The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 23, 2013

Obituaries — Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Orpha Alma Ball

RODERFIELD — Orpha Alma Ball, 79, of Roderfield, WV, passed away Friday, September 20, 2013, in the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, WV, following a long illness.

Ms. Ball was born November 26, 1933, in Long Pole, WV, a daughter of the late Dorsey and Mae Lockhart Lester.

She was a homemaker, and attended the Little Vine Baptist Church. She and her first husband, Homer Blankenship, operated the Blankenship Market in Pineville, WV, for 35 years.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Homer Blankenship; second husband, Vineyard Paul Ball; an infant sister; and one brother, Roger Lester.

Survivors include two daughters, Crystal Bishop and husband Freddy of Jesse, WV, and Rene Rocchi and husband Vick of Bluefield, WV; five sons, Michael “Joe” Blankenship of the home, David Blankenship and wife Becky of Oceana, WV, Terreal Blankenship and wife Debbie of Beckley, WV, William “Bill” Blankenship of Clanton, AL, and J.R. Blankenship and wife Yuva of Georgia; 1 stepdaughter, Paula Simpson and husband Mark of Maitland, WV; one sister, Gaye Lane of Roderfield, WV; two brothers, Don Lester of Gary, WV, and Franklin Lester and wife Reba of Chesapeake, VA; seven grandchildren, Andrea Privett and husband Doug of Keyrock, WV, Freddy Bishop and wife Maggie of Jesse, WV, D.J. Blankenship of Bruno, WV, Amber Cains and husband Brad of Proctorville, OH, Brianna Blankenship of Beckley, WV, Marissa Blankenship also of Beckley, WV, Cody Rocchi of Pineville, WV; and two great-grandchildren, Caleb Privett of Keyrock, WV, and Seth Bishop of Jesse, WV.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at 1 o’clock, with Reverend Craig Stevens and Reverend Stan Lowrey officiating at the Chapel of Fanning Funeral Home in Welch, WV. Burial will follow in Iaeger Memorial Cemetery at Roderfield, WV. Serving as pallbearers will be family and friends.

Friends may visit with the family at the Chapel of Fanning Funeral Home in Welch, Tuesday morning, September 24, 2013, from 11 a.m. until time of services at 1 p.m.

Fanning Funeral Home in Iaeger and Welch are assisting the family.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Deborah Sue Harrah

ANSTED — Deborah Sue Harrah, 66, of Ansted, passed away Friday, September 20, 2013, following a long illness.

She was born August 27, 1947, in Ansted, WV. Deborah was the daughter of the late Bart Bartrum and Betty June Waldrep Bartrum.

She was the head cook at Gino’s and a homemaker.

Survivors are a daughter, Jennifer McHenry of Julian, N.C.; a son, Kevin Harrah of Mt. Hope; a brother, Benny Bartrum of Ansted; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

Mrs. Harrah was cremated. A memorial service will be at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent to

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

Gary William Lewis

RONCEVERTE — Gary William Lewis, 61, of Ronceverte died Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at McCraw Funeral Home in Lewisburg.

McCraw Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.

Rexford L. McMillion

“In the fall and spring, ‘JR’ could always be found, in the mountains, chasing whitetail deer and spring gobblers ….”

So, perhaps it is only fitting that our cherished Rexford Lee McMillion of Bee Branch, Dameron, went to that great hunting ground in the sky to see his Savior, at this time of year, as the fall season is upon us. It is just that he left so soon, too soon, on Thursday, Sept. 19th, 2013. JR was only 50 years of age, bravely fighting pancreatic cancer for just a few months.

One of two sons, “JR,” as he was affectionately known, was born Rexford Lee McMillion Jr. on Jan. 26th, 1963, at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He was the son of the late Rexford Lee and Vonnie Sue Adkins McMillion Sr.

JR leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, the former Melinda Gail Honaker; JR’s beloved daughter, Tiffany Workman, who makes her home in Beckley; and he was the fond brother of Joey McMillion of Dameron.

JR has been a hard-working man, driving a coal truck. Besides the love of family, JR’s great passion was the out of doors. He loved to hunt and fish. Every season was appreciated for the beauty he could find in the great out of doors.

On Monday, Sept. 23rd, at 1 p.m. there will be a “Service of Remembrance” for JR at the Glen Daniel Worship Center. Pastor Jerry Cantley will be officiating. The family will receive friends on Sunday evening at the church from 6 to 9 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Monday. JR will be laid to rest in the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity.

“…..and summertime was always filled with day and nights on the water pursuing the fish.”

“We can still see you … remember you … God speed until we are all together again.”

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

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

Vivian Doris Sprouse Nugen

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Vivian Doris Sprouse Nugen, 83, of Columbus, Ohio, formerly of Kingston, died Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill. Entombment will follow at High Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. Friends may call from noon until time of service at the funeral home.

Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, is in charge of arrangements.

Tim Thompson

Tim Thompson, 86, went to be with the Lord after passing away peacefully on September 20, 2013, with his son, Ed, by his side. He had a long life full of family, friends, and great memories in his beloved town of Beckley, WV.

He is survived by two daughters, Stephanie Cooksey and her husband, John, of Spring, TX, and Catharine “Kitzy” Cotogno and her husband, Ken, of Flemington, NJ; two sons, Ed Thompson and his wife, Cindy, of Jamestown, NC, and Tim “Ox” Thompson and his wife, Robin, of Klamath Falls, OR; his two grandchildren, Cassandra and John Nicholas Cooksey; and many loving nephews, nieces, and their families.

Born May 8, 1927, in Ravenswood, WV, Mr. Thompson was the youngest son of the late Ronald E. and Ivy Mabel Sinnett Thompson Sr. He is also preceded in death by his brothers Ronald E. “Tom” Thompson, and Stephen B. “Steve” Thompson, and his former wife, Catherine “Kay” Allen Thompson.

Mr. Thompson grew up in Parkersburg, proudly attended West Virginia University, was a member of Beta Theta Phi, and settled in Beckley after college. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati, College of Pharmacy, in 1957 and moved back to Beckley to continue his career and raise his family. He was a veteran having served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and later serving in the WV National Guard during the Korean War. He attended advanced officer training school at Ft. Benning, GA.

During his dedicated career of over 50 years as a registered pharmacist, Mr. Thompson served the community through his work at Thompson Drug in Beckley and Crab Orchard, and later at Professional Pharmacy. He became a licensed nursing home administrator and provided leadership at Pine Lodge Nursing Home in Beckley, introducing the first nursing home in West Virginia to have an in-house pharmacy. He continued working as a nursing home consultant and administrator in Bluefield until 2003 when he retired.

Mr. Thompson was an active member of the community in many different fraternal orders and social clubs including Rotary Club, Elks Club, Moose Club, Glade Springs and Black Knight Country Club. He also served as the Beckley Police Commissioner. He enjoyed golf, beating his friends at cards, and watching football, particularly the WVU Mountaineers and the Washington Redskins. Most of all, he will be remembered as a loving and generous father.

In 2011, he moved to Flemington, NJ, to live with his daughter Catharine and her husband Ken. After a couple of years he realized how much he missed those “country roads” and returned to Beckley where he always felt most at home, surrounded by so many familiar and dear faces.

A celebration of his life will be held at Calfee Funeral Home at 800 S. Oakwood Avenue in Beckley on Wednesday, September 25, at 11 a.m.

Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Salvation Army of Beckley at 312 S. Fayette St., PO Box 1573, Beckley, WV 25802, would be welcomed.

Condolences to the family may be e-mailed on the website

The family extends special thanks to Manny “Mankind” Arellano, who provided extraordinary care over the last 4 months, and to Mr. Thompson’s dear friends Doug Jarrell and Connie Green, and to Gary Poling, MD, for their incredible support and care. Many heartfelt thanks to the staff and residents at Greystone and the staff at Raleigh General Hospital for their compassionate care.

Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.

Leola Bennett Wiseman

TALCOTT — Leola Bennett Wiseman, 87, of Talcott passed away Sunday, September 22, 2013, at her home following a short illness.

Born December 26, 1925, at Madams Creek, she was a daughter of the late Mike J. and Ethel Faye Waddell Bennett.

Leola was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church at Talcott and a former telegraph operator for the C&O Railway where she met her husband and they made their life together on their farm at Talcott. She enjoyed quilting, gardening, canning and tending to the farm beside her husband.

Preceding her in death include her husband, Raymond O. Wiseman; four brothers, Charles Atley, Nathan Donald, Delmar Mike and Arthur Glen Bennett; one sister, Doris Evelyn Hamrick.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Thomas E. Wiseman and wife Barbara of Marie, Judith C. Bolton and husband Randy of Lerona and James D. Wiseman and wife Jodi of Talcott; seven grandchildren, Benjamin, Matthew, and Jennifer Wiseman, Eric Bolton and wife Adair, Kevin Bolton and wife Dana, Stephanie Tipton and husband Jason and Keith Wiseman; three great-grandchildren, Will, Adaiah and Wright Bolton; and one brother, Gilbert Dean Bennett and wife Janice of Hinton.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 24, 2013, at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Thomas Wiseman officiating. Burial will follow in the Restwood Memorial Gardens near Hinton.

Friends may call at the funeral parlor from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family would like to thank Kanawha Hospice Care for all their care and support given to the family.

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

Condolences may be sent to the family at