Robert James Phipps, of Smith Mountain Lake, beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully at Lynchburg General Hospital on Saturday, October 31, 2020. Robert Phipps, only son of Paul and Louise Phipps was born in February 2, 1939 in Roanoke, VA. A fifth generation native of Roanoke, Bob attended Jefferson High School. A true renaissance man, Bob exceled in track, local cave spelunking and was a champion roller skate ballroom dancer. He placed in the national competition for the Roller-Skating Rink Operators Association (RSROA) of the US. Upon graduation, Bob attended Virginia Tech, Syracuse and American University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. Bob enlisted in the US Air Force as a linguist and then worked at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD; proudly serving with distinction for 45 years. He also worked at Lockheed Martin for seven years, building and integrating computer systems. Bob retired in 2004 to Smith Mountain Lake (SML) and was active in the SML community. He was a ‘Friend of the SML State Park’ and participated in the fishing competition. Bob also volunteered for ‘Joyous Junque’ an annual event, with a ‘ministry of fellowship and heavy lifting, picking up items from donors, including homes, boats & storage buildings’ to benefit Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta, VA and surrounding organizations. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Gail Elizabeth Phipps; four daughters, Elizabeth Coppa (Joe) of Montpelier, VA, Tracy Leigh Trinidad of Huddleston, VA, Kelly Ilaine Phipps (Lauren Sanders) of Washington, DC and Carla Langjahr of Arlington, VA; three grandsons, Augustus “Gus” Coppa, Antonio Jack (AJ) Trinidad and Walker Trinidad; and by many loving friends in the SML community. Bob aka “Popi” aka “Uncle Bob” made an impact on so many in his life. His cousins said “Uncle Bob gave the best hugs”, nephews and grandsons said “Popi taught us everything about boat safety and the wonders of the lake”, friends of his daughters said “your dad was like a second dad to us all”, and his extended family said “Bob was a wonderful host, a perfect gentleman and avid Redskins football fan and Nascar racing fan.” A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to “Joyous Junque” care of Resurrection Catholic Church, Friends of SML State Park, or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Leona Smith Harrison, 90, of Bedford, died Friday, October 30, 2020. She was born in Roanoke, VA on September, 13, 1930, a daughter of the late William Harrison Smith and Mary Damewood Smith. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Milton Thomas “Tommy” Harrison III; sister, Mary Lipscomb; and brother, Warren Smith. Leona worked many years for the General District Court. She was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church, lifetime member of Bedford Moose Lodge, and a member of Bedford Lion’s Club. She is survived by her four children, Pamela H. Huang (Jimmy), Ralph Lee Harrison (Robin), Marlene H. Pugh (Paul), Thomas R. Harrison (Jan); grandchildren, Amber Pugh Gardner (Chris), Megan Pugh Lee (Kevin), Zachary Pugh (Jamie), Kaitlin Harrison, Kylian H. Nijakowski (Ted) and Justin Harrison; seven great-grandchildren, Ryan, Lauryn & Brysyn Gardner, Clara Lee, Greenleigh and Bristol Pugh, Olivia Nijakowski; sister, Bernice Clements (George) and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 12:00 p.m., on Friday, November 6, 2020, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, with Pastor Dawn Compton officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Masks will be required and we will be practicing social distancing. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360
Clyde Vincent “Toots” Witt, 89, of Forest, died Thursday, October 29, 2020. He was born in Bedford County on June 28, 1931, a son of the late Clyde Almond Witt and Alma Campbell Witt. Vince was a member of Pleasant View Baptist Church and he was the owner of Vince’s Auto Sales. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ann Robertson Witt; daughters, Julie Putt and husband Melvin, Barbara Craig and husband L.W.; grandchildren, Lindsey Putt, Jessica Kennedy and husband Thomas, Justin Craig and wife Chelsea and their baby on the way; two sisters, Mary Potter, Betty Brown and husband Ray; and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held at 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at Pleasant View Baptist Church with Rev. Ricky Ewing officiating. Burial will follow at Fort Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Gideon Bibles or Bedford Hospice House. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Ruth Claudine Hodges Ellis, 83, of Bedford, was called home on Sunday, October 25, 2020. She was born in Bedford County, VA on June 28, 1937, a daughter of the late C.B. Hodges and Rosie Clark Hodges. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Ellis; sons, Wayne Dooley, Danny Dooley; and granddaughter, Michelle Dooley. She was retired from G.E. She was a devoted member of Bedford Church of God. Ruth is survived by her daughter, Diane Branham; her son, David Dooley (Pansy); grandchildren, James Dooley, Amber Bennett, Jeremy Branham, Marion Barrineau, Lash Dooley, Brandi Dooley; great-grandchildren, Trinity King, Seth Dooley, Alexander Dooley, Amelia Bennett, Jake Bennett, Chance Dooley; great-great-grandchild, Ashlee Dooley; and sister, Lucille Brown. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery, Rev. David Scott officiating. Family will receive friends from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Masks will be required. In lieu of flowers, the family ask that you consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of their mother. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Verna Allen Steen, 85, of Bedford, passed away on Saturday, October 17, 2020. She was born in Roanoke, VA on May 12, 1935, a daughter of the late Rev. Noah Allen and Ella Simmons Allen. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a daughter, Crystal Darlene Steen; and several siblings. She graduated from Bedford High School in 1954 and retired from banking after 34 years. Verna was an active member of Bedford Church of God, teaching the Young Adult Sunday School class for many years. Verna is survived by her husband of 59 years, Donald Ray Steen; daughter, Deborah Steen and friend, Brian Barr; granddaughter, Emily Steen Viar and husband, Zack; great-grandsons, Hunter Turpin, Connor Turpin, Parker Viar; sister, Margaret Dudley; sisters-in-law, Dorothy May Allen, Pearl Nalley, Helen Steen, Jean Ann Gowen; brother-in-law, Eddie Gowen and wife, Pat; and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wedneday, October 21, 2020 at Greenwood Cemetery with Rev. David Scott officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Marjorie Lostoski (née Kosak), 84, of Smith Mountain Lake, VA passed away peacefully at home on October 14, 2020. Marge was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 6, 1936 to the late Slovenian immigrant parents, Frank and Betty Kosak. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother, David; and sister, Betty Ann. She married Edward Lostoski on August 25, 19556 and moved to the Washington, DC area. A 25-year member of Resurrection Catholic Church, Marge served joyfully as a member of the choir, as well as various volunteer positions. She also enjoyed being a long-time volunteer with Lake Christian Ministries and Smith Mountain Lake Newcomers. She was an avid reader, enjoyed playing mah-jongg, and took pride in raisin her seven children and spoiling her sixteen grandchildren. Marge is survived by her husband of 64 years, Ed; children, Diane (Scott) Mlynarczyk, Ken Lostoski, Elaine (Rob) Ziemke, Karen (Fernando) De Urquidi, Steven (Maria) Lostoski, Denise (Eric) Veater, Greg (Jenna) Lostoski; brother, Dan Kosak; and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday October, 24, 2020 at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15353 Moneta Road, Moneta, VA 24121 with Father Salvador Añonuevo celebrating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 10:00 a.m. Masks will be required and social distancing will be in effect. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Edward Thomas Arthur, 80, of Rustburg, died Tuesday, October 13, 2020. He was born in Bedford County on August 11, 1940 a son of the late Edward Jackson Arthur and Frances Louise Hall. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. Edward is survived by his companion of 40 years, Linda Wilson. Per his wishes no services will be held. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Jack Gene Engle, 69, of Amherst, VA died Tuesday, October 6, 2020. He was born June 24, 1951, a son of the late George Forest Engle and Helen Lucille Dettwiler Farrington. Jack was a caring soul and an outgoing person who loved working with his hands. Jack is survived by his wife, Diana Clements Engle; son, Keith Engle; siblings, Marge Hogendobler, Kerri Bledsoe, Nancy Blankenship, Scott Farrington, and numerous nieces, nephews, and other family. There will be no services as per Jacks wishes. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7
Michael Vincent Laughon, 64, of Bedford, died on Sunday, October 4, 2020. He was born in Bedford, VA on December 17, 1955 a son of Richard Edward Laughon and the late Bettie Johnson Laughon. In addition to his mother he was preceded in death by a sister, Carol Laughon Brandt. Michael was a good man and a good provider for his family. He loved to hunt wood fish. In addition to his father he is survived by his wife of forty years, Deborah Schmitt Laughon; son, Jacob D. Laughon; brothers, Richard Alan Laughon and wife, Angie, John Albert Laughon and wife, Tammey; and numerous nieces and nephews and other family. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Betty “Jeanne” Perdue Collins, 74, of Big Island, passed away Saturday, October 3, 2020. She was born in NC on May 28, 1946, a daughter of the late Robert Oscar Perdue and Reatha James Perdue. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a son, Robert Christopher “Chris” Collins. She was a loving wife, mother and Nanny. Jeanne was among the first class to graduate from Liberty High School. She was a retired RN from Bedford Memorial Hospital, receiving her RN license the same year she turned 50. She loved being a nurse and she helped to deliver many babies into this world. Jeanne is survived by her husband of 55 years, Frank B. “Tommy” Collins; son, Eric Collins; grandchildren, Chelsea Collins, Dylan Collins, Maddie Collins, Kadence Collins; great-granddaughter, Harper Goodwin; sister, Vickie Uzelac and husband Mirko; brother-in-law, H.B. Camden and wife, Joyce; sisters-in-law, Nina Wood, Cathy Camden; several nieces and nephews and special friends; and her beloved dog and best friend, Little Bear. Per her wishes no services will be held. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to her favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360