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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – August 24, 2021

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

Lois Ann Hamer

1937 – 2021

Lois Ann Hamer, age 83, of Boone, passed away August l4, 2021.  Born December 29, 1937 in Troy, MO, she was a daughter of Olon and Floy Carver Morris.  Ms. Hamer was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.  A lady gifted with an impeccable sense of style, she owned and operated three fashion boutiques and was respected as an accomplished artist in multiple mediums.  An excellent cook, she enjoyed preparing meals for family gatherings and especially loved vacations with family.  Her favorite pastimes were playing bridge, travelling the world with her dear friends and simply having a good time.  Lois spoke what was on her mind, and always meant what she said. 

Ms. Hamer is survived by her brother Robert Osiek and wife Barbara of Champaign, IL, one daughter, Judy Seamone and husband, Nathan, of Boone; sons, Christofer Nenninger and wife, Stella, of Seguin, TX and John Thomas Nenninger of Elk Park; grandchildren, Amanda and Emily Nenninger, Nicholas Seamone, Alexandra Rosander and husband Steven, Elizabeth and Lily Nenninger, and Logan Harrison; one great granddaughter, Brooke Nenninger; her beloved companion, Marley and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a son, Matthew Allen Nenninger and sister, Betty Faye McCormick.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated  Friday, August 20, at 11:00 AM, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, officiated by Father Brendan Buckler.  Entombment will follow in the Church Columbarium. 

Memorials may be made to Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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

Betty Jean Moretz

1933 – 2021

Our beloved mother, Betty Jean Setzer Moretz, died August 15th, 2021.  Born October 22, 1933 to Fred and Lizzie Austin Setzer, Betty served as a nurse at Watauga County Hospital and Appalachian State University health Services.  Best known by her family as Granny Betty, she loved cooking, playing Pinochle, Rook and Bingo, in which she took no prisoners and gave no mercy!

Left to cherish her life and memory are daughter; Kweta Danner, two sons George Danner and wife Violet, Doug Danner and wife Debbie, a daughter-in-law, Imma Jo Danner, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.  Mrs. Moretz is also survived by two sisters, Mozelle Jackson and Charlotte Cook and a whole host of nieces and nephews.

Preceding Betty Moretz in death are; son Deryl, husband Roy Moretz, one sister, Cora Lee Mills and two brothers, Robert Setzer and Ernest Setzer.  

The graveside service for Betty Setzer Moretz will be held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 2 PM.  Officiating will be Pastor Laura Weant.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Bethany Lutheran Church, 1030 Big Hill Road, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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

Gary Leon Morgan

1937 – 2021

Gary Leon Morgan, age 84, of Bamboo Road, Boone, passed away Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Amorem Hospice in Lenoir.  Born June 22, 1937 in Waynesville, NC, he was a son of Norman Israel and Pauline Sams Morgan.  Gary was a veteran of the US Army.  He retired as the Assistant Director of University Support Services at ASU. 

Gary is survived by his wife, Verdola Hampton Cook; son, Todd Morgan of Boone and daughter, Andrea Morgan of Boone; step-children, April Cook Guinchard (Jean-Louis), Dwaine Cook (Carrie) and Kevin Cook (Cashae); step-grandchildren, Jean-Louis II and Christian Guinchard, Reeves and Auden Cook, Landon, Colin, Melody and Diana Cook; brother, Herschel ‘Scott’ Morgan (Carolyn) of Asheville; sister, Paula Barth (Dariel) of Wedgefield, SC; and Nancy Race (Richard) of Rock Hill, SC; and stepsister-in-law, Shirley Hampton of Pfafftown.  He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Norma June Morgan Khadhiri. 

Gary has requested that no services be held.  

The family respectfully requests no food or flowers and suggests memorials be made to Snow Masonic Lodge 363 Local Charity Fund, in care of Frank Guy, 2960 US Hwy 321 North, Sugar Grove, NC 28679. 

        A man with many stories, but few words.

        He had an appreciation for beautiful, quiet spaces.

        He had an intelligent mind and excellent memory for details,

        a warm heart, but challenged with expressing his love. 

        He loved music and had his favorite chair, as many do,

        when they get older.

        He had an especially soft place in his heart 

        for young children and they could make him smile 

        and talk more than anyone.

        He loved to drive and would drive for hours.

        Maybe it brought him peace.       

        He made the best peanut brittle 

        and was generous with sharing.

        He was kind and stubborn, caring and quiet, 

        simple and complicated, brilliant and boring.  

        He was loved.

                                                       Carrie E. Cook

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.

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

Charles Edwin McKinney

1932 – 2021

Charles Edwin McKinney, 89, of Highway 194 N., Boone, passed away Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at his home.  Born July 4, l932 in Avery County, he was a son of Charles R. and Eula Thompson McKinney.  Mr. McKinney served a tour in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict.  After the military he attended and received his BS and MA Degrees from Appalachian State Teachers College, now ASU.  Edwin was an active member of United Methodist Churches, serving on many boards and committees.  After retiring as Dean of Fiscal Affairs from McDowell Technical Community College in Marion, he accepted a call to the ministry and became a United Methodist Lay Pastor serving New Hope UMC in Rutherfordton and Denton’s Chapel UMC in Morganton.  Following retirement as a full time Pastor, he accepted part time appointments at several United Methodist Churches in Watauga and Ashe County.  After Hopewell United Methodist Church closed, again he volunteered as Pastor so that it could reopen as a Community Church.  For several years, he served as a scoutmaster and volunteer chaplain with Hospice for 8 years.  He also served on the Board of Director of Hospice.

Mr. McKinney was a very kind, gentle man with a caring spirit who served his family well as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. 

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Tugman McKinney; daughter, Marsha M. Wallace and husband, Philip, of Virginia Beach, VA and son, Scott Michael McKinney of Marion; granddaughters, Sarah Davis of Boone, Erin Gilmore and husband, Andrew Downey of Alexandria, VA and Tara Ann McKinney of Marion; grandson, Brandon Davis, Jr. and fiancée, Sydney Wheatley, of Newport News, VA; brother, Rev. James ‘Jim’ McKinney and wife, Linda, of North Wilkesboro; sisters, Alice Ross of Lenoir and Virginia Parker and husband, James, of Charlotte; sisters-in-law, Francis C. McKinney of Morganton and Alda P. McKinney of Asheville; brother-in-Law, Johnnie Davis of Boone; and god-children, Hampton Boggs of Marion and Brittney Boggs of Boone. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Jack Douglas and David Neil McKinney. 

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday afternoon, August 22, at 3 o’clock at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Curtis Mull and Rev. James L. McKinney.  Military honors will be provided by the American Legion Post 130.  The body will lie in state at the chapel from 2 until 3 o’clock.  Entombment will follow at the Mount Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Hopewell Community Church, in care of Sandy Davis, 5736 NC Hwy 194 N., Boone, NC 28607, or to Amorem Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St., NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. 

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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

Patsy Lee “Pat” Lewis

1951 – 2021

Patsy Teague Lewis, age 70, of River Road, Todd, passed away Sunday morning, August 22, 2021 at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation in Boone.  Born June l4, 1951 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Fred Alton and Mazie Lee Andrews Teague.  During her growing up years in the Flat Top community, Pat was very active at her home church, Cool Springs Baptist Church.  For a number of years, she was employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse for Dr. Cline’s practice.  Pat was dedicated not only to her family, but also to her love of the nursing profession.  She had a generous heart, and was always ready to step in and help anyone in need.

She is survived by her sister, Judy Van Dyke and husband, Terry, of West Jefferson; nephew, Chris Van Dyke and wife, Ali, of Charlotte; and nieces, Karen Phampthoum and husband, Jimmy, and their son, Jovi Phampthoum, all of Vancouver, WA and Shannon Miller and husband, Charles, of Boone.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Howard Moretz and her second husband, Lloyd Lewis. 

Graveside services for Pat Teague Lewis will be conducted Thursday morning, August 26, at 11 o’clock at the Norris Tabernacle Baptist Church Cemetrey, Milton Moretz Road, Boone.  Officiating will be Rev. David Cooper. 

Memorials may be made to the Norris Tabernacle Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Glenna Hollar, 3144 North Pine Run Road, Boone, NC 28607. 

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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

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 joined the staff of Hampton Funeral Service in 1986, until his retirement after 29 years. 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 and Pastor Seth Norris will officiate. The body will lieu in state at the chapel from 8:30 until the service Wednesday, so friends may pay the respect and sign the register book.

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.

Ann Marie Stechmann

March 20, 1938 – August 18, 2021

Ann Marie Stechmann, age 83, of Blowing Rock passed away Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center.

She was born March 20, 1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Robert was the ship, Ann was his anchor. 

Ann was the daughter of the late George and Mercedes Stelz.

She is survived by her husband, Robert Stechmann of Blowing Rock; three daughters, Kim Moretz and husband John of Miami, Florida; Karee Williams of New Smyrna Beach, Florida and Kristi Welch and husband Jonathan of Atlanta, Georgia and one brother, George Steltz and wife Lorraine of Metairie, Louisiana. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

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

Larry Sluder

March 26, 1956 – August 21, 2021

Larry Sluder, age 65, of Fairground Lane, Mountain City, Tennessee, passed away Saturday, August 21, 2021 at his residence.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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


February 24, 1934 – August 22, 2021

Reverend Bill Warren

“Once a Soldier, always a Soldier”

Reverend Bill Warren, Retired Sergeant Major of the United States Army, age 87, of 1351 Old Bristol Road, Boone, went to be with his Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, on Sunday morning, August 22nd, 2021.

Bill was born fifth of eleven children on February 24th, 1934, in the Mabel community of Watauga County to Raymond and Nora Thomas Warren. He was a country boy who loved the thought of wearing a uniform and decided to enlist in the United States Army. He did not realize at the time that he would end up choosing the military as his professional career. With a seventh-grade education, he rose up the ranks to E9 Sergeant Major which is the highest rank possible of an enlisted soldier. While in the service, he did go on to complete his high school education. His first assignment was to Fort Jackson, South Carolina and at age 19 he was deployed for his first tour in Korea. When he came home, he met the love of his life, Libby. They were married on August 9th, 1954 and began a life of service to our country. Their four children Linda, Greg, Lottie, and Billy grew up on the road as true military brats. Bill went on to serve an additional tour in Korea, one tour in Germany and one tour in Vietnam. His last assignment was Chief Enlisted Instructor to the Army Reserve Training Corps Senior Division and the Director of Administration for the ROTC Department at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Bill retired from the United States Army with high honors after 22 plus years of service in 1974.

Not only was Bill a soldier for the military; most importantly, he was a soldier for Christ. Shortly after his retirement in the Army, he received the greatest calling of his life. God called him to preach the gospel in 1976. He faithfully pastored Clarks Creek, Stony Fork, Gap Creek and Beech Valley Baptist Churches. He also supplied for Union Baptist Church in 2001. He served Beech Valley for 25 years. While pastoring he was presented “The Order of Caleb” by the Three Forks Baptist Association in October 2000 at their annual session (Joshua 14:11-12). His legacy of ministry lives on in the lives of his family, friends, and church members. Bill radiated Christ’s love and had a true servant’s heart which we know was abundantly rewarded with a “Well done thou good and faithful servant” by his precious Savior.

Bill loved his family and spent so much of his time making memories with them. He enjoyed travelling to new places, catching fish, mowing his yard, and giving his time to those in need. He instilled in his family to always do their best and remember who they are and where they came from. He called his family’s names out in prayer each and every day. Bill will be remembered by his life quote, “Only by the mercies of God.”

Bill is survived by his cherished bride of 67 years, Libby Oliver Warren. He is also survived by his four children: Linda Herman and husband Gary of Vilas, Greg Warren, and wife Loyce of Boone, Lottie Oliver, and husband Dewayn of Zionville, Billy Warren and wife Serena of Mountain City. Nine grandchildren include Tonya Townsend and husband Tony of Mountain City, Melinda Eggers and husband Scott of Vilas, Reverend Toby Oliver and wife Hailey of Boone, Traci Hartley, and husband Ryan of Zionville, Justin Warren and wife Amy of Vilas, Brooke Hollar and husband John of Todd, Travis Oliver and wife Allie of Boone, Krista Osborne and husband Aaron of Trade and Ty Warren and wife Ashley of Boone. His sixteen great-grandchildren include Bailey, Marley and Kagen Townsend; Kaylee, Mason, and Mattie Eggers; Grant and Payton Oliver; Tessa and Ava Hartley; Addie Rose Warren, Henry, Jase, and Kaden Hollar; Tatum Oliver and Eston Osborne.

In addition to many nieces, nephews, and in-laws, he is also survived by his four siblings: Juanita Wilson of Boone, Elsie Winebarger of Zionville, Reverend Edd Warren of Granite Falls and Steve Warren of Hudson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond, and Nora Thomas Warren; father and mother-in-law, Reverend Barney and June Oliver; sisters: Gaye Coffey, Catherine Gilbert, Karen Mask; brothers: Hal Warren, Dale Warren, and Jack Warren.

A service to celebrate Bill’s life with full military honors will be held on Friday, August 27th, 2021, with outdoor visitation beginning at 10am concluding with an outdoor service at 2pm at Union Baptist Church, North Fork Rd, Zionville, NC. Reverend Toby Oliver, Reverend Edd Warren, Reverend Vernon Eller and Reverend Rick Cornejo will officiate. Burial will follow in the Union Baptist Church cemetery. We want to honor all of his minister “preacher” friends with having special seating and also honoring the American Legion and any Veterans who attend.

The body will lie in state at the chapel Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 until 5:00, where friends can pay their respect and sign the guest book.

The family would like to express their sincere thanks to Medi Home Health and Hospice and Appalachian Home Care with Wanda Shelton for the excellent care given to him. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Union Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, Attn: Roxanna Miller, 6797 Old US Hwy 421, Zionville, NC 28698; Disabled American Veterans (https://www.dav.org/); the American Legion, Boone chapter (https://www.legion.org/)  or the National Museum of the United States Army (https://www.thenmusa.org/).

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

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

Robert Mathew Miller

April 23, 1938 – August 22, 2021

Robert Mathew Miller, age 83, of Blowing Rock, passed away Sunday, August 23, 2021.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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

Lynn “Mimi” Cash

July 09, 1956 – August 19, 2021

Blowing Rock, NC- Lynn “Mimi” Cash, age 65, passed away Thursday, August 19, 2021, at her home in Blowing Rock. Born July 9, 1956, in Gainesville, Georgia, she was the daughter of Edna Duggins Golding Buff of Morganton and the late John Cabot Golding.

Lynn was a graduate of ASU with a degree in Business Management and quickly fell in love with the High Country and made it her home. She had a passion for health and fitness and will be remembered by many as a devoted personal trainer and fitness instructor. She was an avid gardener who loved flowers, sunshine and playing outside with her grandchildren. Many will remember her compassionate spirit and joy and love for her family and community. She was never without a smile or kind word.

Other than her mother, she is survived by her three children, son, Josh Cash, and wife Jenna of Blowing Rock; daughters, Jenny Cash Bryk of Boone and Jamie Cash Glover and husband Sam of Blowing Rock. She is also survived by her children’s father, Mike Cash of Vilas; two sisters, Sandy Bolick, and husband Clay of High Point; Angela Golding of Morganton and brother, John “Jay” Cabot Golding, Jr. of Summerfield, NC. Also surviving are Mimi’s precious grandchildren, Lucas, Lainey, Davis, Cora, Adah, Michael, Miriam, Susannah, Elisabeth, Emma, and Charlie.

Other than her father, she is also preceded in death by her stepfather, Bill Buff.

A private Graveside Service will be conducted at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock.

The family respectfully requests memorials be made to the Hospitality House, the Watauga Humane Society, and Hebron Colony Ministries.

Online condolences may be sent to the Cash Family at www.hamptonfuneralservicenc.com

Hampton Funeral Service of Boone is in charge of arrangements.

Lorena Owens McKee

April 21, 1934 – August 14, 2021

Lorena Owens McKee, age 87, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at her residence.

Lorena was born on April 21, 1934 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Jack Owens and the late Mabel Buchanan Owens.

She was a loving mother and grandmother, who loved her family and above all else her Lord and Savior. She was a devoted and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Newland. When one walked into Lorena’s house, you immediately felt welcomed. She enjoyed working in her flower and vegetable gardens.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dallas William McKee; sister, Glenda Banner.

Lorena leaves behind to cherish her memory, her Son, Jackie McKee of Newland, NC; Daughter, Janice (Richard) Phillips of Newland, NC; Sister, Billie Trice of Newland, NC; Grandson, Richie Phillips of Newland, NC; Granddaughter, Christy (Nathan) Clark of Newland, NC; Great-Granddaughter, Taylor Phillips; Great-Grandson, Braydon Johnson.

Services for Lorena McKee will be held on Thursday, August 19, 2021 beginning at 8:00 pm from the Church of Jesus Christ – Newland with Pastor Dave Atkins officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 6:00 pm on Thursday at the church.

Interment will be in the Church of Jesus Christ Cemetery on Friday, August 20 at 11:00 am. Family, friends and pallbearers will meet at the church at 10:00 am on Friday morning to go in procession to the cemetery.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff of Hospice of the Blue Ridge for the wonderful and loving care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Church of Jesus Christ.

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

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

Mary Buchanan Daniels Calloway

June 7, 1946 – August 22, 2021

Mary Buchanan Daniels Calloway, age 75, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at the Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC.

Mary was born on June 7, 1946 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Raymond Buchanan and the late Georgia Morgan Buchanan.

She graduated Valedictorian from Cranberry High School in 1964 and attended Western Carolina University. She was a loyal Charter Member of the Newland Christian Church, where she served as the Ladies Sunday School Teacher, Treasurer, and worked with the Vacation Bible School. She was a founding member and former President of the Cranberrian Corporation. A devoted public servant, she retired as the Avery County Tax Collector after 31 years of service, being the last elected Tax Collector in the State of North Carolina. Mary was named Avery County Republican Woman of the Year. Mary enjoyed working in her flower beds, watching hummingbirds and NASCAR. She loved to take care of her children, grandchildren and the rest of her family. Mary was a baptized believer and beloved wife, mother and grandmother.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her First Husband, N. A. “Pat” Daniels; Daughter, Georgina “Chip” Fields.

Mary leaves behind to cherish her memory Husband Powell Calloway; Two Daughters, Alice (Chuck) Carroll of Montezuma, NC, Beth (Charlie) Travis of Morganton, NC; Son, Nick (Regina) Daniels of Newland, NC; Sister, Georgia “Trappy” (Jerry) Cook of Spruce Pine, NC; Brother, Joe Ray (Lou Ann) Buchanan of Minneapolis, NC; Two Grandsons, Preston (Ashley) Daniels, D.J. Fields; Three Granddaughters, Chatty Majoni, Kristen (Fiance’ Chris) Davis, Emma Travis; Great Grandchildren, Kyren Cook, Kale Daniels, Elijah Daniels, Sadie Daniels, Kaaliyah Davis; Two Step Sons, Steven (Cassie) Calloway of Indian Trail, SC, Derrick (Katie) Calloway of Newland, NC; Step Daughter, Monet (Ken) Samuelson of Pineola, NC; Step Grandchildren, Bella Samuelson, Callie Samuelson, Kessler Samuelson, Cole Calloway, Lainey Calloway, Brock Calloway, Harper Calloway and Reagan Calloway; Numerous Special Cousins, Nieces and Nephews.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm. A private family service will follow on Thursday with interment to be in the Ed Buchanan Cemetery.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the wonderful Nurses, Chaplains and Staff of the Watauga Medical Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Newland Christian Church 2800 Millers Gap Highway Newland, NC 28657.

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

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

George Norris

January 16, 1932-August 18, 2021

George Van Norris, father, husband, pastor, a man’s man and a godly leader, left behind his earthly body after years of gradual decline to join his Lord and Savior.

Born in Palestine Texas in 1932, George was raised in Radford, Virginia where he played football, baseball and basketball for Radford High school, winning the State basketball championship his senior year. He was recruited to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in business, and played left end for the Tar Heels football program on athletic scholarship. He was selected as captain of the football team his senior year and turned down an offer to play for the Green Bay Packers after graduation.

George came to know Christ through the influence of his college roommate, and following graduation worked as regional staff for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He met and married the love of his life, Nancy Norris, and attended Wheaton College Graduate School in theology, and then Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he received his Masters in Divinity. 

He was recruited by Jim Rayburn, founder and president of Young Life Campaign, and worked for Young Life for many years, serving in Augusta, Georgia and then as the Regional Director of the Southwest in Dallas, TX. He loved his time spent at Young Life ranches in Colorado.

After leaving Young Life staff, he moved with his family to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. After ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), he began church-planting in North Carolina and Georgia. An evangelist at heart, he first planted Westminster Presbyterian Church, now Crosspoint, in Boone, NC. Later, he planted Ashe Presbyterian Church in Jefferson and Wilkes Presbyterian Church in Wilkesboro, and was instrumental in organizing church plants in Rutherfordton, Hickory and Brunswick, Georgia. 

George was a godly man and spiritual father to thousands, bringing many to faith in Jesus Christ. His love of hiking was lifelong, and he passed this passion on to his children and grandchildren. He influenced so many with his life, ran the race well, and was faithful to his Lord until the end.

The Funeral Home that Ms.Norris is using is Simple Cremation 4301 E Loop 820 S, Fort Worth, TX 76119