Featured, Obituaries

Obituaries for Week of May 30

Gary R. Beller, 69, of Red House, passed away Thursday, May 23, 2024 at his home following a short illness. He was a 1972 graduate of Buffalo High School and attended Riverside Baptist Church. He worked as a welder for 19 years at Amherst Industries, the Stamping Plant in South Charleston and retired from the maintenance department at the Kanawha County Commission. Gary was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, riding horses and riding his side by side with his wife. He loved coaching baseball and loved his rabbit beagles, Mo and Bo.
Born August 27, 1954 in Charleston, he was the son of the late Ezra L. Beller and Naomi Runion Beller. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Curtis Beller.
Survivors include his loving wife of 49 years Carolyn Beller; son, Phillip (Jennifer) Beller; daughter, Mandy Beller Cunningham; granddaughters, Abigail Casto, Aleah Beller and Kinsley Cunningham; brother, Larry (Michelle) Beller; sister-in-law, Marie Beller.
Funeral service was Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor, with Pastor Mike Hanna officiating. Burial was in Haven of Rest Memory Gardens, Red House.

Jane Roliff Currey, 78, of Hurricane, passed away Saturday, May 23, 2024, at Hospice of Huntington after a short illness.
She was born in Ravenswood to the late Samuel Harry Roliff and Hester Aprah Smith Roliff. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Rex R. Currey; sister, Ella Mae Rolliff Pullins; and brother, Carl E. Roliff.
Jane was a homemaker, a member of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in St. Albans and a member of a Kanahwa Valley line dancing group.
Surviving are her daughters, Patricia Wright of Barboursville, Pamela Tillett of Sarks, NV and Marsha (Michael) Ashman of Easton MD; 6 grandchildren, Christopher, Shanna, Nicholas, Adam, Lauren, and Sarah; 6 great grandchildren; and long-time close family friend, Sheila Jennings of Huntington.
Funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm, Monday, June 3, 2024 at Bartlett-Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans. Burial will be in Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Billy Joe Grass Jr. gained his angel wings on the evening of May 22, 2024 at Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston.
Bill was born on July 22, 1960 to Billy Joe Grass Sr. and Judith Grass.
He graduated from Hurricane High School and attended Marshall University.
Bill was Project Manager with numerous concrete companies working on high profile mobile projects including several Locks and Dams in West Virginia, the New Fort Bragg Hospital at Fort Bragg NC, the Boeing Plant in AL, Marine Corp Air Station at Parris Island SC and many others.
Bill was predeceased by his father Billy Joe Grass Sr., a daughter Fallon Grass, paternal grandparents John and Pauline Grass, maternal grandparents Dennis and Alice Gibson, Uncle Jack Gibson and mother-in-law by heart Liz Theodore.
He is survived by his mother Judith Grass, son Billy Joe Grass III, fiancée of 33 plus years Lisa Theodore, sister Vic (Tim), Uncle Johnny (Barb) Grass, Aunt Linda Gibson and father-in-law by heart Nick Theodore. Nieces and Nephews Josh, Jake, Heather and Jessie. Many cousins and great nieces and great nephews.
Bill loved picking his guitar, strumming his banjo and playing and listening to bluegrass and gospel music. He loved his cats with a passion. Some of the extra special ones were Homer, Tut, Dinky and Leo knew him as daddy.
Bill had a wicked smart sense of humor always joking and teasing. He was a joy to be around. To know Bill was to love him.
Graveside service was held Saturday, May 25, 2024 at the family cemetery on Poindexter Creek, Hurricane, with Paster Tim Henson officiating.

Bobby Lee Higginbotham
Bobby Lee Higginbotham, 71, of Eleanor, went home to be with the Lord on May 22, 2024, at home surrounded by his loving family.
He is retired from Monsanto and was currently working part time with the Putnam County Board of Education. Bobby was a member of Rock Branch Independent Church and a master woodworker that built out of love for others.
He is preceded in death by his parents Glen and Willadean Higginbotham; brother Timmy Wayne Higginbotham; brothers-in-law Jay Higginbotham and Gale Sayre; and grandparents Ira and Addie Craigo and Minnie and Glenval Higginbotham.
Bobby is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 43 years, Mrs. Virginia Higginbotham; daughter Auna and her husband Matt Painter; grandchildren Brookelyn and Jacob Painter; sisters Vickie (Phil) Harrison and Darlena Higginbotham; sisters-in-law Anna (Mike) Beckner and Brenda Sayre; brothers-in-law Jamie (Brenda) King and Michael (Markley) King and a host of nieces and nephews.
A tribute to the life of Bobby Lee Higginbotham was Sunday ,May 26, 2024 at Rock Branch Independent Church Activities Building with Pastors Aaron Ramsey and Delbert Hawley officiating.

Mark Everett Howerton
Mark Everett Howerton, 58, of Milton, left this world much too soon on May 21, 2024. With his passing, he broke the hearts of his beloved family and many friends.
He was the youngest child of the late Keith and Betty Howerton from Logan. As a young man he loved riding motorcycles with his friends and occasionally taking camping trips, even riding his Honda Goldwing through Mexico in 1987.
He graduated from Logan High School in 1984, and continued his education at Marshall University, graduating in 1988, with his Bachelor of Business Administration. At Marshall, he met the love of his life, Cindy, and they were married in 1990. He became an underwriter for Delaware Valley Underwriting Agency, later Hull & Company. He obtained his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1995, the same year his daughters were born.
After leaving the insurance industry, he eventually became a Retail Parts Pro with Advance Auto Parts in Milton. There he met lots of people from diverse backgrounds and shared his vast knowledge (whether it was requested or not). He enjoyed helping others, and he also indulged his own love of repairing cars to sell. He loved traveling with his wife, especially to Europe to visit his daughter there.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother and sister-in-law: Tom & Barbara Howerton of Dublin, VA.
Mark leaves behind his wife, Cindy Shafer Howerton; his children: Kathryn Howerton Adkins (Kyle) of Bridgeport, WV, Elizabeth Howerton of the Czech Republic and Marshall Howerton of Fairfax, VA.; siblings: David Howerton (Deni) and John Howerton (Carol) all of Logan, WV and Sue Howerton Smith (Dick) of Honey Brook, PA; nieces: Allison, Becky, Melissa, Amy, Beth and Michelle; nephews: Scott, Richard and Tyler; 12 great nieces and nephews.
His family will miss his ability to fix anything and his quiet counsel. His friends will miss his wisdom, wit, and his willingness to help where he could. He will be sorely missed.
A Celebration of Life will be 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 22, 2024 at St. John United Methodist Church, Scott Depot.

Madeline H. Miller
Madeline H. Miller, 96, of Hurricane, passed away on May 23, 2024.
Madeline was born on August 2, 1927, in Vinton, VA, to Shelton and Mary Harrison. She graduated from South Charleston High School, class of 1945. Madeline retired from C&P Telephone Company and was a life member of the WV Pioneers.
As a member of the First Baptist Church of Hurricane, Madeline served on and chaired many committees. She was also the Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star from 1957-1958.
Madeline is preceded in death by her parents, Shelton and Mary Harrison; her husband, Charles Donald Miller; brother, Shelton Harrison (Phyllis); sisters, Mary Wright (Marvin), Catherine Cook (Wendell), her twin, Geraldine Kidd (John); and nephew, Shelton “Pete” Harrison.
She is survived by eight nieces and nephews. Madeline was deeply loved by all of her family. Also, many thanks to the staff of English Meadows and Lavender Hill for their loving care.
Graveside service was held Tuesday, May 28, 2024, with her longtime friend and Senior Adult Pastor, Jerry Losh, officiating.

Jerry Wayne Phelps
Jerry Wayne Phelps, of Culloden, passed away on May 23, 2024 after a long battle with cancer.
Jerry was born on October 26, 1943 in South Charleston to the late Wayne Theodore Phelps and Bessie Marie Johnson Phelps. He grew up in Nitro, WV and graduated from Nitro High School as a member of the Class of 1961. He studied Civil Engineering at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology and graduated in 1965. He earned his Professional Engineering License after graduation and proudly maintained this license by completing continuing education throughout his entire life.
After graduation, he was hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While working there, he was sent to Oklahoma State University to further his education and completed a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering in 1973. Jerry worked his entire career at the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he helped design locks, dams, and bridges that still benefit us all today.
Recognizing his many professional accomplishments, Jerry was awarded the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Leadership Excellence Award by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the year 2000. The Army Engineer Association also awarded him the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal for inspirational leadership to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This award was given to him for playing a key role in the realization of significant performance improvements and for always using his challenging technical and leadership assignments as opportunities for teaching, coaching, mentoring, and learning from his co-workers.
Jerry also enjoyed surveying and put this skill to use for many years operating a surveying business, Phelps-Meadows Engineering. He enjoyed many unique hobbies such as antique car restoration, woodworking and forging knives. He was a member of the Nitro Antique Car Club and his favorite restoration was his ‘51 Ford Truck. He was an active member of the Valley Woodworkers of WV for many years. He was an avid sports enthusiast and a loyal Mountaineer, rooting faithfully for his beloved blue and gold in all WVU sports. Jerry was happiest though when he was tinkering on his farm and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Jerry’s four grandchildren were his pride and joy and they kept him busy through a wide range of athletic, academic and musical pursuits. He could be seen cheering from the sideline through countless ice skating competitions, basketball games, baseball games, wrestling and swim meets. His hands-on skills were shared by working together with them on woodworking and leather projects, designing and building Pinewood Derby cars in scouts, and even attending overnight campouts. He helped work on science projects, attended math field day events, listened to recitals and orchestra concerts. He supported his grandchildren actively in all their endeavors and was always there to cheer them on.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents: Wayne Theodore Phelps and Bessie Marie Johnson Phelps; and his sister, Patricia Sublette of Nitro.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carol Barber Phelps. He leaves two daughters: Stacey Phelps Leadmon, DVM (Michael Leadmon) of Hurricane, and their children: Caroline Leadmon, Esq. (Garrett Smith) of Greenville, SC and Carter Leadmon of Morgantown; and Danelle Phelps Wilson, MD (Matthew Wilson, MD) and their sons: Jack and Sam Wilson of Atlanta, GA.
Funeral service for Jerry was Monday, May 27, 2024 at Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane, with Dr. James Lutz officiating. Entombment was at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens in Cross Lanes.

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