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Obituaries for Feb. 27, 2013

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JoAnn Hamilton Ayers

JoAnn Hamilton Ayers, 65, of Madison Heights, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 at Lynchburg General Hospital.

She was the wife of Douglas Ray Ayers. Born July 7, 1947 in Lynchburg, she was the daughter of the late James Finley and Evelyn Harvey Hamilton.

Mrs. Ayers was retired from Old Dominion Box Company.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by one son, Daniel R. Ayers of Rustburg; one brother, James B. “J.B.” Hamilton and wife Robbie of Vancouver, Wash., and one sister, Eleanor H. Deacon and husband Frank of Nacogdoches, Texas.

A graveside service was conducted Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Virginia Memorial Park in Forest with the Rev. D. Jack Hamilton officiating. The family received friends Friday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Whitten Monelison Chapel.

Louis Michael Cashara

Louis Michael Cashara, 94, of Elon, passed away Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 at his residence. He is survived by his devoted wife of almost 73 years, Adeline Amato Cashara.

Born June 16, 1918 in Glasco, N.Y., he was the son of the late Frank Cashara and was also preceded in death by his step-mother, Angelina Cashara; two brothers, Anthony Cashara and Michael Cashara; and two sisters, Josephine Roudis and Catherine Raucci.

Mr. Cashara was a self-employed painting contractor and, along with his wife, was the owner of The Rainbow Drive Inn in Colonial Heights, for 23 years. Mr. Cashara was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Cashara is survived by his daughter, Pat Compton and husband, Ron, of Elon; two sisters, Virginia Cashara of Glasco, N.Y., and Mary Naccarato of Kingston, N.Y.; one granddaughter, Gina Craun and husband, Tony, of Purcelleville; two great-grandchildren, Charles (Chase) Craun and Coy Craun; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at Holy Cross Catholic Church at a later date.

Friends are invited to visit the family at the residence.

Sophia Darnell Crews

On Jan. 30, 2013, the Angels in Heaven rejoiced at the homecoming of Sophia Darnell Crews, 52, of Madison Heights. Sophia professed to knowing and loving Jesus.

Sophia was born July 9, 1960 in Lynchburg and was the daughter of the late Mary Juanita Wood Coles and John Lloyd Coles of Madison Heights.

Sophia was a graduate of Amherst County High School, class of 1978. She worked for many years as a secretary at Lovelace Distributing Co., The Grape Vine Company for Harold Lovelace, and James River Beverage Company.

Sophia leaves to cherish her loving memory two brothers, Donald Leroy Crews Jr. of Madison Heights, William Coles and wife Kathy of Alfred, Maine; one sister, Penny Vest and husband Roy of Lynchburg; one step sister, Ann Rice of Lynchburg; three nieces, Angel Crews and her fianc‚ Brandon Scott Mitchell, Lynette Lotts and Autumn Falwell; Goddaughter Jamie White; and special loved ones; great niece, Jordyn Mitchell; great nephews, Brendyn Mitchell and Jaden Lotts and Sheba. Sophia was fondly known as “Sissy” by many.

Sophia was a loving and caring woman who enjoyed sitting on her front porch with family and friends, just to enjoy the simple but special things in life. Sophia will be sadly missed by many family and friends but will forever be in our hearts.

A funeral service was conducted Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at the Fort Hill Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel with the Rev. David Cash officiating. The family received friends Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 at Whitten Monelison Chapel.

John “Jack” Edward Justice

John “Jack” Edward Justice, 65, of Forest, went home to be with our Lord on Monday morning, Feb. 4, 2013.

Jack was born April 11, 1947 in Akron, Ohio, to parents, Leslie Ray Justice and Evelyn Buchtel Justice (now deceased). He was the oldest of three children. His sisters, Peggy (with husband Bob) Hunt and Nancy Lilly, also currently reside in Lynchburg.

After living for a time in Greenville, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Bangor and Bradley, Maine; he and his family settled in Madison Heights, where Jack attended and graduated from Amherst County High School. It was there that he met and married a few years later, his sweetheart, Becky Phillips. After attending the University of Cincinnati, Conservatory of Music, Jack joined the United States Air Force in 1968. Married in March 1969, Jack and Becky began their lives together in Omaha, Neb., where they spent 16 of his 20 years at Offutt AFB over three tours of duty, with one tour to Vietnam (1971-1972) and one tour to England (1975-1978).

Jack was a very proud father of three sons — all now married with seven beautiful grandchildren (seventh is due to arrive in March): John (wife Niki, Gabrielle and Ethan), Michael (wife Candy, LeAnn and Terra), and Philip (wife Jessica, Jayden, Ilana, and Julianna).

After 20 years of faithful service to his country, Jack retired and having completed a B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, he began a new career in computer programming. Jack was a member of Heritage Baptist Church in Lynchburg, and a member of New Life Adult Bible Fellowship there. He had a deep love for the Lord and a strong desire for knowledge about God and his faith. He also had a love for classical music, reading (mostly theology), and poetry, and attended several reading groups.

The family received friends Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at Heritage Baptist Church. A funeral service was conducted Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at Heritage Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Gerald Kroll officiating. Interment followed in Virginia Memorial Park, with military honors.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 2050 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, VA 24501; American Heart Association, 4504 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24018; The Consortium of Christian Study Centers, 1530 Rugby Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22903; or The Fellowship of St. James (For Christ, Creed & Culture) P.O. Box 410788, Chicago, IL 60641 (website:

Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Lynchburg, (434) 237-9424, is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent by visiting

Johnny Melvin Kesterson

Johnny Melvin Kesterson, 70, of Amherst, died, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at Fairmont Crossing Nursing Home. Born Nov. 24, 1942, in Wise County, he was the son of the late George B. Kesterson and the late Ovie Kilgore Kesterson.

Johnny was a retired Psychiatric Aide for the Central Virginia Training Center, and he was a loving son, brother and uncle.

Johnny is survived by one brother, Eddie B. Kesterson and his wife Mary of Hawaii; two sisters, Ella Ruth Crews of Madison Heights and Charlotte L. Johns and her husband Jay of Gladys; and a host of nieces and nephews including special nephews, Warren Kesterson and his wife Donna and Timmy Kesterson and spouse Debbie Maddox; he is also survived by a great-great-nephew (on the way), Baby Bop.

A funeral service was conducted Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Whitten Monelison Chapel. The family received friends Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at Whitten Monelison Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

Evelyn Frances Martin

Evelyn Frances Martin, 55, of Madison Heights, passed away Feb. 2, 2013. She is survived by her husband, Steve Guthrie Martin Sr.

Born April 25, 1957, in Lynchburg, she was a daughter of the late William L. Shifflett and is survived by her mother, Virginia Lee Johns.

Survivors also include her son, William Shifflett and wife Ragan; brothers, Roger Coleman and wife Nancy, William Shifflett; sisters, Virginia “Pumpkin” Coleman, and Doris Shifflett, all of Madison Heights; three grandchildren, Austin Campbell, Matthew Martin and Shana Martin, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family received friends at Whitten Park Avenue Chapel, and at other times at the residence of her son. A memorial service was conducted at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the American Heart Association.

Mildred Howl Martin

Mildred Howl Martin, 101, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, of natural causes. She was born on April 6, 1911, in Amherst County, the youngest of five children born to William and Clarice Howl.

After marrying John B. Martin “Jack,” she moved to Charlottesville, where she lived until age 94, when she relocated to Atlanta, Ga., to be near family.

She is survived by her daughter, Martha Anderson, of Dunwoody, Ga.; grandchildren, Ethan Anderson of Linville, N,C,; Shannon and Mike McMahon of Alpharetta, Ga.; Ryan and Heather Anderson of Atlanta, Ga.; and Ian Anderson of Atlanta, Ga. She was also blessed with six great-grandchildren, Megan, Karsen and Kirsten McMahon, and Jack, Owen and Kate Anderson. She is also survived by her niece, Elizabeth Edmondson of Charlottesville.

Mrs. Martin was a hostess at Miller and Rhoads tea room and a dormitory counselor at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Burial took place at a later date when the family gathered at the Howl plot at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg.

Sheila Kidd Mooney

Sheila Kidd Mooney, 52, of Madison Heights died Thursday, Jan, 31, 2013. She was the fiancé of Jeffrey Arthur of Rustburg.

Sheila was born Nov. 1, 1960 a daughter of the late Elwood Kidd and Shannon C. McChesney and her husband, Barry, of Madison Heights. Sheila was a devoted mother and grandmother and was a member of Tree of Life Ministries.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by two daughters: Crystal Mawyer and Ashley Mooney; Four brothers: Wayne and Cherie, Michael and Tiffany, Kenneth and Myrna, and Vincent and Dana; three step-siblings: Brian, Dawn, and Jackie; two grandsons: Cameron and Chase Floyd, numerous nieces and nephews and family friend Patricia Kidd.

In addition to her father she was preceded in death by one brother, Timothy Kidd.

A celebration of Sheila’s life was held Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at Tharp Funeral Home Madison Heights Chapel with Pastor Mike Dodson officiating. The family received friends one hour prior to the service. Interment followed in Meade Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations to the American Cancer Society.

Tharp Funeral Home Madison Heights is serving the family (434) 929-0055 to send condolences to the family please go to

George Frederick Pace Sr.

George Frederick Pace Sr., 80, passed away peacefully at his home on Feb. 15, 2013. Born Oct. 7, 1932, in Lynchburg, he was predeceased by his parents, George Alvin Pace, who was raised in Richmond, and Beverley Randolph Webster Pace of Amherst.

George spent most of his childhood in Amherst where he lived with his grandparents, Frances Harrison Webster and Frederick “Tubby” Webster. He graduated high school from the American School in Athens, Greece, where his father, Colonel Pace was stationed. He was a private in the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. George was a graduate of Lynchburg College where he was on the swim and baseball teams. Since his marriage in 1961, George lived in Richmond. He founded George F. Pace Inc. Insurance Adjustors and became a realtor and rental property owner. He enjoyed many years volunteering with the Huguenot Little League. George had been homebound since his stroke in 2001.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ann “Susie” Prichard Pace; and their four children and six grandchildren, George Frederick Pace Jr. “Tubby” and his wife, Betty, (Kendall, Brett, Tyler), Ann Carter Pace, Jean Pace Latta and her husband, David, (James, Erika), and Margaret Mason Pace (Benjamin). He is also survived by his three nephews, Robert Kubik, Beverley Kubik and Frederick “Tubby” Kubik; and his sister-in-law, Jean Prichard Fisher of Chevy Chase, Md.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Beverley Pace Kubik Hancock.

A special thanks to Janice, Nikki and Dylan his caregivers.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 8706 Quaker Lane, Bon Air, VA 23235, followed by a reception in the church parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Heart and Stroke Association or a charity of your choice.

Rachel Edmonds Shelton

Rachel Edmonds Shelton, 100, of Madison Heights, passed away Jan. 29, 2013. She was preceded in death by her husband, of 60 years, Luckey Shelton.

Born Sept. 25, 1912, in Madison Co., N.C., she was a daughter of the late Thomas and Pansy Hall Edmonds. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Lora L. Cook, and many brothers and sisters.

She was a member of Timberlake Baptist Church.

She is survived by her son-in-law, Sherwin Cook, of Madison Heights; two sisters, Donna Edmonds, of FL, and Sue Edmonds, of Texas; two grandchildren, Jewell Cook, of Madison Heights, and Michael S. Cook Sr. and wife Sue, of Forest; five great-grandchildren, Michael S. Cook Jr. and wife Heather, of Lynchburg, Catherine M. Cook, of Charlottesville, Christy Gonzalez, of Forest, Thomas S. Cook and wife Elizabeth, of Lynchburg, and Rebecca L. Cook, of Roanoke; seven great-great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

A celebration of her life was held Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at Timberlake Baptist Church, by Pastor Brian Ferrell. The family received friends after the service at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to The Gideon’s International.

Grover C. Thomas Jr.

Grover C. Thomas Jr., 84, of Elon, passed away Jan. 30, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet Huffer Thomas. Born Oct. 23, 1928 in Rockingham County, he was a son of the late Grover C Thomas Sr. and Lillian McCall Thomas.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Kathleen Thomas, and Pauline T. Cole; and two brothers, Harry L. Thomas, and Paul L. Thomas.

Grover was a United States Marine Corps veteran, having served during the Korean War. He was the retired owner and operator of Janet’s Salads. After which, he worked for Quality Foods, before retiring again. He was a member of Elon Presbyterian Church serving as Elder, and most recently received the designation of Honorary Elder Emeritus. Grover was a member of The American Legion, Post 100, Elon Ruritan Club and the Madison Heights Baptist Church Keenagers.

In additional to his wife, he is survived by three children, Deborah T. Baker of Forest, Gary W. Thomas and his wife Deborah, and Renee T. Duff and her husband Dwayne, all of Madison Heights; six grandchildren, Reese Baker and wife Shanna, Allison Towler and husband Christopher, Megan Ringi and husband Pelle, York Thomas, Mallory Duff, and Edward Duff; three great-grandchildren, Miranda and Emily Towler, and Ava Ringi.

The family received friends at Elon Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Elon Road and Cedar Gate Road, in Elon, and at other times at the residence. A funeral service was conducted Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at the church by the Rev. Barry Tucker and the Rev. Wayne Meredith. Interment followed in Elon Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider Elon Presbyterian Church, 250 Camden Dr., Madison Heights; Presbyterian Homes & Family Services, 150 Linden Avenue Lynchburg, or a charity of your choice.

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