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Bina Mast Tester

October 21, 1930 ~ September 5, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old


Mrs. Bina Mast Tester, age 92 of Vilas, went to heaven peacefully on September 5, 2023 at The Templeton in Cary, NC. She was born on October 21, 1930, in Watauga County and graduated from Cove Creek High School where she was a basketball player. After completing high school, she worked at Boone Trail Restaurant in downtown Boone where Bina met the love of her life, Arlis Carson Tester. They married soon after on July 24, 1948 and moved to Cleveland, OH where she worked at Case Western Reserve University as a key-punch operator. After moving back to North Carolina Bina spent many years being a stay-at-home mom with her three sons who were her pride and joy. When her children grew up Bina worked for Newton’s Fashion Shop, Hallmark as well as owning and running her own gift shop. Bina had many things that filled her life with joy including nature, gardening and sports. She could be found many times in her garden attending her flowers (focused on ones that attract butterflies and birds) or just sitting in her chair watching the birds, especially the humming birds, who she faithfully and joyfully fed. She was great at preparing and preserving vegetables from Arlis’ garden and all her grandkids loved her canned green beans. She loved sports and always could be found watching any ballgame and her teams were the UNC Tarheels, Atlanta Braves and the Carolina Panthers. Bina was well known throughout Watauga County for her love of knitting which she learned at a young age and carried on throughout her life. She taught knitting classes most of her life through Caldwell Community College and the Western Watauga Community Center. She was a truly talented knitter and won many prizes and accolades for her work -especially her knitted dishcloths. She was a perfectionist with her craft and often made up her own knitting patterns. She was always available to assist anyone with knitting whether through a formal class or over a cup of coffee and conversation in her living room. She always loved when her “knitters” stopped by for a friendly visit or a helping hand on their current project. Bina, like her husband, was a very generous and giving person and above all was a faithful and devoted follower of Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior. She was an amazing example to her children, grandchildren, and friends of a life lived with integrity, generosity, and love.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 74 years Arlis Carson Tester and her oldest son, Larry Kent Tester. She is also proceeded in death by her parents Roe Mast and Merle Green Mast and her four siblings Jewel Mast Smith, Iva Dean Mast Henson, Reba Mast Williams and William Daniel (W.D.) Mast.

She is survived by two sons, Duane and wife Laurie Tester of Cary, NC, and Wayne and wife Esther Tester of Anchorage, AK. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Carson Stahlsmith (Zachary) of Holly Springs, NC, Katherine Abernethy (Cameron) of Sanford, NC, Stephen Tester II of Cary, NC, Bradley Tester (Emily) of Madison, AL, Brandon Tester of Winston-Salem, NC, Shannon Hammond (Chase) of Chapel Hill, TN, Amy Michelle Tester Lewis (Brad) of West Jefferson, NC, Derrick Tester of Vilas, NC and one great grandson Theo Tester of Madison, AL.

The Tester Family would like to express their profound appreciation for the nurses and staff of The Templeton Swift Creek Health Center in Cary and Eve, her hospice nurse, from Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh for their exceptional care and love during her final days on earth.

In lieu of flowers or food, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in her honor to Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607 or Alliance Bible Fellowship of Boone, NC.

Funeral services for Mrs. Bina Mast Tester will be conducted Saturday, September 9, 2022 at 11:30 am at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home in Boone. Officiating will be Pastor Doug Cheshier of Boone, NC. Graveside services will be held immediately after at Cove Creek Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at the website Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Tester family.

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