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Norton Virginia Photos

January 2017

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NORTON, VA – Wilma Messer Clisso, 82, died Tuesday, January 24, 2017 in Lincolnton, NC. Born July 28, 1934 to the late Morgan and Thelma Donnels Thacker, she married John Junior Messer in 1952.  She and “June” had three sons and two daughters. Wilma worked in the dietary departments at the former Park Avenue Hospital, the former St. Mary’s Hospital and Norton Community Hospital.

Following her retirement, she owned and operate the Kountry Kitchen in Wise, VA.  Wilma married Charles Clisso and for many years continued to live and work in Wise.  Following Charles’ death, she moved to North Carolina to be with family there.  Besides her parents and her husbands, she was preceded in death by a son, Stevie Messer, her brother, Milford Thacker, a granddaughter, Leighanne Messer, and a grandson Jesse Galbraith.

Surviving are her sons:  Dennis Messer and Russell Messer; her daughters and sons-in-law, Jane and Ben Galbraith, and Marie and Randy Guinn; her grandchildren, Steven, Morgan, Chris, Brandon, Jacob, Rebekah, Daniel, Jonathan, Corey, Casey, and Michaela; 8 great grandchildren, with one more on the way; and her step children, Chuck, Lois, Lisha, Chad, and Chrissy.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 PM Friday at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton. Funeral services will be at 11 AM Saturday in the funeral home chapel.  Burial will follow in the Huff-Brummitte Cemetery on Thacker’s Branch.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908.


WISE, VA – Bernard “Buddy” Meade, 83, died Wednesday, January 25 at Norton Community Hospital.  Born on Caney Ridge in Dickenson County, VA February 5, 1933 he was a son of the late Clyde Howard and Nell Dotson Meade. As a young boy, he attended Kennedy School, a one room school that was built on land donated by Kennedy relatives on Caney Ridge.  As a teenager, Buddy was hired to operate the film projector at the Lonesome Pine Theater for his Uncle Parkas Dotson. Baptized at an early age, he attended Bondtown Community Church.

At the young age of 16, he traveled to Wyoming with his Uncle James and Aunt Buena Meade where he began his mining career at an underground copper mine in Wyoming. After a brief stay in Wyoming, he returned to Virginia employed in a deep mine working for his great uncle Willard Kiser.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received his basic training at Fort Eustas, VA.  He was assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Benning, GA. Following his Honorable Discharge from the Army, he traveled to Ohio where he was employed in construction of a new Ford Motor Company plant.  In 1955 he brought his family back to Virginia and began his coal mining career.  He began his underground coal mining business with Wayne Strouth using a pony and cart to transport coal from underground.  Later, he began a pit mining business, owning and operating Mountain Enterprises Coal Company from which he retired in 1976.

An avid beekeeper, skills he learned from his maternal grandfather, Samuel Dotson, he eagerly shared his acquired knowledge with anyone seeking assistance.  He was a member of the American Legion Post 0243 in Norton, VA.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Kitty Blackwell Meade, and his brothers: Jimmy “Mickey”, Raymond, Parkas, Harry Lee, and Carl.

He is survived by his daughters and their husbands:  Kathy and Donnie Mullins, Clintwood, VA, Earlene and Marvin Craiger, Carol and Randy Miller, Ginger and Jerry Vance, all of Wise, VA; his sons Tony Meade and his wife, Tammy, Wise, VA, and Andy Meade of Norton, VA;  three granddaughters (and husband): Melissa (Greg) Robinson, Ane (Robbie) Graham, and Jasmine Vance; three grandsons (and wife):  Bernard ( Janel) Mullins, Deven Miller, and Jerrard Vance; five great grandsons:  Caleb Robinson, Jeremiah Robinson, Josiah Robinson, Mason Mullins, and Micah Mullins, a sister Margaret Bolling and her husband, Donnie.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 PM Friday at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.   A Celebration of Life Service will be at 7 PM in the funeral home chapel with Dallas Meade officiating.  Family and friends will gather between 10-10:30 AM Saturday at the funeral home, where they will then travel in procession to the Powell Valley Memorial Gardens for interment.  Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Virginia National Guard Honors Team and the local veteran associations.


NORTON, VA - Amanda Denise Brummitte Hill, 42, died Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at her home. Amanda was a former legal assistant, and was a daughter of the late Larry James Brummitte.  She was also preceded in death by brothers, Adam Brummitte and David Brummitte.

She is survived by her son, Tyler Gilliam and his father, Travis Gilliam of Norton, her mother Alissa Brummitte, her grandmothers, Pauline Brummitte and Wilma Morris, grandfather, James Adams, her aunts and uncles:  Gina and Randy Porter and Jim and Stephanie Adams, Phyllis and Tom Lovelace, and Dennis Brummitte; her stepmother Jewel Brummitte and step brother Chris Brummitte and wife, Gina, and several nieces and nephews and cousins.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 noon until 1:00 PM Monday, January 30, 2017 at the Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton.  The funeral service will follow at !:00 PM in the funeral home chapel.  Burial will be in the Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.


NORTON, VA – Frank Patrick (F.P.) Gardner, 86, died Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at Norton Community Hospital. He was a mason and a member of Suther’s Lodge 259 AF&AM of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. He was a son of the late Emory Gardner and Rosie Pruitt Gardner. In addition to his parents we was preceded in death by his wife, Ruble Lunsford Gardner; a daughter, Regina Yates; a son, Frank Gardner; brothers and sisters, Horton Gardner, Emory Glen Gardner, Bramble Gardner, Elford Gardner, Vivian Clisso and Trula Clisso,

He is survived by three daughters, Alicia Hubbard and her husband Kevin of Bristol, TN, Elizabeth Philips and her husband Ewing and Mavis Kennedy and her husband Joe, all of Wise, VA; a son, Allen Gardner of Norton, VA; eleven grandchildren; eleven great grandchildren; a sister, Betty Sturgill and her husband Marvin of Norton, VA; several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 5-7 pm Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton. Masonic services will be conducted at 7 pm in the funeral home chapel. A memorial service will follow with Larry Owens officiating.

The family wishes to express their thanks to the staff of Norton Community Hospital and Heritage Hall Healthcare of Wise for their kind attention and care given F.P.


BLUFF CITY, TN - Claude Delano Mefford, 80, of Bluff City, Tennessee, passed away peacefully at home Tuesday morning, January 10th, 2017. He was born on April 20th, 1936, in Bear Creek, Wise County, Virginia. Mr. Mefford was a U.S. Army Veteran, former Baltimore City police officer, and retired United States Federal Marshal. Mr. Mefford was a Master Mason and a devoted father and husband who was loved very much and will be missed by many. He was the son of the late Fred Thomas Mefford and Essie Blaine Hall Mefford, and was also preceded in death by seven brothers, James Ray Mefford, Thomas Eugene Mefford, Fred Junior Mefford, Joseph Daniel Mefford, Jerry Clayton Mefford, Donald Edward Mefford, Billy Garland Mefford, two sisters, Meredith Pauline Mefford Laney, and Nola Jeweline Mefford Tusing Ponder. And his previous wife, Judith Anne Helmick Mefford.

Survivors include his wife, Beatrice Anne Lewis Bowen Mefford, of Bluff City, Tennessee, son, Clyde Delano Mefford, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, stepson, Christopher Martin Matthews, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, sister and brother-in-law, Doris and David Powers, of Bluff City, Tennessee, and sisters-in-law Lillian Faye Laney Mefford, Lana Maggard Mefford, and Otta Mae Ramey Mefford; multiple nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 PM Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton, VA. A service of remembrance will be conducted at 7 PM in the funeral home chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, at support.pdf.org, or by mail at 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.


APPALACHIA, VA - David Lee Ray, 61, passed away January 11, 2017 at his residence. He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Mae Ray.

He survived by his wife Zetta Ann Ray of Appalachia, VA; two sons: Terry Ray and David Ray and his wife, Renee, all of Appalachia, VA; his grandchildren: Priscilla Ray, Emily Ray, Carleigh Ray, Carson Ray and Lucas Ray; one great-granddaughter, Keighan Poff; and a special sister Donna Jeaudoin of Kansas.

The family will receive friends from 4-6 pm Monday, January 16, 2017, at Hagy & Fawbush Funeral Home in Norton, Va. A memorial service will be conducted at 6 pm in the funeral home chapel with Pastor Tony Nunley and Hunter McFarland officiating.


NORTON, VA- Linda Carol Rice, 57, died Friday January 6, 2017 at her residence in Norton. She worked for Homeland security for 10 years until her retirement. She was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Solley and Zona Collins; grandparents, Dewey and Allie Taylor.

She is survived by one daughter, Nichole Rice of Hayward, CA; mother, Evelyn Hoskins of Wise, VA; father, John G Taylor of TX; two brothers, Steve Taylor of Gray, TN and Raymond Hoskins of Wise, VA; two sisters, Cathy and Roy Matthews of Norton, VA; Jennifer and Dino Ferrey of Wise, VA; several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

The family will announce a time for remembrance for a later date.