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Obituaries, Week of Aug. 21, 2014: Benoit, Boyd, Cross, Holmes, Minton, Mitchell and Stevens

Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Margaret Adair Benoit, 67, of Richmond, passed away Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, at her home by the sea, Buxton, N.C. She was a registered nurse for over 40 years. Born on Feb. 3, 1947, in Richmond, Margaret was the daughter of the late Raoul Benoit Sr. and Merrille Benoit. Surviving are her sister, Laurel McCartney and her husband, Paul; brother, Raoul Benoit Jr. and his wife, Sandy; niece, April Harper; great-nieces, Skylar and Paisley Harper; and nephews, Kyle, Matthew and Christian Benoit. A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Westhampton Memorial Park, 10000 Patterson Avenue, Richmond. Memorial donations may be made to Outer Banks SPCA, P.O. Box 2477, Manteo, N.C. 27954 or Food Bank of Cape Hatteras, P.O. Box 1591, Buxton, N.C. 27920.

Eugene Guilford Boyd, III, 81, of Mechanicsville, passed peacefully in his sleep from this life and celebrated his Happy Heavenly Birthday Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Gene was born in Richmond on Sept. 6, 1932 to the late E.G. Boyd Jr. and Lottie Spain Boyd. He was preceded in death by his sister, Carol Boyd Hackler. Gene graduated from John Marshall High School and was proud that he was a member of the Richmond Blues. He was proud to have served in the Korean War, attaining the rank of Sergeant in the Infantry. Upon returning to Richmond, he met and married Verna Talley on Dec. 3, 1955. He soon earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from RPI. Gene retired from many years of service as a sales tax auditor for the Virginia Department of Taxation. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Verna; two children, Gayle B. Alexander (Ray), Mechanicsville and Renae B. Owens (Rusty), Dunnsville, Va. Another daughter, Robin Celeste Boyd, passed away in 1996, at the age of 33. Gene took great pleasure in his five grandchildren, Karen A. Drake (Tim), Kelly A. Smither (Chris), Spencer W. Alexander, Britney Owens and Brandon Owens; and two great-grandchildren, Clark and Amos Drake. Gene was a fan of the Washington Redskins and New York Yankees. But, nothing ever exceeded his love and passion for his God. He was an elder and charter member of the Liberty Christian Church and School, serving since 1961. The family received friends at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. A celebration of his life in the Lord was held Saturday, Aug. 16, 2104 at the Liberty Christian Church, Mechanicsville. Interment Signal Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Hanover ARC, Ashland; Liberty Christian Church or L.C. School, Mechanicsville.

Dr. Herbert James Cross, 80, — former resident of Ashland, and grandson of the founders of the Cross Bros. Store (Herbert and Walter) — passed away Aug. 8, 2014 in Pullman, Wash. He was the son of Charles Richard (Dick) Cross, and Virginia Purnell, and the beloved nephew of Mrs. Frances Cross Burgess, Ms. Catherine (Sis) Cross, and Mr. Walter Lee Cross. Herbert was an Army vet and earned his B.A. from Randolph-Macon College, his MA from University of Richmond, and his PhD from Syracuse University. As head of clinical psychology at Washington State University, he nurtured many. He was beloved by his wife Linda, students, friends, children Charles Richard Cross and Catherine Frances Cross, and grandsons Ashland Cross and William James Cross. He was proud to be from Ashland and a knowledgeable historian on the people and heritage of this town. A celebration of life will be held in Ashland in the spring with details in the Herald-Progress at a later date.

Beverly Ann Cosby “Beve” Holmes, 89, of Ashland, born in Healing Springs, Va., passed away peacefully at her home on Aug. 16, 2014. She bravely fought COPD with the unfaltering care of her son, Robert and the guidance of the many caring professionals at Medi Hospice. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of 63 years, Ralph B. Holmes Sr. D.D.S.; and oldest son, Ralph Jr. She is survived by sons, Gary A. (Ginger) of Midlothian, Bruce B. (Janice) of Las Vegas, N.M. and Robert M. of Ashland; granddaughter, Rachel of Slidell, La.; sister, Joan C. McLeroy of Jacksonville, Fla.; and brothers-in-law, Dr. Ray Holmes (Clara) of Greensboro, N.C. and Jerry Holmes (Peggy) of Ft. Worth, Texas; as well as many beloved relatives and friends. Beverly was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, who lovingly raised a family of four sons. She enjoyed music, travel, tennis and her church and in her youth played French Horn with The Richmond Symphony. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends, but will be forever in our hearts. The family received friends prior to the funeral service at Bliley’s – Staples Mill, Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m., with a funeral service beginning at 10:30 a.m. The interment will follow in Hollywood Cemetery.

William Jefferson Minton Jr., went to be with our Lord Aug. 13, 2014. Born in Baltimore, Md. May 12, 1956, he had courageously battled cancer since January 2009. He leaves behind his loving wife, Margaret Mary-LaMare Minton; his son, Kevin W. Minton of Ashland; stepson, Daniel Bourne of Virginia; stepson, David E. O’Hearn II of Ashland; his parents, William J. and Lucetta C. (Rhoades) Minton Sr. of Ashland; a brother and his spouse, Anthony “Tony” and Wendy Minton of Montpelier; a sister and her spouse, Sandy Y. and Rob Durham of Mechanicsville; several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and a large family of in-laws from upstate New York and Virginia to mourn his passing. Bill was preceded in leaving this world by his sister, Kathleen M. Wells in 2011; and eight-month old baby brother, Robbie in 1966. Bill had an exceptional work ethic and spent some 18 years as a CDL truck driver for CarQuest and others. During high school, he worked part-time for Cherry Pharmacy in Baltimore, Md. Shortly after his family moved to Virginia in the 70s, he worked for A&P in Ashland. His final work place was the Walmart in Ashland until his diagnosis of advanced renal cell carcinoma and becoming disabled. Bill loved his family and friends. He was an avid NASCAR fan, especially number 24. He enjoyed music, movies and his two feline babies, “Tom-Tom” and “Booty.” We will always remember Bill Jr. for his laughter, love of family, hard work and his kind helping hand. Funeral services were held Monday, Aug. 18, at the West Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home. The family received friends prior to the service. Interment followed in Signal Hill Memorial Park. Online condolences at

George David Mitchell, 71, of Aylett, passed Aug. 15, 2014, after a lengthy illness. George was born to the late Wayland and Edith Mitchell on March 4, 1943. He was preceeded in death by his wife, Dorothy H. Mitchell; his siblings, Eugene and Warren Mitchell, Mildred Martin and Myrtle Cutright. George retired after 49 and a half years from Old Dominion Tractor, was a life member of Epworth United Methodist Church and enjoyed fishing and hunting. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy K. Mitchell; loving children, Christine Salmon (Doug), Tracy Longest (Robbie); stepchildren, Beth Sadler (Todd) and Allen Robinson (Jessica); his caring sister, Judy Bowles (Joe). George is also leaving behind his grandchildren, Mitch and Mallory Salmon, Owen and Chad Longest and Kaiden Sadler. Family and friends visited Monday, Aug. 18 at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, where services took place Tuesday. Interment following the service in Signal Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Epworth UMC Church Building Fund, 11 Epworth Road, Aylett, VA 23009.

Edward Clarence Stevens, Aug. 24, 1931 to Aug. 6, 2014. Founder of Rocketts Mill Farm, in Doswell, widower of Nina Peace and “beach-tagger” in Cape May, N.J., is on his way to heaven, to raise some hell. He died peacefully in his sleep at sunrise on Aug. 6; the culmination of a remarkable 36 hours with his family, that his beloved son, Ned, dubbed “The Grand Finale.” Ed leaves behind three children, Kathy Stevens of New York, Ellen Stevens Sullivan of Michigan and Ned Stevens of Montpelier. He is also survived by beloved son-in-law, Jay “Jay Bird” Sullivan; cherished daughter-in-law, Debbie Stevens; and four grandchildren, whom he adored, Sara, Brandon, Courtney and Riley Sullivan. He also leaves behind his life partner, Anna Tucker of Naples, Fla.; many other cherished relatives and scores of friends, in Naples, Fla., Ashland, Nashville, Tenn., and Cape May, N.J. Ed’s gifts to all who knew him were friendship, generosity, passion, irreverence and laughter. Ed’s funeral was held Sunday, Aug. 10, 3 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Ashland. Please dress casually and come with a smile on your face. Between now and then, cheer for a Vanderbilt team, hug a stranger or two, lend a hand to someone who needs it, or mail a letter the old-fashioned way, to someone you love.