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Watauga, Avery Obituaries – October 5, 2021

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



Joyce Mae Miller

1933 – 2021

Ms. Joyce Mae Miller, age 88, of Niley Cook Road, Blowing Rock, died Monday morning, September 27th, 2021, in her home surrounded by family. Born March 30, 1933 in Zionville, NC, she was the only daughter of the late Marvin and Ollie Norris, Ms. Miller worked in the commercial industry and was a proud member of her union since the age of 16. She and her late husband, Raymond Olen Miller, raised their family in Cleveland, Ohio for 38 years. In addition to enriching the lives of her family with her fierce love and endless grace, she was an avid gardener, talented seamstress, and her pies were famous among those lucky enough to try them.

She is survived by one son; Timothy R. Miller, of Boone, one daughter; Amy C. Miller and husband, Dave, two grandsons; Justin D. Miller of Boone, and Cory Miller, of Willowick, OH, three granddaughters; Cortney M. Miller of Boone, Sally Miller Hicks and husband Garrett of Vilas, and Nicolette Miller of Willowick, OH, four great-grandsons; Gunnar L. Hicks, Raylan J. Hicks, Archer D. Hicks, & Creston G. Hicks of Vilas, one brother; Elmer S. Norris of Zionville, a sister-in-law; Joene Wilson and husband Robert of Spencer, TN, her lifelong best friend; Charlotte Nichols of Kernersville, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition to her parents and spouse, she was preceded in death by a daughter; Sharon Damiris Miller, and a son; Barry L. Miller.

In keeping with her wishes, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, a memorial can be made in her honor to either Amorem Hospice at AMOREMSUPPORT.ORG 844-4AMOREM (844-426-6736), or RFDTV (Rural Media Group and Christian Programming) customerservice@rfdtv.com

(402) 289-2085.

Online condolences may be shared with the Miller family at the website www.austin&barnesfuneralhome.com.

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



George Benjamin Miles

1926 – 2021

Dr. George Benjamin Miles, age 95 of Boone, passed away Thursday, September 30, 2021 at Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation.  Born May 14, 1926 in Erin, Tennessee, he was a son of the late George and Neva Tarwater Miles.  George was a US Navy veteran, having served during WWII and the Korean War.  He attended UT Knoxville, obtained a PhD in chemistry, and after working for several years in industry found his true vocation as a teacher He taught chemistry at Appalachian State University for many years.  He was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Boone where he served as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher for the Senior Ladies’ class, and Church Clerk.  George also served on the advisory boards for the State Library of North Carolina and for local nursing homes.   He volunteered with the Project on Aging home delivered meals program and visited many elderly shut-ins in the area.  He also loved sharing the cakes, cupcakes, and cookies he baked, tending his vegetable garden, and making jam from his backyard raspberry farm.

Dr. Miles was a compassionate man who genuinely cared about other people. 

He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Miles and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Ida Miles.

No services are planned at this time.  Memorial contributions may be made to the organization of the donors’ choice.  Online condolences may be shared with the Miles family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com

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



John Rodgers Kennedy

December 9, 2009 – September 27, 2021

John Rogers Kennedy, child of God and faithful soldier in the LORD’s army, son of David and Hannah Kennedy, arrived in the presence of the Living God the moment he left this earth at 9:04pm on Monday September 27th, 2021. After an accident in the woods he was found dead on the evening of the 26th, but by God’s mercy, He revived him long enough for his family to spend one more day with their unconscious son and brother. For those who are in Christ Jesus, as John Rogers was, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

“I … would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” Philippians 1:20-24

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

It is also a comfort to know that, in God’s mercy, he doesn’t make us question why the timing of a persons death is as it was. God numbers our days, and this was the day for John Roger’s Homecoming.

Psalm 139:16

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

So we do not grieve as those who have no hope, but as those who have hope in Jesus Christ who is the Resurrection and the Life.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

We are thankful for John Rogers’ 11½ years—thankful for every day, every moment we had with him. He was born on December 9th, 2009, the seventh of David and Hannah’s now eleven children, each of whom he loved dearly and who loved him: Grace (and husband Andrew Barry and their two daughters Hannah Joy and Lydia), Heidi Joy, Hope, Greta, Schuyler, Thomas, Faith, Sudie, Stephen, and Mercy.

John Rogers was filled with the Spirit of God and his life bore the fruits of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-25) of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He was also the embodiment of cheer, affection, hard work, diligence, and respect. He was inquisitive, obedient, loving, jovial, zealous for goodness in truth in himself, and in his sphere of influence. He loved the Lord His God, and he loved his Bible. He trusted God who forgave his sins, who raised Jesus from the dead, and who eagerly gives the gift of eternal life with God to all those who will repent of sin and believe on the Name and complete work of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

John Rogers has a genuinely thankful heart toward God. He enjoyed life to the fullest putting his whole effort into whatever good work he set his hand to; he liked working construction, cooking, crafting useful gifts, singing and playing piano, playing golf, and he especially glowed if ever you asked him about mowing lawns with High Country Mowing. He was diligent in his studies and chores at home, he was kind to his siblings, he was fascinated with the battles of the American revolution. At age 10, he designed and built his own General’s Headquarters (camping cabin in the woods).

Not only did he work hard, but he sang (sometimes at the top of his lungs) while he worked.

His laugh was contagious. He laughed often and heartily—a laughter that involved his whole body and spirit. He enjoyed life and went out of his way to help those around him, both young and old, to enjoy it with him. If we had had the chance to ask John Rogers before he died what he would want to say to everyone reading this, I can imagine him leaning forward, hands on his chair, and with an honest humility saying, “Tell them that they should believe God.”

Parents: David and Hannah Kennedy of Boone, Siblings: Grace (and Andrew) Barry, Heidi, Hope Greta, Schuyler, Thomas, Faith, Sudie, Stephen, Mercy, nieces, Hannah Joy and Lydia Barry, Grandparents, Nancy Kennedy and Pete Chamberlin of Beech Mountain, North Carolina and Bill and Beth Hanger of Montreat, North Carolina.

His memorial will be held at Alliance Bible Fellowship, 1035 NC Highway 105 Bypass, Boone, NC 28607 at 5pm on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. All are welcome to attend.

At the memorial, we will have an open time for sharing stories or memories of John. Feel free to prepare something to say, or you may say it last minute if it just comes to your mind at the service.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Alliance Bible Fellowship of Boone, NC which has so graciously served our community for many years.

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

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

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



Anthony Elbert Long

November 24, 1974 – October 1, 2021

Anthony Elbert Long, age 46, of Misty Mountain Road, Boone, passed away Friday, October 1, 2021, at his residence.

Anyone who met Anthony soon learned of his deep love of horses. That is how Anthony and I met. That is what drew us together. That was our common thread. We began our journey by building a small horse farm which included breeding, training, showing and lessons, among other things. Anthony was a big strong man. He would often carry our foals around to gain their trust. He once sat on the floor holding a foal in his lap so the farrier could put on special corrective tiny shoes. I believe his happiest moments were running this farm. Friends also soon learned of his love for his dogs which included Sarrak, Abby and Nissa (who is still with me). They were devoted to Anthony and he to them. I used to tell him that he missed them more when away while working than he missed me.

Our granddaughter, Alexandra, recently referred to Anthony as the “King of small things”. He did so many small things for so many. He was the first to send home made chicken noodle soup to a friend who was ill. He loved to cook and lavish friends and family with goodies at Christmas. He loved teaching the grandkids to cook and never lost patience with them. He would sneak Alexandra an extra $20 at Christmas or her birthday even though we had bought her gifts. He made me shortbread cookies when I was stressed at tax season. His favorite Christmas activity was feeding carrots to the horses at midnight on Christmas Eve. His last night was spent making me a BLT and roasted potatoes so I would be sure to have dinner and not skip it. He always tried to be there for his mom to help her and make her life easier.

Anthony will be missed for the small things and the wonderful person he was. We were blessed to have him in our life. It was a privilege.

He was born November 24, 1974, in Barnwell, South Carolina. The son of Dianne Barber and the late Boncil Elbert Long. He was a Public Assistance Specialist for disaster relief companies and a member of Deerfield United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Norris Long of Boone; one stepson, Stephen Bradley of Louisville, Kentucky; one stepdaughter, April Fulcher and husband Michael of Winston-Salem; step grandchildren, Alexandra Bradley of Gardiner, Montana and Elijah and Amelia Fulcher of Winston-Salem; sister, Rebecca Long of Boone and one step-sister, Glenda Barber of Shoals, Indiana.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his step-father, William Barber, and his maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary at www.southernsunfarm.com

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

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



Nancy Schuyler Kaufman

April 16, 1946 – October 01, 2021

Nancy Schuyler Kaufman, age 75, of Blowing Rock, passed away Friday, October 1, 2021, at Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living.

She was born April 16, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The daughter of the late Frank Michael Kaufman, II and Kernan Isobel Kaufman. 

She is survived by her son, Russell Mellifera and wife Danielle of Blowing Rock and one brother, Mike Kaufman and wife Nancy of Charlotte.

There are no services scheduled at this time.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Red Cross, to help others at www.redcross.org

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

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



Patsy Vance

April 26, 1938 – September 28, 2021

Patsy June Vance, 83, of Newland, passed away on September 28, 2021 at the Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, NC. She was born on April 26, 1938 in Avery County to the late Earl and Drexel (Deaton) Singleton. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her Great Granddaughter, Gracie Brewer; Brothers, Eddie Singleton and Billy Joe Singleton.

Patsy attended Forest Home Community Church. She enjoyed working in the garden, canning, and reading books. She was a loving Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother. She loved spending time with all of her family.

Patsy is survived by her husband, Billy L. Vance; Daughters, Lori (Myron) Clark of Newland and Junie Biggs of Elk Park; Grandchildren, Christy Hicks, Richie Houston, Joshua Brewer, and Justin Clark; Great Grandchildren, Bradley Reece, Sawyer Houston, Ridge Houston, Tucker Houston, Jorgia Houston, Lydia Brewer, Kailey Brewer, Isabella Brewer, Gunner Buchanan, Hal Hodges, and Jackson Borrack; Brother, Roger Singleton; Sisters, Tiny Bartlett, Vivian Woody and Peggy Johnson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside service will be held on October 2, 2021 at 2:00 PM at the Benfield Cemetery.

Online condolences for Patsy can be given at www.rsfh.net

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



John Joseph Barrett

October 22, 1959 – September 28, 2021

John Joseph Barrett, 61, of Newland, passed away on September 28, 2021. He was born on October 22, 1959 in Manhattan, New York to Carolyn Tolda and the late John Joseph Barrett Sr. In addition to his father, he was also preceded in death by his step father, Jim Hyde.

John was a proud father. He loved to watch his kids and grandkids play sports. John was an avid pickleball player and organized many tournaments for local charities. He also loved to watch and play many sports. He volunteered with numerous summer basketball camps. John was a supporter of local live music concerts in his community and surrounding areas. He enjoyed sharing information, pictures, and videos with his local community.

In addition to his mother, those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Robin of the home; Son, Andrew (Nivia) Barrett of Jacksonville, NC; Daughters, Jen (Kraig) Haas of Land o lakes, FL, Madison and Taylor Barrett of the home; Grandchildren, Kolton and Kalie Haas of Land o lakes, FL, and Alana Barrett of Jacksonville, NC; Brothers, Kevin Barrett of Long Island, NY, and Chris Barrett (Scott Wood) of Vashon, WA; Sisters, Diana Barrett of Waco TX, Jamie (Justin Owens) Hyde of Bethlehem, PA, and Noreen Packman of Fredricksburg, VA; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM at The Rock Gym, 185 Shady Street, Newland, NC 28657

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Avery Park and Recreation for John Barrett Hillside Park. Contact for any questions (828) 733-8266

Online condolences for John can be given at www.rsfh.net.

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



Mary Carla Emerson

December 10, 1962 – October 3, 2021

Mary Carla Emerson, 58, of Elk Park, passed away on October 3, 2021 at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, NC. She was born on December 10, 1962 in Mitchell County to the late Bryan and Faye Emerson.

Carla is survived by her sons, Jeremiah Norman of Elk Park, Tyler Norman of Elk Park, Jesse Giordano of Christiansburg; Daughter, Lily Nenninger of Elk Park; and Brother, David Emerson of Elk Park

Graveside services will be held on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 2:00PM

in the cemetery at Taylors Chapel Church (Buck Mountain) in Elk Park.

The family would like to thank the staff, nurses, and CNA’s at Cannon Memorial Hospital for their wonderful care of Carla during her time there.

In lieu of flowers and food, please make donations to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.

Online condolences for Carla can be given at www.rsfh.net.

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