Obituary: Nora Lee Gilchrist

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 4:08 PM EDT
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Nora Lee Gilchrist, 91, of Mineral Wells, WV peacefully went to be with the Lord on July 20, 2020 at her daughter Melissa’s house in Mineral Wells, with her loving family by her side. She was born June 12, 1929 in Parkersburg, the daughter of the late Earl F. and Mary E. “Lizzie” (Barker) Riel of Slate.

Nora Lee graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1947.  She worked as a telephone operator at C&P Telephone, as a bookkeeper at G. C. Murphy, and as a bookkeeper at C. A. Roebrecht.  Her favorite job in life, though, was that of a wife, mother, mother-in-law, “Dumby”, and “Great-Dumby”.

Nora Lee was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church and Mt. Zion Baptist and a former member of South Parkersburg Baptist.  She was a 4-H leader for several years, heading up the Butcher Bend 4-H Club, one of the largest and most active 4-H clubs in the county at the time.  She was also very involved with the WV Interstate Fair & Exposition, and she enjoyed preparing meals for the fair entertainment as well as for the fair staff.  She was an avid reader and an expert at crossword puzzles.  Her family lovingly called her a "walking dictionary", as she could spell and give the definition of just about any word.  After the passing of her husband, she traveled the country with her friend Pat, and looked forward to  her annual trips to Myrtle Beach, where she even celebrated her 85th birthday.

Nora Lee is survived by her daughters, Leslie McHenry (Phil) of Mineral Wells, Jennifer Hannan (Ron) of Parkersburg, and Melissa Deem (Mike) of Mineral Wells.  She also is survived by her pride and joy - her grandchildren Lauryn Bohach (Chris) of Ona, WV, Lane Burton of Mineral Wells, and Malloree Burton of Parkersburg, and her great-grandson Max Bohach of Ona.  She is also survived by a sister-in-law Flora Belle Gilchrist of Parkersburg, several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, her beloved cat “Screechy”, her special friend and caregiver, Naomi Barry of Vienna, and her dearest friend for nearly 91 years, Patricia “Pat” Bailey of Belpre, OH.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Foster Earl Riel, as well as her husband of 43 years and the love of her life, Philip E. "Phil" Gilchrist.

Due to COVID restrictions, there will be no public visitation.  Private services will be held by the family at Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg, Thursday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m., with Dr. Kurt Busiek officiating.   Friends are encouraged to watch the service live on Leavitt Funeral Home’s Facebook page.  Entombment will be at Sunset Memory Gardens.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Donations may be made in her memory to One by One Animal Advocates, PO Box 1123, Huntington, WV 25713, Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1710 23rd St., Parkersburg, WV  26101, or Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2226 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells, WV  26150.

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