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

Obituaries

Richard Wayne Bunn

Bunn Richard 2Richard Wayne Bunn, 71, of Bedford, died Monday, December 31, 2018. He was born in St. Marys, PA on December 20, 1947 a son of the late Daniel Allen Bunn and Mercedes Fodge Bunn. In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia McBrayer Bunn; a son, Daniel Jon Bunn; and a brother, Jon Allen Bunn. Richard was a Vietnam Era Veteran serving his country in the United States Navy. He was involved for many years with Bedford County Special Olympics and was a bus driver for Holy Cross in Lynchburg and then for Bedford County Public Schools. He is survived by his daughters, Jennifer Bunn, Angela Bunn both of Bedford; grandson, Logan Bunn of Bedford, VA; sister, Tommajean Young of Emporium, PA; and several nieces and nephews. No services will be held. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

Douglas Eugene "Doug" Dooley

Douglas Eugene “Doug” Dooley, 55, of Roanoke, died Saturday, December 29, 2018. He was born in Bedford, VA on January 17, 1963 a son of Hilton Swanson Dooley (Catherine) and the late Wanda Faye Ward. Doug worked in construction. In addition to his father and step-mother he is survived by his sisters, Wanda Honaker (Clayton), Ann Switzer (Pete); brothers, James Dooley, Bernard Dooley (Vickie), Bobby Dooley, Earl Ward; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles. No services will be held. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

Dr. Christopher Holliday Goldman

Goldman ChristopherDr. Christopher Holliday Goldman died at home of Parkinson’s disease on  December 28, at the age of 71. His wife Carol and friend Julie were at his bedside. Chris was born in Red Lion, Pennsylvania on August 18, 1947 to Leon and Mary Goldman.   He had one sister, Holly Dodson, who predeceased him in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Albright College ( 1969), graduating magna cum laude. After serving in the U.S. Army, he got a master’s degree from Georgetown University ( 1974), and earned a Ph.D. at John’s Hopkins University ( 1986). He was an activist, scholar, and teacher of African politics.   For five years ( 1977-82) he taught at the National University of Lesotho, where some of his students were leaders of the African National Congress during its often deadly struggle against South African apartheid. Dr. Goldman was a much-loved professor of political science at Randolph-Macon Woman’s college for two decades, from 1986 until Parkinson’s disease cut his career short in 2005. At R-MWC he won the Gillie A. Larew Award for Distinguished Teaching.  His colleagues remember him fondly for his sharp wit in dull faculty meetings. He was also an amateur paleontologist and donated fossils to Randolph College’s outstanding Natural History Collections Project. Chris, who was always deeply committed to social justice, received the Lynchburg Peace Education Center Award. His friends and students remember him as a man whose generous and inspirational leadership helped to make a better community for all. He is survived by his devoted wife Carol, numerous friends, and students on two continents. He is remembered for his wonderful sense of humor and love of punning, and his  amazing skill with crossword puzzles and at beating everyone at Trivial Pursuit. Carol wishes to thank all our dear friends and neighbors who stood by her and Chris these many years and have been so loving and kind in so many ways. Carol also would like to thank Centra Hospice and all the nurses and aides who cared for Chris, the music therapist who brought happiness and light to Chris, the volunteer who became a good friend and would visit and read to Chris, and the social worker, chaplain, and other staff who guided and supported her through the last two years of Chris’ life. There will be a party to celebrate Chris’ life at a later date. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

Gene Oliver Lewis

Gene Lewis, 81, of Bedford, died Wednesday, December 26, 2018. He was the son of the late Ivory and Flossie Lewis. Gene was an accomplished HVAC mechanic. He is survived by his wife, Diane Lewis; son, Jon Lewis; daughter, Tonya Dalton; sisters Helen Martin and Betty Francis; five nieces, Kelly Martin, Bonnie Francis, Vicky Turner; Desiree Lewis, and Dee Smith; nephew, Tony Francis; sister-in-law, Frances Lewis; and life friends, the Hawleys of Lynchburg and Christiansburg. Come celebrate his life at The Country Kitchen restaurant on Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., Sunday December 30, 2018. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.

Carliss Woodrow Perkins

Carliss Woodrow Perkins, 86, of Bedford, died Wednesday, December 19, 2018. He was born in West Virginia on June 30, 1932, a son of the late Walter Robert Perkins and Ethel Dunn Perkins. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra Davis. Carliss proudly served his country in the United States Army. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Thelma Orange Perkins; sons, Ron Perkins and wife Frances, Mike Perkins, and Tony Perkins; three grandchildren; four great grand-children; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other family. A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 24, 2018, at Greenwood Cemetery. Family will receive friends 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Sunday, December 23, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Charlotte Elizabeth Middlebrook Sterling

Sterling Charlotte 2Charlotte was born to Chellis and Elizabeth (Osterbanks) Middlebrook on February 19, 1917 in Norwalk, Connecticut. She died on December 18, 2018, 2 months before her 102nd birthday, in Bedford, Virginia. She married George E. Sterling on November 25, 1937. He died December 22, 1988 at their home in Largo, Florida. While most of their lives were spent in Wilton, CT, they also lived in Tucson AZ for a time as well as Largo, FL. While in Connecticut, Charlotte and family were members of Zion’s Hill United Methodist Church. She had a beautiful soprano voice and sang in the choir for many years. She also played the piano (mostly self-taught) and accompanied her husband in practice during his singing career. Our home was always filled with music! Charlotte loved her family above all else. She also made dear friends wherever she went and kept in touch with them all through the years. It always gave her great pleasure to perform a kind deed for someone. Whether it was knitting or baking something special (her apple pies were legendary), creating a work of art in needlepoint, or sharing her chocolates, she freely gave whatever she had, especially her love.  She was well known at the nursing home for never missing an activity, even at age 101! Her loving spirit remains with her children; Brenda Koop (Ed Laughon), Bedford, VA Marcia Krepel (Dick), Richmond Hill, GA, William Sterling (Nora), Ruckersville, VA; grandchildren, David Koop (Hollie), Holley, NY, Michael Sterling, Santa Barbara, CA, Christine Speer (Scott), Brockport, NY, Donna Ferris (Dave), New London, North Carolina, Edward Seagraves (Michelle), Spartanburg, SC, Jody Deliguori (Lyman), Richmond Hill, GA, William Sterling (Kate), Monroe, CT, Daniel Sterling (Sylvia), Danbury, CT, Rebecca Sterling (Pete Wilhelm),New Milford, CT; sixteen great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Each addition to the family brought Charlotte great joy! Also surviving is a special niece, Millie Van Steinburgh, Bedford, VA. In addition to her parents, siblings and husband, she was predeceased by her precious granddaughter, Cynthia Seagraves, and many life-long friends. The family wishes to thank the many angels, staff and friends, at the Bedford County Nursing Home, who loved her and cared for her over the past 8 ½ years. We also thank Bedford Hospice, who gave comfort in her final days. A graveside service will be held in the spring at Hillside Cemetery, Wilton, CT. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

Grady Odell Manley Massie

Massie GradieGradie Manley Massie, 90, of Bedford Va. died peacefully, Tuesday morning, December 11, 2018.  She was born in Big Island Va. on December 3, 1928, a daughter of the late, Micajah Renard Manley and Lula Essex Gillispie Manley.  In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Harry Royal Massie; and her great-grandson, Jordon Parker; and son-in-law Rick Howard. Gradie was a loving wife and a good mother to her four daughters, Karen Howard; Sherry Obenchain (Richard); Brenda Parker (Dennis); Patty Zimmerman (Tim); eight grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. Gradie was retired from Piedmont Label. She was an avid sports enthusiast, playing Rec league softball. She eventually formed her own softball and basketball teams under the logo Massie Bros. Gradie later spent many years refereeing youth sports. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Big Island Emergency Crew or the Bedford Life Saving Crew.  The family will receive friends from 5 till 7 p.m. Friday, December 14, 2018 at Burch-Messier, Main Street Location, 317 W. Main Street, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

James Bruce Gross

Gross JamesJames B. Gross, 80, of Sedalia, passed away Saturday, December 8, 2018, at his home after a long battle with cancer.  Jim was born July 30, 1938, in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, son of the late Carl and Bessie (Siegfried) Gross. Jim graduated from Jeannette High School and then served in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  While working full time, he attended Villanova University at night and graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.  He was employed as an engineer, and later a sales engineer, by various companies during his professional career.  He specialized in materials testing, and his employment took him to Massachusetts, California, and England.  He eventually retired from the Long Beach, California, sales office of Instron Corp and moved to Sedalia to build his own home.  Jim made friends easily and was a consummate storyteller.  He enjoyed using his mechanical skills to help his friends, neighbors, and family. His ability to repair things even surpassed his wife's talent for breaking them. In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by brothers Raymond, Harry, Robert, and Carl Gross, and sisters Ruth Rager, Mary Taddeo, and Norma Rutledge.  He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jane, as well as a sister, Nelda Kozinko of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and brothers Donald of Hackettstown, New Jersey, and Bill and his wife, Carolyn, of Stow, Ohio, as well as many nieces and nephews. There will be no public visitation. Arrangements are being handled by Burch-Messier Funeral and Cremation Service.

Christina Sue Goff Nichols

Nichols CChristina Sue Goff Nichols, 53, died Friday, December 7, 2018. She was born in Bedford County on December 19, 1964 a daughter of Christine Goff and the late Sydney Goff. In addition to her father she was preceded in death by her husband, Woodrow Wilson Nichols, Jr. In addition to her mother she is survived by her daughter, Melissa Carter (Ben Gillis); step-daughter, Melissa Matchett; brothers, Tim Goff (Bonnie), George Goff (Nancy); grandchildren, Madilyn Gillis, Savannah Parker, Dallas Parker; nieces, nephews, and other family members. A visitation will be held 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 135 Walnut Street, Bedford. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

James Earl "Jimmy" Foster Jr.

Foster JamesJames Earl Foster, Jr., 72, passed away Thursday, December 6, 2018.  Jimmy was born in Bedford, Virginia on August 24, 1946, a son of the late James Earl Foster, Sr. and the late Marvis Turpin Walker. He graduated in the first class of Liberty High School where his football teammates called him “Hoss” Foster.  During the Vietnam War, Jimmy served as a medic in the U.S. Army stationed in Italy.  After his honorable discharge he earned an apprentice degree from Meredith Burda. Jimmy entered the printing industry and enjoyed a 40+ year career. He leaves four children to honor his memory, Heather F. Garrett (Carter), James Earl “Spike” Foster, III (Karen), Erik Mitchell Foster (Caitlin) and Lucas Graham Foster; four grandchildren, Foster, Lucienne, Greyson and Odessa; a sister, Carol F. Kutz (Warren), brothers, Jack V. Foster (Mary Lou) and John Wayne Foster; nieces, Theresa Overstreet (David), Vicky Wolford (Bobby), Tammy Overstreet (Paul), Cassie Bush (Ryan), Kecia Purser (David); and the mothers of his children, Katherine Updike and Deborah Nance. Jimmy dedicated a huge chapter of his life to helping people in Alcoholics Anonymous, through the prison ministry, sponsoring and speaking at numerous meetings.  It was a gift for him as well as those he touched. Jimmy’s children would like to thank Carol and Warren Kutz for taking care of Jimmy the final year of his life.  They were a true blessing to him. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Safe Harbor Community Church building fund, 800 Peaksview Street, Bedford, VA 24523. A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Sunday, December 16, 2018, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford with Rev. Jerry Parr officiating. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Scheduled Services


Elizabeth "Betsy" Hopkins Stewartson, 81, of Bedford, died Wednesday, April 17, 2019. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 20, at Main St. United Methodist Church. A visitation will be held 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Friday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford.


Charles Benjamin Russell, 95, of Bedford, died Wednesday, April 17, 2019. A memorial service will be held 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the Bower Center, 305 N Bridge St, Bedford, VA 24523.