Obituaries – 4/18/13

Published 8:56 am Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ralph Matney

Oct. 12, 1942-April 15, 2013

Ralph Eugene Matney, 70, of Ironton, went to be with his Lord on Monday, April 15, 2013, at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky. The Coal Grove native was born Oct. 12, 1942, the son of the late John and Viola Storms Matney. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Janet Thomas Matney. He was a 1961 graduate of Dawson Bryant High School and worked as an equipment operator for the Lawrence County Engineer’s Office for over 39 years. Ralph was a member and Sunday School teacher at Midland Missionary Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Clarice McMackin.

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In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Sean (Denise) Matney of Coal Grove and Seth (Nancy) Matney of Chesapeake; one daughter, Senah (Ron) Matney-Christian of Hanging Rock; one brother, Charles Matney of Franklin Furnace; two sisters, Rose Newman of Sciotoville and Mable Williams of Franklin Furnace; and four grandchildren, Codi Matney of Coal Grove, Adiley Matney of Grayson, Ky., Sethanie Matney of Chesapeake and Dova Christian of Hanging Rock.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Phillips Funeral Home with Brother Rex Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Community Cemetery and visitation will be Friday from 10 a.m.

To offer condolences to the family, please visit


George Spears

Oct. 4, 1916-April 15, 2013

George Newton Spears, M.D., 96, of Portsmouth, died Monday, April l5, 2013, at Hill View Retirement Center. Dr. Spears was born in Ironton on Oct. 4, 1916, to the late George Rufus Spears and Esther Dupuy Spears. Having moved to Cleveland, in 1938 for medical school at Western Reserve, he was united in marriage to Alys Winifred Peregrine in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Berea on June 9, 1943. They moved to Ironton in 1948 where he established a medical practice in general surgery. A retired physician, Dr. Spears was educated in Ironton schools and graduated in 1934.

He attended Marshall College from 1934 to 1938; attended medical school at Western Reserve University from 1938 to 1942 and was trained as a surgeon with interval as major in Army Medical Corp in Europe for two years and additional study in pathology with final completion in 1948. He joined ROTC September 1938 and retired from service as a major in the US Army. He became an amateur radio operator in 1958; and was a model railroader of all gauges. A Mason, he was a member of Lawrence Lodge No. 198 F & A M; and was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason; a York Rite Mason and a member of El Hasa Shrine. He was appointed to Sigma XI Scientific Research Society. He was also a member of American Legion Post 433. Dr. Spears is a member of First United Methodist Church in Ironton and Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth. He was district lay leader and a 50-year Sunday school teacher, a member of The Gideons and American Legion. As a surgeon and a Fellow of America College of Surgeons, he conducted a medical program called Chaplains Corner at the yearly meetings of the American Medical annual meeting. For several years he taught the morals, ethics and religion of surgery.

He was a member of the Lawrence County and Scioto County medical societies. He originated the first medical emergency rescue group in Ironton. Dr. Spears was a physician for Dow Chemical Plant in Lawrence County and for Dupont Chemical Plant in Wurtland, Ky. He was also medical director for Goodyear Atomic Plant, Piketon. Dr. Spears and his wife, Alys, moved to Portsmouth in 1976. He is survived by his wife, Alys Winifred Peregrine Spears; four children, Alys Caroline (Richard) Herrick, George Ross (Susan) Spears, James Newton (Katherine) Spears and Janet Gail (Randal) Allen; seven grandchildren, Richard Newton (Sandy) Herrick, Andrew Joseph Herrick, Timothy Alan Herrick, George Scott (Amy) Spears, Thomas Graham (Anne) Spears, Rebecca Gail Allen and Bryan Douglas Allen; and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Wanda Spears.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Harold Spears.

Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday at Cornerstone United Methodist Church with Rev. Dick North and Rev. Tom Charles officiating. Interment will be in Woodland Cemetery, Ironton. Visitation will be today from 6 to 8 p.m. at F.C. Daehler Mortuary Company in Portsmouth. A military service will be conducted at the graveside. A Masonic funeral will be held at 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 808 Offnere St., Portsmouth, OH 45662; or to Hill View Retirement Community Fund, 1610 28th St., Portsmouth, OH 45662.


Edward Bruce

Dec. 24, 1954-April 15, 2013

Edward E. Bruce, 58, of Pedro, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013, at the St. Mary’s Medical Center-Ironton Campus. The Ironton native was born Dec. 24, 1954, the son of the late William Martin and Alyne Hutchinson Bruce. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sherry A. Shepherd Bruce.

Mr. Bruce attended Pedro School and was a self-employed mechanic and carpenter. He was a jack of all trades who also enjoyed hunting, dirt track racing, hunting for ginseng and mushrooms and just being outdoors. He attended the Zoar Pentecostal Church and is also survived by his pets, Lulu and Booboo.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his father-in-law, David Shepherd.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Melissa Jo and David Gullett of Pedro;

son and daughter-in-law, Edward  E. Jr. and Peggy Bruce  of Pedro; three grandchildren, Tyler Eugene Bruce, David Josey Gullett and Alisha Rasha Bruce; two brothers and a sister-in-law, James “Jimmy” Donley of Ironton and Alpha “Junior” and Nellie Donley of Pedro; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Jane and Curtis Waldron and Rhonda Kay Stapleton, all of Ironton; and his mother-in-law, Janet Shepherd of Ironton.

Funeral services will be 7 p.m. Friday at Phillips Funeral Home with Jerry Summers officiating. Friends may call Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Donations may be made to the Zoar Pentecostal Church Building Fund, 27 Private Drive 954, Ironton, OH 45638. To offer condolences to the family, please visit


Gerry Hapney

Gerry Alan Hapney, 56, of Kitts Hill, died Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at home. There will be no services. Arrangements are under the direction of Hall Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


Timothy Adams

May 2, 1965-April 16, 2013

Timothy Lewis Adams, 47, of Ironton passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at his residence. The Springfield native was born May 2, 1965, the son of Gladys Burns Lewis of Ironton and the late Thomas Lewis.

Tim was a graduate of Rock Hill High School and a self-employed welder.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth Simmons; and a nephew, Austin “AJ” Wells.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by a sister, Mary Gilmore of Ironton; a nephew, Brian and Amber Justice of Ironton; and two great nephews, Brigham Matthew Justice and Brady Michael Justice.

Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Saturday in Pine Grove Cemetery with the Rev. James Cremeans officiating. Visitation will be Saturday from noon until the time of the service at Phillips Funeral Home. To offer condolences to the family, please visit


Charles King

Charles J. King, 86, of Proctorville, died Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House in Huntington, W.Va. A memorial funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Ann’s Catholic Church by Father Charles Moran. Hall Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


Charles Collier

Aug. 3, 1950-April 17, 2013

Charles Collier, 62, of Ashland, Ky., passed away Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at  his residence. The Floyd County, Ky., native was born Aug. 3, 1950, the son of the late Oakie and Leavodis Williams Collier. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Mays Collier.

Mr. Collier was a graduate of Waylan High School in Kentucky. He was a former welder for Mansbach Metal and a member of the Rock Camp United Methodist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Oakie Collier, Jr, Robert Collier, and Billy Ray Collier; and three sisters, Mary Lou Slone, Sharon Casebolt, and Jacqueline Collier.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Anthony Collier of Ashland, Ky.; a daughter, Stephanie Wilburn of Ashland, Ky.; stepdaughter, Danielle Allen of Willow Wood; stepson, Jacob Loevenguth of Ashland; a sister, Allene Amburgey of Shelby; three brothers, Denver Collier, Johnny Collier, and Ronnie Collier, all of Columbus; three grandchildren, Oliver Wilburn, Austin Wilburn and Sydney Collier; and stepgrandchildren, Kylie Allen, Emily Allen, Merrick Loevenguth and Ady Loevenguth.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Sunday at Rock Camp United Methodist Church with Brother Wayne Wise officiating. Burial will follow in  Highland Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home and the body will lie in state one hour prior to the service at the church. Donations may be made to the Community Hospice, 1480 Carter Ave., Ashland, KY 41101. To offer condolences to the family, please visit