Obituaries – April 20th, 2017


Betty Jane Gifford Hudkins Tonkery, 90, of Shinn’s Run passed away Sunday, April 9, 2017, at UHC, Bridgeport.  She was born January 13, 1927 in Shinnston, a daughter of the late Chester E. and Virgie Davis Gifford.  Twice married, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Walter P. Hudkins and her second husband, Paul Edward Tonkery, Sr.

Surviving are her daughter, Karen Morgan and husband, Charles W. of Shinn’s Run and their son Justin P. Morgan, Morgantown; Brother Warren Charles Gifford and wife Pearl Columbus, OH; sister, Florence Dimples Gifford, Gypsy; Daughter Wilma Williams, Greenville, SC; sons, James Tonkery, Donald Tonkery and wife Paula, Evelyn Tonkery, and Kay Tonkery, all of Shinnston; grandchildren, Angie Tonkery and fiancé, Craig Fowler, Aaron Tonkery and wife Shari , Jennifer, Teresa, and Amanda Tonkery, Rebekah Watson and husband Travis, Josh Tonkery and wife Mallory, Jack Williams and wife Becky, Beth Ann Cohen and husband Aaron, Cathy Williams, and April Burke and husband John; several great-grandchildren.

Also deceased are her father-in-law, Parker Hudkins; mother-in-law, Gertrude Hudkins; sons Charles Tonkery and Paul E. Tonkery, Jr., and infant Walter Ernest Hudkins; brother, Laud Gifford, Sr.; sister, Patricia Gifford Dillon; and  granddaughter, Darcy Kincaid.

Betty was formerly employed at the restaurant at Bridgeport Stock Sale and formerly hauled cattle to the Bridgeport Stock Sale for local farmers.  She worked for various Shinnston Retailers including Feaster’s Jewelers, The Fashion Corner, Shinnston Family Eye Care, and volunteered as a UHC auxiliary member.

She was also a member of Boothsville United Methodist Church, where she served as Sunday School Superintendent and Treasurer of Mon Valley District U.M. Women, known as “Mission Momma”.  She was a 50 year member of the Woman’s Club of Shinnston, Past President and 74 year member of Extension Homemakers CEOS, Frontier Days Assn., SADA, and Shinnston Historical Society.  Her interests included farming, canning, gardening and Sunday family dinners.

A funeral was held at Harmer Funeral Home on Thursday, April 13, 2017 with Dr. Michael Richards officiating.  Interment followed at Shinn’s Run Cemetery.  Online memories and condolences may be shared at

A service of the Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston.



Marjorie Sue Greer, 76, of Bridgeport and formerly of Salem, passed away Thursday, February 9, 2017, in Ft. Pierce, FL.

She was born May 10, 1940, in Gentry, AR, the eldest daughter of the late William B. Lewis and Marian P. (Green) Lewis.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Michael D. Greer, whom she married August 28, 1960, in Riverside, CA.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three sons, Robert L Greer and wife, Mary K., of Bridgeport, Michael D. Greer and wife, Sandy, of Buckhannon and Stephen E. Greer and wife, Laura, of Clemmons, NC; her grandchildren, Aimee L. (Daniel) Buchanan of Prince Fredrick, MD, Jennifer M. Greer of Morgantown, Kathryn G. (William Zachary) Garrett of Huntington, Joseph M. Greer of Knoxville, TN, Christopher S. Greer and Robert V. Greer, both of Bridgeport, and Aaron C. Greer and Ella G. Greer, both of Clemmons, NC; two great-grandchildren, Rebecca E. Buchanan and Brendan M. Buchanan, of Prince Fredrick, MD; her siblings, Ellis R. Lewis of Mancos, CO, Jane (Thom) Carey-Goodson of Half Moon Bay, CA, Ruth A. (David) Whittington of Oceanside, CA, Stephen (Josie) Lewis of Rolling Hills, CA, and Stanley (Judith) Lewis of Corona, CA; her sister-in-law, Janice DeWind of Lyons, NY; her brother-in-law, Orie Phillips of Watertown, NY; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Robert E. and Irene Greer; her brothers-in-law, John B. Peil and James DeWind; her sister-in-law, Joyce Phillips; her daughter-in-law, Nancy Garrett Greer; and her nephew, Derek Phillips.

She attended Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, CA, graduating in 1958. She then received her BA from Salem College in 1966 and her MA from West Virginia University.

Marjorie was a school teacher in Elementary and Gifted Education, retiring in 2001 from the Kanawha County Board of Education. Upon her return to Harrison County, she worked many years as a substitute teacher. She had taught at Salem Industrial Home for Girls and founded the Salem Methodist Church Kindergarten; at Harden, Alta Vista, Johnson, Hartman Magnet and Adamston in Harrison County; and Fort Hill, Overbrook, JE Robbins, Dupont and East Bank Junior High/Middle Schools in Kanawha County.

Her life was committed to serving others, whether in the class room or through community service. She was a member of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Salem and also attended Ft. Pierce United Methodist Church in Ft. Pierce, FL. From 1996-1998, she served as President and Silver Sister, Alpha Delta Kappa, Beta Chapter, and was a past President of a Charleston chapter. She was also a member of Daughters of American Revolution (DAR); a past member of the State of WV Republican Executive Committee; Salem Business and Professional Women (BPW); and was Past President of United Hospital Center Auxiliary.

She loved flower gardening, reading, volunteer service and travel, but most of all her children and grandchildren. She will be remembered by some for her fun-loving devil may care youthfulness, while all who knew her will remember her as an elegant lady.



Glenna Jean Snyder, 67, of Salem, departed this life on Thursday, February 23, 2017, in her residence surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on May 24, 1949, in Clarksburg, a daughter of the late William B. and Mavis Gertrude Allen Underwood.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Snyder.

Surviving are two daughters, Shelly Haskins and husband, George, and Kelly Lee, both of Salem; grandchildren, Shawna, Kali and Sydney Snyder, Matthew Lee, Daniel Toothman, Marisa and Mariah Haskins; one stepson, Christopher Snyder and wife, Jennifer, of Bridgeport; twin brother, Glenn W. Patsy and wife Candy, of Canaan Valley; one sister, Billie Hutson and husband Doug; nephews, Dr. David Hutson, Bridgeport, and Ryan Hutson, Louisville, KY.

Mrs. Snyder was retired from the Harrison County Board of Education with 33years service in food service, where she had served as past President of the Harrison County Cooks Association. She enjoyed cooking, going to the beach with family and friends, spending time with her grandchildren and shopping.



Sharon Knight Smith, 76, of Stonewood, passed away on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at her residence.

She was born September 23, 1940, in Webster Springs, WV, a daughter of the late Harley Slie Knight and Ida Pauline Stout Knight.

She is survived by her husband, Ernest Smith, of 56 years, whom she married on December 16, 1960.

She is also survived by her two children, Jackie Hanlin of Keyser and Harley Smith and his wife Nancy of Brushy Fork; three grandchildren, Chris Clutter of Morgantown, Hannah Clutter of Keyser and Ashley Mouser of Brushy Fork; nine brothers and sisters, Sampson, Darel, Dolan, Gary, Ernie and Earl Knight, Bertha Miller, Linda Walter and Isa Furey; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her brothers, Mayness Knight and Jerry Knight; one sister, Glenna Flanigan; one son-in-law, Jamie Hanlin.

Sharon worked at GC Murphy’s and then for United Hospital Center and the Clarksburg/Harrison Health Department as a CNA. She enjoyed sewing, cooking and traveling. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family.



Howard J. Hinebaugh 90, of Bridgeport, formerly of Shinnston, passed away on Monday, February 21, 2017, at the United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.

He was born January 27, 1927, in Crellin, MD, to the late Katherine Hinebaugh and Linsey Friend.

Howard is survived by his 6 children, Tarla Alkire and Barry and their children, Christy Kupfer and Michael Alkire; Timothy Hinebaugh, and his children Danielle Jeter, Mindy Efaw and Eric Hinebaugh; Gail Huff and the late Robert Huff and their children Angela Roscoe, Robbie and Angie Huff; Lyle Hinebaugh; Melissa Harbert and Jeff; Jamie Hinebaugh and Jerri and their daughter Chloe; 14 great-grandchildren.

Howard served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and was retired from the Robinson Run Mine 95 after 42 years as a coal miner. Howard was a member of the UMWA Local 1501, a member of the American Legion Post 31 of Shinnston, Shinnston Moose Lodge 929 and the VFW Post 7048. Howard served the tri-state area as “Santa Claus” for over 50 years.

One of his greatest joys was being with his family and driving the country side.



Sharon Denise “Gillespie” Biafore, 52, of Bridgeport, passed away Thursday evening, February 23, 2017, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.

She was born May 9, 1964, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Sharon Laign Gillespie, who survives in Bridgeport, and the late Ronald Lee Gillespie.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, John Biafore, whom she married on September 8, 1984, in Bridgeport, West Virginia. In addition to her husband and mother, she is survived by her daughter, Alexia Laign Biafore and fiancé, Michael Anthony Burge, and her son, Samuel Joseph Biafore, all of Bridgeport. She is also survived by her sisters, Debra Lynn Martin, husband John, and their daughter, Montana Brooke of Bridgeport, Dawn Lee Kim, husband Peter, and their daughter, Emma Laign, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and Deanna Jo “Bo” Williams, and husband, Mike of Fairmont.

She is also survived by her brothers-in-law, Sam Biafore and wife, Bernice, of Henderson, Nevada, Joe Biafore of Clarksburg, West Virginia, Rocco Biafore, and wife, Anita, of Hollister, California, James Biafore and wife, Tammy, of Alexandria, Virginia; sisters-in-law, Kathy Newbrough of Fairmont, West Virginia, and Bernadine Biafore of Las Vegas, Nevada, along with several nieces and nephews.

She is also survived by her uncles, Robert Caudell of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Paul “Butch” Blackwell and wife Pat, of Apopka, Florida, Richard “Dick” Moore of Bridgeport, Jerry Moore and wife, Virginia, of Harahan, Louisiana, and Arthur Wilson of Brooklyn, Ohio.

In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Frank “Higgy” Biafore and Parmasena Biafore, her brother-in-law, Frank Biafore, her maternal grandparents, Cecil and Nellie Moore, and her paternal grandparents, John and Melba Gillespie, and Maggie Caudell, and her special Aunt Sylvia Wilson.

Denise is a 1982 graduate of Bridgeport High School. Denise began her career at Shoney’s Restaurant as a server and, along with guidance from her business partner, Rory Smith, climbed the corporate ladder and achieved her ultimate goal of owning her own stores — Shoney’s of Flatwoods and Summersville. After turning these stores around, she was awarded 2016 Turn Around Artist of the year, a prestigious honor bestowed upon her by David Davoudpour, CEO of Shoney’s Corporate. She loved her Shoney’s family and had a passion for helping others reach their full potential.

Denise, along with her husband, enjoyed the outdoors, especially trout fishing. She also loved to travel with her family to Las Vegas and Aruba. Above all, her greatest passion was her husband and children.

Denise was a Roman Catholic by faith.



Catherine Mae “Katie” Bryan, age 97, departed this life at Clarksburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, February 23, 2017, after a brief illness.

She was born Catherine Mae Roush on May 22, 1919, in Chillicothe, OH, daughter of the late George Arthur and Phoebe Mary Roush.

She was a devoted resident of Maple Lake for over 70 years.

Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Cyrus Wayne Roush, her first husband, Robert Kenneth Calver, who died on October 13, 1943, and her second husband, Richard Linn Bryan of Maple Lake who died on March 9, 1996. They had been married almost 55 years.

She is survived by her son, Dr. Richard A. Calver and wife, Deborah Jean “Dee Dee,” of Cumberland Foreside, ME, previously of Williamsburg, VA.

Katie Bryan was an avid card player with her friends and modeled in fashion shows for Clarksburg department stores in her earlier years.

She was a Harrison County Senior Citizen Lifetime Member, was a member of Maple Lake Club, Maple Lake Women’s Club, Bridgeport United Methodist Church, Bridgeport Rachel Chapter of Eastern Star 47, and was a prior member of Bridgeport and Clarksburg Women’s Clubs, Clarksburg Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America-Tefnet Court 87, Clarksburg Ladies Elks-Lodge 48, and United Hospital Auxiliary.



Edna Merle (Miller) Rogers Nicholson, age 101, of Good Hope, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, at Serenity Hope Assisted Living, surrounded by her family.

She was born August, 12, 1915, in Gilmer County, WV, the daughter of the late Everett Miller and Audra (Snyder) Miller.

Merle is survived by her son, James D. Rogers and his wife, Patricia of Good Hope, WV; two grandsons, James Rogers of Clarksburg, WV, and Mike Rogers of Toluca Lake, CA; two great-granddaughters, Katelyn Rogers of Tulsa, OK, and Anna Rogers of Clarksburg, WV; two great great-grandchildren, Kaleb and Adriana, both of Tulsa, OK; a sister, Tressa Porterfield of Latrobe, PA; several nieces and nephews.

Merle enjoyed working at Montgomery Ward in the shoe department. She was an active devout member of Barnes Memorial Baptist Church.

Merle loved to garden, enjoyed cooking and spending time with her family. She was a loving mother and grandmother who always had a smile on her face.

Merle lived a beautiful life, and did not know any strangers.

In addition to her parents, Merle was preceded in death by her first husband, Archie H. Rogers, who died on December 6, 1963, second husband, Marshall L. Nicholson, who died on December 21, 2008; two brothers, Brian Miller and Russ Miller; two sisters, Thelma Virginia Ritter and Thela Gainer; and a great-grandson, Bryan Rogers.

The family would like to thank the Serenity Hope Assisted Living, the care givers, and Amedisys Home Health Care.



Frank John Curia Jr., 58, of Hepzibah, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, February 24, 2017, at his home.

He was born September 28, 1958, in Clarksburg, a son of the late Frank and LeVaughn Smith Curia.

Frank is survived by the love of his life, Sheila Bell Curia. Also surviving are his two sons, Franklin John Curia III and his fiancée, Rachel, of Spelter, and Christopher Michael Curia of Hepzibah; his two grandchildren, Destiny and Christian; sister, Maria LeVaughn Curia of Clarksburg; sisters-in-law, LaDonna O’Dell of Orwigsburg, PA, Pamela Ramsey of Shinnston, Rhonda Richardson and husband, Scott, of Shinnston and Cindy Cottrell and husband, Donnie, of Gypsy; as well as several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Frank was preceded in death by his mother and father-in-law, Harold E. and Ruth J. Bell; his aunt and uncle, Joseph and Ella Curia; and his aunt, Angela Reid.

Frank was a truck driver for over 30 years and was last employed by E&S Contracting.

He was a state award winner in auto body while at the United Technical Center.

He was previously employed by Star Motor Company.

Frank was a loving and devoted father, grandfather, husband and son who will be missed by those who knew him.



Gary Lee Brown, 81, of Mt. Clare passed away on February 27, 2017, at his residence following brief illness.

He was born in Lost Creek, on Aug. 7, 1935, a son of the late Jesse and Charlotte Brown.

Twice married, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia Charlene Brown, on April 16, 2003. He is survived by his second wife, Brenda S. McIntyre Brown, whom he married on December 4, 2007.

He is survived by two sons, Robert Michael Brown of Jane Lew and his wife, Dee Dee, of Grambrils, MD, and Gary Curtis Brown of Severn, MD; one daughter, Charlotte Mechelle Brown of Del Ray Beach, FL; three grandchildren, Leslie Brown, Lauren Brown and Ryan Brown; two great grandchildren, Adien Brown and Mason Brown; three step-sons, Matthew Richard and wife, Linda, James Richard and wife, Briannain, and Jeremy Richards and wife, Melinda; five step-grandchildren, Christian Richards, Bell Richards, September Richards, November Richards and Raina Richards. He is also survived by one brother, Delaine Brown of Bridgeport, and one sister, Martha Hornick of Harpers Ferry.

In addition to his parents and first wife, he was preceded in death by one sister and five brothers.

He was a graduate of Lost Creek High School, class of 1952, and was a veteran in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War.

He retired with over 35 years of service with Sel-Tronics, and later became the owner of Red Gas Company.

Gary was United Methodist by faith and enjoyed hunting and golfing.

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