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Obituaries

Janet M. Searcy - Janet Mae (Brown) Searcy, 71, of Waynesboro, passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Augusta Health in Fishersville. - She was born on November 11, 1945, a daughter of the late James Homer and Evelyn Kathleen (Bowen) Brown. - In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Donnie Brown. - Janet formerly worked at Kroger, where she worked in the produce and floral departments. She was a member of Victory Baptist Church in Buena Vista and was a member of the Moose Lodge. She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was a very loving and giving person who always put the needs of others above her own.  She will be greatly missed by all. - Survivors include her husband, Doug Searcy of Waynesboro; a son, William Joseph Brown (Michelle) of Alaska; three daughters, Veronica Sue Lenherr (Michael) of Palmyra and Tellie Michelle Jones of Malden, Massachusetts, and Jennifer Leigh Barbour and fiance, Clayton of Charlottesville; eleven grandchildren, Michaela, Will, Shane (Taylor), Johnielle (Greg), Cooper, Austin, Rose, Rebecca, Korin, Camron, Brandy; three great-grandchildren, Shaylee, Charlie, Ashby; two brothers, Jack Brown and Bill Brown (Margie); a special friend, Jenny Miller; and a number of other extended family members and friends. - A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm, Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Wesley's Chapel United Methodist Church, 1794 Rolling Road South, Scottsville, VA 24590. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. - The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Thacker Brothers Funeral Home, 650 Valley Street, Scottsville, VA 24590. - Family and friends may share memories and photos at www.thackerbrothers.com.Obituaries
03/22/2017

SALLY FARRIS - Sally Mae Hostetter Farris, 55, of Craigsville, Virginia died Monday, March 13, 2017 at Augusta Health. - She was born September 27, 1961 in Rockbridge County, the daughter of the late John William Hostetter, Sr. and Dolly Lizzie Campbell Smith. - Sally was employed as a custodian for the State Highway Department. - She was a loving mother and grandmother, who enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She always spoke the truth, and like to party when she could. - Sally is survived by her husband, Blaine Kennan Farris of Crozet, Virginia: children, James Burley of Rocky Mount, Nicole Acord and husband Joseph of Nelson County; grandchildren: Cameron Acord, Abigail Burley, Hannah Burley, Dakota Burley, LaNora Cote; - brothers: John Hostetter, Mark Hostetter, John Wayne Hostetter, Earl Reid, Billy Hostetter, Jessie Hostetter, Frankie Vest, Shawn Hostetter; sisters: Angela Smith, Natasha Simmons, Barbie Hostetter; nieces and nephews: Mary, Josh, Tiffany, and Uriel Smith, and Danielle Wright. - Sally was preceded in death by her brothers Everette and Bobby Smith. - A graveside service will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017 at Craigsville Community Cemetery. - The family will receive friends one hour before the service at Craigsville Funeral Home. - Arrangements are being handled by Craigsville Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.craigsvillefuneralhome.com.Obituaries
03/22/2017

JESSIE KENNEDY - Jessie Newbold Kennedy, age 94, died Dec. 18, 2016, at her home on NewKen Brae Lane in Glasgow. - A memorial service will be held at the Falling Spring Presbyterian Church on April 1, 2017, at 2 p.m. The family invites the community to join them in remembering Jessie Kennedy. -  In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Falling Spring Presbyterian Church or Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.).Obituaries
03/22/2017

GERTRUDE NEFF - Gertrude Wright Wells Neff passed away peacefully in her sleep with her daughters by her side at her home in Lexington on March 15, 2017. She went home to be with her heavenly Lord and as she would say, “Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:8. - Born in Lexington on Oct. 1, 1922, she was the daughter of Gertrude Thornhill Wright and William Waldrop Wright. She is preceded in death by her husband, First Lt. William Edwin Wells, B-17 pilot in the 398th Division of the 8th Air Force, killed in action in the service of our country over Derben, Germany, in 1945. - She attended Longwood Women's College and after WWII worked at both the athletic department and alumni office at Washington and Lee University. Later, she was the administrative assistant at the Sigma Nu Fraternity National Headquarters. From the mid 1960s until very recently, she successfully oversaw and managed her rental properties in Lexington and Rockbridge County. - In the early 1980s, Gertrude was a founding member of St. Paul's Anglican Church, along with Bill and Lois Crites. - She was a gifted painter and a knowledgeable local history buff, with a deep love of nature and horses and a variety of pets, including her favorites, West Highland terriers. One of the great joys in her life, in the early 90s was finding her husband's WWII 398th Bomb Group Association. Over the years, she enjoyed traveling with her daughters to many reunions, which were held yearly, in different states, across the Country as well as Nuthampstead, England and Normandy, France, for the D-Day celebration in June of 2004. - Surviving her are her daughters, Trudie Wells Kirkland, and her husband Hal of Lake Alfred, Fla., and Karen Anne Neff, and her husband Frank Evola of Collierstown. - The family would like to thank her caregivers: Melissa, Helen, Candice, Carrie, Debbie and Nancy and Nurse Carol for their devotion, dedication, love and affection. - A memorial service was held Monday, March 20, at the St. Paul's Anglican Church with the Rev. Alex L. Darby III, priest-in-charge, officiating. A private graveside service at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery was held prior to the memorial service. - In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association at www.398th.org or to St. Paul's Anglican Church-Outreach, P.O. Box 1273, Lexington, VA 24450, or the Rockbridge Area SPCA, P.O. Box 528, Lexington, VA. - Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.Obituaries
03/22/2017

AUDREY SALB - Audrey Krudener Salb, 94, of Lexington passed away Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at her home. - She was born Aug. 13, 1922, in Chicago, a daughter of the late Robert Ernest Krudener and Ruth Heck Krudener. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas John Salb, her sister, Doris Eliza Krudener, and her brother, Robert Krudener. - Mrs. Salb was a member of the Saint Patrick's Catholic Church. - Surviving are her three sons, Thomas Jeffery Salb, John Scott Salb, and R. Chris Salb; six grandchildren, and three great- grandchildren. - Audrey will be remembered as a model of grace, class, charm, wit, elegance, enthusiasm and humor. Many were blessed to have received notes and letters from her and were touched by her eloquence and whimsical style. She was a grand hostess, and could converse with anyone on so many subjects. She loved to travel, spend time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and carried on a lively correspondence with so many dear friends both by her wonderful letters and via her “infernal machine” (with which she had a love-hate relationship!). - She was a Grand Lady (with a capital “L”). Audrey had a marvelous sense of “style” which could be seen in her home, her attire and the special time she took to dress up even a small gift with an extra flourish. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. - Donations may be made to the Rockbridge Area Hospice (315 Myers St., Lexington, VA 24450) in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.Obituaries
03/22/2017

BILL WATKINS - William Woodrow Bill Watkins, 91, of Natural Bridge Station died on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital after a lengthy illness. His daughter was at his side. - He was born on April 5, 1925, in Greenlee, a son of the late Terry Simon Watkins and Cora Parker Watkins. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Dorothy Teaford Watkins, whom he met at Forest Grove Baptist Church near Eagle Rock; a brother, Gilbert Simon Watkins, and a sister, Emma Gladys Watkins Lynn. He was also preceded in death by his beloved dog, Colfax. - He is survived by his daughter Angela Watkins; a sister-in-law, Hattie Rogers; special friends Franklin Rhodes, Willie Mack Campbell, wife Karen Campbell; and cousins of all degrees, known and unknown. - Mr. Watkins grew up on a farm and graduated from Natural Bridge High School in 1943. A man gifted in verbal ability, he had a flair for extemporaneous rhyming. He skipped the second grade, and won the seventh grade spelling bee, after spelling down his first cousin. He won on the word French; she spelled it french. In later years, he coached his daughter who became the first student from her school and her part of Rockbridge County to go to the National Spelling Bee. - After high school, Mr. Watkins was drafted into the United States Army and served in the 86th and 96th Infantry Divisions in the Asiatic Pacific. He was also at the Cooks and Bakers School, and served with the 311th Medical Battalion. He was awarded three medals: Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. - After being discharged, Mr. Watkins returned home to farming, and to work for 20 years at James-Lees Carpets in Glasgow. However, he decided he wanted to move on with his life, so in 1967 he went to work for Durham Life Insurance Company as a sales agent. He also worked there for 20 years, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting people, and giving them excellent customer service. He took his daughter to work with him to his office in Buena Vista and on the debit before National Take Your Daughters To Work Day became fashionable. He won many trips and made the Big D Millionaires Club. - After retirement from Durham Life in 1987, Mr. Watkins worked for several years taking tickets at Natural Bridge and as a door greeter at the Lexington-Rockbridge County Walmart. - A hale and hearty man until some time before his death, he had a full head of hair, much of it still dark, and did not look his age. Mr. Watkins enjoyed hiking and mountain-climbing until he was 81 years old. He especially loved Crabtree Falls in Nelson County, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Peaks of Otter, and Western North Carolina. He was also musically inclined: he was a good singer and harmonica player and loved bluegrass music, especially that of Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff. - Life is capricious: Mr. Watkins kicked the Grim Reaper in the gluteus maximus several times: when he almost drowned in the Army basic training at 19, and was artificially resuscitated; in 1990, when he was run over by an angry steer, and at the age of 76, when he fell asleep under the steering wheel of his car, flipped it over, and came out with only a few cuts and scrapes. But who always wins in the end? Science is doing resurrection biology with cells from the extinct passenger pigeon; there are cloning, gene-editing, and the HeLa cells, all hinting at a sort of immortality, but religion has taught resurrection and immortality for centuries so we shall have to wait and see who is right. - A member of the Natural Bridge Baptist Church, Mr. Watkins was a good man who set a fine moral example for his daughter and those around him. He listened to her, encouraged her, and took up for her. In the last hours before his death, he managed to get out the words, You take such good care of me. I'm proud of you. She will greatly miss him, and time will never heal this tragic loss. - A memorial service will be conducted 11 a.m. Friday, March 24, at the Harrison Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. W. David Bain and Pastor Derryl LaFave officiating. There will be no visitation at the funeral home. - In lieu of flowers, remember that Bill followed the teachings of his parents, and give your support to Angela in this difficult time. - Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.Obituaries
03/22/2017


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