The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

December 4, 2013

Obituaries — Thursday, December 5, 2013


Leona Jean Aaron

 Leona Jean Aaron, 63, of Oak Hill, died Dec. 2, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley.

Born Jan. 22, 1950, at Montgomery, she was the daughter of the late James Alton and Margaret Couch Aaron. She also was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Shaler and Leona Couch; paternal grandparents, Sammy and Rosa Lee Aaron; aunt, Nancy Couch; and uncles, Joe Couch and Charlie Couch.

Jean was a medical transcriptionist.

She was a former dietary supervisor at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley and district manager for P.M.T, Inc.

She was a 1967 graduate of Collins High School in Oak Hill and attended the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene.    

Surviving: a brother, Aulton Aaron and wife Pat of Oak Hill, their daughter, Jennifer Renick and husband, Danny and children, Destini, Alexys and Danny III, all of Scarbro; aunts and uncles, Edna, Tommy and Bob Nasby of Beckley, Katie and Al Wiggins of Bridgeport, Melvin and Mildred Crouch of Indiana, Wanda Couch of North Carolina and Barbara Couch of Indiana; niece, Helena and Daniel Stone and their children, Montana and Bethany; special friends, Nikki and Tommy Burgess of South Carolina as well as many other family and friends.

Jean will be missed by her dog, Maggie.

Funeral services will be on Friday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Rev. Mackie Million officiating. Burial will be at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Visitation will be held at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.



Gary Lee Adkins

Gary Lee Adkins, 36, of Pax, died Nov. 25, 2013. He drowned doing what he loved to do the most, hunting with his two stepsons.

Born in Kanawha County, he was the son of Connie J. Adkins and the late David K. Walker. He also was preceded in death by a cousin, Steve (Flame) Adkins; and his grandparents, Cecil and Opal Adkins.

Gary loved to hunt, fish and many other outdoor adventures. He was a well-loved person and will be sadly missed.

Surviving: his wife, Kacy L. Adkins; daughter, Amber Nicole Adkins; stepdaughter, Samantha Lockhart; stepsons, Johnny and Jordan Inman; mother, Connie Adkins; brother, Brian Adkins; and many close friends and family members.

Service was Nov. 30 at High Lawn Funeral Chapel, Oak Hill. Burial followed in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Dawes Mountain.



Eugene ‘Gene’ Clyde Allen

Eugene “Gene” Clyde Allen,  61, of Oak Hill, died Nov. 26, 2013, at Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill.

Born Dec. 17, 1951, at Oak Hill, he was the son of the late Eugene Earl and Pearl Mankin Allen.

He was a furniture salesman for John W. Eye Company.

Gene was a member of the Oak Hill Baptist Church.

He was a graduate of Collins High School in Oak Hill.

A brother, John Allen of Oak Hill, survives.

In accordance with his wishes, Gene was cremated. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.



Olivia Shannon Burley

Olivia Shannon Burley became an angel at birth on Nov. 25, 2013, at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

She was the precious daughter of Darren Gene and Natalie Shuff Burley of Oak Hill, and sister to Teagan Blankenship. She also is survived by paternal grandmother, Freema Burley of Oak Hill; and maternal grandmother, Maxine Shuff of Ames Heights.

A memorial service to commemorate her birth was held Dec. 1 at Fellowship Memorial Baptist Church, Oak Hill, with Sharon Hughes officiating.

Private burial will be held by her Mom and Dad.

Online condolences may be sent at www.doddpaynehessfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville.



Raymond L. Burnett

Raymond L. Burnett, 87, of Meadow Bridge, died following a long illness on Nov. 28, 2013, at the Raleigh Center in Daniels.

Born Sept. 20, 1926, at Lawton, he was a son of the late Frank P. and Matilda A. Harmon Burnett. He also was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine Grimmett Burnett; sisters, Doris Ann Burnett and Garnett S. Holliday; and brothers, Ray, Roy and Ralph Burnett.

He was a member of the Meadow Bridge Missionary Baptist Church where he enjoyed attending Sunday school and church as long as his health permitted.

He also was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving his country in the Pacific during the Pearl Harbor invasion.

Raymond retired from Union Carbide after 35 years of service.

Surviving: sister, Eula Vire Tread of Virginia; brother, Robert F. Burnett and wife Peggy of Hilltop; stepson, David Olen Grimmett of Virginia; sister-in-law, Peggy Burnette of Meadow Bridge; and several stepgrandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Funeral service was held Dec. 2 at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Pastor Mike Whisman officiating. Burial followed in the Restwood Memorial Gardens.

Online condolences may be sent at www.ronaldmeadowsfp.com.

Arrangements by Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.



Marion Ruth Carte

Marion Ruth Carte, 92, of Hico, died Nov. 27, 2013.

Born Aug. 4, 1921, at Clifty, she was the last surviving sibling of her immediate family. She also was preceded in death by two sons, Franklin and Kenneth.

She was a member of Shady Grove Methodist Church where she attended for 85 years.

She loved making quilts and working puzzle books.

She loved her family passionately and cherished every moment with them.

Surviving: her daughter, Eilene Campbell and husband Robert; sons, Donald Carte and wife Dora Ann and Richard Carte and wife Rose, all of Hico; grandchildren, Barbara Weston of Deltona, Fla., Carol Carte of Fayetteville, Teresa Stephenson and Rob Campbell, both of Hico, Kevin Carte of Fayetteville, Travis Carte of Hico, Tammy Knox of Fayetteville, and Mindy Carte of Hico. She also is survived by 17 great-grandchildren and she was awaiting the birth of her first great-great-granddaughter. She also is survived by many nieces, nephews and friends.

Services were Dec. 1 at Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Ansted with Pastor Freddie Parkins officiating. Burial followed in Legg Cemetery on Stringtown Road.

Online condolences may be sent at wallaceandwallacefh.com.

Arrangements by Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Ansted.



Clarence L. ‘Junior’ Craft Jr.

Clarence L. “Junior” Craft Jr., 53, of Oak Hill, died Nov. 29, 2013, at Bowers Hospice House in Beckley.

Born March 30, 1960, in Oak Hill, he was the son of the late Clarence Sr. and Orpha Greer Craft.

Junior was a graduate of Collins High School and owner/operator of a market in Oak Hill.

Surviving: his sisters, Orpha Keel and her husband, John, of Gresham, Ore., and their son, Jay Keel, and his wife, Jennifer, and their son, Lucas, all of Indio, Calif., and Bettye Craft and her husband, Page Howard, and their children, Katie and Matthew, all of Lakewood, Wash.

Junior will be cremated and a committal service will be held at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill, at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.



Anna Lee (Epperly) Elkins

Anna Lee (Epperly) Elkins, 87, of Wood Road, Fayetteville, died Nov. 29, 2013, at the Hilltop Center following a long illness.

Born April 8, 1926, she was the youngest daughter of the late Benjamin Franklin Epperly, who was a student and teacher at the Fayetteville Academy, and her beloved mother, Ida Virginia (Burnside) Epperly. She also was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Lloyd Elkins Jr.; brothers, Martin, Lewis, Basil, Arnold, Ralph and Leslie; and sisters, Kathleen, Arvilla, and Evelyn.

Anna was a retired employee of Fayette County Board of Education after 14 years as a custodian working at Fayetteville Middle School and Oak Hill High School.

Surviving: her son, Roger Lee Elkins Sr. and wife Shirley of Fayetteville; her grandchildren, Roger Jr. and wife Patti of Oak Hill, Leah of Iola, Kan., Kimberlee of Fayetteville, and Charles of North Carolina; and great-grandchildren, Colton, Kaylyn, Matthew, Shandale, and Alyssa.

Anna was a gift of life donor to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. It was her wish that no services be held.

Online condolences may be sent at www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com.



Mary Ruth Freeman

Services for Mary Ruth Freeman, 79, of East Dublin, Ga., were Nov. 30, 2013, at the First Independent Methodist Church with Rev. Paul Brown officiating. Burial followed in Dublin Memorial Gardens.

Mrs. Freeman was born in Clifftop, and was preceded in death by her parents, Richard Persinger and Mary Evelyn Persinger; and her siblings, Loretta Myles, Nora Dooley, Richard Persinger, Harold Persinger and David Persinger.

She was a member of First Independent Methodist Church and was a homemaker.

Surviving: children, Linda (John) Davis of Dublin, Jackie Hedrick, Danny Daniel, Mary Wall, Crystal Ingram, Steve (Kim) Rogers, Robin Jones and Greg Ward, all of East Dublin, and Richard Ward of York, Pa.; and siblings, James (Kay) Persinger, Connie Edwards, Barbara Lavender and Melissa Persinger, all of Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at www.townsendfuneralhome.com.



Norman Stanley Gunter

Norman Stanley Gunter, 81, of Backus Mountain, Meadow Bridge, died Nov. 27, 2013, at his home following a short battle with cancer.

Born Oct. 24, 1932, in Summers County, he was the son of the late Lundy and Jessie Roark Gunter. He also was preceded in death by his brother, Steve Gunter.

Stanley served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955. He loved his work on the water and so he went to the Great Lakes working on barges hauling iron and steel.

Stanley enjoyed repairing watches, guns, and knives and enjoyed fishing.

Surviving: his wife of 57 years, Norma Harmon Gunter; his children, Larry (Sharon), Robert (Christi), Chris (Jamie), Patrick (Leslie) and Misty Gwinn (Nicky), all of Meadow Bridge, and Warren (Brenda) of Dawson; brother, Garth and his wife, Drema, of Hump Mountain, Lockbridge; grandchildren, Ashley, Stanley, Christopher, Emily, Kaitlyn, Cameron, Gus, Kinsely, Gage and Alexis; and great-grandchildren, Jacob and Landin.

There will be no services at this time. As per Stanley’s request, the body was cremated.

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.



George Edwin Gwinn

George Edwin Gwinn, 64, of Red Star, died at his home on Nov. 28, 2013.

Born Sept. 23, 1949, at Red Star, he was the son of the late Lawrence and Charlotte Bell Gwinn. He also was preceded in death by sisters, Louise Bell, Patricia Bowen and Susie Sarver; and a brother, Lawrence Gwinn.

George was a drywall contractor.

He was a member of the Carlisle Church of God and the Mount Hope Lions Club.

He was a 1968 graduate of Mount Hope High School.

Surviving: daughter, Denise Crookshanks of Princeton; son, Adam Gwinn of Lewisburg; grandchildren, Ethan, Raelyn, Mason and Brayden; brother, Gary Gwinn and his wife, Sharon, of Kilsyth; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were Dec. 2 at Tyree Funeral Home Chapel in Mount Hope with Rev. Richard Allen officiating. Burial followed at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.



Thomas W. Howard

Thomas W. Howard, 91, of Mount Hope, died Nov. 25, 2013, at his residence.

Born Feb. 11, 1922, in Mount Hope, he was the son of the late Charles E. and Gwendolyn “Gwen” Williams Howard. He also was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Sibray Howard.

Mr. Howard was a 1939 graduate of Mount Hope High School and studied a year at Greenbrier Military Institute and went on to West Virginia University, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mining Engineering.

He served his country during World War II, fighting in the Pacific Theatre aboard the LST 880.

Mr. Howard was a member of the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church where he served for many years as a deacon, trustee and teacher of the Men’s Bible Class.

He was an avid pilot, learning to fly as a teenager, and became an instrument and commercial rated private pilot. He regularly flew various aircraft for business and pleasure until about the age of 80. He was an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish.

His work has always been in the coal industry. In 1961, while serving as chief engineer for The New River Company in Mount Hope, he formed his own consulting engineering firm, Thomas W. Howard, Inc. The company served clients in West Virginia, surrounding states and occasionally abroad.

In 1970 Mr. Howard became general manager of Beaver Coal Company, Ltd., and served in that capacity for over 20 years. He also served on the Beaver Management Corporation’s board of directors for many years.

He was a Registered Professional Engineer, ‘Legion of Honor’ member of the Society of Mining Engineers and served on the West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. His overall contributions to the coal business are well recognized by all in the industry. He was assisted by his longtime secretary, office manager and assistant, Margaret Bickford. In 2010, Mr. Howard was inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.

Surviving: his children, Thomas W. Howard II, M.D., and his wife, Jan, of Hurricane, Linda Howard Brown and husband Steve of Mount Hope, and Charles Howard and his wife, Lorna Waddell, of Morgantown; grandchildren, Thomas W. Howard III, M.D., Victor Alex Howard, M.D., James Grant Howard, William Brett Brown, Will Howard and Charley Howard; and his sister, Patricia (Pat) Spickard of Shelbyville, Ky.

Funeral services were held Nov. 29 at the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Elizabeth Stone officiating. Entombment followed at High Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, Oak Hill.

Donations of sympathy can be made to the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, 412 Main Street, Mt. Hope, WV 25880, or to the Greater Mount Hope Community Fund, 211 Bluestone Road, Mt. Hope, WV 25880.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mt. Hope.



Jayden Lee Mullins

Jayden Lee Mullins, 2 weeks, died Nov. 28, 2013, in the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley.

Born Nov. 14, 2013, in the Raleigh General Hospital at Beckley, he was the son of Emma Bumgarner and Rodney Mullins.

Other family surviving are his big sister, Alexis Mullins of Danese; grandparents, Robert Bumgarner of Danese, Debbie Bumgarner of Meadow Bridge, and Beverly and Tim Ballenger of Danese; his aunt Tijah Bumgarner and uncle Dan Carlisle of Charleston, aunt Tanya Ballenger and aunt Chassity Ballenger, both of Danese, and lots of extended family and friends.

Services were Dec. 2 at Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., with Ronnie Patterson officiating. Burial followed in the Patton Memorial Cemetery at Meadow Bridge.

Emma and Rodney request that donations of sympathy be made to Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801, or the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 800 Pennsylvania Avenue, Charleston, WV 25302.

Online condolences may be sent at www.smathersfuneralchapelinc.com.

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.



Michael Stephen Settle

Michael Stephen Settle, 52, of Dempsey Road, Fayetteville, died Nov. 21, 2013, at his residence.

Born Sept. 16, 1961, in Ashland, Ohio, he was the son of the late Ira and Theressa Dodd Settle. He also was preceded in death by his wife, Melissa Cara Toney Settle, and by a nephew, Jeremy Rinehart.

Michael was a truck driver in the coal industry.

He was an avid fisherman and hunter and a member of the NRA.

Surviving: his beloved son, Brandon Michael Settle of Fayetteville; his sisters, Martha Sandy Shenberger of Ashland, Ohio, and Nina “Kitty” Laughery and Yvette “Vesty” Wilshire, both of Oak Hill; his nephews, Jason Rinehart, Monnie Laughery, Michael Laughery and Christopher Laughery; and his niece, Tonya Dudley.

Funeral services were held Nov. 25 at the Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, with Rev. Delmas Wolfe officiating. Burial followed in the Settle Cemetery.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.



Dawn Joyce Blankenship Tharp

Dawn Joyce Blankenship Tharp, 62, of Mount Hope, died Dec. 1, 2013, at her home.

Born July 3, 1951, at Richwood, she was the daughter of the late Curtis Blankenship and Nina  Blankenship Mullens.

She was a homemaker.

Ms. Tharp attended the Rock Assembly Church, now the Day Star Church at Kilsyth.

Surviving: daughter, Needra Adkins and husband Matthew of Oak Hill; son, Nathan Tharp and wife Becky of Camden-on-Gauley; and grandchildren, Mark Adkins, Blake Adkins, Thomas Stanley and Madison Tharp.

Ms. Tharp was cremated. No visitation or service is planned at this time.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.



Esther I. Edwards Zwicharowski

Esther I. Edwards Zwicharowski, 80, of Oak Hill, died Nov. 25, 2013, at Hidden Valley Nursing and Rehab Center in Oak Hill.

Born Nov. 1, 1933, at Elmhurst, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Walter L. and Valeda I. Rodney Edwards.

Esther was married to Louis Zwicharowski, who preceded her in death in November of 1983. She also was preceded in death by her siblings, Carrie Held, Mary Coughlin, Jennet Scott, Richard Edwards and William Edwards.

Esther worked over 17 years as a deli manager at Giant Food in Maryland where she retired in 2001.

She loved baseball, was a very independent person, could build and repair anything, was a wonderful cook, and had a big heart to help others in need.

Surviving: her children, Thomas Butler and wife Debbie of Elmhurst, Cindy Schiller and husband Scott of Olney, Md., Luann Jeffries and husband Rick of Oak Hill and Mark Zwicharowski and wife Carrie of Hagerstown, Md.; sister, Alice Parola of Elmhurst; grandchildren, Michele Toy, Jamie Hula and husband Steve, Brian Schiller, Morgen Ryan and Kyle Zwicharowski; great-grandchildren, James and Jacob Toy; and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Thomas McClung officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service. She will be buried at a later date in Maryland.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.