The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 31, 2009

Obituaries - Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009

Roy David Akers

Roy David Akers, 84, of Ameagle, W.Va., passed away suddenly Friday, January 30, 2009, at Raleigh General Hospital.

He was born June 16, 1924, in Dorothy. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the USS George Eldridge. He was a former coal miner and lifelong member of the UMWA and received his 60-year pin. He was a member of Colcord Presbyterian Church, where he previously served as an elder. Everyone who knew David loved him. He had a one-of-a-kind personality. He loved to sit in his rocking chair on his front porch, do his word search puzzles, and talk about all of the funny stories he had to tell. His humor was one of the greatest qualities and his stories will continue to be told through those who loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Francis Akers and Lillian Kirk Akers, two brothers, Billy and Andy Akers, and a sister, Juanita Vermulen.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Jacqueline Akers of Ameagle; daughter, Denna Persinger and son-in-law, Randy, of Ameagle; son, Michael Akers and daughter-in-law, Barbara, of Beckley; five granddaughters, April Cantley and husband, Jamie, of Ameagle, Jada Bradley and husband, Junior, of Daniels, Shaela Quaries and husband, Charles, of Ameagle, Sarah and Mikayla Akers of Beckley; and two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Kaylee Bradley of Daniels.

He was greatly loved and will be forever missed by his entire family.

Services will be held 1 p.m. Monday, February 2, 2009, at Colcord Presbyterian Church, Colcord, W.Va., with Pastor F.D. Sexton and David Pettry CLP officiating, and singing by the Colcord Church Choir. Interment will follow in Estep Cemetery, Ameagle, W.Va.

Visitation will be two hours prior to service at the church.

Armstrong Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Nannie J. Baker

Nannie Jewell Baker, 70, of Hinton, died Friday, January 30, 2009, in Summers County ARH Hospital in Hinton, following a short illness.

Born September 25, 1938, in Hinton, she was the daughter of the late Lacy Frank and Lula B. Gill Grimmett.

She attended Little Wolf Creek Baptist Church. She was a homemaker and lived her entire life in Summers County.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Baker; a brother, Emerson “Billy” Grimmett; and four sisters, Joy Patterson, Betty Wallace, Rhoda Bennett, and Thelma Ward.

Survivors include a brother, Cecil Grimmett of Hinton; and several nieces and nephews including Debbie Grimmett and Frank Bragg, both of Hinton.

Services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at Pivont Funeral Home in Hinton, with Pastor Eddie Harris officiating. Burial will be in the Elk Knob Church Cemetery.

Friends may call one hour prior to services on Tuesday.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Pivont Funeral Home in Hinton.

Joseph Barker

Joseph Steven Barker died Sunday, January 25, 2009, in his Charlottesville home.

Joe was born March 26, 1956, in Mullens, W.Va., the son of the late George and Castella Barker of Otsego, W.Va.

He is survived by his mother, Castella Barker of Otsego, W.Va.; his brother, Tommy Barker; and a wide circle of well-loved friends.

He grew up in Otsego, W.Va., where his lifelong passions for nature, medicine, and geography took root. Joe was a graduate of Mullens High School, class of 1974, and Concord College, class of 1988, where he received a degree in geography with honors. Joe spent many years working as a paramedic and in the emergency rooms of Wyoming County and Raleigh General Hospitals. He was especially proud of his time as an employee of National Geographic in Washington, D.C.

Joe spent time owning and operating a small bakery in North Carolina, and Joe’s fresh bread was legendary.

Joe was an instrumental presence at Live Arts, where he worked beside John, and met so many who became so dear. In the early years Joe was found lending a hand wherever and however he could. His capacity for corralling chaos was well-matched by John’s ability to create it. He was proud to play a role behind the scenes, and lent great stability and strength to all he undertook. He was very proud of his formative role in Live Arts’ work with the American High School Theater Festival and thought of Edinburgh, Scotland, as a second home after a decade of Augusts spent there.

Joe was an accomplished meteorologist, a mapper, and plotter. He was a friend to all animals and, more than anything, loved his dog, Kip. He was a gifted amateur photographer, and was the most capable, even-tempered person one could hope for. He was a passionate observer and critic of society and the world and a passionate advocate for social change. He marched in parades and picket lines, chanted at demonstrations, and gave respectful and lasting support to those less fortunate.

A memorial service will be held at Live Arts soon.

In lieu of flowers, Joe asked that donations be made to the U.Va. School of Nursing, in his memory and in honor of Sarah Delgado, his passionate advocate and care-giver.

Betty Joyce Bragg

Betty Joyce Bragg, 74, of Hinton, formerly of Princeton, went to be with her Lord on her birthday, January 30, 2009, at the Summers County Appalachian Regional Hospital at Hinton, following a sudden illness.

Born January 30, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Felix L. and Lottie B. Meadows Boland.

She was a loving and faithful wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a member of the Lorton Lick Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Mark Allen Bragg, three brothers, Felix (Buck) Boland, John Boland, and Herbert Boland, and two sisters, Virginia Dodd and Lahoma Crotshin.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 50 years, Stanley C. Bragg; three sons, R. Shawn Bragg and wife Sharon of Princeton, Tim Bragg of Hinton, and Brian Bragg and wife Carla of Princeton; three sisters, Verna Hale of Scott Depot, Eva Mann and husband David of Peterstown, and Janice Milehoan and husband Lowell of Charlottesville, Va.; nine grandchildren, Jessica Whitehead and husband Adam, Jenny Hubbard and husband Mike, Kayla, Amber, Jared, Logan, Kaitlyn, Timmy, and Joni Bragg; and two great-grandchildren, Aiden Hubbard and Brady Whitehead.

Graveside services and burial will be held 5:30 p.m. today at the Upland Cemetery near Hinton, with Pastor Cecil Cox officiating.

Friends may call at the funeral parlors from 4 to 5 p.m. today.

Just as their mother carried them throughout life, her sons will honor her by carrying her to the final resting place. Her grandsons will serve as additional pallbearers.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

Verla R. Christian

Verla R. Christian, 72, of Lewisburg, passed away Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, at Greenbrier Manor in Fairlea.

Services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. today.

Please send online condolences by visiting

Wallace and Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements.

Margaret Lucille Coulter

LINDSIDE — Margaret Lucille Coulter, age 87, of Staunton, passed away Friday, Jan. 30, 2009, at the Augusta Nursing and Rehab Center, Fishersville, Va.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at the Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home Chapel, Peterstown, W.Va. Friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. today at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 250 E. Market St., Suite C, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, or to the Hospice of Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA 22911.

Online guest book can be signed or condolences sent to the Coulter family at

Arrangements by Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Peterstown, W.Va.

Benjamin Davis

Mr. Benjamin Davis, 68, of Summerlee, W.Va., died Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, in Hubbard Hospice House, Charleston.

Arrangements entrusted to Ritchie & Johnson Funeral Parlor, Beckley.

Clarissie R. Hess

Clarissie Ressie Hess, 56, of Stephenson, went home to be with Jesus on Friday, January 30, 2009, in a Beckley hospital, following a long illness.

Born October 26, 1952, at Mullens, she was the daughter of the late England Tencil and Virginia E. (Dewease) Hess.

Clarissie was a 1970 graduate of Mullens High School. In 1973, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. She was a 1976 graduate from King’s Daughters Hospital, Ashland, Ky., in advance cardiac life-support. She was a former coronary care nurse, retiring from Beckley Hospital.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by two brothers, Tencil Junior and Thomas England Hess.

Those left to cherish her memory include two sisters, Connie Rose and her husband Richard and their sons, Nicholas and Jared, and Carolyn Garten and her husband Ronald, all of Beckley; and her five feline friends whom she loved very much.

In keeping with Clarissie’s wishes, there will be no visitation or services.

Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Park, Beckley.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements by Tankersley Funeral Home, Mullens.

Anna Louise Hatcher McGinnis

Louise McGinnis, of Beckley, passed away Monday, January 26, 2009, after a year of declining health. She was the daughter of the late Walther Lee Hatcher, Sr., and Maggie Crotty Hatcher. Louise was born on September 24, 1928, in Sophia, W.Va.

Mrs. McGinnis was preceded in death by her husband, James A. McGinnis, in 1988; her son, James H. McGinnis, in 2002; and an infant daughter, Alice Ann McGinnis, in 1960.

Louise spent her childhood in Pemberton and later moved to Mullens, where she was a proud member of Mullens High School, Class of 1946. She had resided in Beckley for the past 41 years. Louise served as a court reporter throughout southern West Virginia, retiring in 1988.

Survivors include her son, Dallas McGinnis and his wife Rebecca of Williamson, and her daughter, Glenda Jo Humphrey and her husband Mike of Durham, N.C. Surviving grandchildren are Garrett, Megan, and Jillian McGinnis, all of Florida, Erin McGinnis of Williamson, and Emily Neel and her husband Chuck of Durham. Her great-grandchildren are Lucy and Carden Neel. Surviving siblings are her sister, Alice Street Wann of Orwell, Ohio, and her brother, Walter Lee Hatcher, Jr., of Princeton.

Louise enjoyed reading, cooking, walking with her friends, yard work, crossword puzzles, and crocheting.

The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of caregivers at Heartland of Beckley, who took such loving care of Louise for the past six months.

In keeping with her wishes, there will be no public services.

Entombment will be in the mausoleum at Sunset Memorial Park in Beckley.

Condolences may be mailed to the family at

Arrangements by Melton Mortuary, Inc., Beckley, W.Va.

James L. ‘Jim’ Rhodes

James L. “Jim” Rhodes, age 72, of Beckley, W.Va., died Thursday, January 29, 2009, at the Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital, following a long illness.

Born March 3, 1936, at Flats, W.Va., he was the son of the late Lloyd Rhodes and Bertha Sadler Rhodes.

Jim was a retired coal miner, a member of the UMWA, and was of the Church of God faith. He was known as Jim, the flea market man.

Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Webb Rhodes, and two brothers, Gary Wayne Rhodes and Bobby Ray Rhodes.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon Harvey Rhodes; his children, Patty Donell and husband Donnie of Beckley, W.Va., James Rhodes of Chapel Hill, N.C., Darrell Rhodes and wife Karen of Meban, N.C., and Larry Rhodes of Crab Orchard, W.Va.; two brothers, Clarence Rhodes of New Oxford, Pa., and Ralph Rhodes of Beckley, W.Va.; seven sisters, Helen Richards and husband Vaness of New Oxford, Pa., Minnie Bennett of Hobe Sound, Fla., Lillian Paugh and husband Todd of New Oxford, Pa., Janet Wodzisz and husband Frank of Stuart, Fla., Lura Adkins and husband Charles of Beckley, W.Va., his caregivers, Margaret Cooper and husband Charles of Beckley, W.Va., and Betty Williams of Beckley, W.Va.; and nine grandchildren.

He will be sadly missed by friends and family.

Funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel, with Rev. Robert Barley officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park in Beckley.

Friends may call one hour prior to services.

Nephews and cousins will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be sent to our guest book at

Arrangements by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home in Beckley, W.Va.

Geraldine Sizemore

Geraldine Sizemore, 67, of Beckley, passed away Saturday, January 31, 2009, in a local hospital, following a long illness.

Born April 29, 1941, at Slab Fork, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late James Robert and Freda Rowe Hensley.

Mrs. Sizemore was a homemaker and attended the Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley. She was a lifelong resident of Raleigh County.

Survivors include her son, Larry Sizemore and wife Karen of Beckley; grandson, Tyler Sizemore of Beckley; brother, Carl Hensley and wife Patricia of Beckley; sister, Wanda Ellis of Mississippi; and companion, Floyd Bolen of Beckley.

Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at the Memorial Baptist Church, with Pastor Mark Agnor officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Park.

Friends may call at the church from 11 a.m. until service time on Monday.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family requests any memorial contributions be made to the family in care of Calfee Funeral Home, 800 S. Oakwood Ave., Beckley, WV 25801.

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.

James Lesley Vest

James Lesley Vest, age 88, of Ashland, Va., formerly of Jumping Branch, W.Va., passed away Thursday, January 29, 2009, surrounded by his family.

Born June 15, 1920, at Raleigh, W.Va., he was the son of the late Alvis Lesley Vest and Ida Belle Bennett Vest.

Mr. Vest was a retired truck driver and heavy equipment operator for the coal mines. He was a member of the UMWA. He was also a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division.

Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Clara Mabel Pack, and a son-in-law, Richard Tilley.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Glema Meador Vest; a son, Lesley D. Vest and his wife Bonita of Mt. View; a daughter, Judy Tilley of Ashland, Va.; three special grandsons, Brian Vest, Michael Tilley, and Keith Vest; a loving granddaughter, Rashella Jo Kern; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Enola Saunders of Hinton and Iva Hatcher of Beckley; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Monday at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley, with Rev. William L. Fox officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity.

Friends may call from 11:30 a.m. until service time on Monday.

Family members will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be sent to our guest book at

Arrangements by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home in Beckley, W.Va.

Danny Webb

LYNCO — Danny Webb, 55, departed this life Friday, Jan. 30, 2009.

Arrangements are incomplete.

Services entrusted to Adam Toler Memorial Funeral Home, Oceana.

Rebecca Wood

Rebecca Wood, of Myers Avenue, Beckley, died Jan. 31, 2009, at the Charleston Area Medical Center.

Arrangements are pending completion at Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, Beckley, W.Va.

Steve Yarber Sr.

FAYETTEVILLE — Steven Lyle Yarber, Sr., of Fayetteville, passed away Thursday, January 29, 2009, at home.

Born February 28, 1959, at Charleston, he was the son of Donald Lee Yarber and Charlotte Ann Dixon.

Mr. Yarber was of the Baptist faith and was a U.S. Army veteran. He was a self-employed construction worker and he had worked in the coal mines.

Left to cherish his memory are wife, Carolyn Yarber of Fayetteville; father, Donald Yarber of Fayetteville; mother, Charlotte Ann Dixon of Fayetteville; son, Steven Yarber, Jr., and wife, Mintie’, of Fayetteville; daughter, Anna Yarber of Ansted; son, Zeth Yarber of Fayetteville; four brothers, John Yarber of Fayetteville, Craig Yarber and wife, Dianne, of Fayetteville, Dennis Yarber of Cannelton, and Donnie Yarber of Fayetteville; two sisters, Cindy Turner and husband John of Danville, Ky., and Diana Shillingburg and husband, Randy, of Elkview; and numerous other family and friends. He will also be missed by his beloved dogs.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at the Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home Chapel, Fayetteville, with Pastor Jerry Bush officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant View Cemetery, Route 1, Fayetteville.

The family will receive friends one hour before the funeral on Tuesday.

Online condolences and other information available at

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