Bertha Lou May Boone

Published 4:11 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

WEST JEFFERSON, N.C. — Mrs. Bertha Lou May Boone, 95, of West Jefferson, the Claybank community, passed away Wednesday afternoon, January 31, 2018, at Margate Health and Rehab.
Bertha Lou was born in Johnson County, Tenn., on September 5, 1922 to the late Roby DeWitt and Leila Bowers May. She excelled in school, and graduated as valedictorian from Elizabethton High School in 1940. She was a member of the Christian Church. Bertha Lou was employed in the accounting office of North American Rayon in Elizabethton, Tenn., during World War II. She met the love of her life, J.D. Boone, during this time and they were married September 22, 1949.
They moved from Elizabethton to Ashe County, N.C., in 1957 to assume ownership of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in West Jefferson as the first step in their dream of providing devoted service to the people they referred to as “the finest people on Earth.” They built Ashelawn Memorial Gardens, followed in 1972 by Ashelawn Memorial Chapel. Bertha Lou worked alongside J.D. as owners and operators of the funeral home and cemetery through the years until their retirement in 1990.
She also worked with J.D. as they became some of the first Christmas tree growers in Ashe County, starting Phoenix Mountain Tree Farm and later Boone’s Tree Farm, Inc. Not only did she do the accounting and office work, but she was hands-on, making beautiful wreathes, tying lovely bows and working the retail tree lot. She was a loving mother, grandmother and sister. She will be greatly missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Delbert “J.D.” Boone, on September 2, 2008; an infant son, John; and her son-in-law, Donnie Osborne. She was also preceded by her four brothers, Roby May Jr., Riley “Bill” May, Dr. Floyd Earl May and Dr. Joseph May, and two of her sisters, Violet May DeWitt and Rosalie May Merritt.
Mrs. Boone is survived by three sons, Captain J.D. “Jim” Boone Jr. and wife, Susan, of Virginia Beach, Va., David Boone and wife, Sandy, of West Jefferson, and Daniel Boone, of Asheville; two daughters, Klyda Boone, of the home, and Martha Osborne, of West Jefferson; two sisters, Hilda Collins and husband, Dr. Herb Collins, of Elizabethton, Tenn., and Joy Bernshausen, of Elizabethton, Tenn.; three grandchildren, James Matthew Boone, Emily Laurel Boone and husband Jeffrey, and Adam Osborne and wife, Holly; a great-grandson, James Boone Osborne; four step-grandchildren, Brent Lawrence, Brittany Lawrence, SFC Preston Osborne USA and wife, Aimee, and Amanda Osborne and Anthony Brinegar; and 12 step-great-grandchildren, Blake, Jackson, Kaelyn, Nick, Katie, Zach, Doran, Kenzie, Morgan, Hadley, Aaron and Emery. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
The family will be meeting at the home of Martha Osborne, 1116 Elliott Road in West Jefferson.
Funeral services were held on Sunday, February 4, at 2 p.m. in the Boone Family Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. John Elldege, Captain Jim Boone USN Ret. and Speaker Jim Hartley. Interment followed at Ashelawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The family received friends on Saturday, February 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Boone Family Funeral Home. You may give the family your condolences at our website,
Boone Family Funeral Home of West Jefferson, N.C., is handling the arrangements.

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