Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley July 6

Black Mountain News
Gregory Paul Henderson

Gregory Paul Henderson


It is with sadness that the family of Gregory Paul Henderson announces his passing on June 22, 2017, in Asheville, NC, at the age of 63 years.

Greg was born in El Paso, TX on February 26, 1954.  He graduated Ellenville High School in 1972.  Drawing upon his natural technical talent, he pursued a career as an auto body mechanic. He was a hardworking man exceptionally skilled at his trade, and also an artist, carpenter, and gifted musician. Greg enjoyed playing the guitar, singing, and hiking.  Those who knew him well loved him for his gentle soul, kindness, humor, and profound disregard of self in service of others.  As his best friend said, “He lived love, and he leaves behind a multitude of people who are better for having known him.” He will be deeply missed.

Greg will be lovingly remembered by his cherished daughters, Maggie and Kate; his mother, Adele Henderson; his companion, Anna Copley; his siblings, Steven “Mike” Henderson and son Michael; Adele and Chuck Barnard, and their children, Austin and Pam Barnard, Ryan and Allyson Barnard, and Gregory and Gillian Barnard;  Barbara Henderson and companion, Sherman Richards, and their children, Celia and Jeff Gavett, Olivia and  Gaige Minnich, Erik Richards, and Thomas  Richards;  Lori and Chuck Sauermelch, and their son, Michael; Paul Henderson; and Jennifer and Keith Edwards, and their children, Emma, Caleb, Noah, and Aaron; and numerous beloved cousins, including Claude Godfrey, his “little brother,” grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and dear friends.  Greg was predeceased by his father, Paul George Henderson, and his nephew, Gabriel Edwards.

A Funeral Service was held on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Furman Cemetery located on Yeagerville Road, Napanoch, NY. Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Greg to the Friends of the WNC Nature Center at or PO Box 19151, Asheville, NC 28815, or to the Friends of the Smokies at or 160 South Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786. (Please write In Memory of Greg Henderson in memo line).

Condolences can be made to the family at

Carolyn Annette Bartlett


Carolyn Annette Bartlett, 80, of Arden, NC, passed away Saturday, June 24, after a long illness. She was a teacher and coach, but was best known as the owner and innkeeper of Pine Lodge in Black Mountain, NC.

She is survived by a sister, Mary Hamby,  her adopted family, and numerous cousins. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Bertha Anne Martin Buff

Black Mountain

Mrs. Bertha Anne Martin Buff, 88, of Black Mountain, NC, passed away Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at Highland Farms.  Mrs. Buff was born August 26, 1928 in Jackson County, NC and lived there most of her life. She was a member of Whittier United Methodist Church.

Mrs. Buff graduated from Western Carolina Teachers College in 1950 with a double major in science and physical education. She taught in high schools in and out of NC. While at Glenwood High School in Glenwood, NC, she coached the girls and boys basketball teams and took the boys to the county championship for the first time ever. After earning a MBA, she began a thirty year career with the Girl Scouts of America and left them as Executive Director of the Pisgah Girl Scout Council. Under her tenure, the Pisgah Girl Scout Council expanded programs and grew the council to include the 16 Western most counties in NC. After retiring from there, she and a friend opened a hand-made craft and gift shop in Dillsboro, NC and managed that for 20 years and spent time afterwards traveling with her husband, Paul.

Mrs. Buff was an avid gardener and while a resident at Highland Farms, she enjoyed working in their flower gardens. Her flower arrangements graced many events held around there and some of her needlework was displayed around the facility.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Clarence M. and Mary Hampton Martin; and husband, Paul K. Buff, Sr; sister, Charlotte Josephine Martin; brothers, Harry W. Martin and James Bayard Martin.

Mrs. Buff is survived by her two step-children, Margaret Carol Egede-Nissen and Paul K. Buff, Jr.; one step-grandchild, Mary B. Blanchard; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 3:00pm at Thomas Cemetery in Whittier, NC with Rev. David Baxter officiating. Arrangements were by Harwood Home for Funerals.

Connie Brown Root


Mrs. Connie Brown Root, 68, of Swannanoa, NC, passed from this life to be with her Lord Jesus Christ on Friday June 23rd, 2017.

Connie was born February 28, 1949 in Atlanta, GA to the late Evan Javan Brown Jr. and Mercedes (Lilly) Brown.  She moved to Arden, NC at the age of 6.  She graduated from T.C. Roberson High School as a National Merit Scholar and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a degree in German Literature. Connie also kept the books at the Chicago Board of Trade before there were computers.  Additionally, she obtained a degree in architecture from Harper College in Pallatine, Illinois and worked as an architect for many years designing homes, beautiful renovations and commercial buildings.  She also designed her parent’s addition to her childhood home, her daughter’s basement renovation and her brother’s home.  She was often working on the design of a fabulous dream home and loved touring the Parade of Homes.  She enjoyed running and was always active.  She won many 5K races in her age group.

She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Chuck Root; daughter, Michele Dubay and her husband, Brian Dubay; daughter, Angela Swift and her husband, Jerry Swift; daughter, Jennifer Thompson; son, Chuck Root Jr.; grandchildren, Carson Dubay, Donovan Dubay, Landon Dubay, Morgan Elder, Brayden Elder, Kayla Thompson, Katelynn Thompson, Courtney Edwards, Blake Cowart; great-grandchild, Addison Hunter; sisters Cherry Corn, Cynthia LaChapelle and brother Richard Brown.

Connie loved her Lord Jesus Christ and Savior and loved her church family at First Baptist Church of Swannanoa.  She was very active in various parts of the church and her service to the church brought her so much joy.

Celebration of Life Services was conducted at First Baptist Church of Swannanoa at 503 Park Street on July 1st at 2 p.m.  Dr. Jeff Dowdy and Mrs. Kendra Graham officiated.    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Swannanoa’s children’s ministry. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals.

Elizabeth Allison Cook

Black Mountain

Elizabeth Allison Cook, Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, and Friend went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ on the morning of June 27th, 2017 surrounded by her family embraced with love.

She was welcomed to her heavenly home by her mother, Edith Hudgins Allison; father, Luther Allison; brothers, Billy and Bobby Allison; and her grandson, Joshua Adam Treadway.

The legacy she leaves is one of everlasting love, love for God and family! Those left to carry on her legacy include: her husband, Richard Cook; daughters, Elaine Roland (Mike) and Beth Davis (Randy); son, Tom Cook; brothers and sisters, Howard Allison (Anne), Earl Allison (Peggy), Mary and Steve Cook, Linda Anderson, Tom and Trish McCanna; grandchildren, Audrey Roland-Meletti (Scott), Clay Roland (Nikki), Bradley Roland (Kimberly), Jacob Treadway (Felicia), Shelby Johnston (Zee) and Sarah Cook; great-grandchildren, Sydney Roland-Davis, Sean and Taylor Meletti, Kyleigh, Emma and Mia Roland, Hayden and Reece Roland, and Joshua Johnston (Baby Bean); beloved nieces and nephews; Bingo family, and others not listed who loved and were loved by her.

Our new guardian angel - Lib, Libby, Aunt Lib, Momma, Nanny - so many names, one beautiful soul. A Celebration of her life will be held on her birthday, August 5th. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals.

Auda E. Buchanan

Kent, Connecticut

The world lost a wonderful man on Saturday, June 24, 2017.  Auda E. Buchanan, born March 30, 1925,  son of the late Mack & Ada (Pace) Buchanan, of Black Mountain, passed away peacefully with his daughters Kathleen M. Roy and Laura E. Yurkovsky at his side. Father of two, grandfather of six and great-grandfather to seventeen and a half. Auda was a diehard NY Yankees fan and staunch supporter of UCONN Women's Basketball.

Of his many accomplishments he was most proud of serving his country as a Naval enlisted man and commissioned officer. Lcdr. Buchanan served on a variety of vessels through his distinguished career, including submarines, destroyers, aircraft carriers and as Commander of the USS Cheboygan County LST 533. His last assignment, before retiring in 1968, was at the Pentagon, which he amusingly referred to as "Puzzle Palace."

Retiring to Kent, Connecticut, he continued his public service with the Kent Volunteer Fire Department where he was honored to hold the rank of Captain.

Auda will be deeply missed by friends and family. Burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.

In lieu of flowers the family requests you make a donation to your local volunteer fire department.

George John “Jay” Ellis, III

Black Mountain

George John “Jay” Ellis, III, 80, of Black Mountain, NC, died quietly June 18 at Mammoth Cave, KY, in his children’s presence.

Jay was born May 26, 1937, to George J. Ellis, Jr., and Frances Martin Ellis in Glasgow, KY. He attended Glasgow HS (valedictorian), Centre College (valedictorian), Harvard Medical School, and Duke (chief resident). He married Eleanor Lee Hall June 12, 1965, and they had three children, Alan, James, and Moon; Eleanor died in 1982. Jay married Ursula Gehrke Goebels July 27, 1996.

Jay lovingly practiced endocrinology at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center (Major, 1968-70) and at Duke (1970-2002). At Eagle’s Nest Camp, he directed diabetes camps and served on the board. Jay supported human rights, public health, and the environment. He enjoyed outdoor activities, reading, humor, traveling with Ursula, and (secretly) the family cat.

Jay is survived by his wife Ursula Goebels-Ellis; children Alan (Genevieve), James (Betsy), and Moon Ellis; stepsons Peter and Kai (Jen) Goebels; and grandchildren Cody, Noah, and Luke Ellis; Ben Fedder; Kayla and Kyle Ford; and Katrina Goebels. He was predeceased by his sisters, Martha Mitchell Ellis and Mary Wood Ellis; first wife, Eleanor; and parents.

Family and friends will gather for a memorial program and reception Saturday, July 8, 1-3 pm, at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Rd., Durham, NC. Celebration of life will take place Saturday, August 12, 2-5 pm, in the Fountain Room at Givens Highland Farms, 200 Tabernacle Rd., Black Mountain, NC (following a private interment ceremony). In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the Eagle’s Nest Foundation ( or Doctors Without Borders.

SSGT US Army William Lewis “Bill” Philips


SSGT US Army William Lewis “Bill” Philips, 66, of Asheville, and former resident of Black Mountain for 20 years, died June 27, 2017 at Charles George VA Medical Center Valor Hospice.

A native of Princeton, WV, Bill was born December 21, 1950 to the late Lewis James Phillips (July 29, 1981) and Mary Lee Gilmore Phillips (August 9, 1982). In addition to his parents, Bill is preceded in death by his son, Keith Phillips, and sister, Linda Kay Mathena.

Mr. Phillips earned his degree in Paralegal Technology from Durham Community College. He served in the United States Army in Vietnam from 1969 to 1972. Mr. Phillips owned Phillips Paralegal Services from 1990 to 2011. He was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa.

Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Norma Buddelmeyer Phillips; sister, Victoria Faulkner of Alexandria, VA; and grandson, Thomas “Tommy” Phillips of Athens, WV.

A Memorial Mass was held Monday, July 3rd at 10 a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa with Father Matthew Leonard officiating. Condolences may be made to the family at