Obituaries, week of Nov. 28: Atwell, Ball, Bowen, Caruthers, Johnson, King, McDaniel, Newman, Price, Retter, Robins, Swift, VanLandingham, Welch, Withers.

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Lawrence Foster Atwell

Lawrence Foster “Pee Wee” Atwell, 77, of Colonial Beach passed away Sunday, November 25, 2012 at home.
Pee Wee was a handyman who loved riding his bike around Colonial Beach and helping others. He attended both Colonial Beach Baptist and Oak Grove Baptist Church’s.
Since 1966, Pee Wee made his home with Susie and the late Donald Foster.
He is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a special friend, Catherine Meincke.
A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Friday, November 30 at Nash & Slaw Funeral Home, Colonial Beach.
Interment will be private.
Online guest book may be signed at

Mildred Ball

Mildred Ball passed away on Nov. 14, 2012. She was born on Nov. 18, 1922 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of the late Letter Edelin.
Raised and educated in Washington, D.C.,  Mildred accepted Christ at an early age. She worked as a domestic laborer at the Pentagon and various hotels in the D.C. area.
In 1975, she married Leonard Ball and they shared a wonderful life together in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year, they relocated to Montross to enjoy their sunset years in the country.
Mildred leaves to cherish her memory nieces, Jewell Pradier, Fredericksburg, Shelley Browne, Florida, Jan Jordan (Leon), Virginia, Arzalea L. Tate, Montross; nephews, David Ellis (Leah), Virginia, Kevin Browne, Wyoming, Fred A. Tate (Valarie), Alexandria, Isiah L. Tate (Luvetta), Maryland, and a devoted friend and caregiver, Ingrid Ashton, as well as all of her neighbors in the Parker Run Apartments.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 20 at Jerusalem Baptist Church. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Pastor Henry C. Lee, Eulogists.
Funeral services entrusted to the Weldon-Fisher Funeral Home.

Donald Wilbur Bowen

Donald Wilbur Bowen, 73, of Greenbelt, Md., passed away on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. He was a member of Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church, Silver Springs, Md., and a retired visual merchandiser for Malart Jewelers.
He is survived by his wife Betty H. Bowen; two daughters, Patricia A. Bowen-Neiswender and her husband Kent, Mt. Larel, NJ and Debra L. Zdankiewicz and her husband John of San Rafael, Calif.; five grandchildren, Karl and Maria Neiswender and Pauline, Jane, John Bowen Zdankiewicz. He was preceded in death by a brother Douglas Bowen.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at the Luther Rice Memorial Baptist Church, Silver Springs, Md. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rappahannock Baptist Church, c/o Shirley Rouse, 1645 Jones Creek Road, Warsaw, Va. 22572 or the Luther Memorial Baptist Church, 801 University Blvd., West, Silver Springs, Md. 20901.
Online condolences may be made at

Julian C. Caruthers

Julian C. Caruthers, 78, of Beverly Hills, Fla., formerly of Colonial Beach, passed away Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at home.
Julian was a former employee of B.F. Shaw Cos. and a government contractor for NSWC Dahlgren, a veteran of the U.S. Army, a former member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Colonial Beach, Colonial Beach Lions Club, and Colonial Beach Moose Lodge and a hospice volunteer in Beverly Hills.
He is survived by his wife, Irma Perry Caruthers of the home; two children, James C. Caruthers and his wife, Mary Beth, of Beaverdam and Angelia C. Johnson and her husband, Joseph B. Johnson Jr., of Waldorf, Md.; three stepchildren, Kathy Trowbridge (Ralph) of Florida, Jody Lloyd (Michael) and Norman Burgess Jr., all of King George County; six grandchildren, Kyle, Madison, Tracy, Kevin, Chris and Amanda; and four great-grandchildren.
Julian was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary E. Caruthers.
A service was held Nov. 17, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Carl Snyder officiating. Interment followed in Historyland Memorial Park, King George.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Citrus County, Box 641270, Beverly Hills, Fla. 34464.
Online guest book may be signed at

 Naomi E. Johnson

First Lady Naomi Elizabeth Wright Johnson was born in Westmoreland County on July 24, 1935 to the late Isaac and Frances Wright. She was the second oldest of 13 children. She assisted in rearing her younger siblings and they respected her for her love and guidance. Many of the siblings addressed her as “ma’am.” After a prolonged illness, on Nov. 10, 2012, at her home under the watchful eyes of her grandchildren, she was quietly called from labour to rest. Her final days were spent surrounded by family and friends.
The First Lady was joined in holy matrimony to James L. Johnson on March 29, 1953. To this union, seven daughters were born. She loved her husband and her family. She was a virtuous woman, a true “helpmate” and she kept the affairs of her household in an orderly manner. She called her children and grandchildren “dear.” When visiting her, whether at home or in a medical facility, she would always greet them with that beautiful smile of hers and say “hi dear.”
The First Lady loved the Lord. She was happiest when she was attending church. Sister Naomi, as she was affectionately called, was baptized and joined the Salem Baptist Church at an early age and was active in the church and Sunday school and was a member of the Missionary Ministry. She remained a faithful member and attended as often as she could until her health began to fail. She was the First Lady of the Shiloh Baptist Church for seven years. She was secretary and one of the founding members of the Royal Gospel Chorus, the first president of the Missionary Ministry, and treasurer of the charity fund. For the past 30 years, Sister Naomi was the First Lady of the Lyells Chapel Baptist Church as well as a Deaconess.
First Lady was a very humble person who did not mind working behind the scenes to ensure God’s plan was being realized. She was a living example of one whose steps were ordered by the Lord. She was quiet and soft spoken but her life spoke volumes as to her love and dedication to God and to the church.
The First Lady was a graduate of AT Johnson High School and took continuing education courses during her summer breaks. She was a homemaker until her children were all in school. After her youngest daughter started, she went to work as a teacher’s aide and later as an instructional aide for the Learning Resource Center, both positions were with the Westmoreland County School System. She worked for the School System for 35 years and retired in 2000.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, James, George, and Charles.
First Lady Naomi Johnson leaves to cherish her memories her loving husband of 59 1/2 years, Pastor James L. Johnson; seven girls, Yvonne Thurston (Lonnie) and Gloria Jones of Montross, Patricia Johnson, Edith Gray (Lewis) and Thelma Johnson-Gillison (Robert) of King George, Irene Saunders (Larry) of Oak Grove, and Gracie Byrd (George) of Hanover; 15 grandchildren, Tyla, Tywanda, Timothy, Stephanie, Andrea, Leisha, James, Brian, Samantha, Jonathan, Jasmine, Crystal, Angela, George Jr. (PJ) and Clorissa; 14 great-grandchildren, Chantelle, Miles, TiJean, Allahna, Khalil, Madison, Mya, Christopher, Daja, Cameron, Nicolas, Jarelle, Caylin and Riley; two sisters, Denise Spencer (Wayne) and Joan Wright; five brothers, Jerry, Lloyd (Brenda), Ford (Mable), John (Paulette), Wayne (Sheila), Herbert (Delois), and Robert; one aunt, Ann Brooks; sisters-in-law, Clara (Alvin), Beluah (Pastor Welford McDowney), Helen, and Brenda (Nadir); brothers-in-law, Melvin, Ray (Debra), and Clifford (Rhonda); a close nephew, James Wright; special friends and co-worker, Barbara Harrison, Delois Tate, Ruth Pryor, Lucy Teal, Ellen Carey, Katie Jones, and Nellie Rogers, and many loving and caring nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Viewing services were held on Nov. 15 at Lyells Chapel Baptist Church, Haynesville.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 16 at Shiloh Baptist Church, Montross. Pastor Wilbur Dameron officiated. Interment followed in the Shiloh Baptist Church cemetery. Pallbearers were TiJean Awad, James Gray, Earnest Henry Jr., James Henry, David Redmond and James Wright.
Funeral services entrusted to the Weldon-Fisher Funeral Home.

Christine Dawson King

Christine Dawson King, 79, of Haynesville, passed away Tuesday, November 20, 2012.  Mrs. King was a retired telephone operator for Contel Telephone Company and a member of Totuskey Baptist Church. She was the daughter of the late Morgan and Fannie Dawson.
Survivors are her husband, Leonard E. King; nieces and nephews, Josephine D. Sisson, Betty D. Neale, Jane B. Harcum, Franklin R. Neale, Sr., and Virginia B. Evans; great-nieces and great-nephews, Franklin R. Neale Jr., Kimberly M. Neale, Brandon L. Harcum, Bonnie E. Grindstaff, Barbara Price, and Donnie Bell; and great, great-nephews, John Lee Grindstaff and Jacob Lee Grindstaff.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at Totuskey Baptist Church with interment in the church cemetery. Pastor Danny Maupin officiated. Pallbearers were Evans Lewis, Wallace Withers, Albert King, Brandon Harcum, Jerry Withers, Rodney Sisson, and Tom Davis.
Memorial contributions may be made to Totuskey Baptist Church.

Murlean Fallin McDaniel

Murlean Fallin McDaniel, 86, of Mechanicsville, passed away on Monday, November 19, 2012. She was the widow of Howard T. “Mac” McDaniel.
She is survived by her daughter, Marsha McDaniel Hinton of Buffalo, NY; two sisters, Naomi Fallin Sullivan of Mundy Point and Phyllis Fallin Cannon of Virginia Beach; and four grandchildren, Samantha Woodruff, Molly Hinton, Wade Williams, and Jason Williams.
A funeral service was held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at Welch Funeral Home, Marks Chapel with Mr. Robert Lewis officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots.

Gloria Jean Newman  

Gloria Jean Burrell Newman was born on March 29, 1941 in Westmoreland County to Oscar and Stella Burrell. She departed this life on Nov. 12, 2012.
Gloria graduated 1959 as Salutatorian from A.T. Johnson High School. She attended Virginia State College. She later moved to New York. Gloria returned to Virginia after a few years.
She accepted Christ at an early age and joined Zion Baptist Church. Later she became a member of Galilee Baptist Church. There she attended faithfully and served as a member of the senior choir until her health declined.
She was preceded in death by her father, Oscar Burrell; her mother, Stella Burrell; three sisters, Mary Lou Jackson, Barbara Robins and Clorice Kelly; one brother, Leonard Johnson; and her husband, J. Robert Newman.
Fond memories will continue to linger in the hearts of her daughter, Robyn Rolison; grandson, Troy Rolison; three sisters, Winnie Wilson, Linda Henry, Wanda Burrell; two brothers, James Courtney, Oscar (Jr.) Burrell; one sister-in-law, Victorine Courtney; two brothers-in-law, Lewis Kelly,  Benjamin Henry, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 17 at Galilee Baptist Church. Rev. Joseph Hayden officiated. Interment followed in the church cemetery.
Funeral services entrusted to the Weldon-Fisher Funeral Home.

Nicholas Lee Price

Nicholas Lee “Nick” Price, 21 of Haynesville died suddenly on November 20, 2012. Nicholas was a 2009 graduate of Rappahannock High School and had plans to join the U.S. Navy. He was a special person who enjoyed fellowship with his neighbors, helping others, and loved collecting antiques. Nicholas is survived by his mother and father, Barbara B. and Terry Price; grandmother, Audrey J. Bell; grandfather, Melvin C. Price, Sr.; three uncles, Donald Bell, Melvin C. Price, Jr., and Danny Price; and a special friend, Gay Posey.
Funeral services were held at the Welch Funeral Home, Marks Chapel at 1 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2012.  Interment followed in the Totuskey Baptist Cemetery.  Pastor Danny Maupin officiated. Pallbearers were Billy Douglas, Robert Lee Taylor, Wesley Woolard, Chris Morse, Tommy Self, and Randy Smith. Memorial contributions may be made to the Richmond County Volunteer Fire Department.

Edith F. Retter

Edith Frank Retter, 89, Colonial Beach, passed away on Nov. 16, 2012.
She was born in King George County on July 28, 1923, to Columbia Inscoe Frank and William A. Frank.
Mrs. Retter retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, in October 1991, after 38 years of service. She was a member of Round Hill Baptist Church, King George; a lifelong member of the Colonial Beach Rescue Auxiliary, where she served as president for 25 consecutive years; and a lifelong member of the Colonial Beach Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.
Survivors include her daughter, Phyllis Berry Kasten of Colonial Beach; stepson, Wayne Retter and his wife, Brenda, of Fredericksburg; stepdaughter, Phyllis Kent of Warrenton; nephew, Richard G. Frank and his wife, Kellie, of Fredericksburg; niece, Melanie Swick and her husband, Mark, of King George; great-nieces Sarah and Emily Frank of Fredericksburg and Elena Swick of King George; stepgrandson, Karl Kasten and his wife, Pam, of Charlotte, N.C.; stepgrandchildren, Matthew and Elizabeth Kasten of Charlotte, and sister-in-law, Winifred Frank of Colonial Beach.
Edith was preceded in death by her parents; her only brother, William G. “Sonny” Frank; first husband Marvin Berry, and second husband Robert E. Retter.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 21 at Round Hill Baptist Church, King George. Burial followed in the church cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Round Hill Baptist Church Building Fund, Box 467, King George, Va. 22485.
Online guest book may be signed at

Gordon Airey Robins

Gordon Airey Robins, of Urbanna, Va., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at the age of 83.  He was born Nov. 1, 1928 to the late T. Melvin and Iva Carneal Robins. He was predeceased by a sister, Janice Robins Green and a brother Freddie Badger Robins.  He is survived by his wife, Barbara Burbank Barnes Robins; her children, Harold G. Barnes of Saratoga Springs, New York and Barbara Barnes Beasley of Virginia Beach, Va.; six grandchildren; and his sister, Earleane Robins Branson of Montross.  Gordon was a life-long resident of Middlesex County, leaving only to serve with the U. S. Army in Europe, achieving the rank of Sergeant prior to his discharge in 1952.  Upon his return to Middlesex County, he experienced long careers in both contracting and farming.  He loved living in Urbanna, especially meeting with friends at Marshall’s Drug Store lunch counter over a little coffee and lots of conversation.  A memorial service was held on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Bristow-Faulkner Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Saluda.

Helen Sisson Swift

Helen Sisson Swift, 103, of Reedville, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2012. She was a retired Post Mistress of Fairport Post Office, Fairport.
She was also a member of Fairport Baptist Church and was a past worthy matron of Elizabeth Chapter #35, Order of the Eastern Star, Reedvill. Mrs. Helen S. Swift was also a charter member of the Chesapeake Bay Garden Club.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Capt. Ira F. “Brother” Swift, and her son, Capt. Francis S. “Buboo” Swift.
She is survived by her son, Capt. Marvin B. “Mate” Swift II, and his wife, Gloria, of Reedville; two sisters, Beulah S. Carraco of LaPlata, Maryland, and Josiephine S. Carlson, of Richmond; daughter-in-law, Alice M. Swift of Reedville; five grand-children, Steve Swift, and his wife, Melanie, of Williamsburg, , Cindy S. Williams and her husband Thomas, of Hollywood, Md., Greg Swift and his wife, Cindy, of Reedville, Keith Swift, and his wife Susan of Reedville, and Christine S. Rogers and her husband, Frederick, of Reedville; and nine great-grand children, Claire Williams, Carrie Williams, Jency Rogers, Hannah Rogers, Macy Swift, Zachary Swift, Korty Swift, Brantley Swift, and Sabrina Swift.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from 10 to 11 a.m at Fairport Baptist Church, Reedville. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Roseland Cemetery, Reedville, Virginia.
Memorial Donations may be made to the Fairport Baptist Church Building Fund, (2399 Fairport Road, Reedville, Virginia, 22539.)
Faulkner Family Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc, Burgess, VA will be handling the arrangements.
Online remembrances may be made at

Joel Herbert VanLandingham Sr.

Joel Herbert “Herbie” VanLandingham Sr., 63, of New Kent, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, November 22, 2012.
Herbie was born March 5, 1949; the third child of James Allen Sr. and Elizabeth Herbert Vanlandingham of Callao.
He is survived by his wife Ginny; four sons: Joel Herbert Jr., John Allen (Cathy); Jason (Erin), and Christian; two daughters: Sheila (Phillip), and Hannah; seven grandchildren; two brothers: James Allen Jr.  (Delila), William Larry  (Debbie); and sister: Lila Davis (Jon).
Herbie attended Washington & Lee High School in Montross. He served his country in the USAF National Guard. He worked at Dupont as a Research Technician, retiring after 40 years.
Herbie was a friend to all, and would help anyone in need. He served the people of King William County for over twenty years as a Volunteer Firefighter with King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue in Aylett, VA. He was elected as Fire Chief by his peers many times during his service.
There will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service held at King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue; 7936 Richmond-Tappahannock Hwy; Aylett, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to donate to: King William Fire & Rescue;
P.O. Box 139; Aylett, VA 23009. Interment will be private.

Luther Everette Welch

Luther Everette Welch, prominent Northumberland County farmer, historian and philanthropist, died Thanksgiving Day from injuries received in a fall at home. He was nearly 81. He often said that the land and everything on it “belongs to the Man Upstairs.” Now he’s with him.
The son of Ray and Marie Welch of Edwardsville, Luther was born in the depths of the Great Depression. He liked to relate that the doctor who delivered him was paid “two gallons of milk and a roasting hen” for his services and was glad to have that. Tending livestock, plowing behind a mule and shocking wheat by hand from a very early age, he developed an intense love of the land and an immense capacity for hard work. He thought there was no higher calling than to till the soil and grow food for a hungry world. He never saw a prettier sight than a well-tended farm or a healthy crop. His favorite thing was “rain when you need it.” This summer he raised vegetables for the people of Tangier Island. He loved watermelons, chocolate ice cream and banjos.
He was a devoted and loving – if sometimes challenging – husband to his wife of 60 years, Margaret Pitman Welch, who survives him. Also left to mourn are his daughters, Marie Goode (Ned) and Sylvia Saunders (Tom) and his son Alan Welch (Dana); grandchildren Heather Goode Gagnon (Chris), Michelle Goode Gordon (Adam), Holly Saunders, Lincoln Saunders (Ashley), Ashly Welch and Justin Welch, great-granddaughters Addison Gordon and Gracie Gagnon and a sister, Gwendolyn Diehl, of Arkansas.
Luther was a member of Morrattico Baptist Church where he was a deacon for nearly 50 years. He was a former member of the Northern Neck Soil and Water Conservation District and a member of the Rehoboth Church Ruritan Club and the Northumberland County Young Farmers.
With his wife he donated the land and core collection for the Northern Neck Farm Museum near Burgess. Its Luther Welch Agricultural Center was named in his honor. Proceeds from the sale of his memoir The Boy and the Mule are used to support the museum.
Funeral services were held at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 25, at Morrattico Baptist Church with interment following in the church cemetery. The Reverend Craig Smith officiated.  Pallbearers were Dick Ugg, Mitchell Jett, Jr., Josh Hudson, Dick Ogg, Adam Gordon, Ned Goode, Tom Saunders and “adopted son” Linwood Gresham. Luther’s grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers.
Memorial donations may be made to the Northern Neck Farm Museum, P.O. Box 365, Heathsville, VA 22473

Nellie Mae Withers

Nellie Mae Withers, 80, of Farnham, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2012. She was the daughter of the late Warner Washington Withers and Willie Haywood Withers, a retired telephone operator for Tidewater Telephone Company, and a member of The Kingdom Hall.
Survivors are her niece, Ann W. Simpson (Grayson); nephews, Aubrey Withers (Patricia) and Perry Withers; sister-in-law, Shirley Withers; great nieces, Kristy Wilson (Scott), Crystal Simpson. McElwain (Michael), Angie Dawson (Jason); great nephews, Michael Withers, Gary Wayne Withers, Brandon Simpson, and Danny Withers; and several great, great nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at the Welch Funeral Home, Marks Funeral with interment following in the family cemetery. The family will receive friends beginning at noon on Wednesday at the Marks Chapel.

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