The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.


April 10, 2014

Obituaries — Thursday, April 10, 2014

Melisa Adkins Bennett

Melisa Adkins Bennett, 54, of Fayetteville, died April 2, 2014, at Hilltop Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Hilltop, after a long fight with cancer.

Born Dec. 31, 1959, at Bluefield, she was the daughter of the late Carl and Evelyn Grose Adkins. Her husband, Stacy Wade Bennett, also preceded her in death.

She was a registered nurse, having worked for the Burgaw Nursing Center in Burgaw, N.C.

Mrs. Bennett was a member of the Oak Hill United Methodist Church.

Surviving: daughter, Shelli Davis of Fayetteville; son, Justin Bennett of Beckley; and grandchildren, Savannah Lowery of Graham, N.C., and Gage Vest of Chattanooga, Tenn.

In keeping with her wishes, Mrs. Bennett was cremated. There will be no visitation or service.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

James (Jim) Lee Brooks

James (Jim) Lee Brooks died peacefully at home in West Florence Township, Lake City, Minn., on March 28, 2014, twenty months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer.

He was born at home in rural Fayette County on Feb. 10, 1945, the fifth of seven children of the late William Gareth Brooks and Mamie Ruth (Browning) Brooks. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Joan (Lee) Canterbury.

The family farmed, mined and owned a small saw mill. He grew up swimming, playing basketball, fishing the New River and tramping the woods.  

The Brooks family were avid readers. Both his parents and all seven children received post-secondary education. Jim graduated from Fayetteville High School, and West Virginia University with a degree in forestry.

His forestry career began in West Virginia, where he worked on oak wilt control. In 1977 he was hired by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, to run its Insect and Disease Program, and was instrumental in garnering funds for Dutch Elm Disease control.

He went on to serve as Assistant and Acting State Forester, and was responsible for revamping the state’s Forest Management Act in the early 1980s. He concluded his Minnesota DNR career in Rochester, where he supervised all the state’s forest management programs in the southern third of Minnesota.

After retiring in 2006, Jim built a successful forestry consulting business by helping area woodland owners manage their land and market their timber. He was a long time member of the Society of American Foresters, who recognized him as a “Fellow” in 1989 for his contributions to the profession.

Jim believed in service to others. He was an active and beloved member of the Wabasha United Church of Christ; he served on the University of Minnesota Extension Committee of Goodhue County; he was a fervent supporter of 4-H.

He chose sobriety, and helped countless others to achieve a clean and sober life through the spiritual fellowship of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, wherein he had many important, abiding friendships.

A devoted family man, Jim loved his wife, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and in-laws. He enjoyed family reunions, hunting, and sharing good food and stories with them all.

He was a student of politics, financial planning and the stock market.

He, his wife and their daughter Amelia, raised, trained, trialed and showed nationally recognized purebred Australian Cattle Dogs under the kennel name Hillhaven for over 20 years. Jim was very fond of his dogs, and forged close ties with other dog fanciers.

Surviving: his loving wife of 30 years, Louanne Stacey (Ditchett) Brooks; son John (Sheli) William Brooks; daughters, Amelia Ruth Brooks and Joanna Lee Benson; his brothers and sisters, Jerry Brooks, Robert (Louise) Brooks, Mary Jane (Olen) Caldwell, Linda Cosby and Kay (Gary) Jeffries; his grandchildren, Summer Benson, Parker Benson, Allie Perlowski and Madeline Brooks; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration of life will be held at the Wabasha United Church of Christ, 317 2nd St. W., Wabasha, Minn. at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 19. Visitation with family and friends will be at the church beginning at 9:30 a.m.; lunch, fellowship and time to share stories will follow the service at the church.  Bring a picture to share if you have one. Private burial will be at a later date.

Memorials are preferred to Red Wing Home Care and Hospice, PO Box 134, Red Wing, MN 55066 and CaringBridge, Donation Processing Center, PO Box 6032, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or at

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