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April 2011


BRYAN, TX - Robert Lee “Bobby” Ison, Sr., 79, died, Friday, April 29, 2011 in Bryan, Texas.  Formerly of Norton, Bobby was a son of the late Worley and Sally Adams Ison.  He was a retired construction carpenter and was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He was also preceded in death by his brothers: Conley and Cleamon Ison; his sisters: Wilma Bolling and Phyllis Freeman; and two sons: Larry Joe Ison and an infant son.

Surviving are his daughters and sons-in-law, Linda and Richard Roderick, Angleton, TX, and Teresa and Martie Hughes, Bryan, TX; his sons and daughters-in-law:  Gerald and Janet Ison, Bryan, TX, and Robert Lee and Kay Ison, Jr., Franklin, TX; a brother, Jimmie Joe Ison, Quinton, VA, and a sister, Aileen Brummitt, Norton, VA, fifteen grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 PM Thursday evening at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.  Funeral services will be at 7 PM Thursday in the funeral home chapel, with the Rev. Jim Smith officiating.  Family and friends will gather at the funeral home at 9:30 AM Friday where they will then travel together in procession to the Ison Family Cemetery on Powell River Road, Norton, VA.  Military honors will be provided by the Army National Guard Honors Team and local veteran services organizations.


NORTON, VA – Ruby Jean Cassell, 69, died Friday, April 22, 2011, at Norton Community Hospital. She attended the Norton Church of God. She was born in Kentucky to the late Robert and Stella Ann Bentley. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her first husband, Billy William Wireman, her second husband, Tom Cassell, her first child, Motona Ann Wireman, and three brothers, Robert Bentley, Jr., Harrison Bentley, Clayton Lewis Bentley.

She is survived by her sons, Billy Wireman and his girlfriend, Margaret Ann Mullins, Big Stone Gap, Va., John Robert Wireman, Norton, Va.; a daughter and her husband, Norma Jean and Terrance John Hout, Church Hill, Tn.; daughter-in-law, Claire Wireman, Norton, Va.; step daughter, Sara Whited, Rosedale, Va.; 5 grandchildren; 4 step grandchildren; 10 step great grandchildren; a brother and his wife, Paul and Barbara Bentley, Big Stone Gap, Va.; three sisters, Wilma Teasley, Wise, Va., Willa Teasley, Pikeville, Ky., Fayetta Johnson and her husband, Doral, Big Stone Gap, Va.; several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 PM Monday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 AM Tuesday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Freddie Powers officiating. Burial will follow in the Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.



NORTON, VA – Shelby Gardner, 82, died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, in Norton Community Hospital. He was a member of Hopkins Chapel Church and was a veteran of the U.S. Army having served during the Korean Conflict. He was a son of the late Manuel Gardner and Deloris Byrd Gardner Kilgore. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth Gardner and a sister, Jacqueline Gardner Roberts.

Surviving are his wife, Thelma Jones Gardner, Norton, VA; a son and daughter-in-law, Manuel Steven and Shannon Gardner, Kingsport, TN; 3 daughters and sons-in-law, Christine and Bill Shields, Eustis, Fla., Gail and Randy Collins, Johnson City, Tn., Cathy and Sonny MacRae, Leesburg, Fla.; 4 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; several step grandchildren; 1 sister and brother-in-law, Cleo and Ray Dean, Norton, Va.; several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 PM Friday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted 8:00 PM Friday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Mike Hunsucker and Pastor Worley Smith officiating. Graveside committal services with military honors conducted by Gate City National Guard Funeral Honors Team and local veterans groups will be 11:00 AM Saturday at the Gardner Cemetery, Gardner Heights Road, Norton, VA. Family and friends will meet 10:30 AM Saturday at the funeral home to travel in procession to the cemetery.


NORTON, VA – Mildred Rhudy Renfro, 91, died Thursday, April 14, 2011 in her home in Norton. Born in Thompson Valley in Tazewell County, Va., she was the daughter of the late Ellis H. Rhudy and Bessie Skeen Rhudy.

Mrs. Renfro retired from the Norton City Schools System after educating children in the second grade for 32 years. She was an active member and supporter of the Norton United Methodist Church serving the church in numerous administrative positions throughout the years as well as participating with the United Methodist Women.  Mrs. Renfro was a dedicated volunteer in the Norton area hospitals, being recognized through the hospital auxiliaries as “Volunteer of the Year” on different occasions.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Edward MacDonald Renfro; her grandson, Jason Andrew Renfro; an infant sister, Mamie Louise; brothers, J. B., Cecil, and Carl Rhudy.

She is survived by a son, Rhudy Renfro of Charlottesville, Va.; a son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Tom Renfro and his wife, Sid Renfro, of Coeburn, Va.; three sisters, Eunice Jones of North Tazewell, Va.; Nonye  LaRue of Chattanooga, Tn.; and Annis Conn of Tazewell, Va.; a brother, Paul Rhudy, and his wife, Betty of Newark, De.; sisters-in-law Letha ‘Tiny’ Anderson and her husband, David, of Bristol, Va.; Esther Rhudy of Beckley, W.Va.; and Dorothy Renfro of Charlotte, N.C.; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Hagy and Fawbush Funeral Home Chapel followed by the funeral service with Rev. Ken Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in the Powell Valley Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Norton United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 76, Norton, VA 24273.



APPALACHIA, VA - Bruce Edwin Willis, 56, died Thursday, April 14, 2011 at his home on Inman Road.  Born and raised in the Josephine community of Norton, Bruce retired as a lineman for Penn Line Service and was a volunteer firefighter with the Dryden Fire Department.  He served in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne from 1972 – 1975, earning the National Defense Medal, the Parachute Badge, and the Expert Badge M-16.   He loved to fish and be outdoors, spend time with family and friends, was a gifted artist, and loved to paint and sketch.  To all who knew him, he was truly a Special Soul. 

He was welcomed into the fold by his mother, Pharaba Willis, his grandparents, Robert and Elizabeth Willis, several aunts and uncles. He leaves behind his wife, Nancy Ingle Willis, a daughter, Lori Willis Miller and her husband, Randy and a son, Travis Willis, and his wife Ashley.  His beloved grandchildren include:  Morgan Shull, William Willis and Brady Shull.  Also surviving are his “special buddy” Billy Hylton, “Little Girlfriend” Peyton Hylton, Nancy Willis and partner, Jerry, and a large extended family and a host of friends.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 PM Saturday at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.  Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Sunday in the funeral home chapel.  The Dryden Volunteer Fire Department will serve as honorary escort.  Burial will follow in the Laurel Grove Cemetery, with military honors provided by the U.S. Army Honors Team and veterans service organizations.


NORTON, VA – Judith Charlene Boggs, 63, died Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at Mountain View Regional Medical Center. She was a member of Davis Chapel Freewill Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Sarah Calhoun Stratton, a granddaughter, Samantha Adams, a sister, Mary Kring and a brother, Monty Stratton.

Surviving are her daughters, Heather and Danny Adams, Pound, VA, Sara Boggs and her fiancé, Shawn Bates, Norton, VA; grandchildren, Megan Adams, D.J. Adams and Kadence Bates; brothers, Leon (Dick) Stratton and Carson Stratton, both of Norton, VA; sisters, Carol Weaver, Appalachia, VA, Jeannie and Larry Bolling, Defiance, OH; special friend, Rudy Frye, Norton, VA; several nieces and nephews and beloved church members.

The family will receive friends from 5-7:00 PM Friday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 AM Saturday at the Davis Freewill Baptist Church with Rev. Danny Mullins officiating. Burial will follow in the Laurel Grove Cemetery.