Miscellaneous Bland County, Virginia Obituaries

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Myrtle Dorothy Lundy 
Myrtle Dorothy Lundy, 83, of Bastian, died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1997, in the Wythe County Community Hospital. 
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. at the New Hope Union Church in Suiter with the Evangelist Edmond Paul Estep and Rev. Alan Ashworth officiating. Interment followed in the Suiter Cemetery. 
She was the widow of James Edward Lundy, and a daughter of the late Monroe and Mary Ellen Parks. She was a member of the New Hope Union Church in Suiter. 
She is survived by two sisters and brother-in-law, Virginia Vaught Hall of Huntington, W.Va., and Mamie and Paul Estep of New Castle, Del.; one brother, Bill Parks of Bastian; and several nieces and nephews. 
The family suggest that those who prefer may make memorial donations to the Bland County Rescue Squad or the New Hope Union Church. 
The Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements. 

Alma Blanche Billips Gross 
Alma Blanche Billips Gross, 93, of Route 1, Bastian, died Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1997, in Colfax, N.C. 
Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Pine Grove Methodist Church with the Rev. Allen Ashworth and the Rev. Ralph Kidd officiating. Interment followed in the Gross Family Cemetery. 
Born in Tazewell County, she was a daughter of the late William F. and Lovnenia Compton Billips and was a member of the Pine Grove Methodist Church. She graduated from Radford College, and was a school teacher in Bland County. 
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Harvey Gross; two sisters, Nora B. Ramsey and Ethel Billips and a brother, Alonzo Billips. 
Survivors include five sons and daughters-in-law, Donald Gross, Robert and Susie Gross, all of Bastian, William "Bill" and Toby Gross of Franklin, Eugene and Vickie Gross of Princeton, W.Va., and Jimmy and Sarah Gross of Colfax, N.C.; two sisters; Bertha Billips Wiseman, and Ruby Billips Yates; two brothers, Woodrow Billips, and Gene Billips; and 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. 
Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements. 

Carl W. Scott Jr. 
Carl W. Scott Jr., 62, of Goochland, died Saturday, Feb. 15, 1997. 
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Byrd Presbyterian Church in Goochland. Burial followed in the church cemetery. 
He is a retired lieutenant from the Virginia Department of Corrections. 
He is survived by his wife, Betty Scott, two sons and daughters-in-law, Jerry and Glenda Scott, and Steve and Debbie Scott, all of Bland; two stepsons and daughters-in-law, Tony and Amy Gordon, and Ricky and Geneva Gordon, all of Goochland; two sisters, Barbara Kidd of Richmond, and Carolyn Mustard of Mechanicsburg; three grandchildren, Todd, Amanda, and Stefany; and three step-grandchildren, Amber, Todd and Becky Simmons. 
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Byrd Presbyterian Church, the Goochland County Volunteer Rescue Squad No. 5, or the Bland Rescue Squad. 
Bennett Funeral Home in Richmond was in charge of the arrangements. 

Ella Jane Williams Semones 
Ella Jane Williams Semones, 95, of Wytheville, died Friday, Feb. 14, 1997, in Wytheville. 
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. at the Barnett Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Oscar "Sonny" Ayers officiating. Interment followed in the West End Cemetery. 
She was born in Nebo, a daughter of the late Charles Stuart and Octavia Cassell Williams. She was a member of the Wytheville Church of God of Prophecy. 
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Guy Semones; and a son, Jack W. Semones. 
Survivors include two sons and three daughters-in-law, Jason and Louise Semones of Etowah, N.C., Jerry and Delores Semones of Jarratt, and Ramona Alderman Semones of Atlanta, Ga.; nine grandchildren, Steven Semones, Stanford Semones, Katrina Semones, Angela Adams, Sarah Semones, Mary Pratt, David G. Semones, Julie Semones, and Brent Semones; four great-grandchildren, Logan Dean Adams, John David Semones, Mary Katherine Pratt, and Katherine Elizabeth Semones; one sister, Blanche W. Daugherty of Chilhowie; and several nieces and nephews. 
Barnett Funeral Home in Wytheville was in charge of the arrangements. 

Emory Lane Talbert 
Emory Lane Talbert, 76, of Mechanicsburg, died Monday, Feb. 17, 1997, in St. Lukes Hospital, Bluefield, W.Va. 
Funeral services were held Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 2:30 p.m. at the A. Vest & Sons Funeral Home in White Gate with the Rev. Jerry Long, Rev. DeWayne Martin, and Rev. Kenneth Alley officiating. Burial in the Mechanicsburg Cemetery, Mechanicsburg. 
He was born Dec. 30, 1920, at White Gate, a son of the late Ribble Ellic and Elizabeth Ann Lane Talbert. 
He is survived by his wife, Loraine Chewning Talbert of Mechanicsburg; one son and daughter-in-law, Charles and Janet Talbert of Craigsville; one brother, Paris W. Talbert Sr. of White Gate; five sisters, Martha Sheppard of Dublin, Mary Sink, Annie Sink, Edith Nicewander, and Frances Stevens, all of White Gate; a special sister-in-law, Nellie Lou Pruett of Mechanicsburg; four grandchildren, Tonya Talbert, Melanie McGhee, Travis Talbert, and Todd Talbert; and two step-grandchildren, Ginger McClain, and Timmy Kehrer. 
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Mechanicsburg Cemetery Fund or the Bland Rescue Squad. 
A. Vest & Sons Funeral Home in White Gate was in charge of the arrangements.

Connie Lee Brackens 
Connie Lee Brackens, 40, of Route 4, Wytheville, died Friday, Feb. 21, 1997, in the Pulaski Community Hospital. 
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. at the Barnett Funeral Chapel in Wytheville with Pastor Joe Shumate officiating. Interment followed in the West End Cemetery. 
She was preceded in death by a sister, Alice Gail Brackens Bascope. 
Survivors include her parents, Herman W. Sr. and Mary Brackens of Wytheville; three brothers and sisters-in-law, Herman W. Jr. and Eileen Brackens of Alexandria, George "Danny" and Sarah Brackens of Bland, and Dale and Donna Brackens of Wytheville; four sisters and brothers-in-law, Faye and Harvey Ryder of Culpeper, Susan and William Runaldue of Wytheville, Jane Ball of Daytona, Fla., Carol and Sammy Houchins of Fort Chiswell, and Hugo Bascope of Wytheville; several nieces and nephews, William Jackson of Culpeper, Toni Upton of Brightwood, Terri Smoot of Ruckersville, Ginger Sue Houchins of Fort Chiswell, Jennifer Ball of Daytona, Fla., Mary Alice B. Turpin of Wytheville, Tammy Sandusky of Daytona, Fla., Mark Bascope of Wytheville, Mathew Brackens, Robert Brackens, both of Alexandria, Kevin Brackens of Arlington, and Brian Ball of Daytona, Fla.; and five great-nieces and nephews and five step-nieces and nephews. 
Barnett Funeral Home in Wytheville was in charge of the arrangements. 

Ruth M. McPherson 
Ruth M. McPherson, 90, of Johnson City, Tenn., died Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1997, at Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, Tenn. 
She was a Bland County native and had lived in Johnson City, Tenn., most of her life. She was a daughter of the late Thomas Hoge and Victoria Wolford McNiel. She received her bachelor of science and master's degrees at East Tennessee State Teachers College. She was a retired schoolteacher, having taught chemistry and physics at Science Hill High School. She was member of the Johnson City Monday Club, the Tennessee Association of Retired Teachers and Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a member of First Christian Church, where she was a member of the Loyal Daughters Sunday School Class. 
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Elliot McPherson, in 1963; and one brother. 
Survivors include one son, James Thomas "J.T" McPherson of Johnson City, Tenn.; six grandchildren, Tom McPherson, Lucy Crain, both of Johnson City, Tenn., Mary Nell McPherson of Charlotte, N.C., Bill McPherson of Kodak, Tenn., Joe McPherson, and Beth McPherson, both of Jonesborough, Tenn.; and seven great-grandchildren, and two nephews. 

William David Tolbert Sr. 
William David Tolbert Sr., 66, of Hedgefield Apartments, Wytheville, died Sunday, Feb. 23, 1997, in the Eldercare Nursing Home in Farmville. 
Graveside services and interment were held Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. at the Bland Cemetery with Pastor Larry Ramey officiating. 
He was born in Bland County, a son of the late Clarence William and Kim Havens Tolbert. 
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Penny Diane Abshire. 
Survivors include two daughters, Brenda Sue Pickett of Waynesboro, and Gail Louise Adcock of Richmond; five sons, William David Tolbert Jr. of Baltimore, Md., Clarence Cody Tolbert, John Mark Tolbert, Frankie Lee Tolbert, all of Bruckville, and Donald Earl Tolbert of Powhatan; three sisters, Peggy Ann Hall of Bastian, Nellie Mae Atwell of Rocky Gap, and Betty Joyce Edwards of Baltimore, Md.; three brothers, Willie Scott Tolbert of Bland, Ronnie Lee Tolbert of Bedford, and Billie Ray Tolbert of Baltimore, Md.; and 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 
Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements. 

Irvin E. Blankenship 
Irvin E. Blankenship, 81, of Wytheville, died Sunday, Feb. 23, 1997, in the Birdmont Health Care Center. 
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. at the Newberry Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Dr. Michael Wingard and the Rev. Joe Taylor officiating. Interment followed in the Mechanicsburg Cemetery with graveside military rites conducted by the American Legion Post No. 9. 
He was born in Bland County, a son of the late Vaden and Annie Thomas Blankenship. He was a member of the Wytheville Presbyterian Church, a U.S. Army veteran of Word War II, where he served as Staff Sgt. with Ordnance Company in Germany and France, and was a member of the American Legion Post No. 9. He was a retired employee of the General Motors Corporation with 24 years of service. 
He was preceded in death by a brother, Harold T. Blankenship. 
Survivors include his wife, June Durham Blankenship of the home; two stepdaughters and sons-in-law, Judy Harman and J.W. Cassell of Bland, and Linda Harman and John Newberry of Wytheville; five step-granddaughters, one step-grandson, five step-great-grandchildren; a brother, Edwin F. Blankenship of Roanoke; a special aunt, Lula Mitchell Blankenship of Bland; a special cousin, Genevieve and Wayne Richardson of Bland; and several nieces and nephews. 
Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements. 

Curtis Ray Tibbs 
Curtis Ray Tibbs, 82, of Route 2, Rural Retreat, (the Groseclose Community) died Tuesday, March 11, 1997, at his residence. 
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 13, at the Lindsey Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. William Watson Sr. and the Rev. Thomas Bunting officiating. Interment will follow in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Groseclose. 
He was a retired employee of the General Shale Corporation and a member of the Groseclose First Church of God. 
He was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Lillian Smith Tibbs; and one son, David Lee Tibbs. 
Survivors include three daughters, Ila Jean Pickle of Rural Retreat, Linda Armstrong of Marion, and Lori Hayes of Crockett; two sons, Danny Tibbs of Rocky Gap, and Curtis Tibbs of Atkins; three sisters, Ruth Tibbs of Marion, Mary Faine of Damascus, and Dora Lee Woods of Atkins; two brothers, James Armstong of Atkins, and Claude Tibbs of Marion; and eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, 12 step-grandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. 
The family requests that those who prefer, may make memorials to the Hospice of America (the Wythe County Chapter). 
Lindsey Funeral Home in Rural Retreat is in charge of the arrangements. 

Roy Lee Saunders 
Roy Lee Saunders, 69, of Route 2, Bland, died Wednesday, March 12, 1997, in the Wythe County Community Hospital. 
Funeral services were held Friday, March 14, at 11 a.m. at the Church of God in Bastian with the Rev. Sylvia Hill officiating. Interment followed in the Rose Lawn Cemetery in Princeton, W.Va. 
He was born in Giles County, a son of the late Roy Lee and Myrtle French Saunders. 
He was preceded in death by a brother, Riley Saunders. 
Survivors include his wife, Alice C. Saunders of Crandon; a daughter and son-in-law, Belinda and Isaac Hockett of Bland; two sons and daughters-in-law, Royce and Kelley Saunders of Floyd County, and Dean and Linda Saunders of Bedford; a brother, Monroe Saunders of Giles County; four grandchildren, and eight step-grandchildren. 
The family suggests that those who prefer may make memorials to the Bland County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 75, Bastian, Va. 24314. 
Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements. 

Shelby Anne Vineyard and Paige Anne Vineyard 
Shelby Anne and Paige Anne Vineyard, infant daughters of Jeffrey Lee and Gail Geralyn Di Matteo Vineyard of Rural Retreat, died Thursday, March 13, 1997, in the Wythe County Community Hospital. 
Private graveside services were held. 
Survivors other than parents include maternal grandparents, Victor Anthony and Wyneth Jean Di Matteo of New Jersey; paternal grandparents, Brad and Ladonna Vineyard of Rocky Gap; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. 
Barnett Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Alleta May Durham Blankenship 
Alleta May Durham Blankenship, 68, of Crandon in Bland County died Sunday, March 30, 1997, in the Roanoke Memorial Hospital. 
Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 2, at 2 p.m. at the A. Vest & Sons Funeral Home Chapel, White Gate with the Rev. Frank Clifton and Rev. J.D. Clark officiating. Burial was in the Mechanicsburg Cemetery, Mechanicsburg. 
She was born June 24, 1928, in Bland County, a daughter of the late John Harvey and Roxie Ann Vencil Durham. She was a member of Byrns Chapel Methodist Church and the Bland County VFW Auxiliary Post No. 7969. 
She is survived by her husband, Raymond Blankenship of Crandon; one son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Carol Blankenship of Crandon; one daughter and son-in-law, Vickie and Tommy Kitts of Crandon; three brothers, Harvey Durham of Mechanicsburg, Paul Durham of Bluefield, and John Henry "Buddy" Durham of Pulaski; six sisters, Edith Melvin, Frankie Strock, both of Mechanicsburg, June Blankenship of Wytheville, Jerri Baisden of Princeton, W.Va., Yvonne Bowman of Bluefield, W.Va., and Evelyn Ballard of Radford; and two grandchildren, Brooke Kitts and Angela Blankenship. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bland County Rescue Squad or Byrns Chapel Methodist Church. 
A. Vest & Sons Funeral Home in White Gate was in charge of the arrangements. 

Leah Carol B. Counts 
Leah Carol Bigglestone Counts, 42, of Wytheville, died Thursday, March 27, 1997. 
Celebration of life funeral services were held Saturday, March 29, at 3 p.m. at the Stage Road Chapel in Wytheville with lay speaker, Alan Walters, the Rev. Dr. Charles Burnett and Pastor Greg Dill officiating. Interment followed in the West End Cemetery. 
She was a member of the Stage Road Chapel and served with the St. Paul Pre-school for 10 years between 1986 and 1996 and director for six years. 
She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Markley Grady Bigglestone; and mother-in-law, June Hicks Counts. 
Survivors include her husband, Dennis Reed Counts Jr. of the home; her children, Mary Markley Counts, 15, Molly Preston Counts, 13, and William "Willy" Halsey Counts, 10, all of the home; her father and stepmother, William Edward and Kay W. Bigglestone of Tucson, Ariz.; a brother, Mark E. Bigglestone of Tucson, Ariz.; her father-in-law, Dennis Reed Counts Sr. of Wytheville; and several nieces and nephews. 
Leah requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the St. Paul Pre-school, Stage Road Chapel, or the George Wythe Mighty Maroon Marching Band. 
Barnett Funeral Home in Wytheville was in charge of the arrangements.

Virginia Alice Vandell 
Virginia Alice "Sis" Vandell, 78, of Bastian, formerly of Hemphill, W.Va., died Monday, March 31, 1997, at the residence of Janice and Bill Laney. 
Funeral services were held Wednesday, April 2, at 2 p.m. at the Newberry Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Mike Bradshaw officiating. Interment followed in the Rose Hill Cemetery. 
She was born in Hemphill, W.Va., a daughter of the late Thomas and Margaret Lawless Bromfield and was active in the First Church of God on Stewart Street in Welch from many years. 
She was preceded in death by a brother, Tom Bromfield. 
Survivors include her husband, James Lacy "Lace" Vandell of the home; two daughters and sons-in-law, Janice and Bill Laney of Bastian, and Trula and David Gray of Buies Creek, N.C.; three sons and daughters-in-law, Tom and Audrey Vandell of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Ron and Emma Lou Vandell of Summerville, S.C., and John Vandell of Bastian; a sister, Tootsie Anderson of Virginia Beach; a brother, Donnie Bromfield of Portland, Ore.; and nine grandchildren. 
Newberry Funeral Home in Bland was in charge of the arrangements.

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