Betty Hodges Carter, 73, of Bedford, died Friday, February 28, 2020. She was born in Bedford, VA on January 3, 1947, a daughter of the late Luther Hodges and Lelia Witt Hodges. She was retired from Frank Chervan. Betty is survived by her husband, William “Sonny” Melvin Carter, Sr.; son, William  “Bill” Melvin Carter, Jr.; two grandsons, Boyce Ashwell, Christopher Carter; great-granddaughter, Sayword Carter; two sisters, Nancy Maxfield, Dorothy Hill; brother, Gary Hodges; and several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


It is with great sorrow that our sister, Margaret Lillian “Peggy” Stanley, 69, departed this life on Thursday, February 27, 2020. She was born in Roanoke, Virginia on March 29, 1950, a daughter of the late Carlton Eugene Stanley and A. Lorraine Brooks Stanley. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her twin brothers, Tom Stanley and wife, Karen, Tim Stanley and fiancé Kathryn; and numerous nieces, nephews, and loving cousins. Her wisdom, loving smile and her laugh will heartbreakingly be missed. With our hearts saddened leaving us with this: 1 Peter 5:10 and the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will find Himself to restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. We love you sis. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.


William Elkins Sr., 80, of Lynchburg, Va., passed into eternity February 27, 2020. He stepped into his new body and walked with Jesus as his family surrounded and loved on him here on Earth.  He was and will always be a gift God shared with all that knew him and was such a blessing to his family. For Bill, his faith was the most important part of his life. He proudly served in United States Army after which he returned home briefly to Wise Co., then moved to Lynchburg, Va. He married Sybil Dickenson and raised two children and had five grandchildren. Throughout their life together they traveled extensively and made many friends. Bill, as he was known, was a kind caring husband, father and friend and many people benefited from knowing him. A Memorial Service will be held at Pleasant View Baptist Church, 19278 Forest Road, Lynchburg, on Saturday March 7, 2020, at 2 p.m. with visitation at 1 p.m. Family requests Memorials be made to one of Bill’s favorite organizations…Tunnels to Towers, St. Judes or Trump 2020. To honor his patriotism, we encourage guests to wear red, white, and blue. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.


Wayne Andrew Pritchard, 58, of Bedford died Tuesday, February 17, 2020. He was born in Bedford, VA February 16, 1962 a son of the late Hugh Andrew Pritchard and Nina Overstreet Pritchard. There will be no services at this time.

Burch Messier Funeral Home, 317 West Main Street, Bedford (540-586-7360) is assisting the family.  



Bedford Celphus “Bennie” Davis, Sr., 74, of Bedford, died Tuesday, February 11, 2020 where he joined his son, B.C. in Heaven. He was born in Columbus, GA on August 3, 1945 a son of the late T.J. Davis and Elsie Hoback Davis. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra Davis Housdan; and a son, Bedford C. Davis, Jr. He is survived by two daughters, Wendy Nicole Bradley and Macie Davis; sister, Charlene Scott; brother, T. Warren Davis and Helen; nephews, J.T. Davis, Michael, Ashley, and Jason Walker; grandchildren, Tabitha, Mateo, Payden, and Tivon Mears. Bennie proudly served his country in the United States Air Force; serving during the Vietnam War.  He was retired from Meredith-Burda and helped with the Special Olympics. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, February 14, 2020 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street. Burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park. A visitation will be held 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, at Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Main Street location, 317 W. Main St. Bedford. Memorials may be made to The National D-Day Memorial, P.O. Box 77, Bedford, VA 24523. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Lucy Paulette Willard Puckett, 75, of Bedford, died Tuesday, February 11, 2020. She was born in Franklin County, VA on September 17, 1944 a daughter of the late Morton Dudley Willard and Myrtle Sigmon Willard Lynch. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Tony Bryant. She is survived by her husband, Henry Shelton Puckett; daughters, Teresa Bryant, Leona Phillips and husband Rodney, Debra Sprouse and husband Chris; son, Micheal Puckett and partner Cody Hudson; grandchildren, April Smith, Michael Parks and fiancée Olivia Payne, Jeremy Puckett and wife, Tabitha, Rodney Phillips, Jr., Brittany Puckett and fiancé, Jonathan Dalton, Courtney Myers and husband, Devin, Charles Sprouse, Curtis Bryant; great-grandchildren, Christian Smith, Anthony Harris, Antwoine Harris, Austin Puckett, Kinley Puckett, Kason Puckett, Bentley Parks, Willow Mae Phillips, Sirius Dalton, Liam Myers, Kaiden Myers; special friends, Carol Crochiere, Linda Altice, and Brenda Arrington; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other family members. A funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, February 14, 2020 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford, with Pastor Earl Ragland officiating. A burial will follow in Holy Land Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Amy Rebecca Fifer Burks, 89 of Bedford, VA made her journey to heaven on February 7, 2020 at Bedford Hospice House. She was born on October 29, 1930 in Big Island, VA a daughter of the late Edward Gardner Fifer and Patria Elizabeth Austin Fifer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert Hoover Burks; seven brothers, Dewey, William, Edward, Dean, Ryan, Kenneth and Larry Fifer; five sisters, May Fifer, Evelyn Brown, Margaret Tiller, Audrey Massie and Patricia Casey. Along with her now deceased husband, Amy was a retired co-owner and operator of the Bluegrass Market and Restaurant in Naola, VA. They also enjoyed working together in flea markets along the east coast. Amy was an excellent seamstress and did work for many people. She also worked for a garment factory in Madison Heights, VA as well as several department stores. She enjoyed making clothes for her children and sewing for friends and neighbors. She also loved gardening and looked forward to each Spring! Amy was well-known for her hospitality to visitors and loved making cookies for Joseph’s Dream Apartments meetings. She was a member of Suck Spring Baptist Church, Bedford VA and loved working in church with a servant’s heart for many years. Amy is survived by two daughters, Janet Ross and her husband Rev. E. Larry Ross and Valerie Albritton and her husband Ken; three grandsons; two granddaughters; 12 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Glenna Putney and Gayle Burks of Big Island and numerous nieces, nephews and family. Amy loved her family. The family would like to thank members of the Bedford Hospice House for the wonderful care they gave to Amy in her last days and moments. Thanks also to the Bedford Day Center, their wonderful staff and all her friends there, which she dearly loved there. Amy also dearly loved all her friends at Joseph’s Dream Apartments. We will celebrate Amy’s homegoing on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at Big Island Baptist Church in Big Island, VA with Rev. Larry Ross and Rev. Michael Cox officiating. Interment will follow in the Big Island Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Any memorial donations can be made to Bedford Hospice House or Suck Spring Baptist Church. Arrangements are being handled by Burch-Messier Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Bedford. To send condolences visit


Emmette Alfred Howell, 87, of Huddleston, died Wednesday, February 5, 2020, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born in Bedford County on June 6, 1932, the son of Okey Tell Howell, and Lizzie Daniel Howell, who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by three siblings, Ralph Howell, of Huddleston (1986), Esther Howell Blankenship, of Altavista (1997), and Loretta Howell Plymale (2009) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Polly Waller Howell, of Bedford; his brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Billie Howell, of Mesa, Arizona; a son, Rick Howell, of Roanoke; a daughter and son-in-law, Gail Howell Oliver, and Jon Oliver, of Forest; two grandchildren, Nikolas Eric Oliver, of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and Ryan Nikolas Howell, of Roanoke; and five nephews, B.H. Blankenship, of Florida, Keith Plymale, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Kevin Howell of Davenport, Iowa, Mike Howell of West Haven, Utah, and David Howell, of Roy, Utah. Emmette often went by Alfred, his middle name, and was even called “Pete” by his siblings. He blessed all who knew him with a happy-go-lucky personality. It was only the length of his struggle with Parkinson’s, and the eventual descent into dementia and other complications that blunted the personality that all his friends and family admired. While his loved ones will certainly miss him, they are grateful that he has been released from this long ordeal that has also affected so many other families. He had a long career with Rubatex in Bedford, from 1952 to 1994. He was a proud and active member of the United Rubber Workers Local 240. His favorite vacation spot was the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He took his wife and children there many times – to Rick and Gail’s great delight – when they were young. In 1982, he was able to travel to the West with his sister, Loretta, and visit Edward and Billie, who lived, at the time, in Utah. He saw the Grand Canyon, the Four Corners, where several Western states meet, and visited a Native American reservation. But for Emmette, there was truly no place like home. Upon retirement, he enjoyed a solid decade of “golden years” at the Huddleston place of his birth and upbringing before his illness struck. There, he watched the seasons pass from his front porch, often with a glass of sweet tea. He needed little else for happiness; it came easily to him. He was buried Saturday, Feb. 8, at a private, graveside service at Mt. Horeb Methodist Church in Huddleston. Friends and family thank the Rev. David Bayse for his assistance. The family also thanks the staff at Oakwood Manor Nursing Home, and the Carilion Bedford Memorial Hospital. Family members suggest a donation to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation, in memory of Emmette, at Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.  



Mary “Merry” Marie Metz-Ranson (60) of Amherst, Virginia departed this life surrounded by family and friends in her home on February 1, 2020 at 1:34 P.M. Mary was creative, free-spirited, fun loving, an artist, a welder, a horse trainer, you name it she would always find a way to do it! Mary danced to the beat of her own drum and enjoyed life to its fullest. She was a native of Illinois and graduated from Princeville High School. Mary is preceded in death by her father, John Ewing Sutton and her oldest brother, William Larry Sutton. She leaves behind her husband, Thomas” Tommy” Garrett Ranson; her only son, Dustin R Metz and wife Kelly;  two grandsons, Alex and Karter Metz; her mother, Dorothy M Sutton; her sister, Carolyn J Dickerson and husband Walter Dickerson; her brother, Donald W Sutton and wife Margaret Sutton; nieces, Valerie Sutton and her two sons, Crystal L. Oliver and husband Tyrese Oliver and their children, Carrie A. Bennett and husband John Bennett and their children, Fawna R. Gillam and husband Larry Gillam and their 2 sons, Farrah L. Garretts and husband Scott Garretts and their two children; and her special friends, Donald and Lori Helms. “To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” (Author -Osho). Keep dancing your dance Mary, we love you. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.