Obituaries
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Chapel: 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, VA 24523 | Office/Visitation: 317 West Main Street, Bedford, VA 24523

Obituaries

Mary Rose Barton Sirera

Sirera Mary 1Mary Rose Barton Sirera, 81, of Moneta, died Friday, February 16, 2018. She was born on February 11, 1937, a daughter of the late William Barton and Florence Missell Barton. She was a communicant and Eucharistic minister at Resurrection Catholic Church. Mary had a love for West Virginia University athletics; volunteered for many years with the Special Olympics in New Jersey and also with Shepherds Table in Bedford, and was the toy lady for Joyous Junque at the church. She also loved going on cruises with her church family. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Joseph Edward Sirera Jr.; son, Joseph Edward Sirera III and wife Carolyn; adored grandson, Michael Sirera; mother-in-law, Tillie Sirera of Coral Springs, FL; sister, Florence Meehan; niece, Laura Malamacci; and many friends at Resurrection Catholic Church. A Mass of Resurrection will be said 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 20, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15353 Moneta Road, Moneta, VA with Father Salvador Añonuevoofficiating. A burial will follow in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Shepherds Table or Joyous Junque. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Patricia Elise Allen Cox

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 Patricia Allen Cox, 76, of Forest, passed away peacefully at home on February 15, 2018. Patricia was born in Pittsylvania County, VA on July 25, 1941. Patricia is preceded in death by her mother, Ida Saxton Allen; father, Hurt Allen; and half brothers, Jessie Watlington and Percy Watlington. She graduated from E.C. Glass High School in 1959. Patricia was married to John David Cox on July 1, 1960.  They were married 57 years.  Patricia worked as a Bank Teller and retired from SunTrust Bank. Patricia is survived by her husband John; son David Cox, Jr. (Courtney); daughter, Leanne Landers (Glenn); grandsons, Will Schmidt, Chase Landers, and Chris Cox. Patricia is also survived by her brother, Boyce Allen; and numerous nieces and nephews.  A memorial service will be held 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, February 25, 2018, at Fairview Christian Church, 2701 Campbell Avenue, Lynchburg, VA, with Curtis Wheeler officiating. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial contribution to the Tuesday Night Community Dinner Fund at Fairview Christian Church. The family wishes to thank all those who have provided friendship and support over the years and during this difficult time. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.

Mary Elizabeth Whorley

Whorley Mary 2Mary Whorley, 90, of Big Island, VA, died Friday, February 9, 2018. She was born September 15, 1927, a daughter of the late George and Pernie Whorley. She was preceded in death by her husband, James (Jim)Whorley and her daughter, Inez Whorley Robertson. She was also preceded in death by her siblings, Arthur, Jasper, Florence, and Daisy. She is survived by her daughters, Pat Whorley Cocke (Donald) and Sue Whorley Huddleston (John) and son-in-law, Lewis Robertson (Cheryl). Mary had five grandchildren, Brandon Cocke (Rachel), Kasey Gunter (Allen “Sam”), Allison Morgan (Matt), Christopher Robertson, and Scott Robertson; and five great-grandchildren, Connar McCracken, Brooklyn and Jared Gunter, and Emily and Madison Cocke. Mary will be remembered by all, as a loving Mama, Granny and GG. She was a member of Hunting Creek Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School for over 35 years. Mary was a very loved and respected woman in her community. She loved to cook and take care of her family. Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 10th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hunting Creek Baptist Church in Big Island. A funeral service will be held on Sunday, February 11th at 4 p.m. at Hunting Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Carey Snellings and Rev. David Williamson officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service in the church fellowship hall for a meal and other times at Pat’s home, 1157 Powell School Rd. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hunting Creek Baptist Church, Big Island Emergency Crew, or the Big Island Volunteer Fire Company. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Terry Lee Welch

Welch TerryTerry Lee Welch, 62, of Bedford, died Friday, February 9, 2018. He was born in Richmond, VA on December 23, 1955, a son of the late Clifton Ray Welch and Murrell Robinson Lawson. Terry served his country in the United States Army and was a custodian with Bedford County Public Schools. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Linda Padgett Welch; daughters, Charlotte Branch and husband Bailey, Amanda Welch; grandchildren, Bridgett Spring, Brian T. Moses, Jr.; sisters, Billie Jean Harrell and husband Tom, Lois Gail Butler and husband Ed; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please consider making a donation to the Angel Fund at your local school. A visitation will be held 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 13, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Darrell Martin Durham

Durham DarrellDarrell Martin Durham, 60, of Forest, VA went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Darrell was born on August 20, 1957, to the late Ernest and Rosana Durham. He was employed by VDOT for over 9 years and volunteered his time with Bedford Ride. Darrell was a dedicated member of Terrace View Baptist Church, where he proudly served as a deacon. He loved his Lord, was a kind and gentle soul, and would do anything for anybody. To know him was to love him. Darrell is survived by his three brothers, Ronnie Durham (Kristy), Wayne Durham (Ellen), Richard Durham (Linda); sisters-in-law, Judy Durham, Norma Durham; nephews, Greg Durham (Shiho), Mike Durham (Christina), Jeff Durham (Heather), Quin Durham, Chance Witt; nieces, Valerie Durham Muncher (Brad), Rosa Durham, along with their families; and numerous church family and friends. A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, February 17, at Virginia Memorial Park with friend and Pastor Brian Taylor officiating. A Celebration of Life will be held following the graveside beginning at 12:30 p.m., at Terrace View Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to Terrace View Baptist Church, 1040 Matthew Talbot Road, Forest, VA 24551. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.

Julia Anne Ballman Williams

Williams JulieJulia Anne (Ballman) Williams, 63, of Madison Heights VA, went home to be with the Lord on February 7, 2018, after a long courageous battle with her health. Julia was born January 04, 1955 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio to William F. Ballman, and Betty J. Frye, who preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death a brother, William R. “Rick” Ballman. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Kevin L. Williams.; a son, Kevin L. “Junior” Williams, Jr.; daughter, Lisa A. Williams; a very special granddaughter, Emily Anne Ames who shared Julia’s middle name; four sisters, Linda S. Pierce of Zanesville, OH; Ginny Engle of Marysville, OH; Mary J Watkins, of Winchester, KY; and Helen Ballman of Georgetown, KY. She is also survived by her grandkids, Emily Ames, Justin Dickens, Haley Lambert, Jordan Williams, and a great-grandchild Braylen Martin, along with many nieces and nephews, and friends who Julia considered family. The family would also like to recognize Nina Creasy for her constant support and love for Julia and the whole family. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, is assisting the family.

Marie Louise Montenaro Colligan

Colligan Marie 2Marie Colligan, of Lynchburg and a long-time resident of the Sussex County, NJ area, died at home after a long battle with renal cancer on Sunday, February 4, 2018. She was 77 years old and kept her zeal for living until the very end. She was born in New Jersey to Rose Foglio and John Montenaro. She was the elder sister to Joanne and became the loving wife of 51 years to Joseph Colligan. She is survived by her son, John Collingan with his loving wife, Joanie. She has a grandson, Owen, who was always precious to her. Marie’s love for her dachshunds was evident when they would kiss and play with her, always keeping vigil during her final days. Marie loved traveling, especially to Italy, good food and genealogy. She appeared in local theater plays having attended the Herbert Berghoff Studio for Acting in New York City. She graduated from Upsala College and was the editor of Upsala’s first literary magazine, Forsythis. Marie has 2 non-fiction articles published in national women’s magazines, making her debut with a novel, Marcel’s Gift, in 2012 at the age of 72. It was quickly followed by 3 others: Zapped, Murder in Small Doses, and Over There. She was an active member and President of the Wallkill Valley Women’s Club, a Board of Education member at Immaculate Conception School in Franklin Boro, NJ. Marie’s life and achievements will be celebrated at a memorial service from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Crown Sterling (restaurant), 6120 Fort Avenue, Lynchburg, VA. (Directions, http://www.mycrownsterling.com/contact-us/) In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Centra Hospice through the Centra Foundation, (https://www.centrahealth.com/foundation/donate.) Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Sallie Virginia Goff

Goff SallieSallie Virginia Goff, 79, of Big Island, entered Heaven’s Gate on Monday, January 29, 2018. Sallie was born on March 20, 1938, a daughter of the late Frank Irvin Goff and Bertha Tolley Goff Brown, and step-father Frank Anderson Brown. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard “Pete” Goff, a son, Randie Goff and two grandchildren, Sherrie Conner and Chance Harman. Sallie was a former employee of the County of Bedford. She was a lifetime member of Big Island Baptist Church. She was a woman of strong faith, truly believing in the strength of Jesus Christ’s love and the peace and beauty that she knew awaited her at her passing. Another important thing in Sallie’s life was gardening and she took great pride in her flowers. Sallie is survived by two sons, Ray Goff and wife Becky, Curtis Goff and wife Evelyn, both of Big Island; a daughter-in-law, Andrea Taylor Goff, Bedford; sisters, Betty Goff, Bedford, Dorris Jackson, Forest. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren 5 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff and nurses at the Bedford Hospice House for the loving care that they provided for our Mother and family during this difficult time. For those wishing to make a memorial in Sallie’s name please consider Big Island Baptist Church, P.O. Box 348 Big Island, VA 24526. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Big Island Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Watkins officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday evening at Big Island Baptist Church and other times at the residence of Curtis and Evelyn Goff in Big Island. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford.

Stewart Price Murray

Murray StewartStewart Price Murray, 52, of Bedford, died Monday, January 22, 2018. He was born in Bedford County on September 21, 1965, a son of the late Hugh Price Murray and Pearl Bolling Murray. Per his wishes no services will be held. Sabrina Murray and Kevin and Phyllis Dellis would like to give special thanks to Bedford Life Saving Crew, Bedford Hospice, and Burch-Messier Funeral Home for their care of Stewart. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, is assisting the family.

Mabel Estelle Childress Bersch

Bersch Mabel 2.jpgMabel Estelle Childress Bersch, 70, of Madison Heights, died Monday, January 22, 2018. She was born in Lynchburg, VA, on April 9, 1947, a daughter of the late Hubert Arthur Childress, Sr. and Emma Betsy Childress. In addition to her parents she is preceded in death by her husband, Edward Donald Bersch; sister, Dot Hamilton; and brothers, Hubert Childress, Jr. and Doug Childress. Mabel attended Living Water Baptist Church. She is survived by her son, William Bersch and wife Debra; daughter, Tracie Donald and husband Daryl W. Sr.; grandchildren, Daryl W. Donald, Jr. and wife Emily, Edward J. Donald and wife Kayla, Joshua M. Donald, Jessica L. Donald, Andrew S. Bersch, Amanda D. Bersch; sisters, Millie Christian and husband Lloyd, Shirley Irby and husband Boots; four great-grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, one step-great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Living Water Baptist Church, 496 Dogwood Drive, Madison Heights, VA 24572. A Memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Saturday, January 27, at Living Water Baptist Church, with Rev. Daryl W. Donald, Sr. officiating. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.