Lillie Spence Bowyer, 80, of Bedford, died Sunday, May 31, 2020. She was born in Bedford, VA on February 7, 1940 a daughter of the late William Spence and Lucille Goff Spence. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, William Cathy Bowyer; and a daughter, Janet Bowyer. She is survived by her daughter, Carol Johnson; sons, William Spence, Jerry Spence; brothers, Robert Spence, Johnny Spence; sisters, Betty Powell, Barbara Ballard; eleven grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 4, 2020 at Holy Land Cemetery with Rev. Larry Ross officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Florence “Dianne” Burnette Witt, 72, of Forest, died Saturday, May 30, 2020. She was born in Lynchburg, VA on May 4, 1948, a daughter of the late Richard Brightwell Burnette and Hilda Newman Burnette. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a son, Kevin M. Witt and a daughter, Kristy Witt Durham. She was retired from Nationwide Insurance. Dianne is survived by her husband, Maurice Earl Witt, Jr.; daughter, Lisa Jones; grandchildren, Leighann Jones, Lindsey Jones, Lacey Jones, Bubba Jones, Chance Witt, Rosa Durham, Quin Durham; great-grandchildren, Sadie Lee, Sawyer Lee; and special friends, Carol Tyler, Becky Sauls, and Norma Durham. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at Terrace View Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Brian Taylor officiating. Friends are welcome to come by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, 317 W. Main Street location to pay their respects to Mrs. Witt and sign the register book anytime between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Terrace View Baptist Church Cemetery Fund or Patient Care Fund at Pearson Cancer Center. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Lois Frances Orange Ruff, 88, of Bedford, died Thursday, May 28, 2020. A graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 1, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery with Rev. Danny Holdren officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


George William Hauser, 76 of Appomattox, VA passed away at home on May 22, 2020 surrounded by his loving family.  Born on March 21,1944 in Jersey City, NJ, he was the beloved son of the late George Hauser and Agnes Walsh Hauser. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Richard; and granddaughter, Ashlynn. George was a Navy Veteran serving on the USS Lake Champlain. He loved hunting, karaoke and spending time with family and friends. George is survived by his wife, Natasha Prokopic Hauser. He will also be dearly missed by his sisters, Margaret Connelly, Kathleen Sakoutis and husband John, JoAnn VanDeMark, and Nancy Hauser.  He leaves two sons, George Hauser and wife Danielle of Red House, Erich Hauser of Appomattox, and a daughter, Jennifer Hauser and fiancé Dave of Stonington, CT; grandchildren, George Jr., Ericha, Cory, Elizabeth, James, Wyatt, Silas; and great-grandchild, Novaleigh. He will be missed by his loyal dogs Buck, Penny, Elvis, and Jerry Lee. Services will be at the Virginia Veteran’s Cemetery in Amelia, VA at a later determined date. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.


Linda Rae Bowyer, 69, of Bedford went home to be with our Lord and Savior on May 20, 2020 after a lengthy battle with many illnesses. She was born a Christmas time baby in Norfolk, VA as the daughter of the late Marvin Stewart Miller and Georgie Milton Miller. Remaining here to await their heavenly reunion is her devoted husband of forty-seven years, Isaac W Bowyer. In addition to being a cherished wife, Linda was the beloved mother to son, M Keith Bowyer and daughter-in-law, Cheri M. Bowyer, the adored Grandma of Andrew K Bowyer and Adam K Bowyer, all of Bedford. She was the treasured sister of Diane C Miller and significant other Richard Bolling of Rocky Mount. Linda also leaves behind nieces and nephews that she considered more like children and grandchildren, Kathy Severs and husband Eric; their children Alyssa, Hayden, and Georgia, Teresa Fifer and husband Robert, Helen McCoy and husband Wilbert; their children Kaitlynn and Elisabeth. She also leaves behind numerous caring cousins, extended family, friends and neighbors. Linda was very proud to be a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. Her marriage with Isaac was a bond that could have never been broken. The love and pride she had for her grandsons was unwavering. Linda was a 1969 graduate of Liberty High School and concisely attended Radford University to study Librarianship. Linda had a kind soul and lived a very full life. She thoroughly enjoyed spending time at church. She also very much loved to read; especially the Bible and romance or mystery novels. She had a green thumb and was a very knowledgeable flower gardener. She spent many years enjoying camping, visiting historical landmarks and lighthouses, and also plastic canvas crafting. She never met a bargain or yard sale she didn’t enjoy. She loved to talk, laugh and listen to gospel music. Linda will be remembered fondly through our entire community for her years as a store manager at Family Dollar, where she never met a stranger. After her retirement, Linda found her passion in volunteer work. She was a longtime volunteer and board member with the Bedford Community Christmas Station. There she took the lead in creating the Special Seniors Department, possessing true passion for helping the less-fortunate. In addition to all of her loving friends at the Christmas Station and at Bedford Christian Ministries, Linda had an abundant church family. She was a faithful follower and servant of Christ and active with both Liberty Cowboy Church with Pastors Danny Holdren and Mark Gibson, and Center Point Church with Pastor William Clark. The family would like to express sincere gratitude to Linda’s many special friends Junia, Nancy, Betty, Karen, Susan, Wanda, Linda, Lori, Norma and so many more that we are sad to miss listing but which Linda surely would have included. A memorial service in Linda’s honor will be held at Liberty Baptist Church on Saturday, May 30, at 2:00 p.m.; graciously officiated by Mr. Holdren and Mr. Gibson. The family invites those who wish to gather or come following the service to join them in the Fellowship Hall on the backside of the church until 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those wishing to consider a donation to do so in Linda’s memory to the Bedford Community Christmas Station or Bedford Christian Ministries. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Patricia Ann Murray is resting in peace. She went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. She was born in Pensacola, FL on August 13, 1949, a daughter of the late Julia Raye Harrelson and Malcolm B. Campbell, her birth father. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her two step-fathers, Roy Calvin Hodge who was her “loving daddy” and Guy Groves; sister, Rose Mary Gentry; brothers, Ezel Campbell, James Earl Campbell; special niece, Terry Rose Mansfield; and fiancé, Frank E. Burton.She is survived by her daughter, Julie O’Donnell (Sean); son, Neil Murray (Melanie); step-son, Brent Burton (Jolene); step-daughter, Stacy Markham; three very special grandchildren, Jesse and Jordan Murray, Riley O’Donnell; step-grandchildren, Kylie, Regan, and Ella Burton; two sisters, Barbara Airhart (Bobby), Karen Work; brother, George Campbell; and her special friend Ralph Downy. She had two little girls that called her grandma because they knew you didn’t have to be blood to be family, Grace and Lillie Lindsay. A Mass of Resurrection will be said 11:00 a.m., May 26, 2020 at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church with Father Salvador Añonuevo presiding. Burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Barbara Lynn Southland, 64, of Lynchburg (formerly of Pocatello, Idaho and Granada Hills, California) passed away peacefully Sunday May 17 at Lynchburg Health and Rehabilitation. She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Stanley Capp and Joan Shirley Capp. She is survived by daughter, Kimberly and Husband Reno Scott of Elliston, VA; Daughter Laura and Husband Jason Farris of Concord, VA; and her Son John Southland and his longterm girlfriend Briana McDaniel of Lynchburg, VA. She leaves behind grandchild Everly Farris and a new granddaughter to be born this June.  Also surviving are her siblings, a brother Paul Capp of Granada Hills, CA; and brother, David Capp and wife Janet Capp of Myrtle Beach SC.  She is also survived by her former Husband of 31 years Ben Southland of San Ramon, California. The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Lynchburg Health and Rehab who made her final months comfortable.  We appreciate all your hard work and efforts in providing her care. Barbara was born in Hollywood, California on August 9, 1955, the first of the three children. She was lovingly known as “Babzy” or “Babs” to those closest to her. She loved her brothers David and Paul, and was known to spoil both of them (especially her baby brother Paul). She loved listening to Donna Summers and The Monkees on her 8-Track Player in her first car, a yellow Fiat.  She enjoyed sewing her own clothes. She married the love of her life, Ben Southland and moved to Idaho for his career as a pilot with Skywest Airlines.  She saw this move as an adventure in her life, and this is something she would often tell her friends and family with a smile in her eyes: “Life is an adventure!”  In her final years she recalled her days in Idaho as the happiest times of her life. Together they had three children and enjoyed many luxurious travels and delicious meals.  She especially loved traveling to Hawaii, boating and camping in Stanley, Idaho, going to Las Vegas, and cruises.  She spent many comfortable nights at home raising her children.  You could often find her enjoying her favorite music on the couch with a glass of wine in her hand. Barbara was an excellent cook.  Her Prime Rib feast with Yorkshire Pudding was celebrated in the family. Her love of family gatherings was passed on to her children.  She loved her miniature schnauzers.  We hope she is now reunited with her favorite pets, especially Abby. Barbara loved being surrounded by cherished family and friends.  Her passion for being a good host was unsurpassed and has been inherited by her children.  She was adept at bringing people together, and would want everyone to enjoy life and “Live each day to the fullest.” A private Celebration of Life will be held with family and close friends. Online condolences may be sent to Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Mary Lou Coleman, age 62, passed away May 14, 2020 at Lynchburg General Hospital after a short illness. She was born April 8, 1958 in Davenport, Virginia to Phillip and Mary Vance. She married her best friend Bennie Coleman in 1980 and was a devoted and loving wife for over 40 years. Mary loved being a mother to her two daughters, Amy and Amanda, who adored her. She set an example of kindness, generosity and compassion for them they will be eternally grateful for. She loved to draw and create, often drawing little sketches in the margins of papers and crocheting beautiful scarfs. She was a voracious reader and was rarely seen at home without a mystery novel nearby. She was a kind, generous, and loving person, and saw that love returned as all who met her loved her. She was a gentle soul who was a nurse at Centra Health until the end. It suited her and her caring nature. She was survived by her husband, Bennie Coleman, and daughters Amy Coleman and partner Nicholas Pillow of Lynchburg, and Amanda Coleman and partner Dean Burrage of Lynchburg as well as her siblings: brothers Melvin Vance and wife Mary Jane; Phillip Vance, Jr and wife Diane; and Ronnie Vance and wife Esma; sister Victoria Compton and husband Raymond; and several beloved nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents, Phillip and Mary Vance, as well as siblings David, Marvin, Carmel, Daniel, Robert, Douglas and Denver Vance and nephew Mark Vance. In lieu of flowers, please donate in her memory to your local humane society or animal shelter or to the Lynchburg Humane Society at Arrangements by Burch Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.  


Robert “Bob” Dawson Skelding, 89, died peacefully at his home in Lynchburg, Virginia after losing his battle with Lung Cancer on Thursday, May 14, 2020 with his family by his side.  He was born in Hempstead, New York on January 12, 1931, a son of the late Albert and Florence Skelding. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife, JoAnn Skelding of 40 years. Bob was a fun loving, outgoing father, grandfather and friend who loved woodworking, cooking, reading a good mystery and would live for a good debate over issues that he had a passion for. Bob was a retired Director of Sales from C.B. Fleet Pharmaceuticals where he was employed for 31 years. Bob is survived by his daughters, Cynthia Ballinger and husband, Frank and Kathleen Dills and husband Christopher; grandchildren, Samantha Ballinger, Todd Ballinger, Morgann Dills, Sydney Dills, and Bailey Dills; sisters, Lois MacFarland and Kathleen Wennestrom and husband, Edward; and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Monday, May 18, 2020 at Fort Hill Memorial Park with Rev. John Salley officiating. We will be practicing social distancing for the safety of everyone involved and facemasks are encouraged. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to the Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity in his name. Bob spent many years working with this organization and felt that they supported the same philosophies of his own which were to give of service, time and heart to those who are in need. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.