Grace Smoot Carson passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her husband and four children on January 26, 2021 at the age of 83. Grace was born in Amherst, Virginia on July 20, 1937 to Hope Edward Smoot and Elizabeth Shrader Smoot. Grace attended Longwood College and graduated from Phillips Business College in 1956. She was employed at Seaboard Finance Company as a collection’s manager. In later years, she managed the delicatessen at Winn Dixie and she thoroughly enjoyed her retirement years working at Randolph Macon Woman’s College along with her lifelong friend, Jeannine Abbott Guthrie. Grace is survived by her husband of 59 years, Franklin Delano Carson; her children, Leslie Hope Carson Harris and her husband Bobby Harris, Ann Elizabeth Carson Reinisch and her husband Roger M. Reinisch, Franklin D. Carson Jr. and his girlfriend Frances Tyree, and Mark Dale Carson; her grandchildren, Seth Harris, Carson Reinisch, Forrest Carson and Fischer Carson; her sister, Doris Smoot Smith and preceded in death by her beloved brother-in-law, Dale W. Smith. The family of Grace wishes to thank Centra Hospice for their guidance, support and compassion. In addition, the family would like to thank Grace’s “Moose” family (Moose International) for their love and support. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Moose Charities, Incorporated (Mooseheart Child City & School) 155 International Drive, Mooseheart, Illinois 60539-1100. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.  Our mother would want her loved ones and friends to reflect on this poem as they remember her.

Miss Me But Let Me Go – Unknown

When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set on me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room,
why cry for a soul set free.
Miss me a little–but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
miss me–but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take,
and each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
go to the friends we know.
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
miss me–but let me go.

Emory Hale, 87, of Bedford, passed away on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. He was born in Franklin County on January 5, 1934, a son of the late Leonard Hale and Nettie McGuire Hale. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph Hale, James Hale, and William Hale. He was retired from Rubatex. Emory is survived by his children, Gary Hale, Jackie Hale (Sandra), Donald Hale (Jennie), Patricia Goad (Randy), Michael Hale (Tabitha), Jimmy Hale (Terese); twenty-one grandchildren; and twenty-one great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 30, 2021 at Emmaus United Methodist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Bedford Fire Department. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Eleanor Wood Overstreet, 79, of Altavista, passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2021. She was born in Bedford, VA on April 11, 1941, a daughter of the late Charles Ira Wood and Ruby Virginia Rice Wood. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Freddie L. Overstreet, Jr.; six brothers, Mack Wood, Leonard Wood, James Wood, Sherman Wood, Maurice Wood, Charlie Wood; nephews, Eddie Wood, Phillip Wood; and niece, Vickie Harris. She is survived by her daughter, Angela Woodford and husband, Troy; granddaughter, April Dunbar; grandson, Caperton Overstreet; great-grandson, Tanner Dunbar; brother, Raymond Wood and wife, Carrie; sisters, Mae Brookshire, Frances Stanley and husband, William, Joyce Blankenship; and countless nieces, nephews, and lots of friends. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Ruth Ann Davis of the Sedalia area of Bedford County went home to Jesus on January 24, 2021 at age 78. Ruth was born to Massie & Lena Angus on July 6, 1942. She was married to Sherman Davis just shy of 62 years and went on to have four children Vickie Kennedy (Bill), Curtis Davis (Vicky), Jackie Mays (Greg), and C.M. Davis (Michele). Ruth adored her seven grandchildren Billy Kennedy (Mary Beth), Grayson Kennedy, Sara Smith (Marcus), Benjamin Mays, Chantel Melendez, Kaitlin Mays, and Zachary Davis as well as her four great grandchildren Ashby Kennedy, Mason Kennedy, Evelyn Kennedy, and Ki Smith. Ruth joins her parents and her sisters Lorene Heck, Mary Dunivan, and Linda Markham in Heaven. She is survived by her husband; children; and siblings, Bland Angus (Annie) and Sandra Jarels (Mike). In addition to being a dedicated wife and loving mother, Ruth loved cooking, collecting cook books, and sharing recipes with others. She loved cooking for her family and nothing made her happier than to see you enjoying your food. She also enjoyed traveling with and spending time with family as much as possible. She had a big heart and a loving personality. She was a people’s person and loved talking with others. She was very athletic and enjoyed playing softball in her younger years where she earned the name “Babe Ruth” for her batting ability. She loved music and singing and sitting in the outdoors on a summer evening after working in the garden. She was a jack of all trades and there wasn’t much she couldn’t do. She spent her last working years before retirement greeting customers at Sedalia Country Store, where even today the locals mention missing her warm smile and great cooking. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her. She always left the daily events in the Lord’s hands and knew one day that Heaven would be her eternal home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Ruth to either Ebenezer Methodist Church (Bedford), the American Heart Association, or the American Diabetes Association. A graveside service will be held at 2pm Saturday, Jan 30, 2021 at Sedalia Baptist Church Cemetery, in Big Island, with Rev. Mark Wilkerson officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Mildred Irene Barrett Denton of Altavista passed away on January 21, 2021 at Autumn Care of Altavista. She was born on February 12, 1931 in Pittsylvania County and was the daughter of the late Jake E. Barrett and Elsie McDaniel Barrett. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter C. Denton; one son, Ronald Eugene Denton; three brothers, James F. Barrett, Ernest Lovelace Barrett and Raymond O. Barrett. Surviving to cherish the memory of Irene or “Nene” as she was affectionately called by some of her family and friends are one son, Robert C. Denton of Altavista; longtime companion, Taz Anderson; one brother, Oscar R. Barrett and his wife Ann of Lynchburg; two sisters, Lucille Walden of Hurt and Brenda Whitten and her husband Jim of Lavon, Texas; one granddaughter, Crystal McCall and her husband Geoff of Lynchburg, and many loving nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff involved in Irene’s care during her years at Autumn Care. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 4, 2021, at Altavista Memorial Park. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.




Gloria Jean Collier Pugh, 79, of Bedford, passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. She was born in Staunton, VA on June 4, 1941, a daughter of the late Harshberger and Irene Collier. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Arnold McKinley Pugh; sons, Tim Pugh, Teddy Pugh; grandchildren, Logan Pugh, Aaron Pugh, Matthew Pugh; great-grandchild, Ryver Pugh; and many nieces and nephews. A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 25, 2021 at Virginia Memorial Park with Rev. Charlie Fitch and Rev. Bob Sowder officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Andrea Michael Malvasia was born in Englewood, New Jersey on June 10, 1942 and was greeted by his Heavenly Father on January 18, 2021 after a brief battle with Covid-19. He was preceded in death by his parents Andrea Malvasia, Sr and Theresa Malvasia. He is survived by Analicia Malvasia, his loving wife of 53 years. Andrea served in the National Guard as a younger man and loved his country. He opened his first beauty salon in Vernon, NJ and owned that for nine years before moving to Virginia. As the owner of Andre Michaels Hair Dimensions in Williamsburg for more than 30 years he had many employees and clients who helped him enjoy the work he did. For the past 8 years he lived in Bedford, VA where he formed some of the best friendships of his life. Andrea loved the Lord and studying the Word of God with his men’s group. He loved his children and grandchildren and his friends and extended family. He loved to fish with his grandkids and more than anything he loved to laugh and make other people laugh. His quick wit and irreverent sense of humor will be missed by all. Andrea also leaves behind three children, Christian Malvasia (Robyn), Amanda MacLeod (Scott), and Adrianne Sisk (Paul). Andrea has ten grandchildren that will miss their Papi. Mya and Ryan Malvasia, Caroline MacLeod Cormier (Jeff), Hannah MacLeod Werth (Luke), Joshua MacLeod, Tessa MacLeod, Aubrey Sisk, Hunter Sisk, Colton Sisk and Hadley Sisk. We hope when you think of him it brings a smile to your face. That is what he would have wanted. In lieu of flowers the family has asked for contributions to be made to Bedrock Community Church, P.O. Box 1335, Bedford, VA 24523. The family will be having a celebration of his life on January 21, 2021 at 4:30pm. Arrangements are being handled by Burch- Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

SSG Walter R. Payne, U.S. Army Retired (Hon), of Lynchburg, passed away on Monday, January 18, 2021. He was born in Lynchburg, VA on June 3, 1943, a son of the late SFC Thomas A. Payne U.S. Army Retired (Hon) and Naomi Mahone Payne. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, PVT Thomas M. Payne U.S. Army (Hon) and wife Clara, and SSG Cheatham A. Payne, U.S. Army Retired (Hon). He is survived by his brother, Howard L. Payne; nieces, Rebecca A. Pasmore and husband, Philip Magnussen, SR, Tina Payne and Naomi Kite; several great-nieces and nephews; many brothers-in-arms; and brother of his heart, Curlie Dillard, and wife, Patricia, their children and grandchildren. Walter was a good and caring man, who was a patriot, serving his country and his community. He loved his “big trucks” and could turn an 18-wheeler on a dime. He was a member of American Legion Post 16 in Lynchburg, VA for 18 years and a life time member of the Marine Corps League.  He is loved by many and will be missed by all. Per his wishes no local services will be held. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to American Legion Post 16, 1301 Greenview Dr, Lynchburg, VA 24502. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


James Edward “Bo” Catron II, 64, of Vinton, passed away on Sunday, January 17, 2021. He was born in Roanoke, VA on October 12, 1956, a son of the late Frank Edward Catron and Gaynelle Ayers Catron. He loved cooking, gardening, and working in his garage. He also loved to ride and race motorcycles through the years. Bo is survived by his wife of 12 years, Linda Irvin Catron; sons, Johnnie Lee Catron and wife, Pam, Fred Catron and wife, Katrina, Corey Allen Catron and wife, Tymber; step-sons, Gregory Burrell, Justin Burrell; grandchildren, Elizabeth Hucthens, Hannah Catron, Eric Catron, Ryan Catron, Mason Catron, Kailey Catron, Jessica Burrell; step-mother, Sue Catron; and many friends and relatives. No services will be held at this time. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Linda Elizabeth Coffey Crunkleton, 78, of Bedford, passed away Thursday, January 14, 2021. She was born in Bedford, VA on January 17, 1942, a daughter of the late Claude Alexander Coffey and Shirley Braughman Coffey.  Linda’s greatest joys in life were taking care of her family and taking care of her garden. She did a wonderful job with both. Her family will always remember how much she loved celebrating Christmas. She always looked for the perfect gifts for each person to make the holiday special. She will be sorely missed. She is survived by her daughters, Twila Crunkleton Deel, Carla Crunkleton Groff; son, Clay Anthony Crunkleton; grandchildren, Zachary Ryan Crunkleton, Olivia Groff Casey, Nichole Maute, Brittany Crunkleton, Tyler Crunkleton; and three great-grandchildren.  A private family memorial service will be held.  Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.