Patricia Richardson Czermak

Patricia Richardson Czermak, 75, passed away October 26, 2015 in the Villages, Florida.   Patricia was born on June 9, 1940 in Covington and was the eldest daughter of Bruce and Mary (Sullenberger) Richardson of Monterey.

She was a graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. She loved entertaining, gardening and the interior decorating classes she taught at the local college.

Patricia is survived by her sister, Jennifer Richardson, also of the Villages, and three other siblings; Mary Bruce Sullivan of Portland, OR, Linda O’Hearn of Gainesville and Randy Richardson, of Monterey.

A graveside memorial service will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 2, 2015 in the Monterey Cemetery with the Rev. C. William “Bill” Cox officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the Highland County Public Library, P.O. Box 519, Monterey, VA 24465.

Posted in November 2015 | 1 Comment

Robert Eugene “R.E.” Botkin, Jr.


Robert Botkin PhotoRobert Eugene “R.E.” Botkin, Jr., 55, of Staunton passed away Monday, November 9, 2015 at the University of Virginia Medical Center. He was born June 12, 1960 in Staunton a son of Audrey (Lockridge) Botkin and the late Robert E. “Bobby” Botkin, Sr.

R.E. attended Linden Heights Baptist Church and was member of the Staunton Moose Lodge #1635. His life was surrounded by trucks and his trucker friends, whom he loved to travel with. R.E. could not drive but he was a good driving instructor. He loved to watch sports, especially NASCAR and enjoyed dirt track and drag racing.

R.E. is survived by his mother, Audrey Botkin of Staunton; brother, Gary L. Botkin and wife, Debbie of Fishersville; two sisters, Brenda Landes and husband, Danny of Staunton and Phyllis L. Botkin of Staunton; nieces and nephews, Ryan Whitesel and wife, Ashley of Stuarts Draft; Mia Strickler and husband, Greg of Spring Hill; Andrew Lee Botkin (Anna) of Fishersville and Kendal Lynn Botkin (Paul) of Fishersville and great nieces, Avery and Rylee Whitesel of Stuarts Draft. He also leaves behind two uncles, Larry Botkin and wife, Pat of Staunton and Sheril Botkin and wife, Sandra of Churchville; several cousins; special friends, Drew Hudnell, Gene Gutshall and Buck Cook. Special thanks to Greg Strickler for spending the last night with R.E. and to the BTS employees.

He was preceded in death by father, Bobby Botkin; maternal grandparents, Lee and Hazel Lockridge and paternal grandparents, Bob and Icie Botkin.

A funeral service will be conducted 1 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2015 at Linden Heights Baptist Church with the Rev. Luke Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Lawn Memory Gardens.

Active pallbearers will be Gene Gutshall, Drew Hudnell, Dwight Strickler, Arthur Cook, Jay Strickler, Jimmy Mason, Scott Buchanan and R.L. Flint. Honorary pallbearers will be friends attending the service.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, November 15, 2015 at Obaugh Funeral Home in McDowell.

Memorial contributions may be made to UVA Children’s Hospital, (for Cerebral Palsy), 1215 Lee St., Charlottesville, VA 22908 or charity of your choice.

Posted in November 2015 | 5 Comments

Lela Varner

McDowell, VA

Lela VarnerLela Mae Varner, age 95, widow of William E. Varner of McDowell, passed away peacefully Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at her home and surrounded by family. She was born November 20, 1919 in Mt. Solon, a daughter of the late Charles Elmer and Addie Beulah (Carson) Howdyshell.

Mrs. Varner was a loving and devoted mother to her children and grandchildren. She greatly enjoyed visiting with her family members both near and far, and will be fondly remembered for always placing the needs of others ahead of her own. Mrs. Varner was a dedicated member of the Hiner Church of the Brethren.

Survivors include daughters, Fay Simmons and husband, Nelson of Headwaters, Margaret V. Smith and husband, Dave of McDowell, and Nancy Whitecotton and husband, Johnny of Monterey; her son, Charles “Sonny” Varner and wife, Patsy of McDowell; eight grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren ; and 2 great great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband and parents, Mrs. Varner was predeceased by brothers, Boyd and Urshel Howdyshell; and sisters, Kathleen Armstrong, Pauline Andrews, Zela Huffman, and Charlene Long.

A funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Hiner Church of the Brethren with Pastors Jeff Fike, Garold Senger, Jr., and Jack Tucker officiating. Interment will follow in Headwaters Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday at the funeral home.

Active pallbearers include Mark Whitecotton, Erik Varner, Chris Campbell, J.J. White, R.J. White, Dean Beverage, Mike Moats, Travis Halterman, Daniel Hotz, and Frank Lukanich.

In memory of Mrs. Varner memorial donations may be made to Hiner Church of the Brethren, 6527 Highland Turnpike, McDowell, VA 24458.

Posted in October 2015, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Fleisher

Harrisonburg, VA

John FleisherJohn Raymond Fleisher, age 91, of Harrisonburg, passed away Tuesday, October 27, 2015. He was born October 12, 1924 in Pendleton County, WV, a son of the late Charles William and Daisy Nell (Harper) Fleisher.

Mr. Fleisher was a veteran of the US Navy and had served on the USS Markab (AD-21) during WWII. He retired from Ethan Allen where he was employed as a finish carpenter. Additionally, he had been a livestock farmer and worked in the woods as a pulpwood logger. Following retirement John found no greater joy than time spent making hay – he will always be remembered as a hard-working man.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nellie Lee (Waybright) Fleisher of Harrisonburg; two daughters, Janet Marie Phillips and husband, Dennis of Keezletown, and Peggy Lee Monger of Rockingham; two sons, John Wayne Fleisher and wife, Betty Jo of Harrisonburg, and William Douglas Fleisher of Rockingham; six grandchildren, Gregory Fleisher and wife, Stephanie of Keezletown, Kelly Lemondes of Harrisonburg, Lindsay Smith and husband, Shannon of Weyers Cave, Jason Fleisher, Sarah Fleisher, and Stirling Fleisher, all of Harrisonburg; seven great-grandchildren, Dakota and Mackenzie Fleisher, Tyler, Kara, and Colby Morris, as well as Cameron and Jayden Smith; a brother, Eston Fleisher of Franklin, WV; a number of nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Fleisher was predeceased by a grandson, Joshua Cole Fleisher; a brother, Emory Fleisher; and nephew, Charles Reid Fleisher.

A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, October 30, 2015 at Obaugh Funeral Home in McDowell with Pastor William Staton officiating.   Interment will follow in Blue Grass Cemetery.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Additionally, those wishing to pay their respects may do so throughout the day and into the evening Thursday, October 29 at the funeral home.

Active pallbearers include Mike Waybright, Noland McHone, Wesley, Jason, Junior, Stirling, Dakota, and Greg Fleisher. Grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers.

In memory of Mr. Fleisher memorial contributions may be made to Blue Grass Cemetery, 3042 Blue Grass Valley Rd, Blue Grass, VA 24413 or charity of choice.

Posted in October 2015, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Donovan Earl “Van” Hower, Jr.

McDowell, VA

Donovan Earl “Van” Hower, Jr., age 55, of McDowell, passed away Sunday, October 25, 2015 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He was born December 26, 1959, a son of the late Donovan Earl and Gloria May (Kruppenbach) Hower.

Mr. Hower owned and operated Gobblers Nob Nursery and Tree Farm in McDowell.

Surviving family members include his brother-in-law, Tim Bucher of Linden; and nephew, Patrick Bucher of Front Royal.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Hower was preceded in death by his sister Lee Bucher.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to McDowell Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 66, McDowell, VA 24458.

Posted in October 2015 | 1 Comment

Larry Hale Simmons


Larry SimmonsLarry Hale Simmons, age 70, of 272 Skyview Circle, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Augusta Health. He was born February 24, 1945 in Staunton a son the late Melvin Burton and Letha Mae (Swink) Simmons.

Mr. Simmons was a graduate of North River High Scholl as well as Woodrow Wilson Technical School. He was employed thirteen years with Staunton Machine Works and retired from American Safety Razor as a tool and die maker. Additionally, Larry was an excellent gun smith, but was unable to continue that work in recent years due to complications with diabetes. He was a member of Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Simmons was predeceased by his sister, Trudy Drumheller.

Surviving family members include his loving wife, Wilma Lee (Botkin) Simmons, of Verona; two brothers, Marty Simmons and wife, Kathleen of Mt. Solon and Thomas Simmons and wife, Darlene of Mt. Sidney; several nieces and nephews also survive.

A graveside funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in McKendree Cemetery with Pastor Patrick Godfrey.  Active pallbearers will be Mike Fringer, Jim Long, Logan Kerr, Earl Stabus, William Offenbacker, Kyle Obaugh, and Larry “Bub” Armstrong.

Friends may call on the family at the home of Larry and Wilma. Additionally, Obaugh Funeral Home will receive guests wishing to pay their respects Monday, October 12th, beginning midafternoon and continuing into the evening.

Memorial donations may be made to McKendree Cemetery, Attn: Treasurer, PO Box 23, McDowell, VA 24458.

Posted in October 2015 | 4 Comments

Mac Hill



Malcolm Whitlock “Mac” Hill, age 93, of Monterey, passed away Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at his home.

Born August 22, 1922 in Norfolk, he was a son of the late Norman Nash and Pearl Effie (Sherman) Hill.

Mr. Hill was a 1941 graduate of Granby High School and attended Old Dominion College following his military service. A WWII veteran, Mr. Hill served as an officer and pilot in the US Army Air Corps. Mac would go on to become a successful real-estate broker and owner of Myers, Preston, and Hill Realtors in Norfolk. Following his career in real-estate, he moved to Highland County in 1968 and began a new chapter in his life as a livestock farmer. While in Highland, Mac served a time as Chairman of the Mountain, Water, and Soil Conservation District; was President of the Republican Party of Highland County and the Virginia Christian Motorcyclist Association; as well as a member to the Highland-Bath Farm Bureau. Mac was a man of great faith and conviction and shared that faith at every opportunity: as chaplain at Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center (Saluda Prison), as a founding member of Word of Faith Church in Monterey, and in so many exceptional ways. But, none more important than as a reformed sinner, able to minister through experience guiding others to know the love of God.9

In addition to his parents, Mr. Hill was predeceased by his brother, Norman Nash Hill, Jr.

Surviving family members include his son and daughter-in law, Malcolm Whitlock “Chip” Hill, Jr. and wife, Darlene of Monterey; daughter and son-in-law, Pamela Jane Lambert and husband, Richard of Monterey; Grandchildren, James Whitelaw, Brittany Whitelaw and husband, Dave Longa, Matthew Whitelaw and wife, Amber, as well as Jachin Hill and wife, Jordan, all of Monterey, Bruce Hill and wife Crystal of Raleigh, NC, and Ashton Hill of Baltimore, MD; eight great grandchildren also survive.

A funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Monday, October, 12, 2015 at Word of Faith Church with Pastor Chip Hill officiating. Interment will follow in Monterey Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Ronnie White, Wayne Marshall, David Angel, F. Scott Wells, Brittany Whitelaw, and grandsons. Honorary pallbearers include, Chey Covert, Gray Smith, Billy Grant, Ronnie Pugh, Thomas Wilson, Jerry Hooke, Ronnie Miller, Roger Arbogast, Les Kodger, Charlie Armstrong, and Olin “Shorty” Waybright.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the church sanctuary. Additionally, the funeral home will remain open throughout the day and into the evening on Sunday to those wishing to pay their respects.

In memory of Mac, memorial contributions may be made to Word of Faith Food Pantry, PO Box 276, Monterey, VA 24465

Posted in October 2015, Uncategorized | 2 Comments