The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 17, 2013

Obituaries — Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013

Tammy Serreno Bennett

BUCKHANNON — Tammy Serreno Bennett, 53, of Buckhannon, formerly of Alderson, passed away Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.

Arrangements by Lobban Funeral Home, Alderson.

Kenneth M. Dodd

LEWISBURG — Kenneth M. Dodd,  72, of Lewisburg died Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

Services will be 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at Community Pentecostal Holiness Church in Lewisburg. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the church.

Submitted by Morgan Funeral Home, Lewisburg.

Henry ‘Lee’ Griffith

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Henry “Lee” Griffith, 85, of Pinellas Park, passed away Thursday, January 31, 2013, at home surrounded by his family.

Born in Pemberton, WV, he came here in 1971. He was a U.S. Navy veteran having served from 1948 to 1969.  He was a member and Past Master of the Elmer O. Smith Lodge #307 F&AM and Past Monarch of Selama Grotto. He retired from the VA Regional Office at St. Petersburg, FL.

He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Alexander and Fannie Folsom (Richardson) Griffith; two brothers, Donald Griffith of Cool Ridge, WV, and Charles N. Griffith of Brentwood, AR.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ellen; sons, Joseph Lee Griffith (Jeanie), Joseph Allen Griffith and Jack Griffith (Melody); daughters, Jeannie Wallace (Paul) and Barbara Asbury (James); brothers, Robert and Larry Griffith; sisters, Patricia Burnett and Eliza Baum; 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Henry Lee was buried at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.

Arrangements by Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, 727-347-6636.

Larry Leo Lilly

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Larry Leo Lilly, 66, of Midlothian, VA, passed away on Thursday, February 14th.

He is the son of Margie Nadine Lilly and the late Odley Elmo Lilly. The beloved husband of Sharon, the loving and devoted father of Ashley Marie (Michael) Smyth, Aaron Michael Lilly, stepfather of Laura Meredith (Richard) Sharp, and Ashley Noel (Eric) Jones. He also leaves behind his sister Belinda Joye Horning, four grandchildren, and many friends.

His remains are with the Cremation Society of Virginia. A private memorial will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, P.O. Box 980214, Richmond, VA 23298, Attention Robin Etter Tiller.

Wilma Lee McGraw

Wilma Lee McGraw, age 79, of Stanaford, WV, passed away on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at the Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.

Born May 1, 1933, in Princewick, she was the daughter of the late Booker Adams and Ila Brown Adams.

She was a former teacher’s aide for the Raleigh County Board of Education, and was a member of the Stanaford Missionary Baptist Church. Mrs. McGraw had made her home at Stanaford for most of her adult life. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and  was a woman of faith.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Deloris Ann McGraw, a son Daniel Thomas McGraw, by siblings, Jarrell Adams, Carson Adams, Raymond Adams, Junior Adams, Thelma Brown, Gladine Farley, and Charles Adams.

Those survivors left to cherish her memory include her husband of 62 years, Richard McGraw.

Her children: Barbara Thornley and her husband George of Concord, NC, Phyllis McGraw of Beckley, and Richard McGraw and his wife Stephanie of Beckley.

Grandchildren: Katie Thornley, George Thornley, Tyler McGraw, Todd McGraw, and Trey McGraw.

A brother, Rodger Adams of San Diego, California, Two sisters, Glenna Lilly of Hysperia, California, and Shelvy Blevins of Beckley.

Funeral services will be conducted to Celebrate The Life Of Wilma McGraw at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Pastor George Wood officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity, WV. Friends may call at the funeral home from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Family members will serve as pallbearers.

Online condolences may be sent to our guestbook at

Arrangements are by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street, Beckley, WV.

Frances Meador

Frances Ann Meador, 82, of Queen Street, Beckley, died Friday, Jan. 25, 2013.

Memorial services will be at noon Saturday, Feb. 23, at the First Christian Church, Court House Square. The family will be receiving friends one hour prior to the service.

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

Arrangements by Melton Mortuary and Cremation Center, Beckley.

Kenneth H. Payne

Kenneth H. Payne, 83, of Beaver, passed away Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

Arrangements are pending completion at Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 S. Kanawha St., Beckley.

Presley Rilen Petitt

Presley Rilen Petitt, infant daughter of Cindy Lewis Hutchins and Richard Petitt of Fayetteville, was still-born on Friday, February 15, 2013, at Raleigh General Hospital, Beckley, WV.

Other survivors include three sisters: Jordan Scarbro of Fayetteville, Katherine Golden and Jessica Toney, both of Oak Hill; two brothers: Richard Petitt, Jr., of Fayetteville and Robert Petitt of Victor. Also, maternal Grandmother Doreen Stewart of North Carolina and Paternal Grandmother Margie Morton of Charleston, WV. Preceding in death were Maternal Grandfather Woody Lewis and Paternal Grandfather Robert Petitt.

Friends and family may call at the residence on Sunday, February 17, 2013, after 2 p.m. Final resting place will be High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill, WV.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, WV.

Ruth Magdaline Pinkston

RICH CREEK, Va. — Ruth Magdaline Pinkston, 63, of Rich Creek, Va., passed away Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. 

Funeral services will be noon Monday, Feb. 18, at the First Baptist Church of Rich Creek, Va., with Pastor Jason Smith officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the services at the church.

Online guestbook can be signed or condolences may be sent to the Pinkston family at

Arrangements by Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Peterstown.

Helen R. Stone Reid

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Helen R. Stone Reid, of Blacksburg, passed away on Friday, February 15, 2013, at Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital after a long illness.

In addition to her parents, William Tipton and Tillie Stone, and seven brothers and sisters, she was preceded in death by her loving husband, Roy C. Reid of Crab Orchard, WV.

Helen is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Linda Reid of Huntington, WV; daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Richard Oderwald of Blacksburg, VA; grandchildren, Ben Oderwald and wife, Christine Gibson, of Blacksburg, VA; Lizzie Roettger and husband, David Roettger, of Richmond, VA; and a very special great-granddaughter, Eleanor Rose Oderwald. Special friends include Sybil, Alice, Phyllis and the Warm Hearth gang.

Special thanks to the ICU nurses and doctors, the fourth floor nurses, Dr. Wilder, Charlotte and Athena, and everyone at Good Samaritan Hospice.

She loved her children, family, flowers, and dancing. All who knew her will miss her greatly.

Visitation will be Sunday, February 17, 2013, from 4 to 6 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive, SW, Blacksburg. A private interment will be in Beckley, WV.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Blacksburg Rescue Squad, 300 Progress St., NW, Blacksburg, VA 24060, would be appreciated.

Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.

Allen Ritzman

Allen Russell Ritzman passed away peacefully at his home on Peters Mountain in Monroe County, West Virginia, on February 8, 2013, just over a year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, on the eve of his 61st birthday. He was surrounded by loving friends and supported by the expert and gentle nurses and aides of HospiceCare. Allen and his partner, Bonnie Brooks, tirelessly pursued a variety of treatment options, both conventional and alternative, to successfully extend their time together and provide a wide community of friends and family an opportunity to visit, and to say goodbye.

Allen was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1952, to Michael and Genevieve Ritzman. Michael was a YMCA director whose work provided opportunities for his family to travel and live in a number of places. The family grew to include two sisters, Sylvia and Renata, who loved and admired their big brother throughout his life. Over time the Ritzmans settled in Media, Pennsylvania, and have many happy memories of times spent in the Pocono Mountains.

As a young man, Allen worked at a sawmill where he began exploring interests that would mark his career. During the 1970s, he discovered and fell in love with the natural beauty of West Virginia and decided to make his home among the Appalachian hardwoods that he would later turn into the beautiful wooden bowls and fine art objects for which he was known. Over time, Allen developed into a successful artist and Master Craftsman, creating graceful wooden vases so thin and translucent they closely resembled porcelain — uncluttered, aesthetically sophisticated, and created on lathes he built himself. His work was regularly featured in the State’s Juried Exhibition. He was an exhibitor at the State’s exhibition of Arts and Crafts at Ripley, West Virginia, as well as the Huntington Gallery’s Works Off Walls. For 17 years he was a Superintendent at the State Fair of West Virginia’s Arts and Crafts Exhibition. He had work featured in numerous regional and national shows, including American Crafts Council Spotlight Exhibitions. His work is in many private collections and at the Smithsonian.

Most importantly, Allen was a well-loved and respected man with a wide circle of friends. He was a gentle soul, big-hearted, selfless, generous, and accepting of others. He lived for almost 40 years on Peters Mountain, on land that he tended with great care, with neighbors who treated him like family. While the world ran crazy, Allen moved around on the mountain at a thoughtful pace, creating a garden and orchard, collecting unusual plants, observing nature, inventing, repairing, and developing his skills in the kitchen. He made the best cherry pie ever, from his own fruit. He was an accomplished body-worker, with a real, healing presence in his work. He lived as many people would love to live. He will be profoundly missed by all who love him.

A celebration of Allen’s life will be held at Carnegie Hall in downtown Lewisburg, on Saturday, March 9th, at 1 p.m. A reception will follow in the Old Stone Room. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Carnegie Hall, Inc., 105 Church Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901.

Virginia Mills Stovall

On Wednesday, February 13th, 2013, our most cherished, Virginia Stovall of Peterstown, passed away at the Raleigh Nursing and Rehab Center following a short illness. She was in her 79th year.

One of eight children, Virginia Ferne Mills was born on Feb. 23rd, 1933, at Sophia. Her parents were the late John L. and Lina Blanche Lineberry Mills. A sister, Junie Shepherd, has preceded her in death.

Virginia was retired from the Veterans Area Medical Center. A devoted wife and mother, in her leisure time she enjoyed gardening and collecting her “whatnots.”

Virginia was married to James S. Stovall, who has preceded her in death. To this union were born two sons, Wayne Stovall Sr., and his wife, Margaret, of Churchill, TN, and Perry B. Stovall, and his wife, Leisa, of Grandview;

the dear grandmother of James W. Stovall Jr., and his wife, April, of Carmel, TN, Cathy Kincer and her husband, Casey, of Virginia Beach, VA, Kelly Morris of Asheville, NC, Benjamin Stovall and his wife, Julie, of Grandview;

the proud great-grandmother of Tristian and Austin Kincer, Abram and Titus Stovall, Colin and Ava Morris, Savannah, Ryder and Tyson Stovall;

the fond sister of Tish Knight of Birmingham, AL, Jean Onk and her husband, Bill, of Murfreesboro, TN, Nancy Cook and her husband, Marion, of Wilmington, NC, Jonnie Whittaker and her husband, James, of Sophia, Patsy Mills of Madison, AL, and Vernon Mills and his wife, Grace, of Thomasville, NC.

In keeping with Virginia’s wishes, she has been cremated. Memorial services will be announced at a later time.

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

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

Lewis F. ‘Buster’ Tyree

Lewis F. “Buster” Tyree, 90, formerly of Charleston, WV, and Santee, SC, passed away Feb. 15, at the Veteran’s Victory House, in Walterboro, SC.

Born September 5, 1922, at Lively, WV, he was the son of the late Jefferson Clay and Della Frances Lively Tyree.

As the last surviving of seven children he was predeceased by brothers Frank, Ross, Lawrence, and Howard and sisters Mary Kesler and Blanche Davis.

Mr. Tyree was a First Sergeant in the United States Army where he served in the European Theater during WWII.

After the war he returned home and attended West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery, and was President of the Student Body 1951-1952. He was also recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

He began his banking career in 1952 at Charleston National Bank in Charleston, WV, and was a Vice President in charge of Personnel and Purchasing until his retirement in 1984.

Lewis enjoyed golf and was a longtime member of the former Kanawha Country Club as well as a former member of the Charleston Lions Club, and lifetime member of the Elks Lodge in Charleston.

His wife, Viola Southall Tyree, preceded him in death in 2000.

He is survived by daughter Kathy Tyree Smith, son-in-law, Rick Smith, and his favorite pal and granddogger, Carly, of Santee, SC.

Funeral services will be on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, at 12 p.m. at the Bible Center Church, 100 Bible Center Drive in Charleston, with Pastor Erin Mounts officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. Graveside rites and committal will be at 2:30 p.m. at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill, with Pastor James McQuerrey officiating. Burial to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be sent at

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