The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 4, 2013

Obituaries— Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ermel Brown

Ermel “Bacon” Brown, 79, of Dorothy, W.Va., went home to be with the Lord, on April 1, 2013, after a long illness.

He was born October 9, 1933, in WV to the late Robert and Kate Brown.

Bacon was a retired coal miner and a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and Marine Corps. He was a member of the Penecostal Church of God where he enjoyed playing guitar and singing. He enjoyed life to the fullest and his greatest passion was hunting, fishing and ginsenging.

Bacon was preceeded in death by his wife Bertie Ann Raynes Brown along with 3 brothers and 4 sisters.

The survivors left to cherish his memory include one son and four daughters: Debby and her husband Jerry Tylicki of Cleveland, OH, and her sons Donald (Duke) Stewart and Daniel Hudson; Linda and Earl (Butch) Carothers of Indianapolis, IN, and her family, Brian and Jamie Almond, Stacy and Ray Phelps; Carlos and Kathy Brown of Hardy, VA, and their family, Michael and Nancy Flategraff, Peter and Sharon Flategraff and Carlos Brown Jr.; Oma Achen of Lexington, NC and her sons, Olen Williams and Andrew and Sarah Cozort; Jennifer and Jamie Holstein and their family Tyler Stover, Austin, Seth and Jaxson.

He was also blessed with 10 great-grandchildren: Shania, Tayla, Ashlynn, Zander, Zava, Michaela, Ryan, Ethan, Brayden and Christian.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2013, in the Dorothy Assembly of God Church at Dorothy, WV. Clergy will be Rev. Jerry Pauley. Singers will be the Stewart Family. Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church.

Interment will be at Raynes Cemetery at Ameagle, WV.

Armstrong Funeral Home is serving the family.

Muriel Elkins

Muriel Nona Elkins, 92, of Ansted, passed away Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013, at Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home Chapel in Ansted. Burial will follow in Restlawn Memory Gardens at Victor. Friends may call at noon until funeral time at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be sent to

Wallace and Wallace of Ansted is in charge of the arrangements.

Mary Gray

Mary Stevens Leonard Gray, 70, of Mt. Hope, died Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor Chapel, 748 S. Fayette St., Beckley. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the funeral parlor.

Condolences may be e-mailed to

Arrangements entrusted to Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Robert J. Guerrant

Robert J. Guerrant, 89 of Charleston, WV, departed this life on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, following a brief illness.

Robert was born December 14, 1923, in Winding Gulf, WV, to the late John Lee and Lura Guerrant.

Robert graduated from Byrd Prillerman High School. He was one of the first African Americans to join the United States Marine Corps serving overseas in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. He worked in the Coal Mines for 25 years.

He attended Beckley Junior College, University of Pittsburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In 1971 he received his Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard Graduate School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He was Director of the James Jackson Putnam Children’s Center in Boston, MA and Executive Director of the City-Wide Improvement Council in Charleston, WV.

Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Mary B. Guerrant; son, Terry L. Guerrant; brothers, John, Jr. (June) Guerrant, Alfred Guerrant, Carlson Guerrant, William (Thea) Guerrant, Hershel Guerrant, Garland Guerrant and Stanley Guerrant; sister, Lura Elizabeth Travis.

He is survived by sons Carlson “Slim” (Sandy) Guerrant, Robert Guerrant, Jr. and Bryant K. Guerrant (devoted caregiver for our father) all of Charleston, WV, Byron T. (Cesli) Guerrant of Dunbar, WV and Anthony (Cathy) Guerrant of Dayton, OH; daughters, Maxine Shortridge, Cynthia (Andy) Shipley, both of Baltimore, MD, Linda Guerrant, of Dunbar, WV, Paula Sims of St. Albans, WV, Barbara Bryant (Herman), of Beckley, WV, Mary (Lee) Guerrant Goodwin, of Winchester, VA, Diane Smith of Virginia Beach, VA and Jennifer Guerrant of Beckley, WV; 34 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and close friends.

A memorial service will be held Friday, April 5, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Heart of God Ministries, 1703 South Kanawha Street, Beckley, WV with Bishop Fred T. Simms, DD, officiating.

Arrangements are in care of Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Barbara E. Hatfield

Barbara E. Hatfield, 70, of Hurricane, passed away Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at CAMC Teays Valley.

She was born April 16, 1942, in Hinton, West Virginia, to the late Edward L. and Ruth Marie Ballengee Cobb.

Barbara was a retired general sales manager from WQBE Radio, Charleston. She was Baptist by Faith.

Surviving is her loving husband of 50 years, Joe W. Hatfield; daughter, Beth Wagner of Clarksville, TN; sons and daughters-in-law, Joe David and Melanie Hatfield of Monroe, NC, and Dale E. and Michele Hatfield of Scott Depot; brothers, Ronald L. Cobb of Hinton and Tommy Cobb of Ocala, FL. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, Ashley McMillan, Zachary Hatfield, Andy Hatfield, Stephen Hatfield, Drake Hatfield, Nick Wagner, Dylan Hatfield, Ian Hatfield; and one great-granddaughter, Natalie Hatfield.

Funeral service will be held at 11a.m. Friday, April 5, 2013, at Chapman Funeral Home, 3941 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane. Graveside services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. at Restwood Memorial Gardens, Hinton, WV.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. until service time on Friday at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at

Gladys Hoke

MCROSS — Gladys Marie (Sissy) Hoke, 75, of McRoss, went to be with the Lord Monday, April 1, 2013, in the Summers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Hinton.

Born September 2, 1937, in Oceana, she was the daughter of the late Ray and Mabel Cohenhour Hamrick.

Sissy was a homemaker and a faithful member of the Gospel Lighthouse at Grassy Meadows. She loved children and did babysitting in her home for many years.  Sissy loved her word puzzles, especially the jumbles in the paper. She was loved by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Michael Vondon Hoke Sr., on August 31, 2003; 3 brothers Gene, Jack and Verl Hamrick; and 1 sister Audrey Sims.

Survivors include 2 sons Gary Jones of McRoss and James Jones and wife Sammie of Blue Sulphur Springs; 3 daughters Betty Adkins and husband Howard (Junior) of Talcott, Sharon Poling of Aberdeen, Maryland and Loretta Walker of Alderson; 2 brothers Howard Hamrick and wife Kathy of Meadow Bridge and Ray Hamrick of Alderson; 5 sisters Emma Hamrick of Alderson, Hilda Poling of Abingdon, Maryland, Leda Bryant and husband Harvey of Alderson, Stella McCallister of Alderson and Katie Martin and husband Buck of Rainelle; 5 grandchildren J.R. Adkins, Nicholas Tittel, Cameron Walker, Justin Adkins and Leah Walker; and 2 great-granddaughters Somner and Schuyler Adkins.

Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Gospel Lighthouse at Grassy Meadows with Pastor Butch Legrand officiating.  Burial will follow in the Maude Chapel Cemetery at Dawson.

Friends may call at Smathers Funeral Chapel Thursday, April 4, from 6  to 9 p.m. and one hour before the service from 1 to 2 p.m. at the church.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.

Helen Louise Jarrell

Helen Louise Jarrell 68, of Beckley, formerly of Mullens, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at her residence following a long illness.

Born July 28, 1944, in Charleston, she was the daughter of the late Gilbert and Opal Hill Burke, and the adopted daughter of the late Ruth Robinson Mitchell. 

Helen was devoted to her family, loved taking care of others, and dearly loved the Lord with all of her heart. She was a member of the Pentecostal Holiness Church of South Mullens, and in recent years had attended Mabscott Holiness Church, and the Rhodell Church of God.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by two sisters, and an infant son.

Those left to cherish her memory include her loving husband of 48 years Danny Jarrell Sr., Three children, Roberta Jarrell, Michelle Schrader and her husband Christopher, Danny Wayne Jarrell Jr. and his wife Sandra; three wonderful granddaughters, Robyn Schrader, Rebecca Schrader, Makayla Schrader; and two grandsons Joshua and Jacob Bolen; and a very special little friend, her puppy, “Baby Girl”; Brothers and sister-in-laws; and a host of nieces and nephews and beloved friends.

Services will be Friday April 5, 2013, at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Blue Ridge Funeral Home with the Rev. Gary Eskins officiating. Burial will follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. Family and Friends will serve as pallbearers.

Friends may gather with the family, from noon until service time.

Arrangements by Blue Ridge Funeral Home 5251 Robert C. Byrd Drive Beckley, WV 25801.

Virgil Jarrell

Virgil Bob Jarrell, our Patriarch, beloved husband, father and grandfather, slipped from our arms to enter forever peace while at home in Jarrell’s Bottom, Dry Creek, W.Va.

Bob was 81, being born on October 10, 1931, at the Jarrell Homeplace.

He was preceded in death by his dear mother Quinnie “Ma” Jarrell and grandparents Ed and Dora Bradford Jarrell. Bob attended Mt. View School until having to forgo his education so he could work to help provide for his mother and grandmother He loved to be outdoors piddling, hunting, or just sitting on the porch. He was one of the last in the area to use a horse to plow his garden or cut his hay. Bob’s work ethic was one to be admired. He retired from Peabody at Montcoal in 1994 after 42 years of service. He was a proud and active member of UMWA Local 6608.

Bob leaves behind his faithful companion and wife of 57 years, Bonnie Webb Jarrell. The Good Lord blessed his children by providing them with a dad that was always there for them, always made them feel loved, and provided them with a strong moral path on which to walk. We, his children, Cheryl Ann Milam (A.J.), Debbie Jarrell (Ed Wiley), and Robert “Bobby” Jarrell (Gina) will always be grateful.

PaPaw Bob held his arms open to embrace his grandchildren. They were always the twinkle in his blue eyes. Those who cherished him as Papaw Bob are Angela Milam Lucas (Jeff), Nycoma Milam, Jesse Price (Jody), Luke Taylor (Terrie Kay), Courtneigh Jarrell, and Josh Jarrell. He was great-grandfather to Kayla Taylor (Gregory Hager), Blake Taylor, Jacob Price, Jade Milam, Braedyn Lucas and Ivan Lucas. He will be the great-great-grandfather to baby Hager in October. We wouldn’t have a complete family list without adding SowCat and Pete.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013, in the Rebecca Chapel at Rock Creek, WV. Clergy will be Pastor Larry Kinder. Interment will be at the Jarrell Cemetery, Dry Creek, WV. Visitation will begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the church.

Armstrong Funeral Home is serving the family.

Robert Melvin Morris

Robert Melvin Morris, 77, of Sophia, died April 2, 2013, at Heartland of Beckley following a short illness.

Arrangements by Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.

Dema Sewell

ALAMANCE, N.C. — Dema Ivanelle Day Sewell, 78, of Alamance, NC, formerly of Victor, went to be with her Lord and Savior on March 26, 2013.

She was born on December 3, 1934, at Edmond, WV, and the daughter of Finace and Mamie Cutlip Day. Mrs. Sewell was a member of Victory Independent Baptist Church.

Besides her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Lanty in 1964, and son, Paul in 2009.

Left to cherish her memory include her three sons, Frank and Harold of Victor, and Roy and his wife, Karen of Alamance, NC; two daughters, Brenda of Victor and Sandra and her husband John of Virginia Beach, VA; four grandsons; three granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home Chapel, Fayetteville, with Pastor Tony Taylor officiating. Burial will follow at Haynes Chapel Cemetery, Hico, WV.

For the timeless efforts and devoted attention in her final years, a special thank you to Karen, her daughter-in-law.

For those wishing to express their condolences to the Sewell 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.

Marie Simms

WEIRWOOD — Marie Rae Tonkin Simms , 61, of Weirwood, WV, died on Monday, April 1, 2013, at her home.

Born March 15, 1952, at Clarksburg, WV, she was the daughter of Helen Virginia Douglas Hought of Danese, WV and the late Calvin Bee Tonkin and stepdaughter of James Hought.

She was a cake decorator for Drive In Bakery in Beckley and was formerly employed at McDonalds.

Marie was a member of the Pax Worship Center where she taught the Adult Classes on Thursday evenings.

In addition to her mother and stepfather she is survived by her husband, Ricky Lee “Rick” Simms; her children, Tammy Donell and husband, Steven of Weirwood, Crystal Wriston and husband, James of Weirwood, Danette Taylor and husband, Scott of Middlesex, NC, Charles Garvin of Weirwood, Brian Garvin and wife, Crissy of Weirwood, and Trena Garvin and companion, Michael Kincaid of Oak Hill; and two sisters, Gail Sinclair of Weirwood and Regina Blair and husband, Paul of Springfield, OH.

She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Keith Wriston, Kayla Donell, Joshua Donell, Jonathon Wriston, C.J. Garvin, Zachery Donell, Kyle Garvin, Abigail Taylor and Madison Kincaid.

Services will be on Friday, April 5, 2013, at 1 p.m. at Tyree Funeral Home in Mount Hope with Rev. Dwayne Williams officiating. Burial will be at Pax Community Cemetery of Pax.

Visitation will be held at Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope on Thursday, April 4, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The family would like to extend special thanks to the Pax Worship Center with Pastor Dwayne Williams and wife, Judy and the congregation, Kathy Hines, Hospice of Southern WV and 4 South RGH.

Brian Garvin, Keith Wriston, C.J. Garvin, Joshua Donell, Jonathon Wriston and Zachery Donell will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, WV.

Mary Smith

Mary Elizabeth Rakes Smith, 80, of Oak Hill, died Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at Hilltop Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Hilltop.

Funeral services will be Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 2 pm. at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill with Pastor Albert Bowman officiating. Burial will be at Hilltop Cemetery at Hilltop. Friends may call one hour prior to the service Saturday.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV.

Joann Sparks

Joann Sparks, 79, of Cottle, passed away Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at West Virginia University Hospital at Morgantown. 

Funeral services will be at noon on Friday, April 5, 2013, in the White Funeral Home at Craigsville with Pastor Jenny Ross officiating. Interment will follow in the Craigsville Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday one-hour prior to the funeral services.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Huron Toler

REEDY CREEK — Huron Keith Toler, 71, of Reedy Creek passed away Sunday March 31, 2013, in Coal Mountain. Memorial service will be 7 p.m. Saturday April 6, 2013, in the Chapel of Stafford Family Home, Lynco. Friends may gather with the family from 6 p.m. until service time. His cremains will be buried in the Toler Family Cemetery, Reedy Creek, at a later date.

E-mail letters of sympathy may be sent at

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

Leuna Williams

Leuna Evelyn Murdock Williams , 95, of Oak Hil, died Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at Montgomery General Hospital Extended Care in Montgomery.

Arrangements are incomplete.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Lyda Wilson

MOUNT HOPE — On Sunday, March 24th, 2013, Lyda Marie Adkins Wilson passed away at her home at Packs Branch, Mt Hope. She was 72 years of age.

Born February 10, 1941, at Beckley Lyda was the daughter of the late Ralph and Arbutus Shrewsbury Adkins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald E. Wilson and son, Ronald “Ronnie” M. Wilson both in 2003. 

Lyda was employed at Black Knight Country Club from 1973 to 2000. She was a member of the Church of Christ at Pax.

She leaves to cherish her memory, daughter, Debbie Endicott and her husband, Rick of Horse Creek; son, Timmy Wilson of Packs Branch; son, Teddy Wilson and his wife, Tina of Mt. Hope; eleven grandchildren, Reanna Brown, Jeff Endicott and Ashley, Tiffany, Timara, Teddy II, Abbie, Ronnie, Alex, Rileigh and Emaleigh Wilson; step-grandson, David Skipper; four great-grandchildren, Matti, Luke, Levi and Lexxi; brother, Tracy Adkins and his wife, Jean of Packs Branch; and sister, Barbara Loving and her husband, James of Le Grand, IA.  

Honoring her request, Lyda has been cremated. Memorial services will be Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Melton Mortuary Chapel. The family will receive friends from noon until the service hour.

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at www.meltonmortuary. com.

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