Mary Lou McGuire Gardner, 81, of Bedford passed away January 30, 2022.  She was born on March 10, 1940, a daughter of the late Seth E. and Ora C. McGuire. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son-in-law; four brothers; and five sisters. She will be dearly missed by her husband of 60 years, Thomas C. Gardner, Jr.; her daughter, Suzette G. Gore; brother, William McGuire; and sister-in-law, Peggy McGuire.  A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Friday, February 4, 2022 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford with Rev. Earl Ragland officiating. Burial will follow in Thaxton Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will be receiving friends at their home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home in Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Ruby Orange Carter, 97, of Thaxton, passed away on Sunday, January 30, 2022. She was born in Bedford, VA on March 12, 1924 a daughter of the late Clark Orange and Nannie Dooley Orange. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William Otey Carter. She is survived by her daughter, Shirley Orange; sons, Tommy Carter and wife Faye, Billy Carter and wife Peggy, Dennis Carter; sisters, Margaret Overstreet, Effie Dilbeck; nine grandchildren, Sandy Overstreet and husband Tim, Keith Carter, Kenny Orange and wife Andrea, Jeff Orange and wife Trish, Kristi Scherler and husband Rob, Julie Compton and husband Jon, Jamie Carter and wife Mandy, Keisha Martin and husband Kenny, Dana Gillenwater; thirteen great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at New Beginnings Pentecostal Holiness Church with Rev. Earl Ragland officiating. Burial will follow in the Overstreet/Orange Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Tuesday at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Even though no one could place his accent, (it was his own unique dialect, really) “Doc” Ron Fessler was born in Des Moines, Iowa on May 29, 1942. He was captain of the rifle team in college and went on to graduate with honors at Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine, class of ’67. That began a life of selfless service to animals that spanned 3 states and more than 50 years. As a vet, he ministered to horses, donkeys, mules, dogs, cats, quail, and he even traveled to the occasional circus elephant when the call came in for that. Over the years he worked with million-dollar racehorses at Castleton Farm in Lexington, Ky. as well as backyard ponies tucked along the winding roads of Virginia, and he treated them all with the same importance. His hands were deft at field surgery when wounds required that, and his stitches rarely left scars. Most of his clients remember that he commonly prescribed honey as a topical anti-bacterial treatment for cuts on their equine friends. He was widely known for his expertise as the man to call when it came to everything related to baby horses, and he loved seeing new foals enter the world. It was not uncommon for him to care for these animals all the way up to their final day, sometimes 20 or 30 some years later. He received outstanding service awards in 2012 from the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and in 2018 from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Over the years, he mentored many senior-level vet students from Virginia Tech. Ron was a voracious reader. He was a history buff, especially about the Civil War, Thomas Jefferson, and the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Any books having to do with botany and nature interested him and he was an accomplished gardener. He enjoyed travel, hunting and fishing, and attending NASCAR races. He was an avid Green Bay Packers fan. He delighted in the wonders of nature, relished in seeing brilliant sunsets, and was especially drawn to nurturing anything tender and wee, no matter the hour. He was the center of the party anywhere he went, generally wearing the boldest shirt, often with a whimsical tie, telling hilarious stories. He was among the best of men, a hero and a legend. Ron would proudly say that he’d done something not everyone can say they’d done: “I married the girl next door!” He and his wife, Karen, were married 59 years. He is survived by her; their two sons; and four grandchildren: Curren (wife Charlene, grandsons Brandon, Alex, and Charlie) and Adam (wife Jennifer, granddaughter Lily.) Many pets miss him, too. The family plans an outdoor celebration of life on April 23, 2022. If you care to make a gift in Doc’s memory, please consider Brook Hill Farm in Goode, VA, an equine rescue and rehabilitation center which he helped found, or give to your favorite animal rescue. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.


Nancy (Nannie) Owens, 56, of Evington, Virginia, passed on Sunday, January 23, 2022. Nancy was born on January 26, 1965 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Beloved daughter to Betty Ann Tucker and the late Richard N. Tucker. In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her stepson Caleb Prettyman. Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Shanna Owens and Cheyenne Brown; two handsome grandsons, Nathaniel Grigg and August King; two sisters, Doris Ann Dalton (Punkin) and Kathy Mae Winebarger (Hoss); brothers-in-law, Wayne and Mike; nieces and nephews, Dale Dalton and wife Christa, Chasity Winebarger, David Winebarger and Phillip Dalton. Along with numerous other family members and close friends. Nancy’s energy and laughter were contagious. She loved people, which made working in the Restaurant industry a joy for everyone. Her wild and crazy spirit will be missed by all. She without a doubt lived life in the moment and to the fullest. “What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” – BlackFoot “When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. You lived your life so that when you pass, the world cries and you rejoice.”- Cherokee A celebration of Nancy’s life will take place at a future date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

With great sadness we announce the loss of husband, father, and friend CW3 (Ret) Melvin Lee Bullock, Altavista, VA on January 22, 2022. Born March 27, 1945, he was the son of the late Floyd Lee Bullock and Ruby Williams Shown. Melvin was born and raised in Reidsville, NC. He enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17. His 20 years included serving as part of the 7th Special Forces Group as well as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War – one of “God’s own lunatics” and carried the heartache of this war his entire life. After retirement, he continued to fly helicopters in the private sector for English Construction Co., Hurt, VA before becoming self employed. Melvin went on to become owner-operator of his own long haul trucking company until his retirement. Upon retirement, he enjoyed spending time with friends at the local bike shop and his family at home, along with his special dog Rugby. He is survived by his loving wife of almost 54 years, Joan Kersey Bullock. Together, they had two daughters-Victoria Mattox, and husband Gary, of Altavista VA and Tara Ward and husband Brian, of Greensboro NC. They gave him five granddaughters whom he loved dearly – Samantha Janiak (Jeff), Danielle Cocke (Bronson), Elizabeth Ward, Caroline Mattox, and Delaney Ward. He is also survived by great-grandchildren who will attest he gave the best back scratches and always had a handful of mints to share – Eann, Ivey & Kemp Janiak, and Dalton & Giles Cocke.Additionally, he is survived by his daughter from a previous marriage Malinda Morgan, and her husband Mike, of North Carolina along with her children and grandchildren. Lastly, he will be missed by his special cousin whom he always considered a sister, Mollie Grant and her family. Mollie always took special care and looked out for him. Melvin was a lifelong learner and knew something about everything. His knowledge, support and wise counsel will be missed more than words can express. In lieu of food and flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association or the Fisher House, a comfort home for military and veteran families receiving medical attention. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Jesse Davis Overstreet, 69 of Bedford Virginia passed away Monday January 17th 2022. He is preceded in death by His loving parents Bennie D. and Louise S. Overstreet. He is survived in death by his hunny bunny, Joyce Overstreet; two daughters, Angie Artuhewich, Stephanie Webster (Josh); and his seven grandchildren, Dakota Overstreet, Madison Artuhewich, Tyler Webster, McKenna Artuhewich, Hailey Webster, Micah Artuhewich and Caleb Webster. Jesse was a loving husband, father and poppy who always put his family’s needs and wants above His own. He was the kind of guy that was always willing to lend a hand when needed. He loved his family deeply. Poppy, as his grandchildren affectionately called him was known for his picky nature and could often be found teasing each one in their own way. He loved wholeheartedly and would do anything for his family. He was a man of many talents such as oil painting, drawing, horseshoes, and bowling. He enjoyed camping with his family and friends and taking beach trips with his wife Joyce. He was a lover of animals especially his two fur babies Pookie and Pinky. Jesse lived his life as an example of what a husband, father, and poppy should truly look like. His legacy will live on in the lives of all that knew and loved him. The family will receive friends and family on Monday January 24th from 5-7pm at The Outpost (Bedrock Community Church) 402 E.Main St. Bedford Va. A Celebration of Life service will also be held at The Outpost on Tuesday January 25th at 6pm. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider donating to Bedrock Community Church. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Howard Delbert “Yellowfoots” Hensley, 59, of Big Island, died Friday, January 14, 2022 at his residence. He was born in Bedford on May 10, 1962, a son of the late Joseph “Joe” Howard Hensley and Barbara Noel “Bobbie” Hensley. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three brothers, Warren Dale Hensley, Douglas Dwayne Hensley and Anthony Doyle Hensley; he was also preceded by two of his fur children, Blondie and Yellow. Delbert was a member of Hunting Creek Baptist Church and was employed Melvin T. Morgan Roofing. He was an avid UVA and Redskins fan. Delbert would literally do anything for anyone. He is survived by his three daughters, Caryn Nicole Hensley Smith and husband, Jeffrey; Meagan Cunningham and Barbara Dawn Hensley; his girlfriend, Angie L. Evans (Babycakes); three brothers, Joseph Darrell Hensley and wife, Susan; Glenn David Hensley and wife, Donna; Timothy Durwood Hensley and his wife, Carol; his sister, Barbara Dawn Fisher and her husband, Steve; his favorite aunt, Erma Whorley; six grandchildren, Nevaeh, Aiden and Zoey Smith; Bonnie, Harley and Lily Underwood; his fur children, Bubba, Yeagar, Little Bit, Sassy and Preshy. In lieu of flowers please consider Hunting Creek Baptist Church or your local Humane Society. A funeral service will be held 11:00 am Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Hunting Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Bledsoe officiating. Burial will be immediately after the service in the church cemetery followed by a meal in the church fellowship hall. The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford.

Norma Jean Snow Wade, 79, born on November 10, 1942, found her brand new home in the arms of Jesus, her Savior, on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.  Jean, as she was known to most people, was predeceased by her mother, Ethel Jewel Taylor, step- father, Kelly Taylor, grandmother, Lila Mitchell Harrell, her daughter, Denver Wade, her son, Daniel Wade, and a great-grandson, Aden Wade. Left to cherish her memories are her sons, Jeff Wade (Mary) of Madison Heights, Neil Wade of Lynch Station and Scott Wade (Sherry) of Evington; eight grandchildren, Aaron Wade, Jeffery Wade (Jennifer), Joshua Wade (Elizabeth) and Nathan Wade (Kristen), David Wade (Sara), Jessica Guthrie (Clint), Brian Wade (Dana) and Megan Shelton; twelve great-grandchildren, Skylar, Damian, Cassie, Drake, Laila, Zayne, Olivia, Christopher, Daniel, Sean, Marella and Aiden;  two sisters, Jewel Rowland and Susie Krantz; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service has been scheduled for Friday, January 21, 2022 at 6 pm at Liberty Baptist Church, Evington where she was a member. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Jean’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Oakwood Manor Health & Rehab. Burch Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, is assisting the family

Emmy “Pauline” Heck St. Clair, 73, of Bedford, passed away on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. She was born in Bedford, VA on March 3, 1948 a daughter of the late Otto Thomas Heck and Mary Magdaline Orange Heck. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by sisters, Lula Dooley, Violet Heck, Mildred Carter, Mary Heck, Josephine Heck; and brothers, George Heck, Marvin Heck, Otey Heck, Andrew Heck, and James Heck. She is survived by her daughter, Pamela J. Carbajal and husband Zac; sister, Faye Carter and husband Tommy; brother, Ray Heck and wife Mary; and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 14, 2022 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford with Rev. Earl Ragland officiating. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, at Burch-Messier Walnut St. Chapel. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Robert Malcolm Luck Jr. “Bobby”, 59, of Montvale, Virginia passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022. He was born in Roanoke, Virginia on May 26, 1962. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert Malcolm Luck (Mackie) and Rosemary Yates Luck. Bobby was known for his talent with sanding hardwood floors along with assisting with a variety of other trades throughout his life. He is survived by his son, Justin Luck (Lydia); sister, Delores Overstreet; brother, Thomas Luck Sr. (Jeanette); sister, Sara Morgan (Jonathan); and many nieces and nephews. His family would like to extend a special thank you to the Carilion Hospice team for their tireless dedication to Bobby. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 15, 2022 at Montvale Presbyterian Church Cemetery, with Rev. Ear Ragland officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.