May 2014

  1. Obituary-Mary Louise Pair Whiteside Edwards

    Mary Louise Pair Whiteside Edwards, age 82, of Emporia, Va., died Sunday May 25, 2014.She is survived by 1-daughter; Linda Colleen Whiteside, Emporia; 2-sons; Robert Edward Whiteside of Zebulon, N. C. and Benjamin Whiteside of Tampa, Fla and a brother, R. Henry Pair. of Emporia.  A memorial service will be held, Thursday, May 29, 2014 ,2:00 P. M.,  at the Calvary Chapel, North Main St. Emporia, Va.  Condolences may be sent to www.echolsfuneralhome. com

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  2. Obituary-Bernadine Bowden Brookover

    Bernadine Bowden Brookover, age 98, of Tarboro, NC died peacefully on Friday May 23, 2014.

    She was born on July 12, 1915 in Zanesville, OH to Mary and Howard Bowden. She was preceded in death by three sisters and two brothers.

    Bernadine is survived by three daughters, Marcylyn Kleinberg (Michael) of Sequim, WA; Marcia Headley (Fred) of Emporia, VA; and Kay Shew (Richard) of Pullman, WA; six grandsons, one granddaughter and nine great-grandchildren.

    She graduated from Adamsville High School in Adamsville, OH where she was active in 4-H and played women’s basketball. She was married for 53 years to Charles Milton Brookover and lived in Wintersville, OH and retired to Pinellas Park, FL. Charles proceeded her in death in 1990.

    As a homemaker, Bernadine enjoyed traveling, reading, gardening and playing cards. She was active in Wintersville United Methodist Church and served as a 4-H leader.

    A memorial service was held on May 25th at The Fountains at the Albemarle in Tarboro, NC. Memorial contributions may be made to Monumental UMC, 300 Southampton Street, Emporia, VA 23847.

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  3. Obituary-Margaret Fulcher Grimes

    Mrs. Margaret Fulcher Grimes, age 87, died May 24, 2014.  She was the widow of William Grimes.  Mrs. Grimes was a drawend for a Textile Co. Visitation will be held 1-hour prior to a 11:00 A. M. funeral service at St. John's Lutheran Church, Emporia, Va, Wednesday, May 28, with interment to follow in the church cemetery.
    Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  4. Retired General Delivers Keynote at Memorial Day Celebration

    Brigadier General (ret.) David L. Johnson served for 30 years as a United States Air Force Officer.  General Johnson has 78 combat sorties to his credit.  He commanded airdrop/airland operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina (93-95) and was the Deputy Joint Task Force Commander for Operation Support Hope in Central East Africa (Rwanda) in 1995. He commanded the 43rd Airlift Wing and Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville North Carolina 1997-1999.  He served his last operational assignment as the Vice Commander of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida.  Because of his diverse operational credentials, General Johnson was selected to serve as the Air Force Director of Weather and he retired from that position in 2004. 

    After forming and operating a senior executive consulting company General Johnson was asked to apply for and then served as the Director of the National Weather Service 2004 from 2004, through Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Under his leadership, the National Weather Service  exceeded the Government Performance and Results Act standards for tornado accuracy and lead-time during the record setting 2004 tornado season.  He led the fielding and achieved the Initial Operating Capability for America’s Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific and Atlantic/Caribbean and acquired operational capability for the 35th and 36 largest supercomputers in the world.  General Johnson placed a NOAA weather radio in every public school in America in a massive joint initiative with the Department of Homeland Security.

    He retired to Lake Gaston in 2007 with his wife, Elizabeth.

    His moving remarks reminded all of us in attendance what the real meaning of Memorial Day is.  General Johnson kindly provided an excerpt of his speech, which I am publishing below:

    On Memorial Day we remember fallen heroes and pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again.   It’s a day of thanksgiving for their service and sacrifice, a day to remember America and soldiers who now rest.   It’s a day we celebrate -- it’s a day to be with the family and to remember.   

    It is not “Veteran’s Day" when we appreciate all veterans – living and deceased.  And, it is not “JUST A DAY OFF”……

    It is all about remembering Airmen, Marines, Soldiers, and Navy and Coast Guard Sailors who have died after serving their country.  It is about us – being worthy heirsof their sacrifice.

    I know this morning, that across the country -- children and their parents will watch or participate in local town Memorial Day parades.  I can see the young ones sitting on the sidewalks and waving flags as the decorated bicycles of young people pass – as the high school band goes by. I can see people who were seated – RISE and stand and place a hand over their heart in honor as the flag of our nation passes by.  I can almost smell the cookout and see people enjoying a day on the lake. Memorial Day is a good time to remember and it is a good day to be with the family at the cookout and to remember the sacrifices of those who died after protecting us.

    Sgt Willie McLawhorn was not at the cookout – and he won’t be on the lake later today.  He made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan just before Christmas 2010.  He was there to train the Afghan Army – teach them how to operate a checkpoint when suicide bombers turned the building in which he was working -- into a crater in the earth.  They used a minivan packed with explosives.  Willie was a great soldier.  He had re-upped while serving in Iraq – agreeing to another 5 years in the dedicated service of his country.  He and everybody knew this was dangerous territory – the homeland of the Taliban

    Ever since the Taliban were supposedly “cleared” from this area in 2001, there had been continuing incidents.  The soldiers (Afghan and US) who were working at the base needed protection.  While Willie was teaching Afghans in the building -- the suicide bombers crashed through the outer checkpoint.   They may have been using Afghan Army Uniforms – a common tactic designed to gain a few seconds of doubt in the guards mind.  The explosion was massive and, it was quick.  Willie gave his life for us – keeping us safe here by fighting evil over there…

    He was young, only 23 years old.  He was one of the Screaming Eagles Finest – one of the Roanoke Valley’s best.  Diane, Willie McLawhorn Sr. still live here.  We honor their son, what he stood for, what he did in his too short life, and we honor his sacrifice. 

    On June 21, 2006, Massachusetts born -- Sgt First Class Jared  Monti  was a leader in a  team that established a small base on a ridge to support a larger Army operation in the valley below. When the larger operation was delayed, Monti's team ran low on provisions.   Unfortunately, the helicopter that brought supplies -- revealed the team's position.

    That evening, our small team was attacked by a group of at least 60.  Our team took cover and returned fire, and Monti radioed for artillery and close air support. Enemy fire killed one of our team outright.   Another soldier, Specialist Brian Bradbury, was severely wounded and was lying out – completely in the open between the enemy and our team's position. The attackers continued to shoot at the wounded man – it was almost like target practice.   When someone called out that he was going to try to rescue Bradbury.   Monti replied, "That’s my guy. I am going to get him."

    Monti made three attempts to reach Bradbury. On his first, he advanced to within three feet of Bradbury before it became so intense that he was forced back by a massive amount of machine-gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

    The response to his second try was similarly intense and he was forced to turn back.  In an act of selfless dedication to Bradbury, as the rest of his patrol provided covering fire, Monti advanced a third time but was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade and died moments later.  For this above and beyond the call action -- Sgt Monti was awarded our Nation’s Highest Award – the MEDAL OF HONOR. 

    Unfortunately the wounded man, Bradbury subsequently died when the cable on the rescue hoist lifting him into the evacuation helicopter broke. The fall also killed a medic who was riding up with him.  What bravery, what selfless action, what sacrifice for brothers in arms – and for us.

    Another Roanoke Valley Veteran, Dallas Jones just passed away last year. 

    He was at Kaneohe Air Field – just on the other side of the island from Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Dallas was awakened by Japanese strafing aircraft. Running to the hanger to discover that several of the planes were already ablaze, Dallas recovered a .50 caliber machine gun from one of the burning aircraft and he and a fellow crew member mounted the machine gun on a piece of pipe. As the next formation of three Japanese bombers flew over the hanger, Dallas began firing on the oncoming planes. Dallas Jones lost 7 fellow Naval comrades at Kaneohe that day.  Dallas went on to serve a full 20 year career in the Navy, then he retired, spent some time in California but he felt the intense call of family and home – he returned to his native Roanoke Valley.   Working locally till he was well into his eighties, Dallas Jones, founded, in 2008 -- the Roanoke Valley Veterans Museum.  It is located,  just down I-95 in Roanoke Rapids, to honor valley veterans and to educate the community about the sacrifices Veterans and their families make.   This Veterans Museum is still going strong today.

    All Veterans that make the ultimate sacrifice love America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for their country. They rejected the all too fashionable skepticism of today.  Those we honor today -- chose to believe and answer the call of duty.

    They personify dedication of the heart and stood for good. 

    Their sacrifice -- the sacrifice of all we honor here today-- is appreciated by us.  We honor them AND THEIR FAMILIES here today, on this special day of remembrance. 

    Our world is safer because of them and what they did.

    And we owe them something.

    We owe them first, a promise: That we remember that peace is fragile and needs constant vigilance. It sometimes needs direct action – like helping a newly emerging army in a country half way around the world from us – like saving a buddy from further harm.  And we owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in this world -- people that have values much different that those we hold dear.  Those enemies may not overfly us on the way to a target – they might not even seem dangerous until we know their true intent.  We know we have challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace -- is by staying strong and staying engaged where our interests lie.

    As President Reagan once said, “If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, (through our strength), demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does.”   That’s the lesson of this century and, I think, it is a great lesson for this day. 

    Those we honor here today-- understood that principle of commitment;  they acted on it and we honor them.

    There have only been two people willing to die for you – one is the American soldier.

    May God bless you, and may you have a day full of meaningful memories of those you know from the Roanoke Valley who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.    Let us also remember, ALL who have died after serving their country honorably and well in the military.

     I just hope we walk worthy in the footsteps they make possible.

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  5. Obituary-CHRISTINE ALLISON ROBERTS

    CHRISTINE ALLISON ROBERTS departed this life on Sunday, May 11, 2014, at the family home on Sussex Drive in Greensville County, Virginia after a lengthy illness. Christine was born on April 12, 1920 to the late Ferdinand Vincent Allison, Sr. and Elizabeth Rae Allison, in the Orion area of Greensville County. She moved to Emporia with her family when she was eight years old.

    Christine received her formal education in the local public schools and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, VA, and a Master's Degree in School Administration and Supervision from Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA.

    Christine was married to the late Willie "Dinks" Roberts. This union was blessed with two sons, Willie Eugene and Alfred Allison. She faithfully cared for her husband during his extended illness, and was a loving and supportive mother to her "boys". She poured into her sons an enduring sense of faith, family, community, purpose and self-worth. In later years, she shared these same values with her grandchildren.

    Christine accepted Christ at an early age and attended the Royal Baptist Church, Emporia, VA. After attending St. Paul's College, she moved her church membership to St. James Episcopal Church where she served faithfully as a choir member and leader of the Episcopal Church Women until her illness.

    Christine devoted over 40 years of dedicated service to Greensville County Public Schools, starting her career in a multi-grade, one-room school house. After many years as a first grade teacher at Greensville County Training School, she finished her career teaching first grade at Emporia Elementary School. She was a caring and nurturing teacher who had a heart and passion for her students who needed her most.

    Christine was also an active member of the community, giving unselfishly of her time to organizations such as the Community Youth Center, American Red Cross, Meherrin River Arts Council, Virginia and Greensville Education Associations, Greensville Teachers Association Federal Credit Union, Greensville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Democratic Party of Virginia, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Christine was a champion of the local civil rights movement and was especially committed to voter registration and voter participation, ensuring that the voices of all citizens of Greensville-Emporia were heard in local, state, and national elections.

    Christine is survived by her two sons and a daughter-in-law, W. Eugene Roberts, and Al and Janet Roberts, all of Emporia, VA; three grandchildren, Ross P. Roberts and his wife Cassandra of High Point, NC, Scott A. Roberts and his wife Jennifer of Suitland, MD, and Lauren Roberts Haire and her husband Bryan of Norcross, GA; and one great-granddaughter, Nia Roberts.

    She is also survived by one sister, Rosie B. Caves of Washington, DC; one sister-in-law, Lovonia E. Allison of Durham, NC; a devoted caregiver, Doreatha Carrington; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

    Funeral Services will be conducted on Saturday May 17, 2014, 11:00 AM at Knox-High Mortuary Chapel, 568 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia.  

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  6. Obituary-Evelyn V. Gerke

    Evelyn V. Gerke, 92, of Fort Wayne, Ind., died May 12, 2014 in Richmond, Va.. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard R. Gerke; her parents, Fred and Frieda Kruse; and a sister, Marjory Schwartz. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Gerke Povar and her husband, Tedd; grandson, Matthew Johnson and significant other, Celinda Gardner, of Atlanta, Ga.; grandson, Philip Johnson and wife, Lisa, of Mooseheart, Illinois; granddaughter, Laura Lawal and her husband, Akins, of Alexandria, Va.; four great-grandchildren, Kadin and Haley Johnson, Isaiah and Aderemi Lawal; brother-in-law, Mel Schwartz; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was an executive secretary for 27 years and retired in 1978. A war bride, she was married in 1943 in Walla Walla, Wash. Evelyn was a charter member of Zion Girls club, a lover of all things chocolate, especially Hershey's chocolate bars, a fast walker at Gayton Terrace, and a good and faithful steward. The family will receive friends at Hockemeyer-Miller Funeral Home, 6131 St. Joe Rd., Fort Wayne, Ind., on Monday, May 19. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 20, at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 1505 Bethany Lane, Fort Wayne, Ind. Burial will be in Concordia Cemetery Gardens, Fort Wayne, Ind. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind., St. John Lutheran Church, Emporia, Va., or Lutheran Social Services of Indiana, Fort Wayne, Ind.

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  7. Obituary-Jennifer Harris Haddaway

    Jennifer Harris Haddaway, 36, of Emporia, passed away Monday, May 12, 2014. She is survived by two sons, Daniel Wayne Haddaway and Aaron Michael Haddaway; her parents, Wayne and Delores Harris; sister, Debbie Whiting; brother, John Whiting and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Grace Community Fellowship Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Grace Community Fellowship Church, 8014 Little Lowground Rd, Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be made atwww.owenfh.com.

     

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  8. Obituary-Eunice E. “Jeanie” Wilson

    Eunice E. “Jeanie” Wilson, 78, of Emporia; widow of Benjamin F. Wilson, Jr., passed away Sunday, May 11, 2014. She is survived by two sons, Charles Wilson and Wayne Wilson and wife, Melanie; daughter, Wanda Wilson and husband, Gene Jordan; five grandchildren, Joshua Wilson, Joseph Wilson, Amanda Stone, Ashley Wilson, Anthony Wilson and Heather Jordan. A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 14 at Greensvile Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to The Caring House, 2625 Pickett Rd, Durham, NC 27705. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  9. Obituary-James Emerson “Gene” Hallingshead, Jr

    James Emerson “Gene” Hallingshead, Jr., 70, of Emporia, passed away Monday, May 5, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Augustine “Tina” Hallingshead; daughter, Dowanna “Dee” Powell; son, Clayton Wayne Hallingshead; three grandchildren, Charles David Martin, Brian Joseph Martin and Emerson Blake Carroll; four great-grandchildren, Harleigh, Aden, Abby and Colton James; brother, Arthur David Hallingshead; two sisters, Sue Eileen Clary and Nancy Ann Hallingshead McKee and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, May 11, 2014 at Grace Community Fellowship Church, 8014 Little Lowground Rd, Emporia, Virginia 23847. The family will receive friends at the family home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the James Hallingshead Cancer Fund, c/o First Citizens Bank, Emporia, Virginia. Online condolences may be made atwww.owenfh.com.

     

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  10. Obituary-Anna Bourdon Cook

    Anna Bourdon Cook, age 24, of DeWitt, Virginia passed away May 5, 2014. She is preceded in death by her step-father, Wade Reese, Sr.; her father, Donald O. Cook; her grandfather, William F. Abernathy, III and her uncle, William F. Abernathy, IV. She is survived by her mother, Laura A. Epps and husband Wayne; her brother, Christopher Cook; her grandmother, Peggy G. Wells and husband Oliver; her significant other, Joseph Richard Calandra, Sr.; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville. Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

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  11. Obituary-Sarah Klugel Temple

    Sarah Klugel Temple, 75, of Emporia passed away on May 3, 2014.  She was predeceased by her parents Harry T. Klugel, Jr. and Mary Alice Johnston Klugel and a sister Sue K. Harrison.  She is survived by her husband Aubrey N. Temple; sons Aubrey “Temp” Temple, Jr. and wife Nancy of Emporia, VA and Thomas “Tom” M.Temple, Sr. of Emporia, VA; grandchildren Starr Temple Nienaber and husband Brent of Denver, CO, Nicholas Evan Temple of Emporia, VA, Thomas Mason Temple, Jr. and wife Amanda of Emporia, VA, and Jonathan Eli Temple of Emporia, VA; great-grandchildren Cassidy Raine Gordon of Denver, CO, Nicholas Evan Temple, II of Emporia, VA, and Gracey Elizabeth Temple of Emporia, VA; brother Harry T. Klugel, III of Gaithersburg, MD; sister Kristina K. Dickens and husband Joe of Skippers, VA; brother-in-law Claude Harrison of Richmond, VA; and numerous nieces and nephews.  A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, 2:00pm at Calvary Baptist Church.  The family will receive friends following the memorial service.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  12. Dick Collins Retires from Boy Scouts of America

    Newport News, VA (April 16, 2014) – Dick Collins, Scout Executive and Chief Executive Officer for the Boy Scouts of America, Colonial Virginia Council, announced his retirement after 33 years serving as a professional with the Boy Scouts of America.  For 23 of those years Collins provided leadership to the Scouting program in the Hampton Roads community.  Collins, a native of Bristol, Tennessee, is retiring to accept a new position with the Boys and Girls Club of the Mountain Empire, located in his home town. 

    Collins was honored April 16th at a reception attended by Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Irving, Texas.  At the reception it was announced the Colonial Virginia Council would establish the Dick Collins Camp Scholarship Fund to commemorate the legacy left by his leadership.  The fund will provide scholarship funds for underprivileged youth to attend Bayport Scout Reservation, the 300 acre boy scout camp and high adventure base owned by the council.  Individuals interested in contributing to the fund may visitwww.bayportsr.org.  At the request of its namesake, donations to the fund should be in addition to any donations given to support Bayport Scout Reservation and scouting in our community. 

    “Having Dick retire is a tremendous loss to our council,” said Jeff Wassmer, Council President.  “However, Dick has built a great and stable foundation for Scouting in the Hampton Roads area.  Because of his leadership we will continue to thrive and provide the best program possible to every youth.”  

    The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America, incorporated on February 8, 1910, and chartered by Congress in 1916, is to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness.  For more information on joining or volunteering in a Scouting program, contact The Boy Scouts of America, Colonial Virginia Council, at (757) 595-3356.

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  13. Obituary-Alice Rook Ligon

    Alice Rook Ligon, 86, of Emporia, VA, daughter of Brutus and Katie Rook, died May 2, 2014.  She is predeceased by her husband of 64 years, George Benjamin Ligon; two sisters, Kathleen Rook Ligon and Mary Rook Lyerly and one brother, Brutus Watkins Rook, Jr.  She is survived by her children, Gayle Ligon Skowronski and husband Steve, George Benjamin Ligon, Jr. and wife Mary, Sandra Ligon Allen and husband Kenny; 4 grandchildren, Benjamin Andrew Skowronski (deceased), Kay Randolph Ligon, Lindsay Kendall Allen, Kenneth Samuel Allen, Jr. and George Watkins Allen; two step-grandchildren, Mary Katherine Pratt and William Joseph Pratt.  Her remains rest at Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, VA, where the family will receive family and friends on Sunday, May 4th, 2 to 3:30pm.  A graveside funeral service will be held Monday, May 5th, at 11:00am at Emporia Cemetery, Brunswick Ave., Emporia, VA.  Memorial donations may be made to the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or the Emporia Volunteer Fire Department.  Condolences may be sent to www. Echolsfuneralhome.com

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