May 3 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
George Sprinkle

George Calvin Sprinkle


George Calvin Sprinkle, 92, of Asheville, passed away Saturday, April 14, 2018 at his home.

George was born May 15, 1925 in Flag Pond, TN to the late Robert Clifford Sprinkle and Bertha Valeria Crawford Sprinkle. He is also preceded in death by his son, Abe Sprinkle; brothers, Glenn and Nelson Sprinkle; sisters: Macie Bailey, Ada Oleson, and Evelyn McCoy. George served our country in the Army and later worked at Kearfott from 1957 to 1984 and was a farmer and logger. He was a believer in God and was so loved by all his family and friends.

Surviving George is his loving wife of 65 years, Martha Virginia Gann Sprinkle; daughters, Donelda Sprinkle O’Neill of Epping, NH, Donna Sprinkle Owenby of Asheville, NC; son, James Sprinkle of TN; brother, Harvey Sprinkle of TN; sisters, Beulah Hamlin of TN, Joann Butler of TN; grandchildren, Tonya Sprinkle, Stella Lewis, Jesse Sprinkle, SeDonna Grasty, Savannah Sprinkle, Chris O’Neill, Meagan O’Neill; 18 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren and great-great-niece, Tamara Justina Gann of IL who was very special to her Uncle George.

George will be buried at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain at a later date. Condolences can be made to the family at

 Charles Hampton Cooper


Charles Hampton Cooper, 89, of Swannanoa, passed away Monday, April 23, 2018.

  Mr. Cooper was born January 11, 1929 in McDowell County, West Virginia to the late Larry and Mary Ellen Spangler Cooper.  Charles had been a resident of Buncombe County most of his life.  He was a member of First Baptist Church, Swannanoa.

  In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his grandson, Dustin Cooper.

  Charles is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Alma Cooper; daughter, Beverly Watson (Chad) of Waynesville, NC; son, David Cooper (Christina) of Swannanoa; grandchildren, Derek Cooper, Cooper and Caroline Watson; and great-grandson, Landon Cooper.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 12 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Swannanoa. The family received friends immediately following the service.  Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Michael Lunsford

Michael Wayne Lunsford


Michael Wayne Lunsford, 40, of Swannanoa, passed away Friday, April 20, 2018 at Mission Hospital following an extended illness, with his family by his side.

  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bill and Helen Lunsford; and Wayne Craig.

  Michael is survived by his Dad and Mom, Roger and Becky Lunsford of Swannanoa, with whom he lived; his birth mother, Brenda Brown (Bob) of Clayton, NC; his Mammaw, Lottie Craig of Swannanoa; sister, Rhonda Lunsford (Clinton Bickford) of Burnsville; brother, Bobby Lunsford (Kelly) of Old Fort; and his two nephews, Tyler and Daniel of Old Fort which were his buddies.

  A gathering of family and friends was held Tuesday, April 24, 2018 from 6-7 p.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals


Mary Dotson McMahan

Black Mountain

  Mary Dotson McMahan, 77, of Black Mountain, passed away April 23, 2018 at home.

  Mrs. McMahan was born November 3, 1940 in Buncombe County to the late Jess Dotson and Josephine Dotson Hinson. Mary retired from Beacon Manufacturing and Charles D. Owen Manufacturing. She attended Church of God when able to.

  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her son, James William McMahan Jr.; sisters, Virginia Davis and Pauline Sloop; and brother, Charles (Buck) Dotson.

  Mary is survived by her husband of 54 years, James McMahan; daughters, Doris M. Bartlett of Old Fort, Ruby Griffin (Robert) of Fairview, Belinda Brown (Nathan) of Swannanoa; son, Clinton McMahan of Swannanoa; special sister, Charlotte Dotson of Swannanoa; grandchildren, Roy, Kyle, Marcus, Kristen, Ashley, Colby, Britt, Caleb and Bria; and great-grandchildren, Keri, Aaliyah, O’Mauri, Jayden, Graisyn, Carolina, Gavin, Gage, and Lil Gavin.

  The family received friends Wednesday, April 25, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals.  A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Frank Cantrell officiating. Burial followed at 2 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.  At other times, the family were at the McMahan residence in Black Mountain. Pallbearers were  Marcus, Kyle, Roy, Caleb, Chuck and Neal.

  The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to Four Seasons Palliative Care and Hospice, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731 in which memorial donations may be made in Mary’s memory.  Arrangements were by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Bill Marquis

William Samuel Marquis

Ocoee, Fla.

William Samuel (“Bill”) Marquis, born October 14, 1946, in Buffalo, NY, went to be with the Lord on April 22, 2018.

The son of the late Rev. Dr. William H. and Gwendolyn Bevis Marquis, Bill grew up in Hazelwood, NC, moving  to Jacksonville, FL, in 1964. He graduated from Jackson HS and Florida Junior College at Jacksonville. 

He married Margaret Stradley on July 25, 1969. In 1972, Bill and Margaret moved to Montreat, and later to Black Mountain, where he was active in Swannanoa and Black Mountain Presbyterian Churches. He worked for several area companies, graduated from UNCA, served as District Executive for Boy Scouts in eastern NC, and was active in the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Kiwanis Club.

Bill was always interested in outdoor activities (hiking and camping). For more than 30 years as a living history reenactor, he demonstrated Revolutionary War era military skills and woodworking and taught classes in many schools.

In 2008, the couple moved to Ocoee, FL. He was an officer in the West Orange Kiwanis Club and an elder at Ocoee Christian Church.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Stradley Marquis, brothers-in-law, Donald Stradley (Lynne) and David Stradley (Sharon), nephews, nieces, cousins, and many friends. A service of witness to the Resurrection and remembrance will be held at Ocoee Christian Church May 5 at 3 p.m. Memorial gifts may be made to Ocoee Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (PO Box 128, Ocoee, FL 34761) or Christmount (22 Fern Way, Black Mountain, NC 28711).

Phil Evanzo

Phil Evanzo

Black Mountain

Phil Evanzo died at his home in Black Mountain on April 18, 2018. He had lived a long, productive life.

  Before his death, Phil had assured family and friends that he was prepared. For him, heaven was here on Earth, blessed by the nurturing glory of Nature, the certain love of family, and the joyful camaraderie of friends.

  From childhood through his last days, Phil found true joy in learning anything new. He had an astonishing catalogue of facts at his fingertips. While happy to share them, he never boasted about his knowledge.

  Although Phil held a variety of craft and management positions with the US Postal Service in a career that spanned 35 years, his true avocation was creating gardens. To Phil, flowers were as valuable in a garden as edibles were. He happily and generously shared his bounty of both with his church family at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley.

  In Phil’s words, he had enjoyed the love of two wonderful wives, six beautiful daughters and eight progressive-thinking, upstanding grandkids.

  In the literal sense of the word, Phil Evanzo was a unique man. Our world is darker because he has left it. Semper fi, Phil!  Harwood Home for Funerals is assisting the family,

Georgia Sams

Georgia Robinson (Chapman) Sams


Georgia Robinson Sams passed away on April 26, 2018. Mrs. Sams was born May 11, 1933 in Madison County. Her family moved to the Swannanoa Valley when she was 13. She worked most of her career at Kearfott Guidance and Navigation.

  Mrs. Sams was an avid quilter. She found great joy in working with her hands to create quilts, afghans for her loved ones. 

  She is predeceased by her parents, Thomas L. and Maud K. Robinson, her brothers Jesse Lee Robinson and Floyd Robinson, and sister Lois Robinson Grant.

  She leaves behind her sisters Grace Frizsell, and Evelyn Frizsell, along with her children: Angela Skinner (Gerald) of Venice, FL, Jo Ann von der Muehll (Gary) of North Port, FL, Katie Russell (James) of Swannanoa, NC, Phillip (Donna) Chapman of Fletcher NC, and stepdaughter Saundra Blevins of Hillsville Va. Mrs. Sams also is survived by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

  A memorial is planned for Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Tabernacle United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service time at the church.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to the charity of your choice.