The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 5, 2012

Obituaries - Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012

Luke Silas Baber

Luke Silas Baber, 22, of Oak Hill, died Aug. 28, 2012.

Born May 20, 1990, at Bethesda, Md., he was the son of Darrell Kendall and Diana Louise Mirando Baber of Oak Hill.

He was a short order cook for Long John Silver’s.

Luke was a 2008 graduate of Oak Hill High School.

Surviving, in addition to his parents: a brother, Skye Kendall Baber of Oak Hill; a sister, Sara Louise Baber of Oak Hill; paternal grandmother, Dorothy Burgess Baber of Oak Hill; and maternal grandmother, Mary Mirando of Anchorage, Alaska.

Mr. Baber was cremated. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Norma Celeste Barley

Norma Celeste Barley, 88, of Maple Fork, died Sept. 1, 2012, following a short illness.

Born Nov. 27, 1923, in Baltimore, Md., she was the daughter of the late Elmo D. and Velma Foote Griffin, and sister to the late George H., Elmo J. and Walter F. Griffin, all of Baltimore.

Celeste lived on a farm in Virginia during the Depression, but returned to Baltimore, where she graduated from McHenry High School.

Celeste was working jobs in Baltimore to aid with the war effort, when she met the love of her life, Johnnie Mitchell “Mitch” Barley, a Navy Seabee returning from his tour in the Philippines. They were married on Aug. 10, 1946, and afterward settled in Maple Fork.

Celeste worked numerous jobs, including jobs at Barley’s Service Station, Barley’s Market, and as a teller for the Mount Hope Bank, from which she retired in 1980.

Celeste was a faithful prayer warrior and was a member of the Cranberry Baptist Church, where she will be missed by her church family.

Surviving: nieces and nephews that she loved as her own, including her nephew and caretaker, Paul Barley and his wife, Judy, and their three sons (all affectionately referring to her as “Unkie S”), Matt and his wife, Roberta, and sons, Caleb and Isaac, with which she made her home, Skee and his wife, Teresa, and Bobby Barley and their children, all of Maple Fork, Vernon and Dixie Barley, Bob and Elizabeth Tyree, Karen Barley, Carlos and Ruth Lilly, and all their families; and her special friends, Clarice Bailey and Sharon Kay Harsanyi, both of Prosperity, are among the numerous friends and family that will miss her.

Funeral services will be Thursday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Tyree Funeral Home in Mount Hope, with Pastor Roger E. Pauley officiating. Burial will follow in the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, where great-nephews will respectfully serve as pallbearers.

Donations in honor of Celeste may be made to the Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.

Isaac Hunter Boggs

On Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, Heaven received another special angel, Isaac Hunter Boggs. A life on earth was not to be for this special little one, but he will rest in the arms of Jesus with his sister, Karson Rebecca, and will forever be in the hearts of those that loved him so.

Isaac Hunter will be greatly missed by his mommy and daddy, Michael and Shauna Legg Boggs of Scarbro; a sister, Chastity; brothers, Logan, Connor and Dalton; loving grandparents, Freddie and Becky Legg, Dalton and Roberta Boggs; and great-grandparents, Merida Legg and Pauline Boggs, along with many other family members.

Graveside service was held Sept. 2 at High Lawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill with Rev. Rudell Bloomfield officiating. Burial followed in the memorial park.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent at

Arrangements by O’Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

James D. Bragg Sr.

James D. Bragg Sr., 78, of Summerville, S.C., husband of Patricia “Cookie” Bragg, died in his home Aug. 29, 2012.

Jim was born May 7, 1934, in Hawks Nest, the son of the late James Braxton Bragg Sr. and Hattie Webb Bragg. He also was preceded in death by his first wife, Joan R. Bragg; a son, Charles Leslie Bragg; a brother, Terrance Lee Bragg; and an infant sister.

He was an active member at Summerville Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and was on many church committees.  

He was a successful railroad contractor and the owner of Brason Construction Company.

Surviving: his wife, Cookie Bragg; sisters, Mary Jean Wilson of Ansted, and Effie Bragg Abrahamson of Conyers, Ga.; brother, James B. Bragg Jr. of Conyers; sons, Victor Rae Blackmon (Joyce) of Franklin, Texas, J. Dale Bragg Jr., Michael E. Bragg, and Scott R. Bragg, all of Summerville; grandchildren, Kimberly Bragg Hart (Keith) of Tega Cay, S.C., Chris Bragg Richardson (Matt) of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jason Bragg of Summerville, Jonathan Bragg (Danielle) of Schweinsurt, Germany, Courtney Bragg Link (Michael) of Summerville, Hattie Bragg of Macon, Ga., Michael Bragg Jr. of Summerville, and Christina, Garrett, Rachel, Evan, and Ethan Blackmon of Franklin, Texas; and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Sept. 1 at the Summerville Presbyterian Church. Rev. Larry Duncan, assisted by Dr. Mike Shelton, officiated the service. Entombment was at Summerville Cemetery Mausoleum.

Memorials may be made to Summerville Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 407 South Laurel Street, Summerville, SC 29483.

Arrangements by Parks Funeral Home, Summerville, S.C.

Michael Lee Bryson

Michael Lee Bryson, 32, of Oak Hill, died Aug. 31, 2012, as a result of an automobile accident.

A memorial service will be at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent at

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

George Lee Copley

George Lee Copley, 87, of Sherwood, Ark., died Aug. 22, 2012.

He was born Feb. 1, 1925, in Clifftop, the son of the late George and Minnie Moody Copley. He also was preceded in death by his sisters, Lilly Lowery and Lena Smith.  

Mr. Copley was a World War II Marine Corps veteran.

He was a man devoted to God and a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Surviving: his wife, Aileen Copley; son, Dan Copley; daughter, Diane Copley; daughter-in-law, Teresa Copley; grandsons, Danny Copley, Terry Copley, Tommy Copley and Michael Hartsuff; great-grandchildren, Aiden Copley, Noelle Copley and Nicholas Copley; brothers, James Copley and Tom Copley; and sister, Mable McCarraher.

Please visit to sign the online guest register.

Rufus Jackson Dempsey

Rufus Jackson Dempsey, 88, of Fayetteville, died Sept. 1, 2012, at his home, following a long illness.

Born Sept. 15, 1923, at Vanetta, he was the son of the late Roy Houston and Nocho Rona Bragg Dempsey.

Mr. Dempsey was a World War II Army veteran, and had retired from West Virginia Department of Highways.

He was also a member of Salem Road Freewill Baptist Church of Gatewood.

Surviving: his wife, Jane Martin Dempsey of Fayetteville; daughter, Brittany Dempsey, at home; daughter-in-law, Juanita Blevins of Fayetteville; four sons, Wayne Justice (Brooke) of Ramsey,  Brian Dempsey (Patricia) of Princeton, Mark Dempsey (Glenna) of Beckley, Bradley Dempsey (Melissa) of Princeton; and grandchildren, Brianna Blevins and Isaiah Sneed.

Graveside services were Sept. 4 at Martin Family Cemetery, Victor, with Pastor Billy Gillman officiating.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace of Ansted.

Zella Frances Sexton Epperly

Zella (also known as Della) Epperly, 95, of Fayetteville, died Aug. 18, 2012, at the Bowers Hospice House, after a long illness.

Zella was born on June 10, 1917, at White Top, Va., daughter of the late John Henry Sexton and Rosa Victoria Barker Sexton. She also was preceded in death by her husband, Hollis D. Epperly Sr.; her daughter and son-in-law, Janice Lecates and Rev. Bruce Lecates; an infant daughter, Celia Epperly;  sons, Hollis D. Epperly Jr., and Dennis Edwin Epperly; son-in-law, Mike Jacobs; a sister, Willia Sexton Epperly; brothers, Rev. Willis Sexton, Arnold Sexton, and Delmar Sexton; and granddaughters, Pamela Linda Epperly and Michelle Epperly.

She was a homemaker and professional seamstress.

Zella was a member of the Pilgrim Holiness/Wesleyan Church of Fayetteville from the time of her youth until approximately 1990 when she joined the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene.

Surviving: sons, Dale Epperly and wife Judy of Fayetteville, Jack Epperly and wife Linda of South Charleston, Bill Epperly and wife Pam of Jackson, Mich.; daughters Cherrill Jacobs of Zanesville, Ohio, and Marcia Neil and her husband, Robert, of Fayetteville, with whom she had made her home for the past year; sisters, Emma Sexton of Oak Hill and Rosella Goss of Jackson, Mich.; 28 grandchildren, 52 great-grandchildren, 28 great-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of her life was held Aug. 25 at the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene, with Rev. Jerry Bush officiating. Burial followed in Huse Memorial Park at Fayetteville.

It is the family’s request that donations be made to the Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Edward ‘Eddie’ Fisher

Edward “Eddie” Fisher, 51, of Nallen, died Sept. 1, 2012, of a massive heart attack.

Born April 11, 1961, in Beaver County, Pa., he was the son of the late Edward C. and Anne Fisher. He also was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Fisher.

He was a supervisor for McDonald’s Restaurants covering Fayette, Nicholas, and Greenbrier counties. Also, he was a member of Life Bridge Church of Oak Hill.

Surviving: his wife, Deborah Fisher of Nallen; son, James Harvey and wife Shannon of North Carolina; grandson, Aubrey Harvey of North Carolina; brother, Randolph Fisher and wife Cathy of New Brighton, Pa.; sisters, Pricilla Micinko and husband Joe of Beaver, Pa., Sandra Hood of Aliquippa, Pa., Penny Kiliany and husband Ed of Fayetteville, and Deborah Stacho and husband Wayne of Center Twp., Pa.; and his extended family and his four-legged family consisting of Max, Zeus and Barney.

A visitation was held Sept. 4, at Life Bridge Church, Oak Hill. A memorial celebration of his life was held at the church immediately following the visitation with Rev. Shirlie Watson officiating. Per Eddie’s request, he was cremated.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Mary Frances Gill

Mary Frances Gill, 76, of Oak Hill, died Aug. 26, 2012, at Raleigh General Hospital, after a short illness.

Born April 30, 1936, at Rumble, she was the daughter of the late Roy and Florence (Beverly) Ashley. She also was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Manuel Gill, on Aug. 10, 2008; her eldest son, Donald Joe Gill; a sister, Margaret Givens; and her brother, Roy Gene Ashley.

Mrs. Gill was a Certified Nursing Assistant, working at several nursing homes, before being disabled.

Surviving: her daughter, Anita C. Gill of Oak Hill; daughter-in-law, Janet Lynn Gill of Berea, Ky.; sons, Manuel L. Gill of Oak Hill, Mark A. Gill and his wife, Tina Lynn Gill, of East Bend, N.C., Juan R. Gill and his wife, Brooke Gill, of Berea, Ky., and Al “Chubbs” Jennings Jr. of Oak Hill; sister, Virginia Bess and her husband, Alton Bess, of Fayetteville, N.C.; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild due in February 2013.

Funeral was Aug. 30 at High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill, with Rev. Loretta Taylor officiating.  Entombment followed in High Lawn Memorial Park.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Betty Kuhl

Betty Kuhl, 51, of Mount Hope, died Aug. 30, 2012.

A memorial service to celebrate her life was held Sept. 4 at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville.

Online condolences may be sent at

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


Kathleen Alma Hamm Meredith

Kathleen Alma Hamm Meredith, 84, of Oak Hill, died Aug. 26, 2012, at her home.

Born Oct. 2, 1927, at Montgomery, she was the daughter of the late Henry and Emma Davis Hamm. Her husband, John J. Meredith; a daughter, Brenda Kay Meredith Wilby; and a sister, Louise Myers, also preceded her in death.

She was a homemaker.

Mrs. Meredith was a member of the Oak Hill Seniors and various clubs throughout her lifetime.

Surviving: daughters, Robin Richardson of Montgomery and Carolyn Sue Bowe of Fort Myers, Fla.; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Aug. 31, at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill, with Pastor Mack Canterbury officiating. Burial was at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneral

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Loretta F. Williams

Loretta F. Williams, 77, of Oak Hill, died Aug. 31, 2012, at Bowers Hospice House in Beckley following an extended illness.

Born Feb. 25, 1935, at Rockford, she was the daughter of the late Betsy and Edison O. Law.

Loretta attended school in Harrison County, graduating from Lost Creek High School, class of 1953.

She worked at Melts Men’s Clothing Store in Clarksburg before her marriage in 1958, later moving to Morgantown, Madison, and later to Oak Hill, where she retired from Fayette County Board of Education. She served 16 years as cook for Oak Hill High School, loving and enjoying preparing and serving meals for the students.

Loretta was a member and attended the Oak Hill United Methodist Church. She served on the Church Altar Guild and active in 3 Fs ladies church group.

She was also a member of the Fayette County Retired Teachers Association.

Surviving: her husband, Karl Williams; a brother, Edison (Phyllis) Law of Rockford; a niece, Betsy (Mike) Hale, and daughter Deborah of Westfield, Pa.; nephews, Richard (Tina) Law and children Lisa and Matthew, and Fred (Mary Ruth) Law and children Seth, Caleb and Ashley; a brother-in-law, Clifford (Sue) Williams of Johnstown; nephews, Mike (Cindy) Williams and daughter Lori Williams of Clarksburg, and Kevin (Linda) Williams and son Cole of Johnstown.

Funeral services were Sept. 4 at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, with Dr. Charles D. Miller and Rev. William Slates officiating. Graveside rites and burial followed at the Johnstown United Methodist Church Cemetery at Johnstown, with Rev. William Kniceley officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801, or the Oak Hill United Methodist Church Choir, 250 Main Street, Oak Hill, WV 25901.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Peggy Workman

Peggy Workman died Aug. 30, 2012.

Born June 4, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Bill and Irene Workman. She also was preceded in death by her little brother, Jimmy.

Peggy was a good soul and loved everyone and she loved her church, the Boomer Baptist Church. She will be missed and never forgotten.

Surviving: her siblings and their families, Bill and Becky Workman and son Jason, Louise and Jack Case and daughter Kristie, Dee and Les Bolen, Barb and Brian Parrott and son Dustin, and Mary and Harry Cook; and extended family.

A memorial service was held Sept. 2, at O’Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent at

Arrangements by O’Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.