Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Onva Katherine Smith Taylor

Black Mountain

Onva Katherine Smith Taylor, 93, of Black Mountain passed away Friday, June 5, 2015.

Ms. Taylor was born February 23, 1922 in Athens, Alabama to the late Ernest Floyd and Etta Myrtle Roberts Smith.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her infant son, Jimmy Lee Taylor.

Ms. Taylor is survived by her daughters, Ugeal Taylor Rackley of Black Mountain and Cremelt Taylor Jones of Spring Hill, FL; a sister, Christeen White of Black Mountain; grandchildren, Phillip Burrell of Spring Hill, FL., Sharla Burrell of Marianna, FL, Terrainne Hensley, Kevy and Josh Rackley, Shanda Nalley, Toshalyn (Chris) Maloney all of Black Mountain; great-grandchildren, Brandon and Dillon Hensley, Cory, and Colby Maloney, Lauren and Aidan Nalley of Black Mountain and Hailey Rackley of Swannanoa; great-great-grandchildren, Christian and Brianna Hensley of Black Mountain.

Mrs. Taylor moved to Black Mountain as a child and spent most of her life here. She lived other places but always returned to the mountains she so greatly loved and called home. She worked a number of years at Beacon Manufacturing in Swannanoa, but her primary job was taking care of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed cooking and watching television, her favorite shows were Matlock and Gunsmoke. She was loved by all that knew her and will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

A celebration of life service was held at noon Monday, June 8, 2015 in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals. The Rev. James Lamb officiated and a eulogy was delivered by her great-granddaughter, Lauren. Burial followed in Mountain View Memorial Park. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals,

Helen King


Helen King, 72, of Swannanoa, passed away Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Mrs. King was born June 30, 1942 in Buncombe County to the late Eugene and Marie Bradley. She loved her family, flowers, and word search puzzles. Helen was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and sister. She will be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings, Bobby, John and Henry Bradley, Joyce Baker, and Rosemarie Bradley.

Helen is survived by her husband, Charles King; daughters, Cheryl King, and Dana Ledford (David); brother, James Bradley; granddaughters, Brittany Ledford Vandorsee and Tiffany Ledford; and a large extended family.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Robert Haynie officiating. The family received friends one hour prior to the service time at the funeral home.

Burial was Friday, June 12, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider Swannanoa Church of God, 199 Wilson Avenue, Swannanoa, NC 28778. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals,

Rev. Dr. E. Thomas



The Rev. Dr. E. Thomas Miller, 80, died Sunday, June 7, 2015, at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center.

Born in Chattanooga, Tenn., to John Lucas Miller, III, and Lottie Hunziker Miller, Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Yvonne Raftelis Miller; his children, Michele and Charles Houck, John and Elizabeth Miller; and his grandchildren, Sarah, Meg, Abby and Jack. He is also survived by his sister Martha Thompson; in-laws Elva Miller, Barbara Van Hook and George and Eva Raftelis. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, John (IV), Herbert and Faith.

He earned degrees from Davidson College, Union Theological Seminary and Boston University. Tom was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (US) in 1960 and served in the PCUS and PCUSA for over 50 years.

His lifelong passion was higher education ministry. He served as a campus minister at the UNC Chapel Hill, West Virginia University and Austin College.

He also served at Montreat Conference Center, the N.C. Presbyterian Higher Education Ministries and local congregations in Charlotte, Lenior, Greensboro, Statesville, Florence (SC), Georgetown (SC), Mooresville, Concord, and North Wilkesboro.

A service celebrating Tom's life was on Saturday, June 13 at 3 p.m. at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main St., Davidson, NC, with a reception following at the Congregation House.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Campus Ministry at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, PO Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036.

Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home is assisting the family. Friends may offer condolences to the family at

Gerard Arnold


Black Mountain

Gerard Arnold Hubener, 81, of Black Mountain passed away Friday, June 12, 2015 at the NC State Veterans Home.

Mr. Hubener was born September 7, 1933 in New Jersey. He was a veteran of the US Navy serving in the Korean Conflict on the USS Ingraham. Mr. Hubener was also a Deep Sea Fishing Boat Captain off the coast of New Jersey for more than 20 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gerard and Irene Hubener.

Surviving are his wife of 20 years, Pamela Huntoon Hubener; daughters, Tonya Dawson of Sayreville, NJ and Nicole Oestley (Amar) of Rochester, NY; sisters-in-law, Elaine Williamson (Ray Cook), Sharon de Lemos (Art), Ronalee Stupica and Deborah Huntoon; and brother-in-law, Randy Huntoon.

The family received friends from 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 15, 2015 at the home of Mr. Hubener.Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor