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

Obituaries

Marie Jean Ranger

Marie Jean Ranger, 84, of Bedford, died Monday, August 29, 2016. She was born in Canada on February 21, 1932, a daughter of the late Louis Richer and Marie Seguin Richer. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Mars Ranger. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated 2:00 p.m., Friday, September 2, at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church with Father Salvador Añonuevo celebrating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, 540-586-7360.

Raymond Michael Jennings III

Jennings RaymondRaymond Michael Jennings III, 55, of Moneta, died Thursday, August 25, 2016. He was born in Bakersfield, CA, on February, 1, 1961, a son of Raymond M. Jennings, Jr. and Fay Cox Jennings. He was a loving father, husband, grandfather, brother, and son. Raymond was employed as a supervisor at McPeak Supply. In addition to his parents he is survived by his wife, Lori Smith Jennings; daughters, Hollie Payne and husband Johnny, Sarah Allevato and husband Tony, Melissa Jennings and Fiancé Nick Hagen, Taylor Jennings and Fiancé Bobby Faithful; sons, Doug Stewart and wife Stefanie, Chase Stewart and wife Nicky; sister, Denise Clark and husband Gene; grandchildren, Kadence Payne, Bennett Payne, Finn Allevato, Devon Stewart, Connor Stewart, Daxton Stewart, Madison Stewart, Raelynne Stewart; niece, Caroline Clark; and nephew, Garrett Clark (Britni). The family would like to thank the staff at Centra Hospice and the staff at Duke University Melanoma Center and CMG Village. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated 2:30 p.m., Monday, August 29, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15121 Moneta Rd., Moneta, VA. with MSGR. Joseph Lehman officiating. In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions may be made to the Duke University Melanoma Center 20 Duke Medicine Circle, Durham, NC 27710. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

L. Joel Pearson

L. Joel Pearson, 87, of Lynchburg, VA went to be with his Lord on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. He was born in Hammond, IN on March 8, 1929. He is preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Lois Jeanne Bottorff Pearson. Joel is survived by his three sons, Timothy (Connie), Philip, and David (Julie) Pearson; four grandchildren, Jennifer Clark (Chris), Camberly Pearson, Mike Pearson, Kristy Montesano (Mike); two great-grandchildren, Bella Pearson and Jackson Montesano. Joel retired from Liberty University as Vice President of Development He is a member and past deacon of the West Lynchburg Baptist Church. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, September 1, 2016 at West Lynchburg Baptist Church. The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Centra Hospice, Lynchburg. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Pastor Kenneth Hallin Owens

Owens KennethPastor Kenneth Hallin Owens, of Bedford, passed from this life to be with his Lord and Savior, Monday, August 22, 2016 at the age of 67. He was surrounded by his family as he took his journey home. Waiting for Kenneth in glory are his daughter, Valarie Marcella Owens; father, Andie Hallin Owens; and his mother, Irma Roberts Owens. Kenneth was a private in the United States Army, stationed in fort Benning, Georgia. He was the pastor of the Church of the Great Shepherd for 20 years. Kenneth is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Valarie Stump Owens (who dedicated over 49 years to him); his three children, Melissa Ann Owens of Bedford, Kenneth Randy Owens & Teresa of Bedford, Monica Owens Wilson & Jimmy of Franklin county; thirteen grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brother, Billie Joe Owens & Wanda of Wytheville; sister, Jannie Owens Tolley & Don of Bedford. A funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m., Thursday, at The Church of the Great Shepherd, 1937 Shingle Block Road, Bedford, with Rev. Kenneth Lafon officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, at The Church of the Great Shepherd. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Crystal Weaver Dennis

Crystal Dennis, 68, of Roanoke, died Friday, August 19, 2016. She was born in Philadelphia, PA on March 25, 1948, a daughter of the late Carlton Weaver and Jacquelean Baine Weaver. In addition to her parents she is preceded in death by her husband, William Dennis. She is survived by a daughter, Martha Byers and husband Darrell; sons, Edward Jones and wife Melissa, Carlton Hughes; granddaughters, Carrie, Faith, Dixie, Cimmaron; great-aunt, Patsy Meadows; special cousin, Pat “Tio” Gordon; and her dog, Princess. A Graveside Service will be held 11:00 AM Tuesday, August, 23, 2016 at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, 5737 Airport Rd. Roanoke, VA 24012 with the Rev. Terry and Crystal Hardin officiating. The family will receive friends 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, August 22, 2016 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.                  

Woodrow Wilson Nichols, Jr.

Nichols Woodrow

Woodrow Wilson Nichols, Jr., 67, of Goode, died Tuesday, August 16, 2016. He was born in Roanoke, VA on October 17, 1948, a son of the late Woodrow W. Nichols, Sr. and Marie Motley Nichols. He was a retired flagman for Adams Construction and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Woodrow is survived by his wife, Christina Goff Nichols; son, Timothy Matchett; daughter, Melissa Matchett and friend, Jason; step-daughter, Melissa Gillis and husband, Benjamin; grandchildren, Dallas Parker, Savannah Parker, and Madilyn Gillis. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 19, at Morgans Baptist Church, 2086 Morgans Church Road, Bedford, with the Rev. J. Arthur officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Earnest Morrow "Ernie" Burton

Burton EarnestEarnest Morrow ”Ernie” Burton, 87, of Madison Heights, died Monday, August 15, 2015 at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was born in Nace, VA on March 26, 1929, a son of the late Sherman Haynes and Ida Dickerson Burton. Along with his parents he is preceded in death by a son; Ernie Burton Jr.; brothers, Sherman Burton, Jr., Frank Burton; sisters, Virgie L. Halsey and Mary Cocke Lawrence. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Elizabeth “Betsy” Singleton Burton; daughter, Linda Gail Perras and friend, Bill Malboeuf of Swanton, VT; sons, Vic and Jon Burton of FL, Ronald Clark Fleshman Jr. of Madison Heights; brothers, Jack Burton and wife, Frances, Raymond Burton and wife, Virginia, James Burton and wife, Doris, all of Bedford, Clarence Burton of Salem; sister, Bessie Christian and husband Ray of Forest; sister-in-law, Carolyn Burton; grandchildren, Shawn Zier, Ian Zier and wife, Becky, of St. Albans, VT, Rebecca Fleshman of Evington; great-grandchildren, Karley and Keegan Zier, A.J. McKoy; and numerous much loved nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Baptist Church or Monelison Rescue Squad. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 19, at Grace Baptist Church 337 Lakeview Drive, Madison Heights, with Pastor Dan Lee officiating. Burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Martha Lawson Willis

Willis MarthaMartha Lawson Willis, 77, of Bedford died Friday, August 12, 2016 at Lynchburg General Hospital. She was born in Birmingham, AL on December 27, 1938 a daughter of the late Benjamin Lawson and Magaleen Laird Lawson. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Willie Ray Willis; two brothers, David and Gerald Lawson; a daughter-in-law, Sabrina Willis. Martha was a member of Bedford Baptist Church and was a retired teacher with Bedford County Public Schools. She is survived by four sons, Paul Wayne “Toby” Willis and wife, Brenda; Michael Ray Willis and wife, Renay; Kevin Stuart Willis; Jason Eric Willis and wife, Kathryn; her grandchildren, Benjamin Willis, Bradley Willis and wife, Marie; Savannah Willis and Hannah Willis; two great-granddaughters, Briley Ann Willis and Grace Marie Willis; a sister, Sheila Bonds and husband, Jim. Memorials may be made to Bedford Elementary School or Bedford Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at Bedford Baptist Church. A funeral service will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at Bedford Baptist Church with Dr. David L. Henderson officiating. Burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Mary Jane Drumheller May

May Mary JaneMary Jane May, 83, of Bedford, died Wednesday, August 10, 2016. She was born in Bedford on December 11, 1932 a daughter of the late William Drumheller and Ollie Cottrell Drumheller. She was a pianist and member of Center Point United Methodist Church. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Horton May, Sr.; her brothers, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rev. Paul Drumheller and Jack Drumheller. She is survived by three sons, Earl Horton May, Jr. and wife, Teresa; William Terrell May, Sr. and wife, Karen; LTC (R) Robert Johnston May, Sr. and wife, Tammie; seven grandsons, Jason May (Scarlett), Matthew May (Stephen); Terrell May (Heather), Patrick May; Robert May (Mary), Michael May (Meagan); Stuart May (Allison); a granddaughter, Christin White (Randy); ten great grandchildren, a sister-in-law, Jane Parker Drumheller. The family would like to send a special thank you to the staff of English Meadows Elks Home Campus for their care. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Center Point United Methodist Church. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, August 14, 2016 at Center Point United Methodist Church with Rev. William Clark and Rev. Jack Davis officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Roderick James Henderson

Capt. Roderick James Henderson, 73, of Lynchburg, Virginia was called home on August 4th after a long fight with cancer. Rod was born on March 10, 1943; he was the eldest child of the late Joseph Jefferson and Mildred Shaul Henderson of Banner County, Nebraska. Captain Henderson devoted his life to the United States Army and to the JROTC program at Chatham High School. Captain Henderson was an exemplary father and husband and he left a void that will never be filled. He was preceded in death by both of his parents, one son William Walter and two grandsons William James and Lyric Daniel. He is survived by his wife of 46 years Emily Carroll Henderson and their two children, Justin James and his wife Rae, and Deidra Diane and her fiancé Trey Simonton, and the lights of his life, his twin granddaughters Riley Carroll and Raegan Lee Henderson. He is also survived by one brother, Rick Henderson and a sister Debra Hoffman, and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held Saturday August 13th at 2:00 pm in the Chatham High School auditorium. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Chatham High School JROTC. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.