The R-C News-Herald Obituaries for February 9, 2008

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lena B. Bunch

EDENTON – Lena Bass Bunch, 99, a native of Chowan County, died February 6, 2008, in the Skilled Nursing Facility of Chowan Hospital. She was the widow of Thomas Edward Bunch.

Mrs. Bunch was a homemaker, she was a member of Rocky Hock Baptist Church, the Ina Belle Coleman Circle and the Beach Fork Home Demonstration Club.

Survivors include one son, Lewis E. Bunch of Edenton; four daughters, Pattie B. Hollowell of Suffolk, Ruby B. Long of Greenville, Etta B. Riddick of Corapeake and Peggy B. Ward of Tyner; 11 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren.

A funeral was conducted Friday in Rocky Hock Baptist Church by Dr. James Horton and Pastor Tracy Smith. Burial followed in Beaver Hill Cemetery. Miller Funeral Home, Edenton, was in charge.

Lewis E. Lowman

PORTSMOUTH, Va.- Lewis Edward Lowman, 69, died February 6, 2008, in his home. Lowman retired from the U.S. Navy, was a Vietnam veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. Survivors include two daughters, Jamie Sharer and Colleen Shinault; one sister, Lorraine Barilla; one brother, Richard Lowman; five grandchildren, Karl and Robert Schallermeir, Brian Sharer and Donald Jr. and Candys Shinault; two great-grandchildren, Mikayla and Austen Shallermeir; numerous nieces and nephews; and two very special friends, David and Sylvia Eure.

A funeral will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel, by the Rev. Kenneth Rice. He will be buried at sea. The family will receive friends at the funeral home the hour before the service. Daddy, you will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.

McEll Costen Sr.

SUNBURY n McEll Costen Sr., 80, a native of Gates, died January 31, 2008 at Albemarle Hospital.

A funeral was conducted Tuesday at St. John AME Zion Church by the Rev. Samuel Buck. Burial was in the church cemetery. Hertford County Undertakers was in charge.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Costen of Sunbury; five sons, McEll Costen Jr., Darin Costen, and Vernon Costen, all of Sunbury and Timothy Bowser of Colerain and Samuel Bowser of Sunbury; one daughter, Chenay Costen of Sunbury; one sister, Otelia Riddick of Elizabeth City; a brother, Ezara Costen of Portsmouth, Va.; a host of grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Willie L. Wiggins, Sr.

MURFREESBORO n Willie Lee Wiggins, Sr., 74, a native of Statesville, Va., died February 3, 2008 at Pitt Memorial Hospital, Greenville.

A funeral will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Como, NC. The Rev. Elliot Hill, pastor and the Rev. Shirley Johnson, will do the eulogy. Burial will be in the church cemetery. There will be a wake Friday, February 8, 2008 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Hertford County Undertakers Funeral Home, Winton.

Survivors include his wife, Inez D. Wiggins of Murfreesboro, NC; one daughter, Jennifer R. Wiggins of Durham, NC; three sons, Danny Wiggins of Murfreesboro, Willie Lee Wiggins, Jr., of Maryland, stepson, Robert Powell of Florida; one daughter-in-law, Bernell Wiggins of Maryland; four sisters, Lessie M. Bynum of Philadelphia, Pa., Ersue Williams of Petersburg, Va., Otelia Willis of Woodland, NC, and Florine Pearson of Murfreesboro, NC; one brother, Leroy Wiggins of Como; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Walter Hankel

HALIFAX n Walter Hankel, 85, died February 5, 2008 at Halifax Regional Medical Center, Roanoke Rapids.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete. H.D. Pope Funeral Home is in charge.

Alvin J. Vaughan

MURFREESBORO n Alvin Junior “Mada” Vaughan, a native of Hertford County, died January 30, 2008 at Pitt Memorial Hospital, Greenville.

Vaughan was a fork lift driver at Narricott Manufacturing Company.

Survivors include his parents, Vivian Vaughan Taylor and Curtis Taylor of Murfreesboro; a son, Tylik Vaughan of Woodland; a daughter, Keyisha Vaughan of Potecasi; three sisters, Lakesha Vaughan of Charlotte and Alvina Spellman and Towanda Harris, both of Greenville; his grandfather, Columbus Vaughan of Woodland; and his grandmother, Betty Lou Robertson Vaughan of Murfreesboro.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at Revelle Hill Baptist Church by the Rev. Jane Mann. Burial will be in Cladie Ambrose Memorial Gardens.

Wilder’s Funeral Home, Inc., Aulander, is in charge.

Margaret T. Gilcrest

HARRELLSVILLE n Margaret Tally Gilcrest, a native of Cheraw, SC, died January 29, 2008 at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie. She was the widow of Oscar J. Gilcrest Sr.

A funeral was conducted Saturday, February 2 at B.M. Long Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cheraw, by the Rev. Samuel Sparks. Interment was in Foundry Hill Cemetery. Reid’s Funeral Home, Cheraw, was in charge.

Survivors include six children, James “Jimmy” A. Talley of Riverdale, GA, Dorothy Gilchrist of Harrellsville, Minnie Gilcrest of Hamlet, Oscar Gilchrist Jr. of Yonkers, Margaret L. Gilcrest of Roanoke Rapids and Jacqueline L. Gilcrest of Harrellsville; 15 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Velma Johnson

GARNER – Velma Cleo Johnson, 66, a native of Rich Square, and formerly of Murfreesboro, died January 25, 2008.  

She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Elizabeth City State University.  She worked for the State of New York as a Special Education Teacher.

Survivors include a daughter, Natalie Tyler of Charlotte; two sisters, Ethel Davis of Queens, NY and Adelle Burden of Murfreesboro; and two brothers, Rudolph Johnson of Murfreesboro and Jessie Johnson of Huntsville, AL.

A funeral was conducted Friday at Hunter’s Funeral Home Chapel, Murfreesboro. Burial was in Carver Park Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to

Minnie C. Boykins

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Minnie C. Boykins, 59, formerly of Gates, died February 6, 2008 at Potomac Hospital, Woodbridge.

She was last employed at the US Postal Service as a


Survivors include one son, Roderic Boykins of Newport News; two daughters, Monica Somuah of Woodbridge and Iris Boykins of Suffolk;  her mother, Iristeen Harvey of Gates; brothers, George Harvey and Andrew Harvey, both of Gates; sisters, Mary Harvey of Raleigh, Sadie Harvey of Waterbury, Ct., and Pam Harvey of Gates; and 19 grandchildren.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday at Lebanon Grove Missionary Baptist Church by the Rev. Lycurgus Harrell. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Hunter’s Funeral Home, Ahoskie, is in charge. Condolences may be sent to

Jesse Bowser Jr.

AULANDER – Jesse Henry “Buckwheat” Bowser Jr., 53, a native of Northampton County, died February 7, 2008 at his residence.

Bowser was a member of Mill Branch Baptist Church, Aulander, and retired foreman from Golden Peanut Company.

Survivors include his wife, Irene P. Bower of Aulander; daughters, Cindy Powell and Judy Powell, both of Aulander; brothers, James Bowser, Earnest Bowser and Robert Bowser, all of Philadelphia, Pa.; sisters, Frocy Bowser and Sheila Bowser, both of Philadelphia; and one grandson.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m.

Monday at Mill Branch Baptist Church by the Rev. Ronald Dolberry. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Wilder’s Funeral Home, Inc., Aulander, is in charge.

James H. Walton

KELFORD n James H. Walton, 83, a native of Bertie County, died February, 2008 at Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

Walton retired from Dixon Road Construction Company.

Survivors include a son, James W. Walton; a brother, Dwight Walton, both of Kelford; three grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church Kelford. Burial will be in the Walton family Cemetery. Wilder’s Funeral Home, Inc., Aulander, is in charge.

Evelyn Casper

BELVIDERE – Mary Evelyn Casper, 81, a native of Gates County, died February 6, 2008, in Chowan Hospital, Edenton.

Miss Casper was a homemaker and a member of Warwick Baptist Church.

Survivors include a sister, Maggie Monds of Gates; and three brothers, Elwood Casper, Calvin &uot;Peter Pan&uot; Casper and Vernon &uot;Blue Eyes&uot; Casper, all of Belvidere.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday in the chapel of Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main St., Gatesville, by the Rev. E. Vernon Gilmer Jr. Burial will be in Warwick Baptist Church Cemetery. Friends may join the family in the funeral home from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and all other times at the home of Elwood Casper, 212 Joppa Road, Belvidere.

Vashti Bazemore

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Vashti Bazemore, 95, died February 4, 2008.

Bazemore was a member of New St. Thomas Baptist Church.

Survivors include two sons, Theodore White of Portsmouth and Madison Askew of Virginia Beach; three sisters, Sue Carter of North Carolina, Marjorie Bazemore of New York, and Celestine Cameron of Chesapeake; a brother, Thurman Bazemore of New York; and four grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be condutcted at 11 a.m. Saturday at New St. Thomas Baptist Church, Portsmouth, by the Rev. Johnnie Drake. Interment will be in Hillcrest Cemetery, Ahoskie. Corprew Funeral Home is in charge.

James R. Meriwether

WINTON – James Robert “J.R.” Meriwether, 62, a native of Mercer, Co., NJ, died February 6, 2008 in Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie.

Mr. Meriwether was a pipe fitter by trade, he was eight year veteran of the US Navy and was also with the US Coast Guard Reserves.

He was an active member of the Rockaway, NJ Elks Club, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Rifle Association.

Survivors include three sons, Sean Meriwether of New York, Keith Meriwether of Las Vegas, NV, and Robert Lewis Meriwether of Rockaway, NJ; sisters, Patricia Ireland of Trenton, NJ and Joan Toth of Perrineville, NJ; and a brother, Michael Meriwether of Laguna Vista, TX.

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

Miller Funeral Home & Crematory of Edenton is in charge.

Hunter L. Etters

EURE n Hunter Lee Etters, infant son of Bobby Lee and Evelyn Newsome Etters, died February 6, 2008, at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Besides his parents, Hunter is survived by his maternal grandparents, Buster and Temperance Castello of Ahoskie; paternal grandparents, Jimmy and Gladys Etters of Winton; great grandmother, Annie Mae Bazemore of Cofield; and great grandfather, Robert A. Newsome, Sr. of Cofield.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie, with the Rev. Daniel Glaze. Garrett Funeral Home-Ashley Chapel is in charge.

Robert L. James

SUFFOLK, Va. n Robert L. James, 64, a native of Portsmouth, died February 5, 2008 at Kindred Hospital.

A funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Plains Baptist Church, Ahoskie, by the Rev. Robert Ashe. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Hertford County Undertakers, Winton, is in charge.

Survivors include his wife, Carolyn James of Suffolk; his mother, Doris Pierce James of Virginia Beach; two brothers, Allen James of Washington, D.C., and Luther Earl James of Chesapeake; and four sisters, Frances James, LaVern James and Gail James, all of Springfield and Virginia James of Virginia Beach.

Jessie K. Futrell

AULANDER n Jessie K. Futrell, 62, a native of Hertford County, died February 1, 2008u at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, Va.

Futrell retired from Bennett Box Company nAhoskie.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Gatling Futrell of Aulander; sons, Deshawn Futrell and Jessie Jerome, both of Aulander; daughters, Patricia Ann Futrell, Sherite Shanita Futrell, both of Aulander and Lashonda Futrell of Ahoskie; brothers, Willie Futrell of Aulander, James Futrell of Woodland and Charlie Futrell of Ahoskie; sisters, Estella Futrell of Woodland, Josie Mae Early of Rich Square, Lillie Mae Horton of Washington, D.C., and Dorothy Futrell Harris of Aulander; and five grandchildren.

A funeral was conducted Friday at Wilder’s Funeral Home Chapel, Rich Square, by the Rev. Ronald Dolberry. Burial was in Wilder’s-Cherry Family Cemetery, Aulander.