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Obituaries from the Pendleton Times, 

19 January 2012

Betty Lou Marshall Thomas

Betty Lou Marshall Thomas, 62, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at her residence.

She was born May 22, 1949, in Harman, the daughter of the late Herbert and Ava Hinkle of Riverton.

She was a 1967 graduate of Circleville High School. She held a bachelorís degree in accounting from Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia Beach, VA. She retired in 2008 after 23 years of employment with South Eastern Public Service Administration in Chesapeake, VA. Prior to her retirement, she obtained her certification as a skin care specialist in 2006 and operated Sea beauty Skin Care in Pungo, VA.

Mrs. Thomas was a member of Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Sandbridge, VA. She was a member of the Church Choir and very actively involved in the Ladies Bible Study Fellowship.

She is survived by her husband, Robert E. Thomas.

Also surviving are one sister, Kathryn Verzich and her husband, John of Riverton; nephews, Jason McAbee and his wife, Autumn of Riverton, Benjamin McAbee of Fairmont and John Joseph Bennett of Petersburg; one niece, Kerry (Bennett) Carr of Sand Coulee, MT; one sister-in-law, Kathy Bennett of Franklin; one great nephew, Caden McAbee (son of Jason and Autum McAbee); six step-children and 12 step-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Joseph M. Marshall in March of 1999. She was also predeceased by one step-son Robert A. (Bobby) Thomas.

A memorial service was held on January 7 at North Fork Baptist Church with Pastor Roger Gorby and Pastor Mark McAllister officiating. A memorial service will also be held for friends and family in Virginia Beach, VA, on Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m. at Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Sand bridge, VA, with Pastor Jack Davis officiating.

Having chosen cremation, she, will be returned for burial in the Hinkle Family Cemetery at Riverton with a graveside service in the Spring.

Horton Minor

Horton Minor, 94, of East Longmeadow, MA, passed away on January 14, 2012 at Wingate at East Longmeadow, MA.

He was born on August 31, 1917, in Springfield, MA, son of the late Arlon and Pearl (Stearns) Minor.

He was a graduate of the former Trade High School in Springfield. Horton became a Tool and Die Maker and worked for the Springfield Armory during WW II and continued to work there for many years after the war. He was later employed at the former American Saw (now known as Lenox) until he retired.

Mr. Minor had a wonderful sense of humor and always enjoyed being in the company of family and friends.

Throughout his retirement he was an active member of the East Longmeadow Senior Center, and enjoyed participating in day trip excursions and local activities. He loved journaling, photographing family, reading, playing cards, bird-watching, and woodworking. Horton had a passion for learning and embraced new technology and personal computing.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Marion (Johnson) Minor.

Also surviving are a son, Bruce A. Minor and his wife, Kathy, of Franklin, and a daughter, Marilyn Wichroski and her husband, Robert of Southwick, MA; seven grandchildren, Robin, Wendy, Todd, Tracey and her husband, John Davis, Shawn and his wife Rebecca, Aaron and his wife Tonia, and Aimee, and one great-grandson, Cody Minor, and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his ten siblings: Effie, George, Gleyn, Dorothy, Doris, Esther, Howard, Charlotte, Calvin and Marion.

Services were held Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Byron Keenan Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center, Springfield, MA. Burial followed at Hillcrest Park Cemetery in Springfield, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Congregational Church of East Longmeadow, 7 Somers Rd., East Longmeadow, MA 01028 or to the East Longmeadow Council on Aging, 328 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.

Basil Stroh Keller

Basil Stroh Keller passed away peacefully January 15th at the age of 97 at Consulate Health Care in Vero Beach, Florida.

Born in Hollywood, CA, Basil was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Irvin Basil Keller and Helen Stroh Keller.

A graduate of Weston High School, Mr. Keller turned down a boxing scholarship to West Virginia University and went to work helping his mother run their drugstore. He joined the National Guard and then the Civilian Conservation Corps in London, KY. He then came to Franklin and worked for the American Snuff Company.

Here Basil met and married the love of his life, Leslie Mae Byrd, a Franklin native.

He learned to fly airplanes shortly after his marriage. It was his life's career and his wife's only rival. He became a flight instructor and, after training civilian pilots in the 30's, instructed Army cadets in Avon Park, FL after the strike on Pearl Harbor. Basil joined the Navy in 1942. Considered too old at 27 to be trained as a fighter pilot, the Navy used his talents to ferry planes from coast to coast as needed for the war effort. He flew every single engine plane the Navy had - torpedo and dive bombers, as well as fighter craft. He retired as Lt. Commander.

After the war Mr. Kellerl returned to Franklin and ran a lumber mill and turkey farm. He built the Keller Airport in Franklin in 1946, and operated it until it's closing in 1955. Basil flew for American Mercury and A VEMCO aviation insurance companies, then worked for Bendix Corporation under contract to NASA, flying out of Baltimore. He moved his family to Roanoke, VA in 1969 to take a job as executive pilot for American Motor Inns, which operated 45 Holiday Inns. He was forced to give up flying in 1981at the age of 67 when a heart condition kept him from being able to pass a flight physical.

He and his wife returned to Franklin where they lived in their home on North Main Street. Basil operated Keller Apartments in Franklin for over 20 years. A stroke 5 years ago forced him to leave Franklin so he could be cared for near his children.

Mr. Keller was a member of the American Legion and the Quiet Birdmen, an informal club for pilots with over 500 hours of flight experience. He founded the "QB" hangar in Roanoke, VA and served as Governor. Basil was a faithful member of Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. He had an easy laugh and a dry wit, and was known to enjoy a glass of Wild Turkey on occasion. He followed local and national events closely and stayed in touch with current political events until the very end of his life. Basil loved his adopted home of Franklin, and was a well known presence here in his later years.

His wife of 58 years, Leslie Byrd Keller preceded him in death.

Surviving are a sister, Anna Jane Shoemaker of Spokane, WA; two sons, Dr. Irvin B. Keller and wife Donna of Vero Beach, FL, (ret) SGT First Class Leslie B. Keller of Kansas City, KS; one daughter, Helen K. Holt and husband Bob of Midlothian, VA; 11 grandchildren, Kelly, Bridget, Maureen, Megan, Donna, Erin, Sean, Brenden, Aubrey, Katie, Bobby; and seven great-grandchildren, Katerina, Evangelos, Kieran, Declan, Dylan, Lila, and Blake.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday aat the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Franklin with Rev. Mario Claro officiating. Interment will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Franklin, with Military Graveside Services conducted by the Pendleton County Veterans Honor Guard.

Family will receive friends on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the basagic Funeral Home in Franklin.

Memorials may be made to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church or Pendleton County Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Memories and words of comfort may be left at

John Luther Dove

John Luther Dove, Jr., 78, of Harrisonburg, passed away on January 11, 2012 at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrrisonburg, VA.

He was born December 10, 1933 in Fort Seybert, to the late Rev. John Luther Dove and Ada Siever Dove.

Mr. Dove was a faithful member of Mt. Pleasant church of the Brethren, Pathfinders Sunday school class, and the American Legion Post 188. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956.

Lumbering out of Camp Run, he worked in a saw mill in West Virginia prior to moving to Virginia in 1957. He helped to build the road through Fort Seybert and a bridge near Milam. Continuing on to work as a mechanic, he owned and operated Doveís Auto Repair and Self Serve Car Wash. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, and spending time in the mountains.

He had a special talent for being able to fix or repair anything. He liked doing for and helping others.

His wife, Joy Howdyshell Dove whom he married on March 9, 1958, survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Gary E. Dove and wife, Robin, of Waynesboro, VA and John L. Dove and wife, Natalie, of Broadway, VA; one granddaughter, Bridget Tooley and husband, Josh, of Waynesboro, VA; one grandson, Gregory Dove and wife, Lenna, of New York; one brother, Alvin Dove, of Harrisonburg, VA; three sisters, Elda Kibler, Ivy Mitchell, and Ruth Boyers and husband, Auburn, all of Harrisonburg, VA.

He was also preceded in death by a sister, Velma Miller and two brothers, Wilbur Dove and Roy Dove.

A funeral service was held Sunday at Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren, in Harrisonburg, VA with Pastor Henry D. Elsea, Jr., officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the RMH Diabetes Program, 2010 Health Campus Dr. Harrisonburg,VA 22801 or the Mt. Pleasant Church Building Fund, 2788 Taylor Spring Ln., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Kyger Funeral Home, Harrisonburg, VA.

Louise Vandevander, 85

Louise Propst Vandevander, 85, of Brandywine, died Tuesday morning, January 10, 2012 at Pendleton Manor in Franklin, West Virginia.

She was born September 17, 1926 at Brandywine, and was the daughter of the late Dan Propst and Iva Propst Propst.

Mrs. Vandevander had worked at Virginia State Snack Bar, Cameron Station, Alexandria, Virginia.

Her husband, Isaac Raymond Vandevander, preceded her in death.

Surviving are one daughter, Margaret Anne Rexrode of Weyers Cave, VA; one brother, Roy Propst and wife, Marie of Clearville, PA; two sisters, Polly Thomason and husband, Dick of Hilton Head, SC, Wanda Eye Hedrick and husband, Everett of Marlinton; two grandchildren, Timothy John Rexrode and wife, Mary of Conifer, CO, Nicole Anne Showalter and husband, Chris of Weyers Cave, VA; Four great-grandchildren, Taylor Leigh Rexrode of Conifer, CO, Jesse Lee, James Ryan and Haley Dawn Showalter all of Weyers Cave, VA; and many nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by a son Dennis Propst, sister Norma Propst Walker and two brothers Hurl Propst and Elvin Propst.

At her request, her body was cremated. A memorial service will be held in the Spring at Brandywine.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pendleton Manor, P. O. Box 700, Franklin, WV 26807.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are under the direction of Kimble Funeral Home in Franklin.

Stern Edwin Hedrick

Stern Edwin Hedrick, age 80, of Maysville, passed away on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg.

He was born in Riverton, on May 9, 1931, the son of the late William Hedrick and Tina Bennett Kile.

Mr. Hedrick graduated from Circleville High School in 1948. He then joined the United States Air Force where he was enlisted for 28 years before retiring. He served during the Korean and Vietnam War. He loved being in the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He was Protestant by faith.

On August 5, 1961 he married his wife of 50 years, Simone Mary Margaret Denny Hedrick who survives in Maysville.

Also surviving are a son, William Hedrick and wife Patty of Petersburg; a sister, Cora Harper of Franklin; three grandchildren, Shannon Correa, Justin Hedrick and Victoria Hedrick and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Philipp Jacuzzi; a brother, Star Hedrick; two sisters, Mary Harper and Emma Kline; and a granddaughter, Rhonda Jacuzzi.

Funeral services were held Friday at the Basagic Funeral Home, Petersburg, with Rev. Rich Cardot officiating.

Interment was at North Fork Memorial Cemetery in Riverton, where military graveside services will be conducted by the Pendleton County Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorials and words of comfort may be left at

Johnny Luther Bennett

Johnny Luther Bennett, age 59, of Franklin, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at his residence.

He was born at Harman, WV, on October 29, 1952, the son of the late Luther and Mary Hedrick Bennett.

Mr. Bennett was a graduate of Circleville High School, was Hazmat certified as a CDL driver, and was a Baptist.

He was a Truck Driver for Petersburg Oil Company and Hoffman Trucking where he drove coast to coast.

Surviving are a life long companion, Linda Vaughan Clouse of Franklin; two daughters, Stephanie Suzanne Clouse of Arthur, Stacey Lynn Weese and husband Frankie of Maysville; three sisters, Dora Sponaugle of Franklin, Margaret Turner and husband Norman of Cleveland, OH, Patricia Woolum and husband Wally of Inwood; two brothers, Stanley Allen Bennett and wife Louise of Verona, VA, Timothy James Bennett and wife Ronna of Riverton; three grandchildren, Dalton Lee Ours, Kandace Marie Ours, and Frankie John Weese; and a special niece, Joyce Clouse of Glassport, PA.

He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Bobby Bennett and Alva Gene Bennett; three sisters, Galda Lee, Bernice Virginia, and Ruby Smith; and a nephew, Anthony Paul Heavener.

Funeral services were held at the Basagic Funeral Home in Franklin with Pastor Steve Traylor officiating.

Interment will be at North Fork Memorial Cemetery, Riverton, WV.

Memorials may be made to Mountain Hospice or Rockingham Cancer Center.

Memories and words of comfort may be left at

Obituaries are used with the permission of the Pendleton Times.



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2001, Janet Cooper

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