Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
Bob Miller

Robert M. “Bob” Miller

Black Mountain

Robert M. “Bob” Miller, Jr. passed away Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Bob was born September 19, 1932 in Weaverville, NC to the late Robert and Ella King Miller.  He graduated from Weaverville High School in 1951, joining the US Army shortly after graduation and was stationed in Camp Polk, Louisiana from 1951 until 1953.  He married Virginia Cook in August of 1953.

Bob and Jenny lived in Brevard for 17 years, where he worked at Olin Matheson Chemical Corp. and then purchased a funeral home in Black Mountain.  He and Jenny were the owners of Miller Funeral Home from July of 1971 until 1998.  Miller Funeral Home was responsible for the first burial at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, as well as assisting the family of the first death occurring at the original Hospice Facility on Livingston Street in Asheville.

Mr. Miller was past president of the NC Funeral Directors Association as well as a Mason and Shriner.  He was on several different bowling leagues for many years.  Bob was a member of Meadowbrook Free Will Baptist Church.  Bob was a faithful supporter of the Black Mountain Fire Department, all local and state law enforcement agencies, and valley sports leagues.  He loved auto racing and collected many antique US cars.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sisters, Frances Head and Lois Wallen.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jenny Miller; sister, Jean Umfleet of Greensboro; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

The family received friends Monday, April 24, 2017 from 6-8: p.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals.  A Funeral Service was held Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. at Meadowbrook Free Will Baptist Church.  Burial followed in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery with military honors conducted by the NC National Guard Honor Guard.

Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Ruth Etherton

Ruth Etherton


Ruth Etherton, 99, of Swannanoa, went to be with Jesus on April 17, 2017.

She was born June 29, 1917 in Madison County, but spent most of her life in Swannanoa. Ruth worked at Beacon Manufacturing for many years, and she was a charter member of Swannanoa Church of God.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Grover and Ica Gowan; husband, Guy A. Etherton; four sisters, Lema Davis of Black Mountain, Eloise Gowan of Richmond, VA, Inez Nothey of Baltimore, MD, and Diora Lawson of Hot Springs.

Ruth is survived by Linda McIntosh (Ralph) of Lawrenceville, GA; Tere Johnson (Rick) and Royce of Lawrenceville, GA; Nell Harkleroad of Charlotte and Beulah Presnell of Swannanoa.

A private burial was held at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. Arrangements were by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Sandra E. Tossy

Black Mountain

Sandra E. Tossy, 75, of Black Mountain passed away suddenly on Monday, April 17, 2017 at the Memorial Campus of Mission Hospitals.  Asheville Mortuary Services is caring for the family.

Celestia O. Paul

Black Mountain

Celestia O. Paul, 93, of Black Mountain, NC passed away April 10, 2017 at Asheville Health Care Center.

Mrs. Paul was born April 30, 1923 in Rock Hill, SC. She was a resident of Buncombe County for most of her life in the Asheville and Black Mountain area. Celestia enjoyed the outdoors. She liked feeding the birds and gardening. Spending special times with her family and her dogs were important to her. Over the years, she worked in the healthcare field, giving assistance in homes as well as facilities.

Celestia is preceded in death by her parents, John L. and Alma W. Warner; husband, Charles L. Paul; brothers, Cecil S. Warner of TN, Richard W. Warner of FL and Blackmon L. Warner of CA; and one nephew.

She is survived by her daughters, Claudette Paul Skidmore (Mike) of Charlotte, NC and Charlene Paul Williams (David McDonald) of Black Mountain, NC; brother, Frank A. Warner of Asheville, NC; grandchildren, Jennifer Skidmore-Breece (Scott) of Seoul, South Korea and C. Anthony Williams (Betty Ekleberry) of Black Mountain, NC; great-grandchildren, Camden P. Breece and Ryley F. Breece of Seoul, South Korea; three nieces and three nephews.

Burial will be in Mountain View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Asheville Humane Society. The family would like to thank the caregivers at Asheville Health Care Center for all they did.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,