Echols, Robert Mason

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Robert Mason Echols, 99 years and 10 months, of Newport, left on his last bear hunt Friday evening, October 11, 2013, from Riverview Nursing Home in Rich Creek. Born in “Happy Hollow” December 10, 1913, he was a son of the late Arthur Clarence and Nellie Sue Stebar Echols.

He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Patsy Mason Echols Snider; his sister, Mildred Josephine Chapman and her son, Arthur Marvin “Bunny”; and his son-in-law, Ben Clarke Johnston.

He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 77 years, Mary Elizabeth Jones Echols; his daughters, Jane Echols Johnston, Joe Ann Elizabeth Duncan and husband, Bittle Joe; his son-in-law, Wilbert Lee “Bill” Snider; his grandchildren, Dale Mitchell (Shirley) Duncan, Michael Joe (Minerva) Duncan, Jeffrey Clarke (Linda) Johnston, Joel Mason (Heather) Johnston and Susan Elizabeth Snider and Benny Dudding; his great-grandchildren, Joseph Mitchell Duncan, Kristen Elizabeth Duncan (Rusty), Victoria Elizabeth Johnston, Elizabeth Grace Dudding, Stephanie Skipp, and Zach Sowers and family; a great-great-granddaughter, Rylee Elizabeth Mattox, who was one year old October 9; his brother-in-law, Denny (Virginia) Jones; his sister-in-law, Agnes (James) Jones; special nephew, Billy Ray Hypes; and nine first cousins and many nieces and nephews.

Robert attended Maywood High School, served 14 months in Company 1368 CCC Camp Bobcat on Barbour’s Creek, and worked as a carpenter at Hercules-Radford Arsenal during World War II. He became a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local No. 319 in the 1950s and as a Master Carpenter built many fine houses in the area. The Homestead at Hot Springs and the Peacock Room at Hotel Roanoke still show his touch. He also worked on the Virginia Tech Coliseum.

An excellent marksman, Robert loved to hunt and knew every hollow and stream in several counties. His memory was exceptional until the end. Having owned fast cars, he was a big fan of NASCAR, especially No. 14 driver Tony Stewart. This man was very content with his way of life in Happy Hollow where he spent most of his 99 years.┬áRobert was a Life Member of the Craig County Historical Society and did restoration work on the “Keffer Cabin” at age 85.

Special thanks go to all the caring staff at Riverview Nursing Home in Rich Creek where he spent his last 25 days.

The family will receive friends at the Kendall Funeral Home, 605 Snidow Street, Pembroke, Sunday, October 13, 2013, from 6 until 8 p.m. Graveside services will be conducted 11 a.m. Monday, October 14, 2013, at Level Green Christian Church Cemetery, Newport, with Ministers Harold Morris and Dale Duncan officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests that donations be made to Simmonsville Volunteer Fire Department, 7146 Cumberland Gap Road, New Castle, VA 24127; or Newport Rescue Squad, 418 Blue Grass Trail, Newport, VA 24128. Online condolences may be sent by visiting