Obituaries, Week of Jan. 3, 2013: Almarode, Atkins, Ellyson, Hughes, Myers, Vandergrift and Woods

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm


Kay I. Almarode, 81, of Hanover, passed away Dec. 29, 2012. She was preceded in death by her husband, George T. Almarode and her parents, Carrol and Fae Imus. She is survived by six step children; five sons, Tom, Mike, Scott, Kevin and Jon Almarode; and one step daughter, Karen Maddox; 10 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; and special friends and neighbors. Kay was a retired executive assistant. She enjoyed gardening, painting, and playing bridge. The service and burial will take place on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 in Elwood, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the local SPCA.


Sandy Lynn Atkins, 44, of Mechanicsville, went to be with the Lord Dec. 25, 2012. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Atkins III. She is survived by her mother, Janice Snead, and stepfather, Cecil; her son, Justin Atkins; and his father, John Duesing; a twin daughter and son, Angela and Anthony Montalbano, and their father, Joseph; two sisters, Wendy Sawyer (Bill) and Cindy Wright (Robert); two brothers, Charles Atkins and Robert Atkins (Lee); and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Her children were the loves of her life. Sandy was employed since 2003 at the Woodfin Oil Company. Sandy loved life and lived it to the fullest. Memorial services were held Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home.


Elizabeth M. Ellyson, 97, of Richmond, passed away Dec. 30, 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nathaniel and Daisy McGhee; husband, William A. Ellyson; son, Ramon Hughes; brothers, Robert and Garland McGhee; and her sister, Alice Jeter. She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Ruth Hughes; grandson, Ken Hughes and his wife, Melissa; granddaughter, Rhonda Ambler and her husband, Steve; great- grandchildren, Justin and Tori Hughes; nieces, Debra Sharp, Joan Adams and Mary Ellen Thompson; nephews, Willie McGhee, Jerry, Kent and Dick Ellyson; and sister-in-law, Pauline McGhee. Mrs. Ellyson worked in the Men’s Division of Thalhimers Department Store in the decade before starting a business with her husband, which soon became a Hanover County landmark, known as Ellyson’s Garage. She was a member of Beulah Presbyterian Church, where she served as President of Women of the Church, and taught Sunday School for many years. She was most recently a member of Mechanicsville Presbyterian Church. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 1 p.m. at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 8014 Lee-Davis Road. Burial will follow at Washington Memorial Park. Visitation was held at the funeral home Wednesday. The family would like to thank all of the wonderful people at Heartland Hospice and, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to them at 1504 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 114, Richmond, VA 23229, in memory of Elizabeth Ellyson.


David C. Hughes, 80, of Ashland, passed away Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Connie Hughes, and his brother, Thomas Watkins Ligon Hughes, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Frances Berry Hughes; two sons, Wat Hughes (Nancy) and James Goodrich Hughes (Sheri); two grandsons, Tyler and Hayden Hughes; a stepson, Bruce Beasley and a stepdaughter, Victoria Johnson (Mark); three step grandchildren, Joseph, Benjamin and Rebecca. David was the last “Doc” Hughes and the third to run the family business Hughes Drug. He served as a medic during the Korean War and graduated from MCV School of Pharmacy. David was an avid golfer and a champion bridge player. The family will receive friends Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nelsen Funeral Home, 412 S. Washington Hwy. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 at Ashland Presbyterian Church. Interment will follow at Woodland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to National Parkinson’s Foundation, 1501 N.W. 9TH Ave., Miami, Florida 33136.


James Jacob “Jake” Myers, 74, of Ashland, formerly of Elco, Pa., passed away Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonnie Myers; three children, James W. Myers (and his fiancée Lisa), Richard Alan Myers and wife Becky, and Tracy Dunlap; and three sisters, Josephine Coleman, Janet Cooper and Judith Mitchell. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, James “Buddy” Myers and wife Janet, Zachery Myers, Matthew Myers, Erika Myers, Garrett Myers, Hunter Jacob Myers, James Thomas Dunlap, and Thomas William Dunlap; one great grandchild, Ella MacKenzie Myers; and two step grandchildren, Brandon and Tanner Ewell. The family received friends Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Ashland, and where services were held Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Interment Signal Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please make gifts to the American Cancer Society, 4240 Park Place Ct., Glen Allen, VA, 23060, or call (804) 527-3700.


Robert Chase Vandergrift, 67, of Montpelier, went home to be with the Lord Dec. 30, 2012 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by Nina, his wife of 43 years; two daughters and one stepdaughter, Lisa Woody (Tee), of Mangohick, Amy Roberts (Jon), of Norfolk, and Darlene Gallion of Caroline; and three grandchildren, Heather, Emily and Koby. He is also survived by two brothers, Charles A. Vandergrift (Kathy), of Copper Hill, Va., and B.P. Vandergrift Jr. (Nancy), of Roanoke, Va.; a devoted cousin, Ernest H. Mason; and many other loving extended family members and friends. A devoted Christian, Robert had many jobs through the years of cleaning out pigpens, where he met Nina, to welding truck bodies at Bakers. This enabled him to enjoy a very large circle of friends for whom often times he was their caretaker. Bringing joy by helping those around him was his favorite job. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. The family will receive friends 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 at the West Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 11020 W. Broad Street, where funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday. Interment will follow 3 p.m. at Dunn’s Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Montpelier. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Robert to the American Farmland Trust, or the American Cancer Society, Attn: P. Cure Chasers, 4240 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060.


Charles Thomas Woods, went home to his Creator, Dec. 26, 2012, surrounded by family, friends, and a spirited chorus of love. He was 62. Nathan, Seth, and Zachary, along with their mother, Bonnie Beaune, were by their father’s side as he passed peacefully from this world. Born September 14, 1950 to Thomas and Winifred Woods (deceased) of Richmond, Virginia. Charlie Woods possessed an enthusiasm for life that will live on in all those who love him. In addition to his sons, Charlie is survived by his brother, Robert Woods, of Florida; and a daughter-in-law, Caitlin Woods (Nathan), of California. Charlie’s presence will be dearly missed by countless friends, neighbors, and fellow parishioners. For nearly 30 years, Charlie enjoyed music, worship, and friendship as an active member of The Church of The Creator in Mechanicsville. Over stew pots, in Richmond, fly fishing at Shrine Mont retreat, and meals on his back porch, Charlie always has shared stories and laughter with hundreds of friends. His interests were many, making it natural for Charlie to find common ground and conversation with everyone he met. Charlie loved music, playing the harmonica, grilling, and collecting antiques. His appreciation for antiques sparked his passion for furniture restoration, which led him to found Woods Refinishing & Restoration in 1979. For 33 years, Charlie has lovingly crafted and restored wood furniture from his Shockoe Bottom workshop. He passed his love of fine craftsmanship and his knowledge to his middle son, Seth, who will continue to run the operation. A memorial celebration was held Saturday, Dec. 29 at The Church of the Creator in Mechanicsville. The family received visitors at home, 8163 Sawyer Lane, Mechanicsville, immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shrine Mont Camp Scholarship Fund, (The Diocese of Virginia, Attn: Shrine Mont Camps, 110 W. Franklin St. Richmond, VA 23220).

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