P. Ann Coberly
Portia Ann “Annie” Haller Coberly, 71, a resident of Beverly, passed from this life late Thursday afternoon, Oct. 3, 2013, in Hospice Inpatient Center in Elkins.
She was born Sunday, Feb. 2, 1942, in Moatsville, a daughter of the late James Haller and Dorcas Weaver Haller.
She began singing at age 6, and soon after, she learned to play the guitar. Annie had attended the schools of Barbour County and Taylor County.
She was twice married. First, to Thomas H. Lemmon Sr., who’s band she began playing with at age 16. They had played together as the house band at the well-known Ponderosa Park in Salem, Ohio, where they also had opened for many Nashville Stars. Having moved back to Grafton in the 1970s, Annie worked as a social worker in Taylor and Barbour counties and as a lobbyist for the Department of Human Services and was honored in the early 1990s for her work with the department. During 1989, Tom passed away, and Annie became a member of the famous Sagebrush Roundup in Burners Ridge. Performing every weekend, she became known as the “Squirrel Lady” for her song, “Mississippi Squirrel” made famous by Ray Stevens. While performing at the Harry Acres Family reunion, Annie met John Coberly and performed with he and his band, Last Hurrah. In 1995, Annie and John started the Crystal Springs Jamboree which brought buses and fans from every state and even some folks from as far away as Scotland.
On Sept. 5, 1999, Annie married John Jay Coberly.
In 2002, the Crystal Springs Jamboree closed, and John and Annie moved back to Beverly. John and Annie played gospel music at Faith Baptist Chapel for several years and then for Crystal Springs Community Church where they had attended and had started a monthly program called the Crystal Springs Gospel Jubilee.
Left to cherish Annie’s memory is her husband, John Jay Coberly; her son, Thomas H. Lemmon Jr. and wife, Patricia; her daughter, Billie Curtis and husband, Kevin, all of Grafton; three neighborhood children she claimed as her own, Donnie, Lenny and April Cline; a sister, Juanita Bierlair and husband, Alphonse; of Deerfield, Ohio; three brothers, Stephen Haller and wife, Gloria, Fred Haller and Eddie Haller, all of Grafton; four grandchildren, Hayden Maxx Curtis, Mary Evin Curtis, Shawn Smallwood and Sabre Goldman; and many nieces and nephews.
Annie was preceded in death by one sister earlier this year, Madge Jones.
Visitation will be conducted at the Randolph Funeral Home Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m, the funeral hour. The Rev. David Collins will officiate, and Charles Renue will offer a eulogy, and interment will follow in American Legion’s Little Arlington Cemetery in Cravensdale.
The Randolph Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements for Portia Ann “Annie” Haller Coberly. Send online condolences to the family at www.therandolphfuneralhome.com.