The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

May 15, 2014

Obituaries — Thursday, May 15, 2014

By C.V. Moore
For The Fayette Tribune

MOUNT HOPE — Michael E. Ashworth

Michael E. Ashworth, 71, of Prescott, Ariz., was born May 19, 1942, in Boomer, and passed away May 5, 2014, at the VA Hospital in Prescott, Ariz.

Michael attended Gauley Bridge High School and West Virginia University.

He was commissioned through AFROTC into the United States Air Force and was serving his country when he was involved in a disabling motorcycle accident.

He then lived with his parents, Edward and Wilhelmina Ashworth, and has been in the care of the Prescott VA Hospital for the past seven years.

He is survived by his mother, Wilhelmina M. Ashworth, and his brother, Jeffrey C. Ashworth.

A brief service will be held at the VA Hospital in Prescott and will be scheduled for a later date.

Earnest L. Gardner

Earnest Lee Gardner, 56, of Thayer, died May 11, 2014, at CAMC Memorial Division, Charleston, following an extended illness.

Born Dec. 24, 1957, at Beckley, he was the son of the late Bobby Gardner and Deloris Ward Gardner. He also was preceded in death by his grandson, Brandon Wayne Gardner; a sister, Linda Kincaid; and a brother, Bobby Eugene Gardner II.

Earnie was a retired self-employed tree trimmer and a former employee for Oak Hill Sanitation.

Surviving: his wife, Thelma L. Gardner; children, Christina Lynn Gardner and fiancé, Eugene Derringer, Deloris Mae Gardner Lyons and husband Daniel, Earnest Ote Gardner and fiancée, Tonya Day, and James Gardner and wife Jennifer of Huntington; grandchildren: Dallas Eugene Gardner, Travis Lee Gardner, Augustus Wayne Lyons, and Nathan Taylor Lee Gardner, brothers and sisters: Wallie Gardner and wife Betty of Thayer, Tammy Vassil and husband Larry of Scarbro, Doris Cooper of Gatewood, Mark Gardner and wife Teresa of Scarbro, Bill Monroe Gardner and wife Teresa of Thayer; Eugene Lee Gardner and his wife Laura of Harvey; several nieces and nephews and a host of other family and friends.

Funeral services were May 14 at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, with Rev. Dana Gatewood officiating. Burial followed at the Harrah Cemetery on Backus Mountain.

Online condolences may be made at

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

Ilene Marie Ballenger Gwinn

Ilene Marie Ballenger Gwinn, 85, of Meadow Bridge, died May 9, 2014, in the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center at Fairlea.

Born April 12, 1929, at Beelick Knob, she was the daughter of the late Guy and Myrtle Walker Ballenger. She also was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Vivian Gilmer “Possum” Gwinn, who passed away April 7 of this year; brothers, Guy and Kevin Ballenger; and a sister Alverna “Tootsie” Ballenger.

Ilene was a homemaker and a member of the Springdale Church of Christ.

Surviving: her son, Danny Gwinn of Meadow Bridge; her granddaughter, Loretta Wood of Meadow Bridge; great-granddaughter, Amber Nicole Tharp and husband Les of Crab Orchard; and a great-grandson, Zachary Wood of Meadow Bridge.

A graveside service was held May 12 in the David Gwinn Cemetery at Meadow Bridge, with Minister Allen McGuire officiating.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.

Michael T. Marshall

Michael T. Marshall died May 10, 2014.

Born Aug. 22, 1940, he was the son of Michael C. Marshall and J.B. and Theda Hess and grew up in Oak Hill.

He graduated from Collins High School and received a B.S. and a Master’s in Engineering at West Virginia University.

Michael, or “PawPaw” as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him, was loved by all who were fortunate enough to know him. Though he did not have children of his own, he inherited four by his first and only marriage and he always loved and treated them like they were his.

His infectious “trademark smile” literally lit up the entire room and he was always happy, even during his illness.

He often entertained those around him as he “built” his salad and dinner plate.

He lived for many years in the Kansas City, Mo., area and moved to Pinson, Ala., in 2006. He was a member of Remlap Baptist Church.

Surviving: his loving wife, C. Jeanenne Bell-Marshall; sister, Diana (Susie) Marshall Faulkner (Jim); niece, Sara Faulkner; stepdaughters, Lisa Underwood (Hubert), Sally Sites, Amanda Muench (Andreas); stepson, Donald Bell II (Melissa); numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A graveside memorial will be held at High Lawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill on Monday, May 19 at 1 p.m.

Information submitted by High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Shirley J. Simmons Meyers

Shirley J. Simmons Meyers, 79, of Tiverton, Mass., died May 6, 2014, following a long battle with cancer.

She was the wife of BMCM John E. Meyers, USN (Ret.).

She was employed by General Electric, Newport, and several Newport restaurants.

Surviving, in addition to her husband of 22 years: a son, Robert W. Simmons (wife Dawn) of Tiverton; stepdaughters, Dawn Gagne (husband Jeffrey) of Longmont, Colo., Jane Walker (late husband Gary) of Brooklyn, Conn., Kelly Chartier of Swansea and Johnna Schwartz (husband Jeffrey) of Fall River; siblings, Robert Murphy (wife Caroline) of Dallas, Texas, Judith Murphy Rowe and Jane Keith (husband John), all of West Virginia; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She was the mother of the late Wallace E. Simmons; the stepmother of the late Gale Vick; the sister of the late Anna Lee McDaniel and David Murphy (wife Stella of Dallas, Texas) and the daughter of the late George and Roxie (Daniel) Murphy.

Her funeral was held May 10 from the Auclair Funeral Home, Fall River, with a funeral mass at St. Christopher Church, Tiverton. Burial was at Pocasset Hill Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Pauline Sexton

Pauline Sexton, 93, of Franklin, formerly of Fayetteville, died May 6, 2014, at the home of her daughter, Patricia Welch in Franklin.

Born Jan. 14, 1921, in Boyd County, Ky., she was the daughter of the late Dennis and Etta (Burchett) Stephens. On June 8, 1940, Pauline married Sherman James Sexton, who preceded her in death in October 1980. She also was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon Gail “Susie” Renner, on Feb. 14, 2005.

Ms. Sexton attended Carter County Schools in Kentucky and was a retired seamstress.

She had worked for Highlander Dry Cleaners in Oak Hill.  

Surviving: daughters, Trenia Wooldridge of Zephyr Hills, Fla., and Patricia Etta Welch of Franklin; a son, Steve Sherman and wife Trudy of Gillsville, Ga.; a brother, Harold Stephens of Dayton, Ohio; grandchildren, Michael Renner, Brian Grose, Andrea Thompson, Colleen Plaugher, Robin Simmons, Dean Sexton and Jimmy Sexton; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were May 9 in the funeral home chapel at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, with Pastor Sam Harper and Rev. Morris Nutter officiating. Interment was in the Huse  Memorial Park, Fayetteville.

Memorials may be made to Mountain Hospice, POB 416, Franklin, WV 26807. Online condolences may be left at or    

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

Arthur B. Swafford Jr.

Arthur B. Swafford Jr., 62, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died May 4, 2014, in his home, following a long illness.

Born Nov. 29,1951, in Montgomery and raised in Milburn, he was the son of the late Arthur and Mary Newton Swafford.

Bobby was a war veteran in Vietnam with the United States Navy. He was a very good artist and mechanic and loved cars.

He received his certificates in the mail through a business college for arts and mechanics and had his own business.

Surviving: his wife, Lenoir; six children; sisters, Darlene Goard of Oak Hill, Patricia Walton of North Carolina, Janet of Hilltop, Gwendolyn Lee of Alabama and Corinne Vanover of Charleston; brothers, Calvin Swafford, Walter Swafford of Greentown, John Matthew Swafford of Iowa and Sylvester Allen Swafford of North Carolina; five grandchildren, hosts of nieces and nephews, cousins and three aunts.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at First Baptist Church in Greentown, Wilborne Road, with the Rev. Essie Ford, Rev. Curtis Swafford, and Rev. David Allen officiating.

Friends may call one hour before service at the church.

Leonard Douglas Thompson

Leonard Douglas Thompson, 100, of Oak Hill, formerly of Harvey, died May 11, 2014.

Arrangements are pending at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Nancy ‘Mamaw’ Wiseman

Nancy L. “Mamaw” Wiseman, 79, of Fayetteville, died May 8, 2014, at CAMC-General Hospital in Charleston.

Born Aug. 3, 1934, at Lansing, she was the daughter of the late Oatie L. and Nancy Ramsey Kincaid. She also was preceded in death by her daughter, Susan Lee Hunt; sisters, Thelma Puckett, Marie Thompson and Josephine Miller; and brothers, Emory Kincaid and Lowell Kincaid.

Nancy was a member of the Fayetteville Baptist Church and the Circle Meeting.

She was a member of the homemakers and garden clubs, the ANGEL Group and the Oak Hill Camera Club.

Surviving: her daughter, Angie and her husband, Gene Krise, of Fayetteville; sister, Drema “Teedy” Cowles of Hopewell; grandchildren, Hunter Krise and Aaron Krise; special niece, Annabelle Hodge; and a host of other family and friends.

Funeral services were held May 10 at the Fayetteville Baptist Church with Rev. Ron George Jr. officiating. Interment followed at Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville.

Memorials in her memory may be made to the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, PO Box 955, Fayetteville, WV  25840.

Online condolences may be made at

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