Vanessa Gillenwater

Auto-Vanessa Gillenwater, 62, passed away Saturday, June 6, 2015, at Peyton Hospice House following a courageous battle with cancer.
Born Jan. 25, 1953, in Portsmouth, VA, Vanessa was the second child of Frank and Audrey Harmon. She graduated from Wilson High School and became a Registered Nurse as a graduate of Portsmouth General Hospital School of Nursing. Vanessa took pride in caring for others and made it her life’s work. She was a member of the Woodland Community Church in Auto where she led the women’s ministry and her husband is the pastor.
Vanessa is survived by: her husband, Mark Gillenwater; stepson, John Gillenwater and wife Tina; daughter, Kristin Garman; stepdaughter Amanda Johnson and husband Jim; brother, Joseph Harmon Jr. and wife Stephanie; as well as grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
As a nurse and medical professional, Vanessa recognized the importance of learning opportunities. With this in mind, she chose to donate her body to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). There will not be a funeral or burial so flowers are not expected. If you would like to send cards or make a contribution, they can be sent to the family at Woodland Community Church. P.O. Box 154, Renick, WV 24966.
Visitation with the family will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, at Rhema Christian Center, where friends and family will gather to celebrate and remember. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. with Pastor Stewart Farley officiating.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg submitted the arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting


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