Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Donald Lee Smithof Black Mountain

Donald Lee Smith, age 75, of Black Mountain, NC, formerly of Edgewater, FL, died Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 at Mountain Ridge Health & Rehab, with his loving family at his side.

He was born Oct. 21, 1939 in Pennsylvania to the late Martin Luther Smith and Violet Trenton Smith. Mr. Smith was a veteran of the US Army where he served during the Vietnam War.

Surviving Mr. Smith are his beloved wife of 33 years, Merita Taylor Smith of the home; one son, Mark Taylor and wife, Roxy of Marion, NC; one daughter, Shannon Goodwin and husband, Calvin of Black Mountain, NC; five grandchildren, Randall Taylor, Brian Van Aller, Jr., Andrew Van Aller, Thomas Colt Taylor and Cierra Van Aller; and one great-granddaughter, Natalie Van Aller.

Memorialization will be by cremation. Kirksey Funeral Home in Marion has the honor of serving the Smith family.

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

Opal Wright Bumgarnerof Black Mountain

Opal Wright Bumgarner, age 86, of Black Mountain, formerly of Haywood County, died Sunday, Sept. 25 at Mountain Ridge Health & Rehab.

She was born in Haywood County on Dec. 28, 1928 to Corbett and Louise Wright.

Surviving Ms. Wright are her two sons, J.C. Bumgarner and wife, Lynn of Weaverville and Tim Bumgarner and wife Susan, of Black Mountain; her four daughters Suzan Baker and husband, Mike of Telford, Tenn., Mitzi Cooper and her husband, Bill of Jonesborough, Tenn., Anita Allen of Jonesborough, Tenn. and Penny Greene and her husband, Allan of Black Mountain; her 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

Herman E. Banks, Sr. of Swannanoa

Herman E. Banks, Sr., 73, of Swannanoa passed away Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015.

Mr. Banks was born May 10, 1942 in Buncombe County to the late Francis and Dorothy Ward Banks.

Herman loved bluegrass music, woodworking, small engine repair, fishing and spending time with family. He was a member of Lakey Town Baptist Church.

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

Herman is survived by his loving wife, Alva Tipton Banks; children, Beverly Faye Banks, Mary Jane Banks (Mike Rhodes), Herman E. Banks, Jr. “Toby” (Marissa), Tony Banks (Jessica), and Shannon Clancy (Chad); twelve grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals. Burial will be in Fuller Family Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday, October 12, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the funeral home.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals. www.harwoodhomefor

Thelma June Isley of Swannanoa.

Thelma June Isley, 81, of Swannanoa passed away Sept. 28, 2015.

Mrs. Isley was born June 29, 1934 to the late France and Gracie Woods Roper in Andrews, NC and resided in Buncombe County most of her life.

She retired from Kearfott with over 40 years of service and was a member of Oakley First Baptist Church. Thelma is survived by her son, Ronald Waldrup of Swannanoa; grandchildren, Kellie Teeters (Will) and Richard Waldrup (Sabrina); great granddaughter, Maddie Teeters; brother, Gary Roper; and nephew, Stephen Roper.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals. www.harwoodhomefor