Obituaries, Week of Jan. 17, 2013: Armbrecht, Caldwell, Collier, Drury, Edwards, English, Keso, Kraft, Mayes, Obey and Pitts

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm


Laura F. Armbrecht, of Mechanicsville. Jan., 11, 2013 God called home an Angel to be reunited with her loving husband, Howard R. Armbrecht Jr. “Ranny;” and her parents. Left to cherish her memory, are her children, Randy (Pam), Ricky, Laura, Stephen (Heather); grandchildren, Alex, Randy, Amber, Abbey, Jenna and Emma; brothers and sisters, Marcia, Sonny, John and Barbie. She had a successful nursing career at Richmond Memorial Hospital. She stayed busy through her retirement years at Burkwood. She will be missed as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. The family received friends Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to PKD Foundation.


Terena Taylor “Tee” Caldwell, was 42 when she left us Dec. 12, 2012. She was a native of Ashland, born Aug. 28, 1970. Terena loved riding motorcycles, spending time at the river, and writing. She also loved her family, especially her children. Those who knew her best remember her ability to make friends with the farthest stranger, her extraordinary compassion for people and animals alike, as well as her ability to speak her mind with intellect and articulation. She is survived by her two children, son, Dylan Taylor his wife, Jennifer Champion; and her daughter, California Caldwell. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Brandon Champion, Haley Taylor, and Nathan Taylor; as well as her mother, Lucy Taylor. Tee is also survived by her brother, Carper Taylor and his wife, Kim Taylor, and their two children. She was predeceased by her father, Clifton C. Taylor Sr. Memorial services were held Saturday, Dec. 15 at Ashland Church of God, Ashland. Rev. Dill officiated the service. Tee can also be remembered and memorialized at the James River. “Live life, Love life, be brave.”


Thomas S. Jr. “Yippy” Collier, of Mechanicsville, died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Walden Collier. He is survived by two sons, Thomas S. Collier III and daughter-in-law, Marti, and Todd Walden Collier and daughter-in-law, Terri; three grandchildren, Christopher Williamson Collier (Becky), Kaitlin Austin Collier and Lori Collier Waran (Jeff); two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Fletcher Waran. Yippy was excitedly anticipating the birth of a third great-grandchild in March. Also surviving are one niece, Sandra Riddell; one nephew, John Trott; and extended family member, Dr. George Vozikis. Mr. Collier was a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church and a World War II Navy veteran. The family received friends Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home. A celebration of Yippy’s life was held Monday, Jan. 14, at Hillcrest Baptist Church, Mechanicsville. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church or the Richmond Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.


Virginia Lee (Penn) Drury, 86, died Jan. 7 following a lengthy illness. Born in Richmond Aug. 28, 1926, Virginia grew up in Suffolk, Va. After marrying Robert Crump Drury of Richmond they lived in New York, Atlanta and Richardson, Texas before she returned to Virginia upon his death and settled in Ashland. She graduated from Richmond Professional Institute with a fine arts degree in 1948. She enjoyed a lifelong love of fine arts including active involvement in the Richardson Symphony, Tuzer Ballet and volunteering at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Active in her church, Virginia enjoyed teaching and fellowship. She took great delight in designing and overseeing the construction of her homes in Atlanta, Richardson and Ashland. Together with her husband, Virginia raised award winning English Setters. Virginia traveled extensively and especially enjoyed exploring Europe with her travel friends and sister. She is preceded in death by her brother Billy William Penn, husband Robert Crump Drury. She is survived by her sister, Betty Ackiss of Virginia Beach, Va.; son Robert Penn Drury and wife Jana of Midlothian, Texas; son Luke DeWolfe Drury II and wife Jennifer of League City, Texas; granddaughters Leslie Buchanan of Midlothian, Texas, Nicole, Taylor and Sydney Drury of League City, Texas great-granddaughter Rayne Buchanan of Midlothian, Texas and nephews Richard and David Ackiss, both of Virginia Beach, Va.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Second Baptist Church in Richmond. The family wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to the Lakewood Manor staff for all of their care and support. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in Suffolk, Va. or to a charity of your choice.


Russell Blane Edwards, 63, of Beaverdam, passed away Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Hamilton and Melissa Stanley Edwards, and nine brothers and sisters. He is survived by a brother, Ellis Edwards and wife, Doris and their children; and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their families. The family received friends Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Ashland, where funeral services were held Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, with burial in the Edwards Family Cemetery.


David Spencer English, 64, of Mechanicsville, passed away Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. He is survived by his daughter, Amanda English Lumpkin and her husband, Donald; two grandsons, Bryce and Bryant Lumpkin; his brother, Robert English; several nieces and nephews, among them Ben English; and his dog, Jackson. He was the owner of Dominion Demolition Corporation. David was an avid fisherman and duck hunter. A memorial service will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, 8014 Lee-Davis Road. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.


Anne Scott Keso, wife of the late Gordon Keso, passed away peacefully Jan. 10, 2013. She is survived by sons, Scott (Kim) and Todd; granddaughter, Hunter; and brother, L.C. Scott. Visitation was held Sunday, Jan. 13, at Bennett Funeral Home, Mechanicsville. Graveside services were held Tuesday at Washington Memorial Park.


Frederick Gray “Ted” Kraft, Jr., died Jan. 6, 2013 in Richmond. He was born March 16, 1924 in Buffalo, N.Y. He was predeceased by his parents Frederick Gray Kraft Sr. and Grace Pearce Kraft; his wife of 52 years, Garna Blakey Kraft; his sister, Betty Kraft Peebles; and brother, Robert Pearce Kraft. He is survived by his brother, Richard H. Kraft and wife, Marion Gray Courtney Kraft, of Falls Church, Va.; and his brother-in-law, William “Rocky” Peebles of Bon Air, Va. Also surviving him are his nieces and nephews, Dr. Patricia Kraft Vogel and Urban LeJeune, of Tuckerton, N.J., Barbara Kraft Jenkin and Dr. Michael Jenkin of Ponte Vedra, Fla., Robert Kraft of New Port Ritchey, Fla., Thomas Kraft of Houston, Texas, Catherine Kraft Fratter and Jeff Fratter of Quinton, Va., Richard Kraft Jr. and Joanne Kraft of Reston, Va., Katherine Kraft Cohen and Marshall Cohen of Newton, Mass., Melissa Courtney and Tim Calkins of Reston, Va., and Beth Peebles of Bon Air, Va. His late wife’s nieces and nephews surviving are Robert Thompson and Dorothy Wilson of Washington, D.C., Reverend William Thompson and Nicki Thompson of Taylors, S.C., James Thompson of St. Louis, Mo., Beth Thompson Luddington and Dr. John Luddington of Houston, Texas, Janet Thompson Billingsley and Dr. Gary Billingsley of Martinez, Ga., Anne and Dr. David Brown of Charlottesville, Va., and T. Mark Daly of Fresno, Calif. Mr. Kraft attended Richmond Public Schools, RPI, and received a B.S. degree from William and Mary in 1951. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army 1943 to 1946, stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Mr. Kraft taught for the Richmond City Public Schools for 30 years, retiring from Albert H. Hill Middle School in 1981. He and his late wife had been members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at Hanover Court House since 1962, where he served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden. He represented St. Paul’s at the Virginia Diocese Yearly Conference for 20 years. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, January 12, 2013 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 8050 St. Paul’s Road, Hanover, Va. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Garna Blakey Kraft Shrine Mont Scholarship Fund, St. Paul’s Church, P.O. Box 441, Hanover, VA 23069.


Rosa Anne Crump Mayes, 82, born in Tenaha, Texas, and formerly of Portsmouth, departed this life Jan. 9, 2013 in Mechanicsville, Virginia. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Ray Mayes; and is survived by their four sons, Joseph R. Mayes (Sally) of Virginia Beach, James C. Mayes (Elizabeth) of Ellicott City, Md., John C. Mayes of Richmond, and Jeffrey R. Mayes (Melissa) of Mechanicsville; and daughter-in-law, Judith O. Mayes of Virginia Beach; eight grandchildren, Heather L. Mayes, Meridith A Bright (David), Alexander W. Mayes, Kathryn D. Mayes, Margaret O. Mayes, Erin R. Allen, Jacqueline R. Nolde and Alexandra P. Nolde; one great-granddaughter, Cameron E. Bright; and two great- grandsons, Christopher Sprehe and Graysin Sprehe. Anne received an associate’s degree from Tidewater Community College and worked for many years at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. In her retirement, Anne was active in several community programs, including tutoring adults in reading, providing transportation for cancer patients to medical appointments, and in the construction of several homes with Habitat for Humanity and the House that Jill Built in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. Her greatest pride was her four boys and her grandchildren, followed closely by her beloved Dallas Cowboys. The family received friends at Bennett Funeral Home, Mechanicsville Chapel, Thursday, Jan. 10. Services were held Friday, Jan. 11 at the Mechanicsville Chapel. Interment was at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 3920 Airline Boulevard, Chesapeake, Va. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads, Inc., 900 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, VA 23504. The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at Heritage Green Assisted Living in Mechanicsville for their loving support and care of Rosa Anne.


Dennis L. Obey, 87, of Richmond, went to be with the Lord, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret E. Obey; and his beloved cat, “TETE.” He is survived by his children, Ginger E. Bower and husband, Mike, Carolyn S. Gwaltney and Ricky, JoAnn Johns and husband, Bill, Betty Jean Goodwin and husband, Phil and Floyd C. Sadler and wife, Cindy; 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and his very devoted friend, Ed. The family received friends Friday, Jan. 11 at the Mechanicsville Chapel Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Saturday. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery.


Anne Connell Pitts, 89, of Henrico, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. She was the widow of Aubrey Earl Pitts and a homemaker. She is survived by sons, David Pitts (Susan), Carl Pitts and Paul Pitts (Myrna); grandchildren, Helen Strickler, Thomas Pitts, Ronald Pitts and Zachary Pitts; four great- grandchildren; and a brother, Donald Connell. The family received friends Friday at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Saturday. Interment in Upper King & Queen Baptist Church Cemetery.

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