Obituaries
(540) 586-7360

Obituaries

Vernon Otha Craig

Vernon Otha Craig, Jr., 73, of Bedford, died Monday, May, 4, 2015 at Virginia Baptist Hospital. He was the loving husband of Alice Elizabeth Craig for 53 Years. He was born in West Virginia on December 11, 1941, a son of the late Vernon Otha Craig Sr. and Sadie Hughes Craig. He was a retired Minister of Tip Top, Tazewell, Virginia. He is also preceded in death by two sisters; Maggie Craighead and Norma-Jean Hall. In addition to his wife he is survived by two daughters; Dorinda Spangler and husband Dewayne and Debra Hurt and husband Michael, three brothers; Rodney Craig, Harold Craig and wife Lena and Danny Craig, two sisters; Emelie Sigman and husband Clarence, Erma Meade and husband Talmadge, two grandchildren, Kimberly Holt and husband Michael and Michael Hurt Jr. and wife Mindy, two great grand children; Michael "Micah" Holt III and Isaac Hurt, numerous nieces and nephews including a special niece; Carolyn Shaw, and his dogs, Cappie, Shopie and C.J The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Main Street location, 540-586-7360.

David Alan Ferris

Ferris DavidDavid Alan (Leroy) Ferris, 54, of Villamont, passed away Friday, April 24, 2015. Hello everybody, if you are reading this, I guess you know I am no longer on planet earth. I am gone on a journey with God. To all my customers, thank all of you for letting me serve all of you and for letting me take care of your tree care needs. My father died in August 1985, Clyde (Skippy) Ferris and my dear mother passed away on December 15, 2012, Evelyn Martin Ferris, who I missed until I died. I have 1 brother, Dale (Skippy) Ferris, and I love you dear brother. I have 2 sisters who I love very much too. My sister, Debby, I will always have a special place in my heart for you and for what you did for mama and me. My sister Lana meant the world to me also. Now to most of my best friends, Charles and David Phillips (The pole saw King), Gordon and Ms. Ellie Bittler. Hey Z enjoy that KFX 700, its name is Mean Green. Greg and Jane Bittler (please Jane get well and have a long happy life. Greg make good use of the Kingquad. My special friend Larry, who took care of me at the end of my life. David and Michelle Cupp who gave me great joy. Thank y'all so much for what you gave to me. I love you two so much. Also I would like to thank the folks at Southern Care Hospice, Sharon Reynolds (an angel sent from heaven), Reverend Steve, Melissa and Tonya. And to the people at Blue Ridge Cancer Center thanks for what you all did for me. We shall meet again. So goodbye world, if you smoke please stop. Cancer is an awful way to die. One thing I ask of everybody is to do an act of kindness to or for someone. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Herbert Hoover Miller

Miller HerbertHerbert Hoover Miller, 84, of Rustburg passed away peacefully at his home on April 17, 2015. Herb was born in Superior, West Va. in 1930 to Steve Miller and Maggie Taylor and moved to western North Carolina when he was 8 years old. There he met and married Wanda ("Bae") McCoury in Avery County. Herb is survived by his loving wife Wanda, his children: Maurice (Sandy), Steve (Ann), Linda (Randy) and Liz (Scott), 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Herb served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was discharged in 1953. Afterwards, he worked as a heavy machinery mechanic until he 'retired' at age 62. In 1982 Herb and a partner started their own business creating and designing specialty equipment which operated for several years. He was a Charter Member of the Masonic Lodge in Elk Park, NC. Music was his second love in life, and a mainstay until he died. Herbert taught himself to read music and play several instruments including the acoustic guitar, banjo and his favorite, the steel guitar. Herb was a life member of the Masonic Lodge in Cranberry, NC. Family and friends will gather for a celebration of Herb's life on Friday, April 24 at the residence of Maurice and Sandy Miller,3312 Colonial Highway, Rustburg 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, 317 W. Main St., Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Opal Imogene "Jean" Suggs Neumann

Neumann OpalOpal Imogene (Jean) Suggs Neumann, passed away surrounded by the love of her family on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. She was born a twin on Saturday, December 23, 1922 in Briartown, OK to Robert and Hattie Hendrix Suggs, who was also a twin. She served in WWII as a WAC but was most proud to be known as Mom, Grandma or GiGi. Her family was her life. Mom loved quick wit and will always be remembered for her fun loving ways. She instilled a drive in each of her offspring to work hard for the highest goal and not settle if you were capable of better. She is survived by her dedicated children, Colonel (Ret) Robert Neumann of FL and his wife, Helen; Ed Neumann of NJ and Barbara, and Trish McGuire and her husband Seth with whom she resided with for many years on Coolbrook Rd. She was most proud of her grandchildren, Dr. Robert G Neumann of CA and his wife, Michelle; Michael Neumann of Orlando, FL and his wife, Emily; April Neumann of Tampa, FL; Eric McGuire and his wife, Kristin; Christopher Neumann of Dumont, NJ and Brittany; and Nicholas McGuire and his girlfriend, Katherine of Bedford. Her heart soared with the mention of her three great grandsons, Andrew and Reid Neumann and Declan McGuire. She is also survived by sisters Wanda Murray of CA and LaVonna Blan (Bill) of OK, sister-in-law Lola Suggs of OK, as well as many dedicated and loving nieces and nephews and special friend Julie Creasy, residents and loving staff of Bedford Co Nursing Home (Falling Creek Manor) where she happily called home for the past two years. Mom is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ed Neumann, twin brother Othal Eugene (Pete) who passed when they were 17 years old and other siblings: Blueford Suggs CA; Bernice Stith, OK; Robert (Hendrix) Suggs, OK; Ella Rue McCastlin, OK; Betty Lengel, CA, and Bob Suggs, MO. The family will receive friends on Friday from 3:00-6:00 pm at Burch Messier Funeral Home, Main Street Location and other times at the home of her daughter, Trish McGuire on Coolbrook Rd. A Celebration of her Life as she requested will be held on Saturday at 11 am at Burch Messier Chapel on Walnut Street. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a scholarship in her name to a hard working high school student who is bound for college this fall. Education was important to Mom and she would love to help someone achieve a dream. Opal "Jean' Neumann Scholarship Fund c/o Burch Messier Funeral Home, 317 W. Main Street, Bedford, 24523.

Heather Dawn Keyes

Keyes HeatherHeather Dawn Keyes, 34, of Bedford, departed this life on Saturday, April 4, 2015. She was born on August 13, 1980 to Debra Carol Davis and William Keyes Sr. and his wife Michele. Heather is survived by her only child, Maggie Carol Keyes, her brothers, William Keyes, Jr. (Beverley), Joseph Keyes (Heather) and Joshua Davis; her grandmother, Geraldine McFaddin and a special friend, Johnny Ruff. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, Keyes Heather1235 Walnut Street and other times at the residence of Joseph Keyes, 179 Avondale Dr. Lynchburg. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Bedford Domestic Violence Services, P.O. Box 783 Bedford, VA 24523. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Kyle Patrick Whitehead

Whitehead Kyle 1Kyle Patrick Whitehead, 24, of Marietta, GA died April 3, 2015. He is the son of Charlie and Jane McGuire Whitehead of Marietta, the brother of Taylor Whitehead, Grandson of Peggy McGuire and the late Edward McGuire of Bedford and all of their children and grandchildren and extended family members. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday at Thaxton Baptist Church Cemetery were he will be laid to rest with his grandpa. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Lemuel David Harrell

Lemuel David Harrell, 80 of Bedford died Friday, April 3, 2015 at his home in Bedford, VA. Born June 26, 1934 in Lynchburg, VA he was the son of the late Dr. David Lemuel Harrell, Jr. and his wife, Katie Mae Moore Harrell. He is survived by his loving wife, Belle Garraghty Harrell; his sister, Dorothy Harrell Barger (Ray) of Newport News, VA and a nephew, Antony "Tony" Brookus (Nicole) of Madison, Alabama. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Janie Garraghty Jordan, and a brother-in-law, James Howard Garraghty, Jr. (Kathy) and his family, including Wanda Garraghty Morris, Michael Wayne Garraghty, Tony Ray Garraghty, Randall James Garraghty, Amanda Garraghty and James Howard Garraghty, III. Lem was a kind and gentle man, a poet and a scholar. He was much loved. Lem requested that there be no visitation or funeral and his cremains will be privately interred at a later date. Friends and relatives may call on the widow within the next few weeks. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Annual Fund, Student Scholarships, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford.

Philip William Lanteri

Philip William Lanteri, 64, of Bedford died Wednesday, March 11, 2015. He was born in Connecticut on October 5, 1950 a son of the late Sebastian and Virginia Lanteri. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Eric Marsh. He was a member of the Bedford Church of God. Philip was survived by his wife, of 37 years, Linda Hagerman Lanteri; a brother, Robert Lanteri; a grandson, William Troy Marsh; two nieces. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Bedford Church of God, 1212 E. Main Street, Bedford. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford.

Rachel Beatrice Whorley Wright

Wright RachelRachel Whorley Wright, 73, of Madison Heights, passed away, Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at Fairmont Crossings in Amherst after a long battle of diabetes and heart disease. She was born in Big Island, Va on March 5, 1942. Rachel was preceded by four sisters and four brothers. She was the wife of Robert Wright of 44 years. In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Therese Wright and husband, Ben; Wanda Thompson and husband, Joe; and Jr. Wright; six grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Scott and Jonathan Thompson, Brent, Heather, Cheyenne and Dallas Wright; her brother, Larry Whorley; three sisters, Nancy Whorley, Brenda Peters, Barbara McKinney; numerous nieces and nephews. She was a hard worker and kept elderly people in her home for over twenty years. A celebration of life for Rachel will be held on Saturday, March 21st at Temple Baptist Church in Madison Heights at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor J. D. Surbaugh and her son-in-law, Joe Thompson officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:00 noon till time of the service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Temple Christian School Building Fund or Amherst Dialysis. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Leona Elizabeth Mohr Bartram

Bartram LeonaLeona Elizabeth Mohr Bartram, 86, of Lynchburg, departed to rest with her Lord on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at Lynchburg (VA) General Hospital. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Mohr of Red Bud, Illinois, Lee leaves behind a legion of family and friends. Her husband, Laurence Bartram (Larry) thanks her for 60 blessed years of marriage. Her two sons, Laurence Bartram, Jr. and his wife, Lisanne, of Clinton, NJ and Lane Bartram and his wife, Jill, of Overland Park, KS thank her for just being Mom. Her deceased daughter, Laurie Lee Bartram McCauley, and her widowed son-in-law, Gregory McCauley, and his wife, Rachel, adore her memory. She also leaves behind one brother, Victor L. Mohr, of Red Bud, Illinois. Ten grandchildren dedicate their glittering accomplishments to Lee's own. The family was proud of her terms as President of the following: The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary of St. Louis; The Woman's Club of Lynchburg; and the Friends of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. A Memorial Service will be held at Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2424 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7 p.m. Family and friends are invited to gather for fellowship after the service at the Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee's memory may be made to Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church or the Salvation Army. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Bedford.