Obituaries – 4/27/14

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 27, 2014

Willard Hughes

June 24, 1937-April 24, 2014

Willard Garfield “Big Daddy” Hughes, 76, of South Point, passed away Thursday, April 24, 2014, at Community Hospice Care Center, Ashland, Ky.  He was born June 24, 1937, in Boyd County, Ky.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion Hughes and Lora Hughes McDowell.  He is survived by his wife, Wanda Willis Hughes; three sons, Craig Hughes, Mike (Sherry) Hughes and Paul (Amy) Hughes; several grandchildren and great grandchildren including Amber Hughes, Eden (Joe) Hall and Brian Hughes; one sister, Esther Hughes; and one brother, Challie Hughes.  He attended Sheridan Freewill Baptist Church.  There will be no services.  Private family burial will take place with pastor Randy Patrick officiating.  Hall Funeral Home and Crematory, Proctorville, assisted the family with arrangements.   Condolences may be expressed to the family at



Gary Runyan

June 24, 1953-April 25, 2014

Robert “Gary” Runyan, 60, of Ironton, passed away Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland, Ky. The Ironton native was born June 24, 1953, a son of Veronica “Tyne” Compliment Runyan of Ironton and the late Robert Runyan.

Gary was a 1971 graduate of St. Joseph High School and a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church.   He was a former employee of the Dayton Malleable Iron Company and retired from the Ironton Post Office after 30 years as a mail carrier. After his retirement, he has worked at the St. Lawrence Grade School because he really cared about the children and in return the kids loved and cared about him.  He was a member of the Ironton VFW Post 8850. the K of C, Elks #177, Lawrence Lodge #198 F & A.M., El Hasa Shriner in Ashland.  Gary is well known for being the “Rajah” and leading the El Hasa Oriental Band in the Ironton Memorial Day Parade for many years.  He loved and lived life to the fullest with his family and friends. He enjoyed taking care of his yard and playing Cornhole with his friends

In addition to his father he was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Dale A. Cunningham

In addition to his mother he is survived by the love of his life, Debbie Cunningham Runyan whom he married Aug. 25, 1979; a daughter and son-in-law, Carrie “Punkie” and John May of Ironton; brother, Chuck (Barbara) Runyan of Indiana;

brother, Jim (Denise) Runyan of Ironton; sister, Pat Hackworth of Ironton; sister, Barb (Dwayne) Harvey of Tennessee; mother-in-law, Mary Thompson of Ironton;

sister-in-law, Terry (Ken) Fritz of Dublin; brother-in-law, Tom (Kathy) Cunningham of Ironton; and sister-in-law, Lisa Cunningham (Jimmy Maynard) of Ironton.

He really loved  his two grandchildren, one whom he raised, Robbie Elliott and Katelynn May

He also is survived by a host of nieces, nephews and friends that he loved dearly

Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ironton with Msgr. Donald Horak officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Friends may call Monday from 6-9 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Robbie Elliott, Scott Runyan, John Corn, Tom Cunningham, Scott Sanders, John May, Tom McMaster, J.D. Hackworth, Tommy Wheeler, Justin Mills, Fred Jones, Kenny Fritz, and Jimmy Maynard.  To offer condolences to the family please visit



Helen Metcalf

Helen G. Metcalf, 88, of Hendersonville, Tenn., died Thursday, April 24, 2014. Graveside service will be 1 p.m. Monday at Flagsprings Cemetery with the Rev. James Cremeans officiating. There will be no public visitation. Phillips Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. To offer condolences to the family, please visit



Edward Simpkins

Edward Simpkins, 93, of Wellington, Ky., formerly of Proctorville, died Friday, April 25, 2014. at home.

He is survived by his wife, Louise Simpkins.

Funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Hall Funeral Home and Crematory, Proctorville, by minister Brad Poe.  Burial will follow in Rome Cemetery, Proctorville. Visitation will be 6-9:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.   Condolences may be expressed to the family at



Patricia Welton

Patricia Annette “Miss Patti” Welton, 52, of South Point, died Thursday, April 24, 2014, at Cabell Huntington Hospital.  Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at Solida Missionary Baptist Church, South Point, with pastor Aaron Childers officiating.  Burial will follow in Highland Memorial Gardens, South Point. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Monday at Solida Missionary Baptist Church.  Slack and Wallace Funeral Home, South Point, is assisting the family with arrangements.  Condolences to the family may be expressed at


Roger Willison

Aug. 20, 1950-April 25, 2014

Roger Eugene Willison, 63 of Franklin Furnace, passed away Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth. The Athens County native was born Aug. 20, 1950, the son of the late Ray and Lynnie Hudnall Willison. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Kay Elswick Willison.

Mr. Willison attended Jackson High School and was a former laborer for Benders Medical Supply and a pipeline in Columbus. He attended Independent Baptist Church in Franklin Furnace.

In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by a son, Tony Smith.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Roger Willison Jr. of Tennessee, Robert “Robbie” Willison  of Columbus and Phillip Elswick of Mt. Vernon; a daughter, Crystal Smith-Coe of San Diego, Calif.; a sister, Nida Davis of Alvarado, Texas; a brother, Joe Christy of  Athens; and nine grandchildren.

There will be a service held at a later date at the convenience of the family. There will be no public visitation. Phillips Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. To offer condolences to the family, please visit