Barbara Westmoreland Williams, 87, of Smithfield passed away peacefully at her residence with her family by her side.  Born in Tennessee to the late Rudolph and Willie Chaffin Westmoreland, she was predeceased in death by her husband of 52 year, Max Monroe Williams. Barbara was a past member of the Smithfield Woman’s Club, volunteered as a docent at the Isle of Wight County Museum and was a member of Central United Methodist Church, Hampton. Barbara was an avid gardener, golfer, antique collector and traveler. She was a very caring person who loved her family and her town. 

She is survived by her daughters, Patricia Anne Williams and her life partner, Tammy Lee McCormick; Sandra Williams-Cleary and the late Brendan Cleary; Rebecca Williams-Hannah and her husband, Robert Vance Hannah III; two grandsons, Brendan Hunter and Chase Williams Cleary; one great grandchild, Maddox Williams Cleary; and her beloved dog, Sophie Marie. 
A celebration of life service will be conducted in Little’s Funeral Home, Smithfield at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.  A private burial service will be held in Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery.  In lieu flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s organization or American Cancer Society c/o Pam Jordan, 18214 Farmview Lane, Windsor, VA 23487.

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A white supremacist rally turned violent in Charlottesville last summer has led many Virginia localities to consider developing permits and procedures for demonstrations — including Isle of Wight County.

“Charlottesville taught us lots of ways not to do something,” said county attorney Mark Popovich about a demonstration against moving a Confederate statue that ended up with counter protestors and a woman who was rammed to death by a man driving his car. 

The challenge is how not to infringe on someone’s right to free speech by, for instance, charging too much for a permit, said Popovich at a Jan. 10 Board of Supervisors work session. 

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         By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The Smithfield Little Theatre is more than just a stage on which to perform plays and musicals.

For some, the theater is a family affair, for others it was a place to meet their future spouse, hone their acting or singing skills, and for a few, it was a place to step out of their shells and find a voice.

The Smithfield Little Theatre got its start more than 50 years ago with a handful of people and $100 from a wealthy donor. The group put on “The Cat and the Canary” in 1962 at Smithfield High School, said long-time Theatre supporter June Hurst.

The group made enough to pay the donor back and went on do another show, and then another and another, she said. 

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Conrad “Rod” Geist, 76, of Smithfield passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. A U. S Army veteran, he lived most of his life in Connecticut where he served as an executive director of the YMCA.  Rod was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, and also a former member of U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Barbara Geist; sons, David Geist (Wendy) and Stephen Geist (Lisa); grandchildren, Katelynn, Piper, Nate, Sydney and Ivy.  A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27, 1 p.m. in Little’s Funeral Home, Smithfield.  Online condolences may be registered at

Glenn Ray Dickens passed away Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 on his job in Lynchburg. He was born Nov. 2, 1959 in Petersburg, and was raised in Chesterfield County until he was grown. Most of his adult life he lived in the Lynchburg area where he was a perfectionist in the dry wall industry. He was preceded in death by his father, Harry Dickens; his brother, Sam Dickens; and his step-father, Richard Poe.

Left to cherish his memory is his mother, Sue Poe; daughter, Amy Sinclair; grandsons, Josiah and Jeremiah; granddaughter, Elianah; and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.

There will be a gathering of family and friends on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home, Wakefield Chapel from 10-11 a.m. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service at Mill Swamp Baptist Church cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Mill Swamp Baptist Church Cemetery, c/o Howard Delk 10346 Mill Swamp Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430. Condolences may be posted at