Obituaries – June 14th, 2017

MACLEAN, The Rev. Dr. Iain S.

The Rev. Dr. Iain S. Maclean of Fincastle and Durbanville, South Africa, passed away on Friday, June 2, 2017, at the age of 61.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William M. Maclean and Elizabeth Sutherland Maclean. Iain is survived by his sisters, Fiona Uys and Alison Maclean; as well as his two children, Rachel and Duncan.

He was born in 1956 to Scottish parents in Durbanville, South Africa. Despite initially pursuing degrees in archaeology, Iain joined the Presbyterian Ministry and graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1976, as well as from Rhodes University and the University of South Africa with degrees in Classical Languages. After serving as a military chaplain and youth minister, he came to the United States, where he received a Master’s Degree in Theology from Princeton and a Doctorate in Theology from Harvard Divinity School.

Iain served as a minister in Cape Town, Boston, New Hampshire, Fincastle, and at various other parishes in Virginia when they required him. He was also a scholar, authoring several books and teaching at Roanoke College and Washington and Lee University before holding the Professorship of Western Religions at James Madison University.

Iain was also a proud naturalized United States Citizen, taking his oath of citizenship on September 17, 2014. He was a collector of books who enjoyed literature, comedy and spending time with friends. His wit and his jovial demeanor will be missed by all around him; and his impact on the lives of others is hard to overstate.

The family invites friends and community members to remember Iain for his tireless commitment to others’ well-being, his charity work with the International Red Cross and other organizations, and his dedication to his parishioners, whom he counseled and visited with regularity.

A public viewing was held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, at Oakey’s North Roanoke Chapel. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 12, at Fincastle Presbyterian Church. Online condolences may be expressed at


NUNLEY, Sarah H.

Sarah Lorraine Hibbitts Nunley, 88, of Eagle Rock, passed away Sunday, June 11, 2017.

She was born January 7, 1929 in Elliston. Sarah was preceded in death by her parents, Hattie and John Hibbitts. Along with her husband, she co-owned Gala Grocery for over 25 years. She loved being outside, gardening, and birdwatching from her porch. She was devoted to her family and grandchildren and she will forever hold a special place in all of their hearts.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, Frank E. Nunley Jr.; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Randy DePriest of Eagle Rock; sister-in-law, Betty Lou (Paul) Snapp of Roanoke; grandchildren, Justin (Missy) Barnes, Forrest (Mary Kate) DePriest, Lorie (Billy) Jamerson, and Amanda Depriest; great-grandchildren, Grace and Elise Barnes, Garrett, Reese, Cassidy, and Raegan DePriest, Cody Snead, Ella Wilborne, Vivian Jamerson, Alley and Chance Taylor; special personal friend, Edith Dudley; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at the Eagle Rock United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, with the Rev. Ray D. Sandifer and the Rev. Robert McRae officiating. Following a meal at the church, there will be a graveside service at 3 p.m. at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem. The family will receive friends in the Eagle Rock Chapel of Botetourt Funeral Home, 14777 Church Street Eagle Rock, on Wednesday, June 14, from 5-8 p.m.

Special thanks to the Eagle Rock Rescue Squad for all their efforts over the past few years. Those wishing to make a contribution, please consider the Eagle Rock Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 234, Eagle Rock, 24085. Flowers or contributions would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be made at


VASSAR, Willie E.

Willie Edward Vassar, 94, of Buchanan, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

Ed served in the Army Corps of Engineers in World War II, stationed in the Pacific Theatre as a Construction Machine Operator, where he was awarded several medals and awards. He later retired from Lone Star Cement.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Cornelia Hite Vassar; son, Gary Vassar; brothers, James and Buddy; sisters, Virginia, Inez, Lillian, and Joyce.

He is survived by his son, Stephen (Regina) Vassar of Elliston; daughter, Sandra (Greg) Gray of Buchanan; grandchildren, Dale, Derrick, Crystal, Brandon, Joey, Angie, and Josh; seven great-grandchildren; and in-laws, Paul and Bee Hite and Phyllis Vassar.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 10, in the Buchanan Chapel of Botetourt Funeral Home with the Rev. Danny Barham and the Rev. Marc Barber officiating. Interment was in his home church of Lithia Baptist Church Cemetery. The family received friends Friday, June 9, from 2-4 and 6-8 at Botetourt Funeral Home. Those wishing to make a contribution, please consider the Lithia Baptist Church, P.O. Box 698, Buchanan, 24066. Online condolences may be made at

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