Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 5, 2018

Published Monday, June 4, 2018 at 3:47 pm

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

 

Betty Ruppert Pitts 
(September 11, 1929 – June 3, 2018) 

    To her delight, Betty Jean Ruppert Pitts entered her eternal home on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at her home. Born September 11, 1929 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Toy and Gypsy Mary Jane Townsend Ruppert. Betty was a member of Middle Fork Baptist Church. 
     Betty served her family, friends, and her fellow man in many ways throughout her 88 years. Some of her accolades were serving the Town of Blowing Rock for 14 years as First Lady of Blowing Rock. She served as Chairman of the March of Dimes drive in Blowing Rock for many years. She was chosen as the President of the Hilltop Parent Association and was honored as Parent of the Year at Western Carolina Center. Betty spearheaded the drive to build the Chapel at Western Carolina Center and helped raise the funds to build the Chapel.
     Betty was instrumental in organizing the Blowing Rock Rescue Squad where she served as an EMT and Chaplain until her retirement. Betty was the first President of the Blowing Rock Ruritan Club Auxiliary and served as President of the Ruritan Club many times and was awarded the Ruritan of the Year Award. 
     Betty established the Blowing Rock Hospitals Budget Box to raise funds to assist patient’s needs and continued to serve as President of Blowing Rock Hospital Auxiliary until its’ move to the new Foley Center. She continued to volunteer at the Foley Center until December when she became ill. Betty served on the Blowing Rock Hospital’s Board of Trustees. During her tenue on the Board, with cooperation of Mr. Bob Bumbaugh and Dr. Charles Davant, Jr. organized the building of the Chapel at Blowing Rock Hospital. Betty volunteered many years with the Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show where she was later honored as Honorary Chair for her many years of work for the hospital.
     After her husband’s death she trained and served as a Watauga County Hospice Volunteer. Betty was a life time member of Blowing Rock Community Club where she served as President and chaired many fundraisers to benefit the community. 
     Betty was awarded Blowing Rock’s Woman of the Year and Blowing Rock’s Citizen of the Year. She served on the RHA Human Rights Board of Directors where she was a client Advocate.
     Of all the recognitions and awards given to Betty throughout the years her most prized award was being named a Child of the King when she gave her heart to Jesus at 9 years of age. She spent her life sharing her faith. Since 1994 Betty was a columnist for The Blowing Rocket with her “Quiet Corner” column. She adored her friends Jerry Burns and Jeff Eason whom she is now sharing Heaven with. 
     She is survived by her sons, Hayden (Butch) Pitts, Jr. and wife Sharon, of Hickory, Norman Everett Pitts and wife, Shannon, of Lenoir, and Mikey Pitts of Ferguson; daughters, Betsy Payne of Boone, Lynn Lawrence and husband, J.B., of Blowing Rock, and Nancy Collins and husband, Tom, of Wilmington; granddaughters, Regenia Payne, Julie Pitts Harding, Marty Collins-Landau, Lisa Collins Stophel, Heather Pitts Donnelly, and Amber Miller; grandsons, Winston and Justin Lawrence, Brian Collins, and Chris and James Pitts; 21 great-grandchildren; and sister, Kate Robbins of Mebane. She is also survived by her special nephew, Terry Bradshaw and several more nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Hayden Pitts, Sr.; daughter, Rene Pitts; 3 brothers and 3 sisters; and son-in-law, David Lee Payne. 
     Funeral services for Betty R. Pitts will be conducted Wednesday afternoon, June 6, at 2 o’clock at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, officiated by Dr. Marshall Edwards, Mel Graham, Rev. Shelby Stephens, Tucker Yates and Rev. Katheryn Beach. Graveside services will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.
     The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6 until 8 o’clock at the Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock. 
     The family suggests memorials be made their choice of the following: Middle Fork Baptist Church, 268 Bishop Ridge, Blowing Rock, to Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, PO Box 393, Blowing Rock, to The Foley Center, PO Box 8, Blowing Rock, NC or to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood St., NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. 
     Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
     Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Pitts family

 

Ruth Greene Swift 
(January 01, 1923 – May 20, 2018) 

    Ruth Greene Swift Ruth Greene Swift, 95, of Meredell Farm Rd., Liberty, died Sunday, May 20, 2018 at her residence.
     Funeral Services, 11 AM, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Sandy Creek Baptist Church, Liberty. Officiating, Pastor Travis Brock, Dr. Carl Garner. 
    
    Burial will follow in the church cemetery. 
    
    Ruth was a native of Watauga County and a longtime resident of Liberty. She was a retired seamstress and a member of Sandy Creek Baptist Church. She was a devoted wife, and a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother. 
    
    Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Willis John Swift, her parents, Dillard and Pearl Tester Greene, and eight brothers and sisters. Survivors: daughters, Bonnie Swift, of Liberty, Connie Heilig, and husband, Tommy, of Liberty, sons, Lee Swift, of the residence, Ray Swift, of Liberty, sisters, Belva McCuiston, of High Point, Lora Hollar, of Boone, brother, Howard Greene, of Greensboro, grandchildren, Mark Heilig, and wife, Amy, of Liberty, Brian Heilig, and wife, Jennifer, of Staley, April Cheek, and husband, Clint, of Seagrove, Tara Swift, of Asheboro, Katina Lowe, of Asheboro, great-grandchildren, Lauryn Heilig, Cadence Heilig, Morgan Heilig, Maggie Heilig, Taylor Hicks, Caitlin Hicks, Kenley Rendelman, Dawson Hill, Malaqui Swift, Kahlil Jones, Brandon Lowe, Trevor Lowe. Visitation, 6 PM to 8 PM, Tuesday, Loflin Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ramseur and other times at the residence. 
    
    Condolences may be made online at www.loflinfuneralservice.com. Arrangements by Loflin Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ramseur. 
    
    In Lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Sandy Creek Baptist Church Harvest Vision Fund, 4765 Sandy Creek Ch. Rd., Liberty, NC 27298. 
    
    Announcement is courtesy of Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory.

 

Mrs. Marie W. Presnell 
(April 17, 1931 – May 22, 2018) 

    Marie Presnell left this earthly life to go to her heavenly life May 22, 2018. She was born to Dewey and Anita Ward of the Laurel Creek Community April 17, 1931. 
    She is survived by her daughters Wanda Combs and husband Terry, Kathy Oakes, two grandsons, Laramie Combs and wife Angela and Dallas Oakes. She was blessed to have two great grandchildren, Natalie Combs and Henry Combs. She is survived by one brother, Hill Ward and wife Linda and one brother-in-law, Jimmy Ballew of Winston-Salem. 
    She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Arnold Presnell, her son-in-law, Rick Oakes, two brothers, Earl and Frank Ward, two sisters, Carolyn McGuire and Jessie Ballew, a nephew, Phil Ballew and a niece, Charity Presnell.
    Marie loved her family and loved planning for special events, the holidays or any other excuse to gather the family together. Many meals were enjoyed on the deck at the farm on the river and on the porch at Cove Creek. 
    She attended Zion Hill Baptist Church from her early married years. She loved the people there and they loved her. As long as health permitted she participated in the Christmas Play, Vacation Bible School and caroling as well as attending services.
    Marie helped her husband on the farm in the early years. She canned and froze great quantities of vegetables. She tended a large garden with her husband each summer until his death. She loved planting flowers and making everything beautiful! 
    She was employed at. Crest Five and Ten and later worked at IRC/TRW for over 40 years, where she made many friends.
    She was an avid reader and also a composer of poems. She liked to travel and see new things. She loved learning new things and was very inquisitive. Her special pet was her cat Molly. 
    Funeral services for Mrs. Marie Presnell will be conducted Friday afternoon, May 25, 2018 at 4PM at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in the Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. Officiating will be Rev. David Icenhour. The family will receive friends prior to the service Friday afternoon from 3 PM until 4 PM at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Zion Hill Baptist Church, in care of Deana Harmon, 5195 US Hwy 321 North, Sugar Grove, NC 28679 or to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. 
    The family would like to thank family and friends for their support over the last several years. They would also like to thank Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, especially, Stacy, Christy and Jessica. The family would also like to thank the special caregivers for the last 5 months: Jenna Reece, Abby Barry, Faith Barry, Esther Barry, Margaret Barry and Brenda Combs. 
    Online condolences may be shared with the Presnell family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Presnell family.

 

Patrick Henry (CHUB) Lawrence 
(July 06, 1947 – May 25, 2018) 

    Pat Henry ‘CHUB’ Lawrence, age 70, of Tater Hill Road, Zionville, passed away Friday morning, May 25, 2018 at his home. Born July 6, 1947 in Watauga County, he was a son of Jack and Faye Smith Lawrence. Chub was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Betty Jo Church Lawrence. They were members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. He was a carpenter for Ronda Greene Construction and enjoyed working his farm. Chub was an outdoor enthusiast who loved hunting and fishing. 
    Mr. Lawrence is survived by one son, Tony Dyson of Mountain City; grand kids, Robert Masterson, Sarah Dyson Schweizer and husband, Jeff and great-grand kids, Kyle, Natale, Kaitlyn and Danielle Schweizer; granddaughter, Tiffany Dyson and son, Christian and grandson, Dustin Dyson; sister, Kathy Ellison of Zionville; sister-in–laws, Carolyn Lawrence, Janie Lawrence Fox, Margie Brown and Wanda Shelton and husband, Jack, and Emily Lawrence; and brothers-in-law, Charlie Church and wife, Shirley, Marion Church and wife, Cathy, Bill Church and wife, Phyllis, Dave Church and Roy Mitchell. A number of nieces and nephews also survive. In addition to his wife, Betty Jo, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Angie Lawrence, step-son, Jeff Dyson, brothers, Johnny, Charles and Dave Lawrence; sisters, Geneva Mitchell, Janelle Hayes and Pearl Price; brothers-in-law, Baxter Hayes, Hoover Price and Dave Ellison; and sisters-in-law, Anna May Miller and Edna Townsend Henson. 
    Funeral services for Chub Lawrence will be conducted Tuesday morning, May 29, at 12 noon at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rev. Allen Perry. The family will receive friends from 11 until 12 o’clock, one hour prior to services, at Austin & Barnes. Burial will be in the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. 
    Memorials may be made to the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, in care of Linda Hollars, 1564 Silverstone Road, Zionville, NC 28698. 
    
    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Lawrence family.

 

Mrs. Nettie B. Oaks 
(November 26, 1962 – May 26, 2018) 

    Mrs. Nettie Barnes Oaks, age 55, of Laurel Bloomery, TN and formerly of Sugar Grove, passed away Saturday afternoon, May 26, 2018 at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon. Born November 26, 1962 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of the late Earl and Katie Glenn Barnes. Nettie was a homemaker and a member of Antioch Baptist Church.
    She is survived by her husband, Ira Oaks, two daughters, Betty Matheson and Greg Treadway, and Melissa Oaks and Mickey Price, two sons, Charlie Oaks and Ira Oaks, Jr., both of Mountain City, five grandchildren, Mason and Dakota Matheson, Aby Davis, Levi Price and Jacob Oaks, two step grandchildren, Jacob and Tiffany Treadway, two brothers, J.C. Barnes and George Barnes, and two sisters-in-law, Julie and Pat Barnes all of Sugar Grove. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a brother, Lester Barnes.
    
    Funeral services for Mrs. Nettie Oaks will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel officiated by Rev. Anthony Roark and Rev. Daniel Lawrence. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m., prior to services, at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. Burial will follow the funeral service at the Ward Cemetery (in Sugar Grove).
    
     In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the family to help offset expenses. 
    Online condolences may be shared with the Oaks family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Oaks family.

 

 

Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Eason

April 25, 1960 – June 02, 2018

Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Eason, age 58, of Wes Randall Road, Deep Gap, passed away Saturday evening, June 2, 2018, at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care in Hudson.

Born April 25, 1960 in Portsmouth, Va., Jeff was afforded the opportunity to travel the country and live in several locations during childhood and adolescence due to his father’s career in the U.S. Coast Guard. In later years, he loved sharing stories with friends about those experiences in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Alabama, Michigan and Hawaii. Jeff was in high school when the family settled in Triplett.

He graduated from Watauga High School in 1978, and later from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1983 with a degree in journalism.

For the last 25 years, he was employed by The Mountain Times, Watauga Democrat and was most recently the managing editor of The Blowing Rocket.

Jeff was a prolific writer and award-winning journalist; his Sweet Tea and Lemon column was read and loved by many people both near and far.

A man of many interests and talents, Jeff was an accomplished musician and possessed a vast and broad knowledge of music, the arts, pop culture, current events, cooking, gardening and sports, especially UNC basketball and Detroit Tigers baseball.

He was a great supporter of local musicians and helped promote many on their climb to stardom. He was a great encourager especially to his niece, Eliza, and often accompanied her during her local performances.

He was perhaps Merlefest’s greatest fan and looked forward to not only promoting and reviewing the festival, but also attending it every year and camping out with friends down by the river during the entire event.

Jeff possessed a deep love for the High Country, its people and the places therein. According to his (former) wife, when they decided to get married, there was never any question about where they would live.

He also loved the beach and found solace at the Outer Banks for the last 12 years with his  in-laws.

As literally hundreds of postings on FaceBook will attest, Jeff touched the lives of and was admired and adored by countless people in the NC High Country and beyond. 

Jeff exhibited dignity, humor and courage during his health struggles, just as he had done prior to his diagnosis.

Jeff was predeceased by his mother Anne Robbins Eason. He is survived by his father Chuck Eason, brother Greg Eason and wife Heidi, all of Triplett, niece Eliza Eason of Triplett, three cousins Theresa Mosteller of Vilas, Don Langdon of Palm Beach, Fla., and Rick Ruckart of Charlotte. He is also survived by his former wife, Leslie Eason, who remained a dear friend and supporter to the end.

A celebration of life for Jeff Eason will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, June 7, in the chapel of Hampton Funeral Home, in Boone.  The Eason family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. prior to the service.

Memorials may be sent to the Eason family to help with final expenses in care of Chuck Eason 485 Wes Randall Rd. Deep Gap, NC 28618.

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

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

 

Kenneth Ralph Kluth

February 20, 1921 – May 23, 2018

Kenneth Ralph Kluth, age 97, of Bryce Way, Boone, passed away Wednesday evening, May 23, 2018, at his home.

He was born February 20, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, son of Charles and Louise Taylor Kluth.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 72 years in 2016, Grace Lorraine Gordon Kluth. They were married in North Olmsted on October 23, 1943 while Kenny was home on furlough.

Kenneth graduated from North Olmsted High School and served as a staff sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps during WWII. (1942-1945).

After WWII ended, he worked for the Cleveland Transit System in Ohio and retired after 30 years.

The lived in North Olmsted/Cleveland before moving to Chatham, Ohio and on to Boone, North Carolina in 1991, where Kenny worked at Hound Ears Resort until the age of 80.

He is survived by two sons, Kent Kluth and wife Ingrid of St. Augustine, Florida and Laurel Fork, Virginia, Kurt Kluth and wife Heather of Pinkerington, Ohio; two daughters, Karen Shields of Boone, Kim Hughes and her fiance, Brian Rohrback of Bermuda Run, North Carolina. He was grandfather to 16 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and uncle to several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Larry Hughes; one brother, Richard Kluth, and two sisters, Charlotte Kluth Michalak and Delores Kluth Christensen.

A celebration of life for Kenneth Ralph Kluth will be conducted Monday afternoon, May 28, 2018, at 4:00 o’clock, at Boone Advent Christian Church, 220 West King Street, Boone, North Carolina. Officiating will be Pastor Gordon Noble. Military graveside rites and burial, provided by American Legion Post 130 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90, at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

The family will receive friends following the burial at Boone Advent Christian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to ALS/LVH Foundation, PO Box 2036, Advance, North Carolina, 27006, or to Boone Advent Christian Church, PO Box 4515, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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

 

 

Maurice Jennings Yates

May 25, 2018

Maurice Jennings Yates, known lovingly as “Pete” age 60 of Fleetwood passed away Friday, May 25, 2018.

Pete was a fixture in the West Jefferson, Fleetwood and Deep Gap communities. A trusted friend and a wealth of knowledge, he was always ready to lend a hand or donate to a genuine need.

He was a graduate of Beaver Creek High School and N.C. State University.

Pete spent years building successful businesses; Yates Electric Construction Inc., and Cranberry Woodworks/Carolina Leather partnered with his long-time friend Gene Greene. Most recently he was involved with the construction of Highway 221 and loved being the “Answer Man” for everyone with a question regarding their property values, their intersections, or any other of the hundreds of “do you know questions.” He kept us all entertained and informed on Facebook…and Ashe in the Know. He had served as a representative for the American Red Cross for Ash County and served as President of the West Jefferson Lions Club twice. He was currently active in their ongoing projects. He was a member at West Jefferson United Methodist Church.

Surviving are his mother, Anita Yates, sister, Gwynita Steele and husband Harry, sister, Rozanna Bolac and husband Greg all of West Jefferson. He leaves behind nieces and nephews that he thought the world of and friends everywhere he went.

Funeral services will be held at the West Jefferson United Methodist Church, Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm with Rev. Dan Gaddy officiating, burial will follow in the Yates Family Cemetery in Brownwood, N.C.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00 o’clock, and a reception will follow the service in Hensley Hall.

Never short of a story or a joke, he made all who knew him laugh and welcome seeing him.

Rather than flowers memorials may be made to West Jefferson United Methodist Church, PO Box 826, West Jefferson, NC 28694 or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Words of comfort and remembrance may be viewed or sent to the family through our website at www.badgerfuneralhome.com.

Badger Funeral Home of West Jefferson was entrusted with Mr. Yates arrangements.

 

  

Ted B. Cook

January 23, 1926 – May 25, 2018

Mr. Ted B. Cook, age 92, of Granite Falls a former resident of Boone passed away peacefully May 25, 2018 in Granite Falls.

Mr. Cook was born January 23, 1926 in Watauga County, a son of the late John Finley Cook and Nellie Benson Cook.  He retired after 50 years as a master craftsman of auto body repair and painting and was a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone. Mr. Cook served as a Sergeant in the United States Army with Patton’s 3rd Army. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a Bronze Star Recipient. Mr. Cook was a lifetime member of VFW Post 7031 in Boone

Mr. Cook is survived by one son, Tim Cook and wife Pam of Vilas, one daughter, Kay Cook Keller of Granite Falls, four grandchildren, Reverend Charles Keller and wife Pamela of Dallas, North Carolina, Joshua Cook and wife Leah of Mooresville, North Carolina, Matthew Cook of Boone and Justin Haynes and wife Julie of Boone and ten great-grandchildren, Carter, Callie, Makayla, Skylar, Millie, Gracie, Sawyer, Ryder, Taylor and Justus.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Winebarger Cook, two brothers, Jack and Ray Cook and two sisters, Betty Cook Crawford and Mary Frances Carlton Haile.

Funeral services for Mr. Ted B. Cook will be conducted Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 3:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Charles Keller will officiate. Military honors, provided by American Legion Post 130 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90, will follow the funeral service. Interment will follow the military honors in Mabel United Methodist Church Cemetery. 

The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 3:00 at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel, prior to the service.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Mabel United Methodist Church, 5932 Old US Highway 421, Zionville, North Carolina 28698.

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

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

 

 

Cleveland “Buster” Whittington

July 22, 1936 – May 29, 2018

Cleveland “Buster” Whittington, age 81, of Eastview Drive, Boone, passed away Tuesday morning, May 29, 2018, at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation in Boone.

Buster was born July 22, 1936 in Watauga County, a son of the late John Henry Whittington and Texie Shearer Whittington. He was a retired employee of First Union Bank in Boone.

The name, Cleveland, just never did fit him. He was “Buster” to family and longtime friends, to people who were mesmerized by his engaging smile, his sense of humor, his love or the mountains and his community.

Whittington, who often joked about his quality third-grade education, was as comfortable in the company of mayors, bank executives and lawyers as with his fishing and hunting buddies and the raucous breakfast crowd he faithfully joined each morning at McDonald’s. If you’ve biked, jogged or driven past the modest gray house on Junaluska Road, you’re pretty familiar with Buster Whittington-whether you knew him personally or not. Sitting in his carport with a chaw of tobacco tucked in his cheek, he greeted you with a friendly wave, smile and a hearty shout: “Hey!”

Yes, that was Buster, one of the first African-Americans to join the Boone Fire Department back in the 1970’s, who raised champion hunting dogs and who had little trouble making friends. Buster was curious. If he noticed a family he’d never seen before at one of the restaurants he frequented, he wouldn’t hesitate to walk over, say hello and ask where they were from. People were never strangers to Buster-they were either friends or people he just hadn’t yet met. 

Until last fall, when illness forced him to enter a Boone nursing home, Buster was a popular fixture around town. Not much changed with his arrival at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation. In February, guess which resident was voted Valentine’s Day King? Bust proudly wore that crown. “He’s just Mr. Personality,” said Peggy Beghtol, Glenbridges’s receptionist. “He was loved by everybody, always pleasant. In my three years here no one has had as many visitors. He had constant visitors. He was just the most well-known person in town who was here. My goodness, everybody knows Buster.”

Velma Burnley, 97, was for 18 years the mayor of Boone and retired as a vice-president with First Union Bank, now Wells Fargo. Buster worked there for years as a courier. “He carried money and bills from one store to the other (in the region),” said Burnley, who lives in Charlotte, “He was just a dear friend. He was someone you could to lunch with. Buster had plenty of personality. He got along with everybody.” Burnley recalled that Buster and his late brother, Linnie, would care for her two dogs when she was away on business trips. “He was just a a good fella, ” Burnely said of Buster.

Bank teller Sharon Green was hired 30 years ago at First Union. She said Whittington was one of the longtime employees who made her feel welcome. “He’s just an awesome man-friendly, always joking around, ” said Green, who lives in Deep Gap. “He was always happy and made everyone happy. Always upbeat, never saw him sad.” In recent years, Green said it was a treat for the bank’s tellers when Buster drove up. “It was always a pleasure to see him. He always asked about my family and about my dog. I’m very saddened.”

Buster is survived by one daughter, Dianne Whittington Pickett and husband Harry Pickett, Jr. of Charlotte; one grandson, Harry “Brandon” Pickett of Charlotte, and one sister, Sarah Whittington Bradshaw of Granite Falls. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Beatrice West Whittington; four sisters, Matty Ruth Whittington, Virginia Ann Hunt, Dora Harshaw, and Alice Flowers, and four brothers, David, William, Lee, and Linnie Whittington.

A private memorial service for Cleveland “Buster” Whittington will be held at a later date.

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

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

(Obituary written by his son-in-law, Harry Pickett, Jr., Deputy Sports Editor of the Charlotte Observer. Pickett was former Sports Editor of the Watauga Democrat from 1983 to 1987.)

 
Joleta Karol Wise
January 1, 1973 – May 31, 2018
Joleta Karol Wise, age 45, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Thursday, May 31, 2018, the results of an automobile accident..
She was born on January 1, 1973 in Washington County, Tennessee, a daughter of Jane Keller Wise and the late Jerry Eugene Wise.
She attended the Pineola Presbyterian Church. She was a joyous soul who enjoyed life and being with her family and friends. She was well known in the Newland community for her service and dedication.
She was preceded in death by her Father, Jerry Eugene Wise; Aunt, Kate Gore.
Joleta leaves behind to cherish her memory: Mother, Jane Wise of Newland, NC, Brother, Ben (Jennifer) Wise of Newland, NC, Uncle, Roger (Donna) Wise of Newland, NC, Aunt, Mary Planer of Mount Airy, NC, Aunt, Janet (Robert) DeFee of Hartsville, SC, Uncle, Mark Roll of Kings Mountain, NC, Cousin, Michael (Hee Young) DeFee of Wilmington, NC, Cousin, William DeFee of Florence, SC, Cousin, Crystal Wise of Newland, NC, Cousin, Caryn (Eric) Hobbs of Newland, NC, Cousin, Ellen (Tim) Ledford of Spruce Pine, NC, a host of friends, and her special furry friends, Dixie, Alibi and Queenie.
Services for Joleta Wise will be held at a later date. 
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Yellow Mountain Enterprises or to the Pineola Presbyterian Church or the Fletchers Chapel Church.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Wise family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net
The care of Joleta and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

Howard Joseph Engle
October 7, 1940 – June 1, 2018
Howard Joseph Engle (Joe)
For most of his adult life, Howard “Joe” Engle travelled the world living in various countries on different continents. He experienced the Alps of Austria; the permafrost tundra of Alaska; the magnificence of the Andes; the snow-capped volcanoes of Ecuador; and the red clay of Madagascar. He learned more of the natural world while living in a mud hut on the Island of Madagascar, with its zebus, lemurs, tenrecs, and brightly colored chameleons; from the jungles of Mahajanga on the coast to the zuma markets of the capital city of Antananarivo; from the mysterious remains of the ancient Inca civilization at Machu Picchu. Chasing the elusive Aurora Borealis in Alaska with his three young daughters impacted their lives, as well as his, as they still recount stories of driving miles through the dark night watching the dancing lights.
While in Quito, Ecuador, Joe could look out his office window at 12,000 feet and see llama and alpaca roaming the plains at the base of Mount Cotopaxi. His dream was to reach the snowline of this 19,344-foot stratovolcano, so one day he hopped in his Jeep and said to himself, “I’m doing it.” He drove until the Jeep lost power and settled into the volcanic ash. Slowly hiking upward, barely able to breathe, he finally grabbed a handful of snow at approximately 16,000 feet and felt the satisfaction of a mission accomplished – a beautiful metaphor for the way he approached life.
Another humbling experience was studying the galaxy using the Baker-Nunn camera system while tracking un-manned scientific satellites as part of his work with NASA. He was responsible for tracking stations in Madagascar, Peru, Ecuador, and Alaska.
Joe could recount many other stories but suffice it to say his appreciation for the wonders of our universe had not diminished, and he chose the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina for his summer home.
Joe was born October 7, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland to Lucy Cosentino Engle and Howard Francis Engle.
He graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and received a BS.E.E. from the University of Maryland in 1962, where he was honored with selection to Tau Beta Pi and Etta Kappa Nu engineering societies. In 1979 he received his M.B.A. from Loyola College in Baltimore, Md.
Joe began his professional career in 1962 working for NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center as an Aerospace Technologist responsible for designing circuits for spacecraft. It was here that he met and later married Nancy Dianne Archer, with whom he enjoyed 37 years of marriage while they traveled the world together. He was preceded in death by his wife in 2000.
In 1965, he joined Bendix Field Engineering Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allied Signal Technical Services Corp. (ATSC), now Honeywell, based in Columbia, Md. 
His record of achievement in technical management positions culminated in 1989 with his appointment as the company’s Chairman/President and CEO. He was responsible for the direction, management, and administration of various government contracts involving communications which developed proposals for new business, liaison with DOD officials, recruitment of personnel, and control of classified information.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Engle family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net
The care of Howard and family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

Obituary for Azzi Rivers Turbyfill Street
Azzi Rivers Turbyfill Street, infant son of Amy Turbyfill and Eric Street went home to be with Jesus on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The family will be having a private graveside service.

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

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

 

Rhoda Lea McKinney

December 10, 1933 – May 23, 2018

Rhoda Lea McKinney,84, of Elk Park, North Carolina passed away on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at her home.
She was born on December 10, 1933 in Carter Co. County, Tennessee, a daughter of Jacob Guinn and Blanche Arnett Guinn. Rhoda was a member of the Little Freewill Baptist Church and enjoyed working in her yard and garden. She loved to work on her wood pile.
She was preceded in death by her Father, Jacob Guinn; Mother, Blanche Guinn; Sisters. Sarah Whitehead, Myrtle Elliott; Brothers; George Guinn, and Otis Guinn
Rhoda leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Husband of 62 years, J.D.McKinney of Elk Park, NC; Children; Jessie McKinney, Jerry McKinney, Kay (Roy) Erwin, Brian (Buffy) McKinney, Regina (Wayne) Erwin and Susie (Josh) Erwin
Siblings: Mae Pate, Dorothy Forbes, and Tommy Guinn.
Grandchildren; Aaron Zipp, Matthew McKinney, Renee Havron, Randall Harrald, Jacob Erwin, Derrick McKinney, James McKinney, Marie Erwin, Johnny McKinney, Tommy McKinney, Mary Erwin and Cody McKinney; Eight great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter
Services for Rhoda Lea McKinney will be held on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. from the Grandfather Chapel of the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Michael Sheppard officiating. Interment will follow in the Winters Cemetery. The family will receive friends from beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home
The family would like to thank the staff of Medi Home Hospice for the care they provided to Rhoda, and request that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357 Newland, NC 28657.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the McKinney family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net
The care of Rhoda and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

 

 
Douglas Coffey
March 24, 1929 – May 26, 2018
Douglas Coffey, age 89, of Morganton, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at his residence.
He was born on March 24, 1929 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Ira Vance Coffey and the late Gladys Cooke Coffey.
He was US Army Veteran of the Korean Conflict and was the Owner and Operator of the Texaco at Invershiel at Linville Gap, NC. Doug enjoyed life and his family. He was an avid farmer and gardener. He and his wife, Lillian, spent many years teaching dance lessons.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Lyndon Coffey; grandson, Jonathan Cropper; sister, Wilma Greene; brothers, Hundley and Boyd Coffey.
Douglas leaves behind to cherish his memory his: wife of 65 years, Lillian Hughes Coffey of Morganton, NC; Sons, Morris (Donna) Coffey, Michael (Christy) Coffey; daughter, Sharon (Rick) Moody; six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Services for Douglas Coffey will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Grandfather Chapel of the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Dr. Ken Harper officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Pat Ray Post of the VFW. The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm Tuesday evening at the funeral home..
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Burke Hospice and Palliative Care 1721 Enon Rd Valdese, NC 28690.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Coffey family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net
The care of Doug and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

 
Scotty Gwyn
January 15, 1947 – May 27, 2018
Scotty Gwyn, age 71, of Roan Mountain, Tennessee passed away on Sunday, May 27, 2018 at the Watauga Medical Center in Boone, NC.

He was born on January 15, 1947 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Joseph Elbert Gwyn and the late Georgia Fox Gwyn.

Scotty was a member of the Curtis Creek Freewill Baptist Church and had proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He enjoyed working with orchids, watching golf, and listening and dancing to country music.

He will always be remembered for his service station in Elk Park, Scotty’s. Many a friend will remember passing by and seeing Scotty and some of his buddies sitting on the front talking and catching up. When a child would go into the store, he was known to give them a piece of candy.

Scotty leaves behind to cherish his memory his: Wife, Vickie Young Gwyn of Roan Mountain, TN; Son, Casey (Virginia) Gwyn of Roan Mountain, TN, Daughters, Tricia (Michael) Thompson of Roan Mountain, TN, Ramona (Gary) Warren of Lewisville, NC, Sister, Virgie (Gary) Guinn of Elk Park, NC, Grandchildren, Macie (Blake) Dugger of Butler, TN, Thomas Brown, Hunter Warren, John Dula, Caden Gwyn, Colton Gwyn, and Carter Gwyn. Scotty also leaves behind a host of many friends.

Services for Scotty Gwyn will be held on Monday, May 28, 2018 beginning at 6:00 pm from the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. 
The family will receive friends beginning at 4:00 pm on Monday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
Family, friends and pallbearers will meet at the Scotty Gwyn Family Cemetery in Roan Mountain at 9:45 am on Tuesday for interment.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital.

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

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

 
Dianne Lynn Benfield
December 21, 1952 – May 28, 2018
Dianne Lynn Benfield, age 65, of Pyatte, North Carolina passed away on Monday, May 28, 2018 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC.
She was born on December 21, 1952 in White Plains, New York, a daughter of David and Gloria Areson Scholz
Dianne was a member of Buck Hill Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed riding motorcycles, shopping, trips to the beach and spending time with her family. 
Along with her parents she was preceded in death by her Mother and Father in law Benny Gale & Martha Benfield, Nephew; Maynard Squeak (Lisa) McKinney, Nephew; Matthew Benfield.
Dianne leaves behind to cherish her memory her: Husband of 38 years Benny Benfield of Pyatte, NC; Daughter; Tabitha Anne Benfield, Stepson; Benjamin Travis Benfield, Brothers David Scholz, Douglas Scholz, Sister, Carol (Jerry) Ramio, Sister-in-law; Linda (Maynard) McKinney, Brother-in-law; James (Lori) Benfield
Nieces; Heather Ramio, Shannon (Chuck) Greene, Amber Brown and Amanda McKinney, Nephews; Jeffery (Camille) Ramio, Michael (Mollie) McKinney and Mitchell (Melinda) McKinney.
Several great nieces and nephews. 
Services for Dianne Lynn Benfield will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018 beginning at 7:00 pm from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Wallace Wise officiating.
The family will receive friends beginning at 5:00 pm on Thursday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.
Interment will be Friday, June 1, 2018 at 11:00am in Benfield Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Jeffery Ramio, Michael McKinney, Mitchell McKinney, Micah McKinney, Tim Singleton, Randy Ingram, Keith Entress Jr., Tony Franklin, Gary Taylor
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: St Jude’s Children Hospital. 
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Benfield family by visiting our websitewww.rsfh.net 
The care of Dianne and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

 

 
Peggy Sparks Dennie
July 24, 1936 – May 29, 2018
Peggy Sparks Dennie, age 81, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at The Mitchell House in Spruce Pine, NC.

She was born on July 24, 1936 in Mitchell County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Steve Sparks and Ethel Pittman Sparks.

She was preceded in death by her Parents; husband Bobbie Dennie, and 4 Brothers: Steve Sparks Jr., Rex Sparks, Phil Sparks, and Hugh Sparks.

Peggy was a member of Pisgah Methodist Church. She enjoyed traveling, reading, spending time with her family, and listening to Gospel music.

Peggy leaves behind to cherish her memory: Daughter, Kim Hoyes of Linville Falls, NC. Grandson, Cory Hoyes of Linville Falls, NC, Granddaughter, Megan (Ryan) Dean of Blanchester, OH, one sister Brenda Price of Shelby, NC one Brother, Rick (Susan) Sparks of Myrtle Beach, SC, two Great-grandchildren; Christepher and Jade Dean of Blanchester, OH.

Funeral Services for Peggy Dennie will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018 beginning at 4:00 pm at Pisgah Methodist Church with Rev. Ted Henry officiating. 
The family will receive friends beginning at 3:00 pm on Friday at Pisgah Methodist Church up until the service hour.
Interment will follow in the Pisgah Cemetery.

The family would like to offer a Special Thank You to Kathy Guinn and Barbara Coffey for the wonderful care that they provided Peggy. Also the family would like to offer a Special Thank You to the Staff at The Mitchell House.

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

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

 

 

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