Obituaries
(540) 586-7360
Chapel: 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, VA 24523 | Office/Visitation: 317 West Main Street, Bedford, VA 24523

Obituaries

Josephine Carmella Caprio DeSimone

DeSimone 2Josephine Carmello Caprio DeSimone, 95, of Bedford died Sunday, October 15, 2017. Josephine was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 3, 1922, a daughter of the late Frank and Mary Caprio. In addition to her parents she was also preceded in death by her loving husband of 67 years, Americo Joseph DeSimone. She was a homemaker and a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who loved and enjoyed being with her family. Josephine is survived by two sons, Gary DeSimone, John DeSimone and wife, Trisha; three daughters, Corinne Richards and husband, Tom, Donna Ramsey and husband, John, Maria McKinney and husband, Roy; seven grandchildren, Tamara Richards, Lori Viar and husband, Brian, Paul Richards and wife, Erin, Joni Boyd and husband, Jamie, JoAllison Ruff and husband, Raymond, Carlee McKinney and husband, Jonathan, Chad DeSimone; twelve great-grandchildren, Aliese Viar, Olivia Viar, Jaylen Richards, Camryn Richards, Pierce Richards, Ketra Richards, Slate Richards, Bridgett Ruff, Troy Ruff, Isabella McKinney, Emma McKinney, Anna McKinney, and many other family and friends. Special thank you to Joni Boyd and Cathy Dooley for their loving care of our mother and to the Bedford County Nursing Home and Centra Hospice for their commitment of caring. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, VA 24523 with Pastor Earl Ragland officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., prior to the service at the Burch-Messier Chapel. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Baroch Deborah

Deborah “Debbie” or “Deb” Marie Pasicznyk Baroch, 52, died early Tuesday morning, October 10, 2017, at home in Lynchburg after an almost 5-year battle with breast cancer.

Debbie is survived by her husband of 31 years, James “Jim” Bruce Baroch and two adult children, Ashley Baroch of Pittsburgh, PA, and Joshua “Josh” Alan Baroch, of the home. She is survived by her three sisters Barbara Rogers of Powhatan, VA, Karla Cardace of Jackson, NJ, and Paula Henry of Columbia, MD, and host of nieces and nephews. Debbie is also survived by her in-laws Charles and Carol Baroch and her “2nd husband” Mike Brown. Debbie is preceded in death by her parents.

Debbie was born on February 16, 1965, in Schenectady, NY, but grew up and lived most of her life in Lynchburg, VA. She graduated from Holy Cross Regional School and received a psychology degree from Randolph Macon Women’s College. Jim and Debbie had been in elementary school together and met again in community college. They were married on September 20, 1986.

Debbie was most recently employed as secretary and bookkeeper by Lynchburg City Schools. She loved the students she helped at PRIDE and Fort Hill Community School. Debbie was involved in many support groups and fundraising for cancer: she was a certified breast educator and quickly became the ambassador for Central Virginia; she created a FaceBook group called “Breast Cancer Won’t Win,” which has grown to almost 200 members; in 2014 she was co-founder of “Laugh for the Cure,” which has become an annual fundraising event; she was also team captain for a winning “Race for the Cure” team, among others.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2017, at West Lynchburg Baptist church at 2 PM. A “Celebration of Debbie’s Life” reception will be held at 4 PM following the memorial service at the Fraternal Order of Police on Wiggington Road in Lynchburg. Flowers may be sent on the 19th or 20th to West Lynchburg Baptist Church, 3031 Memorial Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24501. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Debbie Food Pantry Foundation for Fort Hill Community School via https://www.facebook.com/FHCSFoodBank or mail a check to Debbie’s Food Pantry 104 Woodland Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24503. The family would like to thank Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center, Centra Hospice (Guggenheimer), Lynchburg City Schools, Norfolk General Hospital ICU, Bryan Baker, Seth Barnett, Leecy Fink, Patty Jacobs, Amy Koudelka, Page Langley, Julianne Murphy, Christen Rhodes, AJ Richards, Ashleigh Richards, Desi Richards, Melody Simmons, Janice Sitler, Shawn Thompson, and Cathy Viar for their extra help and care of Debbie and for being there for her and the family. Burch-Messier Funeral Home (540-586-7360) is assisting the family.

Robert Lee "Bob" Baker, Jr.

Robert Lee “Bob” Baker, Jr., 68, of Bedford, died Saturday, October 14, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Beth Baker; son, Wes Baker and wife, Rachel; daughter, Jennifer Webster and fiancée, Zachery Burnette; grandchildren, Ian Baker, Grace, Kirin, and Bailey Webster; brother, Danny Baker and wife, Marsha; sister, Ruth Alley and husband, Paul; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the family. A Memorial service will be held 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Trent Stone Thurston

Trent Stone Thurston, 19, of Goode experienced the exhilaration of running for the first time, as he ran into the arms of Jesus, on October 1, 2017. He was born August 18, 1998, the son of Shawn Thurston and Christina Toy-Drewry.  He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Cliff and Judy Toy of Miami Springs, Florida.   In addition to his parents, Trent is survived by a sister; Olivia Drewry of Goode; a paternal grandfather, Malcolm Thurston of Lynchburg; a paternal grandmother, Donna Trent Garner and husband John of Goode; a great grandfather, Glenn Trent, Sr. and wife Jane Rigney-Trent of Lynchburg and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.   A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Tree of Life Church in Lynchburg with Pastor Mike Dodson officiating.  The family would like to thank Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Pastor Mike Dodson for their support during this very difficult time.   Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Cremation, 317 W. Main Street, Bedford 540-586-7360.

Richard Heath Gray

Gray RichardRichard Heath Gray, 91, of Huddleston, died Tuesday, September 26, 2017. He was born in Roanoke, VA on June 4, 1926, a son of the late Howard Heath Gray and Rena Dooley Gray. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Lena Epperly Gray. He served his country in the United States Navy and was a retired supervisor for Armour & Company. He loved his family and was a member of Colonial Baptist Church. He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Howell and husband, Kenneth; sisters, Mary Frances Dooley, Evelyn Virginia Clark; grandchildren, Lisa Howell Ayers and husband, Hubert, Kenny Howell and wife, Kim, Crystal Reynolds, Gina Howell, Brandon Howell and wife, Cassandra; great-grandchildren, Dustin Ayers, Cody Ayers, Jessica Tate and husband Cole, Joshua Howell and wife, Brianna, Taylor Esparza, Jase Howell, McKayla Howell, Aidan Howell, Brianna Sellick, Kyli Overstreet, Brinley Overstreet; and great-great-grandchild, Adalyn Tate. No services will be held at this time. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Diane M. Rygielski

Diane M. Rygielski, 66, of Lynchburg, passed away peacefully at her home Saturday, September 23, 2017. She was born in Utica, New York on October 14, 1950, and was the daughter of the late James V. Yates and Nora Mae Schultz of Utica, NY. Diane moved to Lynchburg VA in 1997, where she was an employee of Centra Health for 19 years. She is survived by one brother and sister-in-law, James B. Yates and Carole Yates; two nephews, Daniel and David Yates all of Clinton NY; two sons and daughter in laws, Richard M. and Lisa A Modie Jr. of Monroe, VA and Andrew K. and Angela R. Modie of Rustburg, VA; five grandchildren, Jessica Wilson, Richard Modie III, Autumn Modie, Danielle Modie, and Chase Phelps; and three great-grandchildren. In addition to her immediate family she is survived by two devoted longtime friends, Linda Roberts of New Hartford, NY and Nancy Talbot of Lynchburg, VA and her beloved fur baby, Marley along with many friends and coworkers of Centra Health. The Family would like to thank Centra Health Hospice, and Oncology Unit for their care and concern of Ms. Diane M. Rygielski along with a special thank you to UVA Medical Oncology Team. In lieu of flowers please make a memorial contribution to either American Breast Cancer Society or Lynchburg Humane Society. The Family will hold a gathering in remembrance of Diane's life, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, September 25, 2017, at her home, 1116 Toledo Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24502. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Ronald Eugene Denton

Ronald Eugene Denton, 61, of Altavista, died Thursday, September 21, 2017. He was born in Lynchburg, VA, on August 27, 1956, a son of Irene Barrett Denton and the late Walter Clarence Denton. Ronald served his country in the United States Army. He is survived by his daughters, Crystal Denton and fiancé Geoff McCall, Tanya Coggins and husband Jon; brother, Robert Denton; grandson, Dylan Coggins; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. No services will be held at this time. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

John Russell Mayhue

John Russell Mayhue, 91, of Bedford, died Wednesday, September 20, 2017. A private service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Raleigh Wayne Hedrick

Hedrick RaleighRaleigh Wayne Hedrick, 73, of Evington, died Saturday, September 16, 2017 at his residence. He was born in Pittsylvania County and was the son of the late Raleigh Van Hedrick and Catherine Compton Hedrick. Wayne loved spending time with his family and had many projects that he enjoyed working on, especially outdoors. He also enjoyed spending time in his ministry and he attended Altavista Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Wayne is survived by his wife, Audry Lyn Dotson Hedrick; one son, Bruce Wayne Hedrick (Freda); daughter, Sherry Hedrick Bing (Jay); sisters, Jane Dotson (Phillip), Cynthia Stone (John), Gloria Mattox (Paul); seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; as well as extended family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all. The family would like to thank Centra Health and Centra Hospice. A special thank you to Michelle King who was a blessing to Wayne and his family. A very special thank you to Dr. Stephen Rennyson for the wonderful care he provided Wayne through the years. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest contributions be made to the Altavista Kingdom Hall or Centra Hospice. A Memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Altavista Kingdom Hall, 652 Riverbend Rd. Altavista, VA 24517 with Elder Edward Carr officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

John Joseph Reinwald, Sr.

John Joseph Reinwald, Sr., 68, of Bedford, died Wednesday, September 13, 2017. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated 2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 21, at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church with Father Salvador Añonuevo celebrating.A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Burch-Messier Walnut St. Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Scheduled Services


Josephine Carmella Caprio DeSimone, 95, of Bedford, died Sunday, October 15, 2017. A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m., Thursday, at Burch-Messier Walnut St. Chapel., with a burial to follow in Greenwood Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. prior to the service.


Robert Lee Baker, Jr., 68, of Bedford, died Saturday, October 14, 2017. A Memorial service will be held 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Burch-Messier Walnut St. Chapel. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.


Robert Kenneth Smith, 94, of Lynchburg, died Saturday, October 14, 2017. No services will be held.