The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 31, 2013

Obituaries — Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013

Ashby Clemenceau ‘Brown Fox’ Allen

Ashby Clemenceau “Brown Fox” Allen, of Beckley, a retired educator and musician for more than six decades, died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital following a long illness.

He was born in Amigo and later on his family moved to Allen Junction. At Conley High School in Mullens, he was valedictorian of his graduating class.

He attended West Virginia State College, was active in the college choir and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a minor in Social Studies, and a teaching certificate in Physical Education.

He later earned a Master’s Degree in Administration from Marshall University and a Master’s of Music Degree in Voice and Clarinet from Columbia University in N.Y. He also attended West Virginia University, Bluefield State College and studied at the Detroit Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Allen began teaching at the age of sixteen. He served as band director at Conley and Glen Rogers High Schools and briefly at McDonough High School in McDonough, Ga. He was the assistant basketball coach and band director at Henry County Training School in Burlington, N.C. He retired in 1985, but came out of retirement to serve as an adjunct professor at Mountain State and Concord Universities.

As a United States Army veteran, he was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, having served in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He was in the 56th Army Band and a vocalist with the 56th Army Band Combo.

Mr. Allen was Principal Chief Emeritus of the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia. For more than 50 years he was an organist at St. John’s Evangelist Church in Mullens and is a past president of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Men. He was a member of the Beckley Area Community Chorus and sang in the Chancel Choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Beckley. He was in constant demand as a soloist for many social and community events.

Among Mr. Allen’s community and volunteer activities included: the Beckley Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Alpha Boule Fraternity, NAACP, Integrated Resources, Inc., Conley Scott Reunion; Beckley Area Concert Series Association, WV Public Radio and TV and served on the Board of Directors of the House of Wonder at Maben.

He is survived by a son, Stanley Allen and his partner Thomas E. Smith, Jr., of Albuquerque, N.M.; a godson, Dr. Jesse Morris, his wife Sharon and their three children of Standish, Maine; his special friends, Ms. Diane Brooks-Smith of Allen Junction, Ms. Rue Hairston of Glen White; and many other friends and relatives.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at 1 p.m. at Heart of God Ministries, 1703 South Kanawha Street, Beckley. Public viewing will be held at noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that any donations or memorials be made privately and directly to the charity of their choice.

Arrangements are by Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Leaborn A ‘Pete’ Blake

Leaborn A “Pete” Blake, 79, of Beckley, WV, formerly of Baltimore, Maryland, passed away at home on Saturday, December 28, 2013, at 6:04 a.m. after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born July 4, 1934, in Beckley, WV, to Harold William Houston Blake and Beulah Mae Caves Blake.

Leaborn married JoAnn Bika on April 28, 1956. They were married 57 years.

Leaborn was preceded in death by his parents Harold William Houston Blake and Beulah Mae Caves Blake Stumpf, his wife of 57 years JoAnn Bika Blake who passed away on August 7, 2013, and his brother Robert Allen Stumpf.

Left to cherish his memory is his son Gary J Blake of Charleston, WV; his daughter Gina Blake Mahaffey and her husband Allen Mahaffey of Mt. Hope, WV; special loving sister Beatrice Blake Farley of Beckley, WV; sister Madeline Riser of Baltimore, MD; brother William “Buddy” Stump of Baltimore, MD; brother Charles Blake and wife Sue of Beckley, WV; sister Frances Holloway of Chattanooga, TN; sister Barbara Currier of Bowie, MD; and sister Pamela Bailey of Beckley, WV. A special grandson Allen Mahaffey, II, and his wife Ashley of Beckley, WV; grandchildren David, Jesse, and RaDonna; expected great-granddaughter Sophia Bella Mahaffey; brother-in-law Tommy Thompson of Oceana, WV; numerous nieces and nephews; his extended loving family in Maryland that meant the world to him; and numerous friends.

Leaborn along with his wife JoAnn lived many years in Baltimore, MD, with their children Gary and Gina. Leaborn worked for Owens Yacht and FMC in Baltimore, MD, as a chemical operator. Upon his return to WV, Leaborn owned and operated Mountaineer Carpets and later worked for Eastern Associated Coal.

Special thanks to Dr. Gary Poling and Hospice of Southern WV.

Visitation will be held at Rose & Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley on Tuesday, December 31, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. with Pastor Danny Winders officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Christian Church Cemetery, 273 Oak Grove Road, Beckley. Pallbearers will be Allen Mahaffey, Allen Mahaffey II, Chuck Blake, Gary K White, Carrie Tincher, and Kenny Williams.

Private online condolences, floral tributes and other expressions of sympathy may be directed to the family via our guestbook at

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

J.P. Bottomlee

Matthew 25:21 His Lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.

BRENTON — J.P. Bottomlee, 83, of Turkey Creek Road, Brenton, entered his heavenly home Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.

Born Jan. 4, 1930, in Kingston, he was the son of the late Arnold and Pauline Bottomlee.

He was a U.S. Army veteran serving his country during the Korean War. J.P. was employed in the coal industry for 32 years. He was a proud member of the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Turkey Creek, where he served as a deacon.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Leroy Bottomlee; two sisters, Wanda Senn and Corrine Keaton.

Survivors include his loving wife of 58 years, Audie Bottomlee; a son, Norris Bottomlee and his wife, Cathy, of Melbourne, Fla.; two daughters, Paula Slavy of Owego, N.Y., and Pamela Davis and her husband, Doug, of Bluefield; a sister, Wilma Bednowicz of Cicero, Ill.; four grandchildren, Collin Bottomlee of Melbourne, Fla., Crystle Slavy of Rochester, N.Y., Courtney Slavy of Vestel, N.Y., and Cara Slavy of Owego, N.Y.

A celebration of J.P.’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at the Turkey Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. Glen Hatfield officiating. Burial will follow at Palm Memorial Gardens, Matheny.

Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Wyoming County Honor Guard.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at Calfee Funeral Service.

Those wishing to extend their condolences may do so by visiting

Calfee Funeral and Cremation Service of Pineville is serving the Bottomlee family.

Cody Glen Burdette

WHITMAN — Cody Glen Burdette, 62, of Whitman, formerly of Kilsyth, died Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at Logan General Hospital, Logan.

Born May 22, 1951, at Nallen, he was the son of the late Commodore and Violet Burdette.

He was also preceded in death by brothers Bernard Lesher and Clark Burdette.

Cody was a graduate of Mount Hope High School and worked in several department stores and various other jobs through the years.

Survivors include one brother, Jerry Burdette of Union, Mo., and one sister, Lucille Haynes of LaPlata, Md., and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, with Rev. Jessie Parker officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Prosperity. Friends may call at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.

Online condolences may be sent to our website at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, WV.

Benjamin Bailey Harper

VERNER — Benjamin Bailey Harper, 83, of Verner, died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at Mounts Funeral Home Chapel in Gilbert. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3.

Arrangements by Mounts Funeral Home Chapel, Gilbert.

Weaver Kent Jones

NETTIE — Weaver Kent Jones, 89, of Nettie, died Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

Graveside services will be at noon Tuesday, Dec. 31, in the Fairview Cemetery at Nettie with Pastor Larry Gawthrop officiating.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Mary Ann Mullins

TIOGA — Mary Ann Mullins, 62, of Tioga, passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in the Tioga House of Prayer with Pastor Robert Friend officiating. Interment will follow in the Radcliff-Mullins Cemetery at Tioga. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the White Funeral Home at Craigsville.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Elizabeth Irene Pugh

DANESE — Elizabeth Irene Pugh, 87, of Danese, passed away early Monday morning, Dec. 30, 2013.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. Wallace & Wallace of Rainelle will be assisting the family.

Daniel Howard Settle

OAK HILL — Daniel Howard Settle, 63, of Oak Hill, died Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, at his home.

Born August 28, 1950, at Ingram Branch, he was the son of the late Leonard Oliver and Dorothy Mae Evans Settle.

Daniel was a coal miner having worked for Consolidation Coal and Costain Coal Company. He was a member of the First Church of God, Carlisle.

Two brothers, Emile Lee Settle and Loranzia Bruce Settle, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his loving family which include his wife, Janetta Mae “Jan” Wagner Settle; two daughters, Dana Lynn Settle of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Stephanie Ann Settle of Crossville, Tenn.; stepson, Shawn Sexton and wife, Shelly, of Oak Hill; stepdaughter, Amy Sexton Williamson and husband, Todd, of New Cumberland, Pa.; four brothers, Dallas Settle, James Ray Settle, John Roy Settle and Thomas Mark Settle; and four sisters, Velva Jean Walker, Drema Sue Johns, Rosalie Gale Wriston and Deborah Kay Settle.

He is also survived by four grandchildren, Caleb Sexton, Kirstin Evans, Jacob Williamson and Hailey Williamson.

Funeral services will be on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Rev. Richard Allen officiating. Entombment will be at High Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, Oak Hill. Friends may call one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the funeral home.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV.

Clara Mae Hill Skeens

RICH CREEK, Va. — Clara Mae Hill Skeens, 68, of Rich Creek, Va., passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. 

Funeral services will be at noon today at the First United Methodist Church at Rich Creek, Va., with Pastor Doug Hyndrich and Pastor Aubrey Whitlow officiating. Burial will follow in the Sunrise Memorial Gardens, Rich Creek, Va. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until time of the service today at the church.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations of sympathy be made to the First United Methodist Church of Rich Creek, Building Fund, 108 Old Virginia Ave., Rich Creek, VA 24147, or to the Riverview Nursing Home, Resident Fund, 120 Old Virginia Ave., Rich Creek, VA 24147.

Online guestbook can be signed or condolences can be sent to the Skeens family at

Arrangements by Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Peterstown.

Cathy Wilson

Cathy Vest DeHart Wilson, 45, passed away Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at her home after a long illness.

She was born on March 14, 1968, in Beckley, and was preceded in death by her grandparents Charles and Glada Vest, her sister Tammy DeHart and an uncle Grover Aliff.

She was employed at Food City in Chilhowie.

Survivors include her husband, Tim Wilson, of Marion, Va.; two daughters, Ariel Ellis and husband Andrew, of Marion, Va., and Angela DeHart, of Beckley; one son, Anthony C. Scott, of Beckley; parents, Christine and Robert DeHart, of Beckley; one grandson, D-Anthony Armitage, of Abingdon, Va.; two sisters, Kathy Asbury and husband Timmy, of Midway, and Sharron Wheeler and husband Stephen, of Stanford; one cousin, Selena Carpenter, of Beckley; one uncle, John Vest and wife Linda, of Ohio; one aunt, Geneva Lucas, of Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Funeral Home with funeral services to follow. Burial will be in the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.