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Obituaries, week of May 20: Nickel, O’Bier, Johnson, Wallace, Thomas

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm



Arlin Wayne Nickel, 75, of Callao, passed away Monday, May 11, 2015. Arlin was a Vietnam Navy Veteran, and a retired Bridge Inspector for VDOT. He was also a member of 7165 VFW Post, Callao Moose Lodge and American Legion. Nick enjoyed hunting, fishing and turkey shoots.

He is survived by his wife, Dolly Brann Nickel; son, Jimmy Brann (Shonna); daughters, Joyce B. Woolard (Jackie), Beatrice B. Sanders (Dale), and Wanda B. Childs (Tim); nine grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren, and special niece, Sandra Brent (Mark).

Funeral services were held Friday, May 15, 2015 at Gibeon Baptist Church. The Reverend Jeffrey Withers and Pastor V. Wade Wilkins officiated. Memorial contributions may be made to Gibeon Baptist Church, P.O. Box 23, Village, VA 22570 or Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS 66675.




Aaron H. O’Bier Jr., PhD. passed away on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the age of 88. Mr. O’Bier was the son of Aaron O’Bier Sr. and Edna Marguerite Parks. He was born in Miami, Florida, lived in Marcus Hook, PA briefly and grew up in Kinsale. He served in the US Navy during World War II aboard a mine sweeper in the Atlantic and later in the Pacific clearing mines prior to landing US troops on islands held by the Japanese. He received a B.A. and Masters degree in Biology from the University of Richmond and a PhD in Botany from Virginia Tech. He received a National Science Foundation grant for genetic research from the University of California at Berkley. He was a biology laboratory instructor in the School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy at the Medical College of Virginia; taught at Stetson University in Deland, FL; and was a tenured professor at Newberry College in South Carolina. Many of his students went on to study medicine, pharmacy, or dentistry. He retired after 15 years with the State Health Department of VA. He enjoyed playing the violin (traditional folk music and bluegrass) and played regularly with a small group of friends. This was a source of great pleasure. He became interested in building violins and was able to complete two. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Kathleene Cooke O’Bier; a sister, Ann Bartlett (James); a niece, Annette Bartlett; a great-niece, Candice Westman; a great-nephew, Dustin Westman (Shannon); and a great-great niece, Doriann Westman. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Hugh Charles O’Bier, and Donald Zephariah O’Bier. Graveside services were held Sunday, May 17, 2015 in the Melrose United Methodist Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Callao Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 82, Callao, VA, 22435.




James Wallace “Wally” Johnson, 87, of Callao, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on May 10, 2015.

Born on October 9, 1927 to Ester Dixon and Ruben Johnson, Wally graduated from John Marshall High School as a member of the Cadet Corps. He graduated from VPI in 1959 with a degree in Civil/Structural Engineering. He served in the United States Navy during WWII and as a member of the US Marine Corps during the Korean Invasion.

Mr. Johnson was the proud owner of J. Wallace Johnson Consulting Engineers, which he successfully operated more than 30 years. He was passionate about his profession and his commitment to perfection, but was most proud of his  numerous friendships with business colleagues  and clients that he developed  throughout his career. When not working, Wally enjoyed the “rivah”  life . He was an avid gardener and enjoyed fishing and boating as well as hosting happy hours with his close friends. But there was nothing he was more passionate about than supporting VA Tech and watching Hokie football.

Wally is survived by Peggy Evans Johnson and his children, Linda Cummings (Carl), Suzanne Hanky (Jay) and Jay Johnson (Tina). He was “Grandpa” to Russell and Jonathon Cummings; Jayson, Justin, Cori, Kelly and Jared Hanky and Evie and Zach Johnson. He was Great Grandpa to brand new Oliver Cummings. Wally remained close to his cousin, Dr.Larry Zacharias. looking forward to their visits spent reminiscing their childhood together. He especially cherished his friendship with “the nurses,” Judy Whitby and Edna Loving.

The family will receive friends from 1-3 pm on Friday, May 22 at Bliley’s on Augusta Ave. A memorial service will follow at 3 pm.

Our family would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to our father’s neighbors and close friends who so graciously looked after Dad when we were not available. There was not a need that went unmet. Your generosity will always be appreciated and admired.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to Callao Rescue Squad, 1348 Northumberland Hwy., Callao, VA 22435.




Peggy Ann Baker Wallace, 76, of Farnham, Virginia, died peacefully at home on May 16. Peggy was born on October 9, 1938, to John M. and Virginia White Baker.  She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 56 years, Charles L. Wallace; her children, David Wallace (Elizabeth) of Round Hill, Sue White (Troy) of Phoenix, Arizona and Steve Wallace of Winchester; seven grandchildren, Amy Liesveld, John Wallace, Sarah Wallace, Robert Wallace, Heather Dorse, Crystal Wallace and Casey Wallace; and four great-granddaughters. Peggy is also survived by two sisters, Janett Yeatman (Howard) of Salem, Virginia, and Sallie Omohundro (Wyatt) of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and a sister-in-law, Helen Wallace of Lottsburg. Peggy spent her early years in Fredericksburg, graduated from Loudoun County High School and attended Madison College.  She worked for a number of years at Barber and Ross in Leesburg.  Peggy and her husband, Charlie, moved to the Northern Neck in the mid 1980s.  She was an avid painter and quilter and, for several years, she and Charlie bred Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats. Burial will be private. Gifts in Peggy’s memory may be directed to Westmoreland Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 1000, Montross, Virginia 22520 or Riverside Tappahannock Hospice Fund, 618 Hospital Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560.




James Vinton Thomas, 88, of Farnham, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2015. Mr. Thomas was the widower of Janie Cowgill Thomas, a member of Totuskey Church, a World War II Navy Veteran, and a retired Union Insulation Installer. Mr. Thomas had also been an active volunteer Firefighter in Glenn Dale Maryland, having served 20 years helping the community. He is survived by nine children, James Vinton Thomas Jr. of Haynesville, Jennifer Kilby of Hayes, Jeffrey Thomas of Haynesville, Julie Crosen of Partlow, John Thomas of Haynesville, Joseph Thomas of Florida, Jerry Thomas and Jack Thomas, both of Glen Burnie, MD, and Jay Thomas of Butler, PA; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and a brother, David Thomas of Glenn Dale, MD. Graveside services were held on Monday, May, 18, 2015 at the Totuskey Baptist Church Cemetery.