120 StauntonElliott Auto Group web button 120  erie200

Capt. Robert Peniston, 91, of Lexington died Aug. 2

  • Written by submitted

Capt. Robert C. Peniston, U.S. Navy, retired, died on Aug. 2 in Lexington at age 91.

Born in Chillicothe, Mo., on Oct. 25, 1922, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy from Wichita, Kansas, in June 1943 and graduated June 1946 as a member of the class of 1947. On Dec. 21, 1946, he married Frances Elizabeth McKelvy, and over the course of a 53-year marriage raised two children, loved three grandchildren and lived in 12 different locations.

His first assignment upon graduation was aboard the USS New Jersey (BB-62). During his naval career he served aboard nine ships, the New Jersey twice, and seven shore stations. He was privileged to serve as navigator of the Presidential Yacht Williamsburg during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. He served as commanding officer of four ships: USS Savage (DDG-19), the battleship New Jersey, and the guided missile cruiser USS Albany (CG-10).

Shore station assignments included two tours in the Bureau of Naval Personnel; the Naval War College, first as a student in the Command and Staff Course and then as aide to the president of the college; staffs of the Atlantic Command and Atlantic Fleet as assistant chief of staff of operations; and the Naval Education and Training Command.

He earned a master’s degree from Stanford University in 1958. In his first tour of duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, he served as aide to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in 1957.

In June 1976 he retired from the Navy and joined the staff of Washington and Lee University as director of Lee Chapel and was made an honorary alumnus of Washington and Lee, the fourth person to be so honored. After retiring in June 1998, he worked in Special Collections in the University’s Leyburn Library and transcribed over 3,000 handwritten letters of Robert E. Lee for the university’s archives. He also guest lectured to classes on the subjects of military and American history, and was a tutor and mentor for students in the community.

Throughout his life he was such a positive influence for so many as he lived his life with all the virtues of a true gentleman, officer, and a citizen. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, oldest brother to five siblings, and a good friend to many.

He had two children, Robert Carl and Lisa Lynn. He was predeceased by his son in April 1975, a senior at Washington and Lee University, and his wife Frances in 2000.

Survivors include his daughter, Mrs. Lisa Sieg, and her husband, Mr. Patrick K. Sieg, of Rockville, Md.; three grandchildren, Robert, Erica and Stephan; and his siblings, Dr. Francis Peniston, Mr. John Peniston, Mrs. Shirley Read and Mrs. Lila Hole of Missouri and Mr. Dan Peniston of Kansas.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery.

For those wishing to make a gift in his memory, contributions may be sent to: Washington and Lee University Special Collections/ Development Office, 204 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA  24450.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington.


Jackie Smith of Newton, N.C., died July 21

  • Written by submitted

Jacqueline (Jackie) Edwards Smith of Newton, N.C., went to live with the Lord on Monday, July 21, 2014.

Born on Nov. 18, 1935, in Charlottesville, she was the daughter of the late Serle Malcom Edwards and Violet Jackson Edwards of Charlottesville.

Mrs. Smith is survived by her husband, James (Jim) Howard Smith III of 58 years. She is also survived by a son and daughter-in-law, James Howard Smith IV and Debora Wright Smith, of Blowing Rock, N.C.; a son, Steven Edwards Smith, and Dr. Ron Mariotti of Seattle, Wash.; and a daughter and son-in-law, Teresa Smith Graham and Greg Graham, of Park City, Utah. She is also survived by granddaughters Teresa Baily Smith and Kathryn Blake Smith, both of Blowing Rock; grandsons Peter Hayes Graham, John Jackson Graham; and granddaughter Caroline Maria Graham of Park City, Utah. Other survivors include a brother-in-law, Edward L. Smith and wife, Anne of Charlottesville; along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Suzanne Smith Potter and husband, George.

Mrs. Smith graduated from Lane High School in Charlottesville, where she was a member of about every club in school and a varsity cheerleader. She later attended Mary Washington College. Later in life, Mrs. Smith and her husband, owned and she operated Ladies Specialty Shoppe in Buena Vista and J.J. Twiggs stores on Hilton Head Island for years.

Jackie traveled to numerous countries on different continents for many years with a group known as the “Wild Bunch.” They were 12 ladies that traveled the globe and had a ton of fun together.

Jackie was a very devout Christian and was loved by literally everyone who knew her. She was a student of the Bible, was a member and teacher in the BSF Bible study group in several different states. She was also an instructor at Catawba Valley Community College for people with special needs.

Jackie was an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Newton, N.C., and a teacher of young people at LOGOS. She served with Presbyterian Women, many church committees and different circles. She was voted Woman of the Year at First Presbyterian, Newton; she traveled on mission trips to Mexico to help build homes.

Jackie and her husband Jim shared a wonderful life together; she was an amazing wife, mother, and grandmother, who lived out her faith in many ways. She valued and lived her service to God through her work with children and adults by teaching, tutoring, example and loving. Her home was always filled with love and laughter and everyone was welcome. Her hospitality was automatically known to all.

Jackie will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, July 23, at First Presbyterian Church in Newton, with Rev. Steven Barnes and Rev. Fred Thompson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Alzheimer’s Research in care of Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

Condolences may be sent to the Smith family at .

Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton is honored to be serving the Smith family.

Mary E. Clark, 74, died July 31

  • Written by submitted


Mary E. Clark, 74, died Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Golden Living Center.

She was born on Sept. 28, 1939, a daughter of the late William and Lutie Clark.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Nick Clark; a sister, Priscilla Clark; and a niece, Christy Wagner.

She is survived by her two sisters, Phyllis Napier and Junia Clark of Raphine; nephews Dave Clark, Dwain Branham, Dale Wagner, Scott Clark and Eric Clark; and niece Cindy Nuckoles. In addition she is survived by numerous great-nieces and nephews.

Mary’s body will be donated to science and a memorial service will be held on Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. at Full Gospel House of Prayer, 3022 Raphine Road, Raphine, VA 24472. The Pastor Dale Huff will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rockbridge Area Hospice.


Sue Pugh, 53, of Natural Bridge Staton died Aug. 3

  • Written by submitted

Billie Sue Pugh, 53, of Natural Bridge Station, died Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, at her home.

Born Dec. 19, 1960, she was a daughter of Peggy Clark Pugh, Lexington and the late James William Pugh. She was a member of Beth Horon United Methodist Church.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by a half sister, Donna P. Branham and husband Marshall of Glasgow; two sisters, Deneise P. Shafer and husband Allen of Natural Bridge Station and Tracy P. Hite and husband Malcolm of Natural Bridge Station; special niece, Meagan Hite; special nephews, Ryan Hite and Brandon Farrow; special friend, Sara Tomlin; and companion, Tyson.

A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at Harrison Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Thad Decker officiating. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service and at other times at the home of Deneise Shafer, 40 Manor View Court, Natural Bridge Station.

Doris Staton Camden, 80, of Glasgow died Aug. 1

  • Written by submitted

Doris Staton Camden, 80, of Glasgow died Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at Kendal.

Born Oct. 3, 1933, in Lexington, she was a daughter of the late Benjamin U. Staton and Violet Howell Staton.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William F. Camden; a sister, Alice Moore; and a brother, Benjamin Staton.

She attended Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and was a school bus driver for many years for Rockbridge County Schools.  Her many hobbies included cross stitching, crafts, fishing, music, and she loved bluegrass festivals.  She is deeply appreciated by her children and grandchildren for the time she spent teaching and playing with them.

Surviving are her children, Carolyn Sue Allen (Eddie), William F. Camden Jr. (Page); Benjamin C. Camden (Teresa); grandchildren, Hailey Camden (Dustin Hamm), Christian Camden; great-granddaughter, Brenley P. Hamm; siblings, Shirley M. Camden, Ailie Dale, Margaret Moore (Bernard), James R. Staton (Judy) and Charles Staton (Vivian).

The family wants to give special thanks to the nurses and staff at Kendal at Lexington and also to Hospice.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Harrison Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Jeff Copper officiating.  Burial will follow in Green Hill Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.