The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 3, 2013

Obituaries — Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Donald Ray Belcher

Donald Ray Belcher, 60, of Greenville, passed away Monday, April 1, 2013, at Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Va., following a long illness.

He was born at Greenville, W. Va., April 17, 1952, a son of the late Thomas Evan and Alka Vivian Martin Belcher.

Mr. Belcher was a disabled employee of the Celanese Corp. at Narrows, Va., with 30 years service and he was affiliated with the Baptist Faith.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death a sister, Emma Jean Belcher, and two brothers, Ed Belcher and Mack Belcher. 

Surviving is his wife, Connie Parker Belcher, of Greenville; a daughter, Michele Renee Belcher, of Morgantown; a son, Todd McNeil Belcher, of Sinks Grove; a stepdaughter, Rachael Shannon Cox, of Greenville; twq step-granddaughters, Jennifer Gabrielle Cox, of Narrows, Va. and Hayleigh Michele Cox, of Greenville; two brothers, Bob Belcher of Peterstown and Larry Belcher and wife, Gloria, of Peterstown; mother-in-law, Polly Parker, of Greenville; Brother-in-law, Billy Joe Parker; sister-in-laws Martha Belcher, Karen Nicholson, Lu Parker, Jeanie Ogden, Suzie Oliver and husband, Page and Mickey Parker.  

Friends may call at the Groves Funeral Home on Friday, April 5, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. At Don’s request after the visitation he will be cremated.

Groves Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Margaret Houchins McKinney Berge

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Mrs. Margaret Houchins McKinney Berge, 87, of Fayetteville, NC, passed away March 8, 2013, at Autumn Care of Fayetteville.

She was born June 28, 1925, in Monroe County, to the late Clinton Houchins and Laura Allen Houchins.

Margaret was a retired elementary school teacher and a former Mathematics Department Supervisor with Miami-Dade County Schools in Miami. She was the co-author of a series of mathematics textbooks which were used by the Miami-Dade County School System.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Ray McKinney and Adolph Berge, and a stepdaughter, Carol McKinney Frankum. 

She is survived by sons, Tom McKinney and Kenneth Berge (Lindsey), four daughters, Blanche M. Taylor (Wayne), Joanne B. Naumer (Ron), Sharon Oppelt (David), Mary B. Gross (Val); a brother, Rufus Houchins (Helen); and a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  

A memorial service will be held on April 6th at 11 a.m. at Wayside Church in Wayside.  Cecil McKinney will preside.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation,, or charity of your choice.

Services are entrusted to Groves Funeral Home in Union.

Clara Davis Blakey

DETROIT, MICH. — Clara Davis Blakey, 74, of Detroit, formerly of Ansted, died Friday, March 29, 2013.

Arrangements entrusted to Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Tommy Edward Campbell

LORAIN, OHIO — Tommy Edward Campbell, 77, of Lorain, Ohio, formerly of W.Va., died Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Funeral services will be 12 p.m. Thursday, April 4, 2013, at Wallace and Wallace funeral home chapel in Ansted with Elder Hillard Bates officiating. Burial will follow in the Fox cemetery at Ramsey.

Arrangements by Wallace and Wallace of Ansted.

Ollie L. Combs

IROQUOIS — Ollie Louvice Combs, 71, of Iroquois passed away Sunday, March 31, 2013, in a Morgantown hospital following a short illness.

Born October 14, 1941, at Bud she was the daughter of John O'Neal of Saulsville and the late Ella Mae Bishop O'Neal.

Ollie was a homemaker. A Baptist by faith, she attended the Mountaineer Baptist Church, Stephenson. She was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.

In addition to her mother she is also preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd Corbin Combs; two sons, John Chester Combs and Calvin Junior Combs.

Those left to cherish her memory include her companion, Frank Bedwell of Iroquois; two daughters, Linda Martin and her companion, Michael Tiller of Iroquois and Marie Stacey and her husband, Lee of Saulsville; one step-daughter, Diana Lane and her husband, Larry of Welch; five sons, Ivan Combs and his wife, Angela of Stephenson, Carlos Combs and his wife, Rebecca Jane of Oak Hill, Jessie J. Combs and his wife, Mary Beth of Iroquois, Buddy Allen Combs and his companion, Terri Persinger of Stephenson, and Corbin Ray Combs and his wife, Christi of Minden; one step-son, Vannoy Combs and his wife, Paula of Carsville; five sisters, Vada Mills and her husband, Tom of Barkers Ridge, Violet Shrewsbury of Oceana, Marie Billings and her husband, Ross of Spanishburg, Lola Holbrook of Corinne, and Hazel Bird and her husband, Larry of Las Vegas, NV; four brothers, Carlos O'Neal and his wife, Mary of Itmann, William O'Neal and his wife, Helsie of Corinne, Arthur O'Neal and his wife, Leota of Norfork, and Jessie O'Neal and his wife, Melissa of Barkers Ridge; twenty-one grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and seven step great grandchildren.

Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, April 4, 2013, at Tankersley Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Charles A. McKinney, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in the George Shrewsbury Cemetery, Barkers Ridge.

Friends may call from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

The family of Ollie Combs is being cared for by Tankersley Funeral Home, Mullens.

James L. Gwinn

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — James Lockridge Gwinn, 90, of Fredericksburg, died Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Mary Washington Hospital.

Survivors include his daughter Janet Cornell and husband Andrew Sr.; son James Lawrence Gwinn and wife Loretta of Dumfries; three grandchildren, Andrew B. Cornell Jr., Rebecca Lynn Cornell, and Barbara Gwinn; and stepgranddaughter Beverly Furtick.

He grew up during the Great Depression. He was active in high school sports in Oak Hill, W.Va. He received several football scholarship offers.

Mr. Gwinn enlisted in the Navy (Seabee) and served in the South Pacific in World War II including New Guinea, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, the Russell Islands, Guadalcanal and New Caledonia. His service awards included: Asiatic-Pacific Medal – 2 stars, American Area Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. He was discharged at Camp Endicott, Davisville, Rhode Island, on 10 December, 1945.

After his discharge, he and his high school sweetheart, Edna Pauline Honaker, were married in Providence, RI, and returned to Oak Hill where they lived from 1945 to 2009. Working first as a mechanic, he progressed to service manager at both Steen-Miller and King Coal car dealerships. In Oak Hill, James and Edna raised their family, supported their community, belonged to the Oak Hill United Methodist Church, and had a full and successful life. They joined their daughter’s household in March 2009. On 11 May, 2010, Mr. Gwinn was preceded in death by his wife and companion of 65 years, Edna.

A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 1, at Covenant Funeral Service, Stafford Chapel. Burial followed in Quantico National Cemetery.

Online guest book is at

Gladys (Sissy) Hoke

Gladys (Sissy) Hoke, 75, of McRoss, passed away Monday, April 1, 2013.

Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Gospel Lighthouse at Grassy Meadows.

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

Arrangements by Smathers Funeral Chapel, Inc., Rainelle.

Shirley Jean Morgan Lilly

GHENT — Shirley Jean Morgan Lilly, 66, of Ghent, passed away on Monday, April 1, 2013, at Bowers Hospice House following an extended illness.

Born August 12, 1946, in East Gulf, WV, to the late Carl Morgan and Ora Thompson Morgan.

Shirley was employed by JCPenney for many years in the alterations department. She was also a member of the Eastern Star and was of the Presbyterian faith.

In addition to her parents she is preceded in death by brothers, David and Sydney Morgan; and a sister, Donna Lilly.

Those surviving include her husband, John Lilly, at home; son, John Lilly II and wife Mary of Amherst, Ohio; daughters, Sabrina Lilly of Avon, Ohio, Valeria Baker and husband Charles of Daniels, and JoDonna Fitzwater of Daniels; sister, Joan White and husband Modock of Harlingen, TX; 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held privately and she will be interred in Tom Lilly Cemetery in Ghent.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive in Beckley.

Private online condolences, floral gifts, and other expressions of sympathy are available to the family via

Arrangements with Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home-Shady Spring Chapel, 729 Flat Top Road in Shady Spring.

Mavis West Morgan

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Mavis West Morgan, 82, of Thomasville, N.C., formerly of Simon, died Saturday, Mach 30, 2013.

Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. today at Mounts Funeral Home Chapel in Gilbert with Rev. Gary Browning officiating. Burial will follow in the West-Morgan Cemetery in Simon.

Arrangements were made by Mounts Funeral Home, Gilbert.

Richard Louis Olzer

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Richard Louis Olzer, Sr., 95 of N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, died Tuesday April 2, 2013, at his home following a long illness.

Arrangements are pending completion at Pivont Funeral Home, Hinton, WV.

Marie Rae Tonkin Simms

WEIRWOOD — Marie Rae Tonkin Simms, age 61, of Weirwood , W.Va., died on Monday, April 1, 2012.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013, at the Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, with Rev. Dwayne Williams officiating. Burial will follow at Pax Community Cemetery at Pax, WV.

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

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Mount Hope, WV.

Walter Keith Smith

Walter Keith Smith, 51, of Beckley, W.Va., passed away Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital following a long illness.

Funeral services will be held 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at New Hope Baptist Church, 304 Worley Road in Beckley. Officiating will be Rev. Nathaniel Carey, Bishop Gerald Dillard, Rev. Thomas Simpson, and Rev. Eugene Nabors. 

Visitation will be prior to the service at the church from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Beckley. 

Send online condolences to durganfuneralhome1

Arrangements entrusted to Durgan Funeral Home.