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Obituary-Frank B. Lifsey, Jr.

Frank B. Lifsey, Jr., 72, of Emporia, died Friday, August 14, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Betty Ann Lifsey, daughter, Katherine Giszack (Todd), daughter, Elisabeth Lifsey; son, John Lifsey (Margaret); four grandsons, Micah Giszack, Jared Giszack, Rhodes Lifsey and David Giszack; three sisters, Beverly Taylor, Frances Miller, and Myrt Quinlan. The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Sunday, August 16 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia 23867. The funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Monday, August 17 at Zion Baptist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-John Richard (Ricky) Fannin Jr.

John Richard (Ricky) Fannin, Jr, 61, of N. Prince George, VA, passed away Tuesday, August 11, 2015.  Ricky was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved animals, enjoyed collecting arrowheads and was deeply devoted to his family.  He is survived by his long time friend and companion, Jo Fannin; mother, Jean Fannin; brother, James “Jimmy” Fannin and wife, Phyllis; sister, Carolyn Fannin; a step-daughter, Tracy Sison and numerous nieces and nephews.  The graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, August 14, 2015 at Southlawn Cemetery, 1911 Birdsong Rd, S. Prince George, VA. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Humane Society of your choice.  Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Cora Belle Williams Davis

Cora Belle Williams Davis, 103, of Emporia passed away on August 7, 2015. She was predeceased by her husband, Al Davis, Sr. and her son Al Davis, Jr. She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Libby Davis; three granddaughters, Lynn Barefoot and husband Miles, Nancy Parrish and husband Hillary and Kris Rowland and husband Stephen; great-grandchildren, Liz Montanez and husband E.J., Blake Smith, Jessica Parrish, Elizabeth Rolfe and husband Evan, David Parrish, Mason Temple and wife Amanda and Carter Rowland; and one great-great-grandchild, Madelyn Montanez. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 2pm in Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Following the graveside service the family will remain to receive family and friends. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-Fenny Rockel Taylor Jr

Fenny Rockel Taylor Jr of Emporia Va age 75 died at Johnston Willis Hospital in Richmond VA.on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 7am.

Fenny remembered for his involvement in his familys owned business "the Emporia Grill"  was born on November 24 1940 to the late Fenny Rockel Taylor Sr and Elsie Doyle Taylor. He was also preceded in death by his sibling Carolyn Taylor St. Sing.

Fenny is survived by his nephew David St. Sing married to Pheobee St. Sing of Texas as well as uncles aunts and cousins who loved him. His home for the last few years was the Laurels of Willow Creek in Richmond VA.

Fennys memorial will be held at Victory Fellowship Church in Emporia VA at 2 pm on Wednesday August 5th 2015.

Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Echolsfuneralhome@telpage.net.

Obituary-Virginia Inez Hodges Phillips

Virginia Inez Hodges Phillips, 78, of Emporia passed away on July 28, 2015.  She is survived by her husband Lawrence “Monk” Clayton Phillips and numerous nieces and nephews.  Visitation will be held Wednesday, 6-8pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral services will be held Thursday, 2pm, at Independence United Methodist Church with burial following in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Independence United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-C. Elmore Saunders

C. Elmore Saunders, 85, of Emporia passed away on July 26, 2015.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ritchie and Edith Saunders and his brothers, Robert Saunders and Curtis Saunders.  He is survived by his wife, Jean Watkins Saunders; daughter, Mary Meade Saunders; his sons, Carson E. Saunders, Jr. and wife Sherry and Jim Saunders and wife Michelle; his grandchildren, Annecurtis Saunders Vinson and husband Daniel, Mary Warren Saunders, Carter Saunders, and Reagan Saunders. A memorial service will be held 11am, Saturday, August 1, 2015 at Main Street United Methodist Church.  A reception will follow the service in the church social hall. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church or the Emporia YMCA.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-Dennis Bryant

Dennis Bryant, 64, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, July 26, 2015. He is survived by a brother, Raymond L. Bryant, Jr. and wife, Twyla; sister, Sandra Noel and husband, Bruce; two nephews, Michael Bryant and Jamie Bryant; niece, Allison Hayes; four great-nieces and a great-nephew. A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, July 30 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Grace Community Fellowship Church or Greensville Rescue Squad or to the Emporia Volunteer Fire Department. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Robert “Bobby” E. English, Sr.

On July 15, 2015, the Lord wrapped his arms around Robert “Bobby” E. English, Sr. and welcomed him to heaven. After a short battle with cancer, he passed away peacefully, knowing he was loved by his family and friends. His wife, Judy V. English, will continue to cherish the many memories made during their 42 years of marriage.

Bobby and Judy were blessed with two children, daughter Sara E. Rutherford and husband Mike, of Winston-Salem, NC, and son Robert “Robbie” Earl English, Jr., of Kernersville, NC. He was an exceptionally doting and supportive father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by two grandchildren, Ryan Grant Rutherford and Daisy Lee Rutherford, who loved their Papa very much.

The son of Stanley Claude English and Vida Virginia English, he was born in Franklin and raised in Southampton County, VA. He lived a majority of his life in Emporia, VA, and resided for the past five years in Kernersville, NC.

Bobby loved gaining and sharing knowledge, and earned degrees from Chowan College, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University, including a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Library Media and Instructional Technology. He spent his entire life as an educator, leader, mentor and adviser. He nurtured eager minds from elementary schools, correctional facilities, and community colleges. He spent his final 13 years of life as an instructor for Bluefield College, which was very dear to his heart.

Bobby was very active in the Emporia community, where he was on the Board of Directors of the Emporia-Greensville Recreation Association (EGRA). In the 1980s and 90s, he was a mainstay at the local ballpark, where he served as a coach, commissioner and vocal advocate for the Virginia Dixie Softball league. Bobby was instrumental in bringing the Dixie Softball World Series to Emporia in 1994. He also coached youth basketball for the EGRA, and helped to create a girls’ only basketball league, after seeing the need.

He was a member of the Virginia Education Association, National Education Association and Virginia Library Association. He was also a member of St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church.

Bobby’s personality and character matched his physical stature. He enjoyed a lively conversation with laughter, listening to Motown music, reading Rita Mae Brown, watching the Atlanta Braves, and soaking up the energy and joy of his grandchildren.

Along with his wife, children and grandchildren, Bobby is survived by his sisters, Rudy Pate and husband Wayne, of Stockbridge, GA, and Carolyn Armes, of Boydton, VA. He is also survived by brother-in-law Michael Veliky and wife Dawn of Emporia, VA, sister-in-law Cynthia Murphy and husband Timothy, of West Palm Beach, FL, and sister-in-law Priscilla English, of Greensboro, NC, as well as two nieces, three nephews and many cousins. He also cherished the friendship of two special ladies, Althea Brooks and Aunt Mary Hobbs.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother J.C. English, and nephew John English.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 19 at 4:00 pm at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church in Emporia, followed by a graveside service at the church’s cemetery on Purdy Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church, 1351 W. Atlantic St., Emporia, VA 23847. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Virginia Merlie Harrison Spivey

Virginia Merlie Harrison Spivey Passed away Sunday, July 12, 2015 at the age of 102. The daughter of the late Thomas H. Harrison, Sr. and Hazel Lucille Creamer Harrison, she was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but was raised at Jackson-Field Episcopal Home for Girls and was the oldest alumni at her death. She was preceded in death by her husband, Emerson Leo Spivey, Sr. and sisters, Bertha Harrison Self, Edith Christine Wheeler and a brother, Thomas Harrison. She is survived by sons, Thomas Patrick Spivey of Emporia and Emerson Leo Spivey, Jr. and wife Olive of Greensboro, NC; two grandchildren, Andrew Gary Spivey and wife, Lisa of Huntersville, NC and Doeserena Spivey of Greensboro, NC; five great-grandchildren, Tanner Lee Cochran, Nikki Cochran, both of Richmond and Taylor Andrew Spivey, Clayton Andrew Spivey and McKenzie Lauren Spivey, all of Huntersville, NC. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at Victory Fellowship Church (the former Christ Episcopal Church of which she had been a member for eighty years and was the oldest member), 200 South Main St, Emporia, Virginia. Interment will follow at Emporia Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Barbara Ferguson Driver

Barbara Ferguson Driver, 82, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at The Bloom Center in Emporia with family at her bedside.

There is no love like the love of a mother. They love us in spite of ourselves; they have confidence in our abilities to succeed, and faith we will take the right paths in life. As thankful as we are that Momma didn’t suffer, the child in us wanted her with us. We will miss her until God calls us home. We will seek her wisdom in each decision of every day. We love you and miss you Momma.

“Bobbie” was a stranger to no one.  She was full of life, love, and energy; she anticipated “needs” of others and set out to fulfill their needs.  Whatever she strived for, she was the best, from getting the lead part in her high school play to selling the most World Books on the east coast and being whisked off to Chicago for her hard work and dedication.  She worked side by side with her husband, M.C. raising their children and grandchildren.  She was gifted with a love of music and sang on the radio with her husband in their early married years and later for church, weddings, and funerals.  She was also the choir director at Fountain Grove Baptist Church.  She sought out ways to ensure her children and grandchildren knew they were special.  She made the work her family did “less work” and more “special” saying which ever child did the “best” job would receive their own half gallon of ice cream; “all” children won, 5, half gallons of ice cream!  She made blackberry dumplings, fudge, and sea foam candy for her family, like no other! 

She was preceded in death by her husband, M.C., grandson, Chase, and brother, Bill Ferguson.  She is survived by her five children: Earl Conway Driver and wife Susan of Powhatan, VA, Morris Conway Driver II and wife Lynn, of Capron, VA, Glenn Patterson Driver and wife Pam of Halifax, NC, Greg Timothy Driver of Emporia, VA, and Alma Dee Driver Rhodes and husband Bryan of Rocky Mount, NC.  She was blessed with 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, July 12 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Virginia, 1700 Bayberry Ct, Suite 300, Richmond, Virginia 23226 or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-William Chris Jarratt

William Chris Jarratt, 53, of Emporia, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2015. He is survived by his fiancee’ Vickie Gray; son, Joshua Jarratt; three step-daughters, Samantha Grizzard; Dianna McDowell and Jamie Gray; four grandchildren, Jaylon Grizzard, Cameron Grizzard, James Crowley and Maddox McDowell; his mother, Mary Taylor; sister, Shirley Gill; brother, Mike Taylor; three step-brothers, Shawn Jarratt, Dean Jarratt and Ricky Jarratt and step-sisters, Pam and Kim. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Andy Wirtanen

Andy Wirtanen passed away on July 4th ,2015 at he age of 88 years

Born in Finland on August 24th 1926 , Andy immigrated to Canada via steamship on October 11 , 1926 , and then to the united states of America in 1959. Andy and his family moved to emporia Virginia in 1970 from L'Anse  Michigan .

Andy attended  Queen University in Kingston , Ontario , graduation with a degree in Mechanical Engineering . Andy's  work career took him to Donnacona , Quebec , Canada  , L'Anse, Michigan and Jarrett , Virginia  where Andy served as Plant Manager for the Georgia Pacific Facility .

He is survived  by his four sons and spouses , Richard and Monica of great falls Virginia , Eric and Julie of Niagara on the Lake , Ontario, Canada, Jeff  of Roanoke Rapids NC ,and john and Guinnevee of Virginia Beach , Virginia  and grandchildren Mikhel , Gray, Brooke , Zack , Jake , Candice and Charley . Jake is currently serving in the Air Force in Iraq.  Andy was preceded in death by his wife Bernice and Daughters Leah and Connie .

Andy was a compassionate man whose focus was the well-being and happiness of  his family . he will sorely be missed by all . A celebration of Andy's life will be held on  August 22nd,  2015 at 439 Deep Creek Point , Roanoke Rapids , North Carolina between 4pm and 8 pm .

Obituary-Wayne Lee Turner

Wayne Lee Turner, 81, passed from this life on Sunday, July 5, 2015 at Greensville Manor Nursing Home in Emporia, Virginia. He was born in Beckley, WV on January 14, 1934 and graduated from Mark Twain High School. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wadie and Verna Peters Turner of Martinsville, VA and wives, Virginia Brewer Turner and Irene Lynch Turner. Wayne is survived by four children, Fred and wife, Kathy Turner of Moyock, NC, Chip Turner; John and wife Leslie Turner, all of Greensboro, NC and Lesa and her husband, Kip Greer of Raleigh, NC; two stepchildren, Dave Lynch and Sharon Simmons and seven grandchildren. Wayne managed Days Inn in many locations, including Knoxville, TN, New Orleans, LA, Danville, Virginia, Martinsville, VA and lastly Emporia, Virginia. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions in memory of Wayne Turner may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 310 N. Main St., Emporia, Virginia 23847 or to the American cancer Society.

Obituary-Robert Lewis Longamore

Robert Lewis Longamore, age 78, of Lawrenceville, Va. passed away July 7, 2015 after a long illness.  A Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend,  he leaves behind his loving wife of 45 years, Marilyn Louise Maslen Longamore; his children, Creig Weaver and wife Carolyn of Tenn., David Longamore and wife Barbie of Kentucky, Susan Price and husband Chuck of Tenn., and Robert W. Longamore of Virginia; ten grandchildren, Ken, David, Kevin, Daniel, Kaleb, Darius, Andrew, Courtney, Joshua and Nicole; fourteen great grandchildren; his brother, Fred Longamore of NY; two sisters, Nancy Schneeburger and husband Gary of NY and Shelby Campbell of NY; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Floyd William and Carrie Longamore; four brothers, Steven, William, Donald and Richard Longamore and a sister, June Bee Bee.  Robert was born and raised in Evan Mills, New York and came to Virginia in 1995 to be with his father-in-law William Maslen and Brother and Sister-in-law, Bonnie Maslen and the late Frederick Maslen.  He assisted his wife who operated a small convenient store called Mr. Kool on Rte. 58 in Brodnax, VA for three years.  Robert proudly served in the U.S. Air force from 1956-1960.  He loved his church family at Faith Baptist Church in Emporia, Va. which he attended many years.  Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Friday at Faith Baptist Church, Emporia, Va. with interment in Oakwood Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Va.  The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, Va.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

Obituary-Elisabet “Lisa” Bradley

Elisabet “Lisa” Bradley, 64, of Chester, formerly of Emporia, passed away Monday, July 6, 2015. She is survived by her life partner and former husband, Bill Bradley; one daughter, Linda B. Watkins and husband, David of Emporia; three grandchildren, Brian K. Sexton, Jr., Travis Watkins and Krista Watkins; sister, Helga Maria Bragadottir; brother, Bragi Thor Bragison, both of Iceland and a number of nieces and nephews. A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, July 10 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the home of her daughter in Emporia. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Robert T. Allen

Robert T. Allen, 82, of Emporia passed away on July 1, 2015.  He was predeceased by his parents, William Glenn Allen, Sr. and Mamie Everett Allen.  He was a retired farmer and had a passion for watching horse races.  A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 3, 2015 at 1pm in Emporia Cemetery. Condolences may be made to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-Jessie K. “Pete” Grizzard, Sr.

Jessie K. “Pete” Grizzard, Sr., 84 of Emporia, Virginia passed away on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 peacefully at his home.  He was a devoted husband and father.  Pete was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher.  He also actively served his community as a Mason and later as a Shiner. Pete is preceded in death by his parents Ed and Kate Grizzard, and brothers Earl and Frank Grizzard.  He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Grace Stainback Grizzard, their children Katherine Grizzard Colvin (Gary) of Suffolk, Jessie K. Grizzard, Jr. (Sheila) of Richmond, and Terri Grizzard Johnson (Troy) of Suffolk, Grandchildren Hank Thornburg, Michelle Petcu, Chris Grizzard, Kate Thornbug, Haley Johnson, and Lucas Johnson; 5 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, his brothers Elmer and Benjamin, sisters Ethel Vick, Polly Proctor, Willie Mae Harris, Barbara Barlowe, Alease Braswell, and Diane Smith. The family will be receiving visitors 6-8 p.m Wednesday, July1 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 South Halifax Road, in Jarratt, Virginia.  A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, July 2 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Hwy 301 Emporia. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Robert H. "Bobby" Wray

Robert H. "Bobby" Wray, 84, went to Heaven to be with the Lord on June 21, 2015. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Edla Mae Hobbs Wray and his parents, Milton James Wray and Viola Saunders Wray. He leaves to cherish his memory his son, Roger Holmes Wray and wife, Cathy; daughter, Teresa Wray-Welsh; grandson, Robert H. "Robbie" Wray; granddaughters, Amy Hobbs and fiance John Mise; April Clarke and husband Chris, and Wendy Gordon; great grandchildren, Kelly Finn, Nick Hobbs, Jonathan Mise, Karly Clarke, and Morgan Clarke; and special friends Frances Taylor, Tally Pernell, and Treva Pernell. Bobby always put his family first. He loved everything about the outdoors, especially hunting. He was a member and Past President of Widow’s Son Lodge #150 as well as a dedicated member of Calvary Baptist Church. He will be laid to rest on June 24 at a graveside service at 11 a.m. at the Emporia Cemetery on Brunswick Avenue. The family will receive visitors at Echols Funeral Home Chapel on June 23 from 6-8 p.m. Pallbearers will be Tally Pernell, John Mise, Chris Clarke, Robbie Wray, Nick Hobbs, and Carlton Rae. Honorary pallbearers will be Ernest Bailey, Kiser Robinson, Alfred Hobbs Jr., and Bruce Greene. Treva Pernell will sing. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Greensville County Volunteer Rescue Squad or Calvary Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-Laurice Sizer

Laurice House, Harding, Cross, Dianis, Sizer was born in Lawrenceville, VA on June 19, 1919.  She lived most of her life in Emporia and died there on June 15, 2015.  Laurice is survived by her husband Wesley Sizer.  She was preceded in death by her daughter, Donna Marie Harding Long of Winter Haven, FL, her son Lynwood French Harding of Staunton, VA and her son, Norman Anderson Harding, Jr. of Midlothian, VA.  She was also preceded in death by her husbands, Norman Anderson Harding of Richmond, Shelton Cross of Emporia and Paul Dianis of Emporia.  Laurice is survived by her son C.P. Harding of Normal, IL; her daughter in law Ann Pople Harding; grandson Nick Harding and his wife Julie Harding of Aledo, TX and great-grandsons Nicholas, Liam and Quinn also from Aledo, TX.  She is also survived by grandson Luke Harding of Chicago, IL and grandson Christopher Harding of Los Angeles, CA.  Also surviving is her daughter in law Barbara Harding (wife of Norman Jr.) of Midlothian, VA; granddaughter Angela Pigg, her husband Jimmie Pigg, great-grandson Chance Harding and his wife Kasey and their son Clyde and great-granddaughter Bethany Harding of Richmond. Grandson Andy Harding, his wife Alison; great-grandson Dillon Harding and great-granddaughter Summer Harding also survive.  Laurice is also survived by her daughter in law Wanda Harding (wife of Lyn) of Weyers Cave, VA; granddaughter Katie Harding of Raleigh, NC; and grandson William Harding, his wife Elizabeth; their daughter Madison and their son Jase of Staunton, VA.  Also surviving is one step-daughter Ketura Taylor and her husband Jack Taylor of Richmond.  Laurice is also survived by her sister Betsy Baird and husband Aubrey Baird of Bracey, VA.  She was preceded in death by her brothers Percy Lee House of Emporia and James Albert (Jack) House of Henderson, NC and by her sisters Mary House Creaseman of Norfolk, VA and Ernestine House Starke of Bracey, VA.  Laurice is also survived by many cousins, nephews and nieces as well as countless friends including her special friend Barbara Hargrove who cared for her over the past few years and helped her to live a very full and active life.  As she said so many times, Barbara is my special friend and I love her like a sister.  Laurice loved her family, she loved life, she loved people, she loved Emporia, VA and she loved Bingo.  She also loved her trips with groups to Atlantic City, New Jersey and she loved her trips to New York City where she appeared on The Price is Right and other television programs.  The most difficult thing a parent sometimes faces in life is the loss of a child.  Laurice faced that three times and her strength brought comfort to others during those difficult times.  Laurice has a special request of all of her family and friends.  She would like to be remembered not just with flowers or memorials to her church but with the kindness that each of you might do for others.  Do something nice for someone every day and remember Laurice…a nice lady from Emporia who always went out of her way to do kind things for others.  A visitation will be held on Wednesdaym from 1:00 to 2:00 at Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by funeral services there at 2:00.  The funeral will be followed by interment at the Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery on the corner of Dry Bread Road and Independence Church Road.  A reception for friends and family will follow in the fellowship hall.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-Elie Mitchell Smith

Elie Mitchell Smith, 97, died June 6, 2015. She was born in Greensville County and lived in Emporia, Va. She was predeceased by her parents, Peter and India Rook Mitchell, and her husband Harvey J. Smith, Sr. She is survived by her daughter Joan Smith Taylor and husband Thomas, of Emporia; son, Harvey J. Smith, Jr. and wife Patricia of Milford, NY; grandchildren Amy Dianis and husband Walter, Thomas E. Taylor, Jr and wife Stacy, all of Emporia, David Z. Smith, Kathryn E. Smith of Beno, OR; great grandchildren Jake Taylor, Morgan Dianis, Daniel Dianis, Drake Taylor, Hunter Taylor, all of Emporia, Devon Todd, of Beno, OR; two sisters, Lucy Davis of Emporia and Alice Hale of N. J.; two special friends, Nellie and Barry Falls. She was the oldest member of Calvary Baptist Church. Graveside Service were held Monday, June 8, 2015, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Emporia. The family received at Echols Funeral Home from 2:30 until 4:00 pm. The Rev. Jim White officiated. Pallbearers were Earl Taylor, Thomas Edward Taylor, Jr., Jake Taylor, Walter Dianis, Barry Falls & Wyane Fetko; honorary pallbearers were Ernest Bailey & Harry L. Smith, Jr. In lieu of lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church Emporia Va. In Emporia, Virginia.

Obituary-Cathy Hall Lewis

Cathy Hall Lewis, 62, of Stony Creek, passed away Sunday, June 7, 2015. She is survived by her husband, David R. Lewis, son, David R. Lewis, Jr. and wife, Renea; daughter, Amanda Lewis Lipscomb and husband, Ronald; two grandchildren, Rachel Elaine Lewis and Hunter Lee Lipscomb and a large extended family of sisters, nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 10 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Timothy Dylan Lewis

Timothy Dylan Lewis, 22, passed away on June 5, 2015. He was predeceased by his grandparents, Carl and Edna Malone. He is survived by his parents, Steve and Dian Lewis; his brothers, Stephen “Stevie” Lewis, Jr. and fiancé Ashly Ferguson and Clint Lewis; grandparents, Cliff and Edith Brockwell; Uncle Tim Lewis and wife Loretta; Aunt Audrey Persinger and husband Charlie; girlfriend, Krissy Nelms; numerous cousins and friends; two special big brothers, Jason Link and Clifton Elder and wife Marion. A memorial service will be held at Williams Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 4pm. Visitation will follow after the service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Brunswick Country Club, c/o Stephen Abernathy, P.O. Box 597, Lawrenceville, VA 23868.

Obituary-Richard Ted Blankenship

Richard Ted Blankenship, age 85, of Emporia, VA passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Ted worked with Home Telephone Company until he retired in 1989. He served in the United States Army and was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. Ted was a dedicated member of Main Street Baptist Church for 22 years.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Peggy M. Blankenship as well as many much loved nieces and nephews.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents, David and Effie Blankenship, his five brothers Brud, Walter, David, Jr., L.D., and Billy; his three sisters, Hazel Cruise, Pauline Epps, and Elizabeth Roach.

The family will receive friends at the home on Saturday June 6, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 7th at Main Street Baptist Church at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Main Street Baptist Church.
 

Obituary-Dr. Ernest Burdette Gatten, Jr.

Dr. Ernest Burdette Gatten, Jr., 92, passed away May 31, 2015 at Southampton Memorial Hospital just two weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. 

Born June 12, 1922, Dr. Gatten was the eldest son of the late Ernest Burdette Gatten, Sr. and Nan Jean Walls Gatten.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Emily Greer Gatten, and siblings William H. Gatten and Geraldine Gatten Becker. 

Dr. Gatten attended the University of Richmond prior to enlisting with the Army Air Corp in 1942.  As part of the Greatest Generation, he was proud to have served his country during World War II by flying 32 missions in Europe, including the Normandy Invasion.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for completing his missions and three Oak Leaf Clusters in recognition of his combat achievement.

After the war, Dr. Gatten attended Chicago College of Optometry and the day after graduation in 1947, he married Emily Greer Gatten.  One year later, they relocated to Franklin, VA where Dr. Gatten practiced optometry until his retirement in 1991.

Dr. Gatten was a member of Franklin Congregational Christian Church and served as past chairman of the Deacons’ Board.  He was also an active leader in the Franklin community.  He was a founding member of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and served on the first Franklin YMCA Board of Directors.  Dr. Gatten was also appointed to the first Franklin school board where he served the community for 10 years.  He actively supported the Franklin Lions club and the Franklin Library Board.  Professionally, he served on the Virginia Opticians Board for ten years and was a past president of the Virginia Academy of Optometry and the Virginia Optometric Association.

Dr. Gatten was an accomplished water colorist, leaving a lasting legacy of beautiful works of art.  He was instrumental in the formation of today’s Rawls Musem Arts organization and the construction of the existing art education building and gallery spaces located in Courland.

Dr. Gatten is survived by his daughter Caroline J. Gatten of Emporia, VA; sons E. Burdette Gatten, III (Joann) and Charles G. Gatten, both of Franklin; and two granddaughters, Gabrielle G. Gatten and Barclay B. Gatten.  He is also remembered by a special niece, Rebecca Gatten Jester (Frank) of Franklin and their children Meredith and William DeLuca and a host of other extended family and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday June 4, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Franklin Congregational Christian Church, 412 N. High Street in Franklin, VA with the Rev. James H. Hyatt, Jr officiating. A reception will follow the service in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Franklin Congregational Christian Church or Rawls Musem Arts, Inc. in Courtland. Wright Funeral Home is handling arrangements. www.wrightfuneralhome.org.

Obituary-Jean Talley Blackwell

Jean Talley Blackwell of Dolphin, Virginia, age 83, a retired Brunswick Academy school teacher, died June 3, 2015. She was a member of Dolphin Baptist Church. Preceded in death by her husband C. Dale Blackwell, she is survived by her two sons and their wives, Kevin and Terry Blackwell of Dolphin and Allen Meade and Beth Blackwell of Emporia; and five grandchildren, Austin, Mackenzie, Kaylin, Kelly and Karly. The family will receive friends at the family home on Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Dolphin Baptist Church in Dolphin, Virginia at 2:00 p.m. Friday with Interment in Crestview Memorial Park in South Hill. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Dolphin Baptist Church, c/o Jane Hawkins, 815 Old Tobacco Dr. Dolphin, VA  23843; Brunswick Academy, 2100 Planters Road, Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868;  Dolphin Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 67, Dolphin, Va.; or charity of choice.  Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com

Charles Michael Howerton

Charles Michael Howerton, age 61, of Emporia, Va. passed away May 31, 2015.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Earline Phillips Howerton.  He is survived by his wife, Lynn Justice Howerton; his father, Robert Howerton; his son, Alex Howerton; two step-sons, Eric and Daniel Harris; two brothers,  Jeff Howerton and wife Kathy and Wayne Howerton and wife Mary; his sister, Linda Thomas and husband Harry; and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins. A celebration of his life will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday at his father’s home.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/donate.  Online condolences can be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

Obituary-Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon, Jr, 36, passed away Saturday, May 30, 2015. He is survived by his parents, Ben Gordon, Sr. and Alice “Cookie” Gordon; sister, Mary Gordon Velvin; nieces, Dawn Hibbard and husband, Philip and Brooke Velvin; beloved great niece and great nephew, Emily and Jonathan Hibbard and a large extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 1 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 2. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to assist the family with final arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

Obituary-Clara “Sis” Allen Ogburn

Clara “Sis” Allen Ogburn, 67, of Emporia passed away May 29, 2015.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Henry M. and Pauline W. Allen.  She is survived by her husband, Melvin D. Ogburn; daughter, Karen M. Ogburn; brothers, Donny R. Allen (Carrie), Bernie Ed Allen (Linda), James David Allen (Frances Ann), Henry Stephen Allen (Jeanie), Joseph Michael Allen (Vickie); sisters, Brenda A. Newton (Earl), Julie A. Woodruff (James), Pamela A. Lifsey (Scott); sister-in-law, Phyllis O. Mills; numerous nieces and nephews.  Visitation will be held Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 6-8pm in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral services will be Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 2pm in Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery.  Clara and her family are the owners of Ogburn Sings and Printing.  She loved the Lord, her family and her dedicated customers.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

Obituary-David Lee Jones

David Lee Jones, age 62, of Henrico, N.C. passed away May 24, 2015.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy J. and Edward Lee Jones.  He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn Lynch Jones; his step-children, Roland “Rob” E. Weaver, Jr. (Patsy Hayes) and Gwendolyn “Ginger” Dotter (Steve); his grandchildren, Roland “Land” E. Weaver, III and Alexis Weaver; his aunt, Beverly J. Ellis; and his uncle, Bob B. Jones.  A memorial service will be held 12:00 noon, Saturday at Pleasant Hill Christian Church, Gasburg, Va.  The family will receive friends Saturday from 11:00 to 12:00, prior to the service at the church.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Hill Christian Church, P.O. Box 550, Gasburg, VA  23857; Central Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 386, Gasburg, VA  23857; or the Gasburg Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O. Box 225, Gasburg, VA  23857.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

Obituary-Belinda Jean Simmons

Belinda Jean Simmons, 43, of Jarratt, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Donald R. Simmons; daughter, Samantha Drake; her mother, Phyllis Simmons; three sisters, Regina Davis of Chesterfield, Regana Jennings of McKenney and Rhonda Jones of Emporia; a brother, Lester Wray of Matoaco and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 27. Interment will follow at High Hills Memorial Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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