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Norton Virginia Photos

April 2016

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NORTON, VA – Patsy Marie Rose, 70, died Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at Bristol Regional Medical Center. She attended the Ramsey Freewill Baptist Church. She was an Elvis Presley fan as well as an avid baseball fan following the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. Patsy was instrumental in organizing the Ramsey Reunion for the past 20 years.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Donald Rose of Norton, Va.; her son and his wife, David and Lisa Rose of Norton, Va; her daughter and her husband, Cindy and Josh Brooks of Rose Hill, Va.; three grandchildren, Rachel Brooks, Hannah Rose, Ashley Stanley and his wife India; two great grandsons, Ian and Aiden Stanley; special cousin, Heather Wade.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Friday, April 29, 2016, at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton. Services will be conducted at 7 pm Friday in the funeral home chapel with Roger Roberts officiating. Graveside committal services will be conducted at 11 am Saturday, April 30, 2016, at Laurel Grove Cemetery. Family and friends will meet at the funeral home by 10:30 am Saturday to travel in procession to the cemetery.


NORTON, VA - Mary Jane Nunley Beverly, 73, passed away Sunday, April 24, 2016 at Select Specialty Hospital in Bristol, TN after a lengthy illness. She loved her LORD, and her favorite pastime was going to church.  She was a member of the Ramsey Freewill Baptist Church.  When there were no services held there, she and her husband traveled to various church revivals and Southern gospel singings.  Mary Jane was retired from the Coalfield Progress with over 30 years’ service to the publisher.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Kathy Beverly Fisher, her parents: Frank Nunley and Martha Lovell Nunley; a sister and brother-in-law: Hazel and Robert Estep; and three brothers: Albert E. “Buster” Nunley, Sr., Earl F. Nunley, and William H. “Bull” Nunley, Sr.

Surviving are her husband of 56 years, William “Bill” Beverly, a son William “Billy” Beverly, Jr., Williamsburg, VA, four sisters:  Betty Wells and Peggy (James) Funk, Norton, VA, Linda (Paul) Mays, Bristol, VA; and Christie (Larry) Frye, Abingdon, VA, a son-in-law, Sam Fisher, Appalachia, VA, a brother-in-law, Ray Beverly, Norton, VA, 6 grandchildren:  Jeremy Minor, Norton, VA, Angela (Chad) Lovett, Kingsport, TN, Clare Jane Acree, William Grant, Miles and Seth Beverly, Williamsburg, VA; eight great grandchildren, and those special to her: Kimberly Grant, Charlotte Beverly and Charles “Buck” Minor.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 PM Wednesday at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.  Funeral services will be at 1 PM Thursday at the Ramsey Freewill Baptist Church, with the Reverend Randy Carter, the Reverend Ralph McFarland, the Reverend Benny Boles, and the Reverend Arthur Kilgore officiating.  Burial will follow in the Laurel Grove Cemetery.


NORTON, VA - James Jesse Collins, Jr. of Norton, Virginia, passed away April 21, 2016,   just one day before his 97th birthday. James was born in Esserville, Virginia, April 22, 1919 to James Collins, Sr. and Victoria Hamilton Collins, and lived most of his life in the Norton area, with periods in Arizona, Washington state, Kentucky and Tennessee.

He was preceded in death by his parents, by his wife Joan Flanary Gardner Collins; his brothers Robert, Charles, and Hubert Collins; by his sisters Georgia Goodale and Mildred Baron; and by one granddaughter and one great granddaughter.

He is survived by his children:  Dorothy Collins Chittester of Norton, Peggy Ann Collins Peake and husband Thomas R. of Gray, TN., James Calvin Collins and wife Shannon of Astatula, FL, Jane Collins Hilt and husband R. W. of Abingdon, VA, and their mother Lydia Mullins Collins of Abingdon, and stepdaughters: Christine Gardner Shields, Gail Gardner Collins and Cathy Jo Gardner MacRae, by 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

James was a widely known and respected businessman and public-minded citizen of the Norton area, where he was involved in many civic activities and service projects.  He was a charter member of the Norton Lions Club and served for more than sixty years in Lions organizations.  Voted Lion of the Year twice, James also received the coveted Melvin Jones Fellow Award.  Additionally, he was an active member of the Masonic Lodge for over 50 years.  He was made an honorary member of the Norton Fire Department for his support and work with the department. It was a source of pride to see him drive Norton’s beautiful antique firetruck - whose engine he had personally rebuilt - in Christmas and other parades for many years.

James was a gifted mechanic and miner and developed numerous work-related and recreational skills.  He began working at age 17 for his brother Robert (Bob) as a mechanic at his Super service Garage in Norton and never lost interest in cars, trucks, and machinery.  After serving in the U.S. Army in World War II, James became a coal miner and eventually owner of the Flat Gap Mining Company. He served on the Norton Industrial and Development Board for 17 years.  James was a member of the First Baptist Church of Norton.

His hobbies included travel, RV-ing, poker, and billiards, and he was an avid NASCAR fan and former race car driver.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to In-Home Care and to May Smith for their care of James.

A celebration of James’ life will be held 3 pm Saturday, April 30, at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home chapel, with Dr. Thomas R. Peake and John W. Daniels III officiating. Honorary Pall Bearers will be: William Sturgill, 5 grandsons:  John and Greg Chittester, Thomas R. Peake, II, J. W. Collins, and John W. Daniels, III; John W. Daniels, Jr., S. Bartow Foulke, and James's poker playing buddies. His family will host a reception immediately following the service until 6 PM at the Holiday Inn in Norton.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Norton, PO Box 499, Norton, VA 24273.  Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home of Norton is serving the Collins family.


NORTON, VA – Leon “Dickey” Stratton, 69, died Monday, April 18, 2016 at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tn. He was a U.S. Army veteran having served in in the Vietnam Conflict. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Stratton; his mother, Sarah Stratton; his siblings, Madeline Carol Weaver, Judith Charlene Boggs, Imogene Bolling and Mary Kring.

He is survived by his children, Jeffrey Stratton of Bristol, Va., Christopher Joseph Stratton of Richmond, Va., Anthony Shane Stratton of Pennington Gap, Va., Dustin Loyd Stratton of Big Stone Gap, Va. and April Salyers of Pound, Va.; his grandchildren, Hunter Stratton, Braxton Stratton and Tyler Stratton all of Pennington Gap, Va., Sierra Stratton of Richmond, Va.; his brother, Carson Stratton of Norton, Va.; and his best friend, Brittany Owens.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm Friday, April 22, 2016, at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton. A memorial service will be conducted at 7 pm Friday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Danny Mullins officiating. Military graveside rites will be conducted at 11 am Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Laurel Grove Cemetery in Norton. Family and friends will meet at the cemetery.


NORTON, VA – Joseph Randell (Sam) Owens, 54, died Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at Norton Community Hospital. He was preceded in death by his father, James Ernest (Red) Owens, his brother, Ernie Owens and a nephew, Brandon Owens.

He is survived by his mother, Effie Owens of Norton, Va.; brothers, John Owens and his wife Beth of Abingdon, Va., Rob Owens and his wife Roberta of Norton, Va., David Owens of Norton, Va.; his sister, Trina Bell of Norton, Va.; his nephews, Jim, John and Zack; his nieces, Krztena, Amanda, Mary and Sarah; several great nieces and nephews and a host of special friends.

Graveside funeral services will be conducted at 2 pm Sunday, April 10, 2016 at White Oak Gap Cemetery with Adrian Dale officiating. Family and friends will meet at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home by 1:30 pm Sunday to travel in procession to the cemetery.


NORTON, VA - William Harrison “Bill” Bledsoe, 69, from Norton, Virginia, died peacefully in his sleep at Holston Valley Hospice Inpatient Unit on April 5, 2016.  Bill was born on November 5, 1946 in Pardee, Virginia to parents, John J. “Big John” Bledsoe and Evelyn J. Williams Bledsoe.  Bill was a U.S. Army veteran and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War.  He retired from a long and dedicated career with the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.  Afterwards, Bill continued his commitment, pride, and association to the area’s coal industry by serving as the Executive Director of the Virginia Mining Association for several more years, before finally retiring.

Bill is survived by his dedicated and loving wife who he was married to for 48 years, Loretta Bledsoe of Norton; daughter & son-in-law, Karen (Bledsoe) Allen & Greg Allen of Ringgold, Ga.; grandchildren, Hayden (age 13) & Isabella (age 8) Allen, both of Ringgold, Ga.; his mother, Evelyn Bledsoe of Norton, Va.; sister, Kay Kash of Norton; brother, Johnny Bledsoe, of Norton; niece, Shaun Alane Lockhart, of John’s Creek, Ga.; niece, Rhonda Kash, of Virginia Beach, VA; nephew, Rob Kash, of Virginia Beach, Va.; niece, Sarah Bledsoe, of Norton, Va.; nephew, John Henry Bledsoe, of Norton, Va,; beloved aunt & uncle, Joann & Baker Lockhart, of John’s Creek, Ga.; and special cousins, Debra Rankin, of Cummings, Ga. and Kenneth Bledsoe of Norton, Va.; brother & sisters-in-law, Robert & Linda Greer of Kentucky, and Tommy & Billie Miller of Smyrna, Tn.; nephews, Steven Miller, of Smyrna, Tn., and Robbie Greer, of Louisville, Ky.  Special long-time friends and golf buddies include:  Robert Massey, Danny Brown, Tommy Kinser, John Belcher and Frank Hampton. Bill also leaves behind a beloved young nephew, Leo James Bledsoe who he helped care for and who called him Papaw Bill.

Bill is preceded in death by his beloved son, William Jacob (Jake) Bledsoe, January 27, 2003; Jake’s Fiancée, Leigh Ann Vaughn, his father, William J. Bledsoe, February 20, 2014 and his grandmother, Beulah Shells Williams.

Bill was simply a good man.  The kind of man you would want your daughter to marry or to be your best friend.  He was honest, loyal, extremely intelligent, but never arrogant or boastful.  He was old fashioned in the sense that caring for his family was not only a moral obligation, but a sense of pride.  His 48 year marriage to his wife, Loretta, was a true testament of what a loving marriage really looks like.          

If you needed real and solid advice on just about anything, Bill was your man.  He never failed to provide thoughtful and genuine feedback, if it was something he had knowledge of.  If he didn’t, then he would simply tell you to ask someone better suited.

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of this son, husband, father, uncle and friend, was his integrity and honor. He was as honest and true as they get and unfortunately they just don’t make them like that anymore.  He was a rare gem who will be missed by friends and family alike, but alas, he would not want us to be sad.  He would want us to embrace life, remember that we are ALWAYS responsible for our own actions, and we should always strive to do right by others.  He was always kind and was loved.

A celebration of life service will be held at 7 pm Friday, April 8, 2016 in the chapel of Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton, Va. with Pastor Jim Wells officiating. The family will receive friends 5-7 pm Friday at the funeral home. Military graveside rites will be conducted at 11 am Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens. Family and friends will meet at the funeral home by 10:30 am to travel in procession to the cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Norton Christian Church, P.O. Box 216, Norton, Va. 24273-0216.