The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 5, 2013

Obituaries — Sunday, May 5, 2013

Charles Hampton Atha Sr.

OAK HILL — It’s the Lord’s turn to put up with Charley’s sense of humor now.

Charles Hampton Atha Sr., age 78, of Oak Hill passed away Friday, May 3, 2013, after a lifetime filled with laughter and love. Charley was born March 20, 1935, in Powellton, WV, to the late Herbert Atha Sr. and Muriel Holt Atha.

As a child, Charley lived at Powellton and later the family moved to a farm on Saturday Road near Ansted. At the age of 16, Charley moved to Welch, WV, to work with his older brother, and it was at Roderfield Pentecostal Holiness Church that he met his wife of nearly 61 years, Sclean Blackburn Atha. They were married when he was 17 and she was 16. Charley continued working with his brothers, Herb and Bob, for several years moving the family from Welch to Beckley and finally to Oak Hill. In 1968 Charley, Sclean, and their children founded Fayette Awning & Glass, Inc. Although Charley’s formal education ended at the 3rd grade, he worked hard and is a shining example of what we can do when we work hard, put our mind to succeed, and trust God. The business is still owned and operated by the Atha family, and plans have been established for family members to continue the  business well into the future.

Charley was active in church since he was a young man and previously served as a Sunday School teacher, church clerk, and on the Pastor’s Council at Central Avenue Church of God (now Mountain View Church of God). Charley was active in the building program there and was part of the group of people that helped move the church from Oak Hill to Hilltop. He drew the first plans for the first church building there, and helped to establish Mountain View Christian School, where all 3 of his grandchildren attended school and where one of his great-grandchildren attends now. Charley was a member of Faith Community Church in Beckley.

Charley loved his family above all. His children were the joy of his life, and he loved nothing more than spoiling his grandchildren. He worked hard to make sure the family was taken care of and wanted for nothing, and has reached his eternal home knowing that his children and grandchildren were all successful adults. Even making sure all three grandchildren had the opportunity to travel abroad studying or carrying the Gospel of Christ.

Charley and Sclean were blessed with two children who both preceded him in death and whom he has rejoined in heaven. Charley (C.H.) Hampton Atha Jr. and Deborah Lynn Atha James both earned their eternal reward in 2012 and have now been joined by their dad — probably at the rock that the family has talked so much about in the last year. Also preceding him in death are two grandchildren Charlene Renee James and Jason Douglas James, his parents Herbert and Muriel Atha, brothers Donald Atha and Herbert Atha Sr., sister Libby Atha Smith, and mother and father-in-law Otis and Nell Blackburn.

Those left to cherish the memories and a legacy of laughter left behind by Charley are his wife of nearly 61 years, Sclean Atha of Oak Hill, daughter-in-law Deborah Smith Atha of Oak Hill, son-in-law Larry D. James of Oak Hill, granddaughter Kristi Atha-Rader and husband Kris of Fayetteville, granddaughter Tiffany James of Simpsonville, SC, grandson Charley Hampton Atha III and wife Candice of Cleveland, TN, great-grandchildren Madison Grace and Kristopher Brock Rader and Charles Bradford and Caitlyn Elizabeth Atha. Charley leaves behind a brother, Bob Atha and wife Donzella of Fayetteville, and sisters Mona Legg of Victor and Linda Atha of Florida, sister-in-law Martha Atha of Beckley, and sisters/brothers-in-law Phyllis Jones, Claris and Vance Hayes, Wanda and Everett Bishop, and Sue and Kelly Muncy of Bluefield and Betty Hayes of Bristol, TN, along with a host of nieces and nephews who loved “Uncle Charley” dearly. Charley had a big heart and an undying love for his family. Above all, he understood that life was a brief gift from God, and that it should be enjoyed to its fullest.

His remains rest at the Mountain View Church of God at Hilltop where the family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday (today) and where the funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Monday with Rev. Sam Peterson, Rev. Jason Lowe, and Rev. Rudell Bloomfield officiating.

Pallbearers will be employees of Fayette Awning and Glass, Robert Long, Mike Kees, Mike Hitchcock, Jeff Ashwell, Larry Taylor, Jeff Owen, and Gee Bennett.

Charley will be laid to rest at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens in Oak Hill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the building program at Faith Community Church, P.O. Box 773, Beckley, WV 25802.

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

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