Robert Bruce Johnson, 77, died on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Lynchburg General Hospital with his wife, Genevieve by his side. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother Barry Johnson, sister Kathryn Stokvis, sons Martin Johnson and Trevor Johnson, daughter Alicia Moyer, granddaughter Isadora Moyer, step-granddaughter Rosemary Lane, nieces Ashley Stokvis and Amanda Corley, and his faithful cat Alfie and dog, GusGus. He was predeceased by his first wife, Dora, his stepson, Dylan Kristian Lane, and his parents, Robert and Virginia Johnson. Bruce was born in Salina, Kansas, on December 14, 1941 and grew up in Minnesota and Illinois. As a teenager, her became an Eagle Scout and attained the Order of the Arrow. While earning his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College, he spent his summers in Alabama selling dictionaries during the height of the civil rights movement. This experience changed his politics forever. He became active in civil rights and promoting fair housing for the poor. He protested the Vietnam War and participated in the march on Washington. He attended the Watergate hearings. He recently told his wife “I hope to live to see Trump out of office.” He attended American University’s School of International Service and received a juris doctorate from Catholic University. During this time, he developed an employment program for underprivileged youth which he later described as his most rewarding work. He told the story of an apartment house where many of the youth lived that was surrounded by parking lots filled with abandoned vehicles and debris. He called the public works department and told them that Lady Bird Johnson was visiting that weekend and the lot was immediately cleared and cleaned. Of course, Lady Bird had no such visit planned. Bruce felt this act was in keeping with her beautification project in the city. He became a pioneer historic preservationist and was a member of the group “Don’t Tear It Down” when numerous buildings were being demolished, and the first saved, ironically, was the Old Post Office. He was a central figure in the revitalization of Staunton, Virginia. After 30 years of living in Washington, D.C., he and his wife discovered a house in Lynchburg that captured their imagination and they moved here in 1993 with their son, Trevor. At that time, downtown was blighted, there was not a single ATM machine because it was considered a “high crime” area. Bruce had the vision of restaurants, antique shops, and lofts and along with his partner, Norris, restored lofts and restaurants downtown and built the Hilton Garden Inn. He served on the board of the Academy of Music when its restoration was considered a fool’s errand. He cried when he attended the Academy’s opening this past year. Bruce was a foodie before the term was coined. He could recall past dinners in vivid detail. A favorite was scallops en roe eaten on a veranda on the Iles des Saintes off the coast of Guadaloupe. Before he died, he was researching acquisition of roe so that he could experience them again. Days before he died, he researched the recipe for the Made Rite Hamburger which he enjoyed as a youth. His wife deeply regrets that she did not make this for him but she is gratified that she took him to Slugger’s for an ice cream Sunday. Bruce was affectionately known by his family as “Daddy Dessert.” Bruce had a keen intelligence and wit, he loved books and research, archaeology, architecture, art, politics, music and travel. He was a consummate mixologist. Just days ago, he ordered Xoriguer Mahon Gin and Gentenaar Gin while planning a trip to England. He was a Swedenborgian and a member of the Unitarian Church in Lynchburg. He was a long-standing member of the “13 Club” and the Dante Alighieri Society. He said that when all was said and done, he felt his greatest accomplishment was his children: Martin, Alicia, and Trevor. He had read over a hundred books on the subject of the near-death experience and looked forward to all that he had come to believe that heaven offered. Even so, he wanted to remain in this life where he created a piece of heaven that he was loathe to leave. Oh, my darling, enjoy that Made Rite burger. A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019 at First Unitarian Church, 818 Court Street, Lynchburg. In lieu of flowers please consider the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Marjorie Ann “Margie” Woods Arthur, 80, of Bedford, died Tuesday, June 11, 2019. She was born in Bedford County on December 7, 1938 a daughter of the late Houston Walter Woods and Hattie Stinnette Woods. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Durwood Arthur. Margie was a member of Timber Ridge Baptist Church. She is survived by her son, Richard Arthur and wife Lisa; a daughter, Rhonda Campbell and husband Tim; grandchildren, Timmy Campbell and wife Lindsey, Michael Arthur and fiancée, Cecily Marker, Matthew Arthur and wife Kelsey; great-grandson, Archer Campbell. A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Timber Ridge Baptist Church with Pastor Phil Kelley officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Dr. Lora Johnson Padgett, 54, of Bedford, died Monday, June 10, 2019. She was born in Bedford, VA on May 1, 1965 a daughter of Floyd Jasper Johnson and wife Thelma and the late Mary Ann Johnson. In addition to her mother she was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Edward Padgett. Lora was a Registered Nurse and taught nursing at ECPI. She was a member of Bedford Baptist Church. In addition to her father she is survived by three sisters, Marjorie Robinson, Gina Hession, Julie Lascell; three brothers-in-law; and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Bedford Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. David L. Henderson officiating. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Friday, at Burch-Messier Walnut St. Chapel. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Bedford Baptist Church.Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Clifford Monroe Wilson, Sr., 73, of Glasgow, VA passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019. A memorial service will be held 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Mark David Artuhewich, 44, of Big Island, passed away Thursday, May 30, 2019. He was born in New Jersey, on August 21, 1974 a son of Harry John Artuhewich, Jr. and Marion Olree Artuhewich. He was an excellent father, an amazing husband, and put the needs of his family and friends needs before his own. He was a very caring and kind man and was loved by so many. Mark loved the Lord and was passionate about worshiping His Savior with the gifts that He provided him with. In addition to his parents he is survived by his wife, Angela Dawn Artuhewich; four children, Dakota, Madison, McKenna, and Micah Artuhewich; sisters, Debbie Beattie and husband Mark, Linda Richards and husband Joe, Virginia Geiser and husband Lowell, Grace Dibi and husband Elias; brother, Harry Artuhewich; mother and father-in-law, Joyce and Jesse Overstreet; sister-in-law, Stephanie Webster and husband Josh; and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life will be held 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Bedrock Community Church, 402 E. Main Street, Bedford, with Pastors Jonge Tate and Chris Dowd officiating. Family will receive friends 4:00-6:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m., Tuesday, at the church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Artuhewich Family Love Account or Angela Artuhewich. Donations can be made at any American National Bank or mailed to American National Bank, 207 N. Bridge St., Bedford, VA 24523. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Callie Louise Carter Dooley, 84, of Thaxton died Thursday, May 30, 2019. She was born in Bedford, Virginia on November 11, 1934 a daughter of the late Henry Jackson Carter and Ellen Heck Carter. Callie was also preceded in death by her husband, John Robert Dooley, Sr.; four sisters; and one brother. Callie is survived by four sons, Leonard (Len) Dooley and partner Peggy Steptoe, Rucker Dooley and wife Karen, John (Top Cat) Dooley Jr. and wife Melody, Marvin (Doodie) Dooley; one daughter, Anita D. Robertson; sister, Nelda Ruff; brother, Otey Carter; grandchildren, Brian Robertson, Mandy Robertson, Ereck Dooley and wife Sarah, Kendra Dooley Parker, Zana Smith and husband Scott, Jordan Overstreet and husband Wesley, Tiffany Steptoe; great-grandchildren Alex Robertson, Delaney Smith, McKenzy Bowyer, Reagan Robertson, Matthew Robertson, Jackson Dooley, Riley Parker, Madison Parker, Keaton Parker, Aniyah Goff; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other family. Including a very special niece and caretaker for 6 years whom Callie loved with all her heart Janie Wilson. Our family would like to thank Centra Bedford Hospice for their love and care for our mother. You all were so loving and kind (Debbie, Rhonda, Allie, and Judy). A Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, June 3, 2019 at Cool Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church 3453 Buffalo Run Rd., Thaxton, VA 24174 with Pastors Eric Pennington and Earl Ragland officiating. Burial will follow in Parker Family Cemetery. The family will receive friends 5-7:00 pm Sunday, June 2, 2019 at Burch-Messier Funeral Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, VA 24523. Burch-Messier Funeral Home is assisting the family. (540-586-7360)
MAXINE CROFT SANDERSON, 91, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Born on August 14, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Jake & Ida Croft of Bedford. Maxine was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, William W. Sanderson “Billy”; and brothers, Ralph, Jeryl, Curtis and Jack Croft. She leaves behind 3 children, Janet Noell (Derrick), William Sanderson, Jr. (Judy) and Patricia Tinsley (Mike); 9 grandchildren, April Massie (Eric), Crystal Maddox (Alan), Greta Creasy (Brad), Jason Daniels (Traci), Josh Davis (Josie), Marlayna Vaughan (Corey), Noelle Guill (Tripp), Alina Dinwiddie (Tyler), and Watkins Sanderson; as well as 18 great grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers Fred, Maleon (Mary Liz), Kermit Croft; and a sister Linda Hubbard (Boyd); sister-in-law’s, Helen, Doris and Ann Croft; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Maxine will always be remembered for her love and devotion to her family and friends and the amazing meals she cooked often. She was a longtime member of the Sedalia Baptist Church and Northside Riding Club. She enjoyed playing bingo, cards and dancing. She also loved traveling and was fortunate enough to see many places on her trips across the country with her parents and siblings. She had a bright smile and a twinkle in her bright blue eyes that would light up a room. The family would like to offer a special thank you to the staff at Oakwood Manor for their excellent care, love and support. Visitation will be held at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel in Bedford, VA on Friday, May 31, 2019 from 5-7:00 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 1st at 11AM at Sedalia Baptist Church with the burial to immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Maxine’s memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Association or Oakwood Health & Rehab. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Edna “Memaw” Krebs completed her journey on earth in the company of her family on May 27, 2019. The daughter of Bill Reynolds and Ella Melissa Reynolds, she is survived by daughters Susan Page Krebs Lang and Melissa Cheryl Krebs, sons John Hamilton (Hank) Krebs Jr. (Terri) and Robert Bill Krebs (Tracy), her seven grandsons (John, Robert, Nick, Mack, Drew, Zachary and Levi) and three great grandkids (Kayleigh, Cloey, and Corbin). Memaw is also survived by a large extended family, including the nieces and nephew that she played a large role in raising, “Topsy,” Suzie, and Donnie, as well as her brothers William (Anne) and “Boss” (Christine), and her sisters Marie “Ree” (Edgar) and Charlotte (Al) including numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband John Hamilton Krebs, sister Betty Mae Reynolds Akers, and son-in-law Bill Rau. A lifetime Virginia resident, Edna has resided in Lynchburg since 1969. She taught in Franklin, Emporia, and Buena Vista before settling in at E. C. Glass high school for 21 years, where she taught math. Her students will always remember her pleasant personality and caring manner. Similarly, as the matriarch of West Lynchburg Baptist Church, Edna touched the entire community of parishioners. She took to heart the words of Micah 6:8: “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God,” prompting her to participate in a wide variety of church activities including Women’s’ Missionary Union, Senior Sunday School, and the pastoral selection committee. Edna baked bread and rolls every day for youth group fundraisers, the red truck ministry, and to support the E. C. Glass football team. She also had a heart for missions, supporting the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and Alma Hunt offerings — believing that if you were not called to go, then you should support those who were. A service celebrating Edna’s life will be held on Saturday, June 8, 11:00 am EDT at West Lynchburg Baptist Church, 3031 Memorial Ave, Lynchburg. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Lynchburg Meals on Wheels(434) 847-0796 or the Lynchburg Southern Baptist Red Truck ministry (434) 316-8382. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.
Elmer Eugene Jarrell, 76, of Altavista, died Thursday, May 23, 2019. He was born in West Virginia, on May 11, 1943 a son of the late Elmer Hite Jarrell and Gladys Robert Jarrell. He retired from the maintenance department for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Elmer is survived by his companion of 20 years, Barbara Pavek; four children, Greg Jarrell, Jeff Jarrell, Mike Jarrell, Tammie Horne; and eight grandchildren. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 28, at Greenwood Cemetery, Bedford with Rev. Larry Ross officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Abby Diana Bandy Wood, 56, of Goodview, died Tuesday, May 21, 2019. She was born in Tazewell, VA on June 19, 1962 a daughter of the late Thomas Bill Bandy and Sherron Bowling Bandy. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a brother, David Bandy. She is survived by a son, Travis Perkins; three daughters, Crystal Wood, Jessica Fralin, and Ashley Fralin; three sisters, Yvonne Ross, Juanita Robbins, Lesia Wang; a brother, Thomas Bandy; five grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Gary Eugene Gile finished his course on earth on May 20, 2019 after an enduring battle with cancer. He drew his last breath in the peace and sanctity of his own home, without pain, in his favorite chair, and surrounded by the love and prayers of many. Gary passed away in faith, understanding that this world was not his home and that he was just passing through. Gary was born on Feb 12, 1950, in Wichita, KS to loving parents Chet and Wanda Gile, and was brother to two sisters, Lynda and Angela. In his early adult life, he attended two years at Wichita State University and received biblical training at the Way College of Emporia. From there he began his life as a Reverend and married his first wife of 31 years, Diane (now Diane Carr), serving in ministry together. He was blessed to father two biological children: a son, Taylor, and a daughter, Jamie. He was also a “spiritual father” and wonderful example to many others. Although a professional painter and wood refinisher by trade, Gary remained faithful in ministry for 45 years. He lived throughout the US, spreading the good news of the gospel and teaching God’s word. In 2005, he married his second wife of 13 years, Charee, and became a faithful step-father to her children: Jeff, Shea, and Carlin. Together as co-pastors, Gary and Charee founded Liberty Gate House of Prayer. Proclaiming the message that Jesus Christ will come back for an unspotted Bride, they emphasized intimacy with God through prayer, consecration, and repentance. They resided in their lovely home at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bedford VA and loved sitting on their backyard porch watching beautiful sunsets over the Peaks of Otter. Anyone that met Gary knew quickly that he was a joy to be around and his sense of humor was never lacking. His laugh was infectious and his kind heart was always a blessing. He was a devout man of God who studied the Scriptures daily.As an anointed leader with genuine humility, he endeavored to live his life for God and to make the most of his time here on earth. Among his favorite things was getting up very early to spend time in prayer and study, taking long walks, journaling, fishing, playing the accordion, and teaching one on one. He also loved to sing and enjoyed playing music with Charee. He was always quick to help someone in need and even quicker to forgive anyone who ever wronged him. His life and example of love and faith will continue to resound throughout all eternity. Gary is survived by his wife, Charee; Diane, the mother of his children; two children, Taylor and Jamie; three step-children, Jeff, Shea, and Carlin; three grandchildren, Christina, Blake, and Silas; one son-in-law, Lazarus; three daughters-in-law, Ally, Ju Yeon, and Amanda; one sister, Lynda; one great-aunt, Nelda; cousins, nieces, nephews, and a whole host of other earthly and spiritual family and friends who loved him very dearly. His life and legacy will continue on in the hearts and minds of all who knew and loved him. Gary’s Life Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 8th, 2 PM, at Word of Life Evangelical Church located at 912 Burks Hill Road, Bedford, VA. The interment will be at Holy Land Cemetery, 1060 Jericho Road, Bedford, followed by food, fellowship, and a time of sharing fond memories at the Bedford Presbyterian Community Center across from the Farmers Market in Centertown Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360. And this is life eternal, that they may know thee, the only true God, and even Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.
Sherry K. Trostle Overly, of Appomattox, VA peacefully passed away on Sunday, May 19, 2019 after a courageous year long battle with cancer. She was the daughter of the late Jacob C. and Pauline F. Trostle. She is survived by her loving daughters, Bryanna M. (Matt) Moore and Shanell M. (Jay) Dotterer. In addition to her daughters she is survived by her siblings, Paulette (Frank) Kuhns, Claudette (Cheyenne) Coleman, Suzzette Workman, and Gary (Amy) Trostle. Sherry was a proud, loving grandmother to eight amazing grandchildren who will miss her dearly. She will also be missed by her extended family and many friends. The family would like to extend a huge loving THANK YOU to Jake Wise III for his continued love and support of Sherry. A memorial service will be held at a later date in PA. Donations can be made in Sherry’s memory to the Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center in Lynchburg, VA. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Barbara Jean Amos Overstreet, 68, of Bedford, died Wednesday, May 15, 2019. She was born on November 2, 1950 in Bedford County, a daughter of the late Woodrow George Amos and Sadie Carter Collins. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Robert Overtstreet; brothers, Paul Amos, Lewis Amos; and sister, Frances Walker. She was a support partner for Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital. Barbara is survived by her two daughters, Rhonda Renay Overstreet and Crystal Dawn Overstreet; one grandson, Bentley Sharpe; and two nieces, Debbie Lolless and Wanda Amos. Family will receive friends for a visitation 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford, VA.
John Francis Finnegan, Jr., 75, of Huddleston, died Sunday, May 12, 2019. He was born in Miami, FL on December 6, 1943 a son of the late Dr. John F. Finnegan, Sr. and Anna McDonough Finnegan. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Anne Marie Favo, brother-in-law, William Wilson and nephew, John “Tommy” Rice. John grew up in Washington, DC where he attended St. John’s College High School. During 1961-1965 he attended Providence College, Providence, RI earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. He also earned a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University School of Law during 1965-1968. John worked for Razor & Ortman Law Firm (1967-1968); Law Clerk, Judge McIntyre (1968-1970); and he was admitted to the Bar in 1970 where he then worked as Assistant United States Attorney with the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC specializing in Criminal Law (1970-1999). He retired from the Federal Government in 1999 and moved to his dream home at Smith Mountain Lake in 2001. John enjoyed traveling, boating, skiing, golf and was an avid watch collector. He volunteered with Tuesday Men’s Group and was an usher at Resurrection Catholic Church. John is survived by his wife of 53 years, Caroline T. Judge Finnegan; his children, John F. Finnegan III and wife Sharon, Colleen M. O’Neal and husband Charles W., Maureen A. Brake and husband Richard, Timothy C. Finnegan and wife Misty; eleven grandchildren, Seamus, Brennan, Fionn, Emma, Caroline, Hayden, Alexis, Ashley, Amanda, Samantha, Jake; sisters, Mary Frances Wilson, Helen Eustace and husband John; and seventeen nieces and nephews. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15353 Moneta Rd. Moneta, VA 24121 with Father Salvador Añonuevo celebrating. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service beginning at 1:00 p.m. Following the service, a reception will be held at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 13586 Old Moneta Road, Moneta, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Resurrection Catholic Church or to Harmony Animal Rescue (www.harmonyrr.com). Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Janet DeWitt Brooks Morris, age 80, lived courageously with cancer for the last two years of her life. She remained at home, surrounded by family, until she received her ultimate healing on 5/10/2019, going home to GLORY. Born in Bedford, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Josephine DeWitt of the Kelso community. She was fortunate to have had two loves in her life, the late Carl Brooks Jr. and the late Lenneau Morris. Born into a musical family, she was said to have hummed melodies before she talked. She was discovered singing harmony with her cousin Mary Frances and friend Patsy, by a teacher in grade school, leading them to become the “Liberty Academy Trio”. She went on to sing with “the Four Cousins” (with sister Betty and cousins Joy May & Mary Frances), where their claim to fame was winning a contest against the now “Statler Brothers.” Other musical highlights of her young life, included recording an album, singing in various talent and radio shows, performing on the ‘Ted Mack TV show’ and meeting her first husband “Brooks”. Although raised in the church, it wasn’t until she was married with children, that she realized her need for a Savior. She surrendered her life to Jesus Christ in her late 20’s and became a faithful follower of His Word. She continued using her musical talents for God’s glory, serving as pianist at Salem UMC where she was a life member. Her music ministry involved various groups of friends and family. She was a known prayer warrior, battling for the souls and needs of her family, friends, community and nation. Her parting message for all is, “Don’t miss heaven! & Put Christ FIRST” – Romans 10:9 (NIV). If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.She will be sadly missed by her surviving family; Sister- Betty DeWitt Adamany and John of Rockford IL. and Brother – Jerry DeWitt & Heidi of Lynchstation, children Terry& Wanda Brooks of Lynchburg, Vivian Wilkerson, Steve & Susan Brooks, Karyn & Mario Rutoskey, Jr. all of Bedford and Joselyn Jill & Billy Busch, Jr of Forest. Her grand and great grandchildren; Jessica Brooks Richmond and Larry, children-Sydney & Laney; Laura Brooks Dawson and Jake, children-Emma, Julian & Christian, Aron Busch Hackworth and Brad, son- Jacob; Jerod Brooks and Tracy, children- Zachary & Reese; Billie Jo (Josie) Busch Davis and Josh, children – Jeremiah, Jackson & Jessa; Carly Brooks Kazanoglu and Anil, daughter – Vera; Monica Wilkerson Murden and Brian, daughters – Layla, Madison & Natalie; Amanda Busch Dobyns and Josh, sons- Owen & Paxton; Joel Wilkerson, and Kaitlyn Brooks Tomkinson, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A funeral service will be held 12:00 Noon, Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Salem United Methodist Church, 3717 Forbes Mill Road Bedford. A burial will follow in Suck Spring Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6:00-8:00 p.m., Monday, at Salem United Methodist Church. The family wishes to thank Gentle Shepherd Hospice for making it possible for Janet to remain at home during her last days. A special thank you to her nurses Emily, Donna & Bree for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Campus Crusade for Christ @ https://give.cru.org/ or Gentle Shepherd Hospice. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
William Tinsley Hill Sr, 80, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 10, 2019, at Lynchburg General Hospital. Tinsley was born September 30, 1938 to William “Knight” Hill and Estelle Burford Hill. He was a truck driver for most of his life and was known by his CB handle, Crook. Tinsley is survived by his wife, Kitty Witt Hill, two children Lisa Hill and David Hill, along with four grandchildren, Kaiti, Landen, Connor, and Rosaleigh. He was preceded in death by his son William Tinsley Hill II, a daughter Callie R Hill, and his parents, Knight and Estelle. A service will be handled by his children—details will follow. Contact Lisa or David Hill. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.
Mary Arthur Grubbs, 74, of Lynchburg, died Friday, May 10, 2019. A visitation will be held 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Christian Chapel Church, 2347 Holiday Street, Lynchburg, VA. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Stanley Yates Merritt, 92, of Bedford, VA and Baltimore, MD, died on Wednesday, May 8th in Baltimore. During his life he was a much-loved son, brother, husband, father, and colleague, and a friend to many. He was a Bedford orchardist and a distinguished electrical engineer, inventor, and patent-holder, having worked in the engineering departments of such firms as Alcoa, General Dynamics, General Electric, Union Camp, and International Paper. After retiring from International Paper, he formed a family corporation and consulted for government and corporate entities. He served the electrical engineering profession to the end of his life, most recently with Highground Services. Born in 1926 on the family farm in Lebanon, TN, Stanley was the older son of Dixon L. Merritt and Ruth E. Yates. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, earning B.S and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering. He served 42 years in the active Naval Reserve, being part of the initial setup of the Naval Reserve unit in Knoxville. When the call came for watch standing junior officers to volunteer to commission a new Essex class aircraft carrier, he was there and the commissioning day (Oct. 25, 1950) engineering log of the USS Oriskany (CV 34) shows him as the Electrical Division Officer. He advanced through the management ranks of Naval Reserve Training centers wherever his civilian employment took him until completing his term as Commanding Officer at the Knoxville Naval Training Center. While stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and working on commissioning the USS Oriskany in October 1950, he married Ann Arlen Anderson of Bedford. They were devoted to one another in marriage, and in family life with their son and two daughters, for 52 years until her sudden death in 2002. They lived in Knoxville, Ft. Worth, TX, Waynesboro, VA, Franklin, VA, and Bedford. In 2006 he married a high school classmate, Charlene Finley Gill. They lived in Lebanon and traveled the country for both recreation and his professional activity. They enjoyed quilting and created hand-crafted quilts together until her death in 2018. Stanley is survived by his brother Robert & wife Linda of Chanute, KS, daughter Meredith & husband Don of Charlotte, son Robert of Roanoke, daughter Maria & husband Stuart of Baltimore, step-children Edna Lee, Ron, and Carolyn and their spouses, children, and grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. The family is deeply grateful to Karrisa Whitaker and to everyone involved in Stanley’s care at Brookdale Towson and Gilchrist Center Towson in Maryland for their love and generous support, and to Stanley’s great-niece Marty Watkin for her love and tremendous support in the last days of his life. Stanley’s funeral service will be held at 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, May 15th, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bedford. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery, Bedford, next to Ann Arlen Merritt’s grave. Visitation is on Tuesday, May 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Walnut Street Chapel of the Burch-Messier Funeral Home. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Community Concerts at Second, 4200 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218 (or communityconcertsatsecond.org). Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.
Barbara “Bobbie” Ann Noel Hensley of Big Island, 85, stepped from this life into Glory on May 3, 2019 at The Carrington in Lynchburg. She was born on August 12, 1933, a daughter of the late John Noel and Bertha Pauline Goff Tolley. In addition to her parents, Bobbie was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Howard Hensley; sons, Dale Hensley, Dwayne Hensley, and Doyle Hensley; brothers, Wesley Goff, Jesse Goff, Eugene “Pete” Goff and Junior Noel; and one sister, Clara Dean Goff. She is survived by a beloved sister, Erma Whorley, as well as four sons, Darrell (Susan) Hensley, Delbert Hensley (Angie), David Hensley (Donna), Durwood Hensley (Carol); one daughter-in-law, Brenda Markham Hensley Crance (Danny); and one daughter, Dawn Hensley Fisher (Steve). She leaves behind twenty grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren whom she loved dearly and was loved by them. Many nieces, nephews, and cousins will miss her presence in their lives. Memories of Maw-Maw and her eyes lighting up when a child entered the room will sustain us during this time. Bobbie graduated from M.E. Marcuse High School. She attended Hunting Creek Baptist Church from the time she was 2 years old and accepted Christ as her Savior there. Her service in years past along with her generosity to Missions and other work in the church will be long remembered along with the “dollar bills” she gave to children everywhere. Conversing with Bobbie would often end with a discussion of how many children and grandchildren she had and with how many years she had driven a school bus for Bedford County—31 and no accidents! Her love for the children she carried on the bus was evident; many would come and hug her as adults. It broke her heart when she had to give up driving the bus and her habit of rising at 4 AM to clean the house before her route and then going to bed by 8 PM was one she kept. Faithful in Bible study, prayer for the sick and hurting, in attendance to Hunting Creek Baptist Church, and to her Savior, Bobbie would often witness when she was carrying on a conversation. God was merciful in taking her Home before she lost the memory of her love for Him to Dementia. Today, we are confident and take comfort in this verse, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24, NIV) A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 6, 2019 at Hunting Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Kenneth Bledsoe and Dr. Benjamin R. Owen officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Following the service, a meal will be served in the church fellowship hall and everyone is encouraged to bring a covered dish to the church. Family will receive friends 5:00 – 7:00 P.M., Sunday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford. The family would like to thank all who sent cards, offered prayers, and visited over the past months. Bobbie loved people, never met a stranger, and kept a tally (with a grin) of cards and visits. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Hunting Creek Baptist Church, the Big Island Emergency Crew or the Big Island Fire Department. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.