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

Obituaries

Elizabeth Gilmer Hopkins Stewartson

Stewartson Elizabeth 2Elizabeth “Betsy” Hopkins Stewartson, 81, of Bedford, died Wednesday, April 17, 2019. She was born in Bedford, VA on August 14, 1937 a daughter of the late John Walter Hopkins, Jr. and Jacquelyn Gilmer Hopkins. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by a sister, Nancy Lloyd; and brother, Edward Hopkins. She is survived by her son, Jerry Stewartson and wife Denise; her daughter, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Houston and husband Randy; grandchildren, Trey Stewartson, Bailey Stewartson, Cody Waller, Kendra Houston; brother, Walter Hopkins and wife Connie; and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, April 20, at Main Street Methodist Church 212 East Main Street Bedford, VA 24523 with Rev. Rodney Houston officiating. Family will receive friends 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Friday, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St., Bedford. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 96280 Washington, DC 20077. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Charles Benjamin Russell

CharlesRussellCharles Benjamin Russell, 95, of Bedford, Virginia, died peacefully at home on April 17, 2019, following a prolonged illness. Charles enjoyed a long, good life with his wife of 73 years, Dorothy Peck Russell. They moved to Bedford at age 86 to finish out their golden years in the rolling hills of Virginia, close to their oldest daughter. Charles, always a visionary who believed no task was too great, had a new home built for the two of them overlooking a neighboring pond with a view of the Peaks of Otter. This idyllic spot marked the end of a long career: first as a World War II veteran who served as a first lieutenant in Occupied Japan; then as a dairy plant manager in Wyoming with his father-in-law at the Morning Star Dairy; next as a travelling salesman, plant manager, and New York City marketing executive for International Paper Company; and finally, as a self-made business owner of a printing company, Bull’s Head Printers. Charles was a natural leader and served his community as President of the Rotary Club in Stamford, CT. He was an independent thinker and enjoyed a great conversation. He loved good jazz, horses, sailing, and exploring new places. Even at age 95, he still enjoyed his friends while exercising three times each week at the Bedford YMCA. Charles, born in Lafayette, IN, was the second son of Lawrence Martin Russell and Harriette Dobbins Russell. He outlived both brothers, William Thornton Russell and Roger Vaus Russell. His wife, Dorothy, preceded him in death on February 26, 2017. Charles is survived by three children: Barbara Russell Raintree (married to Phillip Raintree) of Bedford; William Charles Russell (married to Kathryn Russell) of Ithaca, NY and New Smyrna Beach, FL; and Harriette Russell Trevino (married to Jesse Trevino) of Bedford, recently moved from Monroe, CT. He also enjoyed a passel of nine grandchildren and eight lively great-grandchildren. Determined that Charles should have a “good death,” the family held a living memorial gathering for him six weeks before his passing. This moving ceremony, held at his home, was attended by most of his immediate family, as well as two local friends, Patsy and Tony Martin, and his long-time companion caregiver, Sue George. This candlelit occasion allowed family members to assure him that he was loved, that he was forgiven, that his life had meaning, and that his name will be spoken for years to come. He was well cared for both faithfully and comfortably by his family, his caregivers, and Centra Bedford Hospice. All who knew and cared about Charles Russell are invited to a special Celebration of Life at the Bower Center for the Arts, in Bedford, Virginia on Saturday, June 1st at 5:00 pm. Please join us for friendship, music, good food and drink. The family would especially like to thank all caregivers from Home Instead Senior Care, all of Charles’ excellent medical providers, Shelby Kirillin of Peaceful Passing, and his generous friends and neighbors. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Hugh McNeil Scrogham Jr.

Scrogham HughHugh McNeil Scrogham Jr, 74, from Lynchburg died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, April 17 after a long illness. Hugh was born April 26, 1944 in Staunton, Virginia, a son of the late Hugh McNeil Scrogham Sr. and Reva Elliott Scrogham. In 1966, he received his BA in Political Science from Lynchburg College and an MEd in School Administration and Supervision in 1969. While attending Lynchburg College, Hugh was involved with Intramurals; was Vice President of the International Relations Club; worked as a Language Lab assistant; served as editor of The Critograph during his senior year; and was a member of the honor societies Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Delta Epsilion, Blue Key, and the President’s Council. The College hired Hugh to work in the Business Office as a purchasing manager after his graduation and upon receiving his Master’s, he became the Director of Residence Facilities. Hugh spent 40 years of his professional life serving Lynchburg College’s students, faculty, and alumni. Hugh also had a lifelong interest in the military. Although health issues prevented him from serving, his interest developed into a hobby, which led to his acquiring an extensive collection of World War II memorabilia. In 2007, upon his retirement from Lynchburg College, Hugh began volunteering several days a week at the National D-Day Memorial. He became an invaluable member of the team whose historical knowledge and familiarity with WWII artifacts and archival material became a tremendous asset to the Memorial. His assistance in documenting artifacts donated to the Memorial, his meticulous research on historical items, and his painstaking dedication to entering the collection’s data into the Memorial’s database was of significant benefit to the Foundation. Over the years, Hugh was persistently among the top 5 volunteers who contributed the most hours each year. In addition to giving his time, Hugh donated a sizable WWII collection to the Memorial through the years including priceless, instructive items such as uniforms, medical supplies, aviation equipment, wartime posters, documents, medals, memorabilia, and photos. Hugh’s legacy will become the core of the future museum/education center at the Memorial. Hugh’s interest in and respect for the military and all who serve also inspired him to establish the Hugh McNeil Scrogham Jr. ’66 Scholarship Fund at the University of Lynchburg so that veterans, particularly those who have served in combat zones, will have every opportunity to succeed at the collegiate level. Hugh will be deeply missed by his friends at the National D-Day Memorial and the University of Lynchburg. His devotion to each will have a lasting impact for generations to come. A Memorial service will be held on May 7th at 5:30pm at the National D-Day Memorial.  In lieu of donations, Hugh requested that donations be made to the National D-Day Memorial or to the University of Lynchburg. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

Winston Watts Burks, Jr.

Winston Watts Burks, Jr. died peacefully at his home on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Winston was born on July 29, 1932 in Bedford, the son of W. Watts and Anna H. Burks. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eugenia Alderson Burks; his sons, Winston W. Burks, III and wife Cathey S. Burks, John W.A. Burks and wife Lynn W. Burks; his grandchildren, Anna B. Bolling and husband R. Patrick Bolling, Katherine B. McNeely and husband Brian D. McNeely, W. Watts Burks, IV and wife Elizabeth M. Burks, William M. Burks, and Mary M. Burks; and his great-grandchildren, R. Onex Bolling II and George B. Bolling. Winston attended schools in Bedford and was a proud graduate of Virginia Tech. He was a much beloved science teacher and administrator in Arkansas for twenty-five years, before returning to Bedford, where he opened Bridge Street Antiques. The family will receive friends 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Burch-Messier Main Street location, 317 W. Main Street, Bedford. Memorials may be made to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 695, Bedford, VA 24523 in his memory. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

David Aaron Owen

Owen David 3David Aaron Owen, 45, of Vinton, died unexpectedly Wednesday, April 10, 2019. He was a son of Janie and Burvell Ewell and the late Freddie Owen. David was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Edward; and his paternal grandparents, Fred and Dorothy. David was employed by Advanced Auto Parts for over 10 years and enjoyed his most recent position as a Team Lead for Retail Customer Care in the corporate office. David loved spending time outdoors doing everything from playing airsoft with his boys, camping, relaxing on the beach, visiting local breweries, working on projects, and hanging around firepits with family and friends. David was a huge New York Giants fan and enjoyed giving anyone grief that was pulling for the opposing team! David also loved cooking all kinds of foods and finding new recipes on Pinterest. He especially loved using his InstantPot and Cast-Iron Skillet for his culinary creations. David also had an incredible talent for making furniture and decorative items from pallets that he delighted in creating for family and friends. David had an infectious smile, a deep thundering voice, and a contagious laugh that was sure to turn anyone’s frown upside down. David adored his family as well as the friends he considered family. He was an incredible man, a great role model, a strong leader, and was loved by everyone that knew him. In addition to his mother and step-father, he is survived by his wife of 22 years, Tammie; his 3 amazing children, Aaron, Joshua, and Grace; his brother, Eddie; nieces, Payton and Alexis; sister-in-law, Allison; nephews, Cody and Conner; his maternal grandmother, Dorothy; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; and several close friends who he considered family. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday April 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Orchard Hills Church. 6032 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke, VA 24019. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Children’s account at Blue Eagle Credit Union. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, is assisting the family. (540)586-7360

Kenneth Eldridge Aultice

Aultice Kenneth 3Kenneth Eldridge Aultice, 76, of Bedford, died Wednesday, April 10, 2019. He was born in Bedford, VA on June 3, 1942, a son of the late Eldridge C. Aultice and Ora Kidd Aultice. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Pendleton Aultice; sister, Pencie Carroll; brothers-in-law, Perry Pendleton and Bill Miller. He was a retired tire serviceman with 40 plus years of service at Tire Centers Inc. Kenneth is survived by his son, Travis Wayne Pendleton and wife Leslie; daughter, Syonia Marie Anderson and husband Woody; grandchildren, Eli Pendleton, Alexa Anderson; sisters, Faye Warner and husband Hal, Deanie Rucker and husband Alex, Linda Crytzer and husband Bob; brother, Patrick Aultice and wife Diann; brother-in-law Stuart Carroll; special sister-in-law, Patricia Miller; brother-in-law, Lonnie Pendleton and wife Margie; numerous nieces, nephews, and all of his Walmart friends. Family will receive friends 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, April 15, at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut St. Bedford. A private family burial will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Christine “Mama Tine” Reynolds Eubank

EubankChristineChristine “Mama Tine” Reynolds Eubank, 98, of Bedford, died Tuesday, April 9, 2019. She was born in Bedford, VA on February 23, 1921, a daughter of the late James Howard Reynolds and Annie DeWitt Reynolds. In addition to her parents she is preceded in death by her husband, Allie Reveley Eubank, Sr.; a son, A.R. Eubank, Jr.; two sons-in-law, Billy McDonaldson and J.C. Cousart; 2 brothers and 2 sisters-in-law.; granddaughter, Teresa Ann Moser. She is survived by two daughters, Annie Mae McDonaldson and Mary Lou Cousart; and the “good” daughter-in-law, Nancy Eubank; a sister, Estelle Karnes; 5 grandchildren; 5 great-granddchildren and 2 great-great grandsons; numerous nieces and nephews. She was a lifetime member of Otterville United Methodist Church and retired from Rubatex. A funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Otterville United Methodist Church with Rev. Mark Wilkerson officiating.  Burial will follow in the Greenwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Burch-Messier Walnut Street Chapel, 1235 Walnut Street.  Memorials may be made to the Otterville United Methodist Church Building Fund or the Bedford Life Saving Crew. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford.

Lewis Cecil Sexton

Sexton Lewis 2Lewis Cecil “Dickie” Sexton, 74, of Moneta, passed away Wednesday, December 26, 2018. He was born in Bedford, VA on September 5, 1944. He also had a twin sister that lived for six months. He is the son of Lewis E. Sexton and Florence A. Sexton. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a niece, Debbie Leftwich Custer. He worked at Rubatex but was retired. He loved country music, fishing, and making things. He loved his three cats. He is survived by two sisters, Jeanne S. Logwood of Roanoke and Judy S. Leftwich and husband Richard of Bedford; nephew, David Lewis Logwood, and great-nephew, Daniel Wayne Custer. A graveside service will be held 1:00 p.m., Friday, May 3, 2019 at Greenwood Cemetery with Rev. Rick Dellinger officiating. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360 is assisting the family.

James Douglas Carpenter

Carpenter JamesJames Douglas Carpenter, 91, died Monday, April 8, 2019, at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He leaves his wife of 56 years, Jean Hanley Carpenter, better known as Gay; children and spouses: Kent and Cheryl Carpenter, Jean and Rick Krason, Jeff Carpenter, and Gwen Carpenter; and four grandchildren: Danny Carpenter, Emma Carpenter, Reilly Krason and MacKenzie Krason. Born in Calhoun County, WV, and raised in Gilmer County, WV, the son of Raymond Lloyd (Jim) and Beulah Claudine (Burch) Carpenter, Doug achieved early fame when he managed the Normantown High School Boys Basketball team, the Vikings, to the 1945 West Virginia State Championship. He graduated from Normantown High School in 1946. Attended Glenville State College in WV where he managed men’s sports teams until graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1950. Later that year he was drafted into the United States Army and served as a Staff Sergeant in the 7th Infantry Field Artillery during the Korean Conflict. Upon his return to the US, Doug attended West Virginia University earning a master’s degree in education in 1954. The following year Doug taught science at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Charleston, WV. From 1955 until 1958 Doug served as Assistant Dean of Admissions at Marshall College [now University]. Then he worked as a Guidance Counselor at Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ, until his retirement in 1990. Without question, Doug had a profound impact on the lives of many young adults as measured by the number of thank you letters received from former students. He met his wife, Gay, in New Jersey, and they were married July 14, 1962. They raised a family of four children during which time Doug was an active adult leader in Boy Scouts of America. Doug and Gay retired in 1991 to Smith Mountain Lake, VA, where they shared their retirement home with numerous relatives and friends, especially their four grandchildren. In retirement, Doug volunteered for the Lake Christian Ministries. A service will be held Apr 14, 2019 3:00 pm at Collins Cemetery, Stumptown, WV. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Lake Christian Ministries, Moneta, VA. Arrangements by Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360.

Robert Jackson Humphreys

On Saturday, April 6, 2019, Humphreys Robert of Altavista, Virginia, passed away at the age of 83. Jack was born near Union, West Virginia, on April 28, 1935, the eldest of the late Robert Garland and Ruth Compton Humphreys. He was predeceased by his wife of 22 years, Mary Farmer Humphreys, in 2015. He was also predeceased by his sisters, infant Nancy, Margaret Whittemore, Mary Scott and his brothers, Carl D. and George H. He is survived by sisters, Reba Norris, Helen (Russell, Jr.) Himes, Eva (William) Vass, and by daughters, Sibyl (James, Jr.) Roberts, Susan (Douglas) Thompson, and Alissa Humphreys. He is also survived by stepsons, John (Denise) and Bennett Tucker and stepdaughters, Lenette (James T.) McClelland and Tina (Keith) Winston; sister-in-law, Carole Humphreys and brother-in-law, William Whittemore, and ex-wife Patricia Humphreys. Jack was a graduate of Union High School in Union, West Virginia, and Concord College in Athens, West Virginia. He retired from the USDA Forest Service with 31 years of service, US Army (with 3 years active duty and 18 years reserve) and was a full time and part time farmer. He was a member of the Chatham Presbyterian Church. The family would like to thank the Davis House of Altavista for providing compassionate care during the last months of Jack’s life. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Jack requested that in lieu of flowers or any memorial, those wishing to remember him just give a hand up to someone along the way and pay it forward and help to make this a better world. Burch-Messier Funeral Home, Bedford, 540-586-7360, is assisting the family.