The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

May 1, 2013

Obituaries — Thursday, May 2, 2013

Okey Paul Blake

Okey Paul Blake died April 26, 2013.

Born Sept. 29, 1920, at Beards Fork, he was the eldest son of the late Calvin C. “Bill” and Willie Harshbarger Blake. Dorothy Blake Breeze, sister, and Carl Blake, brother, also preceded him in death.

Okey was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1942 and was Honorably Discharged in October 1945 after serving in Italy, Switzerland and Africa during World War II. He loved telling others about his experiences while serving his country. He always wanted to make sure children had enough to eat because of the children he saw in those foreign countries who were hungry.

After his discharge from the Army he went to work for Page Mining Company Store. It was there that he met the love of his life, Tella, or as he affectionately called her, “Mabel.” They were married on April 5, 1947.

Okey surrendered his life to Jesus in February 1952 at Highlawn Baptist Church in St. Albans. Okey and his wife both committed their lives to Jesus that day.

Mr. Blake worked for Milburn By Products Company Store in Milburn until 1955. In 1955 he began his career as store manager for Island Creek Stores Company in Holden. He lived and worked in Holden until October 1982 when he retired and moved to Beckley.

Okey then began to mow grass, wash and wax cars, and do small home repairs for widows in his church, Beckley Regular Baptist. He had a strong work ethic and in his last days he was still talking about working because in his words, “I love to work ... I don’t need the money ... I just love to work.”

He was a member of the Beckley Regular Baptist Church where he attended faithfully. He enjoyed the Senior Citizen group meetings on Tuesdays. The fellowship, food and Bible study were highlights of his week.

Spending the last year of his life at The Summit at Hidden Valley, he loved playing Bingo and talking with the residents and staff. He was passionate about making friends with everyone and making sure they had a smile after talking with him.

Okey’s last days on earth were spent at the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley. He was still making friends and making them smile.

He will be missed by his family but they are comforted by the knowledge that “Those who live in the Lord never see each other for the last time.”

Surviving: his wife of 66 years, Tella Morris Blake; his daughter, Debra Blake Wilson and husband Philip L. Wilson; stepgrandchildren, Philip Lee and Tammie Wilson, Chad and Stacey Wilson Jackson, and Jamie and Katie Wilson; and step great-grandchildren, Tanner Cox, Tyler Sedlock, Hannah Jackson, Hunter, Dylan and Savanna Wilson.

Funeral services were April 28 at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill, with Pastor Philip Wilson (son-in-law) and Pastor Steve Beverly officiating. Burial was at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill, with military graveside rites by Oak Hill VFW Post #3110.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beckley Regular Baptist Church, Beckley, WV; Sand Fork Baptist Church, Sand Fork, WV; or Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.


Thelma Marie Crist

Thelma Marie Crist, 92, of Hurricane, formerly of Alloy, died April 28, 2013.

Service was May 1 at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home Chapel, Ansted, with Pastor Danny Legg officiating. Burial followed in Restlawn Memory Gardens, Victor.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Ansted.

Joseph Lee Foster

Joseph Lee Foster, 20, of Scarbro, died April 6, 2013.

He was born on April 24, 1992, in Beckley, a beautiful, baby boy to parents Terry Lee Foster Jr. of Scarbro and Sonja Underwood Bricker of Connellsville, Pa.

 He was preceded in death by his paternal great-grandfather (Papaw Foster), Alfred W. Foster Jr.; paternal uncle (Uncle Jr.), Roy E. Stevens Jr.; maternal grandparents, Ernestine and Robert Underwood; maternal great-grandfather, Charles Ferrell; a great-uncle, Jimmy Underwood; and step-grandmother, Shelia Marion Bricker.

Joseph was a 2010 graduate of Oak Hill High School. He was employed by Universal Well Service in Mt. Braddock, Pa.

Joseph was an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and skilled technician. He recently earned his CDL License via All State Trucking in Connellsville, Pa., as well as a recent promotion to Gray Certification via Universal Well Service Company.

Joseph was a gentle soul loved and cherish by his family and friends. His love of Jesus, family, and friends will forever be remembered in our hearts.

Surviving, in addition to his parents: his sister, Kasey Nicole Foster of Scottdale, Pa.; brothers, Lloyd Franklin Foster, Terry Lee Foster III, Tyler Lee Foster, and Gregory Allen Callahan Jr., all of Scarbro; his stepfather, Bob Bricker; stepbrother, Chad Bricker; his paternal grandparents, Terry and Brenda Foster (Papa and Honeybabe) of Scarbro; his maternal grandparents, Tony and Sandy Underwood of Hico; his paternal great-grandmother (Nanny), Velma Foster of Scarbro; his paternal great-grandparents (Mamaw and Papaw), Roy E. and Betty Stevens of Oak Hill; his maternal great-grandmother, Maxine Ferrell of Victor; his step-grandparents, Wilbur Bricker and Susan Leighliter of South Connellsville, Pa.; paternal aunt (Aunt Sissy), Melinda Kay Foster of Oak Hill; maternal aunts, Toni and Andy Hicks of Edmond, and Pam Sizemore of Louisa, Ky.; maternal uncle, Robert and Michelle Underwood of Max Meadows, Va.; a step-aunt, Tammy and Tom Jenkins of South Connellsville, Pa.; and his many cousins across the miles.

Service was April 9 at Brooks Funeral Home, Inc. in Connellsville, with Rev. Dr. Marvin C. Watson officiating. Interment was at Bakersville Cemetery in Somerset County, Pa.

Online condolences may be sent at

Information submitted by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.


Daniel Hall

Daniel Hall, 63, of Lookout, died April 27, 2013, at Plateau Medical Center, Oak Hill.

Born Aug. 4, 1949, in Mingo County, he was the son of the late Edna Thompson Hall. He also was preceded in death by a brother, Paul David Hall.

He was a retired logger and strip miner, but most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and great-uncle.

Surviving: his wife of 43 years, Geneva Jo Anderson Hall; a daughter, Nancy Rose Hall Minter and husband Jeff of Ansted; a son, Daniel Hall Jr. of Lookout; sisters, Rosemary Hall Wilson and husband Frank, and Linda Carol Hall, all of Delbarton; grandchildren, Cari Lea and Kelly Franklin Minter, both of Ansted, Thomas Daniel Hall of Lookout and Carla Jane Koch of Batavia, Ohio; a very special great-niece, Makenley Renae Keatley of Delbarton; and a host of nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral services were May 1 at the Wallace & Wallace Funeral Chapel, Ansted, with Rev. Leroy Martin officiating. Burial followed at the Hall Family Cemetery at Lookout.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Chapel, Ansted.

Lester Darrel Hanshew

Lester Darrel Hanshew, 73, of Ramsey, died April 24, 2013, following a short illness.

Darrel was born May 18, 1939, in Danese, the son of the late Jack and Bertha Hanshew. He also was preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Evelyn, and sisters, Jacquoline and Regina.

Darrel was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ most of his adult life.

Darrel served in the U.S. Army in 1959. He was a coal miner for 33 years. He was a faithful husband, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Darrel loved hunting, fishing and playing cards with his family.

Surviving: his children, Debra and Gary Martin, Leslie and husband James Simms, and Ivan and Debbie Hanshew; brothers, Bub and Dorothy, Danny and wife Sue, and Sam and Debbie; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were April 27 at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Ansted with Pastor Danny Legg officiating. Burial followed in the Fox Cemetery at Ramsey.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Ansted.

Joan Ermilie Neal

Joan Ermilie Neal, 82, of Victor, died April 22, 2013, at Ansted Center, following a long illness.

Born Dec. 5, 1930, in Fayette County, she was a daughter of the late Walter Anthony Dempsey and Myrtle Faye Withrow Dempsey. In 1988, she was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Howard Neal.

Joan was a precious mother, a loving grandmother and a proud great-grandmother.

She was a homemaker and a member of Horseshoe Baptist Church of Ramsey.

Surviving: her children, Kathy Peck and Larry of Ansted, Gay Wood and Allen of Victor, Kay Shaulis and Jerry of Beckley, and Shawn Neal of Victor; grandchildren, Kelly Lopez, Derek Peck, Jennifer McClung, and Aaron Lane; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were April 25 at Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home Chapel in Ansted, with Pastor Danny Legg officiating. Burial followed in Restlawn Memory Gardens in Victor.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Wallace and Wallace of Ansted.

Auneka Lee Devol Noyes

Auneka Lee Devol Noyes of Oak Hill died April 22, 2013, after a brief illness.

Born July 24, 1917, in Holden, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Ganiel Devol. She also was predeceased by her husband, Richmond Noyes.

She attended South Charleston High School, where she was a popular student and cheerleader, and graduated from business college.

She moved to Oak Hill with her parents in the early 1930s, where she met and married Richmond Noyes in 1938. During World War II she and her baby daughter, Suzanne, stayed with her parents while Richmond served in the U.S. Navy in the European theater. During those years she worked for Mankin Lumber Company. Their son Walter was born in 1947.

In 1952 they bought “Eppy’s Men’s Shop” which became Noyes Men’s and Boys Store on Main Street, Oak Hill, which later became Noyes of Oak Hill Inc. which occupied three different locations as the store expanded.

They had a second home on the Maine coast, where they loved to spend summers, and after retirement they spent time every winter in Florida. They also traveled extensively, which they both enjoyed very much.

Mrs. Noyes lived the last few years of her life at The Summit at Hidden Valley in Oak Hill.

Surviving: her son, Walter Noyes; her daughter, Suzanne Mague; daughter-in-law, Lynn Noyes; son-in-law, Joel Mague; grandchildren, Katherine Moss, William Mague, Andrew Noyes, and Laura Noyes; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 5, with visitation at 1 p.m. and service at 1:30 p.m. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill.

Listening to books on tape when she could no longer read was a way she could continue her love of reading. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Fayette County Public Library at 531 Summit St., Oak Hill, WV 25901.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Daniel Keith Persinger

Daniel Keith Persinger, 77, of Sun, died April 24, 2013, at his home.

Born Jan. 6, 1936, at Sun, he was the son of the late Calvin Lanford and Vivian Reid Persinger.

Surviving: a sister, Mary Black of Oak Hill; and companion, Jo Ann Palgreno.

Mr. Persinger was cremated. There will be no visitation or service. His cremains will be interred at High Lawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Kenneth Wayne Ratliff

Kenneth Wayne Ratliff, 58, of Beckley, died April 21, 2013, following a short illness.

Born Sept. 17, 1954, in Oak Hill, Ken was the son of Thelma (Lightfoot) Ratliff of Oak Hill and the late John Robert Ratliff.

On March 21, 1998, he married the love of his life, Marie (Smith) Dodd. She was his soul mate, his “baby-cakes,” his everything. And he was hers.

His grandchildren were his pride and joy, his favorite playmates, and the topic of his favorite stories. Allie Gwinn (his favorite 15 year old teenager), Megan Duncan (a.k.a Megaroo, his favorite 10 year old), Justin Dodd (his favorite 9 year old, and only grandson), and Jaiden Dodd (a.k.a Jaiden Grace Monkey Face, his favorite 5 year old) will forever miss their beloved Grandad.

Ken was blessed with two children who were his by blood, as well as two who were his by love. Erica (Ratliff) Selke of Oak Hill, and Alisha Ratliff of Midway will miss their father. Hope Shaffer (and her husband Aaron, of Beckley) will always love and remember the man who made a daddy’s girl out of her after she was already grown (even though, as he reminded her, she was the reason he understood why animals ate their young), and Jason Dodd (and his wife Amy, of Maple Fork) will always be thankful for the 15 wonderful years that he was a part of our family.

All those who knew Ken will dearly miss his easy smile, those big blue eyes that sparkled with life, and his quick and brilliant sense of humor.

Ken was the youngest and, according to him, the most handsome of his family. He always said that once his parents got it right, they finally quit; they just couldn’t do any better than him. His brothers are Terry Hughes, and his wife Julie, of Mechanicsville, Md., Darrell Ratliff, and his wife Janet of Stoutsville, Ohio, and Robert Ratliff of Oak Hill; his sisters are Ruth Ellen Holland, and her husband Dennis, of Elkton, Ky., Diane Wise of Circleville, Ohio, and Susan Hughes and her husband Bob, of Oak Hill.

Ken also leaves behind a very special aunt, Mary Ratliff of Fayetteville, along with a host of nieces, nephews and Marie’s family.

Ken was known to always have his “buddy finder” on and could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He was a successful salesman with ICI Glidden Paints for 14 years. He was currently employed at United Central Industrial Supply Company.

Funeral services were April 26 at Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church in Crab Orchard, with Pastor Doug Seaman and Pastor Roger Tolliver officiating. Burial immediately followed in the Smith Family Cemetery in Hinton.

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.

Charles Wayne Redden

Charles Wayne Redden, 54, of Beelick Knob, Meadow Bridge, died April 28, 2013.

Service will be 1 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Rainelle, with Pastor Steve Martin officiating. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service (noon to 1 p.m.) at the funeral home.

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Rainelle.

Bert Wayne Tatum

Bert Wayne Tatum, 49, of Page, died April 18, 2013, at his home.

Born March 26, 1964, at Summerlee, he was the son of the late Elbert and Nancy Logan Tatum. A nephew, John David Smith, also preceded him in death.

Bert was a 1982 graduate of Oak Hill High School.

His last job was working for heavy machinery transport before being injured on the job.

Just this past year Bert started attending church. He loved fishing. He and his wife had a special place on top of the mountain where he loved to take her. It was there they spent the afternoon on the day they wed.

He loved to garden, could fix anything, and did beautiful carpentry work. He loved grilling and cooking meals for family and neighbors.

Surviving: his wife, Sue Brent Tatum; stepdaughters, Cathy Snyder of Little Town, Pa., and Laura Evans of Oak Hill; grandson, Issac Ray Mitchell; twin granddaughters, Kaity and Lilly Snyder; a daughter by heart, Katie O’Neil Gumm of Oak Hill; children by heart, Timmy and Hannah Raynes; his father-in-law, William Brent, and mother-in-law, Shirley Wilkinson, both of Pennsylvania; brothers-in-law, George and Bill Brent, and sister-in-law, Jean Heare, all of Pennsylvania, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Barb and Ken Gumm of Oak Hill; his favorite sister, Unna Smith and brother-in-law Bill (who was a brother by heart) of Oak Hill, and sister, Lora Hogan and husband Roger of Scarbro; brother, Bart “Frankie” Tatum and wife Karen of Oak Hill; by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews including great-nephews Billy “Littleman” Smith and Bentley Tatum, and great-nieces, Zarah Smith, Alivia Patrick, his little princess, and Aiden Patrick his “mini-me,” both of Winston-Salem, N.C.

Those old enough to know loved to play with Uncle Bucky. His greatest love in life was children. He always had ice cream or candy for them and never knew how to say no to a child. Since moving to Page there were always kids in the yard and spending the night.

He also leaves a wonderful friend, Michael Davis.

Mr. Tatum was cremated. There will be no visitation or service.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Don Junior ‘Mad Dog’ Walker

Don Junior “Mad Dog” Walker, 60, of Lizemores, died April 24, 2013, at CAMC-General Division from injuries sustained in an auto accident.

Born March 27, 1953, in Glen Ferris, he was the son of the late Don L. Walker and Marie Walker of Ravenswood. In addition to his father, he also was preceded in death by his wife, Lola Walker, and his father-in-law, Basil Fitzwater.

Don was the owner/operator of Walker Trucking and a member of Bell Creek Missionary Baptist Church.

Surviving, in addition to his mother: his children, Michelle (Timmy) James of Lizemores, Tommy (Heather) Walker of Charleston, and Heather (Jesse) Mattox of Alta; sister, Mary Ann (Mark) McClung of Cartersville, Va.; sister, Marietta (Larry) Gawthrop of Summersville; brother, Delbert (Norma) Walker of Fayetteville; sister, Rexanna (Jeff) Knighting of Ravenswood; brother, Rick Walker of Racine, Ohio; grandchildren, Walker James, Carmen Walker, J.T. James, Collin Walker and Emma James, and soon to be grandson, Xander Mattox; and his mother-in-law, Dena Fitzwater of Dixie.

Funeral service was April 26 at Bell Creek Missionary Baptist Church, Dixie, with Minister Delbert Walker officiating. Burial followed in the Morton Cemetery, Lizemores.

Arrangements by Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

Ruth Wilkerson

Mrs. Ruth Wilkerson, 89, of Oak Hill, died April 27, 2013.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, May 2, at First Baptist Church, Harlem Heights, with Rev. Paul Baker and Rev. Shannon Robinson officiating.

Entombment will follow in High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church.

Online condolences may be e-mailed to

Arrangements by Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.