John Wilson Watkins 68, of Bedford, passed away on Friday, August 30, 2019 after months of treatments for cancer. He was born in Big Island, VA on October 25, 1950 a son of the late Carl Bayse Watkins and Katie Comer Watkins. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers, Lee Watkins, Earl Watkins; and sister, Rose Huskin. John proudly served his country in the United States Army, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is survived by his wife, Gayle Crouch Watkins; two daughters, Tina Mason and fiancé Joe, Mary McNew and husband Patrick; five grandchildren, Arielle and fiancé Justin, Kristen McNew, Austin and fiancée Savannah, Jonathan, Cassie; great-granddaughter, Cammie Rose Watkins; three brothers, Carl Watkins Sr., Charles Watkins both of Bedford, Jack Watkins of Martin, GA; numerous friends and other family members, including one close niece, Sarah Watkins. John’s wishes were to be cremated. A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 6, 2019 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford, VA with Rev. Larry Ross officiating. Military honors by American Legion Post #16. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.





Robert (Bob) John Ott, 80, of Forest, VA passed away peacefully on August 26, 2019 in the comfort of his home. He was surrounded by family as he stepped into heaven. Born January 5, 1939 in Muncy, PA, Bob was the son of the late John Kenneth and Eleanor Louise Hall Ott. Bob’s family was his world, and he, theirs. Those left to cherish his memory are his caring sister, Nancy Ott Hall; one brother, David E. Ott; his sweetheart, C. Diane Brown; two loving daughters, Wanda E. Ott of Forest, VA, and Debbie M. Moore and her husband Tony of Trinity, NC; and his best friend and son, Roger M. Ott and his wife Connie of Forest, VA. Bob is also survived by the loves of his life – his 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Bob was lovingly referred to as Pap, not only by his grandchildren, but all who knew him. He was partner and namesake of Pap’s Cigar Company in Lynchburg, VA. His favorite pastime was spending time with the friends who became family there. He is also the former owner of Nelson Run Campground in Potter County, PA, and Twin Hills Sports Shop in Montoursville, PA. As a retired pastor, Bob had the privilege of leading many to the Lord and officiating the weddings of several of his loved ones. An avid NY Yankees fan, Bob’s hobbies included watching baseball, hunting, fishing, and enjoying a cigar while surrounded by friends and family. He was a loving father and grandfather, an incredible brother, and a best friend to all who knew him. His greatest joy was spending time with Diane, his children, and his grandchildren. The family will receive friends from 6:00PM to 7:00PM on Friday, August 30 at Sedgefield, located at 3088 New London Rd, Forest, VA. A memorial service will immediately follow at 7:00 PM, officiated by Dr. Vernon Brewer. A burial service will take place at a later date at Twin Hills Cemetery in Montoursville, PA. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.



Marion Mason Dawson, 97, of Bedford, died Sunday, August 25, 2019. She was born in Danville, VA on September 28, 1921, a daughter of the late William Stratton Mason and Lona Tucker Mason. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Joseph Malcolm Fox and her second husband, Howard Daniel Dawson. Marion was a secretary to the president of the ChapStick Corporation for 34 years. She was a member of Bedford Baptist Church and an honorary member of the Blue Ridge Garden Club. She is survived by her sister, Beatrice Mason Haymes; niece, Elizabeth Haymes Witt and husband, Stephen; nephew, William Hayden Haymes and wife Patricia; and great-nephew, Thomas Stratton Haymes. A funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at Bedford Baptist Church with Dr. David L. Henderson officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Bedford Baptist Church, 1516 Oakwood Street, Bedford, VA 24523. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Warren Shelton “Fuzzy” Andrews, 62, of Bedford, died Saturday, August 17, 2019. He was born in Bedford County on July 5, 1957 a son of the late Roy Lee Andrew and Viola Bowyer Andrews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by brothers, David, William, and Russell Andrews; and grandsons, Christian and Jeremiah Defibaugh. Warren was a truck driver for Pro Logging. He is survived by his daughter, Krystal Gail Defibaugh and husband Vincent, Jr.; son, Robert Kirby and wife Michelle; sisters, Carleen Tyree, Lelia Moss, Kathy Orange, Dora Mays; grandchildren, Andrew Kirby, Randal Defibaugh, Dakota Kirby, Tyler Defibaugh, Kayleigh Defibaugh, Audrey Kirby, Ava Kirby; great-granddaughter, Ella Mae Kirby; special nephew, Randy Moss; mother of his children, Carsia Gail Branham; and numerous other nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford. Family will receive friends following the service until 8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Jude Children’s Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.




Ray Edward Bentley, 76, of Appomattox, died August 17, 2019 at Lynchburg General Hospital. Ray was born on July 29, 1943 in Roxboro, NC and was the son of the late Ray Paul Bentley and the late Mary Lee Dunnaway Bentley. Ray was a mechanic by trade and spent most of his life working on cars, tractors, and everything in between. He is survived by his daughter, Lisa Raye Bentley; grandson, Adrian Scott Bentley; sister, Brenda B. Jordan; two great-grandchildren, Grayson Alexander and Gabrielle Faith Bentley; niece, Teresa H. Hall; and nephews, Darrell and Gerald Hamlett. Ray was preceded in death by a son, Douglas Bryan Bentley; daughter, Jennifer Marie Bentley; and nephew, C.E. Hamlett. At his request a private service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Caroline (Carol) Elizabeth Wells, 73, of Charlottesville, passed away on Thursday, August 15, 2017 at Hospice of the Piedmont Facility in Charlottesville. She was born on May 12, 1946, in Charlottesville, a daughter of the late Irene Elizabeth Morris (Wheeler) and Arthur Swanson Brown; and, was raised by her grandmother, Laura Bessie Morris, who taught her many life lessons including charity. Carol would often make or bake gifts to brighten the day of someone in need. She loved to garden and had two Star of Bethlehem plants that were special to her. She loved children and her country, regularly giving to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Disabled American Veterans, and the Wounded Warrior Project. In her early years, Carol traveled and saw the United States, making many dear friends along the way. When she returned to Charlottesville she met and eventually married Lloyd Wells. Together, they raised his granddaughter, Jamie Leigh Wells of Charlottesville. They were married for almost forty years. Carol never knew a stranger and, if she talked to you for more than a few minutes, she would inevitably invite you to visit her church, Lighthouse Charlottesville, where she was a faithful member for over twenty years. She displayed courageous faith and will be remembered as a hero to many. Even going through chemo and radiation; she was faithful to her relationship with her Savior. Carol had a motto which she frequently repeated: “If I die, I’m a winner; and, if I stay, I’m a winner.” Her favorite Scripture can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Carol was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents. She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Lloyd Wells of Charlottesville; two brothers, John Wheeler and wife, Joyce, Donald Wheeler and wife, Sharon; four children, stepdaughters Sharon Marie Sacre, Annette Wells Brown, and Benita Gay Wells and stepson Lloyd Wells Jr.; five grandchildren, Jamie Leigh Wells, Anthony (Tony) Wayne Wells, Samuel (John) Wells, Brian Keith Sacre, and Tiffany Nicole Sacre; seven great-grandchildren; two great-great-granddaughters; three nephews, Derrick, Duane, and Scott Wheeler; special family friends, Lew Brown and family, Roger Rodriguez and family (who she thought of a sons) and very special friends; Rebecca Scott Childress and family, William and Eddie Love and Diane Fox; and a number of extended family members and friends. A celebration of life will be held at Lighthouse Charlottesville (3460 Worth Xing, Charlottesville, VA) on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at 1:00 pm with Pastor Chris Fitzwater officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Lighthouse Charlottesville for the establishment of the “Caroline Wells Benevolence Fund”.

Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Bonnie Jean Lowrey Arnold, age 80, of Bedford, Virginia, passed away in her home on August 2, 2019 in Bedford, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband, John L. Arnold, Sr.; son, James F. Arnold; sisters, Ellen Cox and Juanita Cuevas; and brother, Troy Lowrey. Bonnie was born in Gulfport, Mississippi to James and Elsie Lowrey on May 29, 1939. She married John Lawrence Arnold, Sr. She worked as a housekeeper for Campbells and Carriage Hill Retirement Center in Bedford, Virginia for many years. Bonnie is survived by daughter, Debbie Carrico; son, John L. Arnold, Jr. (Karen Arnold); grandchildren, Amy Edwards (Rev. Josh Edwards), Anna Carrico (Allen Hayes), and Rebecca Wiseman (Preston Wiseman); great-grandchildren, Logan Edwards, Parker Edwards, Wyatt Edwards, Sophia Edwards; and her dogs, Maggie and Holly. Memorials may be given to Bedford Humane Society or Thaxton Baptist Church building fund. The family of Bonnie Arnold wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the countless doctors, nurses, church members and friends who visited, called, and helped take care of Bonnie. The family would also like to thank everyone for the prayers, meals, cards/notes, love and support. A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 9, 2019 at Thaxton Baptist Church in the Heritage Chapel with Pastor Mark Giganti of Thaxton Baptist Church, officiating. No graveside service will be held. Burial will be at Thaxton Baptist Church cemetery. Arrangements are by Burch-Messier Funeral Home in Bedford, Virginia.


Otis Henry Wright, 92, of Lynchburg, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 3, 2019 in Heartland Nursing Home. He was born in Lynchburg, VA on November 30, 1926, a son of the late Edward Henry Wright and Virginia Jackson Wright. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Janet Dolly Driskill Wright; brothers, Ottie Wright, Elmo Wright; sister, Edith Wright; and a grandson, Adam Wright. Otis was a proud veteran of World War II serving his country in the United States Navy. He is survived by three sons, Randy Wright, Steve Wright and Brian Wright and his wife, Toni; six grandchildren, Lee Wright, Cody Wright, Bobbie Ramsey, Ashley Irish, Jake Wright; and sister-in-law, Barbara Almond. In lieu of flowers please consider the Alzheimer’s Association, 355 Rio Road West, Suite 102, Charlottesville, VA 22901. The family will receive friends from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the home of Brian and Toni Wright. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.