The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 6, 2013

Obituaries — Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013

Jacob R. Arthur

JUMPING BRANCH — Jacob R. Arthur, 100, of Jumping Branch went home to be with the Lord Saturday, January 5, 2013, at the Raleigh Center in Daniels following a long illness.

Born September 15, 1912, at Dillon, WV, he was the son of the late Inez Clay Palmer and George Ralph Arthur. He was a retired Truck Driver with many years of service.

Preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Lola Meadows Arthur, and one son, Jarrett Ralph Arthur.

Survived by his daughter, Geraldine Arthur Hogue and husband John of Chesterfield, VA; sister-in-law, Cora Lee Arthur of Jumping Branch; and one special niece, Carolyn Gerlock of Point Pleasant.

Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Pastor Ernest Calfee Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in the Restwood Memorial Gardens near Hinton. Friends may call Tuesday, January 8, 2013, from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the funeral parlors.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Angela Louise Hunt Bryson

Angela Louise Hunt Bryson, 48, of Tolleytown, passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. 

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements are pending by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.

Charles Drafton

DETROIT, Mich. — Charles Drafton, 66, of Detroit, formerly of Jon Ben, passed away Dec. 22, 2012.

Funeral services were Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at St. Scholastia Church, 8201 W. Outer Drive, Detroit, Mich., with burial following at Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, Mich.

Services were provided by Swanson Funeral Home, Detroit, Mich. Submitted by Durgan Funeral Services.

Laura Drennen

Laura Drennen, 42, of Pemberton, passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

Arrangements pending completion with Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 S. Kanawha St. in Beckley.

Thomas Clinton Ferguson

PRINCETON — Thomas Clinton Ferguson of Princeton passed away Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at the age of 95.

Born on November 26, 1917, in Mallory, W.Va., he was the son of the late Otto Clarence and Mary Kitchen Ferguson.

Tom was a WV coal miner who served in the U.S. Army during WWII, lived and worked in NJ for many years, and retired to the WV mountains he loved.

He was preceded in death by his wife Beulah Ferguson; son Thomas Ferguson; grandson Ryan Wilson; siblings Carl, Homer, Hubert and Wanna Ferguson, Libby Dietterle, and Betty Arbaugh.

Mr. Ferguson is survived by two daughters, Mary Wilson and husband Jim, Ruth Patterson and husband Wes; grandchildren Jennifer, Tom, Adam and Jim; and six great-grandchildren; siblings Anna Ruth Bondra, Norma Dudas, Otto Ferguson, and Jack Ferguson. Tom will also be dearly missed by many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at the Princeton Moose Lodge #1521, 217 Center Street, Princeton, W.Va., on Sunday, January 13, 2013, at 2 p.m.

Online condolences at

Delores Lee Gibson Lester

Delores Lee (Gibson) Lester, 73, of Lester, passed away Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at her home after a 13-year battle with Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a 12-day stay at Appalachian Hospital. She passed at home surrounded by her husband of 44 years, Jimmy L. Lester.

Born in Amigo, W.Va., on September 4, 1939, to the late Omer Allen (Hoot) Gibson and Opal Meade.

Delores was a born again Christian; saved and baptized at Bethel Freewill Baptist Church in MacArthur on September 15, 1996. She was married in Brandenburg, Ky., and was a licensed Beautician in Anchorage, Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, and also West Virginia. Delores also worked nine years at the Rainbow Grill in Beckley. She also enjoyed crocheting and she once sewed by hand the American flag.

She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Jimmy L. Lester, at home; sisters, Jean Wriston (Ronnie) of Bluefield, W.Va., and Linda S. Settle (Edward) of Evansville, Ind.

Jimmy wishes to thank Dr. M.K. Hasan for all his help with Delores.

In keeping with Delores’ wishes, she was cremated and there will be no public visitation or service. Her husband, Jimmy, had conducted a private service at their home.

Those wishing to pay respects to Delores may visit her at her final resting place at Davis Cemetery on Mt. Tabor Road, where her tombstone is in the front next to the gate with her picture placed upon it.

Private online condolences, floral gifts, and other expressions of sympathy are available at

Arrangements with Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 S. Kanawha Street in Beckley.

Lynne M. Lucas

TRUE — Lynne M. Lucas, 69, of True, formerly of Michigan, passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors Chapel with Pastor Robbie Merritt officiating. Burial will follow in the Lucas Family Cemetery at True. Friends may call from 11 a.m. until service time Monday at the funeral parlors.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

George Lyons

JESSE — George Lyons, 86, passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

Calfee Funeral and Cremation Service of Pineville is serving the Lyons family.

Ruel K. McKinney

PRINCETON — Ruel K. McKinney, 84, of Haven Drive in Princeton died Friday, January 4, 2013, at Glenwood Park Retirement Village.

Born in Basin, WV, July 16, 1928, he was the son of the late Archie and Eloise Sisk McKinney.

He was a retired Clerk with the Norfolk and Western Railroad. Ruel was of the Baptist faith, a graduate of Herndon High School and a member of the Mullens Masonic Lodge and the Princeton Chapter of the American Legion. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving in Germany in the late 1950s.

In addition to his parents one son, Kenneth R. McKinney and his wife Joni, preceded him in death.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Loretta McKinney of Princeton; one brother, Archie Lee McKinney and his wife Leona of Beckley; several nieces and nephews; brother-in-law, Hucie Maxey and his wife Charlotte of Michigan; and sister-in-law, Augusta Smith of Florida.

Following a brief service at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2013, at Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton, graveside committal services will be conducted at 1 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Beckley with Pastor John Rhinehart officiating.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

There will be no visitation.

Online condolences may be made by visiting

Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton is serving the McKinney family.

Larry Edward Patterson

OAK HILL — Larry Edward Patterson, 67, of Oak Hill, died Monday morning, Dec. 31, 2012.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Patton Cemetery, Meadow Bridge, with the Rev. Steve Martin officiating. Burial will immediately follow.

Arrangements by Wallace & Wallace in Rainelle.

Lily Pittman

Lily Pittman, age 94, of Blue Jay, WV, passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at the Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.

Born on August 4, 1918, in Rock, WV, she was the daughter of the late Lacy G. Thomas and Maudy Thorne Thomas.

Mrs. Pittman was a homemaker, and  was associated with the Blue Jay United Methodist Church. She had made her home at Blue Jay for nearly 80 years.

Mrs. Pittman was preceded in death by her first husband, Cecil Martin, second husband Bevertt Pittman, by a son Jimmy Martin, and a daughter Elizabeth Martin Lilly.

Those survivors left to cherish her memory include grandsons, Randall D. Lilly and his wife Crystal of Huntington, Richard D. Lilly and his wife Melissa of Camden, SC; great-grandchildren, Chelsea Lilly, Richard D. Lilly, and Ryan A. Lilly. Great-great-grandchildren, Ali, Declan, and Phoenix. A brother, Dennis Thomas of Shady Spring. A very special nephew, Rick Thomas of Beckley, and a very special friend Junior Sanger of Crab Orchard.

Funeral services will be conducted at the Rose and Quesenberry Peace Chapel in Beckley on Monday, January 7, 2013, at 1 p.m. with Rev. Paul Stadelman officiating. Burial will follow at the Blue Jay Cemetery in Blue Jay.

Friends may call at the funeral home one hour prior to the services.

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.

Ruth F. Riley

GREEN BANK — Ruth F. Riley, 94, of Green Bank passed away Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

Services will be 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at the Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home with the Rev. David Rittenhouse officiating. Burial will follow at the Arbovale Cemetery. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the Pocahontas Center, PO Box 500, Marlinton, WV 24954.

Please send online condolences by visiting

Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Arbovale is in charge of arrangements.

Brent A. Romanello

FOREST — Brent A. Romanello, 37, of Forest passed away Jan. 5, 2013, following injuries received in an automobile accident.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are incomplete at this time with the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.

Eva Loyal Berry Smith

OAK HILL — Eva Loyal Berry Smith, 94, of Oak Hill, passed away Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

Online condolences may be sent to our website at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Artie Spencer

COVINGTON, Va. — Mr. Artie Theodore Lester Spencer, age 94, of Covington, died Friday, January 4, 2013. He was the husband of Virginia Earehart Spencer.

Mr. Spencer was born September 20, 1918, in Frankfort, WV, the son of the late Jesse Clinton and Maude Stevenson Spencer. 

Mr. Spencer is also survived by two daughters, Donna S. Waddell and husband, Durwin, of Covington and Patricia S. Whitehead and husband, John, of Hartsville, SC; seven grandchildren, Sonny Waddell, Scott Waddell, Charles Waddell, Matthew Whitehead, Brian Whitehead, Adam Whitehead, and Mary Beth Jerman; ten great-grandchildren.

Mr. Spencer was preceded in death by a son, Artie Gene Spencer, and a daughter, JoAnn Spencer McFarland.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at Granbery Memorial United Methodist Church.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday afternoon from 1 p.m. until service time.

Loving Funeral Home is handling arrangements;

Eunice Grace Rose Thomas

ROCK HOUSE — Eunice Grace Rose Thomas, 89, of Rock House, WV, went home to be with the Lord and her husband Alvin the love of her life at 1:25 a.m. on Friday, January 4, 2013, in Wyoming Continuous Care, New Richmond, WV, after a long bout with cancer.

She was born January 4, 1924, in Davy, WV, a daughter of the late Jeston Corbet and Viola Walker Rose.

Eunice was a homemaker and an avid church goer. She loved going to Indian Creek Baptist Church where she was a lifetime member and everyone called her the mother of the church. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The last four years of her life she stayed with her son and daughter because of her health.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 48 years Alvin Edward Thomas; her parents; a brother Norman Rose; two sisters Janice Wingler and Iris Green.

Those left to cherish her memories include son Alvin Stanley Thomas and wife Maxine of Rock House; a daughter Brenda Sue Young and husband Roger of King George, VA; two brothers Calvin Rose of NC, and Ray Rose of Princeton; three sisters Garnett Gullett of Welch, Hazel Lambert of Fanrock, and Wilma Pack of Woodbridge, VA; seventeen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, and a host of other loving family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, January 7, 2013, in the Chapel of Stafford Family Funeral Home with Bro. Gary Walker and Bro. Teddy Vance officiating. She will be laid to rest in the Palm Memorial Gardens, Matheny, WV.

Friends may gather with the family from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be family and friends.

E-mail letters of sympathy may be sent at

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

Kenneth Lee Thomas

MOUNT NEBO — Kenneth Lee Thomas, 63, of Mt. Nebo, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, January 3, 2013, at Summersville Regional Medical Center.

Born October 5, 1949, at Beckley, he was the son of the late George Woodrow Thomas and Nora Christine (Day) Thomas.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beautiful daughter Amanda Yevette Hylton.

He is survived by his loving wife Cynthia Ellen Thomas; two brothers George E. Thomas, and James B. Thomas.

He was a devoted father to Nathaniel Lee Thomas, Amanda Yevette Hylton, Rebekah Joy Donelow, Erin Renee Tompkins and Andrew Seth Thomas.

He was an awesome Paw Paw to Savanna, Kristin, Lindsey, Kara, Caitlyn, Zachary, Ian, Skyler, Brooke, Treyton, Ashton, Riley, Cayden, Bella, and Jaelyn.

He was a great man with a huge heart for the Lord and loved his family so much! He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

A Service of Remembrance will be held 3 p.m. Monday at Mountain View Church of God.

In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to Cynthia Thomas, 4806 Old Nicholas Road, Mt. Nebo, W.Va. 26679.

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.

Warren A. Thornhill III

Warren A. Thornhill III, a retired lawyer and resident of Greystone, died on January 2, 2013, after a long illness. He was 84 years of age.

Warren graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1946, but before graduating, was the sixth man on Coach Jerome VanMeter’s first state basketball championship team.

In the fall of 1946 he enrolled at Virginia Tech (then called VPI) which he attended for three years. The first two years he was on the junior varsity basketball team. During his third year, he applied for and was admitted to law school at Duke University. While there he served on the editorial board of the first Student Law Review published by Duke Law School. At the end of his first year of law school, he was married in the Duke Chapel to Carolyn Bishop of Scarbro, West Virginia, who was a student at the University of North Carolina.

Before completing the third year and graduating, Warren applied to the United States Air Force for a commission in the JAG Corps and was accepted conditionally upon his passing a state bar exam. He successfully took the North Carolina Bar exam and later that year reported as a First Lieutenant to his assignment at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. While in the Air Force, he served as trial counsel (prosecutor) in court-martial cases. Also while still in the Air Force, he successfully took the West Virginia Bar exam. At the end of his active duty in the Air Force, he and his wife returned to Beckley and he joined the Air Force Reserve. By the time he left the Reserve, he had been promoted to Captain.

He went into private practice with his father under the firm name of Thornhill and Thornhill. Later David T. Kennedy joined the firm and it became Thornhill, Thornhill & Kennedy. After the senior Mr. Thornhill died, James F. Vaughan, Jr., joined the firm and it became Thornhill, Kennedy & Vaughan and remained such until Warren withdrew to practice as a sole practitioner.

In the late 1960s or early 1970s he became city attorney for the City of Beckley during the A. K. Minter administration, and while serving as such, he supervised the first codification of ordinances in the City of Beckley.

He tried civil and criminal cases in Raleigh County and civil cases in four other counties, and argued many cases before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. He also tried cases in Federal Court, civil and criminal, in Beckley and Bluefield, and handled appeals to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

During his practice of law, he together with his father was a charter member of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He also served on the Committee on Legal Ethics of the State Bar.

In activities of a civic nature, Warren served as president of the United Fund, and president of the local YMCA. He also conducted a successful campaign in 1976 and 1977 to raise money to build a new Y, construction of it being completed in 1979. Warren was one of ten founders of the Beckley Area Foundation, but always insisted that the one person really responsible for the idea of creating this organization was his friend, Jim Word. He served as one of the early presidents of the Beckley Area Foundation and furnished legal services for it until his retirement.

 Both before and after his retirement in December, 2005, he served on the Carter Family Foundation five-person board which studied applications to the foundation for funds. For example, the foundation has made substantial grants to such nonprofits and entities as the Beckley Art Center, and the Raleigh County Armory and Convention Center.

Warren was active in banking, having served as chairman of the board of Raleigh County Bank for over twenty years. When the bank was bought by United Bank of Parkersburg, he became a member of the board of that bank and a member of its executive committee, serving as such until he retired and became a director emeritus.

Warren and his family were members of the Beckley Presbyterian Church and he served as elder and taught Sunday School in various classes in the church.

He is survived by his widow, Carolyn Bishop Thornhill, his daughter, Katherine Thornhill, a resident of California where she is a member of the California State Bar, daughter Lynn Thornhill Haremski, a resident of Georgia who is a family therapist (and married to Mike), and a son, James A. Thornhill (married to Joan), an environmental lawyer with the law firm of McGuire, Woods in Richmond, Virginia, and by twin granddaughters, Abbey and Sarah Thornhill.

Funeral services will be Monday, January 7, 2013, at 12 noon at the Beckley Presbyterian Church, 203 South Kanawha Street. Visitation will be Sunday, January 6, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Beckley Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow the service on Monday at Sunset Memorial Park.

Pallbearers are Jerry Bays, Bob Bolen, Austin Caperton, Mike Cavendish, Doug Ernest, John Keyser, Pete Torrico, Jay Word.

Honorary Pallbearers are Dewey Bone, Don Browning, John Daniel, Lou Fox, Bob Gardner, Don Hodson, Wilmont Jones, Chuck Lucas, Bob McLean, Ron Shrewsbury, Jim Vaughan, Bill Haslam and Hugh Caperton.  

For those who wish to make donations in memory of Warren, the same can be made to Beckley Area Foundation, Beckley Presbyterian Church, or some other charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are being handled by Melton Mortuary. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Cynthia Marie Johnson Turner

Our most beloved Cynthia Marie Johnson Turner departed for her eternal life on Friday, January 4, 2013, at her home surrounded by her family. She was 84 years of age.

Born November 7, 1928, in Prenter, WV, to the late Orna Johnson and Jean Brown Johnson.

On June 27, 1948, she married Jack Turner. They were blessed to celebrate 64 years of marriage. To their union were born one daughter and two sons, Barbara, Brett, and Brad. The couple resided on Parkwood Drive and later moved to Berkley Street where they have lived for over 50 years. Mrs. Turner worked at the Raleigh County National Bank. She was the manager of the Raleigh County Federal Credit Union. After retirement she worked with her husband at Jack’s Pawn Shop. She was also a member of Oak Grove Christian Church.

Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Jack Turner; daughter, Barbara Jean Turner Slone and husband Roger of Beckley; sons, Brett Wesley Turner of Dallas, TX, and Brad Lee Turner and wife Gina of Washington, IN; beloved grandchildren, Jaclyn Lea Slone of Charlotte, NC, and Brady Grayson Turner of Washington, IN; brothers, Ornie Johnson and wife Arvada of Beckley and Robert “Bob” Johnson of Indianapolis, IN.

A celebration of Mrs. Turner’s life will be conducted 3 p.m. Monday, January 7, 2013, at the Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Chapel in Beckley with Rev. Walt Harper officiating. Entombment will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Prosperity.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral chapel.

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801, or Oak Grove Christian Church, 261 Oak Grove Road, Beckley, WV 25801.

Private online condolences, floral gifts, and other expressions of sympathy are available at

Arrangements with Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home, 1901 South Kanawha Street in Beckley.

Bert Walker

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — Bert Walker, 84, passed away on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Born August 16, 1928, in Pine Knob, West Virginia, to Lacey and Myrtle (Brown) Walker.

Survived by nephew, Denver (Susan) Walker; grandchildren, Christine (Glenn) Guelde, Barbara (Napoleon) Gulley; great-grandchildren, Lea and Lydia Guelde; nephew Robert (Norma) Walker, and their children, Sharron Ratliff and Johnathan Walker.

Preceded in death by parents; wife, Gladys Walker; brothers, Dolph and Denver.

Service at 12 noon on Monday, January 7, 2013, at Honquest Family Funeral Home, with Crematory Rockford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, Ill., with visitation from 11  a.m. until time of service. Burial at Arlington Park Cemetery.

To express condolences or share a memory, visit

Honquest Funeral Home was honored to assist the family.