Obituaries from the Pendleton Times, 1 April 2004 

Yvonne Higgs Esser

On Thursday, March 25, 2004, Yvonne Higgs Esser died peacefully surrounded by her family at her home in Franklin, West Virginia.  born on November 14, 1942, in Washington, D.C., she was the daughter of Edith Adams Higgs of Mitchellville, Maryland and the late William Eugene Higgs. 

She is survived by her devoted husband, Karl Esser, and beloved son, Benjamin Esser of Sinking Spring, PA, along with three loving step-children, Steven Esser and wife, Robin of Waldorf, Maryland, Jennifer Esser and husband, Alan Levine and Jeffrey Esser and wife, Junko Nomura, all of West Palm Beach, Florida.  She is also survived by her half-sister, Jayne H. Woodward of Orme, Utah, and half-brother, William R. Higgs of Simi Valley, California, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. 

The Reverend Susan Lehman, Vicar of the Episcopal Church of good Shepherd of Blue Grass, VA, officiated at the funeral service.  David Hartman, Bishop of the Franklin Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, offered closing prayers.  Interment was at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery in Franklin, West Virginia. 

If desired, donations may be made to Mountain Hospice, Inc., 1410 Crim AVenue, Belington, WV  26250.

Mary A. Ray, 84

Mary Alice Shoemaker Ray, 84, a resident of 458 Evas Lane, Dayton, VA, died Friday evening Marcy 26, 2004, at her home. She had been in failing health since December.  

Mrs. Ray was born Jan. 6, 1920, in Rockingham County, VA, and was the daughter of the late Harvey and Edith Fink Shoemaker.  She spent the majority of her life in the Hopkins Gap and Rawley Springs, VA, community.  She was a homemaker and a member of the Rawley Springs Mennonite Church. 

On Aug. 9, 1957, she married Herman Lee Ray, who died in 1978. 

She is survived by a loving daughter, Ida Mae Shoemaker Keeler and her husband, Stanley, who lived with and cared for her for over three years.  Also surviving are five sons, Harry Lee Shoemaker and wife, Shirley, James Reedy and wife, Margaret, Nelson Lee Ray, Wilson Eugene Ray and wife, Melanie of Grottoes, VA, and Richard Reedy and wife, Jean, of Idaho; one stepdaughter, Louise Hoover, Brandywine; three grandsons, Elliot Reedy, Josh Reedy and Michael Ray; two granddaughters, Frances Meadows and Kathy McDorman; six step-grandchildren ; three great-grandchildren and special great grandchildren, Eva Meadows, Cheryl McDorman, Anita Meadows, Larry D. Meadows and Wayne Gery; one sister-in-law, Evageline Spinnard of Harrisonburg, VA, and special friends Dorothy Caldwell, Buck Meadows, William McMillion and Junior McDorman. 

She was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Eva Shoemaker, and her sons's fiancee, Pam Rodeffer. 

Funeral services were held Tuesday at the chapel of McMullen Funeral Home, Harrisonburg, VA, and John Hartzler, Paul Reed, Keith Crider and David Miller officiating.  Interment was in the Gospel Hill Cemetery. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Rockingham Memorial Hospice, 236 Cantrell Ave., Harrisonburg, Va 22801 or to the Rawley Springs Mennonite Church, in care of Dwight Rohrer, 7441 Rawley Pike, Hinton, VA  22831.

John S. Williams Jr.

John S. Williams, Jr., 79, of Seneca Rocks died Friday, March 26, 2004, at Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg. 

 Mr. Williams ws born June 24, 1924, in Banner, KY, and was a son of the late James Williams and Bertha Meade Williams. 

He retired from Columbia Gas and in 1985 after 33 years of service and was a member of the North Fork Baptist Church. 

he is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gladys Akers Williams; two sons, Roy H. Williams and wife, Anna of Florence, KY and Ronney Williams and wife, Ethel of Elkins; a daughter Carol williams Dahmer of Louisville, KY; a sister, Doris Williams Akers of Dana, KY; a brother, Billy Williams of Dana, KY: four grandchildren, Stevie Dahmer, Ryan Shay Williams, Alice Williams McDonner and Joanna Marie Williams; and three great-grandchildren, Zachery Williams, Zoe Williams and William McDonner. 

Pastor Mark J. McAllister conducted the funeral 11 a.m. Monday at the Schaeffer Funeral Home in Petersburg.  Burial was at North Fork Memorial Cemetery in Riverton. 

Memorial contributions may be made to North Fork Baptist Church, P.O. Box 46, Riverton, WV  26814, or a charity of choice. 

Phyllis VanMeter, 61

Phyllis Mae VanMeter, 61, of Fort Worth, TX and formerly of Moorefield and Petersburg, died Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at her residence. 

Ms. VanMeter was born April 23, 1942, in Petersburg and was the daughter of the late Charles and Rosa Moyers VanMeter. 

Surviving are five sons, Brian Haynes and Charles Haynes, both of Fort Worth, TX, Johnny Haynes of Dorcas, James Alexander, Jr. of Manassas, VA, and Richard Alexander of Arlington, VA; two daughters, Phyllis J. Moctazoma of Fort Worth, TX, and Ceandy Dunsmore of Baker; two brother, Fritz Weasenforth of Moorefield andRobert VanMeter of Petersburg; two sisters, Betty Rexrode of Petersburg and Marie Alt of Upper Tract; 12 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Pastor Alan Dunsmore conducted the funeral 2 p.m. Sunday at the Full Gospel Non-Denominational Church in Moorefield.  Burial was in the Lahmansville Cemetery in Lahmansville by Fraley Funeral Home, Moorefield. 

Condolences to the family may be left at VanMeter's obituary at www.fraleyfuneralhome.com  

Faye L. Childers, 84

Faye Louise Childers, 84, of Franklin, died Friday, March 26, 2004, at her home. 

Mrs. Childers was born Nov. 16, 1919, in Huntington and was the daughter of the late Manfield Price and Lillian Chapman Price. 

She was a homemaker and a member of the Eastern Star. 

On June 15, 1940, she married John C. Childers, who preceded her in death in November, 1986. 

She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Jerri and Thomas E. Campbell of Franklin; four grandchildren, Thomas, Regina, Rebecca and John; and nine great-grandchildren, Brianna, Jessica, Mary, Lauren, Emily, Hannah, John, Mackenzie and Shane. 

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.  

Arrangements were by the Kimble Funeral Home in Franklin. 

Obituaries are used with the permission of the Pendleton Times.

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2001, Janet Cooper

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