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


Pheobie Denise Johnson

Johnson PheobiePheobie Denise Johnson, 46, was born in Washington DC on June, 13 1972.  She passed away in her residing city of Lynchburg, VA on July 13, 2018.  She was the daughter of the late Rebecca Martinez and Silas Johnson. She is preceded by her brother, Quention Johnson; and a great niece.  She is survived by   five daughters, Jacqueline, Jacquline, Samantha, Faith, and Heaven Johnson; four grand-children, Jordan, Syerinedi, Gianna, and Elijah; her partner,  Florencia Perez;  her dog,  Charlie; brothers, Casey Martin, Silas Johnson Jr.,  Salvaneus Johnson; sisters, Margaret and Shenita Johnson; and a host of many uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.  She was a step- daughter to Jose Martinez and Mildred Johnson. Pheobie, adored her grand-children.  She loved each of them enthusiastically and they were her world. She bonded with them and showered them with warmth, laughter, affection, and sugar!  She enjoyed spending time with them.  They were attached to her dearly. Pheobie loved so many no matter their life status.  She was the true meaning of forgiveness and acceptance.  She loved and rejoiced in the Lord.  She attended Christ’s Community Fellowship.  She would often speak of the Lord, and post about him on her social media account.  She was a quick-witted, cerebral, adventure seeker, spontaneous, and quite stylish woman.  Apart of her morning routine consisted of blasting her gospel music, while getting quite dapper for the day.  She saw beauty and uniqueness in everything and everyone.  She realized from reflecting on her past and present struggles, she held a power deep within.  She recognized her strength and purpose.  And this illuminated her.  It ignited a fire in her.  So she worked rigorously to rebuild herself, and her relationships. She thrived connecting with others. She began mentoring the youth.  To let them know someone cares, someone understands, and someone was rooting for their success in life. She would go to retirement homes to read the Bible to the elderly.   A fun, hip, smart, down to earth individual, which she was well aware of!  And would let you know, in case you missed the memo.  She had the ability to make any person feel comfortable in their own skin.  She always remained true to who she was, whether you liked it or not.  Yet somehow, you’d wind up gravitating to her!  She basked in being spoiled. Loving to love and be loved. She was a free soul, one you only come by once in a lifetime.  See, she didn’t judge.  Life wasn’t about materialistic things to her.  It was about living whole-heartedly, laughter, love and happiness. Pheobie was a strong, vibrant woman.  She thanked the Lord each day for another blessed day of life on this Earth. She didn’t want a funeral or people crying over her because the Good Lord called her home, for she looked forward to being with her passed on loved ones and being in the Glory of God. She wanted to be cremated and for a celebration of her life to be held. Burch-Messier Funeral Home in Bedford did the honor of her cremation, and her celebration of life will be announced at a later date. 

The Day God Took You Home

A million times I’ve needed you

A million times I’ve cried,

If love alone could have saved you

You never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,

In death I love you still.

In my heart you hold a place,

No one else can ever fill.

It broke my heart to lose you,

But you didn’t go alone

Part of me went with you,

The day God took you home.

Christie Ann Martin

Martin ChristieChristie Ann Martin was born in Lynchburg, VA on February 10, 1976 to Dennis Lee Martin and Brenda Diane Bryant. She found her peace and went to be with the Lord and our other Angels in heaven on July 10, 2018. Christie was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Daniel & Louise Bryant; aunts, Claudia Ann Deavers, Virginia Wells, & Doris Mae Bryant; her step-mother, Donna Allen; and very special niece, Kesslee Daegan Biscotti. Christie is survived by her mother, Brenda Bryant (Grover); her father, Dennis Martin (Angela); sisters, April Burrell (Nathan) Candance Pollard (Cal) & Danielle Everton (Josh); nephews, Joseph Burrell, Christian Henry, & Kalyx Pollard; niece, Kiyah Pollard; grandmother, Norma Moon (Waren); grandfather, Gilliam (Buddy) Martin; aunt, Susan Davis; uncle's,  Benjamin (Peter) Bryant (Janice), David Martin (Lisa), Greg Martin & William Martin; Goddaughter, Alexus Ferguson; a very special cousin, Jennifer Fitch, and a host of cousins and friends. Christie was loved by so many. Hopefully, she went to rest knowing that. Our Christie was beautiful, intelligent and hilarious at times. All she wanted was to be loved. Even though we loved her deeply, the challenges and struggles of life held her mind hostage to terror and hurt. Christie had the most contagious laugh that we will miss tremendously. We haven't been able to hear that laugh for a long while. Her faith was strong so we know she's laughing with our loved ones in Heaven where we will meet again one day. Christie is no longer alone and scared. Even though we miss her so much it physically hurts, she's at peace at last with all of our angels. We don't understand why she had to leave us so soon. We just want our sister back. The sister that would have fought the whole world for us. The sister that wasn't perfect but she was ours. We've waited so long for her to come back to us but now she'll be waiting for us on the other side. One special request on behalf of the family: Grab hold to your loved ones and don't let them fall. Reach out when they're struggling and try to be understandable to their situation. It's not always easy. Sometimes impossible but try for their sake and yours. If it's tough love for your sanity then so be it. Our families need to bond together now more than ever. Talk to one another, Love one another. This world is cold and lonely without your family and loved ones in it. We're all struggling with the, what if and if only. We all wish we had tried harder, done more. Don't let that be your conscious, it will break you. Christie's family and friends are hurt and shocked. We're all saying the same thing, "I wish I could have done more." WE LOVE YOU CHRISTIE ANN!! Fly high!!! Always and Forever in our hearts. A memorial service will be held for Christie Ann Martin and our niece, Kesslee Daegan Biscotti, at 3:00 p.m., at Journey Ministries, 2002 Church Street, Appomattox, VA on Sunday, July 29, 2018. The church is located beside the middle school in Appomattox. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.

Christine Anderson Tatem

Christine  Anderson Tatem, 88, of Bedford, died Tuesday, July 10, 2018.  She was born in Galax, VA on August 29, 1929 a daughter of the late Thomas Kenny and Eva Sexton Kenny.  In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Mack F. Anderson, Sr. and her second husband, Jack Tatem; a daughter-in-law, Terry Anderson.  Christine was a sales associate for Arthur’s Jewelry and a longtime member of the Main Street United Methodist Church.  She is survived by her two sons, Mack F. Anderson, Jr. and his wife, Debbie of Forest and Chadwic T. Anderson of Bedford; three grandchildren, Jason Lytle; Stacie Anderson; Jena Lytle; four great-great grandchildren, Eli, Gabriel, Benjamin and Lea; a sister, Nadine Dalton of Galax; two brothers, Larry Kenny of Galax and Jerry Kenny of Thaxton.  A Celebration of Christine’s Life will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Main Street United Methodist Church with Rev. Danny Holdren   officiating.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.   Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Cinderella Cox Brown


Cinderella Cox Brown, 90, of Big Island, died Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at her residence. She was born in Bedford County on December 11, 1927 a daughter of the late, Moses James Cox and Katie Mae Horsley Cox. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Raymond R. “Dimp” Whorley and her second husband, Hilton Amos Brown; her daughter, Judy Whorley; her brother, Jim Cox. She was a member of Sedalia Baptist Church and devoted mother. Cinderella was survived by her children, Malcolm “Read” Whorley; Gracie J. Overstreet and husband, Tony; Gloria Fay Markham and husband, Kenny; a brother, Donald Cox and wife, Nadine; four grandchildren and two step grandchildren, one great granddaughter and two great grandsons. Memorials may be made to Centra Bedford Hospice. A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2018 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel with Rev. Mike Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the Sedalia Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford.

Linzie Eldridge

No services at this time.

Sharon Prince


Claire Ann LaForest Butterfield

Butterfield ClaireClaire Ann LaForest Butterfield, 90, formerly of Hardy, VA, died Friday, June 29, 2018. She was born in New Bedford, MA, a daughter of the late Oscar LaForest and Lillian Jean LaForest. In addition to her parents she is preceded in death by her husband, Gordon Bernard Butterfield; brothers, John LaForest, Paul LaForest, and Raymond LaForest; sisters, Gabe Champagne, Theresa Cartmell and Madeleine Butterfield. She is survived by her four children, Wayne Butterfield and wife Beverly, Paula Homes, Gail Alexander and husband Don, Brian Butterfield and wife Sarah; sisters, Paulette D’Avignon, Joan Lougee; sister-in-laws, Nancy LaForest and Dianne Brosnan; Grandchildren, Tracey Alexandrou, Amanda DiMeo, Kathryn Grisdale, Megan Corbin, Evan Butterfield, Samuel Butterfield, Isaac Butterfield; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Resurrection will be said 11:00 a.m., on Thursday, July 5, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15353 Moneta Road, Moneta, VA with Father Salvador Añonuevo officiating. A burial will follow in the church cemetery. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Brenda Alexander Goff Burks

Burks Brenda 2Brenda Alexander Goff Burks of Big Island, entered eternal rest with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, June 21, 2018. She was born on September 27, 1946 in Lynchburg, and was welcomed by loving parents, father, Alexander “Zan” Goff whom she was named after and loving mother, Mable Sligh Goff, they preceded her in death along with her only sibling, Elizabeth Faye Goff Craighead. Brenda and Faye were raised in Big Island and Brenda graduated with the last class at that school in 1964. She then married Owen “Pokie” Burks, Jr. on August 28, 1965 and from this union they parented four children who survive, Tina Burks and companion Mike, Denise Burks Hendricks and husband Jamie, Kristi Burks and companion T.C., and Brandon Burks. On March 20, 1975, Brenda accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her savior and her whole life took on new meaning and focus. The heartbeat of her soul was to faithfully serve Christ through her home church, Chestnut Hill Free Will Baptist Church. She served as Sunday School teacher, church clerk, editor of the church newsletter, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for 30 – 40 years. She was also clerk of the Central Va. Quarterly Conference for 30 years. The special joys of Brenda’s life were her grand"doll"babies, who survive, Bradley Goode, Alexis and Madison Hendricks, Tiffany, Coty, and Brooke Campbell, and Gloria Burks; and great-grand"doll"baby, Laila Wells. A celebration of Brenda’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, June 25, 2018, at Chestnut Hill First Free Will Baptist Church, Big Island. She will be laid to rest beside her parents and sister in the church cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers please consider the Ladies Auxiliary Chestnut Hill Free Will Baptist Church, Big Island. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Ray Murel Turpin

TurpinRay Murel Turpin, Sr. 81, of Bedford, passed away June 20, 2018, at home. He was born in Bedford County on December 10, 1936 to the late Fred and Louise Turpin. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Loretta Keen Turpin; a brother, Kenneth Turpin; sister-in-law, Cleo Turpin; and brother-in-law, Clifton “Buster” Jones. He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Turpin of Bedford; sons, Ray Turpin, Jr. and wife, Barbara of Bedford, Thomas Turpin and wife, Frances of Stokesdale, NC, Dennis Turpin and wife, Kim of Blue Ridge; ten grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jeanette Jones of Lynchburg, Evlyne Ortiz and husband, Jimmy of Charleston, SC; special friend, Shirley Holbrook, five sister-in-laws; three brother-in-laws, and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. Ray was retired from The Dairymen’s Association after being a driver for 42 years, having driven for Westover Dairy, Shenandoah’s Pride, and Valley Rich. He also was retired from the Virginia Army National Guard as a Sergeant after 23 years of service. He was an avid beef cattle farmer and raised a large garden for a number of years, always raising enough “to feed Cockes’ army”! He loved being outside working and taking care of what needed to be done and instilled a solid work ethic in his children. The family would like to express their appreciation to Good Samaritan Hospice for their assistance in the care of their loved one and to Kathy Furr, the nurse, and Jennie Payne, for all their help and care. A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, with Pastor Greg Rogers and Sam Williams officiating. A burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park with military honors. Family will receive friends 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Friday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel. Other times the family will receive friends and family at the home place on Wheatland Road. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Mary Frances Latimer Roberts

Roberts MaryMary Frances Latimer Roberts, 75, of Bedford, died Friday, June 15, 2018. She was born in Bedford County on December 6, 1942, a daughter of the late Harold Hurst Latimer and Lois Holland Latimer. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her son, Mark Edward Roberts. She was retired from Disciples Day Care. She is survived by her husband, Moses Henry Roberts, Jr.; son, Michael Lynn Roberts (Carolyn); daughter, Barbara Marie Roberts (Chris); grandchildren, Tuesday Dawn Carter, Chloe Mae-Dawn Newcomer; great-grandchildren, Damon Lee Andrews, Jr., Danica Leeann Andrews; sister, Bertie Lee Booth; and numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends. A funeral service will be held, 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street, Bedford, with Rev. Jack Davis and Pastor William Clark officiating. A burial will follow in Holy Land Cemetery. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Monday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel. In lieu of flowers please consider Center Point United Methodist Church, 1177 Timber Ridge Road, Bedford, 24523 or Bedford Life Saving Crew, 311 Bedford, Avenue, Bedford, VA 24523. 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.