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to Hunter’s Heroes, PO Box 1586, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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

Ruth Sydney Greer

1926 – 2021

Ruth Sydney Greer, 94, of Boone passed away peacefully on August 12, 2021, three weeks and three days short of her 95th birthday. She was born in Limestone, TN on September 4, 1926 to the late Reverend Mark and Lillie Rollins Whittington. On July 4, 1949 she married Winston Greer in Vilas, NC. Winston and Ruth raised their family in Boone, NC where she lived out her remaining years. Ruth was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.  Her great loves were her relationship with Jesus, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Many of us were raised on her fried chicken and her cinnamon buns, as she was a cook at Daniel Boone Inn for over thirty years. She enjoyed music, gardening and animals. 

Ruth was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by her husband Winston Greer, son Virgil Greer, daughter Alma Hatton, son Christopher Greer, three brothers; David Whittington, Parvin Whittington and Beauford Whittington, three sisters; Estella W. Wilson, Virginia Lockhart, and Lillie Bell Rollins.

Ruth is survived by her grandchildren: Charles Hatton of Boone, NC, Pamela Patton of Hope Mills, NC, Miles Greer of Winston Salem, NC and Chadwick Hatton of Boone, NC along with four great grandchildren, as well as, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

 A graveside service for Ruth Sydney Greer will be held Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 1pm at the Clarissa Hill Cemetery, Hwy 421 North, Boone, NC. 28607

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

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

James William “Bill” Stanberry

1922 – 2021

Mr. James W. “Bill” Stanberry, age 99, of Boone, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, August 15, 2021 at his home.  Born May 22, 1922 in Marion, NC, he was a son of the late William Turner Stanberry and Mayme Miller Stanberry.  Bill was retired from AT&T where he worked as a cable repairman for many years.  He was a member and former Sunday School teacher and Deacon at Meat Camp Baptist Church.  Bill was a WWII Veteran, having served as a medic in India on the Burma Road.  Bill also enjoyed working on small engines, camping, trading cars and working with his hands.  He was awarded the High Country Care Giver of the Year in 2009 for the care of his beloved wife of 63 years during her battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Willa Rae Stanberry, one sister, Jean Ladd and three brothers, Ed, Ralph and Charles Stanberry.  

He is survived by his daughter, Valerie Kuykendall and her husband Dwayne, two grandchildren, William Kuykendall and wife Jaide of Kings Mountain and Anna Kuykendall and husband Matthew Smith of Asheville, two great grandchildren, Turner and Caroline Kuykendall of Kings Mountain and many nieces and nephews. 

Graveside services and burial for Mr. Bill Stanberry will be conducted Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 2 PM at the Meat Camp Baptist Church Cemetery.  Officiating will be Pastor Mike Townsend.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Watauga County Project on Aging, Home Delivered Meals, 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Unit A, Boone, NC 28607 or to Medi-Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 101, Boone, NC 28607.

The family would like to say a special thank you to his caregiver, Dwayne Kuykendall and friends, Larry Austin, Jane and Jack Evans and Betty and Bill Clawson for their love, care and support.

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

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

Diana Skidmore Smith

August 23, 1950 – August 11, 2021

Diana Skidmore Smith, age 70, of Boone, passed away Wednesday, August 11, 2021 in Hudson at AMOREM.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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

Harold L. King, Sr.

October 25, 1928 – August 14, 2021

Harold L. King, Sr. age 92, of 310 Clay Hodges Road, Boone, passed away Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Life Care Center of Banner Elk.

He was born October 25, 1928 in Sikes, Louisiana. A son of the late James Daniel King and Belle Bazar King. He was a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and was on staff with Hampton Funeral Service until his retirement. He was a US Navy Veteran having served in WWII and Korea. He was a member and former deacon of Perkinsville  Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Eaves King of Boone; one daughter, Sherrie King of Boone; two sons, Lynn King and wife Janell of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Randy King and wife Clare of Chesterfield, New Hampshire; two granddaughters,  Allison King of Hoboken, New Jersey and Erin King of Boulder, Colorado; three grandsons, Brandon Stephens of Boone; Daniel King of Galveston, Texas and Ryan King of New York City, New York; one sister-in-law, Katherine King of San Antonio, Texas and one brother-in-law, John Eaves of Big Pine Key, Florida. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his father and mother he was preceded in death by one sister, Sue Dupree, one brother, Derwin King, one brother-in-law, Lennie Dupree and one sister-in-law Dorothy Eaves.

Funeral services for Harold L. King, Sr. will be conducted Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 6:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Gordon Noble will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 6:00, prior to the service at the chapel.

Interment will be held in Simsboro Cemetery in Simsboro, Louisiana.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the charity of the donors choice.

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

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

Cora Lee Church Moretz

July 26, 1929 – August 15, 2021

Cora Lee Church Moretz, age 92, of 560 Angel Cove Road, Franklin, North Carolina, passed away Sunday August 15, 2021, at Angel Medical Center in Franklin, North Carolina.

She was born July 26, 1929 in Wilkes County. A daughter of the late Thomas Farro Church and Ida Mae Wyatt Church. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Boone.

She is survived by one daughter, Joyce Ann Bowman and husband Bill of Franklin and one son, Jimmy Moretz and wife Dinah of Millers Creek, North Carolina; three grandchildren, Amanda Bowman Cochran and husband Josh of Franklin, North Carolina; Michael Bowman and wife Heidi of Duncan, South Carolina and Paige Moretz Price and husband Luke of Millers Creek, North Carolina; great-grandchildren, Britt and Caleb Cochran, Hunter and Peyton Bowman and John Price, two sisters, Dorothy Swift of Deep Gap and Zora Mae Richardson and husband Wayne of Lewisville, North Carolina and one brother, Bobby Church and wife Wilma of Lewisville, North Carolina. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by three brothers, T.F. Church, Lawrence Church and Cecil Church and  three sisters, Virginia Dare Reed, Eva Mae Church Welborn and Hattie Hayworth.

Funeral service will be conducted Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 1:00 o’clock at Grace Lutheran Church. Pastor Steve Troisi will officiate. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. The service will be live streamed at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8395689983?pwd=c2NYYm9qNjYxaUhSQWxqdlRWcW1LZz09.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 until 1:00, at the church, prior to the service. Mask are required to be worn.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Companion Health and other caretakers for their wonderful care they gave.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 115 East King Street, Boone, NC 28607. 

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

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

Robert “Bud” Trice

March 7, 1946 – August 9, 2021

Robert “Bud” Trice, age 75, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Monday, August 9, 2021 at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC.

Bud was born on March 7, 1946 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Robert Mershell Trice and the late Peggy Laws Trice.

He graduated from Newland High School and was the Owner and Operator of Bud’s Auto Service in Newland for 37 years. Prior to that he owned and operated Newland Sunoco for 12 years. He enjoyed Country Music and was an avid antiques collector.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his Wife, Patsy Clark Trice; Sister, Christine Trice.

Bud leaves behind to cherish his memory Two Daughters, Robbin (Dan Caussin) Trice of Newland, NC, Patricia Trice of Newland; Son, Robert Trice of Newland, NC; Grandson, Chase Rivers of Newland, NC; Two Brothers, Ray (Nan) Trice of Orange City, FL, Earl (Jackie) Trice of Newland, NC; a host of nieces and nephews.

Services for Robert “Bud” Trice will be held on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Robert “Nub” Taylor officiating.

The family will receive friends beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday at the funeral home.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the folks at Smokey Ridge Rehabilitation Center and the Davita Dialysis Center in Spruce Pine.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Daniel Boone Bear Club, Avery Humane Society or to the local charity of your choice

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

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

Haley Jordan Calhoun

November 8, 2005 – August 10, 2021

Haley Jordan Calhoun, 15, of Newland, passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 in Erwin, TN. She was born on November 8, 2005 in Watauga County to Mike and Suzanne (Carpenter) Calhoun. Those preceding her in death are her Grandparents, Dick and Margaret Calhoun; Step Grandfather, Bill Wheeler; Great Grandparents, Shorty and Blackie Carpenter and Etta and Allen Piercy.

Haley was very artistic. She enjoyed art, music and painting. Haley loved spending time with her family especially her brothers. She loved school and being around her friends.

Haley is survived by her loving parents, Mike and Suzanne Calhoun of the home; Maternal Grandparents Robert and Wanda Carpenter; Brothers, Ethan Calhoun, Jonathan (Sarah) Calhoun, Nathan (Marrisa) Calhoun; Nephew, Jace Calhoun; Nieces, Rosie, Aspen and Chloee Calhoun; and numerous Great Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 1:00 PM in the Grandfather Chapel at Rein-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland, with Preacher Wesley Duncan, officiating.

Visitation will be held from 11:00 to 1:00 PM two hour prior to the service at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, Newland, NC. Burial will take place following the service in the Big Meadows Cemetery in Pyatte.

Online condolences for the Calhoun family can be given at www.rsfh.net.

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

Charles “Bud” Poore

October 23, 1935 – August 11, 2021

Charles “Bud” Poore age 85, of Jonas Ridge passed away on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville. He was born on October 23, 1935 in Burke County to the late Charles Mack and Evelyn Loven Poore. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Poore; two grandsons, Logan and C.J. Poore; one sister, Evelyn Dellinger; and one brother, Joe Poore.

Charles loved working on Ford cars. He was a workaholic. Charles enjoyed when people would stop by and sit with him and talk about old vehicles.

Those left to cherish her memory are his three sons, David Poore and wife Patty, Sam Poore and wife Christa, and Chuck Poore and wife Darlene all of Pineola; four grandchildren, Shane Poore, Melinda Poore, Ashley Poore and Jodi and Justin Nichols; one great granddaughter, Parker;

Graveside services will be held Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 3:00 PM at the Poore family cemetery in Jonas Ridge.

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

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

Jannie Carter

May 30, 1924 – August 13, 2021

Jannie Roberta Pritchard Carter, aged 97, passed from this life and into the arms of her Savior on Friday, August 13, 2021.

Jannie is survived by sons, Lynn Carter (Susan) of Banner Elk, and Joel Carter (Kim) of Belmont, NC; grandchildren, Grant Carter (Beth) of Boise, ID, Ryan Carter of Minneapolis, Nicole Carter Arnold (Steve) of High Point, NC; three great-grandchildren, Clarice, Alex, and Nate Arnold of High Point; brothers, Jack Pritchard of York, Pennsylvania, and Joe Pritchard of Leesburg, Florida; and two sisters-in-law and special friends, Christine Miller and Cleo Bertini.

Jannie was preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Alvin; her mother, Roberta, and father, Joel Pritchard; her brothers Maynard, Claude, Edward, Evain, and Jessie, and her sister, Daley Pritchard; and her daughter-in-law Margie Ollis Carter.

She was born one of nine children to Joel and Roberta Pritchard of Minneapolis, NC, on May 30, 1924. After the death of her mother, Jannie was the only surviving daughter and took tender care of her brothers and father. She was known for her excellent cooking, her hospitality, and her servant’s heart.

She graduated from Cranberry High School in 1941, where she served on the journalism team for the school newspaper. She met her husband, Alvin Marcus Carter, while he was visiting his aunt Lucille Lewis in Minneapolis. Jannie and Alvin married in 1943, and the joy of her heart was raising her two sons, Lynn and Joel.

In addition to being a loving mother and dedicated homemaker, Jannie worked at the Newland Knitting Mill and at Baxter, Inc., in North Cove, NC, for 30 years. She was a lifelong member of Minneapolis Baptist Church where she sang alto in the choir. Although she lost her only sister at a young age, she was blessed in marriage with six adoring sisters-in-law who doted on her and were her steadfast friends.

She will be remembered for her unwavering devotion to the Lord, her meek and gentle spirit, her active prayer life, and her singing and humming of hymns while working happily in her home.

Funeral services will be held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 19, at Minneapolis Baptist Church with Pastor Clifford Phillips officiating.

The family will receive visitors from noon to 2 pm before the funeral service.

A graveside service at Minneapolis cemetery will follow.

The family would like to extend their deepest appreciation and thanks to the Nurses and Staff of Amorem (Caldwell) Hospice and Palliative Care and The Foley Center in Blowing Rock for the excellent care and concern everyone showed towards Jannie and her family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Minneapolis Cemetery Fund or Minneapolis Baptist Church, 61 Minneapolis School Road, P.O. Box 38, Newland, NC 28657.

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

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

Pastor Kermit Harpold

June 20, 1950 – August 13, 2021

Kermit Edwin Harpold, 71, of Crossnore, NC, went to Heaven on the morning of Friday, August 13, 2021. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years Becky, his three daughters Heather (Teddy Hughes), Summer (financé Chad Wells), and Keeli (Jonathan Fawcett), five grandchildren Magi and Aly Vettese (Heather), Anneli, Adelina, and Jack Fawcett (Keeli), and eight siblings Clayton Harpold, Glenn Griffith, Jeter Griffith, Bryan Griffith, Nancy Griffith, Robert “Reo” Griffith, and his step-brother Grady Spain of Wichita Falls, TX, and half-sister Carla Harpold of Norman, OK. He was preceded in death by his father Carl Edwin Harpold and his mother DeLois Burnette Griffith.

Services for Kermit will be at Reins-Sturdivant in Newland, Tuesday, August 17, 2021. Visitation will be from 12:30 PM-2 PM, with the funeral service directly following at 2 PM. In honor of the love Dad/Papaw had for color and tropical destinations, we invite you to wear your favorite colorful outfit. No tie is required.

Kermit was a teacher, a coach, a sign maker, an artist, a talented bluegrass musician, and a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. But these things did not define him. Ultimately, Kermit was a believer, a friend of Jesus Christ, and a preacher of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, demonstrating the will of our Father “on earth as it is in Heaven” with signs and wonders confirming the Word that was preached according to Mark 16:20. He lived out the Great Commission, boldly sharing the simple Gospel truth that we are saved by grace-not by our good works, but by the work on the cross by which Jesus said, “It is finished!”

Kermit shared the Good News, that we are saved by grace because of Jesus’ unconditional love for us. He made it simple for anyone to receive Jesus into their life-“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Kermit believed God’s Word that tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). It was important for him to show the world that God is good, God is love, and God loves you. He knew that without the power of the Holy Spirit, mere words wouldn’t be enough for many to come to faith in Christ. He wanted people to know how much Jesus loved them and saw hundreds set free from sickness, infirmities, pain, and oppression in Jesus’ name. Kermit, believing John 14:12 and filled with the Spirit, saw the Lord work a multitude of miracles in the lives of people he prayed for. He witnessed the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, cancer healed, barren parents have children, addictions broken, and even the dead raised.

The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ, and Kermit wanted everyone to experience the tangible reality of the goodness and glory of God. Kermit’s desire to see the Body of Christ empowered for evangelism made him an effective teacher on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. From there, he sent and accompanied other believers into the streets where he saw many saved, healed, and delivered by the power of Jesus, all while equipping and encouraging other believers to do the same. For so many, the Gospel of Jesus Christ became real and extended far beyond the walls of the church.

Kermit loved ministering wherever he was-at work, in restaurants, on vacation-and never retired from preaching the Gospel. But he and Becky also took the Good News to Jamaica where they made dear friends, witnessed astounding miracles, and saw several new believers enter the family of God. They also ministered in Nairobi, Kenya and to African congregations across the United States. He loved going to a local prison each week to share with the inmates about the hope and freedom available in Christ. Kermit served in several ministries throughout the years-including a church with his daughter Keeli on Appalachian State’s campus and a second church with her in Boone-but most recently, he pastored Destiny Church in Spruce Pine, NC, with his wife Becky.

Kermit wanted everyone to see themselves as the Lord saw them. He often asked the question, “On a scale from 1 to 10, how righteous are you?” When everyone gave a number less than 10, he asked, “How righteous is Jesus?” When they acknowledged that Jesus was a perfect 10, he quoted the Scripture, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM” (2 Corinthians 5:21). When they realized they were answering based on their own good or bad works and not on the finished work of Jesus, they changed their answer based on their identity in Christ: 10!

“If you could do anything without the fear of failing, what would it be?” Kermit had a gift of challenging others and opening their eyes to their true calling. But the most important question he would ask was, “There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and those who are about to. Which one are you?”

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