The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


December 15, 2013

Obituaries — Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013

Betty Lou Ballard

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Betty Lou Ballard, 72, of Spartanburg died Friday, December 13, 2013, at her home. Born November 1, 1941, in Otsego, WV, she was the daughter of the late James Ervin and Demia Lue Dixon Cook and wife of 22 years to the late Thomas Dennis Ballard.

Mrs. Ballard was a floral designer at University Florist and a member of the Church of God in Hillsborough, NC. She was an active participant of the Relay for Life to help fight Cancer.

Surviving are daughters, Donna Sue Alqatamin of Spartanburg, SC, and Kimberly Ann Cooper of Durham, NC; sons, Thomas Edward Ballard of Beckley, WV, and Jason Lee Ballard of Mebane, NC; sister, Shirley Flaim of Mullens, WV; brother Sammy Junior Cook of Hinton, WV; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by sisters, Mildred Kirk and Alice Waycaster; brothers, James Cook and Wintfred Cook; and granddaughter, Stephanie Swift Hamlett.

Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, December 16, 2013, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. in the Mausoleum of Faith Chapel in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Beckley, WV. Services will be conducted by the Rev. Daniel B. Johnson.

An online guest register is available at or

Arrangements by Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel.

Wilma Blankenship

BAISDEN — Wilma Blankenship, 65, of Baisden died Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.

Friends may gather with the family after 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Full Gospel Church of God at Baisden. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the Freedom Full Gospel Church of God with the Rev. Jonas Trent and the Rev. Whimpy Bradford officiating. Burial will follow in the Blankenship Cemetery at Mud Lick section of Baisden.

Wilburn H. Cantrell Jr.

TURKEY CREEK — Wilburn H. Cantrell, Jr., 83, of Turkey Creek, was taken by angels to heaven on December 12, 2013, after many years of patient suffering. He parted this life at the Beckley Veterans Medical Center where he was tenderly cared for.

Born October 5, 1930, at Paynesville, WV, he was the son of the late Wilburn H. Cantrell, Sr., and Lady B. Rowe Cantrell.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 58 years, Beulah M. Hagerman Cantrell.

Mr. Cantrell was retired from the U.S. Air Force. He had served as an Air Medic. He was also one of the co-founders of the 606th commandos, serving two tours in Vietnam. He was a courageous soldier.

After leaving the military, he worked at hospitals in the Beckley and Bluefield areas. Wilburn also worked with many others with the installation of the Glen White, Glen Daniel and the Rhodell clinics.

He loved the outdoors and loved gardening. His passion was music. During his lifetime, he had a gift for musical instruments. He played the guitar, the bagpipes, the banjo, the mandolin, the violin and also the dulcimer. Creating and constructing his own instruments reflected the genius in his soul.

His greatest passion was the study of the Bible. He was of the Christian faith. With his diligent studies of the word of God, He left behind an enduring legacy for his children; one of faith and hope in our Lord. A loving Father, always with his hand and heart reaching out in love and compassion for his children and others. Even while he struggled with his own affliction, he never asked why; he quietly endured his suffering with perseverance.

He was also preceded in death by four brothers: Leonard F. Cantrell of Brenton, James Cantrell of Paynesville, Wilson Cantrell of Raysal and Alexander Cantrell of Perry, OH.

Survivors include his eldest son, David E. Cantrell and his wife, Suzanne, of Stuarts Draft, VA; a younger son, Michael J. Cantrell and his wife, Periann, of Nashville, TN; a daughter, Mildred J. Cantrell and her husband, Spencer, of Pineville; a daughter Lady R. Willis and her husband, Rick, of Biloxi, MS, and a daughter, Loretta M. Fornter and her husband, Nick, of Turkey Creek.

He is also survived by two brothers, Otis Cantrell and his wife, Peggy; Noah Cantrell and his wife, Linda; a sister, Barbara White and her husband Bob; and a very special loving sister, Ella Jones, all from Indiana.

Being a loving grandfather, he sadly leaves behind 12 grandchildren: Angela Pinter of Pineville, Jonathan S. Cantrell of Princeton, David J. Cantrell of Erie, PA, Samuel E. Cantrell of Morgantown, Aaron Willis, Brandon Willis, and Joseph Willis of Biloxi, MS; Cylie Bittler, Melody Timberlac, Corey Lejoie and Taylor Cantrell of Nashville, TN, and Luke W. Blackburn of Turkey Creek. Also there are 10 great-grandchildren.

For those who truly knew him, his gentle voice will echo in our souls until we meet again.

A celebration of Wilburn’s life will be held at 12 p.m. Monday, December 16, 2013, in the Calfee Funeral Service Chapel with Chaplain Paul Bricker and Chaplain Mark Iobst officiating.  Songs will be provided by Mike Wills.

He will be laid to rest at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Beckley, where full military honors will be provided.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until the time of the service.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family extends our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Boyd and his wife, Darlene, Dr. Deborah Lilly, John Ross, Tim from pulmonary, Paul Jarvey from recreation and a special friend Perry Anderson, along with the elite nursing staff of the Hospice Care Unit at the VAMC.

Those wishing to extend their condolences may do so by visiting

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

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