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January 2012


BIG STONE GAP, VA – Frank Clisso died Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at Lonesome Pine Hospital following an extended illness.  Born in Wise County, Virginia to the late Pete and Allie (Rossi) Clisso, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Vivian Clisso, and ten brothers and sisters.  Frank was a World War II U.S. Army veteran and member of the UMWA.  He was a former construction foreman for J. M. Turner Construction and assisted in the construction of the Flannigan Dam in Dickenson County.  He retired from the City of Norton as the director of public works.

Surviving are his wife, Shelby M. Clisso, a son, Monty Clisso, Mooresburg, TN, his daughters:  Rosalee (Jerry) Miniard and Brenda (Larry) Hill, all of Norton, a stepson Kedric Meade, Big Stone Gap, VA, his sisters:  Josie Crabtree, Connie (Johnny) Day, and Sharon Clisso, all of Wise, VA; his brothers:  Clyde (Clara) Clisso, Grand Rapids, MI, Hobert (Molly)Clisso, Norton, and Don (Phyllis) Clisso of Wise.  There are eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 PM Thursday at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.  Funeral services will be at 7 o’clock in the funeral home chapel with the Reverend Phillip Bates officiating.  Family and friends will gather at 1:30 PM Friday at the funeral home, where they then will travel in procession to the Gardner Cemetery on Powell River for burial at 2 PM.  Military honors will be provided by the Virginia National Guard Honors Team and local veterans associations.


East Stone Gap, VA – Loretta “Kathy” Fisher, 51, died Sunday January 22, 2012 at her home. Kathy was a member of Ramsey Freewill Baptist Church in Norton. She was a former resident of Norton before making her home in Appalachia and then East Stone Gap.  She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Martha and Frank Nunley and Loretta and Grady Beverly.

She is survived by her husband Sam Fisher, East Stone Gap, VA; son Jeremy Minor and his wife Ashley of Norton; daughter, Angela Lovett and her husband Chad of Kingsport, TN; grandchildren, Micah and Elijah Minor, Jakob and Jaelyn Lovett; her parents, Bill and Mary Beverly of Norton, VA; brother, Billy Beverly of Williamsburg, VA; 1 niece, 3 nephews and 3 grand nieces.

The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services will follow at 7:00 PM with Rev. Benny Boles and Rev. Randy Carter officiating.  Interment will be at 11:00 AM on Thursday in American Legion Cemetery in Powell Valley.  Family and friends are requested to meet at the funeral home at 10:30 AM Thursday to go in procession to the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Ramsey Freewill Baptist Church, c/o Becky McElroy, 125 9th Street NW, Norton, VA 24273.



NORTON, VA – Charles Jerome “Charlie” Muir, 50, died Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 at his residence in Norton. Born in Silver Springs, MD he had made his home in Norton since the late 1970’s. He was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Sonia O’Hara in 2004.

He is survived by his son, Andrew Falin of the Eastern Shores, VA; father, Douglas F. Muir, Jr. of Tracys Landing, MD; brothers, Mike Muir and his wife Barbara, John Muir and his wife Marie and Douglas Muir all of Norton, VA; sisters, Susan Kennedy of Abingdon, VA, Anna Knapp and her husband Kyle of Pennsylvania, Eileen Owens and her husband Michael of Norton, VA.

The family will receive friends from 6-7:00 PM Tuesday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted 7:00 PM Tuesday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Ken Taylor officiating. Graveside committal services will be conducted 11:00 AM Wednesday at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens. Family and friends will meet at 10:30 AM Wednesday at the funeral home to travel in procession to the cemetery.



NORTON, VA – Steven Napier Shelley, 60, died Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 at Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, TN from a sudden, aggressive cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Ronald N. Shelley, Sr. and Zelma F. Shelley and his brother, Ronald N. Shelley, Jr.

A resident of Washington County and Norton, Virginia, Steven worked for the Virginia Department of Forestry for 28 years. During his professional career, he was best known for his work involving environmental education within the Washington County school system and his passion for conservation. Countless students were entertained and educated by his unique presentation of the importance of environmental awareness and reforestation.

He is survived his wife, Michele Knox of Norton, VA; his brother, Paul Shelley of Bellingham, WA; his niece Katherine Shelley and her mother, Marilyn Noll of Vancouver Island, B.C.; and his faithful dog, Henry.

He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Neil Knox and his wife Jane and daughter Maggie of Abingdon, VA; brother-in-law, Bobby Knox and his wife Martha and son Conner of Bristol, TN; sister-in-law, Ramona Bailey with her husband Mike of Abingdon, VA; along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and special friends.

Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, 330 Cummings Street, P.O. Box 2359, Abingdon, VA 24212 or to Second Harvest Food Bank, P.O. Box 2579, Abingdon, VA 24212.


NORTON, VA – Cecil Ray Laney, 87, died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 in Lonesome Pine Hospital. He was the son of the late Lonnie James and Bessie Belcher Laney. He worked as a section foreman for 32 years with the former Interstate & Southern Railways. He was a founding member of the Norton Rescue Squad and was a former Boy Scout Master Troop 205. He was a member of Suthers Lodge 259 A F & A M. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline Mefford Laney and a brother, Arthur Laney.

He is survived by sons, Larry R. Laney and his wife Joyce of Norton, VA, Donald R. Laney of Essex, MD; 3 grandchildren, Jennifer Laney, Heather Robinson, Roger Laney; great grandchildren, Rachael Clayton, Anna Alanis and Luis Alanis; one brother, Efford Laney of Wise, VA.

The family will receive friends 6-8:00 PM Wednesday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Masonic services will be conducted Wednesday evening at the funeral home. Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 PM Thursday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Ralph McFarland officiating. Burial will follow in the Laurel Grove Cemetery.


NORTON, VA – Willie Winkles, 90, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 at Wellington Place in Kingsport, TN. Willie (known as Lefty) was a native of Guntersville, Alabama. He was born October 31, 1921, to the late John H. Winkles and Kasey Sims Winkles. He spent most of his adult years in Norton after completing a decorated Navy tour during World War II.  He met and married his wife, the former Trula Spears, a Norton native, in Washington, D.C. following his discharge. Trula preceded Willie in death in 2004.

Upon his arrival to Norton he started pitching for the Dorchester Cardinals of the Lonesome Pine League sponsored by the Wise Coal & Coke Company.  He was with Dorchester three years beginning in 1947, Dixiana one year, and the Norton Braves his final two years before he was offered a contract with the Boston Braves to pitch for their Double A farm club in Atlanta.  Due to family reasons he declined and remained in Norton as a career employee/owner of Daniels Plumbing and Heating and was a long-time member of the Norton Lion’s Club.  He was the last known surviving member of all the coal company sponsored teams in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.  He played with his life-long friends like Jim Daniels, Red Brooks, Cliff Stallard, and Roy Flanary, his catcher.

Willie spent his senior years caring for his late wife and playing golf with his many friends at Lonesome Pine Country Club in the infamous “Shootout Group.”  His number one partner and cart-mate during most of this time was W. Jack Davis, whose companionship made his last golfing days very special.

His last wish was being selected to meet the Atlanta Braves Team during spring training by Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation. He was not able to make the trip, but did receive some nice items of Braves’ memorabilia during his “call-up to the Braves” ceremony.

In addition to his wife he was preceded in death by a brother, Homer Winkles of Rainsville, AL and a sister, Roslyn Bowen of Hinesville, GA.

He is survived by his son, Mark Winkles of Kansas City, MO; a daughter-in-law, Kelly Winkles of Kingsport, TN; 3 grandchildren, Eric Winkles Boggs, Marion, VA, Erin Winkles of Martin, TN, Jonathan Winkles of Johnson City, TN; 4 great grandchildren; 2 brothers, O.A. Winkles of Milton, FL, K.B. Winkles of Dallas, TX; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8:00 PM Friday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home. Committal services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Saturday at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens Mausoleum with military rites conducted by Gate City National Guard Funeral Honors Team and local veterans groups. Entombment will follow in the mausoleum. Family and friends will meet at 12:30 PM Saturday at the funeral home to travel in procession to the cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Church of God, P.O. Box 857, Norton, VA 24273; or to West Colonial Hills Baptist Church, 1202 Kendricks Creek Road, Kingsport, TN 37663.


COEBURN, VA – Jennifer Philene Smith, 38, died Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center. Born in Norton she had made her home in Florida since 1981 and recently moved back to Wise County. She was a member of the Moose Club in Palatka, Fla. and was a member of the St. Jude Native Americans. She was preceded in death by her father, Phillip Earl Smith.

She is survived by her mother, Betty Farmer of Palatka, Fla.; a daughter Kristen Michelle Gardner of Palatka, Fla.; a son, Robert Alexander Weaver of Coeburn, Va.; granddaughter, Briannah Marie Gardner of Palatka, Fla.; a brother, Michael Roberts of Palatka, Fla.; a sister, Rachael Etta Thomas of Palatka, Fla.; step brothers, William Farmer of Arkansas, Tommy Farmer of Jonesborough, Tn.; step sister, Kathy Kelly of Pound, Va.; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Thursday at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral home. Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 PM Thursday in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow in the Laurel Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the funeral home to help with funeral expenses.