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Class Notes


Charles G. Gunn, Jr. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been retired since 1964 after working as the medical director of Hanes Hosiery Mills Company. After BC, he attended Davidson University, Duke University, and the Duke School of Medicine before completing his residencies at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.


Victor Friend, 91, and his wife, Betty Culler ('49), 87, of Bristol, Tennessee, have four children, 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Victor is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. His brother, Robert Friend, and Betty's brother, Bob Culler ('56), also attended BC.


Dr. David Armbrister was recognized with a Membership Key Award from Lions Clubs International on October 7, 2016 for his efforts in cultivating new members.


Alfred PatrickAlfred Patrick of Richmond, Kentucky, published his fourth novel, Hessian Soldier, American Pioneer: A March to Destiny, a historical fiction work relating to the American Revolutionary War. After BC, Alfred earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Virginia Tech and The University of Tennessee. He retired from Eastern Kentucky University after serving 33 years there as professor, department chair, and College of Business dean.

Dr. William "Bill" Tuck of Midlothian, Virginia, received the 2016 Wayne Oates award from the Oates Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. Bill recently published Star Throwers: A Pastor’s Handbook, A Revolutionary Gospel: Salvation in the Theology of Walter Rauschenbusch, A Positive Word for Christian Lamenting, and The Forgotten Beatitude: Worshiping through Stewardship.


Robert Farley, president and CEO of the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, announced his March 2018 retirement from the helm of the PMCCC office during last summer's meeting. The Princeton, West Virginia native previously had a 20-year career with Appalachian Power, getting very involved in community initiatives and the local Chamber of Commerce along the way. In his retirement, he looks forward to continuing his volunteer work in the area and spending more time with his family.


Samuel Johnson of Honaker, Virginia, retired from Russell County (VA) Public Schools in 2004 with 35 years of service as both a teacher and guidance counselor. He worked an additional eight years with Allstate as an insurance agent before retiring again in 2012. Samuel and his wife, Shelby, have two sons and three grandchildren.


John Betterton is a retired educator living in Clayton, North Carolina. He worked in public school systems for 32 years; then, started and ran a charter school after retirement for an additional 13 years. At BC, he was the Student Education Association Vice President of the sophomore class. Other lifetime achievements include the Outstanding Young Educator award by the Jaycees (1977), Charter School's Wachovia Principal of the Year (2004), Outstanding Principal from the University of Virginia (2009), and a Lifetime Service Award by the Jaycees (2013). John and his wife, Bonnie, attend First Baptist Church in Clayton.

Russell CollinsAfter being in the toy business for nearly 30 years, Russell Collins of Nashville, Tennessee, is now working for a Christian food brokerage company based out of Matthews, North Carolina, covering two national chains at the headquarters level. His wife, Janis, passed away in 2016, but Russell enjoys time with his two daughters and first grandchild, Parker.

Jerry Dickerson of Brevard, North Carolina, is serving as an adjunct professor of religion at Saint Leo University after retiring as a Navy chaplain and Baptist pastor. He continues to be active in ministry as the chaplain for Post 88 of the American Legion in Brevard. Jerry is married to Linda Martin Dickerson, sister of Elaine Martin Dietz ('67). He and former BC roommates R.G. Rowland and Bill Trimyer, both class of '67, recently celebrated 50 years of friendship.

Elaine Martin DietzElaine Martin Dietz of Chester, Virginia, is enjoying retirement after a 29-year career as an elementary school teacher. While at BC, Elaine was active in BSU and the Business Club. She went on to attain her bachelor's degree from Radford University. Elaine and her husband, Michael, do volunteer work at their church, St. Augustine in Chesterfield (VA), especially with the food pantry. They also enjoy traveling and attending their grandchildren's activities.

Bob HouckBob Houck of Culpeper, Virginia, is retired from Warrenton Farm Credit, where he started as a loan officer in 1980 and retired as Senior Vice President of Finance and Administrative Service in 1998. He also operated a beef cattle farm up until 2015. Now, he and his wife, Shirley, enjoy traveling. Bob has served as a trustee at BC, as well as the National Director, National Secretary and 1987 National President of Ruritan. He is a member of Stevensburg Baptist Church and has been on many mission trips.

Jane McClung Lookabill of Draper, Virginia, is retired after 20 years of teaching health and physical education and counseling in the Virginia Public School System. After BC, Jane went to Radford University and received a B.S. in Education and M.S. in Counseling. She and her husband, Woody, have enjoyed several mission trips, including Honduras, Thailand, and a disaster relief mission to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They have also been leading Precept Bible study in their church for more than 30 years. Jane and Woody have three children and six grandchildren.

Betty Davis Mason of Powhatan, Virginia, retired in 2016 after working 14 years as an office manager, human resources coordinator, and additional 12 years part-time in a hospital setting coordinating volunteers. She and her husband, Lewis Mason ('66), celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2017. Betty was involved in BSU, YWAs, and was a dorm counselor while at BC. Over the course of their marriage, she and Lewis have primarily resided in the Richmond (VA) area except for brief stints in St. Louis, Missouri, and Hot Springs, Arkansas, for Lewis' work. The couple is enjoying retirement and being close to their two children and six grandchildren. They attend Red Lane Baptist Church in Powhatan.

Phyllis Atkinson RobinsonPhyllis Atkinson Robinson of Fort Mill, South Carolina, is enjoying retirement after a rewarding career in social welfare. She served in children and family services for the SCDSS, as a counselor for addictions, and as a hospice social worker. Today, she helps care for her grandchildren, volunteers for a Christian adoption agency, and attends Elevation Church in Charlotte. While at BC, Phyllis was Chaplin of the Bluefield Baptist Church Girls' Dorm Council. She maintains regular contact with her BC roomie, Helen Page Garrett ('67) of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Raymond Rowland of Gretna, Virginia, is celebrating fifty years of being a Baptist pastor, thirty of which have been at his current place of ministry, Greenfield Baptist Church. He and his wife, Margie, have two children and four grandchildren.

Dan Taylor of South Charleston, West Virginia, retired in 2007 as a division director from the West Virginia Tax Department. At BC, Dan was involved in the intramural sports program. After working locally in the coal mines and an additional two years in California, he returned to the Mountain State and earned advanced degrees from Concord University and West Virginia University. Dan and his wife, Paula, attend First Presbyterian Church in South Charleston. They have two sons, Jason and Justin, and four grandchildren.

Charlie WarrenCharlie Warren of Lenoir City, Tennessee, is a retired Baptist editor. His career includes stints as publications coordinator at the Baptist Publishing House in Lusaka, Zambia; senior editor in the news office at the Foreign Mission Board, now the International Mission Board; and editor of HomeLife magazine, a product of LifeWay Christian Resources. Charlie and his wife, Sandy, have three children and six grandchildren.

David ZurekDavid Zurek of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is retired from a career in commercial building and enjoying boating, biking, snow skiing, and traveling in his spare time. He also continues his main hobby, woodturning, and is a current member and former president of the Tidewater Woodturners Club. David started a commercial construction company, The Artisan Building Group, that built over 150 7-Eleven stores, numerous banks, restaurants, shopping centers, and churches, including Kings Grant Baptist Church, where David serves in various roles, including building and grounds. He also volunteered with the church's men's group to build churches around the country. After BC, David attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he met his wife, Kathryn. The couple married on their graduation day in 1970 and have two grown children, Amy, an interior architect, and Stephen, a landscape architect.



David Altizer of Tazewell, Virginia, was appointed to the faculty of the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course in 2015 and was inducted into the Virginia Law Foundation's 2017 Class of Fellows for his leadership in the profession and local community.


Dr. Robert Putt, senior pastor of West Lynchburg (VA) Baptist Church, and Roger Roller ('81), founder of the Roller Evangelistic Association of Forest, Virginia, are leading efforts with the Lynchburg Baptist Association to help provide a mobile food pantry to "those who hunger in body and spirit" in the "food deserts" of Lynchburg -- areas where access to fresh produce and affordable food is difficult for residents on government assistance.


Tim Sharp of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is the recipient of the Belmont University School of Music's 2017 Encore Award, an award created in 2008 to honor a Belmont School of Music alumnus for achievement in the field of classical music. A member of the Hall of Distinguished Graduates at BC, Tim is the Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), located in Oklahoma City, and Artistic Director of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus. He served on the faculty and conducted Belmont Chorale and Oratorio from 1997-2000.


Wayne Pate of Stockbridge, Georgia, is enjoying retirement. He served as the Minister of Music at Edisto Beach Baptist Church in South Carolina.


Scott "Rick" R. GabrielsonScott "Rick" R. Gabrielson and his wife, Sherri, have sold their family businesses, including the ChurchFurnitureStore.com, Kupkakery Bakery, ChurchMart Christian Bookstores, and have purchased their retirement home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, near other family and friends.


Thomas "Tom" Baynham, Jr.Thomas "Tom" Baynham, Jr. of Ruther Glen, Virginia, received his Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Boston University School of Theology in May 2015. One year later, he completed an interim position as Pastor for Worship, Music and Arts at Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church (VA).

Theresa Kimbler of Roanoke, Virginia, married Dick Wall on November 4, 2017.


David Kessler of Winder, Georgia, signed Atlanta (GA) native and fellow BC alum, Darius Scott, to his minor league professional basketball team, the Atlanta Show. Scott was presented with NAIA All-Conference Academic honors for his 2015-16 senior campaign with the Rams. Kessler's role with the Show, in conjunction with being team owner and founder, includes duties as head coach, general manager, and president.


Elvira "Vita" Trujillo Schrader of Takoma Park, Maryland, is enjoying a successful career teaching and tutoring students, mostly Spanish. Her memoirs up to 1970 were published in 2016. Vita's next book is in progress and it begins with her family's move to Southwest Virginia, where they resided for many years.


Teresa Richardson Holston of Wytheville, Virginia, received her Master's of Education degree in Counseling and Human Development on November 30, 2016. After nearly 13 years as a child protective services worker with the Virginia Department of Social Services, she is departing to begin her new post as a youth counselor at Mt. Rogers Youth Services. Teresa is a Sunday school teacher and youth leader at Evergreen United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Wayne, have two daughters, Brandi (22) and Terri (19).


Dr. Thomas BrewsterDr. Thomas Brewster was invited by Virginia governor-elect Ralph Northam to serve as a member of a Policy Council on Pre-K-12 to provide thoughtful insights and perspectives on significant issues in secondary education. Dr. Brewster serves as dean of the School of Education at Bluefield College. His career also includes more than 25 years of experience in higher and secondary education as superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools, teacher at Graham High School, assistant principal at Tazewell High School, principal at Pocahontas High School, assistant professor and director of institutional assessment at Concord University, adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Bluefield College, and student services coordinator and deputy superintendent for Pulaski County Schools.

Patricia Spence HandleyPatricia Spence Handley of Lenoir, North Carolina, is pursuing a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. Patricia earned her associate of applied science in a physical therapy assistant program in 1997. She has three children, three stepchildren, and four grandchildren.


Peter West of Bluefield, Virginia, is an adjunct instructor of phlebotomy at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands (VA) and a substitute teacher for Tazewell County Public Schools. He is active in the senior adult ministry at First Baptist Church and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

Brian WebbBrian Webb is serving as a commercial banker with Union Bank & Trust in Roanoke, Virginia.


Courtney EllisCourtney Ellis of Vinton, Virginia, married Christopher Witt on October 14, 2017. After college, Courtney pursued her dream of working in the news industry. She served on the marketing team at the Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA), and later, as a staff reporter for a small community newspaper in North Carolina. She left her career to be a stay-at-home mom for her two children, Dyson and Claire Spence, before re-entering the workforce as a financial services specialist with the Virginia Community College System in 2013.

Michael Harris of Bluefield, Virginia, was named Pharmacist of the Year for Walmart's market 311. In fact, his pharmacy at the Walmart in Bluefield was named Pharmacy of the Year. Mike is also a member of the BC Board of Trustees.


Tennessee Wesleyan University hired Billy Berry as their next head coach for baseball. Berry returns to TWU after serving as head coach for The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Grat Slade and his wife, LeAnn, of Bluefield, Virginia, welcomed twin baby boys into the family on September 19, 2016. Zachary Joseph and Zander Gratton join big sisters Addy, 6, and Macie, 19 months. Grat is an adult probation officer for Mercer County, West Virginia.


Kendall Smith Grogan and her husband, Rich, welcomed their third child, Rebekah, to the family on May 3, 2017. The Grogans recently relocated from Murrells Inlet to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Justin Hamm of Bluefield, West Virginia, recently married Christie Ellis. They also celebrated the birth of their first child, Alivia Michelle, in May 2017.

Travis Roberts of North Tazewell, Virginia, was promoted to Chief Meteorologist at WVVA-TV in Bluefield, West Virginia. Travis won the 2016 "Best Weathercast" award from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, beating out every other TV weather anchor in the state. He is currently pursuing a meteorology degree from Mississippi State University.


Gary T. SettleLt. Col. Gary T. Settle of Rappahannock County, Virginia, was appointed in January 2018 by Virginia governor Ralph Northam to serve as superintendent of the Virginia State Police. A 32-year law enforcement veteran, Gary has served the Virginia State Police (VSP) as a tactical team supervisor, narcotics special agent, firearms instructor, member of the State Police Honor Guard, and deputy director and then director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. His career also includes a stint as sheriff of Rappahannock County. As superintendent of VSP, he will now command a department of nearly 3,000 personnel.


Ezra Zane WilkinsonCharla Kitts and her husband, Paul Wilkinson ('02), of Bluefield, Virginia, celebrated the birth of their third child, Ezra Zane, born March 3, 2016. Ezra joins big brother, Eli, and sister, Callie.


Ryan Sheffler was featured in Wake Forest Weekly for his work as a cartoonist. A quality control analyst in his full-time job for Ajinomoto, a Japanese food and chemical corporation in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ryan writes a weekly comic series titled "Jeff the Yeti" for the comic con website the-variant.com. Using his one-year-old daughter, Hope, as inspiration, Ryan's cartoons provide a humorous spin for audiences of all ages on history and pop culture. He, his wife Shawna, and Hope live in Youngsville, North Carolina.

Allison Young Fertitta and her husband, Sammy ('05), of Roanoke, Virginia, celebrated the early birth of their third child, a son, born February 2 and weighing just 3 lbs. 4 oz.


Jaime Bennett Bowman of Rocky Gap, Virginia, was named head coach of the girls' volleyball team at Graham Middle School in Bluefield (VA).

Caroline Desplaines Dixon and Ethan MatthewCaroline Desplaines Dixon and her husband, Matthew, of Bluefield, West Virginia, celebrated the birth of their third child, Ethan Matthew, born November 6, 2016.

LeAnn Lane Montgomery gave birth to a baby boy, Aaron Thompson Montgomery, born September 26, 2016. LeAnn, her husband, John, and the family reside in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  LeAnn recently partnered with the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic in Lewisburg and the VA Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, on a project designed to provide personal care items to veterans in need. Titled Blessings in a Bag, the project benefitted at least 30 West Virginia veterans.


Tyler Fridley of Lynchburg, Virginia, was recognized for his outstanding DUI enforcement efforts at the 2016 Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Vinton (VA) Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony.

Julie Fuqua KeyserJulie Fuqua married Ryan Keyser in October 2015 and the couple welcomed their first child, Harper Bailey, on May 20, 2017. The family resides in Brunswick, Maryland. Julie works for AstraZeneca in Frederick (MD).

Sara Hubble graduated with her Master of Divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond (VA).

Ryan Moore married his wife, Lori, on November 4, 2017. The couple resides in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Elizabeth A. Testerman of Vinton, Virginia, a human resources consultant for American Electric Power, recently received the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. She was recognized for her volunteer efforts as a mentor and community advocate for Virginia Western’s Women in STEM Mentoring Program. The initiative taps community mentors to assist female students and special populations in professional matters and to provide them career-networking opportunities.

In August 2017, Princeton Community Hospital and Mercer Medical Group ENT in Princeton, West Virginia, welcomed Mark Weitzel, D.O., to the practice. A native of southern West Virginia, Mark earned his medical degree with honors from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg (WV) and completed his residency and internship at the Philadelphia (PA) College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Myra Bankert Dancausse of Buchanan, Virginia, is the owner of a new restaurant. She opened the River Craft Rail House (in Buchanan) in early November 2017.

Addison Blackburn Deskins and her husband, Michael, welcomed the birth of their daughter, Zoey Beth, on February 4, 2018. Addie is a teacher for Tazewell County Public Schools.

Jeremy Hardy and his wife, Meghan Garrett ('05), of Wilmington, North Carolina, gave birth to their third daughter, Alayna Micah, born October 28, 2016.

Jessica Skiles Kidd of Hillsville, Virginia, and her husband, Anthony, celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Evelyn Faith, on April 10, 2018. Evelyn joins big sister Lillian in the family. Jessica is a reading and language arts teacher at Galax Middle School. Since BC, she also earned a master's degree in literacy education and taught and served as a reading specialist at Galax Elementary School.

CharLynn Markwart of Portland, Michigan, won first place in the Americana category of the 2018 Great American Song Contest for her song, "In Mother Maybelle’s Hands.” Judges reviewed songs from more than 1,800 songwriters from around the world. 

Derrick and Lindsey Sebring ('08) Wagoner and their two children welcomed the birth of their third child, Rachelle Quinn, born March 19, 2018, and weighing 9 lbs. 8 oz. and 21.25" long.

Justin Spracher of Bluefield, West Virginia, was elected president of the Lion's Club of Bluefield, making him a third generation of Sprachers to serve as president of the service organization.


Josh ClineAssistant Bluefield City Manager Joshua Cline of Bluefield, West Virginia, was chosen to take the reigns as the next president and chief executive officer of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Peyton, celebrated the birth of their first child, Crawford Lee, on February 18, 2017. A year later on February 5, 2018, they welcomed the early arrival of their second child, Chandler Lawrence, weighing 4 lbs. 2.5 oz. and measuring 18 inches long. Josh is also currently pursuing a master’s degree from Marshall University.

Matt Cox and his wife, Lauren, of Roanoke, Virginia, celebrated the birth of their son, Brody Alan, born October 1, 2017.

Robert RatcliffeRobert Ratcliffe of Christiansburg, Virginia, was selected as the next principal at Indian Valley Elementary School in Floyd County. He was one of 20 applicants for the position. Robert has been in the Pulaski County school system for eight years, as a teacher, instructional technology resource teacher and building administrator designee. He is currently serving on BC's Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Peery HeldrethPeery Heldreth of Daleville, Virginia, was named Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit of the Virginias (FCV), effective January 5, 2017. Peery currently leads the organization’s operations, lending, technology and compliance functions with responsibility for overseeing many of the bank’s 22 branch offices. He began his career in the financial lending industry in 1997 and spent five years with Colonial Farm Credit before joining FCV in 2006.

Daniel Schroeder and his wife, Monica, of Christiansburg, Virginia, welcomed a new baby girl, Avery Claire, into the family on November 27, 2016.


Patricia KirkPatricia C. Kirk married Terrance Grogan on October 13, 2014 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Trish is currently a social services director at Blue Ridge Therapy Connection and an independent Scentsy consultant.

Karlee Steffey of Ridgeway, Virginia, gave birth to a baby boy, Collin Artie Young, born May 3, 2017.

Henry WikleBrian and Kara Woodward (’10) Wikle of Bluefield, West Virginia, celebrated the birth of their son, Henry, born June 8, 2017.

Jacob Woodrum and Allie Tallman were married at the West Manor Estate in Forest, Virginia, on May 9, 2015. Jacob works in Blacksburg (VA) and Allie graduated from Virginia Tech and will further her education by attending grad school.


Emily Sears Cook and her husband, Chris, celebrated the birth of their first child, Avery Elizabeth, born June 21, 2017.

Andrew Jarvis and Allyson Armbrester ('13) were married on September 5, 2015. Andrew is the Deputy Sheriff at Tazewell County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office.

Bethany Liddle ('12 and '16) of Galax, Virginia, and Ryan Handy were married on June 18, 2016. The couple will make their home in Independence (VA), where Bethany is employed as a teacher for Grayson County Public Schools.


The BittlersCaleb Bittler accepted a position at New Bethesda Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia, as Associate Pastor to Families and Youth in January 2017. His wife, Kelly Somers ('03), bid goodbye to BC after 11 years of service in Student Development and is now a stay-at-home mom to their two children, Jeremiah and Kathryn. The family resides in Montpelier (VA).

Josh M. King of Ruther Glen, Virginia and his wife, Danielle Preservati ('14), of Fredericksburg, Virginia, celebrated the birth of their son, Kaden, born March 7, 2017.  Josh was recently named artistic director and co-leader of the Christian Youth Theater (CYT) of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Josh is a CYT alumnus who has served as a theater teacher at Fredericksburg Christian School for the last five years.

Emily Reynolds of Falls Mills, Virginia, was named the 2017 Teacher of Year at Eastern Elementary/Middle School in Giles County (VA). A graduate of BC's Teacher Education Program, Emily was involved in Student Government and Alpha Chi and Pi Lambda Theta honor societies during her time as a student. At EEMS, she teaches fifth grade language arts.

Leslie Williams completed her master’s degree in Educational Psychology and is now the Coordinator for Curricular Initiatives (CIDER) at Virginia Tech. She is also the new chair of their annual Conference of Higher Education Pedagogy.

Lydia Freeman of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, recently received the James McBride Teaching Award. Lydia is currently an English teacher in the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school network in Gaston, North Carolina.


Alandra Blume and Nicholas Hinkle ('16) were married in May 2016 and have made their home in Princeton, West Virginia. Nick also accepted the position of band director at Bluefield (WV) High School.

Bobby Hall, Jr. of Bluefield, West Virginia, completed his 700th show with Blue Gate Musicals.


Michael Callaghan, a resident of Roanoke, Virginia, accepted a post on the men’s soccer coaching staff at Ferrum College. Michael earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete and all-conference accolades while playing for the BC men's soccer team, in addition to serving two seasons as team captain. He holds coaching licenses from the NSCAA and USSF.

Ariel Goins of Bland, Virginia, came on staff as a special education teacher for Bland County Public Schools.

Alison Jackson of Bluefield, Virginia, married Nick Mosko on July 2, 2016. Alison is a first-grade teacher at Tazewell Elementary School.

Rodney Kasey and Rebecca Havens ('17) were married July 15, 2017 at Westminster Presbyterian Church. The couple resides in Bluefield, West Virginia.

Ben Rosado of Sterling, Virginia, was introduced as the new recreation director of Tazewell (VA) in April. Ben majored in Exercise and Sport Science at BC and was a member of the Rams' baseball team.

Tyler Snow and his wife, Chelsea Hardy ('14), celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Camille Eloise, born October 24, 2017. The family resides in Patrick Springs, Virginia.


Kevin AldridgeKevin Aldridge of West Jefferson was promoted to Sergeant with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Kali Furry of Bluefield, West Virginia, is pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy from Emory and Henry College.

Jasmine Morrow of Woodbridge, Virginia, has a new position as a management trainee at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Rebecca Richardson of Portsmouth, Virginia, was accepted into the Ph.D. program in chemistry at Old Dominion University. The graduate program in chemistry and biochemistry also awarded her with a graduate teaching assistantship for the 2017-2018 academic school year.

Benjy Slator of North Yorkshire, England, has been named director of performance for the Virginia Soccer Association (VSA). In this newly created position, he will be responsible for the implementation of video analysis and functional conditioning programs to compliment the VSA's current methodology and training techniques. Benjy is a former soccer player for Bluefield College and the National Premier Soccer League.

Brian Vaught of Rural Retreat, Virginia, was elected to serve on the Wythe County Board of Supervisors during the November 2017 election. Brian has more than two decades of experience within state and local government, including his most recent work with the Rural Retreat Town Council.


Benny Burrell and his wife, Valerie ('09), of Richmond, Virginia, have been facilitating sessions on the challenges of relationships at New Creation Ministries in Cobbs Creek (VA). Valerie is an online admissions counselor at BC.

Gabrielle and Rylan EdensJust days prior to her graduation from Bluefield College, Gabrielle Rivers Edens of Kingsport, Tennessee, welcomed a baby boy, Rylan Carroll, to the family. She and her husband also celebrated their third wedding anniversary and the birthday of their oldest son, Kyle, who turned two-years-old.

Quincy Gravely of Ridgeway, Virginia, was hired as the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Manager at Piedmont Community Services for Martinsville and Henry County (VA).

Hannah Amis Tatum is working on her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Radford University.



Henry S. Surface, Jr., age 100, of Tazewell, Virginia, passed away June 7, 2015. Although not one of “Doc’s (Dr. Jack Witten's) boys," Henry was forever grateful for the transportation provided by the late Doc Witten that made it possible to attend Bluefield College. He retired as a district mechanical engineer from US Steel in Gary, West Virginia, after more than 40 years in the field, including his work in experimental development and testing of ballistic propellants for the war effort. A member of Tazewell Baptist Church, he was a deacon and taught the adult men’s Sunday school class for more than 20 years.


Howard H. Hale, 97, a lifelong resident of Bluefield, West Virginia, died March 4, 2015. Howard was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He was stationed in the Pacific Ocean Theater and served as a ball turret gunner on a B24 Liberator. He later retired from Bluefield Supply Company with 45 years of service. Howard was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Bluefield Civitan Club, and the Riley – Vest Post 9 of the American Legion. Survivors include his granddaughter, Ashby Taylor Perkins ('07), of Wytheville, Virginia.


Dr. Herbert A. King of Orlando, Florida, died December 25, 2007 after practicing internal medicine 48 years in Daytona Beach, Florida. With a master’s degree in medicine and additional medical training in allergy and hematology, he was a certified diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Herb also served  two years in the military at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin before becoming the chief of staff and chief of the EKG Department at Halifax Hospital in Daytona. He was also president of the Volusia County Medical Society and the Volusia chapter of the American Cancer Society before retiring in 1997.


Rev. Griffin C. Callahan of Bluefield, Virginia, passed away October 25, 2013. Rev. Callahan began his ministry in Greenbrier and Monroe counties (West Virginia), where he was the rector of six parishes during the mid-1940s. He was also involved in the establishment and building of Peterkin Conference Center in Romney, the youth camp and retreat center for the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. He served many congregations during his years as an active priest and was also assistant rector at Calvary Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He returned to West Virginia in 1960 as rector of Trinity Church in Parkersburg, where he served until his retirement in 1974. Rev. Callahan was supervisor of the Little Kanawha Soil and Water Conservation District while in Parkersburg and chaplain to the Civil Air Patrol in Beckley (WV) during the late 1980s. After his retirement, he worked for ZEP Manufacturing Co. He was preceded in death by his sister, Marion Callahan Waldo Hanzlik ('24).


Charles R. Scott, 92, of Bluefield, West Virginia, passed away May 5, 2013. After graduating from Bluefield College and Hampton-Sydney University, Charlie attended the University of Virginia before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, where he received midshipman training at the University of Notre Dame and was commissioned as an Ensign. He served his country in the South Pacific Theatre during World War II on LST 1034. He retired from the Naval Reserve after 20 years at the grade of Lt. Commander. Charlie worked at the Feuchtenberger Bakery (Betsy Ross Bakery) for 43 years. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bluefield and served as an elder and deacon. His son, Charles L. Scott of Sparta, North Carolina, is a 1972 BC grad.

Eugene "Bud" Stowers, Jr., age 94, of Knoxville, Tennessee, died July 7, 2016. Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Bud served during World War II with the United States Marine Corps. He was discharged from active duty in 1946 and retired from the reserves as a captain in 1958. Bud returned to Bluefield and joined his father in the automobile and truck business, becoming the principle owner of Stowers Motors. He was also former president of Stowers Machinery Corporation, a business formed by he and his brothers, Dick and Harry, in 1960 with offices in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City (TN). Bud was a member of Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville and its Board of Stewards.


Mary "Maggie" Parcell Barton of Palm Harbor, Florida, passed away September 22, 2015.

Captain Creighton D. Lilly, United States Navy Retired, a resident of Encinitas, California, passed away January 5, 2016 at the age of 94. Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Creighton graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy in 1945. For his distinguished military service, Creighton received the Bronze Star with Combat V (twice), the Meritorious Service Medal, and more than a dozen decorations and campaign medals. He taught mechanical engineering at the U. S. Naval Academy and later at Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He was a faithful member of the Episcopal Church, serving as junior and senior warden on the vestry of Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield. Creighton was preceded in death by his brother, Cecil R. Lilly, Jr. ('36).

Walter Taylor Moore, age 93, of Bluefield, West Virginia, died September 30, 2016. Taylor served in the Army during World War II as a Sergeant in the 831st Ordinance in the Pacific. He was a business owner in McDowell County (WV) and Bluefield, as well as a realtor for many years. Taylor was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and of the Bluefield Lions Club for over 50 years, where he received the Leonard Jarrett Award for 29 years of perfect attendance. He also served as club president from 1980-81.


Donald M. Kersey, Sr. of Bluefield, West Virginia, died January 11, 2016.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Army having served during World War II. He was also retired from Flat Top Insurance after 35 years of service.

Donald H. McGlory, Ph.D., 95, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, died July 11, 2017. During WWII, Don served in the United States Navy. His love of science led him to study the chemistry of cigarette smoke at Lorillard Tobacco Company before becoming the director of the biochemistry laboratory at Rhode Island Hospital. From the basement of his home, Don started New England Reagent Laboratory and later founded McGlory Scientific, a business dedicated to exploring the potential of vapor phase diagnosis of cancer. His other love was music. He published and composed over 50 songs that have been recorded.


Jack B. Hall of Virginia Beach, Virginia, passed away October 29, 2017. He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and a retired chemist.

Betty Crowell Ireson of Hernando, Florida, died May 11, 2014. Betty taught chemistry at Bluefield College and chemistry and physics at Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia, for 43 years. She retired in 1994. Her affiliations include the Hernando United Methodist Church; Beta Sigma Phi sorority, a women's social, cultural, and service organization; and Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 102 in Bluefield, to name a few. Survivors include a sister, June Crowell Nash ('49), and her husband, Paul Nash ('48), of Citrus Hills (FL).


Anne Coleman (Groton) Currie of Lovingston, Virginia, passed away August 30, 2015. She was employed as a nursing supervisor at Waynesboro (VA) Community Hospital, and later as Director of Nursing at Lovingston Health Care Center. She was predeceased by her sister, Dr. Catherine Coleman Seaman ('41), and survived by her sister, Betty Coleman Gentry ('53) of Flagler Beach, Florida.

Robert A. Vest, age 91, of Clearwater, Florida, passed away June 3, 2017. During World War II, Robert entered the U.S. Army and went to France with the 100th Infantry Division, where he was taken prisoner by the Germans. After the war ended, Robert returned to Bluefield, West Virginia, where he spent the majority of his childhood, and became a licensed real estate broker and insurance agent. He was President of Vest Insurance Agency and later President of Citizens Real Estate Investment Company. Robert also served as President of the Board of Realtors, Chairman of the Bluefield Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Lt. Governor of the Kiwanis Club. He and his family were active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 1972, Robert and his family moved to Clearwater, where he became Vice President and Trust Officer at the First National Bank of Clearwater (now Regions Bank) until his retirement in 1991. He was still active with the local Kiwanis Club and American Red Cross. Robert was also a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, serving as treasurer, elder, deacon, and foundation chairman until his health declined in October 2016. Surviving relatives include his two daughters, Nancy Vest Weinberger ('72) and Kathryn Vest Aldrich.


Captain Robert T. French of Martinsville, Virginia, died September 23, 2014. After graduating from BC, Bob received his bachelor's degree in engineering. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1979.

Douglas Howell Layman of Boynton Beach, Florida, passed away on February 27, 2018. A retired civicl engineer, Douglas was a World War II veteran who served the Marine Corps in the South Pacific. He also received several honors for service appreciation from the Navy and Air Force and was a retired civil servant of the Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in West Palm Beach, Florida. He enjoyed civil engineering, travel, making things with his hands, and volunteering his time and expertise to the church and missions.

John P. Oblinger of Wytheville, Virginia, passed away April 24, 2017. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Jacquelyn Pero Oblinger ('48), and daughter-in-law, Martha Addington Oblinger ('81). John and Jackie had three sons, BC honorary graduate Michael, Phillip, and Mark Oblinger ('86). Granddaughter Emily Oblinger ('08) also attended BC. John served in World War II as a waist gunner in the Navy. He became the owner of Blizzard’s of Virginia during the 1950s, running the business with Mark until his retirement.


Juanita King Callahan of Thelma, Kentucky, passed away January 31, 2013. During her career, Juanita served as college business manager at Lees College in Jackson (KY), but her passion was in volunteer work, particularly with the Presbytery of Transylvania, which covers about 90 Kentucky counties. Juanita was a longtime member of Guerrant Memorial Presbyterian Church in Jackson.

David B. Day of Conway, South Carolina, passed away September 2, 2016.

Earl B. Manning, 91, died February 26, 2015. Born in Princeton, West Virginia, Earl was a World War II Naval veteran. In 2014, he was one of eight South Carolinians presented with the Legion d'honneur by representatives of the President of France for his participation during the D-Day invasion. Earl retired as a manager with Burlington Industries. He was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church.

William "Bill" M. Robertson, age 92, of Graham, North Carolina, passed away September 8, 2015. Bill played minor league baseball, was a farmer, a carpenter, and retired from Culp, Inc. He was a lifelong member of Mt. Hermon United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School for 40-plus years.


James HoldawayJames Holdaway of Lawrenceville, Georgia, died January 17, 2018. Jim was a U.S. Navy veteran having served in the Pacific Theater in the battles of Saipan and Okinawa as a pharmacist’s mate. After the Navy and college, he taught chemistry at Bluefield College before working as a chemist for the Department of Public Works in Richmond, Virginia, and the Taft Engineering Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also worked for the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Environmental Protection Agency in Atlanta, Georgia, before retiring in 1989. Jim was also active in Baptist churches, teaching Sunday School and serving as a deacon.

William H. Martin, Sr.William H. Martin, Sr. of Culpeper, Virginia, died August 23, 2016. Willie was retired, having worked many years for Stone and Webster and Virginia Power in the construction and operation of the North Anna Nuclear Power Station in Louisa (VA). In 2007, he and his wife of 60 years, Rose Marie, were named grand marshals of the Culpeper Independence Day Parade for their combined years of community service to more than 50 local and statewide initiatives. Willie was a lifelong member of Culpeper Baptist Church. He is also survived by his son, William "Bill" Martin II ('84) of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

June C. Nash, 86, of Hernando, Florida, passed away February 5, 2017 after a long illness. June was a teacher for Tazewell (VA) County Public Schools and a homemaker after the birth of her children. She also served as a den mother for Cub Scouts, church pianist, Sunday School Superintendent, hospital volunteer, president of the Citrus Hills Woman's Club, and state representative for the Tennessee Association of Woman's Club. She and her husband, Paul Nash (’48), began taking RV trips in 1955, visiting all lower 48 states, as well as Canada and Mexico. 

Robert Lee Sult of Houston, Texas, died March 30, 2016. Robert served in the U.S. Air Force and retired from the Reserves in 1983 as a colonel. He was also a broker, investor, vice president and founding shareholder of Rotan Mosle, Inc. In addition, he was active in numerous industry trade groups and community organizations, including Kiwanis Club, Sagewood Country Club, Houston Racquet Club, Houston Yacht Club, the Regent of the Church Corporation at Rice University, and the vestry and Diocesan Council of the Church of St. John the Divine.


Joe R. Burnett of San Luis Obispo, California, passed away on January 8, 2018.

Maxine Richardson Cardwell of Waycross, Georgia, died January 8, 2014. Maxine served for over 20 years as an employee and ultimately the director of development records with Mercer University, retiring in 1994. She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert L. Cardwell ('50).


William A. Counts of Sarasota, Florida, died May 4, 2017. He retired from the Sarasota County School System after a lengthy career of teaching and coaching. He also served in the U. S. Army, 82nd Airborne.

Rufus R. Spence of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, died March 23, 2017. He was a longtime member of Bundy's Chapel Baptist Church and also served as interim pastor at several other area churches. Rufus retired from the Tazewell County School System after 30 years of service, teaching at Tazewell High School and serving as principal of Jewel Ridge, Raven, Rivermont, and Bandy Elementary Schools. He is survived by his wife, Mary Rae Spence, of the home and daughter, Pam Matney, of North Tazewell (VA), both BC friends. He is also survived by another daughter and fellow BC alum, Patricia "Trish" Spence Handley ('91), of Lenoir, North Carolina.

Jack L. Workman of Alum Creek, West Virginia, died July 21, 2016.  Jack served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. He was best known for his invention of a type of thermoplastic pipe that became widely used by the mining industry throughout the United States. Workman was granted patents for both the pipe and the fittings used to connect it.


Dr. John M. Appling of Cleveland, Tennessee, passed away June 23, 2016. Dr. Appling served his community for over 40 years in pediatrics. He was a founding member of the Child Shelter Home in Cleveland and awarded a lifetime membership in the Parent Teacher Association for his involvement as an advocate against child abuse. Dr. Appling was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, where he taught Sunday School. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Schorr Appling ('52).

Edward M. Gills of Morganton, North Carolina, passed away January 2, 2017. Ed retired in 1991 from a career in teaching that also included stints as a coach and guidance counselor. He and his wife, Caretta, attended Morganton First Church of God and sang in the choir for many years. They were active members of Calvary Baptist Church in Bluefield, West Virginia. Survivors include his brother, Ralph E. Gills ('52) of Bluefield.

Dr. Richard "Dick" Neel of Huntersville, North Carolina, passed away August 28, 2016. Dick served in administration and on college faculties at prestigious universities across Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia. He was Dean of the Belk College of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 15 years. He chaired and served on accreditation visiting committees for institutions of higher education, in addition to many other councils, associations, and boards.

Lonnie E. Yates, Sr. of Bluefield, Virginia, died November 23, 2017 after a short illness. 


Elgene "Whitey" Comer of North Chesterfield, Virginia, died January 4, 2017. Whitey served in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne during the Korean War. He was retired from American Inks and Coatings and was an ordained Baptist deacon.

Kenneth J. Mulkey, Sr. of North Tazewell, Virginia, passed away August 25, 2016. He was a United States Army Veteran of the Korean War and a retired engineer from Norfolk and Western Railroad. Kenneth was a member of Tazewell Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).


Richard “Dick” Bailey of Caldwell, Ohio, died June 21, 2016. Dick was a member of the First Church of Christ in Caldwell, where he had served as a deacon, choir director, and Sunday school teacher. He volunteered with the Caldwell Fire Department and retired from American Electric Power, where he worked for several years as a coal purchaser.

Charles F. Bostian of Waldorf, Maryland, died August 16, 2016. He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary.

Jack H. Hayes of Yorktown, Virginia, passed away July 14, 2009.


James E. Akers of Palm Desert, California, recently passed away. 

Samuel A. Nixon, Sr.Samuel A. Nixon, Sr. of Midlothian, Virginia, died April 27, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Julia Hubbard Nixon ('54), of the home. Sam made a career in library and media services, including a time as librarian at Carver Middle School in Chesterfield County (VA). He was co-author of the book, A Guide to Virginia's Literary Heritage (1991). Sam served as minister of education at churches in North Carolina and Virginia, and was active for many years in River Road Church, Baptist of Richmond (VA).

Lawrence A. Ward of North Andover, Massachusetts, passed away on January 1, 2016.


Edward "Eddie" H. Broome of Christiansburg, Virginia, passed away April 11, 2017. He was the owner and operator of The Flower Box in Blacksburg (VA) for 25 of his 45 years as a floral designer. Eddie was a past member of the Blacksburg Jaycee, former treasurer of the Blacksburg Chamber of Commerce, and a charter member of the Blacksburg Breakfast Lions Club. He was also an artist and wrote a column for his local newspaper.

Peggy Williams Lowe of Greenville, North Carolina, passed away in January 2015. Peggy was an elementary school teacher in Marietta, Georgia, before continuing her tenure as an educator for 30 additional years in the NC public school system. After retiring, she continued to tutor and teach with Sylvan Learning. Peggy served Murfreesboro Baptist Church for 50 years, where she led Bible school and taught Sunday school.

Margaret "Betty" Bailey RackleyMargaret "Betty" Bailey Rackley of Gladys, Virginia, passed away February 7, 2017. She was the daughter of the late Rev. David L. Bailey, Sr. ('25) and Mildred Katheryne Bailey. Betty served as dean of women and taught social studies at BC. She worked alongside her late husband, Joel, in each of his pastorates, serving as pianist and choir director at several of these churches. She and Joel also did mission work in Africa, Panama, Virginia, and the Kentucky mountains. Betty retired after teaching school for over thirty years. She is survived by her two brothers, Dr. David L. Bailey, Jr. ('60) of Richmond (VA), and Dr. Robert W. Bailey ('62) of Birmingham, Alabama. In lieu of flowers, David Bailey requests that Bluefield College friends make a gift in memory of Mrs. Margaret "Betty" Bailey Rackley to Bluefield College, either to the David and Katheryn Bailey Scholarship or the Panama student mission trip, where she went on 15 missions herself.


Ferma "Dee" Bethel of Powhatan, Virginia, died November 16, 2017.

Helen Fox Brittain died June 8, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida. She formerly taught school in Hanover County, Virginia.

A. Kenneth Custalow, Sr. of West Point, Virginia, and of the Mattaponi Indian Reservation, died July 3, 2013. A retired auditor with the U.S. Treasury Department, Ken served more than 50 years in his church teaching children and adults, singing in the choir, serving as a deacon, and working as a staff administrator. He also served on the board of the Native American Rights Foundation, was a member of the delegation of Virginia Indians who traveled to England as part of the Jamestown 400 Celebration, spoke on Native American culture, was a craftsman of the Native American love flute and other native crafts, and was a member of the Custalow Brothers singing ensemble. 

Charles "Whitey" McNew of Goldbond, Virginia, passed away October 27, 2017. Whitey retired as an automobile salesman and was a faithful worshiper at Olean Church of the Brethren at Goldbond.


Macon H. Coleman, III of Staunton, Virginia, died April 21, 2017. He is survived by his wife and BC friend, Joyce.

Sam K. Crockett of Roanoke, Virginia, died March 31, 2018. Sam served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Clarence K. Bronson and the USS Black during the Korean War. He retired as principal of Graham High School in 1999 after working for nearly 30 years for Tazewell County Schools as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, assistant supervisor, and principal. He also briefly owned and managed retail businesses in Bluefield, Virginia, before moving to Roanoke.

Peggy Thomas Custalow of West Point, Virginia, and of the Mattaponi Indian Reservation, died January 6, 2017.  She served Grove Avenue Baptist Church for more than 50 years as a Sunday School teacher. She also taught and served on the board of Grove Christian School and worked with youth at the Mattaponi Indian Baptist Church. 

William R. Hall, Jr. of Roanoke, Virginia, passed away on November 2, 2017.

Derwood R. Jefferson of Hanover, Virginia, passed away May 3, 2017. Derwood enjoyed bluegrass music and traveling with his wife, Ginny. He was also a member of the Shriners, Richmond Chapter.

Wilma Jean Lancaster of Martinsville, Virginia, passed away November 8, 2017. She was a lifetime member of Starling Avenue Baptist Church.


Rev. John "Jack" W. Clough, III of Naples, Florida, died December 31, 2016. A former Baptist minister, Jack graduated from Baylor University and then received his doctorate in divinity from Louisville Theological Seminary. He founded and was pastor of his own church in Frederick, Maryland, before serving as a development director for the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula. Since moving to Naples, Jack was a member of First Baptist Church for the last 13 years.

William P. Hodges, Jr. of Newport News, Virginia, passed away May 31, 2016. After college, Bill worked at Newport News Shipbuilding before founding Yorktown Electronic and Supply Company, an electrical supply company located in Newport News. He was a lifelong member of Temple Baptist Church. He is survived by his brother and fellow BC alumnus, Robert L. Hodges ('63), also of Newport News.

Ralph Lee Riggs, Sr. of Salem, Virginia, died September 28, 2016 when he lost his battle with Lymphoma. Ralph proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Japan at the Pentagon of the Far East with a top secret clearance. His professional career was spent with Moore Business Forms and Systems. After retirement, he built a classic roadster and traveled with his wife, Margaret, around the country visiting all 50 states.

Rev. William "Tom" Wood of Portsmouth, Virginia, died December 23, 2016. Tom’s 39-year ministry included churches in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Virginia. He retired in 2003 from Westhaven Baptist Church in Portsmouth, having served there for 23 years. Tom was also active in his community, the Portsmouth Baptist Association, the Baptist General Association of Virginia, and the Religious Herald Publishing Association, Inc.


Roger L. Hayes of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away March 14, 2014. He was a retired educator and administrator. He also simultaneously operated his own antiques business, Roger's Antiques, for nearly 50 years. Buying, selling, and refinishing antiques were his passion. He shared his knowledge and expertise of antiques with others through seminars, auctions, and appraisals over the years.


Suzanne Cooke Blaylock of Princeton, West Virginia, died September 5, 2014. Suzie was a homemaker, charter member of Nemours (WV) Ruritan, and lifelong member of First United Methodist Church. Survivors include her husband, Maurice “Smokey” Blaylock ('57), and her son, Scott C. Blaylock ('96).

Rev. George L. Bulson, Jr. of Sandwich, Illinois, passed away April 14, 2015. George served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years, attaining the rank of Electronic Technician, Class 1. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. George became an ordained minister in 1962 and pastored churches in West Virginia, Michigan, and Illinois. He also served as director of missions for the south western and south central associations of Michigan for the home mission board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mary Ward Holley of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, passed away February 14, 2017. She taught school for more than 35 years at Tomahawk Elementary School in Lynchburg, Virginia. She was an avid golfer and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Among Mary's surviving loved ones is her sister, Barbara Lee Ward ('67), of Lynchburg.

Charles A. Pettit of Columbia, South Carolina, passed away January 6, 2016. He served in the U.S. Navy for six years on the U.S.S. Sam Rayburn. Charles was owner and broker-in-charge of the Pettit Company, which his father began in 1975. He was a member of the Columbia Jaycees, serving as past president and senator.


William A. "Bill" Bowerman of Berryville, Virginia, passed away October 8, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Bill worked at the Bank of Clarke County (VA) for 37 years. After his retirement, he worked at Nalls Farm Market in Berryville for 10 additional years. He was a lifelong member of John H. Enders Fire & Rescue Company and a past member of the Architectural Review Board.

Presley "Andy" L. Hayes, III of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed away March 2, 2016. While attending graduate school, Andy taught physical education at Harrisonburg (VA) area high schools before accepting a counseling position at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, where he also coached tennis. Andy later bought two Mister Donut franchises in the Charlottesville area and ran those businesses for 19 years before returning to education as a teacher, admissions officer, and coach.


Roy R. Collins of West Point, Virginia, passed away January 27, 2016. Roy was employed by General Motors before becoming an entrepreneur. He owned an automotive shop in Richmond (VA) before moving to West Point and opening a used car lot, Cars of West Point.

Stuart H. Knight of Big Island, Virginia, passed away December 4, 2017.  Stuart retired from Georgia Pacific and was a Lifetime Member of the Big Island Volunteer Fire Department where he served as the chief for many years. He also was a member of Big Island Baptist Church where he served as the church treasurer. 

Dr. Alvin L. Milam of Washington Township, Ohio, passed away on January 1, 2018. Al served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, retiring as a major. Following his military service, he was a Junior ROTC instructor and a building principal at Wayne High School. He donated many hours as a volunteer at the National Museum of the United States Air Force and served a term as president of the Volunteer Advisory Council. 


Frederick "Rick" French, Jr., of Woodbridge, Virginia, died September 11, 2017. After BC, Rick attended Fredrick College in Newport News (VA), where he graduated with a degree in health and physical education. He began teaching in the field and coaching basketball at Lee High School in Springfield (VA) before continuing his career at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge (VA). He became the head coach at Gar-Field in 1976. During this time, Rick was a well-known lecturer and guest speaker at basketball camps across the country. He also served on a legislative committee for the Virginia High School League from 1978-1980. After Gar-Field, Rick became an assistant basketball coach for George Washington University and also scouted for the LA Lakers. He then worked for the U.S. State Department until 2002, and in his retirement, served at the Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton (VA).


Thomas B. Childress of Pocahontas, Virginia, died December 17, 2016. Tom served in the U.S. Army from 1969-1971 as a medical clerk before joining the faculty at Southwest Virginia Community College in 1984, where he was still an active instructor. He was long known for his dedication to preserve and restore the town of Pocahontas, serving on many local boards and committees. Tom was inducted into the Golden Graduate Society at Bluefield College, where he was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, during Homecoming 2016. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Pocahontas.

Richard "Dick" Mills of Cocoa, Florida, passed away October 7, 2016. He spent his career supporting the U.S. space program at Bendix, Lockheed, Lockheed-Martin, and United Space Alliance. His career mirrored the birth and growth of space exploration, spanning from the Apollo mission to the moon, to the International Space Station and the Shuttle program.


Hugh S. Adams of Bluefield, West Virginia, died June 20, 2017. Hugh was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during the Vietnam Era. At BC, he was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He was also a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Bluefield.

Hobert W. Clements, Jr. of Norfolk, Virginia, recently passed away.

Frederick C. Creasy, Jr. of Culpeper, Virginia, died April 4, 2015. He was a deacon and assistant Sunday school director at Culpeper Baptist Church, where he had been a member since 1981. Fred retired from the Culpeper County school system in 2010 following a 46-year career in education. He was a member of the Lignum (VA) Ruritan Club, where he was past President and member of Ruritan National for over 35 years. He also belonged to the VA Association of Science Teachers, Virginia Instructors of Physics, and was a Germanna Community College adjunct professor for many years. Fred is survived by his wife, Barbara Grubbs Creasy ('66), and close friend, Bob Houck ('67).

Samuel E. Gibbs of Norfolk, Virginia, formerly of Chesapeake (VA), passed away August 21, 2010. Sam worked for Dominion Virginia Power for 43 years and retired as an operations supervisor. He was a member of Rock Church, Virginia Beach, where he was an elder and was active in a variety of ministries.

Betty Pasley Hash of Bluefield, Virginia, died August 18, 2014. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Martha Circle of the UMW, and longtime treasurer of the Virginia Garden Club.

John "Johnny" Powers, Jr. of Chamblissburg, Virginia, passed away February 28, 2015. Johnny was a partner in Powers Tractor and Farm Equipment Inc. and a cattle farmer. He was a longtime member and served as treasurer for the Chamblissburg Rescue Squad. He also served for many years in the Virginia National Guard.


Lenora Sharon Umberger of Daleville, Virginia, passed away August 25, 2016. Sharon worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, for 28 years. Before relocating to Virginia and joining Daleville Baptist Church, she was a member of Germantown (MD) Baptist, where she served as assistant Sunday school director, co-director of vacation Bible school, newsletter editor, and a stint as administrative ministry assistant.

Aubrey Marion Colgin, Jr. of Midlothian, Virginia, died December 14, 2017.  after a courageous battle with leukemia. Aubrey was a retired tax accountant, who also graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Donald S. Keister of Pearisburg, Virginia, passed away on February 9, 2018. He was a member of the Iron Workers Union for 35 years and an avid Harley Davidson rider who enjoyed hunting and fishing.

James Warren Smith of Quinby, Virginia, passed away March 14, 2018. He was a retired admissions clerk at Shore Memorial Hospital.


Wenona L. Riddagh of Newark, Delaware, died August 17, 2016.


Lauren S. Bailey of Richmond, Virginia, passed away on March 15, 2018.


Rebecca Bentley Hall of Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, passed away unexpectedly on April 4, 2018. After becoming a Christian at the age of six, she supported her father's ministry by singing and playing the piano. To develop her gifts and further her ministry, she attended Bluefield College and later earned a master’s degree in divinity while interning as an office assistant and piano accompanist for the choir at Fuquay Varina Baptist Church. Rebecca then served as a minister for missions and children at Ridge Road Baptist Church before becoming a ministry assistant for the Raleigh Baptist Association. Outside of work, she volunteered as a financial assistant and mentor for the Christian Women's Job Corps, was a room mom at Wake Christian Academy, and served her alma mater as a member of the Alumni Council.


Paula K. Kistner of Roanoke, Virginia, died November 8, 2017. After BC, Paula went on to earn a master's degree in counseling from Radford University. She helped people in various capacities with her counseling background, including four years of service at Mt. Regis Center in Salem (VA) and four years at Counsel of Community Services in Roanoke.


Ronald F. Doty of Roanoke, Virginia, died January 10, 2018. Ron's life leaves a legacy of loving patience and selfless compassion for others.  He enjoyed sharing his love for God, nature, gardening and art with everyone around him.

Mark A. Udell, 57, of Wytheville, Virginia, died May 20, 2014. He was a plant manager with Textron and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.


James "Jim" E. Bradley of Yorktown, Virginia, passed away May 14, 2017. Jim joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 17 and retired as a Chief Petty Officer after 15 years of service; however, he continued his government service and retired as the Deputy Chief Knowledge Officer with the Department of the Army with over 36 years invested. He soon after became the cross country and track and field coach at York High School.


Kathryn A. Slade of Springville, Virginia, passed away August 4, 2017. Kathy was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bluefield, West Virginia. She graduated from BC along with her son, Grat Slade ('00), before attending Bluefield (WV) State College to become a registered nurse. Her daughter, Stephanie Slade Hylton ('04), is also a BC grad.


Patricia Eaton of Richmond, Virginia, passed away February 24, 2016. Professor Eaton was a member of the Bluefield College Online faculty.


Pasquale "Pazzi" Cerbo of Rockledge, Florida, passed away October 18, 2014. Pazzi worked for Northrop Grumman, and later as a manager in the restaurant industry.


Pamela K. Wilson of Woodbridge, Virginia, passed away on January 7, 2018.  She was a recently retired administrative assistant for the Prince William County Office of Criminal Justice Services. 


Larry C. Chapman of Roanoke, Virginia, died April 10, 2016. He was a longtime member of High Street Baptist Church in Roanoke.


Chadwick "Chad" W. Amburgey, formerly of Castlewood, Virginia, and a resident of Courtland (VA), died May 11, 2016 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Chad graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in 2008 and earned his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from BC. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force during the Iraq War.

Myrtle E. Evans of Farmville, Virginia, died August 13, 2012.

Donald C. Howell, II of King George, Virginia, died August 10, 2017. Donald was a member of the Rams' NCCAA 2009 World Series championship baseball team.


Michael L. Hall of Powhatan, Virginia, died December 19, 2017.


Lacie M. Helms of Charlotte, North Carolina, formerly of Christiansburg, Virginia, passed away November 18, 2016. Lacie was a scholarship athlete at BC, graduating with a bachelor's degree in art, sport management, and communication in December 2013. Her career included a stint as a counselor for Bluefield College's online admissions department. She shared her alma mater with her father, Mark Helms, a 2007 graduate of the online degree program.


David M. Vass of Hillsville, Virginia, died July 23, 2017.


Russell Trent ArgoBC Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services Russell Trent Argo of Blacksburg, Virginia, passed away April 24, 2017. Trent was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He became the director of admissions at Campbellsville University after earning his bachelor’s degree in 1988, beginning what would be a nearly 30-year career in higher education. Trent joined the staff at Bluefield College in 2011 and led the school to its second largest overall student population in school history and its highest ever number of new traditional students. Within the community, he was a den leader for Boy Scouts of America and a member of Rotary International, Kiwanis International, and First Baptist Church of Princeton, West Virginia. He and his family also attended Blacksburg (VA) Christian Fellowship. Trent leaves behind his wife, Sandra Patricia Sousa de Lima Argo ('15), and seven children.

Former trustee Kenneth W. Bailey of Abingdon, Virginia, passed away August 16, 2016. Kenneth was a New York Life council agent for 48 years and a devoted member of Abingdon Baptist Church, where he served on the financial committee and as a deacon, including chairman of deacons. He was also a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Abingdon, Abingdon Masonic Lodge No. 48, and the Kazim Shriners Club of Roanoke (VA).

Honorary Alumnus and retired faculty member, Will G. Gordon, of Bluefield, West Virginia, died November 22, 2017. Will was a U.S. Army veteran, resident of Bluefield since 1962, and a dedicated member of Trinity United Methodist Church. He was a gifted teacher, enjoying a successful 42-year career as a professor at BC. He also taught classes at Bluefield State College. As a Sunday School teacher, Will taught the Christian Action Class at Trinity for over 45 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Sanders Gordon, and son, William D. Gordon ('70). He is survived by his son, Mark W. Gordon ('80), of Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Melvin Lindsey Grubb of Bluefield, West Virginia, spouse of the late June Deaumer Grubb ('43), died February 14, 2018. Mel was a World War II veteran serving in the 213th Field Artillery Battalion 40th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theatre. He also served in Korea after the war before returning home to attend Southwest Photo Arts Institute in Dallas, Texas, on the GI Bill.  He then joined the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and the Sunset News Observer as a photographer.  In 1949, Mel established Grubb Photo Service, documenting the life and times of the region for more than 70 years. His images ranged from underground coal mining to aerial photos and everything in between. He established Grubb Aerial Photography in 2005 and earned many national and state awards for his photographs, including the legendary "Fog over East River Mountain" image that hangs in homes and businesses literally around the world.

Gilbert “Gil” B. Kelly passed away July 18, 2017 in Williamsburg, Virginia. He taught English at Bluefield College and the University of Nebraska before beginning a renowned career as a book editor.

Aldo "Al" ModenaHonorary alumnus and trustee emeritus Aldo "Al" Modena of Midlothian, Virginia, died March 8, 2017. Al served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean War. When he returned, he finished his studies at Washington and Lee University Law School and became a member of the Virginia State Bar in 1954. Al began working at Flat Top Bank in Bluefield, West Virginia, and retired as president in 1994. He served on numerous federal, state, and local banking association committees, including 45 years on the bank board and board committees of First Community Bancshares, Inc. and First Community Bank, and a stint as chairman of the West Virginia Bankers Association. Al was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bluefield and attended St. Gabriel Catholic Church since moving to Midlothian in 2011.

Mary Carlene Randall of Knoxville, Tennessee, formerly of Bluefield, West Virginia, died July 29, 2017. Her husband, Robert Randall, is a retired professor from BC. The family belonged to First Baptist Church in Bluefield and Carlene worked as a histotechnologist at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

Bonivere “Bonnie” Shott, 94, of Bluefield, Virginia, died June 3, 2017. Bonnie was one of the founders of the Summit Players in Bluefield, West Virginia, and performed in a number of its plays. She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, served on the auxiliary of the Bluefield Union Mission, and provided volunteer services for many other community organizations and functions. She is survived by her husband, John C. Shott, and two sons, John H. Shott and Michael R. Shott, all friends of BC.

Ida Jean Tyer died May 23, 2017. Mrs. Tyer was the wife of former Bluefield College President, Charles L. Tyer, Sr.

Suzanne "Sue" Van Dyke, a Bluefield College Key Stakeholder and resident of Tazewell, Virginia, passed away June 2, 2017. Sue was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Tazewell, where she enjoyed serving in whatever capacity was needed. She was married to the late William Howard Van Dyke.