Philip Gimli-mead, 63, of Daleville, passed away on September 18, 2017.

He was born in Winooski, Vt. on November 11, 1953 to Kenneth Linwood Mead and Dorothy Rita (DeForge) Mead and lived in the Botetourt area for the last nine years.

Phil was a graduate of Lyndon State College, and in 1974, founded the Islander, the first newspaper in the Champlain Islands. Later, he became an Investment Broker. Phil was a benefactor to many young people who wished to continue higher education and was a strong supporter of the Art programs in the high schools in Vermont over several decades and recently in Botetourt. He enjoyed the Mets baseball team and the New York Giants football team.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers; and is survived by a brother, two sisters and his childhood sweetheart and fiancée, Heidi A. Miller.

A celebration of Phil’s life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Botetourt Fire & EMS, 205 North Roanoke Street Suite 1, Fincastle, 24090; or to Botetourt Sheriff Department, 205 North Roanoke Street, Fincastle, 24090.

On-line condolences may be made to Phil’s family at




Wayne Franklin Haymaker, Sr., 84, passed away September 19, 2017.

He was born in Fincastle, the son of Luther R. and Mary E. Haymaker. Wayne graduated from Fincastle High School in 1952 and was a member of the Fincastle United Methodist Church. He attended Roanoke Business College until he entered the U.S. Army in 1953.   Wayne decided to make the Army his career and was stationed in Korea and Vietnam during both wars, Germany and many other bases in the United States.  In 1958, he married his loving wife, Mary (Spangler), soulmate and friend. After his long military career, Wayne and Mary retired to Virginia Beach and Wayne worked for many years for Ryder Rental Trucks and then later for local businesses. Prior to his death, they had recently relocated to Salem.

Wayne will be sadly missed by his loving wife, Mary; three children, son, Wayne (wife Abbe) of Chesapeake; daughter, Debra Wolfe (husband Billy), and Tina of Virginia Beach; his brother, Robert Haymaker (Bonnie) of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; sister-in-law, Penny Haymaker of Nashville, Tenn.; and his four grandchildren, Don Smith, Michelle Jenks (fiancé Stephen MaKamey), Caroline Haymaker, Katelynn (fiancé Charles Seaman); great-grandchild, Morgan, and nieces and nephews who he considered his own; cousin, Ray Spangler; Aunt Louise and Son; Kitty and Jean; Aunt Stella Freeman; Jean Spangler and family; Edith Spangler; nephew Dan; niece Faye and cousin Bobbie Hendricks.

He was preceded by his parents, Luther R. and Mary E. Haymaker; his brother, Donald E. Haymaker, and his sister, Mary Lou and her husband, Ara Ayanian.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 23, at Oakey’s North Chapel with the Rev. Mickey Derrow officating. The family receive friends prior to the service. Interment with military honors was in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens.



HUNTER, Sidney Y.

Elizabeth Sidney Yonce Hunter, 97, of Eagle Rock, died Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Sidney was preceded in death by her husband, William T. Hunter Sr.; her parents, Gordon Victor and Josephine Guy Yonce; and siblings Virginia Yonce Gates, G. Victor Yonce, Jr. (Rosa Hill Yonce), and William I. “Bill” Yonce.

Born on October 16, 1919, in Salem, in a historic home that eventually became a fraternity house for Roanoke College, Sidney came from a family dedicated to education and to Roanoke College. Great-grandfather Dr. William B. Yonce (for whom Yonce Hall is named) was a founding professor, one of three professors who conceived the idea of forming Roanoke College. Great-uncle Professor Luther Fox taught at Roanoke College from 1882 until his death in 1925. Great-uncle Professor Wythe Morehead taught from 1885 for 50 years. Another great-uncle, Professor John Alfred “Uncle Fred” Morehead taught from 1889, also serving as president from 1903 until 1920. The university named Morehead Hall in his honor. Sidney continued her family’s dedication to Roanoke College, honored by membership into the Roanoke College Society of 1842 in recognition of support through planned giving.

In 1939, at the age of 19, Sidney graduated from Longwood College, following her ancestors into a career in education. She accepted a teaching position at Eagle Rock High School, moved into the community, where she met her future husband, married, and raised her sons, W. T. “Tommy” Hunter Jr., and Robert S. Hunter. Sidney remembered that some of her first students were actually older than she! When Botetourt County consolidated its schools, she continued to teach at Eagle Rock Elementary School. In addition to her many years of teaching in the county, she also served as President of the James River High School PTA.

For over 70 years, Sidney lived out her commitment as a devoted a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Eagle Rock and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Fincastle, serving on the vestry, as choir director, and with the women’s group. The handicapped ramp at now-designated Emmanuel Chapel in Eagle Rock bears her name, in recognition of her devoted service to the mission and ministries of the historic church.

A 36-year member of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, she served the Botetourt County Chapter as Regent for two terms, as Treasurer, and for many terms as Librarian, and she took an active part in all chapter activities, including coordinating the chapter project to provide cancelled stamps and collectible stamps to various veterans’ organizations for their activities. Passionate about gardening, she belonged to the Eagle Rock Garden Club, where she had served as president and contributed to many beautification projects throughout the community. She also belonged to the Eagle Rock Ruritan Club and avidly participated in the historic preservation of the vocational education building of the former Eagle Rock High School, restored by the Ruritan Club as the Eagle Rock Community Center.

Sidney, deeply committed to honoring the history of Botetourt County, supported the founding and development of the Botetourt County Historical Society and Museum, serving for more than two decades on its Board of Directors. In 2014, the Historical Society presented her with the Garland Stevens Volunteer Service Award for the extraordinary service she provided to the Society and the Museum.

Until her recent illness, she remained fully active, never missing a DAR or Ruritan meeting or activity and even continuing to sing with the choir every Sunday and play bridge at least once a week.

A world traveler, she last cruised this past March, having completed more than 30 cruises and an uncounted number of land tours, including having been part of the first tour group in modern times to be allowed into China, as documented in a national magazine coverage of the milestone.

A quiet philanthropist across many charities, a natural mentor, and a role model for generations of women, she will be deeply missed by her family, her church family, and her many friends. In addition to her sons, surviving family include brother-in-law Judge Ernest P. Gates of Richmond, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews.

Sidney’s Memorial Service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Fincastle on Saturday, September 30, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Willis Logan, Rector, officiating. A reception will follow in the Ministry Center of the church, co-sponsored by the church, the Botetourt County Chapter, NSDAR, and the Botetourt County Historical Society Board of Directors in Sidney’s memory.

Please consider the Eagle Rock Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 234, Eagle Rock, 24085, with a memorial in Sidney’s honor.

Online condolences may be made at


KERN, J. Wesley, Jr.

  1. Wesley Kern, Jr., 66, of Buchanan passed away Sunday, September 24, 2017.

He was preceded in death by his father, Jack Wesley Kern Sr. Wesley retired from the Botetourt County School System with over 20 years of service and was a member of the Buchanan Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Mary Jo Alphin Kern; son and daughter-in-law, Charles-Richard Wesley and Heather Kern of Troutville; daughter, Maribeth Kern currently residing in California; mother, Ann S. Kern of Buchanan; sister and brother-in-law, Cynthia K. and David Reno of Virginia Beach; numerous nieces and nephews, including Reed and Braden Reno; and numerous members of the Alphin Family.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 28, in the Buchanan Chapel of Botetourt Funeral Home with the Rev. Marina Gopadze officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, September 27, at Botetourt Funeral Home.

Flowers are beautiful, but nothing would make Wesley happier than helping his favorite nurse, Felix, to further his education in becoming a minister. Contributions may be made at Bank of Botetourt, Educational Scholarship Fund for Felix Ahenkorah at any branch or mail to P.O. Box 339, Buchanan, 24066. Online condolences may be made at



On September 22, 2017 Jane Devall Preston died peacefully at her home in Troutville.

Miss Preston was preceded in death by her parents, John and Gertrude Preston, and her siblings, Anne Preston Harrington and John W. B. Preston Jr.

Jane was born in Aruba, where her father worked for Standard Oil. She was homeschooled by her mother in those early years and then attended All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Miss. She graduated from Roanoke College. A highly proficient typist, she worked for 30 years as office manager for Frantz and Chappelear Architects.

Jane treasured her church family— first at St. Mark’s Episcopal in Fincastle and then at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Roanoke— and contributed in various ways across the years, including as church treasurer, secretary and choir member.

She lived in the family home, adjacent to Greenfield Plantation, where her father had been raised. Jane collected family records and was the keeper of the family values, which she passed along to the extended family. Although she didn’t have children of her own, she was an engaged “grandmother” to Edward and Marlene Preston’s children– E. Channing, Katherine Devall, and James Patton– and a “great\-grandmother” to Nathan and Elena Preston and Jane Preston Keeney.

Jane is survived by seven other nieces and nephews, their spouses and children: Charles Harrington, David Harrington, Michael Harrington, William Harrington, Jane Harrington Ruffa, Alice Jeannette Jacobs, and John C. Preston. Also surviving are numerous cousins, whose reminiscences she enjoyed at many Preston Family Reunions.

Late in life, Jane was especially fortunate to have the attention and concern of her long-time caregiver, Marletta Hubbard Shifflett.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at 1 pm Tuesday, September 26 at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 4910 Hubert Road, NW, Roanoke. A private burial will be conducted at the convenience of the family in Godwin Cemetery, Fincastle. The family received friends 6-8 p.m. Monday at Rader Funeral Home, Daleville.

If you would like to make a donation in Jane Preston’s memory, please consider the Col. William Preston Memorial, Fincastle Chapter SAR, P.O. Box 8996, Roanoke, 24014 or St. Thomas Anglican Church, Roanoke.

On-line condolences may be made to Jane’s family at



ULMER, Lois H.

Lois Marie Hindenach Ulmer, 89, of Daleville, passed away on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. A memorial service was held Monday, September 25, 12 p.m. at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Donations in her name may be given to St. Mark’s Methodist Church, 19 Cedar Ridge Drive, Daleville, 24083. On line condolences may be made at Arrangements were by Oakey’s East Chapel.




James Houston VanDyke of Blue Ridge was a loving husband, and the most wonderful dad and grandpa in the whole wide world. His Lord and Savior called him home on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the age of 76, after battling a series of tragic events and illnesses over the past three years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Houston VanDyke, Eva W. Hale, and stepfather, Roy Hale.

Jim has done everything he set out to accomplish in life. As a young boy, he accepted Christ as his Savior while fishing along the creek banks of Haysi, Va. He graduated from Garden High School in Oakwood, Va., where he met and then married his high school sweetheart. He served 8 years in the #509th Avionics Maintenance Squadron of the U.S. Air Force before being discharged with honors. He retired from the Norfolk & Southern Railway where he worked as an Electrician/Foreman for 30 years. During his retirement he pursued his lifelong dream of building houses.

Jim enjoyed a blessed life. He liked fishing, antique cars, collecting model trains, and served faithfully in his church for more than 40 years. He loved working on trains, planes, and automobiles, and celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries at Red Lobster.

James is survived by his loving and faithful wife of nearly 53 years, Wilma Shortridge VanDyke; daughter, Tanya Graybeal, and husband Philip; grandson, Zachary; sisters, Brenda Douglas and husband Melvin; Delores Dwyer and husband Douglas; step-sisters, Doris Gunter and husband Charles, Katie Jo Gale and husband Al, and Barbara Sutherland; nieces, Emily Breeden, Ashley Douglas and Tracy Dwyer; nephews, Geoffrey and Jeremy Dwyer; aunt, Betty Harceg and husband John; numerous sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, cousins, and friends.

Funeral services were held at  p.m. Monday, September 25, at Colonial Baptist Church, Blue Ridge with Pastors John Dooley, Marvin Wegner, Joel Wegner and Eddie Wilson officiating. Interment was in Old Dominion Memorial Gardens with Military Honors. The family received friends on Sunday, September 24, at Oakey’s East Chapel from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Online condolences may be made at



WEBB, Robert E.

Robert “Bob” Edwin Webb, 56, of Troutville, passed away Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at his home following a valiant battle with cancer.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Arlene Hale Kay, and stepfather, Robert Kay.

Bob is survived by his wife, Diane Hastings; his son, Charles Edwin Webb; Charles’ mother/Bob’s former wife, Linda Webb; father and wife, Col. Gerald and Bonnie Webb; stepbrother and wife Robert and Tiffany Kay; stepsister and husband Kathy and Greg Fetzer; step-brother and wife Dan and Cindy Jones. Bob is also survived by a host of extended family and friends.

Bob was a long-time Redskins fan having grown up primarily in the DC area. Bob moved to Roanoke in 1984 where he established a deep connection with the land which was demonstrated through his love of gardening. Bob began working at Allstate upon his arrival in Roanoke and was there until the late ’90s. Since that time, Bob dedicated his life to his family and friends.

A memorial service honoring Bob will be 2 p.m. on Friday, September 29, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 111 South Roanoke Street, Fincastle. A private burial will be conducted at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Good Samaritan Hospice, 2408 Electric Road, Roanoke, 24018; or to a charity of one’s choice.

On-line condolences may be made to Bob’s family at