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Obituaries | In Memory of

Obituaries, In Memory of

Ferrell Ray Childers

The Gilmer Free Press

Ferrell Ray Childers

Age 76, of Big Flint, WV, departed this life, Thursday, March 21, 2013, at his residence.

He was born on January 30, 1937, at Ashley, WV, the son of the late Burley Ray and Pansy Lyons Childers.

Ferrell had attended several churches including the former Chestnut Grove Church.

He had worked for the West Virginia Department of Highways, Doddridge County Headquarters, Colliers Construction, Strongsville OH, as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator, and was owner-operator of Big Flint Auto. He loved his family and his grandchildren, being a witness for the lord, listening to gospel music and reading his bible. He was a great father, grandfather and husband.

He is survived by his wife, Ethel F. Hoalcraft Childers, sons, Michael Childers, Big Flint, WV, Daniel Childers, Wilmington, NC, Andy Childers, Salisburg, NC; daughters, Bonnie Lasure(Edward), Big Flint, WV, Karen Hefner(Greg), Tarklin Road, and Melissa Cork, Clarksburg, WV; grandchildren, Angie Lasure, Aaron Lasure, Mandy Nicholson, JR Cork, Ashley Cork, Jordon Stover, Taylor Childers, Tessa Childers, Hannah Childers and Zach Childers; sisters, Lenna Bell Utter, Salem, WV, Louella Davis, Waldo Run, Nina Eddy, Salem, WV and Charlotte Samples, Waldo Run.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Jerry L. Childers.

Funeral service will be held at the McCullough Funeral Home, Pennsboro, WV, at 4:00 PM Saturday, March 23, 2013 with the Rev. Darrell Cramer officiating.

Burial will follow in the Chestnut Grove Cemetery, Big Flint, WV.

Friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday, March 23, 2013, from 11:30 AM until the hour of service.

Leona Pearl Malcomb

The Gilmer Free Press

Leona Pearl Malcomb

Age 70, of Portland, TN passed away March 18, 2013 at Sumner Regional Medical Center, Gallatin, TN.

She was born on July 12, 1942 in Sutton, WV to the late Murl and Aretta Smith Williams.

Leona was a Glass Worker for Louie Glass in Weston, WV.

She was a member of the Eakle Community Church.

She is preceded in death by her parents, son, Thomas Malcomb, two brothers, Delbert Williams and Ed Williams, sister, Virginia Pullins.

Leona is survived by her companion, Gary Ware, daughters, Cathy Malcomb of Glenville, WV; Carol Smith of Ivydale, Connie Kniceley of Flatwoods, WV; brother, Paul Williams of Summersville, WV; sisters, Mavadell McDivitt of Summersville, WV; Charlotte Fox of Burnsville, WV; Loretta Bailey of Sutton, WV; and her grandchildren Jennifer Cutlip, Laura Malcomb, Michael Waggy, Thomas Cunningham, Alivia Cunningham, Patrick Smith, Kayla Kniceley, great-grandchildren Isabella and Maiya Waggy.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 PM Saturday March 23, 2013 at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton with Rev. Earl Cayton officiating.

Burial will follow at the Newville Cemetery, Newville, WV.

Friends may call one hour prior to service at the funeral home.

Greene-Robertson is humbled to be serving the Malcomb family.

Governor Orders Flags Lowered for Former State Senator

The Gilmer Free Press

State flags will fly at half staff Friday for former Randolph County state Senator Jae Spears.

The 90-year-old Spears died at her home in Elkins last weekend.

Spears plowed new ground during her time in the state Senate becoming the first and only female to be finance committee chair, to serve on the government and finance committee along with the first female majority whip.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who served with Spears in the Senate, ordered the flags be lowered.

“She worked hard throughout her career for the good of the citizens of West Virginia and she will long be remembered for her pioneering spirit,” Governor Tomblin said in a prepared statement. “Joanne and I extend our deepest condolences to Jae’s family.”

Spears served three terms in the House of Delegates before being elected to the Senate in 1980 where she also served three terms.

Saturday’s funeral will take place at First United Methodist Church in Elkins.

Beulah Mae Moles Coffey

The Gilmer Free Press

Beulah Mae Moles Coffey

Age 82 of Chloe, WV, devoted and loving wife of 63 years, to Ernest R. Coffey, passed away March 21, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Beulah was the daughter to the late Gilbert F. Moles and Genelia Helen Sheets Moles.

She was preceded in death by brothers, Junior Elton Moles, Joe Franklin Moles, Ira Daris Moles, Twins Henry and Harry Moles, Charles Delbert Moles; sisters, Helen Madeline Moles Slack, Margaret Kathleen Moles Mitchell.

She is survived by sisters, Welda Jean Moles Jordan of Big Chimney WV and Pearl Moles Haas of Michigan.

Beulah was much loved and will be sadly missed by all that knew her, especially several nieces and nephews. A very special thanks for the love and care of nieces, Jean Stump, Sherry Stewart, Teresa Miller, Sue Facemyer and Rebecca Hanshaw, and sister Pearl Haas.

Ernest Coffey, Beulah’s husband of 63 years, would like to add special thanks and praise for niece Jean Stump for the love, devotion and care given by her for Beulah the past 4 years. It was very much appreciated.

Also special thanks to the Hospice nurses, Lisa, Heather, Connie, Nova, Kristen, Debbie and Pastor Bryon of Burnsville Hospice.

Services will be 1:00 PM Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Hafer Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Bryon Bukovesky officiating.

Burial will be in Jarrett Cemetery, Elkview, following the services.

Friends may call 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday prior to service at the funeral home.

Hafer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for the Coffey family.

Elsie Genevieve Utt

The Gilmer Free Press

Elsie Genevieve Utt

Age 84, a resident of Crestview Manor, formerly of High Street in Weston, WV, passed away at 3:40 PM, Friday, March 15, 2013 in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston, following an extended illness.

She was born August 04, 1928 at Salem: a daughter of the late Lyda and Jessie Flesher Simons.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Everett Lee Utt, who died June 09, 1989.

Surviving are one daughter, Sharon K. Grogg Hull and husband, Jerry of Jane Lew; one brother, Delbert W. Simons of Parkersburg; one sister, Christina Cunningham of Hamilton, Ohio; sister-in-law, Mildred Gross of Fla.; seven grandchildren, Amy Carpenter, Steven Workman, Misti Smith, Lisa Hardy, Garrison Lee Grogg, and Jody Shock and Jessica Bender; great-grandchildren: Kaytely, Seth, and Samuel Carpenter, Steve, Shawn and Marissa Workman, Cory, Destiny and Dakota Stonestreet, Sierra and MaKayla Hardy, Kelsee, Brenna, Kasey, Montana, Tyler Grogg, Allison Bohan, Ayden, Jaylyn and Ashton Shock; one great-great-grandson, Liam Mathew Workman.

She was preceded in death by one daughter, Linda Diane Shock; and one brother, Donald Simons.

Elsie was employed for several years at the First National Bank in Salem and later retired from the Weston National Bank. She loved to read and crochet.

She was a member of the Church of Christ.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family.

Friends and family were received at the Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Road in Jane Lew on Monday, March 18, from 5:00-8:00 PM.

Funeral Services were held Tuesday, March 19, at 1:30 PM, from the Church of Christ in Weston with Rick Beck and Albert Farley officiating.

Interment followed in the Forest Lawn Memorial Garden.

The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored and privileged to serve the Utt family.

Pauline Belknap Green

The Gilmer Free Press

Pauline Belknap Green

Age 95, of Heaters, WV, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at Braxton Health & Rehabilitation Center.

She was born February 14, 1918 in Centralia, WV to the late Aaron Floyd and Melvina Cogar Belknap.

Also preceding her in death were four brothers, Paul, Earl, Minter W. and Hillard Belknap and one sister, Floda Dennison of which was her twin.

As a child, she loved playing ball games with her brothers. In the 1940’s she married Ralph Green whom also preceded her in death.

Pauline attended Centralia United Methodist Church.

Young Pauline was always very giving of herself and her time. She was the caregiver for her sick mother. Pauline also worked in a beauty shop where she would fix ladies hair for free who couldn’t afford to pay for the services. Pauline loved having her hair done, dressing in pretty clothes, painting her nails, going to parties and listening to music.

Left to cherish her memory are several nieces and nephews, and a host of friends who will miss her.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Sunday, March 24, 2013, at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home, Sutton with the Rev. Rodney England officiating.

Burial will follow at Centralia Cemetery, Centralia, WV.

Friends may call 6:00-8:00 PM Saturday March 23, 2013 at the funeral home.

Greene-Robertson Funeral Home is humbled to be serving the Green Family.

Michael Grant Whipkey

The Gilmer Free Press


Michael Grant Whipkey

Age 29, of Wilsonburg, WVdied unexpectedly at 5 AM, March 14, 2013, while traveling to work in Doddridge County.

He was born November 28, 1983: a son of Vincent Matthew Whipkey of Clarksburg and Lisa Ann Wagner of Weston.

Also surviving is one brother, Hunter Cochran; two sisters, Courtney Whipkey and Ashley Ferrell; and step-mother, Beth Ann Whipkey, all of Clarksburg; and several aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Mary Whipkey.

Michael attended Liberty High School and was employed by Wolf Pack Rentals of Clarksburg. He thoroughly loved his job and the employees took him under their wings and were a great source of support and encouragement.

He was an outdoor enthusiast who loved to deer hunt, fish and ride 4-wheelers and dirt bikes.

A Friends and Family Gathering was held at the Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Road in Jane Lew on Sunday, March 17, from 12:00-1:00 PM.

A Celebration of Life Service followed at 1:00 PM, with Rev. Wease Day officiating.

The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored and privileged to serve the Whipkey family.

Edna Viola Obney

The Gilmer Free Press

Edna Viola Obney

Age 53, of Sutton, WV, formerly of Florida, died March 10, 2013 at CAMC Memorial Hospital.

She was born July 09, 1959 in Pennsylvania.

She was an emergency room nurse and a beautiful artist. She dearly loved her grandchildren.

She is survived by husband, Brian Kevin Obney; stepchildren, Kevin Obney and Amanda Stewart; mother, Viola McClain; grandchildren, Brent, Britnie, Breana , and Nora Jane; two brothers.

Service will be 1:00 PM Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Friends may call two hours prior to the service at the funeral home. Cremation will follow services.

Helen Faith Grounds Exline

The Gilmer Free Press

Helen Faith Grounds Exline

Age 81, of Strange Creek, WV, died March 19, 2013.

She was born October 14, 1931 in Cabin Creek, WV.

Hope Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune-without the works, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I’ve heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson She is survived by daughters: Pat Duffield (Carl), Anita Rollyson (Nobel), Patricia Gillespie (Cliff); Grandchildren: Carla Duffield Westfall (Ricky), Ronnie Duffield, Timmy Rollyson (Savahana, expecting a son), Walkeria Hudkins (Tim), Clarissa and Cecillia Gillespie; Greatgrandchildren: Elijha Westfall and Dusty Hudkins.

Preceded in death by parents Harrison and Delphia Minton Grounds: brother Stanley Grounds and sister-in-law Freda Mae Grounds. Helen loved her pets and had many dogs over her 81 years of life.

She also fed many birds through the cold winter months on Keener’s Ridge. She was a quiet woman who lended a hand when one was needed and sought the Lord when all else failed.

A gracious thank you goes to the staff at Laurel Nursing Home.

At Helen’s request her body was cremated.

Arrangements by Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Howard Kenneth “Buddy” Sumpter

The Gilmer Free Press

Howard Kenneth “Buddy” Sumpter

Age 63, of Sand Fork, WV, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013, at Ruby Memorial Hospital of Morgantown after an extended illness.

Howard was born at home in Gilmer Station, WV on June 13, 1949, a son of the late Kenneth Sumpter and the late Winona (Love) Sumpter.

Survivors include his two sons, Kenneth Ray Sumpter and his wife Tina of Stanley, VA, and Jonathon David Sumpter of Sand Fork, WV; four grandchildren, Kenneth Michael Sumpter, Candas Nicole Sumpter, Kandus Harleigh Sumpter and Rebecca Karleigh Sumpter; and one brother, Harry Ray “Butch” Sumpter of Eden Prairie, MN.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Candas Carol “Candy” Sumpter.

Howard spent his entire life in Gilmer County, WV. He was a proud graduate of the former Sand Fork High School.

He was a Christian by faith who attended the Sand Fork Church of God of Prophecy.

He last worked as a well tender in the oil and gas industry.

He dearly loved his grandchildren and spending time with his friends. Howard was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and hunting.

In honoring Howard’s wishes, he will be cremated.

Visitation and fellowship will be held at the Sand Fork Church of God of Prophecy on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 11:00 AM with the memorial service at 1:00 PM.

Pastor Brian Groves will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Sand Fork Church of God of Prophecy, P.O. Box 320, Sand Fork WV 26430.

Hastings Funeral Home of Morgantown is in charge of the arrangements.

Goldie V. Powers

The Gilmer Free Press

Goldie V. Powers

Age 90, of Gassaway, WV, went to be with the Lord on March 18, 2013.

She was born June 30, 1922 a daughter of the late Edwin and Mary Robinson Reynolds.

Goldie was a faithful member of the Sugar Creek Missionary Baptist Church.

She worked at the Sutton Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide; she wrote for many years for the Braxton Democrat; she worked the voting polls for Braxton County and was a board member of the Braxton County Senior Citizens. Goldie was a loving mother, grandma, sister, and mother-in-law. She enjoyed her family, her church, crocheting, and quilting.

She was preceded in death by brothers, Everett Lott and Alvin Reynolds; sister, Orie Gleason; granddaughter, Vicki Powers; three great granddaughters and three great grandsons.

She is survived by her sons, Robert B. Powers (Katie) of Sheffield Lake, OH, William E. Powers (Sheila) of Gassaway; daughters, Margaret R. Beall (David) of LaGrange, OH, Sharon L. Powers of Virginia Beach, VA, Lois J. Beegle (Bill) of Florence, KY; brother, Calvin Reynolds; sister, Kathryn Street; grandchildren, Kim Beeler, Rob Powers, Lori Martin, Marion Curtis, Tom Powers, Lisa Clowser, John Beall, Angie Hardman, Kelly Moore, Ramsey Tamimi, Samirah Tamimi, Jim Beegle, Melissa Taulbee, Steve Beegle, Mike Beegle, Dawn Rae Smith, and Allison Beall; 38 great grandchildren; 5 great great grandchildren.

Service will be 11:00 AM Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sugar Creek Missionary Baptist Church, Gassaway with Pastor Allen Legg and Pastor Joe Brown officiating.

Burial will be in the Sugar Creek Cemetery, Gassaway.

Friends may call from 6:00 to 9:00 PM Thursday at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway and two hours prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers the family request that memorial donations be made to the Sugar Creek Missionary Baptist Church, P.O. Box 188, Gassaway, WV 26624.

Albert Leslie “John” Skidmore

The Gilmer Free Press

Albert Leslie “John” Skidmore

Age 71 of Sutton, WV, born on August 23, 1941, in Sutton, WV passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2013 after a brave battle with lung cancer.

He was surrounded by the family he laughed with, lived for, and treasured deeply.

He was predeceased by his dear wife, Lorena Rose Stump Skidmore, whom he married on December 05, 1964, and then passed away in 1976; his parents the Rev. Leslie and Irene Skidmore; and three sisters Sue Jewett, Colleen Payne, and Carol Facemire.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 33 years, Rhonda, his son J.B. Skidmore (Heather) of Parkersburg, WV, and their children Ethan, Lucie, and Garrett, his daughter Lori (Robert) Skidmore Hill of Morgan Hill, CA, and their children Rachel, Talia, Connor, and John “Jack,” and his daughter Jonna Lynn Skidmore of Sutton, WV. He is also survived by his sister Donna (Rex) Miller of Maryland and his brother James (Karen) of Charleston, WV. He is survived by and especially beloved by his in-laws, Hurshel Sr. and Marla Rowan, of Sutton, as well as his Sisters-in-law Cheryl Mitchell (Harlis) of Frametown, Haley Stump, of Sutton, and his Brother-in-law, Hurshel Rowan Jr., whom he came to love as a brother.

As a young boy of 13, he “hauled coal” and drove a coal truck. In 1960, John graduated from Sutton High School and went on to proudly serve in U.S. Army and the U.S. National Guard, where he specialized in communications. After carrying the U.S. Mail, he worked for the Monongahela Power Company, repaired appliances and delivered furniture for F&M Supply Company and the Braxton Motor Company, served as Braxton County Deputy Sheriff, worked for the Kenton Meadows Corporation, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, Allegheny Construction, Union Drilling, and finally F&B Steel until his retirement in 2007 As all of his old friends, new friends, and family could tell you—- John loved the outdoors and could often be found (wearing his standard Wrangler blue-jeans and pocket tee shirt) fishing at the Sutton Dam or riding through town in his old Ford truck with his faithful Border Collie, Sophie. Much to the delight of his family, he kept his tools and knowledge at the ready and could repair anything from refrigerators to flashlights to any number of toys, even when they should have been thrown out and replaced with new ones. He was a consummate teacher and always found an opportunity to humbly pass on to the next generation what he knew from how to bait a fishing hook, to making no-bake cookies, and how to smoke a turkey. He looked forward to WVU football games, deer hunting at Thanksgiving, picking berries in the summer, and preferred taking the scenic route. Long before GPS, John would always ask where you were headed and then tell you exactly how to get there—-whether it was three miles away or three hundred.

John’s favorite times, though, were spent with his family, his treasure. He always made time to share a good laugh at the dinner table, scour the flea markets or walk on the beach with his wife, bounce babies on his knee, share the newspaper and a pot of coffee, take his grandchildren fishing for hours and give countless rides to them on his tractor, drive thousands of miles cross country, or scrape the ice from the car window and make sure it was toasty warm for you on a cold winter morning.

John’s easy going and kind and giving nature made him a friend to all. His life was not defined by the things he owned. He was a man of character—-defined by his genuine kindness, love, patience, gentleness, and thoughtfulness. His life was not finished as he had more laughs to laugh, more fish to be caught, more country roads to travel, and more tractor rides to give. He was a gift to his family and was deeply beloved. He always gave his best. His shoes can never be filled.

Friends will be received at Greene-Robertson Funeral Home in Sutton, WV, on Thursday, March 21, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM.

Services will be officiated by the Reverend Vaughn James. Interment will follow at the Braxton Memorial Cemetery, Sutton, WV with military graveside rites given by American Legion Post # 33, Sutton, WV. 

Juanita Merle Greene Casto

The Gilmer Free Press

Juanita Merle Greene Casto

Age 93, of Parkersburg, WV, passed away Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Worthington Nursing and Rehabilitation.

She was born Monday, December 15, 1919, in Braxton County, WV, a daughter to the late Charles and Hallie Boone Petty.

She was retired from Western District Guidance Center, where she was a counselor for the State of West Virginia.

Juanita was also a Methodist by faith.

She is survived by two sons, James A Greene Jr. (Joanne) of Parkersburg and William Issac Greene (Marie) of Buchanan Dam, Texas; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Jean Petty of Elkview, WV; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Andrew Greene; a daughter, Judith Ann Langfitt; four sisters; and one brother.

There will be a private family service at a later date.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at the Worthington Nursing Home.

Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Parkersburg, P.O. Box 392, Parkersburg, WV 26101.

Ethel Thompson Smith

The Gilmer Free Press

Ethel Thompson Smith

Age 94 Wooster, Ohio, died Sunday, March 17, 2013, with her loving family by her side.

She was born November 23, 1918, in Pittsburgh, the daughter of Ulysses Thompson and Kathryn McConnell Thompson, and married James “Pat” Smith. He preceded her in death.

Surviving are her loving children, James W. (Helene) Smith of Wooster, Samuel C. Smith of Big Brownfield, PA, Kathryn (Carl) Schartiger of Middleport, William P. Smith of Big Brownfield, PA, Ethel Verbus of Grantsville, WV, Donald H. Smith of Wooster, and Susan (Danny) Casey of Wooster; 21 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and a daughter-in-law, Edna Smith of Spencer, WV.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; sons, Bob Smith and Wendall “Butch” Smith; three grandsons; a brother, Sam Thompson; a half-brother, Harry Vaughn; and a daughter-in-law, Sis Smith.

The family will receive friends Wednesday from 2:00-4:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM at Dean C. Whitmarsh Funeral Home, 134 W. Church Street, Fairchance, PA.

Services will be Thursday at 11:00 AM at the funeral home, where friends may call prior to the services.

The Rev. Terry Hagedorn will officiate.

Interment will be in Mount Moriah Baptist Cemetery, Smithfield, PA.

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