Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley
Mrs. Ila Swanson Buckthal
Mrs. Ila Swanson Buckthal, 100, of Black Mountain passed away Saturday, February 25, 2017.
Mrs. Buckthal was born November 18, 1916 in Colusa, Illinois where she grew up on her family farm. She graduated from Indianapolis College and taught school in Hancock County, IL until her marriage to Albert Buckthal. Ila spent the majority of her married life in Clinton, NC as a devoted wife and mother.
She pursued many artistic endeavors and most especially enjoyed pottery and china painting. She was also blessed with many loving friends and her church, Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. Buckthal is survived by her daughter, Susan Rust and husband, Charles; sons, Fred Buckthal and Dr. James Buckthal and wife, Amy; grandchildren, Jeff Smith and wife, Trina; Anna, Carson, and Forrest Buckthal; and great-grandchildren, Clark and Colton Smith.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of Givens Highland Farms for their loving care over the past seven years.
Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomeforfunerals.com.
Dr. Sallie Christine Ownsbey
Dr. Sallie Christine Ownsbey, 77, died after a long illness. She was a radiologist at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.
Dr. Ownsbey grew up in Swannanoa Heights area and was a 1958 graduate of Owen High School and Montreat College.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Mattie Ledford Ownsbey, and sister Irene (Jackie) Gregg. Burial was at sea.
Carmen Phillips, 80, returned to her heavenly home on February 28, 2017, after complications following a fall. Her devotion to her family and her unshakeable belief in God was evident throughout her life, touching many hearts in the process.
Carmen was born in Norfolk, VA, on March 4, 1936, to Mildred and Wayne Keeter. A common interest in music brought Carmen together with Lt. James Copenhaver, Sr., USN. They married in 1954 and began a 20-year US Navy career as a team. Carmen and Jim were blessed with three children, raising them with a love for Christ and a grand sense of adventure. This was most fully manifested in the singing group, The Sounds of Conviction, that she and Jim led over a decade during the late '60s and '70s.
Answering the call to serve, Carmen worked as a music therapist for children with special needs in Bluefield, VA. Her reputation as a caring and wise Professional Counselor brought her and Jim to Montreat College in Montreat NC, in 1990, where she served as Head Counselor for 12 years.
Three years after her first husband’s passing, Carmen attended her 50-year high school reunion. There she met Morgan Phillips and began to write a new life story. Morgan’s career as a professor of theology complemented Carmen’s counseling expertise.
Carmen is survived by her husband, Morgan Phillips; son, James Copenhaver, Jr. and wife Lori; daughters, Terry Conner and husband Sam, Susan Anderson and husband Todd; stepson, Scott Phillips and wife Maggie; sister, Carolee Beckham; and brother, Jerry Keeter. Carmen was blessed with 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, James Copenhaver, Sr., and her parents. She is dearly missed by her loved ones, who take comfort in the fact that she is at peace with her creator.
Carmen’s life was celebrated on Friday, March 3, 2017, at Gaither Auditorium on the Montreat College campus in Montreat, NC, with Pastor Richard White officiating. Visitation began at 11:30 a.m. with a memorial service at 12:30 p.m. Burial follow at 2 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, NC. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomeforfunerals.com.
Joseph E. Thiaville
Joseph E. Thiaville, II, 58, of Swannanoa, passed away March 2, 2017. Penland Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, PenlandFamilyFuneralHome.com.