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Born June 8, 1936 in Roaring River, NC, Sclean was the third of seven girls born to Otis Leonard and Agnes Nell Leftwich Blackburn.
She was raised in the McDowell County, WV coal camp of Premier and attended school in Premier and Welch.
A Christian from a young age, she met her husband of nearly 61 years, Charley Atha, at Roderfield Pentecostal Holiness Church, and they were married on August 22, 1952. She was 16, and he was 17. She was Charley's queen from the time they married until he passed and beyond.
After having two children, they moved from Welch to Beckley, and then finally settled in Oak Hill, where the family established Fayette Awning & Glass. Sclean served as the secretary/treasurer until retirement just a few years ago. The business is still owned and operated by the Atha family, and plans have been established for family members to continue the business well into the future.
Sclean will be remembered as a prayer warrior who never lost her faith in God regardless of her situation or hard things she endured in life. She prayed tirelessly for her family and friends because she knew that God is able to meet our needs. She and her husband supported Mountain View Christian School, where all three of their grandchildren attended school and two great grandchildren are current students. They also made sure that their grandchildren were given the opportunity to travel abroad to spread the Gospel and continue their education. Sclean loved her church family dearly, and was a faithful member of Faith Community Church in Beckley.
Sclean was blessed with two children and her husband who all preceded her in death and who she has rejoined in heaven. Charley (C.H.) Hampton Atha Jr. and Deborah Lynn Atha James both earned their eternal reward in 2012, and Charley followed in 2013. Her son in law, Larry Douglas James, also preceded her in 2014. They probably all met at the rock that the family has talked so much about since Debbie first left. Also preceding her in death are two grandchildren Charlene Renee James and Jason Douglas James, her parents Otis and Nell Leftwich Blackburn, sisters Claris Hayes and Betty Hayes, and mother and father-in-law Herbert and Muriel Atha.
Those left to cherish the memories and a legacy of faithfulness to God are daughter-in-law Deborah Smith Atha of Oak Hill, granddaughter Kristi Atha-Rader and husband Kris of Fayetteville, granddaughter Tiffany James of Greer SC, grandson Charley Hampton Atha III and wife Candice of Cleveland TN, great grandchildren Madison Grace and Kristopher Brock Rader and Charles Bradford and Caitlyn Elizabeth Atha. Sclean leaves behind sisters/brothers-in-law Phyllis Jones, Vance Hayes, Wanda and Everett Bishop, and Sue and Kelly Muncy of Bluefield WV and sisters in law Martha Atha of Beckley, Donzella Atha of Oak Hill, and Linda Atha of Florida along with a host of nieces and nephews who loved "Aunt Sclean" dearly. She also leaves Brandi and Corban Turner, who she loved as grandchildren, and Louella Vaughan, her long-time helper and friend.
Sclean loved her family and friends and would often wake at night to pray for them. Above all, she knew that life was a brief gift from God, and that if we trust in Him and have faith, there is a promise of eternal life. Heaven is an even sweeter place with her there.
Her remains rest at the Mountain View Church of God at Hilltop where the family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m. on Thursday and where the funeral service will be held immediately following at 2 p.m. with Rev. Sam Peterson officiating.
Pallbearers will be employees of Fayette Awning and Glass and friends - Rob Long, Mike Kees, Mike Hitchcock, Bob Pinson, Larry Taylor, Robert Long, and Davie Buttrick.
Sclean will be laid to rest at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens in Oak Hill.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Faith Community Church, P.O. Box 773, Beckley WV 25802 or Premier Pentecostal Holiness Church, P.O. Box 955, Welch WV 24801.
Condolences may be sent to www.highlawnfuneralhomechapel.com
Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Home Chapel, Oak Hill.
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