Watauga, Avery Obituaries – March 7, 2017

Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Carl Dean Johnson (Oct. 1, 1947 – March 6, 2017)

Carl Dean Johnson, 69, of Locust Lane, Boone, passed away Monday evening, March 6, 2017, at his home.

Funeral arrangements for Carl Dean Johnson are incomplete at this time.

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

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


Eula Norris Jones (Dec. 23 – March 5, 2017)

Eula Norris Jones, 90, of Elk Park, NC passed away on March 5, 2017 at Hermitage Health Care in Elizabethton, Tenn.

A native of Old Beech Mountain, NC, she was born December 23, 1926 a daughter of the late James Luther and Brady Harmon Norris.

She was a member of the Fall Creek Baptist Church. Eula had received the Volunteer Award for the Avery County Senior Center of which she was very active and supportive. She enjoyed housekeeping, watching the Atlanta Braves, and taking care of the children.

Along with her parents, Eula was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Jones; an infant son, Gale Jones; grandson, Gabriel Watson; and a sister, Annabelle Trivett.

Eula has left to cherish her memory her children, R.L. and Linda Jones of Roan Mountain, TN, Zillia Aldridge of Cherryville, NC, Phyllis Mottern of Newland, NC, Trela and Bryan Watson of Linville, NC; six grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.

Funeral services for Eula Norris Jones will be conducted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with the Rev. Dennis Aldridge officiating. the family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until the service hour Wednesday at the funeral home. Family, friends and pallbearers will gather at the funeral home on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. to go in procession to the Fall Creek Cemetery.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the staff of the Hermitage of Elizabethton for the wonderful loving care they shared with Eula. 

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


Rita Oakes (Oct. 14, 1951 – March 4, 2017)

Rita Ella Oakes, 65, of Newland passed away on March 4, 2017 at Mission Hospital – St. Joseph Campus.

A native of Gastonia, NC, she was born October 14, 1951 a daughter of the late Bill and Ella Reeves Slagle.

She served as the President of the NCAE in Avery County and was a member of the Avery County Revival Center. Rita loved her Lord and her church and had served as a Sunday School Teacher. She enjoyed music, art, her children and her grandchildren. Rita loved to travel, especially with Skyland Ministries.

Along with her parents, Rita was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister.

Known by many as “Momma Oakes” or “Momma Rita”, she leaves behind to cherish her memory, her husband of 48 years, Bobby Oakes of the home; her sons, Reggie and Phyllis Oakes of Newland, Shane and Stacie Oakes of Cleveland, TN; grandchildren, Kammri, Taylor, Caleb, Ryleigh, Kaila, Ian and Zion Oakes; sisters, Joyce and Bill Tate of Gastonia, Jeanette Terry of Gastonia, Fayrene Vause of Myrtle Beach, SC; and her countless former students “Her Kids.”

Funeral services for Rita Ella Oakes will be conducted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from the Avery County High School at 7:00 p.m.. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until the service hour Tuesday at the High School. Interment will follow in the Johnson Cemetery on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. 

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


Earl Frederick Basel (July 23, 1925 – March 3, 2017)

Earl Frederick Basel, 91, of Appalachian Drive, Boone, passed away Friday afternoon, March 3, 2017, at his home.

Earl is survived by his wife of 45 years, Rita Kauflin Basel of the home; one son, Michael Basel and wife Michelle of Jonesboro, Tennessee; six daughters, Sandra Basel of Vilas, Linda Basel Orth and husband James of Jacksonville, Forida, Cynthia Basel Evans of Wilkesboro, Kathy Lovato of Mechanicsville, Virginia, Barbara McDonald and husband Greg of Atlanta, Georgia, and Patricia Varga and husband Danny of Margate, Florida; one brother, Dale Basel and wife Elenor of Gladwin, Michigan, and one sister, Norma Flowers of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. He is also survived by numerous beloved grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen Basel, and his father and mother, Alfred and Elsie Kreft Basel.

A Funeral Mass for Earl Frederick Basel will be conducted Monday morning, March 6, 2017, at 10:00 o’clock, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 9:00 until 10:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Father Matthew Codd. A private burial will follow.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions may be made to St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 259 Pilgrims Way, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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

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


Judy Rupard (April 4, 1944 – March 3, 2017)

Shelvie Jean (Judy) Rupard passed away at Cannon Memorial Hospital after suddenly falling ill at her home on March 3, 2017 in Elk Park, NC. 

She is survived by her husband of 53 years Dayton Lynn Rupard, her children Debra Lynn Eggers and husband Scott of Roan Mountain, TN and son James Rupard of Lakeview, NC. Six Grandchildren: Natasha Griffith, Sean Puckett, Shane Puckett, Dustin Eggers, Will Rupard and Sarah Rupard. Also 10 Great-Grandchildren: Lexi, Cade, Gavin, Kaylee, Kinsley, Kasen, Kylynn, Brooklynn, Garrett, Mason; 3 nieces, 1 nephew: Sharon, Sondra, Susan, and Jimmy, and former Daughter-In-Law Michelle Campbell.

Judy was preceded in death by her father James Tatum, mother Mamie Lackey Tatum and brother Jerry Bub Tatum.

She was employed by Lees-McRae College and then served as a Customer Service Representative at several convenience stores in Avery and Mitchell Counties – the last 13 years prior to retirement at the Banner Elk Exxon. She was a faithful member of Ivey Heights Baptist Church.

Judy was well known for her infectious smile, love of laughter, speaking her mind, monitoring her scanner and bragging about her family.

Visitation will be Monday, March 6, 2017 at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland, NC from 2-4 p.m. A Celebration of Life will immediately follow the visitation officiated by Rev. Barry Sheppard. Interment will be in Elk Park Cemetery. 

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.rsfh.net


Jeanette Watson Farthing (Aug. 7, 1934 – March 3, 2017) 

Jeanette Watson Farthing, 82, of Victor Farthing Road, Banner Elk, passed away Friday evening, March 3, 2017 at Life Care Center of Banner Elk. 

Jeanette, a lifelong resident of the Cool Springs Community in Matney, enjoyed gardening and cooking for her family. 

Mrs. Farthing is survived by her sons, Rodney Farthing and wife, Julie and Steve Farthing, all of Banner Elk; sister, Ruth Green and husband, Buddy of Banner Elk; brothers, Ronda Watson and wife, Cathy of Boone and Howard, Watson of Mt. Airy; and two grandchildren, Brandon and Kaitlyn Farthing and two step-grandchildren, Rachel Jones and Jessie Russ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Lyle Farthing; parents, Spencer and Mamie Wallace Watson; five brothers, Lewis Watson, Leonard Watson, Finley Watson, Harry Watson and Gurney Watson; and two sisters, Pauline Seatz and Lula Faye Branch.

Funeral services for Jeanette Watson Farthing will be private. Online condolences may be shared at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Farthing family.


Joseph E. Gilbert (July 1, 1919 – March 3, 2017)

Joseph E Gilbert, 97, of Deep Gap, NC passed away peacefully on March 3. 

He is survived by his daughter Jane and son-in-law Robert Plaugher of Deep Gap, NC, his son Kenneth Gilbert, of Carbondale, IL, grandson Scott Sobczak, wife Norma and great-grandsons Trenton and Stephen of Pittsboro, NC, and granddaughter Karen Sobczak of Wilkesboro, NC. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Alice B Gilbert. 

Joe and Alice spent more than 30 years of their retirement together in Whispering Pines and Southern Pines, NC, where they were active volunteers with St. Joseph of the Pines. 

The family would like to express our appreciation for the compassionate care that Joe and we received from Medi Home Health and Hospice as well as the caring staff at Deerfield Ridge. 

A private memorial will be held by the family in Southern Pines NC. 

In lieu of flowers or other markings of condolence, contributions to any of these 3 organizations would appreciated. 

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

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


Kathleen “Kat” Hartley Board (Dec. 7, 1921 – March 3, 2017)

Kathleen “Kat” Hartley Board of Salemtowne Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina died on Friday, March 3 surrounded by her family.

Born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, Kathleen was a long-time resident of Linville, North Carolina prior to moving to Stamford, Connecticut and then Winston-Salem.

Kathleen is survived by her son, Bill Hartley of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, daughter, Susan Guinn of Greenwood, South Carolina, daughter, Kathy Smith and husband Bob Meier of Boone, North Carolina, daughter-in-law, Lane Hartley of Greensboro, North Carolina, granddaughters Lorin Kaley and husband, Mark, of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Kristen Greene and husband Clayton of Wilmington, North Carolina, grandsons Paul Hartley and wife Sonya of Mebane, North Carolina, and Kevin Smith of Greensboro, North Carolina, and great-granddaughters Laney Kaley, Harper Kaley, Cara Greene, Susan Greene and great-grandson, Hercule Hartley. She was preceded in death by two wonderful husbands, Paul Hartley and Fred Board, and her son, Paul J. Hartley, Jr.

Kathleen was born December 7, 1921 and was known for her piano-playing skills, her wicked sense of humor and her great ability to do just about anything she set her mind to doing. Services will be held at the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland, NC on Sunday, March 5th (visitation at 6:00 and service at 7:00) with a graveside service to follow on Monday at 11:00 at the Tanglewood Cemetery in Linville, NC. 

The family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the wonderful staff of Salemtowne Retirement Community for the loving care and support they gave to Kat in her final years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Salemtowne Retirement Community, 1000 Salemtowne Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.rsfh.net


Caius Bruner (April 6, 2016 – March 2, 2017)

Caius Bruner, 10 month old son of Eric Bruner and Rebecca Vamvaketis, of Boone, passed away Thursday evening, March 2, 2017, at his home.

Caius is survived by his mother, Rebecca Vamvaketis of the home; his father, Eric Bruner of Vilas; one brother, Xion Bruner of the home; his maternal grandmother, Karen Wood and husband Chris of Boone; maternal grandfather, Nikos Vamvaketis of Mountain City; his paternal grandmother, Nita Bruner of Vilas; his maternal great-grandmothers, Dana Morace and Nancy Rayfield McLoud, and his paternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth Ann VanHoose.

Funeral services for Caius Bruner will be conducted Sunday afternoon, March 12, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Tim Coffey and Reverend Zane Tester. Burial will follow in the Danner Cemetery.

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

Online condolences may be sent to the website www.hamptonfuneralnc.com

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


Chad Jeffrey Norris (August 23, 1976 – March 2, 2017)

Chad Jeffrey Norris, 40, of River Ridge Road, Boone, passed away Thursday evening, March 2, 2017 at his home.

Born Aug. 23, 1976 in Watauga County, he was a son of Jerry Len and Laura Canter Norris of Boone. He was a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church. After graduating from Watauga High School, Chad was a Dairy Manager at Harris Teeter, worked in the dairy and produce section of Food Lion, and was formerly employed at the Holmes Convocation Center at ASU.

He loved his dogs and constant companions, Maggie and Naomi. At a young age, Chad enjoyed playing baseball and basketball and following his favorite team, the UNC Tarheels.

In addition to his parents, Jerry and Laura Norris of Boone, he is survived by five aunts, Jean Dollar and husband David, of Boone, Reba Curtis and husband, Bob, of Banner Elk, Phyllis Trivette and husband, Grayson, of Boone, Lucille Honeycutt of Todd and Sharon McCurry of Sugar Grove; three uncles, Charles Norris and wife, Darlene of Boone, and R. D. Canter and Earl Canter and wife, Judy, all of Todd; a very special great uncle, D. J. Norris of Boone; and his step-grandmother, Dorothy Norris of Boone. A number of cousins also survive. 

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Ralph and Doris Norris and his maternal grandparents, Wade and Martha Belle Canter. 

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday afternoon, March 5, 2017 at 2:30 at the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel, officiated by Rev. Eric Proffitt and Rev. Brian Miller. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 2:30, prior to services, at Austin & Barnes. Burial will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park & Gardens. At other times, the family will be at Chads home, 111 River Ridge Road, Boone. 

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


Fred Benfield (June 30, 1938 – March 2, 2017)

Fred McDonald Benfield, 78, of Newland passed away on March 2, 2017 at his residence.

A native of Avery County, NC, he was born June 30, 1938 a son of the late Joe Lum and Dorrie Beatrice Lee Benfield.

Fred was a kind soft spoken man, who always had a grin on his face that made anyone feel good. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was retired from Thomasville Furniture.

Along with his parents, Fred was preceded in death by his: wife, Lotus Marie Bailey Benfield; a daughter, Ruth Ann Benfield.

Fred has left to cherish his memory his: sons, Billy Benfield of Newland, Hubert and Beatrice Benfield of Thomasville, Johnny and Tonya Benfield of Thomasville, Edward and Amanda Benfield of Newland; a brother, Bill Benfield of Lexington; eleven grandchildren; and 23 great grandchildren.

Funeral services for Fred Benfield will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017 from the Grandfather Chapel with the Rev. Lonnie Barnes officiating. Interment will follow in the Bailey Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Nurses and staff of Medi Home Hospice of Avery County for the excellent and loving care they provided to Fred. “God Bless each of you!”

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


Jacob N. Pierce (Sept. 9, 1918 – March 1, 2017)

Jacob N. Pierce, 98, of Venice, Florida, passed away Wednesday evening, March 1, 2017, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Jacob is survived by one daughter, Katherine Pierce and husband Michael Hawley of Charlotte; one son, Robert Remsen Pierce and wife Linda of Atlanta; one granddaughter, Nicole White and husband Michael of Atlanta; one grandson, Michael Pierce and wife Denise of Atlanta; one great-granddaughter, Caitlyn N. Pierce of Atlanta; two great-grandsons, Gavin Pierce and Austin White, both of Atlanta, and two sisters, Jane Pierce Fowler and Juanita Pierce Mackaluso.

Funeral arrangements for Jacob N. Pierce are incomplete at this time.

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

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


Tommy Phelps (May 21, 1948 – February 28, 2017)

Tommy Phelps, 68, of Northridge Drive, Boone, went home to be with the Lord Tuesday evening, February 28, 2017, at The Foley Center in Blowing Rock.

Tommy was born May 21, 1948 in Caldwell County, a son of the late Edgar Lee Phelps and Velma Greene Phelps. He was a natural musician, and one Sunday singing with his band at Central Baptist Church he spotted his bride Martha. They married and raised their two children in Boone. Tommy worked as auto parts salesman at Clyde Jones Auto Parts for 33 years, then later at Napa Auto Parts. Many members of the community knew of his smiling, helpful face and great sense of humor behind the counter. 

He served as much-beloved music director at Rutherwood Baptist Church for 24 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed restoring old vehicles, writing songs, playing almost any musical instrument, and was an avid golfer. As one of his golf buddies said, “Tommy would help you any way that he could – except for on the golf course.” 

His love for his wife, children and grandchildren was evident every day. He spent countless hours supporting them in their endeavors and cheering them on. He always put God first in everything that he did.

Tommy is survived by his wife, Martha Jones Phelps of the home; one daughter, Jennifer Soule of Flat Rock, North Carolina; one son, Jason Phelps and wife Jenn of Banner Elk; four sisters, Lois Phelps, Marjorie Elkins, Sarah Bryant and husband George, and Dawn Phelps, all of Lenoir; one brother, Pastor Keith Phelps and wife Bea of Lenoir; two grandchildren, Colin and Gracyn Phelps of Banner Elk; his father-in-law, Clyde Jones and wife Nancy of Boone; one sister-in-law, Patty Bryan of Boone; one brothers-in-law, Jerry Jones and wife Lana of Boone, and one step sister-in-law, Charlene Norris of Zionville.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Edgar Lee Phelps and Velma Greene Phelps; one sister, Darlene Hall, and his mother-in-law, Louise Jones.

Funeral services for Tommy Phelps will be conducted Saturday afternoon, March 4, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Rutherwood Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Gordon Noble, Reverend Darrell Webb, and Brother Keith Phelps. Burial will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.

The family will receive friends Friday evening, from 6:00 until 8:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Service.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Seby Jones Cancer Center Cancer Patient Emergency Fund, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation, PO Box 2600, Boone, North Carolina, 28607, or to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, North Carolina, 28645.

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

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


Mr. John L. McElyea (Sept. 13, 1947 – Feb. 28, 2017)

John Johnny L. McElyea, of Camp Joy Road, Zionville, entered in to eternal rest on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 28, 2017, at the Watauga Medical Center surrounded by his family and friends.

Born September 13, 1947, he was a son of the late John Lee and Viola Christie McElyea. Johnny proudly served four years in the United States Navy as an aircraft mechanic. Johnny served on the USS Ticonderoga in Vietnam. After his service in the U.S. Navy, Johnny made a career of being a truck driver. For many years Johnny loved to participate in Civil War reenactments with his sons, Shawn and Chris, and their friends. Johnny was a history buff, especially of the Civil War era, and enjoyed collecting memorabilia.

Johnny was known for his wonderful sense of humor and his love of being with his family and friends. Johnny loved his sons and grandsons with a passion few people could understand. 

He is survived by his wife Barbara (Hagaman) McElyea, two sons: Shawn McElyea and Jessica Arney of Johnson County, Tennessee, and Christopher McElyea and Anne Marie Tufo of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; two grandsons: Tyler Dickens and Christopher Dickens; sister: Carolyn (McElyea) Roberts and husband Delmar (Sonny)Roberts of Mountain City, Tennessee. Sisters-in-law Margaret (Peggy) Sipe and Mayselle Hagaman of Zionville, North Carolina, Janice Ritenour and husband Donald Ritenour of Charlottesville, Virginia; Brothers-in-law Jerry Hagaman and wife Robin Hagaman of Johnston, South Carolina; David Hagaman of Beaver Dam, North Carolina; Terry Hagaman and wife Sherry Hagaman or Mooresboro, North Carolina. Johnny is also survived by many nieces and nephews and close friends who he loved and enjoyed. In addition to his parents, In addition to his parents Johnny was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Nellie Hagaman, his father-in-law, John Hagaman, his brother Erwin McElyea, his brothers-in-law, Royce Hagaman, James Hagaman and Jack Hagaman, his sister-in-law Betty Hagaman Greear, his niece Melissa Hagaman Padgett and his nephew Shannon Hagaman. 

Funeral services for John Johnny L. McElyea will be held Thursday, evening, March 2, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. in the Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Rev. Ray Sipe. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 6 until 7 oclock at the funeral home. Graveside services and burial with military honors provided by American Legion Post 130 will be conducted Friday morning at 10 oclock at the Old Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Old Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery Fund in care of Becky Ballew, 1512 Silverstone Road, Zionville, or to the Grace of God Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 212, Forest City, North Carolina 28043. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the 2nd floor nurses and staff at Watauga Medical Center for their compassionate care.

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


Mila Lilyanna Tester (Nov. 23, 2016 – Feb. 28, 2017)

Mila Lilyanna Tester, infant daughter of her mother, Audrey Lynn Tester and her father, Bryan Sherbet, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.

She was born Nov. 23, 2016 in Forsyth County. In her short time on Earth, Mila greatly impacted the lives of those around her and changed them for the better. Her purpose was very clear to those who knew and loved her.

In addition to her mother and her father, she is survived by her siblings, Tristan Adams of Vilas, Rosalee Winebarger of Vilas, Kamdon Sherbet, and Caydon Sherbet, both of West Jefferson, and Kealee Sherbet of Florida; her grandparents, Steve Tester of Valle Crucis, Sarah Mast of Valle Crucis; Mildred Tester of Valle Crucis, and Laura Greene and Steve Price of Mountain City; three aunts, Katie Tester and her son, Adrian, and Betsy Tester, all of Asheville, and Heidi Tester of Valle Crucis, and one uncle, Kevin Sherbet and his son Lucas, both of West Jefferson.

Funeral services for Mila Lilyanna Tester will be conducted Saturday evening, March 4, 2017, at 7:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 6:00 until 7:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Seth Norris.

The family will receive friends Saturday evening, from 6:00 until 7:00 o’clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.

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


Robert Carl Berger (May 2, 1929 – Feb. 27, 2017)

Mr. Robert Carl Berger, 87, of Deep Gap, passed away Monday, February 27, 2017 at Caldwell Hospice amd Palliative Care.

Mr. Berger is survived by one son, Robert Berger of Callicoon, New York, two daughters, Mary Ann Hofmann and Barbara Harris both of Deep Gap, four granddaughters, Lorraine Conner of Roseville, California, Rachel Rhodes of San Antonio, Texas, Laura Canzano of Stoughton,Massachusetts and Julia Wadsworth of Pomano Beach, Florida and two great-grandchildren, Mackenzie Abbott and Ty Abbott both of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Constance Berger, his father and mother, Paul Robert Berger and Lottie Peterson Berger and two brothers, Paul and David Berger.

A memorial service for Mr. Robert Carl Berger will be held at a latter date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, North Carolina 28645.

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

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


Reginald “Sam” Wiseman (June 14, 1933 – Feb. 27, 2017)

Reginald Ray “Sam” Wiseman, Jr., 83, passed away in the home with his family by his side on Feb. 27, 2017. He was retired from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and United States Department of Agriculture.

Sam proudly served his country during the Korean War in the United States Air Force. He was the son of Reginald Ray Wiseman, Sr. and Ruth Young Wiseman. Preceding him in death were, Helen Franklin Wiseman, his wife of 52 years, a son Sammy Joe Wiseman and a grandaughter, Kimberly Lauren Wiseman. 

Surviving are four children who live in North Carolina – Ruthie W. Laney, husband Tyson – Durham, Ray Wiseman – wife Mary – Graham, Tammy W. Cole – husband Joe, Chapel Hill, and Ben R. Wiseman of Chapel Hill. Sam was blessed with 11 grand children and 17 great-grand children.

A graveside service will be held at the Pisgah Cemetery in Linville Falls, NC at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2017 with the Rev. Mark Alexander officiating. Military Honors will be provided by the Pat Ray Post of the VFW.

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.rsfh.net

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


Mrs. Margaret R. South (May 18, 1935 – Feb. 25, 2017) 

Mrs. Margaret Gladys Rominger South, 81, of Dave Greene Road, Vilas, passed away Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at the Foley Center.

Born May 18, 1935 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of the late Spencer and Ora Hicks Rominger. Margaret was a homemaker and was of the Baptist faith. 

She is survived by her husband Johnny South, one son, Jimmy South and wife Brenda of Vilas, two daughters, Betty Miller and husband Larry of Fleetwood, and Kathy Lockhart of Hudson, two brothers, Ernest Rominger and wife Brenda of Avondale, PA, and Homer Rominger of Vilas, six grandchildren, Kayla Smith and husband Brian, Tina Greene and husband L. J., Jamie Davis and husband Nathan, Martha South, Jacob and Benji Lockhart, three great grandchildren, Blaine and Bella Smith and Ethan Davis, and three special foster great grandchildren, Garth, Addison and Callie.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by two sisters, Louise Wilcox and Frances Miller, and three brothers, Chester, Charlie and Norman Rominger.  

Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret South will be conducted Monday afternoon at 2 oclock at Charity Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1 oclock until 2 oclock at Charity Baptist Church. Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to the Lower Beaver Dam Cemetery Fund, in care of David Scott, 3476 Mountain Dale Road, Vilas, NC 28692. Special appreciation goes out to the Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living Med-Techs, CNAs, housekeepers, kitchen staff, Dr. Charlie Sykes, Tish Wilson and Medi-Home Hospice for their care.

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


Nicklaus Johnson (Jan. 25, 1992 – Feb. 25, 2017)

Nicklaus Johnson, 25, of Crossnore, NC, died February 25, 2017 after a brief illness. He was born on January 25, 1992 in Newnan, GA. 

Nick came to live at Crossnore School & Children’s Home in 2008 and graduated from Mitchell High School in 2010. He attended Mayland Community College, graduating in 2012 with an Associate of Arts degree. He went on to East Tennessee State University and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with plans to work as a case manager in the human services field.

Nick worked several part-time jobs while in school and was working at Blair Fraley Sales Store at the time of his death. Nick will always be remembered for his sense of humor, intelligence, and love for his cat, Beast.

He is survived by extended family in North Carolina, Georgia, and South Dakota, and friends from Crossnore School & Children’s Home.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland, NC. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm in Sloop Chapel on the campus of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, 100 DAR Drive, Crossnore, NC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Avery Humane Society, 279 New Vale Road, Newland, NC 28657.


Margaret “Peggy Ree” Troutman Cook (Oct. 17, 1939 – Feb. 24, 2017)

Margaret “Peggy Ree” Troutman Cook, 77, of Statesville, passed away Friday morning, February 24, 2017, Autumn Care of Statesville.

She was born October 17, 1939 in Iredell County, daughter of the late Edgar Troutman and Margaret Goodwin Troutman. “Peggy Ree” graduated from Troutman High School in 1958. She married William “Bill” Cook on June 3, 1961. Both her and her husband graduated from Appalachian State University and taught in North Carolina schools for their entire careers.

The Cooks moved to Currituck County in 1986 where they lived for 23 years.

“Peggy Ree” is survived by one son, Richard “Rick” Cook of Statesville; two daughters, Crystal Holt and husband Ricky of Poplar Branch, North Carolina, and Amy Wagner and husband Christian of Cornelius; four grandchildren, Finley and Taylor Holt of Poplar Branch, and Maggie and Ward Wagner of Cornelius; one great-granddaughter, Anna of Virginia Beach; one brother, Jim Troutman and wife Nancy of Statesville, and one sister-in-law, Dorothy Lackey and husband Bill of Blythwood, South Carolina. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Cook, and her father and mother, James Edgar Troutman and Margaret Elizabeth Goodwin Troutman.

A memorial service for Mrs. Margaret Troutman Cook will be conducted Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:00 o’clock at Grace Baptist Church in Statesville. Mr. David Comer will officiate.

Interment will Be held Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 1:00 o’clock at Cook Cemetery in Rutherwood.

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


Daisy Byrd Gragg (Nov. 3, 1921 – Feb. 23, 2017)

Daisy Byrd Gragg, age 95, of Newland passed away on Feb. 23, 2017.

A native of Watauga County, NC she was born November 3, 1921 a daughter of the late Benjamin and Rhoda Townsend Byrd.

She was a member of the Watauga Baptist Church and had taught Sunday School for many years. Daisy was a very special person and did an excellent job raising her son, Harold. She also enjoyed quilting, canning, and gardening.

Along with her parents, Daisy was preceded in death by her: husband, Rom Gragg; sisters, Rosa Crawford, Lillie Wagner; brothers, Will Byrd, Claude Byrd and Dock Byrd,

Daisy has left to cherish her memory her: son, Harold and Donna Gragg of Taylorsville, NC; granddaughters, Lisa and Mark Smith of Hickory, NC, Christy and Eric Murdock of Davidson; great grandchildren, Caleb Smith, Bryson Smith, Hayden Murdock, Mason Murdock, Erica Murdock; sister, Flo Willard of Glennside, PA; brothers, Clyde and Mary Byrd of Boone, NC and Howard Byrd of Foscoe, NC.

Funeral services for Daisy B. Gragg will be conducted on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm from the Grandfather Chapel of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Dr. Phil Murdock officiating. Internment will follow in the Watauga Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2:00 pm until the service hour Sunday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: First Baptist Church Crossnore PO Box 370 Crossnore, NC 28616.

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


James Ernest Henley (June 20, 1928 – Feb. 21, 2017)

James “Jim” Earnest Henley, 88, passed away Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, MD surrounded by his loving family.

Born in New River, TN to Charles and Anna (Brooks) Henley Sr., Jim spent his early years working with his dad at the sawmills. He loved hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. In 1948 he joined the US Air Force and became an aircraft mechanic. After serving, he married his lifelong friend, Martha Greene, on February 17, 1951 at the Evangelical Methodist Church in Linville, NC.

After marrying, they moved to Lexington Park, MD where he worked for 37 years as an Engineering Technician for the Airborne Instrumentation Department at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, MD. Jim took great pride in his work; knowing the importance of his role in supporting the test and evaluation of Naval and Marine Corps aircraft. He relished the friendships he made and the chance to mentor co-workers.

Jim was an athlete and avid sports fan. He enjoyed playing softball, basketball and golf. He also enjoyed watching the Washington Redskins and NC State Wolfpack basketball. He loved working in the yard, tinkering in his shed and organizing anything and everything. He was active in the Church of the Nazarene.

He leaves his devoted wife of 66 years, Martha Greene Henley; his brother Brooks Henley (Nancy); his daughters Linda Thompson (Jerry), Brenda Henley, Jean Currin (Guy), and Gayle Allan; grandchildren Jamey Thompson (Kristin), Jeri Lynne Porter (Steve), Jonnie Chesser (Adam), Todd Currin (Natasha), Tiffany Abbott (Chad), Mandy Wohlfeil (Jake); ten great-grandchildren with two more due in March; and many other loving family and friends. In addition to his parents, his siblings, Elizabeth, Charles, Eloise, and Paul precede him in death.

Pall Bearers will be Jamey Thompson, Todd Currin, Steve Porter, Chad Abbott, Adam Chesser, Jake Wohlfeil, William Costner, and Tim Upton.
Funeral services will be handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown MD and Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in Newland, NC. The funeral service will be held at the Evangelical Methodist Church Saturday Feb. 25 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Ken Harper officiating. Visitation will start at 1:00 PM and continue until the service hour. Interment will follow at Tanglewood Cemetery in Linville, NC. Flowers are accepted or contributions in Jim’s name can be made to the Leonardtown Church of the Nazarene P.O. Box 1110. Leonardtown, MD 20650.

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


Troy Dean Greer (Nov. 8, 1947 – Feb. 21, 2017)

Troy Dean Greer, age 69, of Boone, passed away Tuesday morning, February 21, 2017 at his home. Born November 8, 1947 in Watauga County, he was a son of Lawrence and Willie Jane Greer. Troy was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army and served honorably in Vietnam. He retired as the dispatcher from Appalcart of Boone. 

Troy is survived by his wife, Elaine Proffitt Greer; son, Gregory Greer and Abby Carpenter of Boone; sisters, Joyce Carlton of Fleetwood, Louise Moretz and Betty Wood, both of Boone; and brother, Loye Greer and wife, Peggy, of Boone. A number of nieces and nephews also survive. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Bill and Nelson Greer. 

The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. and the service will be at 2:00 p.m. all at Austin & Barnes Funeral Chapel on Friday, February 24, 2017, officiated by Rev. Chuck Bristle and Mr. Tim Moretz. Burial with military honors provided by the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and the North Carolina Nation Guard will follow at Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens. 

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to American Legion Post #130, 135 Bear Trail, Boone; to Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 90, PO Box 2914, Boone; or to Medi Home Health & Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC 28607.

 The Greers wish to express their gratitude to the staff of Medi Home Hospice, especially Andy Benoit, and heartfelt thanks to Troys special niece and caregiver, Toni Dishman.

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


Mrs. Christine Marshall (July 18, 1952 – Feb. 21, 2017) 

Christine Marshall Buchanan born July 18, 1952 went to be with our Lord February 21, 2017 at her residence following an extended illness. She was retired from Snap-On Tools of Elizabethton, TN.

Surviving are her beloved husband, Mitchell Buchanan, a sister, Lori Densick Blevins, sisters-in-laws: Lahoma Martin and Shonna Hinkle; and a special friend, Tracie Greene Presnell.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Peggy Strader of Michigan and her son, Michael Strader.
    
Per Christines wishes, no services will be held. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family.


Pansy Ward Tester (Dec. 31, 1915 – Feb. 21, 2017)

Pansy Ward Tester, 101, of Creedmoor, North Carolina, formerly of Watauga County, passed away Tuesday morning, February 21, 2017.

Pansy is survived by one daughter, Shirley Tester Gurganus and husband Murphy; one son, Arthur Dean Tester and wife Linda, all of Creedmoor; six grandchildren, Debbie Gear and husband Keith of Australia, Angela S. Stanley and husband John, G’Nene Tincher and husband Richard, Wayne Tester and wife Georgia, Danny Tester and wife Venus, Carla “Gannis” Gurganus and husband Cleveland Adams, and Amy Tester of Australia; two step-granddaughters, Zoe Adams and Tess Adams; ten great-grandchildren, Brandi L. Pearce, Kristi Lloyd, Frank Galbo and wife Brittani, Joseph Fischer, Kim Fischer, Lexi Tester, Eli Tester, Damien Tester, Davis Tester, and Dayton Tester; four great great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Pearce, Mason Pearce, Colin Galbo, and Eli Galbo, and one sister, Chloe Ward of Sugar Grove. She is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great nieces.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Talbert Smith Tester; one son, Harvey Smith Tester; one daughter, Lillian Lenora Tester Snider, and one grandson, Mark.

Funeral services for Pansy Ward Tester will be conducted Thursday afternoon, February 23, 2017, at 1:00 o’clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 12:00 until 1:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Angela Stanley. Burial will follow in the Ward Family Cemetery.

The family will receive friend, Thursday afternoon, from 12:00 until 1:00 o’clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, 128 South Tryon Street, Suite 1588, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202.

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


Dorothy R. Hemric (Sept. 2, 1929 – Feb. 20, 2017) 

Dorothy Mrs. Dot Reid Hemric, 87, passed peacefully on Monday, February 20, 2017 surrounded by her family.
    
She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Grey Hemric; her parents Pallis Eli Reid and Myrtle Mae Beshears Reid; sister, Jacqueline Long, and brothers, Howard and Roger Reid.
     
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Dalton and husband, Roger; grandson, Scotty Dalton and wife, Stephanie; great grandchildren, Grey and Addie Dalton, all of Boone; sisters, Earline Motsinger of Tobaccoville, and Peggy Jones of Stanleyville; as well as several beloved nieces and nephews. 
    
A funeral service for Mrs. Hemric will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Frank Vogler & Sons Funeral Home, 2951 Reynolda Road, with Reverend Cecil Cave officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory in Walkertown, NC. The family will receive friends on hour prior to the service at noon.
    
A separate memorial service will be held on Sunday February 26, 2017 at Poplar Grave Baptist Church in Boone, NC at 3:00 pm.
    
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Poplar Grove Baptist Church Annie Armstrong Easter Offering at 1228 Poplar Grove Rd, South Boone, NC 28607. Frank Vogler Funeral Home of Winston-Salem is serving the Hemric family; announcement is courtesy of Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory.

Justin Geoffrey Mikel (Jan. 9, 1959 – Jan. 17, 2017)

Justin Geoffrey Mikel, age 58, of Boone, after fighting a lifelong battle with mental illness, took her own life, Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Justin was born January 9, 1959 in Wokingham, England to Margaret A. Mauney and Peter G. Archer.

She graduated from The University of Cincinnati with a Master of Science in Social Work June 7, 2002. Justin was certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2005 and certified as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist in 2013. She worked as a Psychotherapist for New River Mental Health Center from 2002 until her retirement due to illness in 2011.

Justin took her own life following decades of physical and mental illness. She wanted this known to encourage others to seek and provide help for mental illness.

Justin is survived her mother and step-father, Margaret Ann Mauney and Dr. John David Mauney of Raleigh, and two brothers, David Archer of Chicago, Illinois, and Anthony Anderson and wife Susan of Raleigh.

A memorial service for Justin Geoffrey Mikel will be conducted Saturday afternoon, March 25, 2017, at 2:00 o’clock, at Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Officiating will be Pastor Sharon Taylor.

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

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

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