Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Dottie Stafford

Black Mountain

Dottie Stafford, 82, of Black Mountain went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 27, 2015.

She was born in Oakdale, Tennessee on May 1, 1933 to Arthur and Eliza Jones. She was married to the love of her life, Leonard Stafford, for 49 years. She was a precious Mom and Nana to four daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Surviving Dottie are daughters, Debra Stewart and her husband Tom of Black Mountain, Tamela Swann of Black Mountain, Tina Barnes and her husband Neil of Candler, and Dana Reynolds and her husband Steve of Black Mountain. The joys of her life were her grandchildren, Seth and Anna Len Stewart, Savannah Swann, Taylor and Spencer Barnes, and Ashley and Alyson Reynolds and her great-grandchildren, Jayden Fender and Emorie Courtney. She is also survived by her siblings, Bill Jones of Black Mountain and Ruth Headrick of Oakdale, Tennessee.

Dottie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and nine siblings.

She was a faithful member of Swannanoa Heights Baptist Church. Dottie took care of hundreds of children over the years and was lovingly referred to as “Mamaw.”

Funeral Service was at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at Swannanoa Heights Baptist Church with Pastor Bruce Robinson, Reverend B.P. Boyle, and Reverend Delain Whittemore officiating. Burial will follow at Mountain View Memorial Park. The family received friends from 2-3 p.m. preceding the funeral service. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Harwood Home for Funerals in Black Mountain, harwoodhomefor

Mabel A. Crow

Black Mountain

Mabel A. Crow, 88, of Black Mountain, passed away Saturday, June 27, 2015.

Mrs. Crow was born June 25, 1927 in Buncombe County to the late Bryson and Okra Arrington. Mabel was a member of Meadowbrook Free Will Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who will be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings, Pauline Hawkins, Velda Morgan, Eva McClure, Ebb Arrington, Henry Arrington and Rex Arrington.

Mabel is survived by her husband, Boyce Crow; daughters, Kathy Mundy (Ricky), Rita Nelon (George), and Tammy Hess; siblings, Jean Eveleigh (Harvey) and JB Arrington (Jane); 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and dear friends, Barbara and Robert Harris.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Randy Stone and Rev. Frank Cantrell officiating. The family received friends immediately following the service. Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park.

Flowers are accepted and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider CarePartners Hospice, 68 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28813. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Kathleen “Kathy”


Black Mountain

Kathleen “Kathy” Slone, 67, of Black Mountain passed away Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Kathy was born March 4, 1948 in Buncombe County to the late Gilbert and Letha Hagan.

She was a member of Homer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. Kathy retired from Bellsouth with 35 years of service.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Roland Slone; children, Daron Slone (Jennifer) of Black Mountain and Kellie Cooke (Shane) of Virginia; brothers, Steven and Gilbert Hagan; grandchildren, Lindsay, Adam, Steven, Heather, Shaley, and Mica.

A Celebration of Life service was held Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Homer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Doug Mathis officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery. The family received friends Wednesday, July 1, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals. Flowers are accepted and appreciated. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

David A. LaFrance

Old Fort

David A. LaFrance, Sr., 63, of Old Fort, passed away June 28, 2015.

David was born January 5, 1952 in Massachusetts to the late Armand and Claire LaFrance. He was a Catholic altar boy, and former employee of Tyco Valve in Black Mountain. David was a Specialist in the US Army serving during two tours in the Vietnam War. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.

David is survived by his wife, Gail Hammann LaFrance; best friend and son, David LaFrance, Jr. (Kimberly); daughter, Lisa Manrique (Dan); stepchildren, Lori Hendershot, Tracy Castlebury, and Patrick Brian Park; and 11 grandchildren.

The family received friends Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 8:15-9 a.m. in the Chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals. The funeral service followed at 9 a.m. at the funeral home. The rite of committal followed at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery at 10 a.m. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals,

Debora Lisa “Debi”



Debora Lisa “Debi” Marcum, 64, of Swannanoa, passed away Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at the J. F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Asheville.

A native of Columbus, OH, Debi was the daughter of the late Elias Mark Marcum (1992) and Hazel Jeanette Oiler Marcum (1988). She is also preceded in death by three brothers, James R. Aber (1997), Matthew Marcum (1995), and William “Denny” Aber (2003). Besides spending time with her family and friends, Debi also enjoyed playing pool.

Survivors include her wife, Hope Louise Besaw O’Gorman; brothers, Earl Dean Aber and his wife, Jean, Tipp City, OH, and Randy Marcum of Franklin, OH; sisters, Sandy Elam of Union, OH, and Carla Marcum of Englewood, OH; step-children, Michael O’Gorman and his wife, Dawn, of Black Mountain, Hope Hammond and her husband, Tom, of Mexico, NY, and Ronda O’Gorman and her husband, Mac of Buffalo, NY; and six grandchildren, Brian, Tyler, Michael, Nicolas, Jeremy, and Niayah.

A Celebration of Life was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4th at her residence. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Condolences may be made online at

Judy Taylor

van Roekel


On July 2, 2015, Judy Taylor van Roekel passed away after a lengthy illness. Judy was at Heritage Hills (Brookdale Senior Living) in Hendersonville.

She is survived by her husband, John Herbert (Herb) van Roekel; two daughters, Jennifer Deelen Strickland and Amanda Carole van Roekel; and three grandchildren, Deelen Nichole, Hannah Leigh, and John William.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph N. and Evelyn Plemmons Taylor; and sister, Joyce Carole Taylor of Black Mountain.

Judy was born July 4, 1949 in Bat Cave, NC. She graduated from Owen High School in Black Mountain, NC and in 1969 received a diploma degree as a registered nurse from NC Baptist Hospital (NCBH). Upon graduation, Judy worked at NCBH in intensive care ICU, and later moved with her family to High Point, NC and pursued a career as a public health nurse. Subsequently moving to Siler City, NC where she held numerous nursing administrative positions in public health, hospital nursing, and nursing home care.

Judy was a community advocate serving as a board member on the joint committee on community action (JOCCA). She was the first woman president of the Siler City Lions Club and enjoyed working in her church family and community. As Judy cared for many people in her life, she was well loved and cared for at Heritage Hills (Brookdale Senior Living).

A Memorial service will be held at Clear Branch Baptist Church, Number 9 Highway South, Black Mountain, NC at 1 p.m., July 11, 2015.

A Memorial service will also be held at a later date at Silver City PH Church, Siler City, NC.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) – Radnor Station Building 2, Suite 320, 290 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Walter Hugh Styles

Black Mountain

Walter Hugh Styles, 98, of Black Mountain passed away Saturday, July 4, 2015.

Mr. Styles was born June 20, 1917 in Yancey County and was a resident of Buncombe County for over 25 years.

As a Presbyterian minister, Rev. Styles pastored the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church from 1944-1950. He then pastored churches in Valdese, NC, Tallahassee, FL, Douglas, GA, and Havana, FL until his retirement in 1981. He continued to serve churches as interim and stated supply. He preached over 900 sermons after “retirement.”

He is preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Julia Honeycut Styles and 10 brothers and sisters.

Walter is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Myrtis Madge Styles; daughter, Kemie Brown-Vansant (Nick) of Dallas, GA; son, Brooks Styles (Ellen) of Summerville, SC; sister, Clara Culbertson of Asheville; grandchildren, Lindsey, Ginny, Colin, and Julie; and great-grandchildren, Jude, Stella, McCulloch, Walter, Mayes, Anna Kate, Ty, Mary Grace, and Frances; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 3 p.m. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, Malawi Mission, PO Box 39, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor