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Obituaries

NORBERT WHITE IRVINENorbert White Irvine passed away in Asheville, NC on May 1, 2015 after a year-long illness. Born January 7, 1937 to Marshall A.S. and Sarah E. Mahoney Irvine in Lexington, VA, he attended local schools there. He graduated from Washington and Lee, and then earned master’s degrees at Claremont College in California and East Carolina University in North Carolina. He taught art in high school and college, and served as superintendent of art education for North Carolina public schools. His art work reflected the infectious joy, inspiration, and enthusiasm he felt for life that he shared with all those around him. A ceremony was held in Asheville honoring the Native American teachings he embodied. There was also a celebration of his life by his family in Colorado. He is survived by his wife. Lisa; daughters Amber (Jim) and April (Dick); granddaughters Misty and Dana; sisters Sarah and Linda; and five nieces and nephews.
05/27/2015

JOE WILSONJoseph John Wilson Jr., 82, of Lexington died Sunday, May 24, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.Born Feb. 25, 1933, in Atlanta, Ga., Joe was the son of Joseph John Wilson and Jamie DeVane Wilson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Stephen Joseph Wilson. He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; by two sons and their wives, John (Janie), and David (Christine), all of Richmond; by grandchildren Kaitlin Phucas (Nick); Abbey Kazior (Mike); Gretchen, Anna, Simon, Jack, Milo, and Noah Wilson; Lindsay and Natalie Walker; by great-grandson Elias Phucas; and by his brother Loren Wilson (Diane) of Macon, Ga., as well by as a host of extended family spread liberally across the Southeast. After marrying Evelyn Jo Ann Mann on Sept. 18, 1954, Joe earned his B.S. in textile chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. Joe was employed by DuPont Company for 13 years, during which time he lived in Wilmington, Del., Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn. In 1968 he took a position with Burlington Industries and worked for them for the next 28 years, living in Monticello, Ark., for four years before moving to Lexington in 1972. Joe was an active member of the Lexington Presbyterian Church, where, in addition to being a member of the choir, he served as a member of the session and held a variety of other church positions throughout the years. Joe's life was filled with art and music. Soon after moving to Lexington, Joe was inspired by the beautiful scenery to begin painting. He continued to paint until no longer able to do so because of health issues. Joe was especially known for his watercolor, oil, and etching landscapes shown in Artists in Cahoots in Lexington, Market Gallery in Roanoke, Co-Art Gallery in Staunton, Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge, Transit Gallery in Charlottesville, Warm Springs Gallery, as well as in many homes and other locations in the area. A musician of multiple talents, Joe sang in various church choirs throughout his adult life, was a member of the Rockbridge Chorus for a number of years, and sang in the local barbershop group. He played a variety of instruments in numerous settings, including the piano at home, the recorder in The Chocolate F, the French horn in the Rockbridge Symphony, and the tuba in the Washington and Lee Wind Ensemble with whom he enjoyed traveling around the world. Joe's passions for art and music have greatly influenced his children and grandchildren, several of whom have followed in his footsteps.A founding member of the Sunrise Rotary Club, Joe served as president at one time and participated in numerous community service activities. He also gave of his time by driving for the Rockbridge Regional Library and the Cancer Society, as well as delivering meals for the local Meals for Shut-Ins.Joe's most lasting legacy rests in his family. He was a devoted husband for 60 years to Jo Ann and an inspiring patriarch to his sons and grandchildren. He will forever be remembered for his awe-inspiring napkin tricks at the dinner table, his enthusiastic singing at family gatherings, his never-ending love of learning, his nature lessons (stargazing, leaf identification, shooting the rapids of Goshen Pass). He possessed a patient and open mind, a constant sense of humor, great wisdom, and unconditional love for his family.A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m., Thursday, May 28, at the Lexington Presbyterian Church with Dr. William Klein officiating. Burial will be private. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Lexington Presbyterian Church, 120 S. Main St., Lexington, or to the Fellowship Fund of Kendal at Lexington, 160 Kendal Drive, Lexington. Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington, VA.
05/27/2015

JOSEPH WHITTEN SR.Well done, good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy lord… Matthew 25:23On Thursday, May 21, 2015, Joseph Allen Whitten Sr., heard and heeded the call of his Lord to come home. Having clearly understood the Christian imperative to serve, Joe had joyfully embraced his role in life. During World War II he served to protect his country while serving in the military, and for 32 years afterward, he served in the Virginia Army National Guard. He served as vice chair of the Buena Vista Democratic Committee and served the community for years as a member and secretary of the local Electoral Board. He served as a faithful member of the Stone Church of the Brethren for over three decades and as a member of numerous civic organizations. With dignity and courtesy he served his many customers at Grand Home Furnishings in Lexington, from which company he was retired.His devotion to others was recently returned: to celebrate his 90th birthday, family members worked to encourage at least 90 persons to send their greetings. The community’s love and respect was obvious when the cards were counted—more than three times the number requested: 286!Joe was the son of the late Henry T. and Ida Musser Whitten. He leaves to celebrate his life and to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife of 41 years, Mary Duff Whitten; children Joseph A. Whitten Jr., and his wife Pam, Barry T. Whitten and his wife Pam, and Lisa Funkhouser and her husband Carlton; grandchildren Bill Whitten and his wife Stephanie, Seth and Highland Whitten, and John Funkhouser and his wife Carolyn; great-grandchildren Kellan Whitten and Blake and Maddie Funkhouser; sisters Rebecca Falls and Ella Sisler; brothers-in-law William and his wife Tina, Robert, Richard, and Walter Duff; sisters-in-law Dorothy Chittum, Betty O’Connell, Blanche Sorrels and her husband Lewis, Annie Duff, Margaret Wilmer, and Martha Page and her husband Charlie; and a number of nieces and nephews.Family and friends gathered Monday evening, May 25, at the Stone Church of the Brethren for a time of remembrance and fellowship. Bolling Grose & Lotts Funeral Service made the arrangements for the service held Tuesday, May 26, at the Stone Church of the Brethren where the Reverends Russ Barb and David Bain officiated.Those wishing to make a charitable gift in Joe’s memory may consider a donation to either the Stone Church of the Brethren or the Buena Vista Rescue Squad, both of which organizations, like Joe, also serve others.May this former servant of God take joy in his newly-found relationship:Thou art no more a servant, but a son; andif a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:7
05/27/2015

MARY WILLIAMSONMary Coates Williamson, 93, died Tuesday, May 19, 2015. She was a retired housewife who had brief careers as an occupational therapist in El Paso, Texas, and Rockbridge County Extension agent after World War II.She was the daughter of the late Robert and Earle Smith Coates of Banco. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Berea College (Kentucky) and was trained in occupational therapy at Richmond Polytechnic Institute. She was a member of Manly Memorial Baptist Church, and participated in choir, Women’s Missionary Union and church mission trips.Mary Williamson married Russell Williamson on Dec. 31, 1944, in Berea College’s chapel. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Russell D. Williamson, her oldest son, Robert Williamson, and her sister, Winifred Coates Nichols.She is survived by her eldest son’s wife, Babette of Roanoke, Ind.; son Patrick Williamson and wife Carla of Stephens City; son Roger Williamson and wife Patsy of Clinton, N.C.; daughter Karen Williamson and husband Dennis Michiel of Hagerstown, Md.; daughter Elizabeth Leskovec and husband William of Winchester; son Kevin Williamson and wife Tamela of Richmond; sister Jane Coates Volchansky of Madison; brother Sidney Coates of Banco; 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.At her request, there are no planned visitation, funeral or interment services and she donated her body for anatomical research.Memorial contributions may be sent to Manly Memorial Baptist Church, 202 S. Main St., Lexington, VA 24450.
05/27/2015

BONNIE TYREEBonnie O’Connor Tyree, 71, of Buena Vista died Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem. She was born Jan. 16, 1944, in Lexington, a daughter of the late Harold Alexander “Jack” O’Connor and June Carter O’Connor. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Mosby Tyree. Surviving are two sons, Alan Ray Tyree and Brian Edward Tyree; and one granddaughter, Autumn; one sister, Barbara Tyree; and many other loving relatives and friends. An entombment took place Friday, May 22, at the Green Hill Mausoleum conducted by Pastor Tony Nix. Memorial contributions can be made in loving memory of Bonnie to Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding, P.O. Box 979, Lexington, VA 24450. Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.
05/27/2015

RENA ADAMSRena A. Adams, age 78, of Freedom Pointe in The Villages, Fla., died suddenly and peacefully in Bethesda, Md., on May 10, 2015. Born in Rochester, N.Y., on Aug. 17, 1936, she was a 1954 graduate of Spencerport High School in Spencerport, N.Y. Rena married her high school sweetheart, Jack Adams, in 1954 and they recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Pam Smith of New Jersey; her son, Mark Adams of Washington, D.C.; two granddaughters, Chelsea Smith of Delaware and Colby Smith of California; sons-in-law Marshall Smith of New Jersey and David Mitchell of Washington, D.C.; and her faithful canine friend, Zorro. A celebration of her life will be held on June 26, at 11 a.m. in the Town Center Ballroom at Freedom Pointe. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made at sozokids.org or hsspca.org.
05/27/2015


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