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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – July 6, 2021

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

Jimmy Lowrance

1936 – 2021

Jimmy Lowrance of Boone, NC passed away on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at his home. He was born on April 22, 1936 in Valle Crucis, the youngest child of the late Joe Henderson and Hattie Tester Lowrance. He was a faithful member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Boone for nearly 60 years. Jim retired from Appalachian State University where he was a law enforcement officer. He was a veteran of the US Navy where he served on the USS Manley DD-940, as well as in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He loved to mow and kept a beautifully maintained yard and home. He wore a smile on his face and loved visits from friends and family. 

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Dwaine Eddie Lowrance, sisters, Thelma Shook, Mable Reese, and Edith Lowrance, brothers, Melvin, Marvin, Ralph, Frank and Henry Lowrance.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 60 years, Rena Hodges Lowrance, Steve Woodring and wife Piper, Callie Woodring Crump and husband Matt, Ethan Woodring and Lizzie Mak Crump, several nieces and nephews, as well as his many neighborhood friends and his fur baby Topper.

Funeral services for Jimmy Lowrance will be conducted Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 2 PM at Oak Grove Baptist Church.  Officiating will be Rev. Ron Hayes and Rev. Billy Norris.  Burial will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens.  The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1 until 2 o’clock at Oak Grove Baptist Church.  

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

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Lowrance family

Harold Gene Triplett

1939 – 2021

Harold Gene Triplett Sr, 82, of Blowing Rock passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday June 30th, 2021. Born on February 2, 1939 in the Triplett area of Watauga County, Harold was preceded in death by his mother and father, Gordie and Doyce Triplett, his brother Morris Triplett, his brother Mac Triplett, and his beloved wife Mary Triplett.

Mr. Triplett was retired from the business he and his son Harold Jr began almost 30 years ago, Triplett & Son Landscaping. Harold worked hard and loved the outdoors. He enjoyed looking for ginseng, hunting, and fishing. He was a devoted husband and father, a loyal friend to many, and an honorable and well-loved man.

Harold is survived by his son Harold Jr, daughter-in-law Carrie, and his grandchildren Ella and Gabriel Triplett, all of Blowing Rock; brother Jimmy of Villa Rica, GA, his sister Ann Hicks of Banner Elk, several beloved neices and nephews and sister-in-law, Martha Greene and his brother-in-law Jim Greene, who he had a special bond with.

Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon July 5 at 4:00 at Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Pastor Gary Shew. The family will receive friends from 2pm to 4pm prior to services. Harold will be laid to rest beside his wife Mary at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock.

Online condolences may be shared with the Triplett family at the website


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

Freddie Len Shook

1951 – 2021

Freddie Len Shook, age 70, of Devils Den Road, Banner Elk, passed away Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at the Watauga Medical Center. Born February 27, 1951 in Watauga County, he was a son of Jack Dempsey and Mamie Ethel Aldridge Shook.  Freddie loved trout fishing, deer hunting, and in his younger days, he always enjoyed a good softball game.

He is survived by his sister, Diane Shook of Boone; and brothers, Jack Shook and Rob Shook, both of Banner Elk.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanie Simmons Shook, daughter, Janie Shook; and sons, Fredrick and Justin Shook. 

A Celebration of Life Services for Freddie will be scheduled and announced at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to assist with funeral expenses. 

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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

Billy Adam Ward

December 23, 1943 – June 28, 2021

Billy Adam Ward age 77, of Georges Gap Road, Vilas, passed away Monday, June 28, 2021 in Charlotte.

Mr. Ward was born December 23, 1943 in Avery County, a son of the late Eli Ward and Iva Lee Davis Ward. He was a U.S. Army Veteran.

He is survived by four daughters, Wanda Gobble and husband Donald of Vilas; Ivey Jeans Hollins and husband Richard of Lenoir; Elizabeth Newcomb of Lenoir and Bertha Spradling of Lenoir;  four grandsons, Adam Gobble and wife Jo Beth, and the children Jolene and Jocelynn of Vilas, Billy Ward and Kaycee and their children of Bethel; Joseph Ward and Daniel Ward both of Lenoir; seven granddaughters, Leann Feltner and husband Mike and their children Grace, Kenneth and Anakin of Kentucky; Samantha Reece and husband James and their children of Spruce Pines; Jessica Newcomb and fiancé Shane Fulp and their children of Lenoir; Christina Newcomb and her children of Lenoir; Amanda Newcomb and fiancé Cody Ward and Little man of Lenoir; Mary Ward of Boone and Bethany Lukomski of South Carolina; one step grandson, Joshua Hall of Ashe County; three step-daughters, Annette, Melinda, Lisa, and one step son, Chuck.

In addition to his father and mother he was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Ward, his second wife, Annie Bell Ward, a son, Billy Joe Ward and all of his brothers and sisters.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday July 6, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in Cove Creek Baptist Church Cemetery with military honors provided by American Legion Post 130 and DAV Chapter 90.

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

In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to Hampton Funeral Service, to help with funeral expenses.

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

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

Judy Spurling Elliott

July 31, 1949 – June 28, 2021

Judy Spurling Elliott, are 71, of Sugar Grove, passed away Monday, June 28, 2021 at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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

Betty Jean Fuhrman Farthing

November 13, 1922 – July 02, 2021

Mrs. Betty Fuhrman Farthing formerly of Zionville, North Carolina, died on Friday July 2, 2021 at Pisgah Manor Health Care Center in Asheville, North Carolina. She was the daughter of the late Earl C. and Nellie Lett Fuhrman of Decatur, Indiana. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Carter Joseph Farthing, Jr., as well as numerous other relatives from both her family and Joe’s family. She is survived by two cousins: Wanda Wood of Kokomo, Indiana; Robert Fuhrman of Decatur, Indiana; a sisters-in-law, Margaret Farthing of Clarksville, Maryland; nephews: Hal B. Farthing of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina; J. P. Greene (Marianne) of Vilas, North Carolina; Bud Hughes (Dianne) and Scott Hughes (Linda), all of Asheville, North Carolina; Harrison and Carter Farthing of Clarksville, Maryland; nieces: Vicki Leonard (Gary) of Stafford, Virginia; Abbey Courtney, of Kelso, Washington, Marianna Strong of Tucson, Arizona; and Laura Berthiaume of Rockville, Maryland; and a large number of grandnieces and grandnephews and friends.

Betty was born on November 13, 1922, in Decatur, Indiana and was educated in the public schools of Decatur and graduated from high school in 1940. She attended International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated in 1945. She worked during her career in accounting and as a legal secretary.

On June 7, 1946, Betty married Carter J. Farthing, Jr. of Watauga County, North Carolina. He was attending college in Fort Wayne, following several years of military service as a bomber crewman during World War II. After Joe’s graduation from college, the couple lived to Lenoir, North Carolina, Kinston, North Carolina, Newark, New Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware, before retiring to Boone to help care for Joe’s mother before her death. Later, they settled in Zionville, North Carolina and were very active in Mabel United Methodist Church, especially in their music ministry. Betty and Joe were members of the choir and participated in other activities of the church. In all the many places they lived, they were always active in a church.

They also enjoyed buying restoring and selling antiques. Joe and Betty also used their musical talents to minister to patients in nursing and assisted living homes in both Watauga and Ashe counties for many years. They received great joy from this ministry, to which they were totally dedicated.

Betty spent a great deal of time caring for others as well. She and Joe helped to care for her parents throughout their final years and also helped care for his mother during her final days. Betty also spent several years caring for Joe during his final lengthy illness.

After his death, Betty continued to live in her home well into her 90’s, thanks to her good friends from Mabel Methodist Church and other friends and family. They cared for and watched over her and showed her many other kindnesses that made it possible for her to continue to live independently. At the age of 94, Betty moved to Pisgah Manor Assisted Living in Candler, North Carolina, to be close to family members.

Betty was a sweet, kind, caring person who was grateful for every kindness extended to her.

The family wishes to add our heartfelt appreciation to every church member, friend, and family member who helped to enrich Betty’s life, especially in the years following the death of her husband.

The family will have a private graveside service at 5 p.m. on Friday July 9 in the Mabel United Methodist Church cemetery and then receive friends at 6 p.m. prior to the funeral services at 7:00 p.m. at Mabel United Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be made to the Music Ministry of Mabel United Methodist Church. Hampton Funeral Service is assisting the family.

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

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

Wanda Joyce Gasperson

August 24, 1951 – July 05, 2021

Wanda Joyce Gasperson, age 69, of Boone passed away Monday, July 5, 2021 at Glenbridge Health and Rehab.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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

Opal Jolean Eggers

September 18, 1948 – July 1, 2021

Opal Jolean Eggers, 72, of Morganton, went to her heavenly home on Thursday, July 1, 2021 surrounded by her loving family at her residence in Morganton. She was born on September 18, 1948 in Avery County to the late Eugene and Louise Hodges Rupard . In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Billie June and Maxine.

Opal or “Jo” as people referred to her affectionately, was a devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Jo was an amazing mama who put her children above all else in the world. She would go outside and throw football with her kids. Jo never had any actual football throwing lessons so she would hold the ball with this crazy looking two handed side arm sling that became quite accurate over time. Anything for her children was possible.

One of the greatest joys in Jo’s life was the family dinners once each month. This tradition had been started by her mother to make sure her kids stayed in touch after she was gone. Jo was an amazing talent in the kitchen but mainly focused on dessert such as, red velvet cake, carrot cake, apple cake and butterscotch dessert. You name it and she could prepare it masterfully.

Jo will always be remembered for her gentle nature, sense of humor, stubbornness, and a loving heart.

Jolean is survived by her Daughter, Lori Eggers of Morganton; Sons, Michael Eggers of Wilkes and Matthew Eggers of Hickory; Grandchildren; Justin Eggers, Nathan (Haley) Eggers, Steven Eggers, Amelia Eggers, Walker Eggers; Sisters, Barbara, Molly, Penny, Martha, Kim, Christine, and Sandra; Brothers, Jay, CW, and Freddie; Aunts, Margaret Townsend and Wanda Hodges; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 5, 2021 at White Rock Baptist Church in Banner Elk, North Carolina with Rev. Lynn Shook officiating.

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

Interment will take place following the service at White Rock Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the hospice of your choosing to help support the special care they give each and everyday for those most in need.

Online condolences for Jo may be given at www.rsfh.net.

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

Revona Elaine Street

January 8, 1955 – July 1, 2021

Revona Elaine Street, 66, of Roan Mountain, passed away on Thursday, July 1, 2021 in the Abingdon, VA. She was born on January 8, 1955 in Banner Elk, NC to Audrey Markland and the late Charles Birchfield.

Revona loved to read and shop. She enjoyed collecting nick knacks. Revona also enjoyed spending time with her family.

Revona is survived by, Sons, David Blair of Cocoa Beach, Florida and Neal Thompson of Roan Mountain, TN ; Brother, Charlie Birchfield of Roan Mountain, TN; Grandchildren, Sherry and Heather Birchfield, Dalton Blair and Destiny Leblanc; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM at the Elk Park Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left for the Street family at www.rsfh.net.

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

Robert (Bob) Owen Clouser Jr.

October 9, 1943 – June 28, 2021

Robert Owen Clouser, Jr. age 77, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Monday, June 28, 2021 at his residence.

Bob was born on October 9, 1943 in Washington, DC, a son of the late Robert Owen Clouser, Sr. and the late Kathryn Grimm Clouser.

Bob owned and operated the Elk Park Mini Market for many years before retiring. He enjoyed being in the outdoors and playing golf and pickle ball. He enjoyed watching Gunsmoke and could always be counted on to help a friend.

He was preceded in death by his Father, Robert Owen Clouser, Sr.; Mother, Kathryn Virginia Clouser.

Bob leaves behind to cherish his memory Wife of 53 years, Susan Campbell Clouser of the home; Daughter, Pamela (Chris Britt) Clouser of Elk Park, NC; Two Sons, Joe (Dawn Cook) Clouser of Elk Park, NC, Robert O. (Pamela Vance) Clouser, III of Buck Mountain, TN; Three Granddaughters, Seigie (Erik) Lee of Elk Park, NC, Skylar (Justin) Wilson of Hampton, TN, Riley Jennings of Elk Park, NC; Grandson, Mason Clouser of Elk Park, NC; Two Great-Granddaughters, Kinsley Wilson, Raylein Lee; Great-Grandson, Asher Lee.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 2:00 in the Grandfather Chapel of Rein-Sturdivant Funeral Home.

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

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