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Today's Obituaries

Shirley A. Ballengee Print Comment Top of page

Shirley Ann (Suttle) Ballengee, 84, of Rupert, died April 25, 2016. Graveside service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Wallace Memorial Mausoleum, Clintonville. Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Rainelle.

Richard Lee Barnett Print Comment Top of page

Richard Lee "Rick" Barnett of St. Albans passed away Sunday, April 10, 2016.

He was preceded in death by his father, Glenn.

He is survived by his daughter, Briana Barnett; son, Richard Barnett II; mother and stepfather, Donna and John R. Curry; brothers, Pete and Jeff (Carla) Barnett; stepsisters, Tiffany Waters and Ashley Fort; and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles who will miss him dearly.

A service to celebrate Rick's life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Highlawn Baptist Church, 2304 Jefferson Ave., St. Albans, with Pastor Rev. Dr. Mark Stauffer officiating.

Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting

Curry Funeral Home, 2097 Childress Road, Alum Creek, has been family owned and operated since 1950.

John W. Burkhamer Print Comment Top of page

John William Burkhamer, 87, of Cedar Grove, died April 27, 2016. O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery, is in charge of arrangements.

Jan Leeglen Courts Print Comment Top of page

Jan Leeglen Courts, 56, of Rand, went home to be with the Lord on April 26, 2016. He was born July 10, 1059. He was the son of Naomi Courts and the late John A. Courts, Sr. Jan graduated from DuPont High School, and spent many years serving his community as a volunteer firefighter and as an EMT. Shortly after graduating high school he joined the United States Navy, where he served in Operation Desert Storm. He received the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Services Medal and Southwest Asia Campaign Medal. Jan had a passion to help others.

He is survived by his mother, Naomi Courts of Rand; brothers, John Courts, Jr. (Catherine) and James Courts; sister, Janet Courts, all of Rand; aunts, Ethel Bright (Ron), Maxine Nelson and Lucile Nelson; uncle, Cleophus Nelson; nephews and nieces and great-nephews and -nieces; and a host of extended family members and friends.

Preston Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Levi Missionary Baptist Church, 5125 Church Drive, Rand. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church.

Freddie M. "Boss" Craft Print Comment Top of page

Freddie Morris "Boss" Craft, born May 20, 1938, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, April 25, 2016 after a long illness. He was preceded in death by his mother, Myrtle Combs, father, Vernon Combs, sisters, Lorene Craft Brown, Anna Smith, Juanita Campbell, brothers, Merle Craft & William "Whig" Craft and his son Frederick M. Craft.

Freddie was born in Kayford, West Virginia. He graduated with the last class at WV State High School. He gave his heart to the Lord when Brother Bobby Dobson's mother sung a song at the Old Ferguson Church.

He was retired from WV State College as a Groundskeeper and with Charleston Newspapers as a Pressman.

He leaves to mourn his wife of 57 years, Grace E. Craft, daughter, Sandra Y. Greenhowe of Dunbar and son, Merle M. Craft at home, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, his adopted stepbrother Dale Combs, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Preston Funeral Home in Charleston, WV is in charge of the service. Visitation will be on April 29, 2016 at 11 a.m. and the funeral will be at noon at Preston Funeral Home.

Denzil L. Craigo Print Comment Top of page

Mr. Denzil L. Craigo, 87, of Manilla Creek, Poca, walked the last mile on the turnpike of life on April 26, 2016.

Denzil was a Christian and a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was retired from Monsanto and an Army veteran, serving in the Korean conflict. He was a member of Painter Bethel Church and attended Lett Creek Community Church. Denzil loved the outdoors and spending time at his camp in Pocahontas County.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnie and Naomi Craigo; daughter, Lois Jean Craigo; brother, Edsel Craigo; and sister, Sharon Leighton.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mrs. Cecelia "Fannie" Craigo; sons, Dennis and wife, Judy Craigo, and Kerry Craigo; brothers, Oshel Craigo and Dale Craigo; sister, Lou Ann Higginbotham; granddaughters, April Craigo and husband, Ronnie Slater, and Billie and husband, Chad Harding; and great-grandchildren, Coty and Tristan Slater and Shelbie, Savannah and Shiloh Harding.

The family would like to say a special thank you to Hospice Care and all of the family and friends for the wonderful support given to our family over the last few weeks.

A tribute to the life of Mr. Denzil Craigo will be noon Saturday, April 30, at Gatens-Harding Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor John Taylor, John McCoy, Bob Sigman, Willard Beller and Chuck Perkins officiating. Burial will follow in Haven of Rest Memory Gardens.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Gatens-Harding Funeral Home, 147 Main St., Poca, is serving the Craigo family.

Peggy Louise Deal Print Comment Top of page

Peggy Louise Deal, 71, of Summersville, died April 26, 2016. Graveside service will be 11 a.m. Friday, April 29, at Montgomery Memorial Park, London. Arrangements by Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Charles E. Fish Print Comment Top of page

Charles E. Fish, 91, of Cross Lanes, was released from his earthly bonds on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 after battling a series of physical illnesses.

Born in Albany, Ohio, to Stephen L. and Elizabeth L. Fish on Jan. 14, 1925, he and his family later moved to Dunbar, where he was a member of Dunbar United Methodist Church and played basketball and football for Dunbar High School. He served in the U.S. Navy as a radio operator during World War II and was a member of the Admirals Flag, an elite group of sailors assigned to an admiral's entourage, where he served on three aircraft carriers: the USS Boxer, the USS Randolph and the USS Yorktown.

After the war Charles worked for Fidelity & Casualty Insurance Co., and then later with Union Carbide. After earning his bachelor's degree in 1965 from Morris Harvey College, he went on to teach math for the Kanawha County school system, from which he retired. He taught at Spring Hill Junior High, Nitro Junior High and South Charleston High School, where he also coached boys and girls tennis and basketball teams.

In his retirement he enjoyed repairing antique cars, home improvement projects, dining out and, before his health prevented it, he sang as a member of the Kanawha Kordsmen. Charles was an accomplished carpenter, mason and all-around do-it-yourselfer. He was pragmatic, frugal, honest, hardworking, down-to-earth and reliable—he had no vices.

His wife of 53 years, Jean, preceded him in death by eight years. Both of them were animal lovers, and they took in and cared for numerous stray cats and dogs throughout their life. Also preceding him was his sister, Mary, who was married to Ray Morrison of South Charleston.

He is survived by his son, Stephen C., and daughter-in-law, Barbara A. Fish; grandson, Alexander C. Fish; and step-grandchildren, Allison and Michael Smith.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Dunbar United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Okey Harless officiating. Entombment in Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens will immediately follow.

A viewing will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, 1248 Greenbrier St., Charleston, WV 25311.

Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

James "Jamie" Hackney II Print Comment Top of page

James "Jamie" Douglas Hackney II, 42, of Beech Glen, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2016 at his home in Beech Glen.

Born April 7, 1974, he was the son of and the late James D. Hackney and Carolyn (Jarrett) Hackney of Jodie.

In addition to his father, Jamie was also preceded in death by his grandparents, James and Helen Hackney and Charles and Gussie Jarrett.

Jamie loved playing the drums and watching sports with his mom.

In addition to his mother, Jamie is survived by brother, JD Hackney of Deep Water; sisters, Shelly (Jerry) Auxier of Jodie and Susie Harvey and Ken Coleman of St. Albans; three nieces; and special aunt, Marilyn "Meme" Hodge of Beech Glen. Jamie had many friends which he considered his brother: Tommy "Tater" Kozak, Timmy Jackson and Ken Coleman. His big personality will be missed by all.

A memorial service will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Pennington Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Hackney family.

Charles Lloyd Hall Print Comment Top of page

Charles Lloyd Hall, 76, died April 23, 2016. Service will be noon Friday, April 29, at Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the funeral home.

Elijah Reed Heywood Print Comment Top of page

Like his grandfather and namesake before him, Elijah Reed Heywood was born on July 24—known as Pioneer Day in his native state of Utah. As a child, Reed always believed that the Pioneer Day parades and celebrations were meant just for him. For those who knew and loved him throughout his life he truly was a pioneer, so often going before and showing the way. His was an exemplary and truly blessed life.

Originally from Panguitch, Utah, Reed spent most of his young life in Cedar City where he was actively involved in sports, music, theater, student government and academics. From the age of 13 he played saxophone in the family dance band, providing excellent fun throughout Southern Utah and developing a strong work ethic at an early age. After graduating from Cedar High School in 1957, Reed joined the army where he spent time in Fort Ord, CA and Fort Sill, OK, completing Field Artillery Survey School with distinction, always planning one day to become a civil engineer. After a spring quarter of playing baseball at the College of Southern Utah, he transferred to Brigham Young University where he studied for a year before enjoying the opportunity to serve a mission for the LDS Church in the West Central States Mission. Returning to college two years later, he continued to play baseball at which time he was invited by the Yankees to attend spring training. Although he had already decided not to pursue a career in baseball, throughout his life Reed enjoyed wondering "what if?" and he continued to be a dedicated Yankees fan until the end.

In 1962 Elijah Reed Heywood married his high school sweetheart, Eleanor Grimshaw, and together they began the joyful work of raising and supporting a family. Reed spent many years as a student at the University of Utah pursuing his medical education as well as graduate work in education administration. In his chosen profession as an OB/GYN, Dr. Heywood became a beloved physician and master teacher. Like the true pioneer he was, he had the courage to step into the unknown later in his career when he and Eleanor felt inspired to leave their beautiful home in Salt Lake City. Accepting education administration opportunities at both Syracuse University and West Virginia University, Reed opened the door for his family to experience many new adventures and important friendships. From 2002-2005, as one of the highlights of their lives, Reed and Eleanor were asked to preside over 485 young missionaries in the San Jose, California mission of the Church. The experiences and bonds of love formed during this time continue to bless the Heywood family to this day.

Reed valued education and hard work. He was a gifted teacher and speaker with a tender heart and passionate nature. He had a ready laugh but was never afraid to cry. Apart from his family, Reed's greatest joy came from serving the Lord. He had unwavering faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of the many opportunities he had to serve in the LDS Church, including 3 times as a bishop and many other leadership positions, Reed found the most joy in being a Sunday School teacher and a missionary. He loved to study and share his faith and he blessed many people with his deep spiritual understanding until the end of his life.

Elijah Reed Heywood passed away peacefully in his home on April 25, 2016 after many challenging years of living with ALS. He will be remembered for his unfailing generosity, integrity, courage, and commitment.

Reed was preceded in death by his sweetheart Eleanor Grimshaw Heywood, parents Austin Heywood and Nellie Mandana Haycock Heywood, his brother-in-law Lloyd Grames, and brothers Austin Garn and Richard Dan Heywood.

He is survived by his son David Reed (Jennifer), son Samuel Greg (Shari), daughter Jennifer, and grandchildren Christina Morgan (Blaine), Gabrielle Kathleen, David Reed Jr., George Theon, Jeffrey Gordon, Austin Reed (Aubree), Alexandra Wright (Cameron), Samuel Ernest, 2 great grandchildren, Luke Russell Morgan and Elijah Pyne Heywood, as well as his sister JaLene Grames, sisters-in-law Jenean and Julie Heywood, his brother Robert Heywood (Christine) and many beloved nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses, health care workers, and church members who made his life more comfortable.

Funeral services will be held in West Virginia on Saturday, April 30, at 2:00 p.m. in the Teays Valley building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1068 Mt. Vernon Rd, Hurricane, WV). Friends may visit beginning at 11:00 a.m.

An additional service will be held in Spanish Fork, UT on Wednesday, May 4th at 12:00 p.m. (541 West Center Street). Friends may visit from 10:00-11:30 a.m. A visitation will be held Tuesday, May 3rd from 6:30-9:00 p.m at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 S) in Sandy. Burial will follow the funeral in Sunset Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to may make a contribution to one of the following funds: the General LDS Church Mission Fund (through your local LDS congregation) or to the WVU Foundation, Department of OB/GYN, Charleston Division. (Mail to WVU School of Medicine, Office of Philanthropy, 3110 MacCorkle Ave., SE, Charleston, WV 25304)

You may share memories or condolences with the family at

Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane, is honored to serve the Heywood family.

Lillian "Starlee" Hogan Print Comment Top of page

Lillian "Starlee" Hogan, 84, of Charleston, WV, passed away peacefully at home on April 24, 2016, surrounded by her family and with the support of Hospice Care.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Radford Hogan; parents, James & Carrie Burkes; 3 children, Howard "Neil" Hogan, Marion "Sukey" Burkes and a baby girl; 5 brothers and 3 sisters; and grandson, James Richmond, all of Charleston.

She is survived by her children, Carolyn Richmond and Earl "Mark" Jordan, Charleston; brother, Ralph Burkes, Charleston, Robin Burkes, VA; sisters, Maureen Dillard, South Charleston, Lisa Schwab, Charleston; grandchildren, Lawrence Richmond, Star Hogan, Sherica Coleman, Nish Shepherd, Derek Jordan, Kenyon & Aunnika Jordan, Charleston, Dominic Daniels, Columbus, OH, Kim Rinehart, Cleveland, OH, Alisha Pegram, CA; and a host of great- and great-great-grandchildren and longtime friends.

Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Preston Funeral home, Charleston. Visitation with the family will precede the service.

Renee Holestine Print Comment Top of page

Yvette Renee Holestine, 61, of Alum Creek, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at home with her family by her side.

Renee was a former supervisor at WV Workers Compensation with 32 years of service and finished her working career at Office Max. She was a 1973 graduate of George Washington High School and later graduated from Morris Harvey College, now the University of Charleston, with an associate degree.

She was predeceased by her parents, O. Fred and Nancy Snodgrass; infant daughter, Nancy Nicole; infant brother, Roger Lee Snodgrass; and sister, Patricia Bell.

Renee is survived by her husband of 42 years, Frankie; daughter, Brittany (Emily) Holestine; son, Brandon Holestine; brother, Fred (Dottie) Snodgrass; and sisters, Eddie (Virgil) Carden, Karen Affolter and Penny Snodgrass.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek, with Pastor Frank Chapman officiating. Burial will follow at Graceland Memorial Park, South Charleston.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online by visiting

Curry Funeral Home, 2097 Childress Road, Alum Creek, has been family owned and operated since 1950.

Christopher Johnson Print Comment Top of page

Christopher Aaron Johnson, 36, of Handley, died April 26, 2016. O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery, is in charge of arrangements.

Lilly Faye Lanham Print Comment Top of page

Lilly Faye Lanham, 86, of Point Pleasant, died Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House, Huntington.

She was born Jan. 17, 1930 in Fraziers Bottom, a daughter of the late Delbert Carney Staats and Clara (Lilly) Staats. Lilly Faye graduated from Ripley High School in 1947, and from Marshall College (University) in 1951, with a major in math and a minor in music. She utilized both these degrees, teaching in the Mason County Schools for over 10 years and also tutoring several local students in higher level math subjects through the years. She also taught piano lessons to many children in both Jackson and Mason Counties throughout her life.

Lilly Faye was a member of the local American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Point Pleasant Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and both organizations gave her great pleasure. Perhaps her favorite organization was the local Garden Club, as she enjoyed gardening in her yard and also having a vegetable garden for over 50 years. She particularly enjoyed hosting an annual garden dinner for her friends among the flowers in her backyard. She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Point Pleasant for over 50 years, and sang with its choir for most of those years. She also had taught an adult Sunday school class for over 25 years.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Charles C. Lanham.

She is survived by her children, Terry Higgins of Morgantown, Joyce (Jeff) Berryman of Morgantown, Eddie (Patricia) Lanham of Point Pleasant and Charles D. Lanham of Cincinnati, Ohio; grandchildren, Alyssa Higgins, Monica (Liz Plunkett) Higgins, Rebecca Higgins, Claire (Steve Hennigar) Berryman, Tyler Berryman, Stanton (Shelley) Lanham III, Meredith Lanham, Christina (Greaham) Niemer, Elizabeth Lanham and Emily Lanham; two great-grandchildren, Kadin Higgins and Clara Marian Higgins; and one brother, Enoch Judson (Mary Jane) Staats of Cheraw, S.C.

A funeral service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Point Pleasant, with the Rev. Jim Kelly officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery, Ripley.

Visitation will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant, and one hour prior to the funeral service Saturday at the church.

For those considering an expression of sympathy, memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church Community Center Building Fund, 615 Viand St., Point Pleasant, WV 25550. The family would like to give a special thanks to Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House and staff for her care.

Condolences may be expressed to the family and memories may be shared by visiting

Mildred M. Lanham Print Comment Top of page

Mildred Maxine Lanham entered heaven to meet her Lord on April 26, 2016. Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Timmy Joe Ludlow Print Comment Top of page

Timmy Joe Ludlow, 55, of Nitro, passed away at Cabell Huntington Hospital on April 22, 2016. Arrangements are incomplete with Cooke Funeral Home and Crematorium, Nitro.

Burl A. Mallory Print Comment Top of page

Burl A. Mallory, 86, of St. Albans, formerly of South Charleston and Luling, La., born July 14, 1929, went home to Jesus on April 24, 2016 after a long illness.

He was employed by Union Carbide, both in South Charleston and Taft, La., for 39 years. He retired as maintenance supervisor of the Carbide Star Plant in 1992.

Burl gave his life to Jesus on March 10, 1953 and served as a Sunday school teacher at St. Luke's Methodist Church, and as Sunday school teacher, Boys Brigade leader and deacon at Spring Hill Baptist Church. He was instrumental in starting the Bible Center Church in Luling, La., where he served as Sunday school teacher, deacon and church treasurer. Since retiring to St. Albans in 1999 he has been a member and usher at Twin City Bible Center, Nitro.

Burl was preceded in death by his son, Mitchell Lee Mallory; parents, Lee Roy and Myrtle Hill Mallory; and brother, Lee Roy Mallory, Jr.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Phyllis Bays Mallory; daughter, Tianna Butler (Champe) of St. Albans; daughter-in-law, Connie Mallory of Conroe, Texas; two grandsons, John Thomas Harmon IV (Kelly) of Luling, La., and David C. Mallory (Michelle) of Conroe, Texas; and seven great-grandchildren, Haley, Hunter, Jalin and Charleigh Harmon of Luling, La., and Ethan, Joel and Isiah Mallory of Conroe, Texas. He will also be missed by his extended family and friends.

Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Twin City Bible Church, Nitro, with Pastor Scott Bandy officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston.

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

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Twin City Bible Church, 100 First Ave., Nitro, WV 25143.

Arrangements are in the care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Vernon Martin Print Comment Top of page

Vernon Martin, 78, of Evans, died April 26, 2016. Service will be 1 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley, with visitation two hours prior.

Rachel Browder Mecum Print Comment Top of page

Rachel Browder Mecum, 98, of St. Albans, West Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, passed away at Asbury Care Center in Charlotte, NC, on April 21, 2016. A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2016, at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 815 Kanawha Terrace, St. Albans, WV 25177, followed by a lunch reception at the church and the burial at Cunningham Memorial Park in St. Albans. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Andrews United Methodist Church, or Aldersgate Retirement Community, 3800 Shamrock Dr., Charlotte, NC 28215. Robertson Funeral & Cremation Service is serving the family,

Florence A. Rawlings Print Comment Top of page

Florence A. Rawlings passed away April 26 at Greenville Place Assisted Living, near her only son, in Greenville, S.C. Born in Van Lear, Ky., on Nov. 20, 1921, she lived until a short bout with dementia overtook her at the age of 94.

Her parents came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and settled in the coalfields of Hardy, Ky. It was a bustling town of 400 people. Tony and Anne Sawaneski had five children, Walter, Broni, Albenia, Violet and Florence. They grew up with no electricity, running water or any modern conveniences of present-day life. All survived the Great Depression and made contributions to society in many ways. She excelled at everything she tried. She was in the National Honor Society at Belfry High School, where she was also a cheerleader and salutatorian of her senior class. Upon graduation she moved to Charleston and graduated from the Charleston School of Commerce at the top of her class. Her first job was with the Shenandoah Life Insurance Company before becoming the executive secretary to a host of plant managers at Monsanto Chemical for 32 years. While at Monsanto, she was chosen as the best secretary in the state out of several hundred nominees. She was honored to be pinned with a diamond by Mrs. Sharon Rockefeller.

She married Denver "Tinker " Rawlings in 1943, and they remained married until his death in 2003. Tinker became the chief of the Nitro Fire Department. They had one son, Denver Jr., "Denny."

Her brother, Walter, received the Purple Heart in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and her husband, Denver, was a guard on the Panama Canal in World War II. Her son was senior vice president with Smith Barney, won several amateur golf championships in West Virginia and was awarded 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses after flying over 200 combat missions in Vietnam in the F-4 and as an FAC. He graduated from WVU in 1968.

She is survived by her son, Denver and his wife, Gale, of Greenville, S.C.; two grandchildren, Richmond (Melissa) and Shelley of Hoover and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and one great-grandchild, Hudson Paul Rawlings of Hoover. She was a terrific neighbor, wife, mother, grandmother and friend to so many people in Nitro for over 70 years, and was still watching the Mountaineers well into her 90s.

The family especially wants to thank Donna Wilcox, who helped her so much while she was in West Virginia, along with a great family friend in Bill Asbury, both from Nitro. Also, Jessica Simpson with Heartland Hospice. Contributions can be made to St. Paul's Methodist Church in Nitro or Heart Hospice Memorial Fund, 421 SE Main St., Suite100, Simpsonville, SC 29681.

Service for Mrs. Rawlings will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 2008 20th St., Nitro, with the Rev. Nancy White officiating. Burial will follow at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the church.

You may express online condolences at

Kenneth Leroy Smith Print Comment Top of page

Kenneth Leroy "Hank" Smith, 85, of Charleston, was called home to the Lord on April 23, 2016 at Eastbrook Nursing Home.

Mr. Smith was a veteran, serving in the U.S. Army. He was a retired welder for the West Virginia Department of Highways and attended Bible Baptist Church, Sissonville, when he was able to. Hank loved to fish and camp. He also enjoyed woodworking and always found something to build.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lorena Smith; parents, Albert and Sarah Smith; sisters, Vangie McCormick, Nancy Payton and Mary Miller; and brothers, John and Albert Smith.

Survivors include his loving children, Robert Portz and wife, Donna, of Rawlings, Wyo., Sarah Smith of Roberta, Ga., and Ruby George and husband, John, of Roberta, Ga.; brother, Kermit Smith of Poca; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston, with Pastor Lee Swor officiating. Burial with military graveside rites provided by American Legion Post 61, Clendenin, will follow at John Beane Cemetery, Sissonville.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

The family will accept online condolences at

Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the Smith family.

April L. Sullivan Print Comment Top of page

April L. (Taylor) Sullivan, 62, of Charleston, formerly of Jodie, entered into rest Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Born April 10, 1954, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Reva Mary (Gray) Taylor.

April is survived by brothers, Walter W. Taylor of Smithsburg, Md., and Farrel "Sonny" Taylor of Indore; sisters, Sylvia McComas of Jodie and Hildreth Carter of Orangeburg, S.C.; special friends, Diane Elliott of Twenty Mile and Donna and Nancy Grose of Jodie; and caregiver, Cheri Lamb of Charleston.

A memorial service will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge, with Minister Shane Wynn officiating.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Pennington Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Taylor family.

Oscar T. Tharpe Print Comment Top of page

Oscar Theodore Tharpe, 81, of Summersville, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at his home with his loving wife by his side, after a long illness.

Oscar was born Oct. 10, 1934 in Holcomb to the late George Taylor and Lillie Bess Tharpe. He was a Baptist by faith and a born again Christian. He attended Holcomb's one-room school and Richwood High School with the class of '55. His working career consisted of driving a Pepsi truck for local bushiness, logging, in and around the coal mines for over 30 years and he started Oscar Tharpe's Trucking. He was founder of Tharpe & Tharpe, Inc., a heavy equipment company. After retiring, he began a new career as a songwriter, forming his own publishing company, Oscar Tharpe's Publishing Company. After working with several local artists (John Peters, Jim O'Dell, Marcia Flanery), he then formed his own band, Oscar's Carolina Bluegrass Band, with Donna Spivey, Clyde Mattocks, Danny Grant, Curtis Lee, Mike Rose, Jeff Huffman and the late Roby Huffman. He had a big part in starting the CBC Fire Department, building and purchasing their first fire truck. He was instrumental in getting public water in Craigsville and was a member of the board. He was a very loving and giving man to his friends and family. Oscar fought a long battle with black lung after working in the coal mines for over 30 years. Black lung slowed him down, but he kept going strong until Aug. 18, 2012, when he had a massive stroke. But against all odds, he bounced back and continued to write songs and would still go to the studio with his band. He loved all kinds of music but worked in bluegrass mainly within the last few years.

Oscar is survived by his wife, Connie Propst Tharpe; children, Mike Tharpe and wife, Dorothy Sheets, Oscar Tharpe, Jr. and wife, Patty, Linda Willis and husband, Steve, and Stephen Propst and wife, Melanie; grandchildren, Chance and Lance Sheets, Bryan, Amber and Brandon Tharpe, Phalon Bennett, Gabrielle Flemmings, Theresa and Anna Willis, Nathaniel, Kaitlynn, Breanna, Nicholas, Gabrielle Propst and Halee and Kalee Butler; great-grandchildren, Nicholi Sheets, Caleb Sheets, Aiden Bridges, Serenity Palmer, Amara Williams, Rage, Ryatt, Riker Bennett, Cadence Tharpe and Stoney Xavier Flemmings; and brother, Dewey and Donna Tharpe. Oscar is also survived by several nieces, nephews and friends; a wonderful cousin, Helen Chapman; and his adopted family, Heather and Ernest Smith and children, John, Debbie and Savannah Peters, Tanya McCourt and Crystal and Allen Bailey.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 29, at Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood, with Bobby Cyrus officiating. Interment will be in Denna Cemetery, Holcomb.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

We would like to thank the staff of Camden Medical Center, Milissa Short, PA and Bridget Addair, Home Health Care Nurse, Angie Sexton, the staff of SRMC, Home Care Plus and his nurse, Marsha Russell, for their support during his last years and at the end the caring support of Hospice Care and their staff of wonderful nurses and aides. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Oscar's memory can do so at Hospice Care, 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV, 25387-2536.

All arrangements by Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

Wayne L. Walker, II Print Comment Top of page

Wayne Lawson Walker, II, 57, of Richmond, Va., went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.

Wayne, or "Jay" as he was known by many family and friends, was born in Lewis County on Feb. 28, 1959 to Wayne L. Walker and Ellen McLaughlin Lewis.

He grew up in Braxton County and graduated from Braxton County High School in 1977. He moved to Woodbridge, Va., for employment and retired in 2015.

Jay loved fishing, camping and barbequing. He especially loved being at the beach or camping with friends at the Gravel Pit in Richmond, Va.

Jay was preceded in death by his father, Wayne L. Walker.

He is survived by his fiancee, Barbara George of Richmond, Va.; his mother, Ellen (Denny) Lewis of Strange Creek; his sisters, Leslie (Robey) Godfrey of Frametown and Lisa (Jim) Williams of Marietta, Ohio; and his children, Elizabeth Walker of Caldwell, Ohio, Matthew Walker of Frametown and Eric (Amanda) Robinson of Clinton, Tenn. Jay leaves behind three grandchildren, Blake Leonard, Tobias Robinson and Jedidiah Robinson, as well as nieces and nephews, Alex Godfrey, Kyle (Ellen) Godfrey, Ellen Williams and Parker Williams. Also surviving are uncles, John McLaughlin, Charles Walker, Larry Walker, Robert Walker, and aunt, Ruth Ross.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Strange Creek Cemetery with the Rev. Robey Godfrey officiating.

Condolences may be extended to the family at

Information provided by Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Billie Marie Young Print Comment Top of page

Billie Marie Staats Young, 83, of Charleston, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 24, 2016.

She was born in Ripley and grew up in Charleston, attending West Side schools. She graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1950 and graduated Charleston Business College.

Billie was executive secretary for the law firm of Woodroe, Kizer & Steed. While raising her six children, she was employed as a clerk for Kanawha County Schools.

After retiring, Billie increased the time she devoted to helping others through her work in the church. She was an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church for over 60 years, where she was a deaconess, serving on the Finance Committee, Hospitality Committee, Visitation Ministry and Flower Committee. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years. Billie also held many offices in American Baptist Women. She was instrumental in furnishing and decorating the parlor, gathering area and kitchen of the church, as this was one of her gifts and passions.

Billie was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Carl R. Young; infant son, Timothy; and her parents, Edwin G. and Tressie E. Staats.

She is survived by her children, Michael and wife, Lynn, of Westerville, Ohio, Stephen and wife, Roxane, of Fishersville, Va., Kimberly Dunnavant and husband, Michael, of Jackson, Tenn., Kelly Parsons and husband, Richard, of South Charleston, Robin Workman and husband, Charles, of Chapin, S.C., and Jason and fiancee, Jessica, of South Charleston; brother-in-law, Norman R. and wife, Barbara, of Roanoke, Va.; 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Charleston, with the Rev. Ron Stoner officiating. Burial will follow at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens.

Visitation with the family will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1401 Washington St. W., Charleston, WV 25387.

The family will accept online condolences at

Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the Young family.

Funerals for: April 28, 2016

Danesi, Adola 7 p.m., Christ the King Catholic Church, Dunbar.

Gregg, William H. 11 a.m., Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston.

Harlow, Mary L. 1 p.m., White Funeral Home, Summersville.

Harris, Stephen 7 p.m., Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, Nitro.

Harvey, John 6 p.m., Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

Pettit, Clarice J. 1 p.m., Wilson

Stover, Kenneth L. 1 p.m., Mount Carmel Church, Gallipolis Ferry.

Stratton, Merlene A. 11 a.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.