Obituaries — Elkton / Rockingham County

Richard E. Kite

Richard Edward Kite, 77, of Shenandoah, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, after an ex tended illness.

He was born March 14, 1939, in Page Countym and was a son of the late Mervie E. Kite and Linda Mae Foltz Kite.

He was a full-time farmer his entire life and liked his Allis Chalmers tractors.

In addition to farming, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, tinkering in his workshop, working with his cattle and chickens and working alongside his son on the farm.

On May 22, 1965, he married Doris Richards Kite, who survives.

Also surviving are his son, Kenneth Kite; daughter, Patsy Miller; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson, all of Shenandoah.

A graveside funeral service was held at the Saint Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, with Pastor Earl Painter officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to Saint Paul Lutheran Church, 6355 U.S. 340 North, Shenandoah, VA 22849, or Shenandoah Rescue Squad, 544 Fourth St., Shenandoah, VA 22849.

Online condolences can be made to the family by visiting

Lewis O. Stine

Lewis Odell Stine, 79, of Bridgewater, passed away Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, at the Bridgewater Home.

He was born in Rio, W.Va., on June 17, 1937, and was a son of the late Samuel Milton and Etta Blanche (Hammond) Stine.

He worked at Reynolds Metals in Grottoes and retired after 32 years of service. He picked apples from the time he was 9 years old until he was unable to pick anymore.

He served in the U.S. Navy.

He graduated from Wardensville High School, where he was a member of the FFA and played basketball and baseball. He enjoyed gardening, hunting and fishing. He was a 10-gallon-plus blood donor.

He was united in marriage, on March 13, 1961, to Betty Marie (Cline) Stine, who preceded him in death on April 16, 2004.

He is survived by a daughter, Louann Stine DePoy of Mount Crawford; a son, James “Jimmy” R. Stine of Mount Crawford; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St. Jacob’s (Spaders) Lutheran Church in Mount Crawford at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, with the Revs. Bob Humphrey and Brett Davis officiating.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. at St. Jacob’s-Spaders Cemetery prior to the memorial service, with military rites by the Dayton American Legion Post No. 27.

The family will receive friends Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Service in Bridgewater.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Company, 304 N. Main St., Bridgewater, VA 22812, or Bridgewater Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 268, Bridgewater, VA 22812, or St. Jacob’s (Spaders) Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Cindy Lam, 1770 Pineville Road, McGaheysville, VA 22840.

Condolences may be sent at

William G. O’Brien

William George “Bill” O’Brien, 73, of Port Republic, passed away following a brief illness on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Rockingham County.

He was born in Canonsburg, Pa., on April 30, 1943, and was the son of the late William and Joan O’Brien.

He served in U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

After he returned home, he earned his undergraduate degree from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his master’s of public administration from Southeastern University, then began his career in local government as county administrator of Warren County.

In 1977, he became The Rockingham County administrator, ably leading the county as it grew from a rural to a suburban community. His notable achievements in the areas of education, public utilities and facilities, and economic development helped to enhance the quality of life of all county residents, and he worked with other local governments to develop innovative joint programs in social services, emergency communications, and public health.

After his retirement in 2003, he continued to offer his leadership to communities throughout the commonwealth as an interim county administrator or town manager for the counties of Bath and Lunenburg and the towns of Dayton, Front Royal and Timberville. In addition, he served as a consultant to Dynamic Aviation and Sentara RMH.

Since 1987, he served as a member of the Virginia Resources Authority board of directors and had been appointed as chair by the past four Virginia governors. As chair of the VRA, he provided efficient and effective leadership and strengthened the commonwealth’s infrastructure by overseeing more than $7.5 billion in investments to more than 1,500 local government projects.

He earned numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the prestigious Jefferson Cup Award from the Virginia Association of Counties, and was named a lifetime member of the Virginia Local Government Management Association.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanie, who he married on Jan. 25, 1969.

He is also survived by three children, Kara O’Brien of Atlanta, Ga., Kyle O’Brien of Rockingham and Shannon Leblond of Elkton; three grandchildren; and a brother, Danny O’Brien of Bonita Springs, Fla.

He loved spending time with his family and friends. He also loved to travels that he and Jeanie were able to share over the years.

A memorial service was held Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg. A celebration of life was then held at Spotswood Country Club.

Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Stephen and the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, or the SPCA.

Condolences may be sent at

Capt. Robert L. Bragg

Capt. Robert Lee Bragg, 79, of McGaheysville, passed away Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at the Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg.

He was born in Ward, Ala., on Sept. 14, 1937, a son of William Branch Bragg and Sara Louise McDonald Bragg.

He graduated from U.M.S., a private military school in Mobile, Ala. He attended Auburn University, where he was a member of the Arnold Air Society, an ROTC honorary society, and was the founder of the Pershing Rifles.

He graduated from Auburn University in 1959 with a degree in aeronautical administration and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. While in the Air Force, he flew the T-34, T-37, T-33, C-121C Constellations and C-130E Hercules. After leaving the Air Force in 1964, he was employed by Pan American World Airways.

On March 27, 1977, while a first officer with Pan Am, he was in what is still known as the world’s worst commercial aviation accident at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

His B-747 was struck while on the runway by another B-747. In all, 583 individuals died on the day of the accident or shortly thereafter. For his efforts in assisting fellow crewmembers and passengers, he received the President’s Award for Heroism.

He also received the FAA’s Achievement Award, the highest award that the FAA can bestow on a civilian pilot, and the Flight Safety Foundation’s Award for actions during the accident.

In 1987, United Airlines purchased Pan American’s Pacific route structure and thereby acquired his services.

During the time he flew for United, he operated in the capacity of linecheck airman — instructing and qualifying new captains and first officers in the international operations of United.

He also operated several of United Airlines’ inaugural flights and flew the first military charter “Desert Storm” flights.

Throughout his career, he accumulated more than 35,000 flight hours.

Both before and after retirement, he worked as a consultant for ABC, CBS, NBC and the BBC.

Most recently he appeared in two documentaries shown on the History and Discovery channels.

His articles on aviation have also appeared in international publications. At the time of his death, he was collaborating with his wife on several books, one of which is tentatively entitled “Robert’s Rules of Aviation.”

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy A. Boyd-Bragg of McGaheysville.

All services will be private and his ashes will be buried at Hillside Cemetery in Montgomery County, Pa.

Condolences may be shared online at

Jean M. Life

Jean M. Life, 69, of Hilliard, Ohio and Venice, Fla., passed away Monday, Feb. 6, 2017.

Jean was born in Harrisonburg, on Sept. 27, 1947.

She was a homemaker and a member of Dublin Presbyterian Church.

She enjoyed cooking, entertaining, traveling, and storytelling.

She also wrote a book about the years she spent living in China, entitled “Life in China, My Story.”

Survivors include her husband, Ralph Life of Hilliard, Ohio and Venice, Fla.; daughters, Sarah Life (Patrick A.) Metzger of Dublin, Ohio and Amanda Life (Nicholas M.) Pavlik of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; grandchildren, Lauren and Kendall Metzger of Dublin, Ohio and Riley and Jacob Pavlik of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; a cousin, Rosalyn Hensley of Elkton; and a nephew, Joel Meadows of Oakland, Tenn.

She was preceded in death by her father, Hamilton Meadows; her mother, Goldie Meadows; and her brother, Joe Meadows.

A memorial service was held at Dublin Presbyterian Church in Dublin, Ohio on Saturday, Feb. 11.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dublin Presbyterian Church.

To send condolences, visit — Paid obituary

Junior L. Shifflett

Junior Lee Shifflett, 62, of Shenandoah, passed away Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at his home.

He was born Nov. 21, 1954, in Rockingham County, and was a son of Nellie Lee Reed Shifflett of Shenandoah and the late Charles Earman Shifflett.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Geneva Williams Shifflett.

He attended the Assembly of God Church in Shenandoah and was a heavy equipment operator for many years. He was a farmer and enjoyed woodworking.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by daughters, Tammy Good and Crystal Comer, both of Shenandoah; brothers, James Shifflett, Julian Shifflett, Ernest Shifflett and Bobby Shifflett, all of Shenandoah; four grandchildren; and a girlfriend, Susan Schaban.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Assembly of God Church in Shenandoah with Pastor Carter Dean officiating. Burial will follow in Saint Peters Cemetery near Elkton.

He was taken to the Assembly of God Church in Shenandoah, where the family was slated to receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Gifts may be made to the family to help with burial expenses. Services entrusted to Kyger Funeral Home in Elkton.

Condolences may be sent at

Roy D. Stultz

Roy Dow Stultz, 76, of McGaheysville, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

He was born May 20, 1940, in West Virginia, and was a son of the late Samuel and Dara Fink Stultz.

He was a member of the Crab Run Church of the Brethren in Mathias, W.Va., and the Moose Lodge for many years.

He loved traveling, hunting, collecting antiques and going to the beach.

He retired from Walker, where he was a mechanic for 40 years.

He is survived by his wife, Lorna Dean Stultz; daughters, Dawn Stultz of Winchester, Donah Sandridge of McGaheysville and Andrea Gray of Harrisonburg; a son, Jeremy McInturff of Harrisonburg; brother, Carlton Stultz of Bunker Hill, W.Va.; sister, Wilma Smith of Bergton; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A funeral service was conducted Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, at Kyger Funeral Home in Harrisonburg with the Rev. Bob Kerns officiating. Burial followed at Elk Run Cemetery in Elkton.

The family received friends Saturday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be shared online at

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