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Obituaries for Thursday, Sept. 14, 2000

Earl F. Babbitt

HOUGHTON LAKE, Mich. -- Earl F. Babbitt, 76, of Houghton Lake, formerly of Canton, Mich., died Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000, at his home.

He was born April 22, 1924, in Clarksburg, a son of the late John F. Babbitt and Lessie M. Snyder Babbitt of Mill Creek.

His wife, Betty Jean Woods, whom he married Oct. 16, 1945, in Clarksburg, survives.

Also surviving are one son, Leslie John (Sherry) Babbitt, Houghton Lake; five daughters, Pamela Sue (Michael) Dilts and Paulette Stanislawski, both of Houghton Lake, Sandra Jean (Timothy) Drury, Howell, Mich., Naomi Ruth (Ralph) Weiss, Ypsilanti, Mich., and Retha Jane (Brent) Bristol, Phoenix, Ariz.; 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Charles Babbitt, Lorain, Ohio, and Arthur Babbitt, Freeport, Ill.

He was also preceded in death by two brothers and two granddaughters.

Mr. Babbitt was employed at General Motors for over 30 years. He was the minister of education and music at the Community Freewill Baptist Church, Westland, where he was a member for over 30 years.

He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and UAW. He was a graduate of Detroit Bible College and was an avid outdoorsman.

He was a Naval veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific as a signal-man on an LCI.

Memorials may be made to the Rev. Lester Roloff Ministries or Hospice of Helping Hands.

Agnes L. Cunningham

SHINNSTON -- Agnes L. Cunningham, 80, of Summit Park, died suddenly at 5:04 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2000, at United Hospital Center, Clarksburg.

She was born July 24, 1920, in Brown, a daughter of the late Carcie and Beatrice Nuzum Cunningham.

Surviving are five sisters, Cleva Shreves, Lumberport, Ruth Dorsey, Clarksburg, Regina Ayers, Canton, Ohio, and Bernice Shaw and Mary Lou Cunningham, both of Wallace; two brothers, John Cunningham, Salem, and Jimmy Cunningham, Lumberport; a special friend, Amiel Rock; and several nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Robert and Carcie Cunningham Jr.; three sisters, Mildred Cunningham, Idabelle Hustead and Martha Kuhn.

Mrs. Cunningham was employed at Maiden Form until its closing and retired from Clarksburg Casket Co.

She was active in several bowling leagues over the years and was Baptist.

At the request of the deceased, there will be no public viewing at the funeral home. The public is invited to attend a funeral service at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Brown at 3 p.m. today, with the Rev. Charles Burnside officiating. Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston, is in charge of arrangements.

William J. Dodd

CLARKSBURG -- William J. Dodd, 87, of Elkins, formerly of Wilsonburg, died Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2000, in the Davis Memorial Hospital following an extended illness.

He was born Jan. 24, 1913, in Wilsonburg, a son of the late Raymond and Elizabeth Watson Dodd.

His wife, Nellie Carpenter Dodd, preceded him in death in 1981.

Surviving are one granddaughter, Sandra McCutcheon, Springfield, Ohio; one great-granddaughter, Stephanie Weippert, Coalton; one great-grandson, Robert "Bo" Spurgeon, Stonewood; one great-great-grandson, Brandon Weippert; and one great-great-granddaughter, Andi Spurgeon.

Mr. Dodd was a retired coal miner with Salerno Brothers. He was Pentecostal by faith.

Family and friends will be received at the Davis Funeral Home, 443 West Pike St., Clarksburg, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. today, where funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday with the Rev. Richard Wilson officiating. Interment will be in the Dodd Cemetery.

Linda Denise Exline

WESTON -- Linda Denise Exline, 48, of 867 Walnut St., Weston, died at 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2000, in the Holbrook Nursing Home following an extended illness.

She was born July 29, 1952, in Harrison County, a daughter of Robert and Patricia Jenkins Sears of Hackers Creek, Upshur County.

She was the fianceé of Don Brown Jr. of Weston. They had planned a June 2000 wedding before she fell ill.

Also surviving are her paternal stepgrandmother, Sally Sears, Clarksburg; three brothers, Joe Sears, Hackers Creek, Evan Sears, Berlin, and Roger Sears, Weston; three sisters, Rose Mary Furr, Jackson's Mill, Nellie Wright, Weston, and Missie Woods, Hackers Creek; 14 nieces and nephews, and two great-nieces.

She was also preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Jack and Lula Craig Sears; her maternal grandparents, Spencer and Nellie Westfall Jenkins, and step grandfather, Homer Lewis; and one brother, Robert Eugene Sears.

Ms. Exline was a former employee of the West Virginia Glass Specialty Company with 21 years of service. She was an avid camper, fisherman and enjoyed boating.

She was a Methodist by faith.

Friends may call at the Boyle Funeral Home, 322 Main Ave., Weston, from 9-11 a.m. Friday. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday from the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Russell Furr officiating. Interment will follow in the Machpelah Cemetery, Weston.

Rose M. Hamilton

SHINNSTON -- Rose M. Hamilton, 76, of Maple Street, Shinnston, died Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2000, at her residence.

She was born Nov. 29, 1923, at Glady Fork, a daughter of the late Francis Gerome and Olive Birdie Ashcraft.

Her husband, Samuel Richard Hamilton, preceded her in death in 1975.

Surviving are one son, Samuel R. Hamilton II and wife, Becky, Shinnston; four daughters, Sally Rice, Willard, Carol Crawford and husband, Steve, Morgantown, Shirley Berry, Wyatt, and Barbara Blair and husband, Robin, Laurel Valley, Clarksburg; one brother, George W. Ashcraft, Florida; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was also preceded in death by one brother, James Ashcraft; and one stepbrother.

Mrs. Hamilton was a member of the St. Ann's Catholic Church, Shinnston, and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 31, Shinnston.

Friends will be received at the Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston, from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Shinnston. Interment will follow at the Shinnston Masonic Cemetery.

Virginia Mae Swisher Kelly

CLARKSBURG -- Mrs. Virginia Mae Swisher Kelly, 95, formerly of Arbutus Park, Clarksburg, died at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2000, at the Tonie Gonzales Personal Care Home, Adamston, following an extended illness.

She was born March 20, 1905, in Lost Creek, a daughter of the late Edgar S. and Mae Bond Swisher.

Her husband, Ervin A. Kelly, whom she married in Jan. 1955 preceded her in death Feb. 5, 1996.

Surviving are one stepdaughter, Mrs. Virgil (Betty) Kontak, Nutter Fort; one stepson, Charles E. Kelly, Beaver, Pa.; eight stepgrandchildren and 13 stepgreat-grandchildren; two nephews and wives, Edgar and Freda Lowther, Route 1, Mount Clare, and William and Mary Alice Lowther, Route 1, Bridgeport; four nieces, Mary Shepherd, Dayton, Ohio, Jean and Dan Sperling, Poquoson, Va., June and Cecil Foreman, Nutter Fort, and Deedie and Bill Souders, Ormond Beach, Fla.; one cousin, Kayle Bond, Bridgeport; and several great-nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by one sister, Eva Lowther; two brothers, Burr Bond Swisher and Harland Swisher; one stepson, Jack Kelly; one niece, Helen Ferrando; and three nephews, Robert, Steve and James Lowther.

Mrs. Kelly was a member of the United Methodist Temple of Clarksburg. She was a past president of the United Methodist Women of the church, a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Turkelson Eskew Sunday School Class and the Business and Professional Women's Club of Clarksburg.

She had been employed as a dental assistant, until her retirement, by Dr. A.L. McKibben and Dr. Harry Kennedy.

Friends may call at the Davis-Weaver Funeral Home, 329 East Main St., Clarksburg, after 10 a.m. Saturday, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday with the Rev. William Haynes Jr. conducting the service. Interment will be in the Lost Creek Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the United Methodist Temple, 655 Locust Ave., Clarksburg, WV 26301 or to People's Hospice, P.O. Box 1680, Clarksburg, WV 26302-9960 in her memory.

Charles E. Lawson

CLARKSBURG -- Charles E. Lawson, 83, of 239 Buena Vista Ave., Clarksburg, died Monday, Sept. 11, 2000, at Heartland of Clarksburg, where he had been a resident since May 1993.

He was born Jan. 2, 1917, on Brushy Fork, a son of the late Guy Lawson and Hattie Virginia Roy Lawson.

Twice married, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Gwendolyn Heavener Lawson, and is survived by his second wife, Edith Rhea Edgell Cunningham Lawson, whom he married Aug. 17, 1947.

Also surviving are two sons, Charles Edward "Cheech" Lawson II and John Roy Lawson, both of Spelter; one stepson, Jack Cunningham, Clarksburg; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Margaret Lawson, Clarksburg; and nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Edith White and Nellie H. Hall; two brothers, Lawrence C. Lawson and Wayne A. Lawson; and one grandchild.

Mr. Lawson attended the Broad Oaks United Methodist Church. He had been a driver for Sunshine Biscuit Co. for 29 years.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and was a member of Meuse Argonne Post 573, Veterans of Foreign Wars in Clarksburg.

The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Davis-Weaver Funeral Home, 329 East Main St., Clarksburg, with Albert Farley, evangelist, presiding. Interment will be in Trinity Cemetery, Brushy Fork, where the VFW and American Legion Honor Guard will conduct military graveside rites.

Ruby M. Lopez

GRAFTON -- Ruby M. Lopez, of Blueville since 1998, formerly of West Main Street, Grafton, died Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2000, in Reston, Va.

She was born in Barbour County, a daughter of the late Cyrus Wayman Kelley and Jermina Arminne Myers Kelley.

Her husband, Dominic Lopez, preceded her in death.

Surviving are two sisters-in-law, Josephine Cross, Grafton, and Rosemary Lopez, Youngstown, Ohio; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

She was also preceded in death by two daughters, Barbara McAvoy and Dorothy Ann Deaton.

Mrs. Lopez was a generous supporter of numerous community charities and organizations throughout Taylor County.

Mowetta June Stansberry

SHINNSTON -- Mowetta June Stansberry, 85, died Monday, Sept. 11, 2000, in Indianapolis, Ind.

She was born Aug. 11, 1915, in Lumberport, a daughter of Noah Minter and Goldie Pearl Fortney Harbert.

Her husband, Earle Ralph Stansberry, preceded her in death Oct. 5, 1980.

Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Joann S. Graham, Indianapolis, and Mrs. Wanda Lee Snyder, Brush Prairie, Wash.; two grandsons, William S. Graham, Indianapolis, and James R. Graham, Lafayette, Ind.; one granddaughter, Karen L. Abarr, Battle Ground, Wash; one sister, Mary Alice Galvin, Lima, Ohio; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Stansberry resided in Lumberport for 82 years, moving to Indianapolis in 1997. She was an Avon representative for 31 years while living in Lumberport.

She was active in church and community activities. She was a 4-H leader for 10 years, president of the Lumberport Homemakers Club for 10 years, member of two bridge clubs, a canasta club, the Clarksburg Women's Club, Shinnston Historical Society, West Virginia Huguenot Society, past president of the Senior Citizens, a delegate to the Coalition and previously a member of the Voice of West Virginia.

She was active with the Senior Citizens in Lumberport, and Clarksburg. She was president of the Lumberport High School Alumni Association. She was a member of the Lumberport United Methodist Church, where she served as Sunday School Superintendent and was a member of the WSCS.

She was a direct descendant of Thomas Harbert, Benjamin Robinson and Levi Shinn, the pioneer families who settled the Lumberport/Shinnston area.

Friends will be received at the Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston, from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. Friday. A funeral service will be held at the Lumberport United Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with the Rev. Bill Kope officiating. Interment will follow at the Shinnston Masonic Cemetery.

Wilsie Johnson Wilfong

CLARKSBURG -- Wilsie Johnson Wilfong, 85, of 100 Center Court, Bridgeport, died Saturday morning, Sept. 9, 2000, following a brief illness.

She was born March 24, 1915, in Palmer, Braxton County, a daughter of the late Okey Lee and Leola Taylor Johnson.

Her husband, Michael E. Wilfong, whom she married Nov. 12, 1949, preceded her in death on July 13, 1990.

Surviving are one stepson and daughter-in-law, William and Janice Wilfong, Longmont, Colo.; three stepgrandchildren, Michael E. Wilfong II, Longmont, Stephen W. Wilfong and family, Port Townsend, Wash., and Amy Lounsbury and family, Cheyenne, Wyo.; four stepgreat-grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Patsy (Opal) Sirianni, Crestview, Fla., and Mrs. Gene (Maxine) Radcliffe, Clarksburg; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Guy H. Johnson, Arlington, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Wilfong was a member of the Bridgeport United Methodist Church, the Adult Bible Class and the Phyllis Coston Circle of the church.

She was a member of the Bridgeport Women's Club, the Bridgeport Original Homemakers and the Mt. Clare Rebekah Lodge No. 302.

Mrs. Wilfong retired in 1973, after 38 years as a secretary and bookkeeper for District No. 31, United Mine Workers of America, Fairmont.

Friends will be received at Davis-Weaver Funeral Home, 329 East Main St., Clarksburg, from 6-9 p.m. today. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, in the Bridgeport United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Steven E. Dorsey and the Rev. Dale C. Waters, presiding. Mrs. Wilfong's body will lie in state in the church for one hour prior to the 11 a.m. service. Interment will be in Floral Hills Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Permanent Fund of Bridgeport United Methodist Church, 251 Worthington Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330.

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