Dec. 21 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
Dorothy McMahan

Dorothy (Dot) Louise Morris McMahan

Black Mountain

Dorothy (Dot) Louise Morris McMahan, 90, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Mountain Ridge Health and Rehab. Born March 30, 1927 in Wolverine, Michigan, she was the daughter of William Monroe and Mary Louise Mull Morris. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, James Robert McMahan, sisters, Josephine Shook, Marilyn Mizelle, brothers, William Morris, and Charles Morris.

   Dorothy moved to Black Mountain when she was 4 years old and lived here for about 2 years until her home burned. Her family moved to Fairbanks, FL. There she attended a one room school with just one teacher for seven grades. Her dad was a beekeeper and became ill after too many bee stings. He contracted TB and was sent to Oteen, so the family moved back to Black Mountain when she was in 8th grade. Her father recovered and worked for Beacon Mfg. Co.

   Dorothy graduated from Black Mountain High School in 1945 and was offered a job with the FBI in Washington, DC which she had to decline because her father didn’t want her that far away from home. She went to work at Beacon as a spinner for over 13 years. Then, she and her neighbor opened a day care center at West Gate Shopping Center in Asheville where she worked until it closed. She also worked for the American Heart Assoc., Welcome Neighbor, welcoming newcomers into the community and as the bookkeeper for Bob’s Electric, her husband’s business.

   Dot was loved by all who knew her for her kind, gentle, and giving spirit and her occasional feistiness. She was devoted to her family and friends and gave of herself freely. It was evident how important her faith was and how much she loved her Lord and her church, Black Mountain First Baptist. She and her friend Dorsie Ford visited shut-ins weekly as their ministry through the church for more than 20 years. In earlier years she taught Sunday School and Acteens.   After her first stroke in Aug, 2015, she relocated to Mountain Ridge Health and Rehab. Her minister at the time described her as “…… a Missionary on Wheels” because she spent hours “walking” her wheelchair room to room at the nursing home cheering others, visiting new arrivals and just spreading love and joy.

   She was extremely talented in crocheting and shared her beautiful afghans with many. She lost count, but her partial records show that she made at least 605. She also crocheted beautiful snowflakes and other intricate works.

   She is survived by her son; Robert Bruce McMahan and wife Rebecca of Black Mountain, grandsons; Robert Bryan McMahan and wife Ven of Phoenix, AZ, Shayne William McMahan of Black Mountain, great-grandson; Aldon Robert McMahan. She was also survived by her special niece and nephew, Kathy Sue Morris of Manassas, VA and Eddie Charles Morris of Black Mountain who she raised as her own children; and their children Evan, Carrie, Jessica, Angela and Susana and many nieces and nephews. She was the matriarch of the family and adored by all. 

   A memorial service celebration of her life will be held Friday, December 29 at Black Mountain First Baptist Church, 130 Montreat Road. Visitation begins at 11 and the service at 12.

   In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Black Mountain First Baptist Church Memorial Fund, PO Box 656, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Special thanks to all who cared for her at Mountain Ridge, and to Carepartners and McDowell Hospice.

Steve Duncan

Steve Duncan


Steve Duncan of Swannanoa passed away Monday, December 11, 2017.

  Steve was born March 4, 1967 to Sam Duncan and the late Virginia Gaye Duncan.   In addition to his mother, he is preceded in death by his brother, Jeff Duncan.

  Steve is survived by his daughter, Kerrigan Duncan; son Eric Teeters; stepdaughter, Kaylie Smith; father, Sam Duncan; sisters, Sheila Blankenship and Judy Coltrane (Fred); nieces and nephew, Katelyn and Samantha Duncan, Sarah Forte and Kyle Coltrane.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Friday, December 15, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Christian Creek Baptist Church. The family received friends immediately following the service.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the college fund of his daughter, Kerrigan Duncan at 331 Buckeye Cove Rd., Swannanoa, NC  28778.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Eva Hall

Eva Burleson Hall

Black Mountain

Eva Burleson Hall, 92, of Black Mountain passed away Thursday, December 7, 2017.

  Mrs. Hall was born May 17, 1925 in Mitchell County to the late Ed and Bessie Grindstaff Burleson and lived most of her life in Buncombe County.  She enjoyed walking and reading her Bible.  Eva was a member of Homer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. 

  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Mallie Hall.

  Mrs. Hall is survived by her children, Ricky Hall (Carmella), Douglas Hall (Kathy), Bobby Hall (Regina), Leon Hall (Betty), Timmy Hall (Mary), Vanessa Ulrich (Edward), and Johnny Hall (Teri); 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. at Homer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. The family received friends Saturday from 1-2:30 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals. 

Jay Rutledge

Black Mountain

Jay Rutledge, of Black Mountain, passed away December 13, 2017.

  He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Elsie Rutledge; and sister, Mary Rutledge Hemphill.

  Jay is survived by his wife, Carol Rutledge; daughters, Tracy Clark and husband, Gary, and Debbie Surrett and husband, Tim; stepdaughters, Cynthia Worley and Angela Duncan; and grandchildren, Trae and Faith Lambert, William Clark, and Rachel Surrett.

  The family received friends Friday, December 15, 2017 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals with a funeral immediately followed.  Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CarePartners Hospice in Asheville.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals. 

Tolman Burns

Tolman “Tolbug” Lee Burns


Tolman “Tolbug” Lee Burns, 62, of Swannanoa, passed into Eternal Glory to be with his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at the Solace Center after a long, courageous battle with ALS and cancer.

  Mr. Burns was born November 2, 1955 in Oneida, KY to the late Perry and Ruby Hornsby Burns.

  Lee worked for Beacon Mfg. for 25 years and Ingles Warehouse for 17 years.  He was a volunteer for the Swannanoa Valley Fire Department for 10 years, Sunday School Superintendent and an usher at Swannanoa Free Will Baptist Church where he was a member.  He was able to accomplish a majority of his “bucket list” especially his trip to Alaska.  He loved life and embraced it.  Lee had an infectious, sweet smile and loved his children and grandchildren.  He attended their ballgames and school functions as much as possible.   

  In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by several brothers and sisters. 

  Mr. Burns is survived by his wife of 27 years, Pamela Yates Burns; sons, Eric Burns (Greta) of Candler, Jeremy Rusher (Amanda) of Easley, SC, and Joshua Rusher (Misty) of Pickens, SC; sisters, Charlotte Collins (Del) of Black Mountain and Beatrice Abner of Hamilton, OH; brothers, Jerry Burns (Rita) of Vero Beach, FL and William Burns of Brevard; grandchildren whom he adored, Caroline Childers (Kyle) of Clyde, Blake and Maddie Burns, Austin, Emily, Taylor, and Jacob Rusher; several nieces and nephews; and special friends, David and Beth Mayton.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. at Swannanoa Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Jack Ward and Rev. Bobby Shehan officiating.  Burial was in Mountain View Memorial park. The family received friends from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the church prior to the service time.

 Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to ALS Association, or 1275 K St. NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC  20005 or American Cancer Society, 120 Executive Park #1, Asheville, NC  28803.  The family would like to extend a special thank you to CarePartners Hospice, especially his nurse, Denise, The ALS Clinic and Dr. Caress.   Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.