The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 21, 2013

Obituaries — Sunday, April 21, 2013

— Rupert Leo  Blankenship II

Rupert Leo Blankenship II, 36, of Maple Fork, WV, passed away on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

Born on February 13, 1977, in Beckley, he was the son of Janice Bowyer Blankenship of Maple Fork and the late Rupert Leo Blankenship.

Mr. Blankenship was a coal miner for Alpha Natural Resources. He was a resident of Maple Fork all of his life. Mr. Blankenship enjoyed carpentry work and being outdoors.

Surviving other than his mother are his wife, Tonya  Hughes Blankenship; two children,  Christopher, age 12, and Kelsy, age 5, both at home; two sisters, Janet Lynn Wickelhaus, of  Sandstone, and Rebecca Ellen Russell and her husband, Shawn, of Columbia, South Carolina; and two nephews, Hunter and Mason.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley on Monday, April 22, 2013, at 3 p.m. with Rev. Jim Bowyer and Pastor Brad Williams officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity, WV. Friends may visit with the family at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until service time on Monday.

Pallbearers will be Michael Bowyer, Bill Daniel, Don Dicken, Michael Morgan, Michael Robinson, and Kevin Voiers.

Private online condolences, floral gifts, and other expressions of sympathy are available to the family via our guestbook at

Arrangements are by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street, Beckley, WV.

Leila Buchanan

INDIAN HEAD, Md. — Leila Elizabeth Buchanan, of Indian Head, Maryland, passed away April 18, 2013.

Leila was born April 18, 2013, the infant daughter of Adam Buchanan and Lindsey Watts Buchanan of Indian Head, Maryland.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by maternal grandparents, Jerry and Rose Watts of Rock Creek, WV; paternal grandparents, Steve Buchanan (Marilyn) of Bluefield, WV, and Elizabeth “Libby” Buchanan of Bradley, WV; paternal great-grandmother Ruby Jean Buchanan of Glen Daniel, WV; Aunt Erica Buchanan of Mount Hope, WV; Uncle and Aunt Butch and Tina McGinnis of Sand Lick, WV; Uncle and Aunt Alvis and Charity Alderman of Rock Creek, WV; several cousins; special friends of the parents J.J. and Becky Dempsey of Crab Orchard, WV, and Sarah and Marvin Howard of Beckley, WV.

She was preceded in death by maternal great-grandmother Ethel Workman; maternal great-grandfather Emanuel “Buck” Mullens; and paternal great-grandfather H.T. “Buck” Buchanan.

The family would like to express a special Thank You to all our friends and family members who have helped during this time and touched our lives.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Glen Daniel Worship Center with Pastor Donnie Russell officiating. Burial is to follow in the Scarbro Cemetery, Rock Creek, WV. Visitation will be Tuesday, April 23, from 10 a.m. until time of service at the Glen Daniel Worship Center.

Armstrong Funeral Home is in charge of Arrangements.

Donald Cochran Sr.

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, our most cherished, Donald Cochran Sr., of the Sprague community passed away at the Raleigh General Hospital following a short battle with cancer. He was in his 80th year.

 Known affectionately as Donald all his life, William Donald Cochran was born on May 19, 1932, at Affinity. The third of three children, he was the son of the late William Ira and Girlena Jane Pitzer Cochran. Donald’s sister, Margaret Comstock, and his brother, Estil, have preceded him death.

 Donald grew up on a farm at Ho Ho Hollow. A veteran of the US Army, serving in the Korean Conflict, he was recipient of the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

 On August 2, 1960, Donald married the love of his life, Ruby Addison. To this union were born William Donald Jr. and Carol. The family made their home at Sprague, where they worshiped at the Sprague Free Will Baptist Church. Donald began a career with the City of Beckley, and Ruby worked at BJW Printing. Family was everything to Donald and Ruby. In his leisure time, he enjoyed gardening and his church. Donald retired in 1994 from the city with 26 years of service. Sadly, Ruby passed away on March 3, 2006. Donald and Ruby were married 45 years. And now  … “Oh Glad Reunion.”   

 Left to cherish his memory are his beloved children, William Jr. of Oak Hill and Carol Bolen and her husband, John, of Beckley. Donald was the proud grandfather of Randall Boyd and his wife, Wendy. There are two great-grandchildren, Audrey and Gretchen; several nieces and nephews survive, as well as special friends of Donald and Ruby’s for many years, Jack and Joyce Laws and Mildred King.

 On Monday, April  22, at 2 p.m. there will be a “Service of Remembrance” for William Donald Cochran Sr. at the Sprague Freewill Baptist Church. Rev. Fred Lovell will be officiating. Donald will then be laid to rest in the Sunset Memorial Park beside his beloved Ruby. The family will receive friends today from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Melton Mortuary and one hour prior to the services at the church on Monday.

The honor of carrying Donald has been given to Jack Reeves, Alan Bragg, Skee Barley, Sherman Lovell, Freddy Lovell, Matt Barley, Richard Lovell and Roger McClung.

 Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

Sheena Juanita Frame

BAXTON, Va. — Sheena Juanita Frame, 29, of Baxton, formerly of West Virginia, passed away on Friday, April 12, 2013.

Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Richwood Cemetery, Richwood, with Father Dominikus Baok officiating. Burial will follow in Richwood Cemetery, Richwood.

All arrangements were made by Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

Phillip Gibson Sr.

CRAIG, Colo. — Phillip Ray Gibson Sr., 94, of Craig, Colorado, formerly of Helen, began a new life in a better place Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Born July 12, 1918, to Benjamin H. and Pearl Lacy Gibson, he was one of six children — one girl and five boys.

He grew up on the Winding Gulf and graduated from Collins High School before entering the Army during World War II. Following his Army service he married his beloved wife Rosie M. Gibson and they settled in Helen, where he lived for sixty years and raised their four children. He retired from Pocahontas Fuel in Itmann.

Fishing, hunting and gardening were his passions. He coached American Legion baseball for many years in Beckley.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Pearl Gibson; wife, Rosie Gibson; sister, Ollie Gibson; brothers, Orville and Clifford Gibson; and granddaughter Emma K. Griffith Mills.

Those left to cherish his memory are Phillip Gibson Jr. and Karen of Craig, CO, Betty Earls and Cliff of Crab Orchard, Donald Gibson and Pauline of Lakewood, CO, Nancy Hambrick and Larry of Daniels; two brothers, Don Gibson and Lou Gibson, both of Florida; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Services to celebrate the life of Phillip Ray Gibson Sr. will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Blue Ridge Funeral Home, Beckley, with Pastor Charles Gilbert officiating. Military Graveside Honors will be provided by the American Legion Post 32, Beckley. Following the services he will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife, Rosie, at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Beckley.

 Friends may gather with the family from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at the funeral home.

Online condolences and other information can be found by visiting

Blue Ridge Funeral Home, 5251 Robert C. Byrd Drive, Beckley is in charge of the arrangements.

Dois Hall

LOGAN — Doris Hall of West Park Avenue, Logan, passed away Friday, April 19, 2013, at Logan Regional Medical Center.

Her arrangements are incomplete and Honaker Funeral Home in Logan is in charge of her services.

Franklin Delano Sanger

MIDWAY — Franklin Delano Sanger, age 69, of Midway, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 18, 2013, at the Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial Division.

Born on April 5, 1944, at Glen White, he was the son of the late Carl Sanger and Flossie Norma Harrison Sanger.

Mr. Sanger was a US Army Veteran, and was a retired coal miner with nearly 40 years of service. He was a member of the Glen View Independent Baptist Church. “Frank” enjoyed gardening, studying his Bible, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Those survivors left to cherish his memory include his wife of 41 years, Patricia Cooper Sanger; two daughters, Melissa Sanger of Crab Orchard, and Michelle Sanger and Curtis Johnson of Mount Hope, W.Va.; four grandchildren, Kayla, Mariah, Cierra, and Curtis “Little Man”; four sisters, Betty Crawford and her husband Junior of Cool Ridge, Elva Meador and her husband Frank of Cool Ridge, Melvania Sanger of Crab Orchard, Delores Wagner and her husband Wilmer of New Port, Va.; and several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley on Monday, April 22, 2013, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Duane Pease and Rev. William O. Tolliver officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park in Beckley.

A viewing will be held  at the funeral home  from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday where friends and family may attend.

Pallbearers will be Curtis Johnson, John Cooper, Butch Cooper, Brett Cooper, “Little John” Cooper, and Danny Nary.

Private online condolences, floral tributes, and other expressions of sympathy are available to the family via our guestbook at

Arrangements are by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street, Beckley.

Kameka D. Smith

Kameka D. Smith, 34, of Beckley, passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital after a short illness.

Born October 6, 1978, in Beckley, she was the daughter of Kelvin M. Smith and Stephanie K. Bayne Smith.

Kameka graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, and attended West Virginia State College. Her life’s joy was watching her children participate in sports.

Preceding her in death were her grandparents, Roberta Pannell Bayne and William Smith; one aunt Loletia Morris, and two uncles, Chauncey Dewey Bayne and Jeffrey Logwood.

Left to cherish her memories are her daughter, Kaylie Smith, and her son, Khalyb Smith, both of Beckley; her parents, Kelvin and Stephanie Smith, of Beckley; one brother, Anthony M.  Smith of San Antonio, Texas; and her companion, Brian Lester of Beckley; grandparents, Chauncey L. Bayne and Mozelle Smith, both of Beckley; six aunts, Germaine Bayne of Beckley, Coretta Penn and Danita Bayne, both of Dayton, Ohio, Cheryl (Jim) Donovan of Liberty, Ky., Monica Bayne of Columbus, Ohio, and Florita Adams of Tennessee; two uncles, Donald Oakley of Maybeury, W.Va., and William Smith of Concord, N.C., and a special friend, Celeste Moten, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and special friends.

Services will be held Monday, April 22, at 1 p.m., at Second Baptist Church, 700 F Street, Beckley. Officiating are Rev. Rudolph Poindexter and Elder Virgillious Glenn. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Garden, Beckley.

The family is requesting a private funeral for family and friends.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Durgan Funeral Home, Inc., 1501 South Kanawha St., Beckley.

Robert Clyde Via

PEARISBURG, Va. — Robert Clyde Via, 80, of Pearisburg, VA, formerly of Oak Hill, passed away Friday, April 12, 2013, at his home.

Born March 27, 1933, at Hinton, the son of the late Clyde Via and Louis Ann Brabben Via. He graduated from Collins High School and attended WV Tech. He served his country in the U.S. Army and was a Korea veteran. He was a member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Pearisburg, VA, and contributed his time and talents to the church.

He was a member of the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as Fire Chief for 12 years, but prior to that time he came up through the ranks with the department. He received many awards for his work in fire and EMS with the state, serving as a State Fire Marshal and State Fire Academy Instructor.

He was a member of the Oak Hill Masonic Lodge #120 AF & AM. He was a 32nd degree Mason and had received recognition for serving as a Free Mason for over 50 years.

He was active in community and civic affairs in both West Virginia and Virginia, and he was an entrepreneur in various entities in West Virginia and Virginia.

For more than 40 years, he worked as Plant Manager with Long Airdox at various locations; as the company was sold he remained with each company until his retirement.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by family members Benny Via, Michael Via, Paul Via, Edward Via, Larry Via, sister Lois Warren, and his beloved pet Lil Bob, whose cremains were buried with him at his request.

Survivors are his daughter, Monna Lou Via of Staffordsville, VA; grandchildren, Kelli Maria Blankenship and James-Robert Roland Blankenship of Virginia; brothers, James T. Via and wife, Betty, and family of Fort Walton Beach, FL, Milton “Jack” Via and wife, Diane, and family of Parsons, TN, Ronnie Via and wife, Linda, and family of Roanoke VA, and Mark Via and wife, Vanessa, and family of Fayetteville, WV; and Simon, his little beloved pet he had for the past year and was with him until the end.

A private funeral was held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2013, at High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Tom Martin officiating.

Entombment followed in High Lawn Memorial Park with last call by the Oak Hill Fire Department, Masonic rites by the Oak Hill Masonic Lodge #120 AF & AM, and military taps and flag presentation by the U.S. Army National Guard Honor Guard.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, 3049 Pulaski Giles Turnpike, Pearisburg, VA 24234; the Blue Print Leadership Academy, 2018 Church Street, Georgetown, SC 29440; the Oak Hill Public Library, 611 Main Street, Oak Hill, WV 25901; or the Pearisburg Public Library, 209 Fort Branch Road, Pearisburg, VA 24134. (Include “In Memory Of Robert Clyde Via” on your check or money order.)

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Randall Wallace

MATHENY — Randall Carl Wallace, 56, of Matheny, W.Va., passed away on April 18, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.

He was born April 1, 1957, in Iaeger, W.Va., a son of the late George and Martha Hatfield Wallace.

Randall was a miner operator for many years at Eastern Associated Coal’s Harris Mine and a member of the UMWA.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Barbara Wallace, three brothers Tracy, Rondell and Tommy Wallace.

Survivors include his loving wife of thirty years, Doris Ann Blankenship Wallace; a daughter, Linda Walsh and husband, Joseph, of Long Island, N.Y.; a son, Brandon Wallace, and fiancee, Jennifer Acord, of Matheny; four sisters, Alice (Edward) Barnett of Matheny, Sherry (Steve) Harvey of Cedar Creek, Phyllis Bartley of Oceana and Pamela (Curley) Hatfield of Matheny; a sister-in-law, Teresa Wallace of Coal Mountain; a special nephew, Jamie Bartley of Oceana; a host of other nieces and nephews; a friend, Barry Beaver; special friend, John Bowman, who was like a brother; and a host of other loving family and friends.

In keeping with his wishes he will be cremated and there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family.

The family wishes to send special thanks to Hospice of Southern WV, Jennifer Acord, a special sister-in-law Tina and Norvel Bolen and Pastor Jerry Graham for all their help in caring for Randall; and his precious sister Pamela who stayed by his side all the time.

E-mail letters of sympathy may be sent at

The family is being served by the Stafford Family Funeral Home, Lynco, W.Va.