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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Nitro High School WV News, Updates, Obits, Notable

Shelba Childers, 75, of Nitro went to be with her Lord and Savior January 10, 2012, at Hubbard Hospice West following a short illness. Shelba was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 13, 1936, a daughter of the late Samuel and Lillian Reed. Mrs. Childers and her husband owned Shelba's Dress Shops of Dunbar, Parkersburg, Beckley and Madison. Shelba's Dress Shops were the first fashion shop for plus-sized women established in West Virginia. Shelba was a longtime and faithful member of Cross Lanes Bible Church. She loved spending time with her family and friends, whether it was having lunch together or singing her favorite hymns. Shelba attended Tennessee Temple, University of Georgia and Radford College, and received her bachelor's degree in accounting from West Virginia State College. Shelba is survived by her son and his wife, Todd Childers and Carol Childers of Cross Lanes; and two granddaughters, Sydni Brooke Childers and Courtni Paige Childers. Preceding her in death are her husband, Dr. Robert D. Childers Sr.; son, Robert D. Childers Jr.; and infant brother, Mitchell Reed.

Cecil M. Spence, 74, of Cross Lanes passed away on Saturday, January 7, 2012, after a courageous nine-year battle with cancer. Cecil was born April 3, 1937, and spent his whole life in Cross Lanes. He was a proud U.S. Army Reserves veteran with 28 years of service. He was retired from the Federal Government, U.S. Army maintenance, where he worked as a supervisor at the Cross Lanes Army Maintenance Shop. He was a Christian and attended Cross Lanes United Methodist Church. Cecil loved to spend his Saturdays attending auctions and met many good friends this way. He was preceded in death by his parents, Goldie and Herbert Spence; sisters, Emilee Spence Denkins and Bessie Spence Schoolcraft; and brothers, Ronald Spence and Charles Spence. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Roberta M. Spence; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Betty Lou Harrison, 80, of Nitro went home to be with the Lord on January 6, 2012, in Hubbard Hospice House West. Betty was a Christian and a member of Rock Branch Independent Church. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Mr. Robert E. Lee Harrison; children, Connie Harrison Chambers of Nitro and Bobby Harrison of Virginia; grandchildren, Nathaniel Chambers and Cody Harrison; and great-grandchildren, Alexxis, Brogan and Alden.

Mr. Robert L. "Bob" Summers, 95, of Cross Lanes passed away Tuesday, January 3, 2012, after a short illness. He was born May 9, 1916, in Fayette County. He attended Charleston High School and the University of Charleston, then Morris Harvey College. He served in the United States Army, and was a decorated World War II veteran. Bob was retired from the West Virginia Department of Highways, where he was a drafting supervisor. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Bob was an avid bowler, once bowling a perfect 300 game. He was also an avid golfer, once making a hole-in-one at the age of 79. He bowled and golfed until he was 89. One of Bob's greatest passions was used car shopping while taking his daily drive. Earlier in his life, other hobbies included tennis, ping pong, pool, semi-pro league baseball, basketball, softball, repairing stereo equipment and automobiles and collecting 78 RPM records. He loved music, and played the organ, piano, violin and ukulele. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Emma Summers; and brother, William Summers. He is survived by his wife, Eva Mae Summers; daughters, Barbara Summers Barnes of Cross Lanes and Pam Summers of South Charleston; grandchildren, Robert Summers Barnes and wife, Annemarie, of Dunbar and Malinda Barnes Kyrkos and husband, Vassili, of New York City, N.Y.; sister-in-law, Alice Legg of Cross Lanes; and great-grandchildren, Althea Maria and Robert Francis Barnes.

Joyce Ann Nickelson Cunningham, 59, of Flagler Beach, Fla., originally of Cross Lanes, died Dec. 17, 2011. She is survived by three children, Craig and Shawn Cunningham of Palm Coast, Fla., and Kristy Phillips of Covington, La.; one special nephew, Tim McDaniel of Palm Coast; and sister, Joan Nickelson Fulwider of Flagler Beach, Fla. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Dolly Nickelson of Cross Lanes.

The following article published by Kate White


Bill Fortune, 67, places a frozen turkey into a grocery cart with other food that was distributed at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Nitro. He said they'd like to be able to provide for everyone but keeps their services more manageable by staying in Nitro.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While many are inspired to help others who are less fortunate during the Christmas season, a Nitro couple has the holiday spirit of giving year-round.

Bill and Fran Fortune took over operation of the Nitro food pantry in 2007 and formed the Nitro Mission Team, where they are on-call 24 hours a day.

"I think this is our calling," said Bill Fortune, 67. "We've always liked to help people out in difficult situations, and we've always been organizers in anything we get into."

Fran Fortune, 68, said she remembers getting a call one snowy night last year from a lady who was stranded and didn't have anywhere to stay.

"It was so bad out there that we couldn't get out, so we called the local motel here in town and set up a room for her to stay," she said.

People around Nitro knew who to tell the woman to call.

"People know us around here, even the police and the churches tell people to call us," she said.

Bill Fortune was a teacher in the Nitro area for 33 years and still works as a substitute from time to time. Fran Fortune has lived in Nitro all of her life.

"We know about everybody in town," he said.

That knowledge allowed the couple to break the boundaries of church denominations and bring congregations in Nitro together for a good cause.

"In the whole town there are 19 churches, and we get a good amount of them participating financially or volunteering in different ways," Bill Fortune said.

To be able to make an impact where they live, the Fortune's focus on helping people in the Nitro area.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Mary Frances Crawford Bailey, age 87, died Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, at the Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge. She was born Jan. 17, 1924, in Charleston, W.Va., the eldest daughter of James Ernest Crawford Jr., and Frances Nash Crawford. She graduated from Nitro High School, in Nitro, W.Va., in the class of 1942. Mary Frances was a member of First United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Jack L. Bailey, a former WWII Prisoner-of War, who died on Jan. 4, 2003; and a sister, Carol Ernestine Crawford Frye, who died in June 1998. Jack and Mary Frances were married for 60 years. They moved to Oak Ridge with their young children in 1951 from Nitro, W.Va. At one time she was a very active bridge player and always enjoyed hosting their many friends in their home. After retirement, they enjoyed travelling and visited 48 of the 50 states. Their favorite vacation spot was Long Boat Key, Fla. After raising her children, Mary Frances entered the work force and spent 24 years at Y-12 Federal Credit Union, retiring as loan services manager in 1986. She thoroughly enjoyed her career and the people she worked with during her time at Y-12 Credit Union. She was also a member of Altrusa International for a number of years. She is survived by her son, Jack l. Bailey Jr. (Pat), of Oak Ridge; and a daughter, Julia Ann “Judy” Bailey, also of Oak Ridge; sister, Patricia Crawford Logan (Tom) of Escondido, Calif.; three grandchildren, Kenneth H. Self Jr. (Carol) of Oak Ridge, Katherine Bailey Price (Todd) of Aiken, S.C., and Darrell Scott Bailey of Dallas, Texas; and three great-grandchildren, Madison Self of Oak Ridge and Charlie and Claire Price of Aiken, S.C.; and very special friend, Clifford Smith. Source http://www.oakridger.com/obituaries/x1658263762/Mary-Frances-Bailey

Thelma A. Harris Bailey, 79, of Cross Lanes passed away on Friday December 16, 2011, at Valley Health Center following a long illness. Born July 28, 1932, she was a daughter of the late Howard and Rachael Harris. Thelma was a retired office clerk for the WV Department of Highways, a homemaker and a lifelong resident of Cross Lanes. Also preceding her in death was her husband, Ray Bailey; and son-in-law, Mark Christian. Survivors include sons, Larry (Marsha) Bailey of Cross Lanes, and Garland (Janet) Bailey of Cross Lanes; "adopted" son, Robert (Jennifer) Harden of North Carolina; daughters, Karen Bailey (Bill Lemon) Lemon of Cross Lanes, Brenda Bailey (Larry) Miller of Cross Lanes, Glenda Bailey of Nitro, and Jeannie Bailey Christian of Cross Lanes; brother, Howard Denvil Harris of Ripley; sister, Talma "Dee" Turpin of Dunbar; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Ellawe Rebecca "Becky" Holmes, 87, of Nitro passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at Thomas Memorial Hospital after a short illness. She was a 57 year resident of Nitro; a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; and a member of the Nitro Church of God, where she had lead a ladies exercise class for many years. Becky is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Eugene C. Holmes; her son, Gary Holmes and wife, Carol, of Eleanor; grandsons, Scott Holmes and wife, Amie, and Jeremy Holmes and girlfriend, Kim; and great-grandchildren, Jacob Holmes and Emma Holmes. A service to celebrate Becky's life will be held at noon Friday, December 16, 2011 at Cooke Funeral Home Chapel, 2002 20th St., Nitro, with Pastor Rob VanFossen and Pastor David McCormick officiating. Burial will follow in Grandview Memorial Park, Dunbar.

Christina Spanos, 80, of Nitro passed away early Friday morning on December 9, 2011, at Thomas Memorial Hospital following complications of a short, but hard fought, illness. She was born January 24, 1931, in Detroit, Mich., to her loving Greek immigrant parents, George Dallakouras and Katina Argiropoulos. Shortly after graduating from Wayne State University, where she played violin in the school orchestra, she met and later married Dr. Michael G. Spanos, the one and only love of her life, and eventually they settled in West Virginia as their permanent home. After his untimely death in 1964, she returned to school and earned her degree in education from West Virginia State College and later her master's at WVU. She taught in the Kanawha County school system at West Sattes Elementary and Nitro Elementary until her retirement in 1989. She continued to work after retirement, tutoring students in math and English and volunteered as an IRS tax return preparer through the 1990s. She is survived by her loving son, George Michael, and now peacefully resides in the house of the Lord, reunited after 47 devoted years with the one and only love of her life for all eternity.

Madaline Virginia Barnett Jones of Hurricane passed away on December 7, 2011. Born December 8, 1929 in Nitro, she was a daughter of the late Charles O. and Orpha Barnett. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Ernest K. "Kenneth" Jones; her brothers, Grover Cleveland Barnett, Harold Barnett and Charles Barnett; sisters, Iva Mae Barnett Thomas, Genevieve Barnett Cottrill and Mary Jane Barnett Hill. Educated in Nitro schools, she was a former employee of W.W. Mack Company and Kroger, both of Nitro. In her later years, she was a dedicated homemaker and mother. She was a Girl Scout den mother and was a past president of the PTA at Rock Branch Elementary School during her daughters' school years. She was reborn March 18, 1959, and was a member of the WV Home Mission Church, East Nitro, where she was a former Sunday school teacher and sang in the choir. Surviving are her daughters, Linda Hoffman (John) of Winfield, and Sue Bailey (Stephen King) of Houston, Texas; a grandson, Ryan Hoffman (Emily) of Hurricane; brother-in-law, Dennis H. Jones of Hurricane; brothers, Franklin R. Barnett, Dempsey Barnett and Gene Barnett, all of Hometown; and several nieces and nephews.

Jo Ann Payne Hammond, 80, of Big Tyler went home to be with the Lord on December 8, 2011 surrounded by her loving family. She was a member of Perrow Presbyterian Church and was attending Nitro Presbyterian. Jo Ann retired from Kanawha Valley Radiologists in 1986 to care for her mother. In later years, she cared for her great-granddaughter while living in Florida with her daughter and family for months at a time. She was an avid bowler and a former West Virginia State Singles Champion. She shared her love of bowling as an instructor at Towne & Country Lanes. She was a devoted wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend and will be missed by all who knew her. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack H. Hammond; her parents, John T. and Martha Turner Payne; her infant twin daughter, Helen Jan; her sister, Maxine Payne West; and her brother, John R. "Jack" Payne. Jo Ann is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Nan Hammond and Randy Milholen; granddaughter, Nikki and husband, Don Heaton; and great granddaughter, Makenzi, all of Port Orange, Fla. Jo Ann is also survived by her brother, Ralph Payne and wife, Ginnie, of Pensacola, Fla.; and a host of nieces and nephews.

William L. "Bill" Cummings, 62, of Nitro died December 4, 2011 at Hospice West, South Charleston. He was born August 9, 1949 and was preceded in death by his son, William Jr. Bill was a former employee of the City of Nitro and Cunningham Memorial Park, and was a member of Nitro Moose. He is survived by his companion, Peggy Belcher; daughter, Tammy Cummings Harris; brother, Mike Cummings; sisters, Brenda Cummings Jeffers, Lizetta Cummings Withrow and Carolyn Cummings Taylor; four grandchildren; and many friends.

Dorothy Hill Shamblin passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2011. Born on June 10, 1910, She was a lifelong resident of Nitro. She was predeceased by her children, James 'Sonny' Jefferies of Nitro and Jacqueline Dayhaw of Tampa, Fla. She is survived by her grandchildren, Jeff Harbour of East Lynn, Janellen Knof of Oldsmar, Fla., John Harbour of Middleton, Wis., Donna Landan of Hurricane, and Michael Jefferies of Rock Hill, S.C.; and several great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

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