Our Staff

Wilma Hodge Obaugh


Widow of William “Bill” Obaugh, Wilma stands as the matriarch of the family and the senior most staff member of the funeral home.  

Born July 31, 1928 in Highland County, she is the daughter of the late George Henry and Camilla (Hupman) Hodge. She is a graduate of the former Andrew Lewis High School in Salem and attended Mary Baldwin College.

She was married January 29, 1949 to William G. “Bill” Obaugh, who preceded her in death January 1, 1996. Wilma has four children G.W., Brent, and Kyle Obaugh all of McDowell and Donna (Obaugh) Ashby of Staunton. Wilma is also a grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of fifteen.

She is a member of the United Methodist Women and the McDowell United Methodist Church, where she has faithfully served as pianist for 45 years.  

Wilma began her service alongside her husband in 1966, after the passing of Roy G. Obaugh. From that point on, she assumed a vast majority of the clerical and managerial responsibilities of the business and continued to do so for the next thirty-two years.  At present Wilma is enjoying her partial-retirement from the funeral home and spends much of her time visiting with family and friends. Still, even in retirement, she continues to provide hairdressing, administrative council, and ensures daily that the funeral home continues to meet the bar she set and maintained throughout her career.  

G.W. Obaugh


George William Obaugh, better known G.W., is the third generation funeral director to reside and operate the family business in McDowell. Native to Highland County, he was born March 21, 1952, the eldest son to William G. “Bill” and Wilma (Hodge) Obaugh. G.W. is a graduate of the Highland High School class of 1970 and earned his degree in Mortuary Science from John Tyler Community College. 

G.W. completed his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Herbert Small of E. Alvin Small Funeral Home and the late O. Kenneth Updike (then of Henry Funeral Home). In 1973, following the completion of his apprenticeship G.W., became licensed and joined his father in McDowell.

He is the father of three sons, Bryan of McDowell, Ben of Moneta, and Bryce Obaugh of St. Paris, Ohio, as well as a daughter, Beth (Obaugh) Linkenhoker of Moneta. Additionally, he is a proud grandfather to six grandsons and seven granddaughters.

An ardent outdoorsman, G.W. enjoys all types of fishing, trapping, and hunting…with special emphasis toward turkey season.   

Bryan S. Obaugh


Bryan marks the fourth generation employed in the family business. Born June 28, 1978, he is the eldest son of G.W. Obaugh and Lisa Crigler. He is a graduate of William Byrd High School as well as Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. Prior to attending Gupton-Jones, he served an apprenticeship under the direction of Lee A. Flora, of Flora Funeral Service and Cremation Center, and Victor E. Connor, now of Connor-Bowman Funeral Home and Crematory. Having met his prerequisites for licensure, Bryan completed his board examination and joined his father in the fall of 2000.

He and his wife, Megan Catherine (DeMarco) Obaugh reside outside of Monterey with sons, Liam Francis and Lowell Alexander and daughter, Laurel Elizabeth; as well as their border collie, Callie.  Bryan attends McDowell United Methodist Church, as well as Mass with his wife at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Franklin, WV. 

He is a member of the Highland County EDA,  Past-President and member of the Stonewall Ruritan Club, Highland Masonic Lodge No. 110 A.F. & A.M., as well as a Past- President and former Board Member to the Highland County Chamber of Commerce.  

During his free time, Bryan enjoys time spent rock climbing, snowboarding and trout fishing…or he may be found working around his family’s farm.  

Brandi H. Bussard

Office Administrator

Brandi H. Bussard was born May 24, 1983, the youngest of five children to the late Richard and Bonnie Hicks of Monterey.  She is a native of the county and a 2001 graduate of Highland High School. As a 16 year old sophomore Brandi started working at The Recorder newspaper through the work release program and began full-time employment there following graduation.  She spent almost 18 years with The Recorder before joining Obaugh Funeral Home in March 2017.

With her background and office experience, Brandi assumed the role of office administrator and serves as the local contact for monument sales in Highland County and surrounding communities. 

She and her husband, Douglas W. Bussard reside in Monterey with their beautiful daughter, Brooklyn Skye and their nine “fur-babies.” The family holds membership with and attends Blue Grass United Methodist Church.  Additionally, Brandi is the treasurer for Highland WRE and fosters animals with the Highland County Humane Society. 

Brandi enjoys her free time by spending it outdoors with family, hunting morels, gardening, hiking, riding trails, and playing on the Highland County Recreation Commission’s co-ed summer softball league with her team the Strait Liners.

Roy Brent Obaugh

Funeral Assistant

Brent is the second son of the late Bill Obaugh and has been assisting with funerals for over thirty years.

A Highland County native, Brent is a graduate of Highland High School and Ferrum College.  Brent resides in McDowell, where he operates a section of the family farm known as the “Flesher Place”. He is a member of the McDowell United Methodist Church and a dedicated member of the Stonewall Ruritan Club.  

Don Ferrell

Funeral Assistant

Don joined the staff in January of 2011.  He is the son of the late Howard James and Shirley (Newcomb) Ferrell and step-son of the late Kenton K. Simmons. Don attended school in Monterey and ultimately graduated from Osborne High School in Manassas, Virginia.  

Since his return to Highland County in 2001, Don has remained very involved within the community. He currently serves as board member to the Highland County Recreation Commission, Secretary of the Highland County Electoral Board, Treasurer of the Highland County Evangelistic Association, and golf coach for Highland High School.  Don is also a faithful member of the Blue Grass United Methodist Church, where he serves as Lay Leader and Adult Sunday School Teacher.  By trade, Don enjoys his work as a carpenter, but claims “not nearly as much as playing golf."   

John “Jack” Kilgallen

Funeral Assistant

 Jack began his employment in December of 2012.  He and his wife, Ann purchased a home and property in Monterey in the late 1980’s and relocated to Monterey from Springfield, VA in 2000.  Jack retired 
from the U.S. Navy as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1991 after twenty-six years of military service. He also retired from a second career with Elsevier Science, Inc. after fifteen years serving as their Chevy Chase, MD, Administration and Facilities Manager. He is the proud father of Jackie (Kilgallen) Simmons, who is married to Kevin and is grandfather to Ryan and Zachary, all of Staunton, VA.  Jack attends St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, is a devoted member of the Monterey Lion’s Club, and belongs to the Knights of Columbus.  

Connie F. Simmons

Office Assistant (Former Office Administrator)

Connie began her work with Obaugh Funeral Home in October of 1993.  She was born a twin daughter to Jean (Hatcher) Simmons and the late Edward “Jake” Simmons. She is a graduate of the Highland High School Class of 1973.

Connie resides outside of McDowell with her husband, David, and dog, Mixie.  She attends Hiner Church of the Brethren. 

In March 2017, after 23 years of service to the community, Connie stepped out of her role in the office and assumed a role on an at-need capacity.  Throughout the years she diligently conducted the funeral home’s day to day operations and set the mold for years to come. 

Garland "Gene" Dever

Funeral Assistant

Gene joined on with Obaugh Funeral Home in the summer of 2018.  He is the son of Garland and Lillian  Dever of Monterey.

Gene and his wife, Judy returned to Highland County following his retirement in Florida, were he taught vocational classes in the Orange County School System.

He is a graduate of Highland High School's class of 1977, as well as Mid Florida Technical Institute.

Very committed to his community, Gene attends Highland Baptist Church and is a member of the Highland County Tourism Committee, the Mill Gap Ruritan Club and is a board member of Highland Telephone Cooperative. 

Donald C. Dowdy

Funeral Assistant

Donald, known throughout the community as Don, is the most recent addition to the funeral home staff. 

Don was raised in Pendleton County, WV and is a graduate of Franklin High School class of 1973.  He recently retired from Virginia Department of Transportation  after 40  plus years of service in the Monterey equipment and repair shop.

He and his wife, Mary reside in Monterey and are faithful members of the Monterey United Methodist Church.   He also serves as chairman for the church's Board of Trustees and enjoys spending time assisting his wife with the Highland County Girl Scouts, as well spending time hunting and enjoying nature on their mountain property. 

Larry G. Propst

Funeral Assistant

Larry became a part of Obaugh Funeral Home in July of 2018.  He was raised in Pendleton County, WV and attended school in  Franklin, WV and ultimately Staunton, Virginia.

Larry retired from American Safety Razor after 28 years and now spends his time hunting, fishing and playing his banjo. 

A Christian saved by Grace and Jesus, he also enjoys his Wednesday night prayer group and bible study at Highland Baptist Church, where is holds membership. 

He is a proud father of children Daniel and Katie and grandfather to Trevor, Chase and Chelsey.

John Vance

Funeral Assistant

A familiar face in the McDowell community, John was raised south of McDowell and is a son of the late William  Bruce and Nancy Ashby Vance.

John is a  graduate of Highland High School's class of 1972 and veteran of the U.S. Navy. 

An accomplished woodworker and  roofing contractor, he enjoys  spending downtime fishing or hunting, most especially grouse hunting with his dogs Ding and Bow and visiting with his daughter, Brittany.

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