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Obituaries, Week of March 27, 2014: Clark, Cox, Gravatt, Harris, Hart, Hawkes, Howard, Newcomb and Sims

Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Betty Jane Martin Clark of Ashland, passed away peacefully March 13, 2014 at the home of her granddaughter She was 81. Born June 21, 1932 to James and Ida Martin, she was the youngest of three children and last surviving. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Audrey M. Moser, her brother Charles M. Martin and her nephew Charles M. ‘Buddy’ Martin, Jr. She is survived by her daughter Ida C. Atkins and her grandchildren; Jane Jernigan (Michael), Sarah Lipford (John Jones), Douglas Parrish Jr., and step granddaughter Crystal Grublis (Michael). There are 12 great-grandchildren; Brandi, Brandon, Cody, Dylan, Emma, Marcus, Jacob, Shelby, Heidi, Brookelynn, Ethan and Abagail. She leaves behind her nephews William E. Moser and John W. Martin, her nieces Catherine M. Looney and one whom was close in age and dear to her heart, Joanne M. Strumb along with a cousin Miss Geraldine Ludwick and many dear friends. She had struggled most of her life with various health issues and finally succumbed to lung cancer. Her greatest joy in life was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who made her life complete with their personal term of endearment and name for her, which was “Great.” She was born and raised in Roanoke during the Great Depression. She was a devout Methodist and member of the former United Transportation Union through the old Norfolk & Western Railroad and also a former member of the Women of the Elks in Norcross, Ga. Betty was a stay-at-home wife and mother for most of her life and later a former employee of Dixon’s Amoco in Ashland and was known to many as Jane or Miss Betty. Many thanks go out to her caretakers from Hospice of Virginia, especially Vicki, Bonnie and Kendra. An open celebration of life is planned for March 29 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Burial will be in her hometown of Roanoke. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Virginia Cancer Institute or Hospice of Virginia.

Patsy “Pat” Baker Cox, 70, of Richmond, passed away suddenly Friday, March 21, 2014. She was preceded in death by her parents, Daniel and Ethel Baker. She is survived by her daughter, Brooke Cox Garthright; granddaughter, Hunter Paige Garthright “The First;” two sisters, Betty Pittman and Rosalie Packett; close cousin, Sherry Thomas; numerous extended family members and an abundance of friends. Ms. Cox was a retired Henrico County school teacher. The family received friends Wednesday, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Thursday, March 27, 2014. Interment St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Hanover. In memory of Pat, please consider a contribution to a charity of your choice.

Elvira Campbell Gravatt, 87, of Ashland, went home to be with her Lord Wednesday, March 19, 2014. She is survived by her sons, William Campbell (Betty), James Preston, and Gene Boyd Gravatt (Geralyn); her daughter, Sandra Ellen Gravatt; four grandchildren, Anthony, Kasi, Andy and Brittany; and sister, Lillian C. Pike. The family received friends Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Reid Chapel, Ashland, where services were held Saturday, March 22, 2014. Interment at Carmel Baptist Church cemetery, Ruther Glen.

Granville “Kirk” Harris, 76, of Mechanicsville, passed away peacefully March 23, 2014 at his home, after a long illness of acute pancreatitis. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roland and Vernelle Harris; and grandson, Michael Seay. He is survived by his wife, Janice “Bubba”; three children, Carolyn Seay (Jimmy), Brenda Zimny and Garry Jones (Tammy); five grandchildren, Joe, Matthew and Amanda Garrett, Christopher Seay and Rebecca Jones; two great-grandchildren, Joey and Matao Garrett. He also leaves behind a host friends who he loved and was loved and supported in return. Some of his best buddies were Claude Smith, John Heath, Ray Robins, Joe Williams and Jerry Clark. Kirk loved people who became instant friends and he never met a stranger. He was one that believed your handshake was your bond. He was in the dairy business for over 38 years including Richmond Dairy, Dolly Madison, Curles Neck and Garber Ice Cream. He was a member of Fairmount Christian Church for 22 years. He was an avid NASCAR fan and really loved it when the Chevys beat out the Fords. He was a wonderful person and loved his family and country. He served in the Marine Corps for six years. The family received friends Tuesday at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Interment at Shady Grove Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Fairmount Christian Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 788, Mechanicsville, VA 23111.

Elsie Mae Hart, 74, passed away March 23, 2014. She was preceded in death by her mother, Thelma S. Goodman and her father, Sonny Wilson Goodman. She leaves behind her husband, Robert Ray Hart, Sr.; children, Thelma Ann Hart, Randolph Wilson Hart and Robert Ray Hart, Jr.; daughters-in-laws, Paige Hart and Pauline Hart (Hague); granddaughters, Samantha Grace Hart and Ashley Wixon Catron; five brothers and four sisters. Elsie worked for Hanover County Transportation for 28 years as a school bus driver and three years for Louisa County Transportation. She was a devoted wife and mother for 55 years. The family received friends Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at the Nelsen Funeral Home, Reid Chapel, Ashland, where services were held Thursday, March 27, 2014. Interment at the Goodman Family Cemetery in Montpelier. In lieu of flowers, she asked that you make donations to New Found Church of Christ, PO Box 1399, Glen Allen, VA 23060.

Marguerite McCants Allman Hawkes, went to be with our Lord Monday, March 17, 2014. She was a resident of Covenant Woods in Mechanicsville. Born in Washington, D.C. to Marguerite McCants Allman and Paul Winfree Allman, “Rita” moved to Richmond as a young child. She was educated in Henrico County Schools and received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon her graduation, she taught in elementary schools in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties until moving to Winter Park, Fla. with her late husband. Married to the late Col. Robert Edward Hawkes Jr. (Retired U.S. Army) they transferred from Florida to Gardners, Pa., where they were very active in their church, Community Christian Fellowship of Carlisle, Pa. Rita became the head of the Carlisle Christian Academy until her retirement. She lived in Pennsylvania until Bob’s death, at which time she came home to Richmond. A devoted Army wife and loving mother, Rita loved her family, traveling, shopping, needlework, gardening, good food and NASCAR racing. She is survived by her son, Robert Edward Hawkes III; her sisters, Nancy Yates, Barbara Melton (Frank) and Lois Ofte (Marc); her mother-in-law, Eunice Hawkes; and her sisters-in-law and their families; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. The family wishes to thank Medi-Home Hospice of Richmond and the nurses and employees of Covenant Woods for all of their care and support. The family received family and friends Monday, March 24, 2014 at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home, where memorial services followed visitation with Pastor Tony Ramirez of Fellowship Community Church presiding. In lieu of flowers, her son, Robert, has requested that contributions be made to the hospice group of your choice.

Joelle Yvonne Howard, of Mechanicsville, passed away Friday, March 21, 2014. She was born to John and Mary-Ann Howard, June 7, 1994 in Sierra Vista, Ariz. Joelle graduated from Hanover High School in 2012. She moved to Mechanicsville in 2010 after spending three years in Harbeson, Del. and the first 13 years of her life between Sierra Vista and Sahuarita, Ariz. Joelle will be remembered for her free spirit and giving nature, always putting others before herself. Joelle is survived by her parents, John and Mary-Ann Howard of Mechanicsville; her brother, Steve Bennett of Courtdale, Pa.; her brother, Christopher Bennett of Fort Lewis, Wash.; her sisters, Jennifer Bennett and Danielle Howard of Mechanicsville; her sisters, Melissa and Ana Bennett of Lewes, Del.; her brothers, Eric and Patrick Howard of Mechanicsville; grandparents, Marie and Ray Schultz of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; as well as numerous aunts and uncles. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Grace Marie Klann of Tucson, Ariz.; and grandparents, Yvonne and Wilhelm Weingaertner of Gondsroth, Germany. The family received friends Wednesday, March 26, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home.

Janis E. Newcomb,70, of Chesterfield, went to be with the Lord March 20, 2014. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hubert and Marjorie Burton. She is survived by her daughter, Pamela Newcomb; son Bubba Newcomb; grandchildren, Joey Strumb, Nick Newcomb, Jeff Newcomb and Jordan Crawley; one sister, Sue Rice (Woody); one niece and three nephews. She was a loving mother, grandmother and sister. The family received friends Saturday and Sunday, March 23, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Monday, March 24. Interment Signal Hill Memorial Park.

James “Jim” Arlington Sims,70, died suddenly March 17, 2014. Born in Richmond Aug. 3, 1943, Jim graduated from Highland Springs High School. He retired after nine years with Meals on Wheels, a long career with Ford Motor Co. Tractor Div., and other business ventures. Jim was Lay Leader at Mizpah United Methodist Church, loved the Lord, led an unselfish life, had such a zest for living and loved the beach. He is survived by his wife, Rev. Betty Jo Sims; son, Dana; and a host of friends and relatives. There was a joyful celebration of Jim’s life Friday, March 21, at Providence United Methodist Church, Quinton, Va., where visitation and services were held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mizpah United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 173, Walkerton, VA 23177, or to FeedMore/Meals on Wheels, 1415 Rhoadmiller Street, Richmond, VA 23220. Interment private.