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Obituaries, Week of Jan. 23, 2014: Armentrout, Flippen, Gillend, Mills, Swearengin, Vidrick and Vitale

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

William Daniel “Bill” Armentrout, 86, of Ashland, passed away Jan. 13, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elsie Coates Armentrout; parents, Edward and Hattie Armentrout; brothers, Ed, Jr. and Clyde; twin brother, Wilbur; and sister, Gladys Webb. He is survived by two nephews, John Webb, Jr. and James A. Armentrout; and three nieces, Evelyn Vaughan, Anne Schwartz, and Judy Rowe. Bill was an employee for 35 years at DuPont Spruance Plant and he was a member of Independence Christian Church. Bill enjoyed playing the violin and was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII. The family received friends Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Reid Chapel, Ashland, where services were held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Interment will be in Woodland cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Ashland Rescue Squad, 201 Duncan St., Ashland, VA 23005.The family expresses their sincere appreciation to the staff and residents at Hanover Manor for their love and care over the last decade.

Joyce Campbell Flippen, 72, of Mechanicsville, went to be with the Lord Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Richard “Dickie” Flippen; and son, Bruce Flippen; and is survived by her daughter, Cathy F. Cabaniss (Walter); son, Michael A. Flippen (Brenda); grandchildren, Magan Lanham (Josh), Alex Flippen, Thomas Mickles; three great-grandsons, TJ and Jeremiah Mickles and Chase Lanham; three siblings, Nancy Moyer, Jean Alford and Dennis Campbell (Vickie); sister-in-law, Beverly Watson; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Joyce was a long-time member of Gethsemane Church of Christ. She cared for numerous children at Advent Christian Day Care. Her passions included doll collecting, creating decorative cakes, reading Amish and Christian books, and working seek-n-find puzzles. Family received friends Friday at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home. Services were held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at Gethsemane Church of Christ, Mechanicsville. Interment followed in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gethsemane Church of Christ.

James Lee Sr. “Bubba” Gillend, 66, of Mechanicsville, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Jan. 12, 2014. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife Frances Sawyer Gillend; three children, James Lee Gillend Jr., Sonja Gillend McGinnis (David), both of Mechanicsville and Tiffany Renee Gillend (Luis Ramos) of Orlando, Fla.; his mother, Oralee Howard Gillend; his sister, Rhonda Lynn Lanham (Earl) of Varina; and the twinkle in his eye and the laughter in his heart, his five grandchildren, Lauren Michele Gillend, Amber Nicole Gillend, Shane Liam McGinnis, Logan Reece McGinnis and Torin Kyle McGinnis; and his two godchildren, Chasity Faith (Lanham) Hoffman and Sheena Michelle (Lanham) Griffin. He was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Vance Gillend Sr.; and his brother, Ernest Vance Gillend Jr. He was a member of Northminster Baptist Church, where he praised and loved the Lord. He was a proud Union Member and Assistant Business Manager for Local Union 666, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The family received friends Tuesday, Jan. 14, Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Bennett Funeral Home, in Mechanicsville. Funeral services were held Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Sanctuary of Northminster Baptist Church, Richmond. Interment followed at Hanover Memorial Park Cemetary on U.S. Route 360 (Mechanicsville Turnpike). In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Children’s Hospital at VCU. “Love the children for they are you.”

Belle Strong Mills, 91, departed this life Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, Pettis Mills, Sr. and her daughter, Betty Elmore. She is survived by her son, Pettis Mills, Jr. (Butch) and his wife, Judy Mills; four grandchildren, Phillip Elmore, Cindy Goodman, Linda Allison (Jeff) and Douglas Mills; four great-grandchildren, Renee, Terry, Christina, Heather; five great-great-grandchildren; and many dear friends. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Reid Chapel, 412 S. Washington Highway, Ashland, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Interment will be in Shiloh United Methodist Church cemetery in Montpelier, VA. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Heart Association.

Kelvin L. Swearengin, 49, of Glen Allen, passed away Jan. 18, 2014. He was preceded in death by his father, Eldridge L. Swearengin and a son, Kelvin, Jr.  He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Swearengin; mother, Mary Harris (Jackson); sister, Teresa Butts (Ray); and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Kelvin was an electrician with IBEW Local 666. He was a member of the Chapel Church of Christ in Montpelier. The family received friends Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Reid Chapel, Ashland, where services will be held Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Interment at Woodland cemetery.

Robert Louis Vidrick, Sr., Colonel USA (retired), age 82, of Mechanicsville, passed away peacefully Jan. 8, 2014 from complications due to cancer. He is survived by Amelia, his wife of 58 years; his children, Robert Jr. (Mary Gail) and Julie Evans (Rees); and grandchildren, Eric, Alex, Phillip, Galen and Ariel. During his Army career, he was the Transportation Coordinator for President Kennedy’s funeral and served in France as liaison with the French Army and Navy. In his Vietnam service, he was the Division Transportation Officer of the 1st Infantry Division. He later commanded the 519th Truck Battalion in Thailand in support of Vietnamese operations. He was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. Among his numerous military awards were the Legion of Merit (3), the Bronze Star (5), the Meritorious Service Medal (2), the Air Medal (3), the Vietnamese Medal of Honor, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. His post-military career included 11 years as the Director of Corporate Transportation for Robertshaw Controls and 17 years as an Adjunct Professor of International Business at the University of Richmond. He was a consultant and lecturer in International Logistics and Business for Old Dominion University, The College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, John Tyler CC, and J. Sargeant Reynolds CC. He was also a contributing editor to Distribution Magazine. His education included a B.S. from University of Maryland, MBA from Shippensburg University, and a graduate of the Center of Leadership in Greensboro North Carolina. Memorial services were held at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home, Thursday, Jan. 16. Family received friends following the service. Interment will be held at Greenwood Memorial Gardens at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project,

Mary Myers Vitale, is now singing God’s praises in the heavenly choir. She joined the angels Jan. 15, 2014, still a child at heart at the age of 83. She is survived by her husband of 59 and three-quarter years, Jim Vitale (retired Detective Sgt. Richmond). She was predeceased by her sister, Olive Wolters; and her children, Carol and Michael Vitale. She is survived by her siblings, Fran Schmetzer, Bill Myers (Mary Ellen) and Jane Kee (Carlyle). Her surviving children are Charles Vitale (Maury), Denise Vitale (Henry), Annette Shuff (Tom), Cecelia Peay (Tony) and Tony Vitale (Kellie). Mary was also blessed with 11 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many other families, who she adopted as her own. The family received friends Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Monaghan Funeral Home, Mechanicsville. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 at The Catholic Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville. A reception followed. Interment private. Mary was an active member at the Church of the Redeemer and sang in the choir for 38 years. She was a graduate of William & Mary. She coordinated the MRMC Ministry Volunteers since its inception. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Church of the Redeemer.