Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 29, 2013

James Ray “Diddle” Vandyke

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ROCKY GAP, Va. — James Ray “Diddle” Vandyke, 68, of Rocky Gap, Va., passed away Sunday, July 28, 2013, at his home following an extended illness. Born in Buchanan County on December 11, 1944, he was the twin son of the (late) Ira Buddy and Mary June Hale Vandyke. He was a long time resident of Vansant, Va., where he was a coal mine operator, co-owner, and president of Bill Branch Coal Mine. He was also co-owner of Diddle Bird Explosives. After retiring from mining, Diddle moved to Rocky Gap, Va. where he was a member of Maple View Church of Christ. Diddle enjoyed his retirement farming, hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Diddle is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Pauline Vandyke; his mother, Mary June Hale Vandyke of Abingdon, Va.; his sons, James Tyrone Vandyke and his wife Melissa of Grundy, Va.; Michael Dwayne Vandyke; Jeffrey David Vandyke and his special friend Daisy of Rocky Gap, Va.; Rodney Lee Ratliff and his wife Karen of Rocky Gap, Va. Two brothers, twin Thomas Kay “Bird” Vandyke and his wife Carol of Eutawville, S.C.; Ira Leon “Punk” Vandyke and his wife Debbie of Abingdon, Va. Three sisters, Kitty Dianna Vandyke of Abingdon, Va.; Linda Gail Deel and her husband Bill of Abingdon, Va.; Ramona Sue White and her husband Doug of Pounding Mill, Va. Grandchildren, Coty Ray Vandyke and Cory Blake Vandyke of Grundy, Va.; Amanda Dawn Vandyke and Matthew Ryan Vandyke of Tucson, Ariz.; Emily Nicole Ratliff and Benjamin Lee Ratliff of Rocky Gap, Va. Along with many special nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at the Grundy Funeral Home Chapel Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. with services at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral services for James Ray “Diddle” Vandyke will be held at Maple View Church of Christ in Bluefield, W.Va. at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2013 with visitation prior to the service starting at 10 a.m. Ministers Tony Reed, Jonathon Goss and Gerald Vanover will be leading the funeral services. Entombment will follow in the Greenhills Memory Gardens Mausoleum at Claypool Hill, Va.

Active pallbearers will be Cory Vandyke, Coty Vandyke, Matthew Vandyke, Rusty Vandyke, Stuart Vandyke, Tyler Vandyke, Robbie Wriston, and Shannon Deel.  

Honorary pallbearers will be Ken Potter, Judge Bob Williams, Dr Bruce Grover, Charles Vanover, Ronnie Vanover, Bradley McClanahan, Don Helmandollar, Jerry Ellison, Rick Owens, Tom Bishop, Ronnie Wriston, Ronnie Smith, Charlie Davis, Harold Vandyke, Ray Viers, David Cline, Dennis Willis, Deno Willis and Raymond Willis.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of donations to Maple View Church of Christ in Bluefield, WV, Little Prater Church of Christ in Grundy, VA or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network National Headquarters.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Grundy Funeral Home of Grundy, Virginia is in charge of all arrangements.