The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

December 11, 2013

Obituaries — Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bernard G. Blake

Bernard G. Blake, 66, of Fayetteville, died Dec. 4, 2013, at Select Specialty Hospital at St. Francis in Charleston.

Born Sept. 27, 1947, at Mossy, he was the son of the late William B. and Dorothy L. Stover Blake.

He was a heavy equipment operator for the coal mining industry.

Bernard enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran having served in the Vietnam era.

Surviving: his wife, Helen Clendenin Blake; sons, Matthew D. Blake and wife Trina of Oak Hill and Christopher Blake and wife Trisha of Mossy; sisters, Sherry Blake and companion Jack Hoare of Davidsonville, Md., and Sandra Blake of North Carolina; grandsons, Bobby Shumake, Christopher Blake and William Seth Blake; special granddaughter, Marianne Maminta; great-grandson, Michael Shumake; nieces, nephews and many friends.

Graveside rites and committal service, followed by burial, were Dec. 7 at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Prosperity with Rev. Carlos Hodge officiating and with military graveside rites by Oak Hill VFW Post #3110.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Jackie Lee Dunbar

Jackie Lee Dunbar, 69, of Clear Creek, died Dec. 3, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley.

Born Dec. 31, 1943, at Clear Creek, he was the son of the late Cleo Ray and Emma Agnes Taylor Dunbar. A brother, Edward Dunbar; sister-in-law, Susie Dunbar; grandson, Gabriel; and best friends, Claude Coots and Leroy Gore, also preceded him in death.

He was a coal mine roof bolter with 47 years service as a miner.

Jackie was a graduate of Clear Fork High School. He was a member of the Workman’s Creek Methodist Church where he was song leader and served as a Sunday school teacher.

He liked to play guitar and sing.

There were many things Jackie loved — mowing grass and raising flowers; he so loved his precious grandchildren and above all he loved his Jesus.

Surviving: his wife, Barbara Kay Blevins Dunbar; children, twins Matthew (Katie) Dunbar and Rachel Lea (Antonio) Anguiano, Justin (Tena) Dunbar, Lisa (Denny) Stone, Christina Collins and Jordan (Mario) Anguiano, all of Clear Creek; brother, Kenneth (Drema) Dunbar of Clear Creek; his grandchildren, Abraham, Noah, Sarah, Gennie, Maggie, Luke, Joseph, Kreed, Elijah, Isabella, Eleanor, Kitty, Mike, Klaudia, Sofia and Nicolas; and many loving nieces and nephews.

He was loved and will be missed by his work family.

Funeral services were Dec. 7 at Workman’s Creek Methodist Church with Pastor Arolette Stover officiating. Burial was at Dunbar Family Cemetery, Clear Creek.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.

Demaia Tolli Foster

Demaia Tolli Foster, 92, of Mt. Hope, died peacefully Dec. 4, 2013, at Bowers Hospice House in Beckley.

Born Nov. 11, 1921, at Page, she was the daughter of the late Serafino Francesco and Mary DiGivonni Tolli, both Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. in 1916.

She also was preceded in death by her brothers, Frank, Joseph, Albert and Tony Tolli, and sisters, Ruby Tolli and Annette Vargo.

Ms. Foster attended Woodrow Wilson High School and graduated from Montgomery High School. She received her professional training from the Raleigh County Vocational Technical Center and became a licensed practical nurse. She began her nursing career in 1963 and retired from Beckley ARH Hospital with over 20 years’ service. She will be remembered as a diligent and compassionate professional.

Ms. Foster was a member of the Kilsyth Free Will Baptist Church. She was a true servant of the Lord.

Above all, Ms. Foster was a proud and doting grandmother and great-grandmother. As the matriarch of the family, she was most invested in the physical and spiritual well-being of her family.

Surviving: her brother, John Tolli and wife Sherry of Hendersonville, Tenn.; daughters, Linda Martin and husband Sam of Mount Hope and Mary Ellen Vaught and husband Lester of Beckley; grandsons, Christopher Vaught and wife Debra and B.K. Vaught and wife Kellie, all of Beckley; great-grandchildren, Ryan, Cooper, Sydney and Bailey Vaught; and her devoted caregiver, Dollie Wine.

Funeral services were Dec. 7 at Tyree Funeral Home in Mount Hope with Rev. James F. Sturgill officiating. Burial was at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Prosperity.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope.

Madrith Kay Bragg Gwinn

Madrith Kay Bragg Gwinn, 71, of Springdale, died of cancer on Dec. 5, 2013.

Kay was born Sept. 26, 1942, in Rainelle, the daughter of the late Perry and Maggie Bragg.

Kay graduated from Meadow Bridge High School in 1960 and graduated from Southern Martz Beauty School in 1961.

Surviving: her husband, Franklin David Gwinn of Springdale; daughter, Shannon Adair Gwinn, and granddaughter, Kaitlyn Dawn Gwinn, both of Springdale; and nephew, Scott Marshall Bragg and his wife, Dianna, of North Carolina.

There will be no funeral services.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Rainelle.

Carmella Weeks Hines

Carmella Weeks Hines, 81, of Cherry Hill Township, N.J., died Nov. 29, 2013, at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden City, N.J.

Born Oct. 17, 1932, at Kingston, she was the daughter of the late John Preston and Eva Imogene Rinehart Weeks. She also was preceded in death by her husband, William E. Hines II.

She was a homemaker and former employee of the Admissions Department for High Mark Hospital.

Mrs. Hines was a member of the Presbyterian Church.          

Surviving: children, Beverly Hines O’Neill of Connecticut, and K.E. Hines, Kathy L. Hines and Debbie Hines, all of New Jersey; and six grandchildren.

Funeral services were Dec. 6 at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Rev. David Sneed officiating. Burial was at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Brenda Sue Humphrey-Kelly

Brenda Sue Humphrey-Kelly died Dec. 6, 2013, after a long illness.

She was born Nov. 11, 1953, in Oak Hill, daughter of Tressie and the late Joseph Humphrey. In addition to her father, she also was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas “Mike” Kelly; and son, Lewis Allen Moats.

She was a devoted mother and grandmother. She was an avid bird lover and craft maker.

Surviving: daughter, Tracy Cottle and husband Kenny; mother, Tressie Humphrey; grandkids, William, Hannah, Dana and Emily; sister, Barbara Cumbow and husband Bill; brothers, Joe Humphrey and wife Kim, Ronnie Humphrey and wife Debby, Johnny Humphrey and wife Darlene, Denny Humphrey and wife Connie and Delby Humphrey and wife Jackie; and many beloved nieces, nephews and friends.

Service was Dec. 9 at High Lawn Funeral Chapel, Oak Hill, with the Rev. Bobby Atkins officiating. Burial followed in High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Odessa Lee Mimms

Odessa Lee Mimms, 96, of Montgomery, died Dec. 4, 2013.

Born June 4, 1917, at Kaymoor, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Morn Hawkins Medley. She also was preceded in death by her children, Hulin “Peter” Mimms, Martha Louise Wheeler, Francis Dale Mimms, Dennis Mimms and Judy Mimms.

She was a lifelong member of Carbondale Missionary Baptist Church where she served as usher and Sunday school teacher.

She was a member of the Eastern Star Lodge, Montgomery, and a member of the NAACP.

She was retired from Laird Memorial Hospital, Montgomery, with 32 years of service.

Surviving: children, Annie Wheeler of Montgomery, Paula Barker of Atlanta, Ga., Billy Mimms of Montgomery and adopted daughter, Lashawn Mimms Hamilton of Winston-Salem, N.C.; sister, Kathleen Goins of Columbus, Ohio; 10 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Service was Dec. 8 at Carbondale Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. William Kinney officiating. Burial followed in Meadow Haven Memorial Park at Ingram Branch.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent at

Arrangements by O’Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Rodney N. Smith

Rodney N. Smith, 59, of Lookout, died Dec. 6, 2013.

Born Sept. 27, 1954, he was the son of the late Clarence and Garnette Smith. He also was preceded in death by his daughter, Miranda Smith McDonald.

Rodney was a coal miner, farmer, hunter, fisherman, carpenter and best friend to many. He was known as having a kind heart and as an advocate of animal rights rescue.

He will be loved and missed by all.

Surviving: his wife, Marie Ann Kincaid Smith; daughter, Tori Smith Baines; sons-in-law, Jeff Baines and Shane McDonald; sister-in-law, Toby Oliver; niece, Tina Mettler; sisters in life, Linda Petry and Regina Samuels; grandchildren, Justin Shipp, Kaelie, Tyler and Bethany Withrow, Gabby Smith, Trenton, Timothy, Thomas and Shane O McDonald; and three great-grandchildren.

Friends called Dec. 10 at the Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Ansted.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Wallace and Wallace of Ansted.

Hope Sparks

Hope Keeton Sparks, 85, of Fayetteville, died Dec. 5, 2013, at Grand Strand Regional Hospital, Myrtle Beach, S.C., due to complications of a stroke.

She had recently built her dream home in North Myrtle Beach, and was looking forward to spending her winters south.

Hope was born May 15, 1928, in Calhoun County, daughter of the late Chapman and Ada (King) Keeton. She was next to oldest of five sisters and a half brother. In addition to her parents and stepfather (Oak Jett), she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Arnet Sparks; a daughter, Connie Amstutz; half-brother, Stanton Jett; and sister, Juanita Waffler.

Hope was a kind, gentle, generous woman who was much loved. Although she could be a very private person, she was also very fun-loving. She embraced knowledge and enjoyed sharing what she had learned with others. She was an avid reader, gardener and bird watcher. She wrote poetry, kept a journal, enjoyed music and loved the opportunity to travel.

She was of the Baptist faith and embodied the principles of Christianity with her charitable nature and thoughtful disposition. She looked for good in everyone and always found it.

She was known by many names to those who loved her: Phyllis, Hope, Mrs. Sparks, Mother, Mommy, Mom, Grandmother, Granny, Hope-e, and Nanny.

Most important to her was being a wife and homemaker. She always stated that her biggest accomplishment in life was her children whom she adored.

Surviving: her son, Larry Sparks and wife Kathy of Marmet; daughters, Sherry Waugh and husband Rick of Glasgow, and Bonnie Sansbury and husband Allen of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; sisters, Janice See of Elmira, Arlene Morrison and Maxine Uhl of Orrville, Ohio, and Charlotte Maxwell of Fayetteville; grandsons Christopher Waugh and Hunter Sparks; granddaughter, Hayleigh Sparks; great-granddaughter, Jacelyn Tate Jones; step grandchildren, Bryson England, and Cody, Hunter, and Chelsea Corbin; and numerous nieces and nephews along with a host of other family and friends.

Visitation was Dec. 8 at High Lawn Funeral Home, Oak Hill. A private graveside service followed at Dotson-Simpson Cemetery in Keslers Cross Lanes.

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Timothy Wayne Thomas

Timothy Wayne Thomas, 54, of Beckley, died Dec. 1, 2013, at home.

Born Jan. 22, 1959, at Oak Hill, he was the son of the late Rupert and Shelma Foster Thomas.

Mr. Thomas attended Gatewood Church of God.

Surviving: his son, Wayne Thomas; daughter, Telina Humphrey; brothers, James (Dreama) Thomas and Forrest (Denise) Thomas; sister, Ruth Ann (Fred) Ferrese; grandchildren, Allen Humphrey, Aiden Humphrey, Camryn Thomas, and Kailyn Thomas; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Dec. 10 at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, with Pastor Morris Nutter officiating. Burial followed at Highlawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Online condolences may be sent at

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

Lonnie ‘Ralph’ White

Lonnie “Ralph” White, 71, of Oak Hill, died Dec. 7, 2013, at home surrounded by his family.

Born July 6, 1942, in Gatewood, he was the son of the late Alonzo and Ellen (Sharp) White. He also was preceded in death by sisters, Janie White, Fern Turner and Edith Phelps; and beloved grandsons, Seth White and Hunter Feltner.

Ralph was a faithful member of Crossroads Apostolic Church.

He was an avid gardener and outdoorsman, but mostly enjoyed spending time with his family.

Surviving: his loving wife of 50 years, Dreama (Waddell) White; children, Sherry Coffelt, Terry White and wife Rachel, Mike White and wife Theresa, Tammy Feltner and husband Chris, and David White; beloved grandchildren, Destiny Rader, Kristen White, Tyler White, Mya White, Holly Feltner, Hannah Feltner and Haylee Feltner; siblings, Imogene Wills, Wanda Lilly, and Ron White; sister-in-law, Delma Vannatter;  and last, but certainly not least, his pets, Tinkerbell and Munchie.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13 at Crossroads Apostolic Church with Pastor Jimmy Miller officiating. Burial will follow in High Lawn Memorial Gardens in Oak Hill.

Friends may visit with family at the church from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday evening.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his wife and will be greatly appreciated.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.