The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 27, 2013

Obituaries — Wednesday, November 27, 2013

John Arch ‘Archie’ Bennett

TALCOTT — John Arch “Archie” Bennett, 52, passed away Sunday, November 24, 2013.

Friends may call Wednesday evening, November 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home in Peterstown. There will be no funeral services. As requested by Archie he will be cremated.

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

Arrangements by Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Peterstown.

JoAnn K. Clark

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — JoAnn K. Clark, 76, of Colonial Heights, passed away on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at her residence.

Born in West Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Charley M. and Edith Lilly Keffer.

Mrs. Clark was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest W. Clark and a brother, Ronald Keffer.

She is survived by a son, Michael Clark of Virginia Beach; two daughters, Debra Weeks of S. Chesterfield and Pamela Cofer and husband, Jack of Prince George; a granddaughter, Amanda Jo Clark; two grandsons, Matthew J. Clark and Timothy J. Cofer; three brothers, Charles Keffer and wife, Wilma of Coal City, W.Va., Jack Keffer and wife, Scharma of Elyria, Ohio, and Kenneth Keffer and wife, Carla of Shady Spring, W.Va.; a sister, Joyce Patterson-Sponsler of Colonial Heights; several nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Alice Greene. A special “thank you” to Crater Community Hospice for their care and compassion shown to Mrs. Clark.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2013, in the Colonial Heights Chapel of the E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes & Crematory, 2033 Boulevard.  Interment to follow in Sunset Memorial Park, Chester, Va. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Flowers are welcome or contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4600 Cox Road, Suite 130, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060.

Condolences may be registered at  

Lura Durham

Lura Durham, 92, of Table Rock, passed away Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at her residence.

Arrangements are pending completion at Rose and Quesenberry, 1901 S. Kanawha Street, Beckley.

Thomas W. Howard

MOUNT HOPE — Thomas W. Howard, age 91, of Mount Hope, passed away on Monday, November 25, 2013 at his residence.

Born February 11, 1922, at Mount Hope, he was the son of the late Charles E. and Gwendolyn “Gwen” Williams Howard.

Mr. Howard was a 1939 graduate of Mount Hope High School and studied a year at Greenbrier Military Institute and went on to West Virginia University earning BS and MS degrees in Mining Engineering.

He served his country during World War II fighting in the Pacific Theatre aboard the LST 880.  

He was a member of the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church where he served for many years as a Deacon, Trustee and teacher of the Men’s Bible Class.

He was an avid pilot learning to fly as a teenager and became an instrument and commercial rated private pilot. He regularly flew various aircraft for business and pleasure until about the age of 80. He was an outdoors man who loved to hunt and fish.

His work has always been in the coal industry. In 1961, while serving as Chief Engineer for The New River Company in Mount Hope, he formed his own consulting Engineering firm, “Thomas W. Howard, Inc.” The company served clients in West Virginia, surrounding states and occasionally abroad.  

In 1970 Mr. Howard became General Manager of Beaver Coal Company, Ltd., and served in that capacity for over 20 years. His also served on the Beaver Management Corporation’s Board of Directors for many years.  

He was a Registered Professional Engineer, “Legion of Honor” Member of the Society of Mining Engineers and served on the WV State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. His overall contributions to the coal business are well recognized by all in the industry. The family also wishes to thank Mr. Howard’s long time secretary, office manager and assistant, Margaret Bickford. In 2010 Mr. Howard was inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Sibray Howard.

Surviving are his three children, Thomas W. Howard II, M.D. and his wife Jan of Hurricane, Linda Howard Brown and husband Steve of Mount Hope, Charles Howard and his wife Lorna Waddell of Morgantown, six grandchildren, Thomas W. Howard III, M.D., Victor Alex Howard, M.D., James Grant Howard, William Brett Brown, Will Howard and Charley Howard. Also surviving is his sister, Patricia (Pat) Spickard of Shelbyville, Ky.

A special thanks to all his caregivers including: Misty Hall, Sarah Acord, Heather Bowyer, Wanda Ball and to Hospice of Southern WV for their excellent care and oversight.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, November 29, 2013, at the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church 412 Main Street, Mount Hope with Rev. Elizabeth Stone officiating. Entombment will follow at High Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum, Oak Hill. Friends may call at the church on hour prior to services on Friday, November 29, 2013.

In lieu of flowers donation of sympathy can be made to the Mount Hope Presbyterian Church, 412 Main Street, Mount Hope, WV 25880 or to the Greater Mount Hope Community Fund, 211 Bluestone Road, Mount Hope, WV 25880.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Tyree funeral Home, Mount Hope.

Dean Morgan Howen

Dean Morgan Howen passed away on November 23, 2013, in Charlottesville, Va. He was born on August 9, 1920, in Colgan, N.D. His family moved to Hibbing, Minn. where he graduated from Hibbing High School and attended Hibbing Junior College. Dean played trombone in the Hibbing Municipal Band. They traveled to New York City to perform at the World’s Fair.

He joined the Army during World War II where he worked for the Sixth Army headquarters staff, preparing for invasion of Japan. In 1942, while in the Army, he married his high school sweetheart, Blanche. When the war ended he used the GI Bill to graduate from the University of Minnesota. He was recruited into the FBI and began a 30-year career that included service in Newark, Pittsburgh and Beckley.

A felon escaped from a local jail in Hays, Kan., and made the FBI ten most wanted list. Agent Howen found and investigated a southern W.Va. family connection and captured the fugitive, placing him in the Raleigh County Jail. Once again the elusive felon escaped from the local jail. Agent Howen quickly organized WV State Police and other southern W.Va. Agents. The felon was recaptured before dawn the next day.

From his retirement until the death of his wife in 2004, they enjoyed world travel and golf. They had two sons, Thomas and Robert. One highlight of his retirement was presenting his original FBI badge to his son, Robert, an agent from 1975 – 2000.

After the death of his wife, he enjoyed traveling between his children’s homes in Charlottesville, Va. and Chattanooga, Tenn., while still maintaining his own residence in W.Va. Dean enjoyed spending time with Tom and his wife Steele, Bob and his wife Debby, his five grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

In his later years he stayed in Charlottesville with his eldest son, Tom and his wife who thank the Martha Jefferson Medical Community and Hospice House for excellent care.

Rev. Elderly John R. Justice

PANTHER — Rev. Elderly John R. Justice, 78, of Panther, passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2013.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2013, at the Little Zion Church at Greenbrier, at Panther, with Rev. Author Short, Rev. Jerry Overstreet, Gary Young, Clyde Lewis, Hobert Halmington, Phillip Estep, Richard Stateman, and Willis Bartley officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Floyd Justus Cemetery, Guess Fork.

Friends may gather with the family on Thursday, November 28, 2013, and Friday, November 29, 2013, after 6 p.m. at the church.

E-mail letters of sympathy may be sent at

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

Bertha Lee McKinney

RAINELLE — Bertha Lee McKinney, 82, of Rainelle, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Appalachian Regional Healthcare Center of Beckley after an extended illness.

She was born on Jan. 6, 1931, in Webster County, to the late Russell and Ruie J. Barker Green.

She was a homemaker and of the Baptist faith. She lived all her life in West Virginia, but 2 1/2 years in New York.

Bertha is survived by her sons, Larry L. (Susan) McKinney of New York and Jerry L. (Norma) McKinney of Rainelle; brother, Bobby (Sally) Green of Tennessee; sister, Juanita (Sis) Christian of Cowen; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph L. McKinney; her parents; daughter, Bonnie L. McKinney; brothers, Junior and Ralph Green; sisters, Vie, Mildred, Gatha and Pearl.

Graveside services will be held at Beaver Run Cemetery, Bolair, at a later date.

Arrangements by Adams-Reed Funeral Home.

Deborah Ann    Gray-Pizzino

Deborah Ann Gray-Pizzino, 45, of Crab Orchard, passed away Tuesday, November 26, 2013.  

On line condolences may be left at

Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.

Minor Redden

Minor Redden of Grandview, passed away Monday, November 25, 2013, at his residence.

Arrangements are pending completion at Rose and Quesenberry, 1901 S. Kanawha Street, Beckley.

Lorene Stover Reed

Lorene Stover Reed, 80, of Beckley, passed away Monday, November 25, 2013, following a sudden illness.

Born October 28, 1933, in Artie she was the daughter of the late James and Luella Moles Stover .

Lorene was a retired CNA, last working at Pinecrest Hospital. Lorene loved children and loved sharing her joy of cooking with all that she met.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother and sister, James Stover, and Nancy Ann Stover.

Those left to cherish her memory include her son Joey Reed and his wife Teresa of Beckley, four grand children Jeremy, Ethan, Kim, and Michael. Her brothers Jerry Stover, Tommy Stover and his wife Donna, David Stover and his wife Jane, and her sisters Evelyn West, Norma Stover, Delsi Margison, Martha Stover, and a host of nieces and nephews and beloved friends.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 30, 2013, in the chapel of Blue Ridge Funeral Home, following the service she will be laid to rest in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time Saturday at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be sent to the family by visiting

The honor of serving the Reed family has been given to Blue Ridge Funeral Home, 5251 Robert C. Byrd Drive, Beckley.

Alan Dale Whitcomb

LEWISBURG — Alan Dale Whitcomb, 20, of Lewisburg, passed away Monday, Nov. 25, 2013.

Service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at the Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home,  Lewisburg, with the Rev. Everett “Hat” Defibaugh officiating. Interment will follow at t he Community Pentecostal Holiness Church Cemetery on Brush Road in Lewisburg.

The family will receive their family and friends on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Please send online condolences by visiting

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Lewisburg.