The following are recent obituary notices from Austin & Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland
Russell Jackson Greene
1963 – 2021
Mr. Russell Jackson Greene, age 58, of Deep Gap, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Born March 8, 1963 in Watauga County, he was a son of the late Creed Allen Greene and Hollie Pauline Church Greene. Russell was a member of Mountain View Baptist Church and was self-employed as a logger and timber cutter. He enjoyed growing a large garden and sharing its bounty with his neighbors and friends. Russell also enjoyed deer hunting and fishing. Since his father passed away Russell has been a great help to his mother.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Amanda Hamby Greene, his mother, Hollie Pauline Church Greene, four sisters, Audrey Pauline Greene and husband Darrell all of Deep Gap, Rose Etta Greene and husband Jimmy Dean of Lenoir, Betsy Ellen Greene Watson and husband R. D. of Deep Gap, and Barbara Kay Greene of Vilas, one brother, Alfred Allen Greene and wife Grace Dean of Ferguson, his father-in-law and mother-in-law,Stanley and Ann Hamby of Deep Gap, and his fur babies, Sonny, Brownie, Smarty, Little One and Piper. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services for Mr. Russell Jackson Greene will be conducted Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 3 PM at Mountain View Baptist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Mike Barfoot, Rev. Gary Shew and Rev. Roy Smith. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 2 until 3 o’clock at Mountain View Baptist Church. Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, in care of Brian Quinlan, 998 Mountain View Baptist Church Road, Deep Gap, NC 28618. THE FAMILY RESPECTFULLY ASKS ATTENDEES TO WEAR MASKS AND OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING, PLEASE.
Online condolences may be shared with the Greene family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Sandra Marie “Sandy” Hagler
1948 – 2021
Sandra Marie Hagler, age 73, woke up in the arms of Jesus on Thursday, September 2 in Boone, North Carolina. Sandra was born a twin to parents Robert and Katherine Wilson Hagler on May 21, 1948 in Bristol, Tennessee. She attended Watauga Consolidated School and was in the first integrated classes at Watauga High School in 1965. Sandra left school and served in the Job Corp where she developed her love of nursing.
Sandy, as she was affectionately known, received her BS in Nursing from Winston Salem State University. She worked as a Registered Nurse for many years. She began her career at Watauga Hospital, also making a lasting impact as one of the best in the profession. She nursed at Glen Bridge Nursing Home and at Health Services at Appalachian State University before retiring from the Watauga County Health Department in 2010 to help care for her twin sister, Louise.
She was a member of the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. She was a member of the choir and was a strong soloist on some of the Choir’s most beloved selections. Sandy founded the women’s missionary group, “The Lydia Society” which championed community improvement, involvement and assistance of community members.
Sandy was an icon for the Junaluska Community. She was an avid historian and a founding member of the Junaluska Heritage Association. Because of her love for history she created documentation of the Boone Community and has been named a very reliable source. In recognition of this hard work and dedication, Sandy was named High Country Woman of the Year in 2013 for preserving Mountain Heritage.
Sandy was a writer and an artist, giving away her beautiful artwork and sharing her talents with the younger generations. Sandy enjoyed quilting, needle work, and crocheting, just to name a few. She instilled in her young nieces and nephews the importance of art, beauty and creativity in their worlds.
Sandy was an excellent cook and baker. For many years, Sandy provided meals for the sick, the shut in and the elderly in the Junaluska Community. She referred to her ministry as “Meals on the Hill”. She would send out plates to make sure community members had at least one hot meal a day. Everyone that walked through her little kitchen doors knew Sandy was all about helping and providing for the people around her.
Sandy’s home became a place of refuge for those without the means of caring for themselves. Many of her grandson’s friends were welcomed into her home. They grew to care and respect her as their own grandmother. She treated them with love and kindness. Sandy exemplified the scripture 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Sandy is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Katherine Wilson Hagler, infant sister, Nellie Corleen, brother, John Lee, her grandmother, Zula Caldwell and a special aunt, Nell Ray.
Sandra leaves to mourn her loving daughter, Catherine Hagler Tester and husband Casey and her beloved grandchildren, Benjamin Hagler and Olivia Hagler-Tester of Cove Creek, NC. Three sisters Roberta Jackson of Boone, NC, her much adored twin Andrea Louise Goins, of Kings Mountain, NC; Mary Horton Denny of Franklinton, NC and one brother Anthony Hagler of Boone, NC. Sandy is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, cousins, family and friends.
Graveside services for Ms. Sandra Hagler will be conducted Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 2 PM at Clarissa Hill Cemetery in Boone, NC. Officiating will be Rev. Mike Mathes of the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church.
Online condolences may be shared with the Hagler family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com.
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Hagler family.
John Samuel McMillan
1945 – 2021
Rev. John Samuel “Sam” McMillan, age 76, of West Jefferson, went home to be with the Lord Thursday, September 2, 2021, at his home. Born August 31, 1945, in Raleigh, NC, he was a son of the late Paul Wilson and Mary Jo Chandler McMillan. Sam was raised from age 7 by his aunt Mrs. Ruby McMillan Ray.
Sam received a BA at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Divinity from Duke University. He was an ordained Methodist minister and served churches in Olivette NC, Marietta NC, Goldsboro, NC, Greenville, NC and Carrboro, NC. In 1979, Sam became an associate minister under Dr. Norman Vincent Peale at Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Ave. in New York City. In 1980, Sam along with his wife, Anita founded His High Places, Inc. a Christian Counseling Ministry which is now located in West Jefferson, NC. In 1981, he and Anita were among five families to pioneer the Banner Elk Christian Fellowship. In 1986 he was ordained as a Foursquare Minister and pioneered All Things Possible Christian Fellowship in Boone, NC. He and Anita are currently members of First Presbyterian Church in Boone.
He is survived by his wife, Anita LaFevers McMillan, stepdaughter Tracey LaFevers Moore and husband H. B. Moore, and their children, Emma Grace Moore Milian and husband Caleb, Harry Ballard “Harrison” Moore, IV and wife Maddie. Also surviving is stepdaughter Paige LaFevers Daniels and husband John Wilbur Daniels and their son, Dawson John Daniels and one sister, Patsy McMillan McArthur, and husband Johnny, and one brother, Paul Douglas McMillan wife Becky. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 16-year-old granddaughter Caroline Paige Daniels.
A Worship service to celebrate the life of Sam McMillan will be conducted Saturday, September 11, 2021, at 1:00 PM at the First Presbyterian Church in Boone. Officiating will be Rev. Jeff Smith, Rev. Scott Plyler and Rev. John Padgett.
The internment will be held after the service at His High Places in West Jefferson, NC with all welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to His High Places, 132 Jarvis Circle, West Jefferson, NC 28684.
Online condolences may be shared with the McMillan family at www.austinandbarnesfuneralhome.com
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the McMillan family.
Cynthia Willcox Lawrence
1953 – 2021
Cynthia Willcox Lawrence, age 68, of Vilas, passed away Thursday, September 2, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center. Born August 28, 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida, she was a daughter of the late Joyce Van Bussum Lawrence and Clinton Brown Lawrence, Jr. Cynthia worked as a property manager for many years, but her .her real passions were gardening and observing the wildlife at her woodland home in Bethel.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Kent Hughes, one son, Spencer Clinton Henderson and wife Joy Davis Henderson, one step-son, Robert Kent Hughes, three grandchildren, Xan Henderson, Caden Henderson and Jack Henderson, one brother, Clinton Brown Lawrence, III and wife Jeanne, and one sister, Carol Brown Lawrence and Linda McCalister and one step brother, Dudley Greene and wife Melinda.
At Cynthia’s request there will be no service.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to PETA, the Nature Conservancy or the World Wildlife Fund.
Online condolences may be shared with the Lawrence family at www.austinandbarensfuneralhome.com.
Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Lawrence family.
Dr. John E. Thomas
April 23, 1931 – September 2, 2021
Dr. John E. Thomas, 90, passed away at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation on September 2, 2021.
He was born on April 23, 1931 in Fort Worth, TX. He earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, a JD in Law, an MS in Research and Development Management, and a Doctorate in Business Administration. He served in both the US Marine Corps and the US Navy. He worked for NASA in various management positions during the late 60’s and early 70’s during the time of the first moon landings.
In 1974 he joined Appalachian State University as the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. In 1979 he was installed as Chancellor, and held that position until 1993. Not one to embrace retirement, he accepted an appointment by the North Carolina Governor to serve in Raleigh as the NC State Utilities Commissioner. After moving back to the High Country, he continued to teach classes in the Walker College of Business at App State until 2004. Throughout his career he volunteered to chair and support countless programs at local, state, and national levels. He was an active member of Kiwanas, the church, and college organizations. The university and the local community mourns the loss of a great man and respected leader. The family mourns the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and cousin.
A Public Memorial Service will be held 12 noon on Saturday September 11, 2021 at Boone United Methodist Church. Live streaming and recordings of the service will also be available through Facebook Live and YouTube.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the Watauga County Humane Society /PO Box 1835 /Boone, NC 28607 or to the Boone United Methodist Church /471 New Market Blvd /Boone, NC 28607.
The family is very thankful for the kind workers at Mountain Home VA, Home Instead, Deerfield Ridge, Glenbridge, Medi Home Hospice, Watauga Medical Center, and Hampton’s Funeral Service.
Betty Ragan Clark
November 17, 1936 – September 05, 2021
Mrs. Betty Ragan Clark, age 84, passed away Sunday, September 5, 2021 in Newport, TN.
She is survived by one son, Michael W. Clark of Allentown, Pennsylvania; one grandson, Michael W. Clark, Jr. of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and one sister Edna Allen of North Carolina. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Emery and Rosa Burkett Ragan, two brothers, Edward Ragan and Ben Ragan and one sister, Martha Ward.
Funeral services for Betty Ragan Clark will be conducted Friday, September 10, 2021 at 1:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Gordon Noble officiating. The body will lie in state from 12:00 until 1:00.
Online condolences may be sent to the Clark Family at www.hamptonfuneralservicenc.com
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced by Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service of Boone.
Online condolences may be sent to the Thomas family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
Verdola Lena Coffey
February 23, 1923 – September 05, 2021
Verdola Lena Coffey age 98, of Granite Falls, NC passed away September 5, 2021 at Amorem Hospice She was born in Boone, NC on February 23, 1923 to the late Earl Coffey and Blanche Berry , and resided in Watauga county for over 40 years.
Verdola worked at various restaurants in Boone until the 80’s. She enjoyed spending time with her kids and grandkids in her later years. She also worked as a personal aid and companion to many elderly individuals in the Boone and Blowing Rock area for many years.
Ms. Coffey was preceded in death by 5 children Chico Coffey, Wayne Coffey, Jackie Coffey, Dewey Coffey and Ronnie Coffey.
She is survived by two daughters Wanda White of Granite Falls and her significant other David Eller of Hudson, and Lena Iannacone and husband Tony Iannacone , of Dallas, N.C., a son Michael Coffey of Granite Falls and a daughter in law Doris Coffey of Granite Falls. Ms. Coffey is also survived by 13 grandchildren , 17 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 2:00 o’clock at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Shane Becton will officiate. Interment will follow in Boone Fork Community Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Roger Oakes, T.J. Iannacone, Jimmy Iannacone, Dawson Conner, John Daugherty and Cody Conner.
The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00, prior to the service at the chapel.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Boone Fork Community Cemetery c/o Don Harrison, 283 Valley High Lane, Blowing Rock, North Carolina 28605 or Amorem Hospice 902 Kirkwood Street Lenoir, North Carolina 28645.
Online condolences may be sent to the Coffey family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
July 18, 1947 – September 6, 2021
Gail Norris, age 74, of Ball Branch Road, Boone passed away Monday, September 6, 2021 at her residence.
She was born July 18, 1947 in Watauga County. A daughter of the late Audna and Chloe Miller Norris.
She is survived by four brothers, Dick Norris of Boone; Bud Norris, of Boone; Joe Norris and wife Joette of Boone and Ted Norris and wife Jeanne of Todd and one sister, Debbie Matheson of Valle Crucis; her nieces and nephews, Jennifer Simons and husband Chris of Todd; Melissa Humphrey of Vilas; Wesley Norris and wife Angel of Boone; Jason Norris and wife Dorian of Todd; Amy Reese and husband Shawn of Vilas; Holly Moore and husband Terry of Vilas; Carl Norris and wife Savannah of Boone and several great-nieces and great-nephews and two aunts Geneva Hayes of Blowing Rock and Irene Reece of Trade, Tennessee.
In addition to her father and mother she was preceded in death by a brother, John Norris, one sister-in-law, Gaye Norris and one brother-in-law, Scottie Matheson.
Graveside services and burial will be conducted Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 10:00 o’clock at Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Reverend Mike Townsend will officiate.
The family respectfully request that mask be worn.
Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Medi Home Hospice, 400 Shadowline Drive Suite 102, Boone, North Carolina 28607.
Online condolences may be sent to the Norris family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
May 3, 1943 – August 29, 2021
Harvey Benfield, age 78, of Newland, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at his residence
Harvey was born on May 3, 1943 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Hale Lewis Benfield and the late Edna Daniels Benfield.
He was a member of the Big Meadows Baptist Church and loved fishing and hunting. He worked for many years as a shrubberyman.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a Son, Brian Benfield, Sister, Hassie Burgin and a Brother, T. J. Benfield.
Harvey leaves behind to cherish his memory Son, Ben Benfield; Three Brothers, Herman Benfield of Elk Park, NC, Sam Benfield of Newland, NC, Hue Benfield of Elk Park, NC; a host of nieces and nephews.
The family will be hosting a service to celebrate Harvey’s life at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 5, 2021 at the homeplace, 2575 Little Plumtree Creek Rd., Newland, NC 28657.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the funeral home to help with expenses.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Benfield family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Harvey and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
February 19, 1943 – August 30, 2021
Rachel Jones, age 78, of Elk Park, North Carolina passed away on Monday, August 30, 2021 at her residence.
Rachel was born on February 19, 1943 in Avery County, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Dayton Newland Jones and the late Oda McGuire Jones.
Rachel graduated from the Cranberry High School in the top percent of her class. She was a member of the Pilgrim Baptist Church and loved caring for her nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by Five Sisters, Geneva Jones Henson, Della Jones Ingram, Willa Jones Bunting, Evelyn McCoury Dunn, Mary Alice Parlier; Two Brothers, Sherrill Jones, Michael Daniel Jones.
Rachel leaves behind to cherish her memory a Brother, Richard (Alma) Jones of Newland, NC; Niece, Tina (Matt) Daniels of Elk Park, NC; Sister-In-Law, Angela Jones of Roan Mountain, TN; Nephew, Allen Ingram of Elk park, NC; Special Great Niece, Maddie Daniels; along with a host of additional nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services for Rachel Jones will be held on Friday, September 3, 2021 at 1:00 pm from the Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home with Pastor Donald Gragg officiating. The family will receive friends beginning at 12:00 pm on Friday at the funeral home.
Interment will be in the Beech Mountain Cemetery.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Jones family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Rachel and her family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
October 13, 1937 – September 5, 2021
Cecil Crawford, age 83, of Banner Elk, North Carolina passed away on Sunday, September 5, 2021 at his residence.
He was born on October 13, 1937 in Avery County, North Carolina, a son of the late Elmer Crawford and the late Ruth Hodges Crawford.
Cecil graduated from Cranberry High School and then joined the United States Air Force. He retired from Cannon Memorial Hospital after 38 years working in the X-Ray Department. He was a member of the Gideons International and was a member of the Fall Creek Baptist Church. Cecil enjoyed farming and gardening. He was always there to lend a helping hand to his friends and neighbors.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: Sister, Jean Ollis; Brother, Jimmy Crawford.
Cecil leaves behind to cherish his memory Wife Pauline Potts Crawford; Daughter, Sharon Gardner of Elk Park, NC; Two Sons, Barry (Beth) Crawford of Elk Park, NC, Dana (Melinda) Crawford of Elk Park, NC; Two Sisters, Betty Fox of Morganton, NC, Helen Buchanan of Morganton, NC; Three Brothers, George (Linda) Crawford of Drexel, NC, Steve (Marcella) Crawford of Morganton, NC, Wayne (Debbie) Crawford of Marion, NC; Two Granddaughters, Kayla (Tommy) Gregg of Hendersonville, NC, Ashley Crawford of Johnson City, TN; Two Grandsons, Rylan Gardner of Elk Park, NC, Joshua Crawford of Johnson City, TN; Two Great-Grandsons, Trevor Gregg, Trent Gregg; Great-Granddaughter, Kasadee Gregg.
Services for Cecil Crawford will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 beginning at 5:00 pm from the Fall Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Jacob Willis officiating. Friends may pay their respects to Cecil and sign his registry from 3:30 pm until 4:30 pm at the church on Wednesday. The family will not be present during the calling hour. The family does request those attending the funeral service please wear a mask. Interment will follow in the Crawford Cemetery with military honors provided by the Pat Ray Post of the VFW.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to Hospice of the Blue Ridge, Home Instead and the friends and family of Fall Creek Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina PO Box 338 Thomasville, NC 27361-9911 or The Gideon’s International, PO Box 92 Newland, NC 28657.
Words of Comfort and Memories may be shared with the Crawford family by visiting our website www.rsfh.net
The care of Cecil and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Rev. Charles Austin
September 26, 1934 – September 6, 2021
Rev. Charles Austin, age 86, Pastor of Midway Holiness Church went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, September 6, 2021.
He is survived by his loving wife, of 58 years, Sonja Austin. In addition to his wife, left to cherish his many precious memories are his children, Marina (David) Guinn of Elk Park, NC, Steve (Robin) Austin of Henson Creek, NC, Rodney (Julie) Austin of Newland, NC, and Charity (Scott) Martin of Hendersonville, NC. Seven grandsons, Chase Clark, Chad (Jessica) Clark, Corey (Sara) Guinn, Christian Austin, Hunter Guinn, Chandler Austin, and Colt Austin. Three granddaughters Courtney (Jason) Burleson, Carly Austin, and Channing Martin. Four great-grandsons Caleb Clark, Chance Clark, Caspar Clark, Titus Guinn, and one great-granddaughter Chloe Clark.
A private graveside service will be held at Johnson Cemetery on Thursday September 9, 2021 at 11:00 am.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.rsfh.net
The care of Charles and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.