David and Ethel Puckett of Fieldale,
James David Puckett was born May 16, 1909, in Meadows
of Dan, Virginia, the youngest of six children. He moved
to Fieldale in the mid 1930ís, living
at the Virginia Home and the Sycamore Inn while working at the Fieldcrest
Mills as a maintenance foreman making $9.00 a week.
loved the outdoors and could identify every plant and tree in the
forest. He loved to hunt and harvest ginseng in the mountains. He
was an avid hunter and fisherman. The first day of trout season,
David could be found wading in the South Mayo Creek near Stuart,
Virginia. He always managed to catch the legal limit. Gardening
was another of Davidís passions. He had several vegetable gardens
along the bottoms of Smith River. He seemed to have a green thumb
and the growing went well. At times he would supply vegetables to
the local grocery store and also sold some of his harvest at his
fruit stand in Patrick Springs. His mountain heritage led him to
favor bluegrass music that he played on his fiddle. Also due to
his heritage, David was a good narrator of mountain folklore, including
witchcraft and ghost stories of the Meadows of Dan region.
David was a WWII veteran. After the war, David worked for the U.S.
Customs in Norfolk, Virginia, and then returned to Fieldale
in the mid 1940ís. He owned and operated the Fieldale Cab Company
for 10 years, working the day shift hours and then working the night
shift at Appalachian Power Company as a PBX operator, retiring after
25 years. David married Ethel Trent in June of 1939. Nanie Ethel
Trent was born October 8, 1912, in Critz,
Virginia, the daughter of Walter Cole Trent and Jennie Reynolds
Witt Trent, a descendent of R.J. Reynolds. Walter was county surveyor
for Patrick County and his brother John Abe Trent was county surveyor
for Henry County.
Ethel was the oldest of five children, two sisters, May Trent Gusler
and Margaret Trent Bracy, and two brothers, Billy Trent and James
Trent. James Trent was a POW for 39 months and was a survivor of
the Battan Death March, weighing only 98 pounds when liberated.
Ethel worked for the Fieldcrest Mills as an order clerk, retiring
after 40 years. Ethel and David rented a house from Fieldcrest Mills
at 37 10th Street, later purchasing it. Their son, Larry David was
born there, August 28, 1940. In 1950, they moved to 28Ĺ 10th Street
and in 1965 purchased a residence at 10 Patrick Avenue, Fieldale,
Virginia. Ethel and David were members of the Fieldale Baptist
Church and Ethel participated in the various womenís groups when
possible. She never learned to drive and with David working the
night shift, she was limited in her ability to travel.
Ethel loved to cook and bake, especially cakes and pies. Pound
cake, Coconut cake and Chocolate layer cake were her favorites.
Her favorite pies were Apple, Peach and Pecan. She also did beautiful
needlepoint and quilts. Several large framed floral needlepoints
and 4 needlepoint-covered chairs are on display in my (Larry) home.
Also several quilts are still in use today. One of Ethelís favorite
memories was being able to travel with friends to Greensboro, NC,
to see Lawrence Welk in concert. Music was a love of hers. She played
the piano and her favorite piece to play was Stardust.
Ethel was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1980ís and succumbed
to that disease May 23, 1990, at the age of 77. David lived alone
for approximately 4 years at his home on Patrick Avenue. He became
ill and was unable to remain at home, so he became a resident of
Blue Ridge Nursing Home. He lived there for 5 years and passed away
in 1999 at the age of 90.
Their son Larry and his wife Darlene reside today in St. Clairsville,