The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 28, 2013

Obituaries — Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Richard Bainbridge

Richard Bainbridge, 69, of Dry Creek, WV, died Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Beckley VA Medical Center following a long illness.

He was born September 13, 1944, to the late William and Mary Bainbridge.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Simpson Bainbridge, and a sister, Joan Deana Kay.

Richard was an antenna and radio repairman of the U.S. Army, and worked as a mechanic for the Allstate Septic Service and Liqui-Sol, LLC, until his accident.

Those left to cherish his memory include his son, Brian Bainbridge; daughters, Michelle Thompson and Angela Bainbridge all of Virginia and Tabitha Henson and husband, John, of Maryland; 7 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and a very dear friend, Henry Buzzard of Dry Creek.

Services will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at Blue Ridge Funeral Home, Beckley, with Rev. Larry Kinder officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Beckley, with Military Honors provided by the Beckley American Legion Post # 32.

Friends may gather with the family from 1 p.m. until time of the service Wednesday 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 serving the family.

Pamela Sue Evans

LOGAN — Pamela Sue Evans, 61, of Logan passed away Saturday, May 26, 2013.

Arrangements are incomplete at this time. Honaker Funeral Home of Logan is in charge of arrangements.

Rachel De Mario Ferris

RICHMOND, Va. — Well-known local educator Rachel De Mario Ferris passed away after a brief illness on May 4, 2013, at Henrico Doctors Hospital in Richmond, Va.

Mrs. Ferris was a longtime resident of Beckley and began her teaching career in McDowell County, then continued in Raleigh County Public Schools until her retirement in 2005 and subsequent relocation to the Richmond area in 2011.

She is survived by Sam B. Ferris, her husband of 62 years, at home in the Richmond area; daughter and son-in-law Jeff and Cathy Ferris McPherson of Glen Allen, Va.; daughter, Diane Spresser of Harrisonburg, Va.; and several cousins. Born on December 5, 1924, Rachel was the only daughter of Paul and Lucy DeMario of Welch, W.Va., who predeceased her. She received her baccalaureate degree from Concord College [now University] and completed post-graduate work with the University of Kentucky and West Virginia University. Once she began her teaching career, she continued post-graduate studies through summer courses and workshops, including National Endowment for the Humanities institutes.

Mrs. Ferris was a dedicated and conscientious teacher who loved teaching; she believed in academic excellence, classroom discipline, and the important role that education could play in improving the lives of her students. She was the recipient of numerous professional recognitions and rewards, including Who’s Who among Teachers in America.

She was a lifelong lover of travel, and with her husband visited six of seven world continents. She also enjoyed books, needlework, and music, having been an accomplished pianist in her youth and early adult years. She was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beckley, Episcopal Church Women; The Woman’s Club of Beckley, and Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.

A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, June 1, 2013, at 4 p.m. with interment in the church’s columbarium following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Stephen’s Memorial Gift Fund, or a charity of your choice.

Robert Eugene ‘Bobby Gene’ Hammontree

LOCHGELLY — Robert Eugene “Bobby Gene” Hammontree, 71, of Lochgelly passed away Friday, May 24, 2013, after a lengthy illness. Born May 16, 1942, at Lochgelly, son of the late Claude Silver Hammontree and Dorothy Jane Sisson Hammontree.

Bobby Gene retired several years ago after working 30 years on the Assembly Line for Chrysler.

In addition to his parents and five siblings, Bobby Gene was preceded in death by his wife Brenda Lee Ball Hammontree in October 2010.

Those left to cherish his memory include his children, Paul Hammontree of MI and Paula Hammontree of FL, Robert Hammontree and wife Shawn of MI and Rosanne Hammontree of IL, Loretta Gubin and husband Paul of MI, Anthony Hammontree and wife Sarah of MI, Claude Hammontree of Lochgelly, and Adam Hammontree of Lochgelly; siblings Betty Devier of MI, Ralph Hammontree and wife Ann of GA, Roger Hammontree of Lochgelly, Larry Hammontree of Oak Hill, Claude Hammontree of Lochgelly, Pam Kizer and husband Nick of Mt. Hope, mother-in-law Sue Ball of TN, several grandchildren, one great-grandchild, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

His remains rest at High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel where the funeral will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday with Pastor Steve Upshure officiating and where the family will receive friends from 12 noon until time of service.

Burial will follow in High Lawn Memorial Park.

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Harry C. Harmon

Harry C. Harmon, 93, of Beckley, formerly of Barrett, WV, passed away Sunday morning, May 26, 2013, at the Hospice of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky, after a long illness.

Harry was a graduate of Van High School class of 1937. He then served in the Army Air Force during WWII. He retired from Eastern Associated Coal Company and was an avid outdoorsman.

He was preceded in death by his wife Floris Swiger Harmon and their daughter C Susie Harmon, as well as his parents John and Bessie Counts Harmon and his brothers Charles and Robert.

Left to treasure his memory are his son, John, and his wife and stepdaughter Deena and Tracy of Richmond, VA, his granddaughter Heather and her husband Matt Mueller of Lexington, KY, and his greatest pride and joy his great-grandsons Aidan and Eli Mueller.

Harry is also survived by his sister Betty Harmon of Beckley and former daughter-in-law Diana Keffer Binion, her husband Steve and their sons Zack Hicks and Brian Binion whom he loved as his daughter and grandsons.

A graveside service will be held at noon Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at Boone Memorial Park in Madison, West Virginia, by Pastor Rick Mays.

Military honors will be provided by VFW Post #5578.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel.

In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to Hospice of the Bluegrass, 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504-3277.

Online condolences may be sent to

Benny Dale Houchins

JUMPING BRANCH — Benny Dale Houchins, 72, of Jumping Branch, died peacefully at 1:30 a.m. Monday, May 27, 2013, following a long illness.

Born April 21, 1941, at Pipestem, he was a son of the late Lonnie Lee and Grace Trusby Lilly Houchins.

Benny was a former employee of A&P Grocery Store in Hinton where he worked for 21 years. Following his employment at A&P, he was the owner and operator of By Pass Service Center in Hinton. He was a member of the Nimitz Missionary Baptist Church and a U.S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam Conflict.

Preceding him in death include three brothers, Raymond Lee, Burnice and Rudolph Houchins; two sisters, Patty Ann Butler and Christie Jones; three brothers-in-law, Charles Butler, Frank Jones and James Armentrout.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 49 years, Mary Bennett Houchins at home; two sons, Christopher Dale Houchins of Jumping Branch and Benjamin Keith Houchins and wife Sheri Beth of Jumping Branch; two sisters, Margaret Caperton and husband Paul of Pipestem and Effie Armentrout of Charlottesville, VA; one sister-in-law, Betty Houchins of Speedway; one grandson, Christopher Tyler Houchins of Jumping Branch; and several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30, 2013, at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Pastor Dallas Peyton officiating. Burial will follow in the Lilly-Crews Cemetery at Nimitz. Friends may call at the funeral parlors from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Joyce Eloise Whisman Jenkins

Joyce Eloise Whisman Jenkins passed away Sunday, May 26, 2013.

A celebration of Joyce’s life will be 1 p.m. Friday, May 31, at Clear Fork Valley Baptist Church with the Rev. Erwin Gregory officiating. Interment will follow in Palm Memorial Gardens, Matheny. The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the church.

An online guestbook may be signed and additional information can be found at

Evans Funeral Home of Oceana is serving the Jenkins family.

Mart Lane

BUD MOUNTAIN — Mart Lane, 84, of Bud Mountain, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2013.

Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Tankersley Funeral Home Chapel. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

Arrangements by Tankersley Funeral Home, Mullens.

Robert Calvin Lane

NIMITZ — Robert Calvin Lane, 88, of Nimitz died Monday, May 27, 2013.

Arrangements by Pivont Funeral Home, Hinton.

Claudia Elizabeth Massey

SYLVESTER — Claudia Elizabeth Massey, 79, of Sylvester, WV, went home to be with her Lord, surrounded by her family, on the eve of her 80th birthday. What a wonderful party she is having in Heaven!

She was born on May 25, 1933, at Eunice, WV.

Claudia was a graduate of Marsh Fork High School and was formerly employed by Marfork Company Store where she met her future husband, James, after he had returned home from the Navy and was working at the coal mines.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Seth and Bertha Shepherd Taylor; Sisters: Loretta Taylor and Mentie Taylor Thomas and her oldest son, James “Jimmy” L. Massey, Jr. Her greatest treasure was her family and she loved them like no other. She also loved her little Maltese, “Buddy.” She is survived by her husband of 58 years: James L. Massey; two daughters: Patty (Sonny) Williams of Hurricane, WV, and Debbie (Larry) Bowman of Lewisburg, WV. Two sons: David “Moose” Massey of Sylvester, WV, and Danny (Teresa) Massey of Beckley, WV. Six grandchildren: Bethany (Adam) Carr, Matt (Josie) Massey, Abraham (Courtney) Williams, Holly Massey, Jennifer Bowman, and Shane Massey; and six great-grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at the Sylvester Baptist Church with Rev. David Minturn, Rev. Charles V. Williams, Rev. Bethany Carr and Rev. Abraham Williams officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday evening, May 28, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church. Burial will follow in the Adkins Cemetery, Naoma, WV.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to the Sylvester Baptist Church, Sylvester, WV 25193.

Armstrong Funeral Home is taking care of the arrangements.

George Proskin

BECKWITH — George Howard Proskin, 83, of Beckwith passed away Saturday, May 25, 2013, at Plateau Medical Center, Oak Hill.

Born on September 30, 1929, in Fayette County, he was the son of the late Fred and Annie Kirk Proskin.

George worked in maintenance at the Fayette County Park with 30 years of service before retiring.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Harry Proskin; and three sisters, Dorothy Proskin, Lucille Grose, and Mary Gray.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Ruth Smith Proskin of Beckwith; four children: Tommy Lee (Angie) of Fayetteville, Tammy (Jesse) James of Beckwith, George Steven (Ashley) Proskin of Pea Ridge, and Stanley Wayne Smith of King, NC; grandchildren: Andrew, Alex, Eli, Tyler, Jared, Brooklyn, Jordan, and William; and a host of other family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, with Rev. Robert Pauley officiating. Burial will follow at Huse Memorial Park, Fayetteville.

The family will receive friends from 12 noon until time of services at 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the funeral home.

For those wishing to express their condolences to the Proskin family, you may do so by visiting our website at

Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, 350 W. Maple Avenue, Fayetteville, will be assisting the family.

Katelyn Joyce Marie Rocchi

GLEN FORK — Katelyn Joyce Marie Rocchi, 4, of Glen Fork passed away Saturday, May 25, 2013.

A celebration of Katelyn’s life will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the Glen Fork Baptist Temple. Burial will follow at the Cook Cemetery at Walkers Branch, Pineville. The family will receive friends from noon until the time of the service Thursday at the church.

Those wishing to extend their condolences may do so by visiting

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

Lennie T. Roles

LILLYDALE — Lennie T. Roles, 80, of Lillydale, WV, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2013, at her home following a long illness.

Mrs. Roles was born at Wikel, WV, February 12, 1933, a daughter of Luke Hampton and Lula Vienna Harvey Thornton.  

She was a homemaker and a member of the Mt. Hedding United Methodist Church at Lillydale.

Mrs. Roles was preceded in death by her husband, Alva Earl Roles; a brother, Calvin Thornton; and a sister, Susan Thornton.

Surviving are 3 sons, Mike Roles and his wife, Gail, of College Station, Texas, Randy Roles and his wife, Nancy, of Union, Timothy Roles of Lillydale; 3 sisters, Josephine Chapman of Covington, Va., Lilly May Wickline and husband, Alfred, of Princeton, Geraldine Vass and husband, Jack, of Covington, Va., several grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive.

Funeral Services will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2013, at the Groves Funeral Home Chapel in Union with Pastor Herman Jones officiating.

Burial will follow in the Mt. Hedding Cemetery at Lillydale.

Friends may call at the Groves Funeral Home in Union from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Groves Funeral Home in Union is in charge of arrangements.

Walter Cleveland Rose

Today is May 24th, 2013, and Walter Cleveland Rose departed from his 68-year-old earthly body leaving behind the legacy of loyalty, wit, talent, sarcasm, adventure, compassion, stubbornness, honesty, intelligence and generosity.

Today a man who lived mostly on Jif peanut butter sandwiches, french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Corn Flakes is the guest of honor at a grand celebration in heaven with those four foods only on the menu and no generic substitutes.

Today a man with very limited hearing has left his hearing aids behind and will never again speak the word, “huh?” as his hearing is now splendid.

Today a man with very limited vision has left his glasses behind and will never squint again as his vision is impeccable.

Today a man with a weak heart is living in the great blue wonder where his famous statement, “If I feel this good with 15% heart function, then I don’t need a heart to survive,” is now experiencing eternal life Cleveland Clinic nearly gave him.

Today a man with the wit and sarcasm of a professional comic has the grandest of all stages to pull his best jokes on everyone he knows (look out, folks).

Today a great story teller is spinning the yarn with all of his old friends and family who have passed on before him and sharing stories of growing up in Tannery, driving fast cars, making arrests as the chief of police, hunting and fishing adventures and, most certainly, being married to the most beautiful woman he ever saw.

Today a bowhunter put away his bow and arrows to walk through all of God's Country like a magnificent whitetail buck as he becomes as wise as a hoot owl he often imitated.

Today a fisherman put away his canoe, poles and jitterbugs to swim in calm waters with the “feesh,” as he called them, while his soul is cleansed in the holiest of waters becoming eternal like the flowing mountain streams.

Today a carpenter laid down his hammer and saw to be restored in God’s workshop into an unmarred heavenly body like a perfectly crafted antique cupboard. 

Today an officer put away his badge, gun and uniform in trade for a set of wings and a glowing white robe as he becomes a guardian angel protecting the innocent.

Today a coal miner took off his hardhat in trade for a halo as he becomes one with the mountains to protect those risking their lives to power our country.

Today a Richwooder left Almost Heaven, West-By-God-Virginia to join Lumberjacks from years past as they reminisce about the good ol’ days and keep a close eye on the future of the City Merry on the Banks of the Cherry.

Today a friend of the most loyal and honest character left behind his amazing reputation as his legacy to carry his name forward in the hearts, minds and stories of countless people.

Today a son no longer misses his parents as he was reunited with his mother and father in a reunion a long time in the making with Opal Crawford Rose and Argil Rose and they have surely gone fishin’ with Velveeta  cheese.

Today the youngest sibling of a trio said goodbye to his brother Jim Rose and sister Yvonne Rose Stewart, leaving them to carry on the memories of their generation forward.

Today a father-in-law said goodbye to the son and daughter who were welcomed into the family through marriage leaving Kris Moose and Christy Lackey Rose imparted through example of how to be pillars of support and strength for their families.

Today a grandfather said goodbye to eight grandchildren leaving Nic Persinger, Emmet Rogers, Ruby Rogers, Payton Moose, Gabriel Moose, Sabine Rose, Morgan Moose and Aubrey Moose with not one question as to what deep love, a sense of humor and family values are.

Today a father said goodbye to his three children leaving Michelle Rose, Jeromy Rose and Marnie Rose Moose after decades of guidance from a mentor with unquestioned integrity, compassion, and courage in hopes they have become an archetype of their daddy.

Today an eternally devoted husband went ahead to get everything ready for the day his beautiful bride, Yvonne Spencer Rose, returns to his arms to renew their vows of a love affair of epic proportions which started in grade school when their eyes first met and he professed that she would one day be his wife.

Funeral service will be Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood, WV, with Dr. Jay Cook and Rev. Brent Franco officiating.

Interment is in Geho Spencer Cemetery.

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 28, 2013, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood, WV.

Walter loved flowers but if you prefer to make a donation in his memory the family asks they be made to the Lumberjack Athletic Club, 1 Valley Avenue, Richwood, WV 26261.

Charles ‘Charlie’ Thompson

Charles Bracy “Charlie” Thompson 78, of Beckley, WV, and Flagler Beach, FL, passed away Sunday, May 26th, 2013, at Charleston Area Memorial Center, General Division, after a short illness. Born on January 26th, 1935, in Welch, WV, he was the son of Ova L. Thompson of Louisa, KY, and Mildred Skaggs Clark of Cheshire, Ohio.

Along with his parents, Charles was preceded in death by his son, Charles Kevin Thompson; stepsons, Randall and Rusty Snyder all of Beckley and Myrtle Beach, SC; stepmother, Loretta Preston Thompson of Paintsville, KY; sister, Mary Olive Thompson Janach of Elkhart, IN.

After spending his childhood and school years in Eastern Kentucky, Charles moved to Sophia with his father and stepmother, attending trade school in Raleigh County to become a certified welder. He then began a 26-year career with Long Airdox in Oak Hill, WV.

On May 27th, 1977, Charles married his wife of 36 years, Ellen Hodges Snyder Thompson. Having a total of five children from former marriages, Charles and Ellen combined families and began their married life together on Maxwell Hill in Beckley. In 1980, with a plan and dream in sight, they opened Autumn House Furniture in the Beckley area and eventually opened a second store in Princeton, WV.

In 2000, after 20 years of running the businesses, Charlie and Ellen retired, and became Snow Birds, moving to Flagler Beach, FL, from October through April every year. They stayed active taking long bike rides with friends. Charlie loved life and was an avid horseshoe player. He was involved in many Horseshoe Tournaments while wintering in FL. Charlie and Ellen loved to return to the mountains of West Virginia in the warmer months and take long rides on his Harley, Four Wheeler and Razor with his buddies.

Along with his wife, those left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Helen Hope Thompson Canterbury and husband, Tom, of Salem, VA; stepson, Dr. Richard “Rick” Snyder of Myrtle Beach, SC; sister, Danise Sexton of Ashland, KY; sister-in-law, Drema Evans, and brother-in-law, Eddie Hodges and wife, Debbie, all of Beckley; stepsons, Joshua and Lucas Canterbury of Salem, VA; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

On Wednesday, May 29th, at 11 a.m. there will be a “Service of Remembrance” at the Melton Mortuary Chapel. Ken Hawes of the Oak Grove Christian Church will be officiating. Charles will be laid to rest in the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity. The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the services on Wednesday.

Pallbearers will be Tom Canterbury, Jesse Cole, Southie Fannin, Jr., Teddy Goins, Teddy Goins II, Ron Murdock, Russell Perkins, and Robert “Jiggs” Shiflett.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Doctors and Nurses on the Neuro Science ICU at Charleston Area Medical Center, General Division, for their kindness during this difficult time.

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

Arrangements by Melton Mortuary and Cremation Center, Beckley, WV.

Jerry Randall ‘Randy’ Vance

INDIAN CREEK — Jerry Randall “Randy” Vance, 54, of Indian Creek, WV, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, May 26, 2013, at his residence following a courageous two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.

He was born September 20, 1958, in Pineville, WV, a son of Pauline Ward Adkins of Indian Creek, WV. Randy was a coal truck driver and a member of the Brenton Volunteer Fire Department. He loved to fish, read, cook and spend time with nieces, nephews, other family and friends. Survivors include his loving wife of 8 years Debra Jean Davis Vance; three sisters Betty (Dale) Osborne of Gretna, VA, Barbara Caldwell of Indian Creek and Tina (Steve) Massey of Oceana; a brother Virgil Adkins of FL; and a host of other loving family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at the Brier Creek Tabernacle, Fanrock, WV, with Pastor Ernest Francis officiating. Randy will be laid to rest in the Lester Family Cemetery, Indian Creek, WV. Friends may gather with the family on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the church. Pallbearers will be Brenton Volunteer Fire Department members, Landon Kennedy, Donald Aliff and Steve Massey. E-mail letters of sympathy may be sent at

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

Glen K. Wriston

SCARBRO — Glen K. Wriston, 83, of Scarbro, passed away Monday, May 27, 2013.

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.