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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – November 2, 2021

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



Maxine Barbara Trivette

1938 – 2021

Maxine Jones Trivette, age 83, of Sugar Grove, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, October 25, 2021. Born in Avery County to the late Cleo and Martha Guy Jones, Maxine was an amazing and faithful servant of the Lord, and a faithful member of Zion Hill Baptist Church for many years. She loved to sing in the choir, loved gardening and raising beautiful flowers.  Her biggest joy was her family. She especially loved her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. She also had a true love for sending cards. During her illness, she received so many cards and enjoyed each of them. 

She is survived by one daughter, Angie Hicks and husband Floyd of Sugar Grove;

Two sons, Michael Trivette and wife Sharon of Colorado Springs, CO., and Al Trivette and wife Deborah of Charleston, SC; one sister, Earline Brown and husband Junior of Boone; four brothers, Maloy Jones and wife Judy of Williamsburg, Va., Wayne Jones and wife Mabel of Taylorsville, Melvin Jones and wife Regina of Elk Park, and Elmer Jones of Sugar Grove; three granddaughters, Wendy Ray and husband Jeremy of Vilas, Sarah Holder and husband Brad of Vilas, and Suzanne Trivette and fiancé’ Dylan of New York; four great grandchildren, Levi Ray, Jacob Ray,  Carmen Holder and Maggie Holder and by two special sisters-in-law, Vada Cornett and Georgia Lunceford.

Funeral Services for Maxine Trivette will be conducted Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. in Zion Hill Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the Flat Springs Cemetery. The body will lie in state in the church from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Thursday.

The family will receive friends in Austin & Barnes Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

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



Thomas Jones “Tom” Query

1941 – 2021

Thomas J. (Tom) Query, age 80, passed away on October 26, at his home.  He was born to Ruel and Hope Query in Lenoir in 1941.  He graduated from Lenoir High School where he played football and baseball and was All Conference in baseball his junior and senior years.  He then graduated from Lee’s McRae Junior College where he was a member of student government, co-captain the baseball team and broke records in the javelin throw. He then graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BS in Industrial Relations and a minor in Psychology.  While at UNC he was a member of the baseball team. Upon Graduation from Carolina, he went to work for Lenoir Mirror Company as Director of Human Resources where he remained until his retirement in 2007.  Following his retirement Tom continued to hone his skills as an artist.  He worked mostly with pen and ink drawings and was an accomplished artist.

     He is survived by his loving wife and caregiver, Carol, who was a true blessing for the last 30 years of his life.  He was blessed to be a father to three children who survive him, all of Boone: Erin Query Peters (John), Julie T. Davis (David), and Joel P. Thompson (Erin), together with three grandchildren, Ezra A. Peters, Victoria E. Davis and Ruby E. Thompson.  He is also survived by his brother Bob Query (Carolyn) of North Myrtle Beach, SC and nephews, Justin (Amy) and Griffin Query (Emily) and their children plus a number of cousins. 

     A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, NC 28607 or to Medi-Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive, Suite 102, Boone, NC 28607.

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

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



Mary Faye Yates

1932 – 2021

Mary Faye Cook Yates, age 89, of Love Hollow Road, Vilas, passed away Saturday morning, October 30, 2021 at her home.  Born September 15, 1932 in Watauga County, she was a daughter of Tom and Elizabeth Snyder Cook.  Mrs. Yates always referred to members of Willowdale Baptist Church as family.   Most important to her in life was the love of her family, second only to her devotion to her Lord.  She enjoyed listening to gospel and bluegrass music and observing nature.  She had a natural ability to identify most wild flowers by name.

Mrs. Yates is survived by her sons, Grady Yates and Jerry Yates and wife, Debbie, all of Vilas; daughter, Lucille Combs and husband, Jerry, of Sugar Grove; eight grandchildren, Faylah Yates, Jessica Hagaman (Brad), Jeremiah Yates (Misty), Jacob Combs (Hope), Susan Harris (Ben), and Brandon Yates Ronnie Yates (Joella) and Cody Yates; fifteen great-grandchildren; brother, Larry Cook and wife, Arlene, of Vilas; sisters, Jean Taylor of Mt. Airy and Lula Belle Parrish of Vero Beach, FL: and daughter-in-law, Rita Yates of SC.  A number of nieces and nephews also survive.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Johnny Everette Yates; son, Michael Yates; and brothers, Gary and John Cook.  

 Funeral services for Mary Faye Cook Yates will be conducted Monday afternoon, November 1, 2021 at 2 o’clock at the Willowdale Baptist Church, officiated by Pastor Eugene Braswell and Rev. Derick Wilson. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 until 2 o’clock, prior to services.

At other times, the family will be at the home of her daughter, Lucille and Jerry Combs, 652 Council Ward Road, Sugar Grove. 

Graveside services will follow in the Old St. John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Willowdale Baptist Church, in care of Trudy Thompson, 350 Charlie Thompson Road, Vilas, NC 28692. 

The family would like to extend a very special ‘Thank You’ to Pat, Samra and Michelle for their compassionate assistance in caring for Mom.

Online condolences may be shared at austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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



John C. Winebarger

January 21, 1933 – October 28, 2021

John C. Winebarger, age 88, of Meat Camp Road, Boone passed away Thursday, October 28, 2021.

He is survived by one daughter, Kathy Winebarger Riggan, one son, Jeff Winebarger and Debra Murphy, six grandchildren, Jason Miller, Kelly Lincoln and husband Luke, Doug Winebarger, Charles Winebarger and wife Bailey, Cody Webb and wife Marisa, Regina Painter and husband Steve, five great-grandchildren, Triton Lincoln, Bentley Winebarger, Coleman Painter, Piper Webb, Audrey Painter, sister Rachel Townsend and husband Dana, brother Jerry Winebarger and wife Barbara, sister-in-law Violet Winebarger, sister-in-law Jane Reese, sister in law Judy Dollar, brother-in-law Len Moretz and wife Janet, Aunt Mary Helen Greene, a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Muriel Winebarger, his parents, Albert Luther Winebarger, Sr., and Lucy Grace Greene Winebarger, two sons-in-law, William Carl Miller, and Jerry (JR) Riggan, three brothers, William (Joe) Winebarger, Albert Luther Winebarger, Jr., Steve Wesley Winebarger, three sisters, Barbara Ann Reese, Helen Bledsoe, Mary Sue Winebarger.

Funeral services for John C. Winebarger will be conducted Monday, November 1, 2021, at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Jerry Moretz and Reverend Randy Miller. Interment will follow in Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 2:00, prior to the service.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Holly Hollars and Medi Home Hospice for their wonderful care of our dad during this time.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully request memorials be made to Pleasant Valley Church Cemetery Fund, care of Len Moretz, 215 Len Moretz Road, Boone, North Carolina 28607.

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

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



Vera Cook Coffey

July 15, 1939 – October 28, 2021

Vera Cook Coffey, age 82, passed away October 28, 2021, at Amorem Hospice and Palliative Care in Valdese, NC after a brief illness. Vera was born July 15, 1939, to Astor and Louise Cook of Blowing Rock.

Vera’s early work included a stint as a nutritionist for the Watauga County Agricultural Department, which no doubt contributed to her extraordinary culinary ability. Nothing pleased her more than preparing sumptuous meals for her family, especially for her grand-and great-grand-children, who never failed to brighten her life.

Vera married Robert Coffey of Blowing Rock. Bob and Vera had four children: Robert R. Coffey (Debbie) of Blowing Rock; Vickie C. Norris (Dan) of Boone; Kevin B. Coffey (Nancy) of Morganton; Eric- now deceased.

Prior to her husband Bob’s death in 1994, Vera became more involved in her 1970’s tole painting hobby. This interest blossomed to the point that she decided to open a retail shop – Crafts & Christmas, just outside of Blowing Rock, where holiday-oriented items were displayed and sold.

In addition to her three surviving children, Vera will be lovingly remembered by her sisters: Lois Cook, Elaine Cook and Janice Eller. Oh, the card games they enjoyed were fierce, but laughter and love filled. Seven grandchildren: Misty, Rob, Matthew, Ashley, Natalie, Brandon, Lauren, Nine great­ grandchildren: Jordan, Josh, Liam, Daviney, Beckham, Anders, Grayson, Bree, Zoe. For the past three years Vera resided at Kingston Residence hall in Hickory where she met her 1ate-in-life love and soulmate, Stine Isenhower. The banter between the two, the debates they enjoyed, and the semi­ serious arguments voiced were grin-inducing to anyone lucky enough to witness. Both could give as good as they got. The Coffey clan now feels blessed to look upon Stine as part of the family.

For many years she was active in a local Bible Study Fellowship, which served to enhance and deepen her love of the Lord. Vera was an active contributor to many charities, with specific emphasis on Hope for Haiti with donations honoring her deceased husband, Bob, her brother Jack, and her son, Eric. A selfless individual, for years Vera sponsored Vietnamese (and other immigrant) families, with financial and prayer support. Always looking for that next exceptional meal, her move to Hickory from Aho also connected her with a lady’s Thursday night dinner club. The joy surrounding those dinner meals was contagious and boisterous.

An avid reader, Vera was always ready to explore the world and experience places she had only read about: Australia, Italy, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the western US, et.al. Experiencing the cuisine during each of those trips was an extra blessing. Vera’s family would be so pleased if, during your next fine dining, you would enhance the time with a bit of classical music and think of a lady whose life was well-lived and enriched with love.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Sunday, October 31, 2021, at 2:00 at Boone United Methodist Church. Pastor Vern Collins will officiate.

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

In Lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hope for Haiti, PO Box 1045 Blowing Rock, NC 28605, or Amorem-Valdese, 1715 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation service is in charge of the arrangements



Shirley Ann Davis Auton Critcher

March 6, 1939 – October 29, 2021

Shirley Ann Davis Auton Critcher, age 82, passed away Friday, October 29, 2021 at Amorem in Hudson.  Shirley was born in Watauga County on March 6, 1939 to the late Walter and Emma Bryan Davis, the tenth of eleven children.

She is survived by her husband James L. Critcher of  Boone; six sons, Bob Auton and wife Karen of Greensboro, NC; Wayne Auton and wife Terrie of Blairsville, GA; Bill Auton and wife Julie of Lenoir, NC; David Auton and wife Tracy of Hartland, WI; Scotty Auton and wife Katrina of Pewaukee, WI and Chris Auton of Boone;  four step-daughters, Deborah Page and husband Gerald of Conover, NC; Miriam Byrd and husband John of Rockingham, NC; Janine Dotson and husband Chris of Hickory, NC; Monika Dixon and husband Clay of Vilas, NC; three brothers, Paul Davis of Madison, WI; James Davis and wife Kris of Merritt Island, FL and Johnny Davis of Boone; thirteen grandchildren, eleven step-grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband James Monroe Auton, infant son Willard Auton, four brothers, Carroll, Robert, Arlie and Hoyle Davis and three sisters, Beulah Proffit, Blanche Greene and Linda Kapral. 

Funeral services will be conducted Friday, November 5, 2021, at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Billy Joe Auton will officiate. Interment will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens with eulogy conducted by Rev. Mike Barefoot. 

The family will receive friends from 12:00 until 2:00, prior to the service at the funeral home. 

The family respectfully requests no flowers; memorials may be made to the donor’s choice. 

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

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



Marvin L. Scholl

March 17, 1923 – November 01, 2021

Marvin L. Scholl, age 98, of Sugar Grove passed away Monday, November 1, 2021.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced.

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

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



John Morgan Buford

May 12, 1957 – October 29, 2021

John Buford of Sugar Grove, passed away Friday, October 29, 2021, at his home.

John Buford was a man who lived life on his own terms. He had a vision of how he wanted to live his life and he created it.  His friends were family, and his family were friends. When he was young, John decided to learn to ski. He didn’t just learn to ski, he dedicated much of his life to becoming part of the first generation of skiers in the high country to become an advanced Telemark skier. He skied all over the Western part of the country and Canada for many years. Later his passion became his career when began sharing his experience with skiers all over the High Country when he managed Ski First Tracks. When he wasn’t skiing, he was on adventure treks. Some of them were day trips, others were several weeks into the Arctic. He always had a friend and a dog with him. His most revered dog was Cane. He went everywhere with John and John often felt as if Cane’s spirit was greater than any human beings. John did not keep his adventures on the ground. He also became an advanced open boater, and he boated on all the major white-water rivers in the region. Later in life, he married his love and created a new vision. He wanted to support his family, so John created again. The Stone Cavern helped support his family for 15 years until he sold it. When John was not working, he could be found on the waters of Watauga Lake with his family and friends. While the lake water was calmer than the wild rivers he once paddled, he still found energy, peace, and shared his love of the water with so many. John’s retirement began with the pandemic, but the silver lining was he was able to spend all day with his daughter who became his greatest achievement. He spent his time relearning algebra just in case she needed help. His passion for math and life led to his degree in physics and philosophy from Appalachian State University many years ago. He touched many lives and will be missed greatly. 

This poem was inspired by Cane: Let not the days that I trotted the forest floor with you bring pain. For sure as the stars shine and the sun brings a new day, you and I will always be together. Relinquish me to the realm of memories where I am young again. My lungs fill with fresh air, and I move through the forest as a spirit. Poem by John Buford.

The celebration of life for John Buford will be held at Firerock Station in Vilas at 4:00 pm on Thursday November 4, 2021. It is one mile past the Cove Creek Store on 321 in Vilas. Dress is casual. For more information about the celebration of life please call 828-434-0709

Donations to Partners in Health www.pih.org org or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital www.stjudes.org

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

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



Jesse Lee Crowder

October 25, 1973 – October 26, 2021

Jesse Lee Crowder, age 48, of Jonas Ridge, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center.

Jesse was born on October 25, 1973 in Crossnore, NC son of Danny & Norma Crowder.

He graduated from Avery High School and worked for Avery County Solid Waste. He loved Alabama Football and UNC Tar heels. He also loved his dogs especially Daisy! He was a true Republican to the very end.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Christy Crowder of the home. His son’s, Justin Crowder of Dysartsville, Andy (Amanda) Hughes of Jonas Ridge, Tristan (Abi) Williams of Newland. Daughter, Ashley (Ben) Barber of Newland. His parents, Danny & Norma Crowder of Pineola. Mother & Father-in-law Diane (Richard) Hughes of Spruce Pine. His sister Melissa (Donald) Roberts of Old Fort. His Brother Skyelar Crowder of Pineola. Nephew’s, Adam (Melissa) Warren of Pineola, Kyle (Destiny) Warren of Jonas Ridge. His niece, Makayla (Cody) McKinney of Pineola. Uncle Tony (Lisa) Crowder of Ingalls, Aunt Pam (Andy) Stephens of Hickory, Aunt Naomi (Donald) Gragg of Jonas Ridge, Ronald Jr (Diane) Clark of Jonas Ridge, Great nephew Isaiah McKinney of Pineola. And a whole host of cousins who were much more like brothers and sisters than cousins.

Jesse is proceeded in death by his Uncle’s Tim & Donnie Clark, Aunt Deborah Snyder, His grandparents Ronald & Betty Clark and Evelyn Carpenter, and his great nephew Marcus McKinney.

Services for Jesse will be held Saturday, October 3Oth at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newland, NC with receiving of friends from 12 pm to 2 pm service to begin at 2:00 pm. Services will be conducted by Reverend Joe Ingham. Followed immediately by grave side service at White’s Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery in Ingalls, NC.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the nurses and staff at Watauga Medical Center and to the many friends and community members who have been remembering Jesse and his family in their prayers the past few weeks.

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

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



Norma Jean “Kat” Haga

February 26, 1931 – October 28, 2021

Norma Jean “Kat” Haga, age 90, of Newland, North Carolina passed away peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at her residence.

Norma was born on February 26, 1931 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Norman Winters and the late Elma Carpenter Taylor.

She graduated from Newland High School in 1949 and married the love of her life, Robert “Boonie” Haga who passed away in 2004. She was a longtime member and Sunday School Teacher of the Sugar Mountain Baptist Church. Kat loved to crochet, and made hundreds of hats for Samaritans Purse each year. She enjoyed being in her garden.

She was preceded in death by her Husband, Robert “Boonie” Haga; Father, Norman Winters; Mother, Elma Taylor; Four Brothers, Paul Winters, Samuel “Ador” Winters, Cecil “Homer” Winters, Harry Taylor; .

Norma leaves behind to cherish her memory Three Daughters, Trish Haga of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Darcy Whyde of Newland, NC, Susie Nichols of Lenoir, NC; Two Grandsons, Raymond “Ramey” George of Newland, NC, Victor Santiago of Fort Lauderdale, FL; Granddaughter, Heidi Whyde of Morganton, NC; Great-Grandson, Corey George of Cleveland, OH.

Services for Norma Jean “Kat” Haga will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 beginning at 1:00 pm from the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Rev. Donnie Ford officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 12:00 pm on Tuesday at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.

Interment will be in the Montezuma Cemetery.

Those attending the visitation and services are asked to wear a face covering or mask.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Samaritans Purse PO Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607.

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

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