• Michael Craig Philips, 27, of Jolo, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Shortridge-Ramey Funeral Home of Grundy, Va.
• Betty Jane Shupe, 81, of 816 Hugh Ave., Roanoke, Va., died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Rodriguez Pocahontas Funeral Home, Pocahontas, Va.
• Pearley Jeanette Stiltner, 71, of Maxie, Va., died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 at Wellmont Hospice House at Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn., following an extended illness. Grundy Funeral Home of Grundy, Va. is in charge of arrangements.
• William Howard Van Dyke, 84, of Tazewell, Va., died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Peery & St.Clair Funeral Home of Tazewell, Va.
√Raymond E. (Ray) Blankenship
LANCASTER, S.C. — Raymond E. (Ray) Blankenship, age 71, of Lancaster, S.C. and formerly of Bluewell, went to be with the Lord on Monday, January 7, 2008 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.
Born on December 2, 1936 in Crumpler, he was a son of the late Cager and Thressie Robinson Blankenship. He had been a resident of Lancaster for 17 months and was a retired coal miner with 21 years of service at Consol Coal Co. He was a member of the UMWA.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four half-brothers and two half-sisters.
Survivors include: Wife of 47 years: Shelby Craft Blankenship of the home; one son: Michael Ray Blankenship and wife Sherri of Bluewell; two daughters: Tamra Jean Roland and husband Tommy of Bluefield, Shelley Marie Hager and husband Larry of Lancaster, S.C.; two granddaughters: Melissa Blankenship of Bluewell and Kallie Marie Hager of Lancaster, S.C.; four sisters: Dell Fizer and husband George of Gaffney, S.C., Betty Angle and husband Jimmy of Princeton, Tessie Johnson of Princeton, Rosemary Shrewsbury of Lancaster, S.C.; one brother: Bill Blankenship and wife LuAnn of Winston-Salem, N.C.
Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cravens-Shires Funeral Home Chapel in Bluewell with Pastors David Kirby and Steve Jacks officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Bluewell with Joe Roland, Earl Lowe, Joey Roland, Kevin Smith, Larry Johnson, and Shane Smith serving as pallbearers. Ray's nephews and Jimmy Craft will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Friends may call on Thursday (today) from 6-8 p.m. at Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluewell.
Cravens-Shires Funeral Home in Bluewell is serving the Blankenship family.
To leave personal condolences online, visit www.legacy.com
William (Bill) Childers
ROCKY GAP, Va. — Bill Childers, age 70, of Rocky Gap, Va., went to be with his Savior on Tuesday, January 8, 2008, at Bluefield Regional Medical Center after a courageous and unrelenting battle with cancer. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, generosity and good works, spreading joy and laughter wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to know him. Bill was an avid horseman and nature lover, and leaves behind a host of horse riding buddies and good memories.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Louise Childers of Beckley, W.Va.; a brother, Wayne Childers; a beloved step-grandson, Aaron Wright of Bland, Va.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Maxine Jackson Childers of Rocky Gap; two stepdaughters and families, Lauri Bowling and husband Terry of Bland, Va., their children Nathan and Bethany; Sheri Wright and husband Martin of Bland, Va., their children Heather and Stephanie. His ex-wife, Pauline Childers of Bluefield, W.Va.; three sons, Tim of Bluefield, W.Va., Paul and his wife Sabrina of Atlanta, Ga.; Mark and his wife Mary Beth of Roanoke, Va., their children, Andy and Jordan; three brothers, Jerry Childers and family of Princeton, W.Va., Roger Childers and family of Princeton, W.Va., Dr. Steven Childers and family of Huntington, W.Va.; one sister, Elizabeth (Libby) Masterson and family of Frankford, W.Va. He was adored by many nieces and nephews.
Bill was a member of the Princeton Salvation Army Church; Princeton Community Hospital Senior Friends Program; Bluefield Moose Lodge. He was retired from Andy Clark Mobile Homes, but was busier after retirement than before. He greatly enjoyed driving the buses and medical vans for Bluefield Transit, Bland County School activity buses, and volunteering at the Salvation Army.
In death, as in life, Bill continues to give and as per his wishes his body has been donated to the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg for science research. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2008, at Mercer Funeral Home, Bluefield, WV, Route 460 and Maryland Avenue, at 1:00 p.m. for visitation and service at 2:00 p.m. by Captain Burl LaBatte of Princeton Salvation Army Corps. A family dinner will be hosted by the Salvation Army Women's League in Princeton at 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Bill requested that donations be made to the Salvation Army Corps, 300 Princeton Avenue, Princeton, WV 24740.
Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting www.mercerfuneralhome.com
Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory of Bluefield is serving the Childers family.
Willie (Junior) H. Cole Jr.
PRINCETON — Willie (Junior) H. Cole Jr., 60, of Princeton Health Care Center, Princeton, died Monday, January 7, 2008 at Princeton Health Care Center.
Born March 29, 1947 in Bluefield, he was a son of the late Willie H. Cole Sr. and Violet Marie Sheets Cole.
Junior was a member of Fairview Christian Community Church and prior to his illness had worked for Limestone Dust Corporation for 18 years. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Robert Benton “Bobby” Dillow Sr.
Junior was a loving brother, uncle, great uncle, special cousin, and a very special resident of Princeton Health Care Center. Junior worked hard and lived a very adventurous life, traveling to 39 states from coast to coast. He used his voice up until his last breath to reach out and witness to everyone he came in contact with about Jesus. Through his witnessing, he touched several lives. Junior had requested that he be able to see his Jesus and his wish was granted when he peacefully entered heaven on January 7, 2008.
He is survived by three sisters: Mrs. Robert (Shirley) Dillow of Bluefield, Joyce Messer and her husband Bill, and Patsy Jackson and her husband Clarence all of Statesville, N.C.; two brothers: Bernard Cole and his wife Janice, and Billy Cole and his wife Neta all of Bluefield; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be conducted Friday, January 11, 2008 at Mercer Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Larry Dyer officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Bluewell where Robert Dillow Sr., Richard Dillow, Roger Cole, Mark Cole, Jamie Otey, Joe Catron and William Dillon will serve as pallbearers.
The family will receive friends today (Thursday), January 10, 2008 at Mercer Funeral Home from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Fairview Christian Community Church, Rt. 2 Box 279, Princeton, WV 24740.
Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting www.MercerFuneralHome.com
Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory of Bluefield is serving the family of Junior Cole.
Arnold Lee (Calger) Hale
NARROWS, Va. — Arnold Lee (Calger) Hale, 79, of Narrows, passed away Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital in Pearisburg, Va.
A lifelong resident of Giles County, Va., he was born on November 15, 1928 and was the son of the late Bioutious Hale.
He was a loyal Narrows Green Wave and New York Yankee fan, and will be best remembered for his time spent among his friends throughout Downtown Narrows.
He is survived by a brother, Alvie (Doc) Hale.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 11, 2008 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Riffe's Funeral Service in Narrows with Pastor Kim Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in the Wolf Creek Community.
Friends may call at Riffe's Funeral Service in Narrows today (Thursday) from 6 to 8 p.m.
The family requests that those sending memorial contributions, please consider the Ronald McDonald House, 2224 South Jefferson Street, Roanoke, Virginia 24014.
Online condolence messages can be sent to the family at www.riffes.com.
Hattie Victoria Hubbard Jessee
LEBANON, Va. — Hattie Victoria Hubbard Jessee, after a wonderful long life of 94 years, passed away Wednesday, January 09, 2008.
Hattie was born on December 31, 1913, a daughter of the late Ira Wilson Hubbard and the late Malissa Cox Hubbard, in the Rosedale community of Russell County, Va., and lived her entire life in Russell County. She was the wife of the late Garnet Frank Jessee, and was a member of the Dennison United Methodist Church. She was deeply loved and admired by all whose lives she touched.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by sons: William Vaden Jessee and Billy Franklin Jessee; granddaughter: Charlotte Foleno; sons-in-law: Glen Duty, Dr. Tom Raub, and Ron Jones; daughter-in-law: Joyce Jessee; and a sister: Dora Cox.
Survivors include her children: Kathleen Harris and husband Edward of Honaker, Va., Mary Raub of Bluefield, Janice Duty of Richmond, Va., Bonnie Jones of Lebanon, Va., JoAnna Hale and husband Noel of Pensacola, Fla., Roy Jessee and wife Janie of Lynchburg, Va., Barbara Holliday and husband Gary, James Jessee and wife Rita, Debbie Price and husband Giles, and Vickie Owens and husband Jackie, all of Lebanon, Va.; a daughter-in-law: Chris Jessee of Suffolk, Va.; 20 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.
A celebration of Hattie's life will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2008 in the Lebanon Presbyterian Church with the Revs. Jim Lyttle, Sammy Reynolds, and Tom Edwards officiating. Burial will follow in Russell Memorial Cemetery. Her grandsons will serve as pallbearers, and her great-grandsons and great-great grandsons will serve as junior pallbearers.
The family will receive friends 6-9 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2008 at the funeral home.
Honoring Hattie's memory memorial donations may be made to the church of her early years, Dennison United Methodist Church, c/o Dorothy Jackson, 8143 Mountain Road, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.
Combs Funeral Service, 291 Fincastle Road, Lebanon, VA 24266, (276) 889-4444 is serving the family of Mrs. Jessee.
To leave personal condolences online, visit www.legacy.com
Alfred K. Miles
POCAHONTAS, Va. — Alfred K. Miles, 83, Box 632, Pocahontas, Va., died at his home Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
Born in Big Vein, Tazewell County, Va., he was the son of the late Alonzo Kyle Miles and Edna Mae Gillespie Miles. He served as a sergeant in Company B, 148th Infantry, 37th Division. He fought in the Guadalcanal and Luzon Campaigns. He was awarded the Victory Medal; Purple Heart; Bronze Arrowhead-American Theater; Asiatic Pacific Theater with two Bronze Service Stars; Philippine Liberation with one Bronze Service Star, Good Conduct Medal.
He was wounded on February 2, 1945. As Squad Leader, he led a five man mortar squad in loading, aiming and firing their weapons to destroy enemy personnel, supplies, and equipment while serving in the Guadalcanal and Luzon Campaigns. He was a member of the Bluefield Riley Post No. 9, Bluefield.
He was employed by Appalachian Power Company. He began his employment on the line crew, then worked in the office in Pocahontas, and later transferred to the Bluefield Office as T&D; Clerk. He retired in 1984 after 37 years of service.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: Two brothers: Elmer F. Miles and Raymond Miles; half sister: Violet Lusk.
Survivors: Wife of 55 years, Sarah Mae Cheek Miles of the home; two brothers: Jim Lusk, Pocahontas, Va. and Jack Lusk, Prophetown, Illinois.
Graveside services will be conducted Friday, January 11, 2008, 1:00 p.m. at Grandview Memory Gardens, Bluefield, Va., with the Rev. William Davis officiating. Friends may call from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, January 11, 2008 at the Rodriguez Pocahontas Funeral Home, Pocahontas, Va.
Pallbearers: Eddie Havens, Dennis Oldham, Woody Noel, Tim Dixon, Jimmy Cheek and Jim Cheek. Military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post No. 14, Pocahontas, Va. and VFW 9696, Bluefield, Va.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to charities of their choice.
Rodriguez Pocahontas Funeral Home, Pocahontas, Va. is serving the Miles family.
For more information, or to have the funeral home pass along your condolences, visit www.RodriguezFuneral.com
Jamie Mildred Gross Okes
PRINCETON — Jamie Mildred Gross Okes, 87, of Knob Street, Princeton, peacefully fell asleep in Jesus, surrounded by family and friends, at Princeton Community Hospital Monday evening, January 7, 2008 after a sudden illness.
Jamie was born May 4, 1920, to the late Reverend Paris K. and Mary Ann “Mollie” Gross of Elbert. She graduated from Gary High School and worked at GC Murphy and Union Supply Company in Gary. After World War II she married the love of her life, Charles Harold Okes on May 26, 1946. They were married for 51 years when her beloved husband passed away on December 27, 1997.
She was a charter member of the Princeton Advent Christian Church where she lovingly served as Clerk and treasurer for 30 years. She was a member of the WHFMS (ladies mission), Senior Citizen Group, and Breakfast Club. For many years she sang in the choir, helped with Sunday School and children and youth programs and continued to record attendance for SS until recently. Jamie helped alongside her husband at church camps and other church related activities. She enjoyed gospel and country music, watching the backyard birds (esp. goldfinches), reading, working word find puzzles, the WV Mountaineers, a good laugh, and visiting with family and friends. She was a giver all of her life and often took care of family members. Jamie faithfully read her Bible and prayed for the salvation and God’s Will for family and friends.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by Kathy Joan Okes, a two-day old infant daughter; sisters, Bethel Graham, Marjorie Osborne Cochran, and Gaye Peery; brothers, Carl, James, Richard, Rudolph, and Donald Gross.
Left to cherish her memories are beloved daughters and sons in law that were like sons, Nancy Okes, Charlene (Jim) Stinson, and Carolyn (Victor) Mills all of Princeton. Also, Mama’s grandchildren, Jimmy Stinson, Jonathan Stinson, and Joshua Mills of Princeton, Shauna Mills of Atlanta, Ga., and Amber Mills (BJ Buchanan) of Indian Trail, N.C.. and Mama Jamie’s special joy, great grandson, Trey Buchanan. She is also survived by sister, Alma (Reverend Orville) Harvey of Princeton; brother, Robert (Barbara) Gross of Ruidosa, N.M.; and a host of sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, church family, many friends and caring neighbors (especially the children who loved to visit with her).
A service to celebrate the life of Mrs. Jamie Okes will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2008 from the Burns Wornal Chapel of the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton with Pastors Orville Harvey and Rob Buchanan officiating. Burial will follow in the Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery in Princeton.
Friends may visit with the family today from 6 until 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Family and friends may share messages of love and condolences via www.memorialfd.com
Serving as pallbearers will be Jimmy Stinson, Jonathan Stinson, Joshua Mills, David Hall, David Broyles, Steve Dalton, BJ Buchanan and James Howell. Honorary pallbearers will be neighbors of Knob Street and the Men of the Church.
Memorial gifts of love can be made to the Princeton Advent Christian Church Building Fund, 706 Prince Street, Princeton, WV 24740.
The Okes family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory & Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.
CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — Virginia Sparks, of Cedar Bluff, Va., passed away Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at her home following a brief illness.
She was born in Cedar Bluff, Va., and was the daughter of the late Tom and Betty Beavers Sparks, both former Tazewell County, Va. natives. She had lived most of her life in Tazewell County and was a graduate of Richlands High School Class of 1938 and also a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington. She was a retired teacher in the Tazewell County School System and was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Richlands, Va.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by sisters, Bertie McNeer, Myrtle Shrader, Margaret Peak, Audrey Whitt, and Helen Cook; and brothers, Mose, Homer, and Ezra Sparks.
Survivors are: Sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Vinciguerra of Matewan. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services for Ms. Sparks will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2008 at Trinity Episcopal Church on Hill Creek Road in Richlands, Va. with the Rev. Vincent Carroll and the Rev. Tom Conley officiating. Entombment will follow at Clinch Valley Memorial Cemetery Mausoleum in Richlands, Va. Pallbearers will be relatives and friends. The family will receive friends Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon at Hurst-Scott Funeral Home in Richlands, Va.
Hurst-Scott Funeral Home in Richlands, Va. is in charge of arrangements and those wishing to express sympathy online may do so at www.hurstscottfuneralhomes.com
Betty I. Willis
ELKTON, Md. — Betty Imogene Willis, 79, of Elkton, Md., died Tuesday, January 8, 2008. Born on December 31, 1928, in Evarts, Ky., she was the daughter of the late Perry and Matilda Campbell Hatmaker.
Mrs. Willis had been a medical secretary for Dr. Park in Elkton. She enjoyed being with her family, especially her grandchildren. Mrs. Willis had attended Baptist Bible Church, Elkton, and had been a volunteer at Kenmore Elementary School.
Survivors include her children, Fredda Marshall, Tucson, Ariz., Fred Willis Jr. and wife, Anne, Roanoke, Va., Pamela Baker and husband, Grey, Wilmington, Del., and Perry Willis and wife, Cindy, North East, Md.; grandchildren, Alyce McDowell, Frederick Willis, Elizabeth Willis, Jonathan Willis, Anna Willis, Grey Baker, Garrett Baker, Sara Reisinger, Bradley Reisinger, Alan Willis, and Michael Willis; great-grandson, Grey Baker; and siblings, Mary Meadows, Pineville, Valerie Simmons, and Glenn Hatmaker, both of Princeton.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Willis was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick E. Willis.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 12, 2008, at Hicks Home for Funerals, 103 W. Stockton St., Elkton, MD 21921. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m., Friday, January 11, at the funeral home. Interment will follow the service in Union Cemetery, Union, Md.
Flowers are welcome; however, contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, in care of the funeral home.
To leave personal condolences online, visit www.legacy.com
Funeral scheduled today include:
• Carli Farmer: 11 a.m., Rowland H. Bailey Funeral Chapel of Bailey-Kirk Funeral Home in Princeton. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Bluewell.