Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Mary Ruth Stroud

Black Mountain

Mary Ruth Stroud, 79, of Black Mountain passed away Friday, July 3, 2015 unexpectedly at home.

Mrs. Stroud was born February 21, 1936 in McDowell County to the late Ernest and Essie Roland. She was known for her cooking and loved music and gardening. Mary Ruth had a loving and giving heart and loved her family. She will be missed by all who knew her. She was a member of Clear Branch Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Stanley I. Stroud; sons, Robert Michael and Wayne Stephen Stroud; brother, Lester Roland and sister, Dorothy Stroud.

Mary Ruth is survived by her daughter, Joyce Robbins of Loganville, GA; sister, Grace Morris of Black Mountain; grandchildren, Jeremey Scott Robbins, Michael Stroud, Crystal Hyatt, and Angel Crump; and great-grandchildren, Chase and Christian Hyatt.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, July 9, 2015 in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals.

The family received friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial was at a later date. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Jane Earnest Wells

Black Mountain

Jane Earnest Wells, 94, passed away on June 25, 2015 at Highland Farms Healthcare Center. Born and raised in Birmingham, AL, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1942 with her husband, Raymond Wells. She was a woman of faith and attended Riverside Avenue Christian Church for well over 60 years. She was active in civic organizations including the Women's Club in Riverside and the Garden Club of Jacksonville. She was an avid bridge player and a member of several clubs. She moved to Black Mountain, NC in 2006. There she became a member of the First Christian Church and lived comfortably at Highland Farms.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Jack Wells, her beloved sister Doris Earnest Player, and two children, Rae Marie Jones and Raymond Jack Wells Jr. She is survived by her devoted son Richard Earnest Wells of Palm Springs CA, a granddaughter, Teresa Marie Reed of Black Mountain, a grandson David Nininger Wells of San Jose, CA. and two great-grandchildren, Kat Wells and Kelly Gardner.

Funeral services were held on Monday July 13, 2015. An internment took place at 9:30 a.m. in Riverside Memorial Park, followed by a memorial service and reception at 10:30 a.m. at Riverside Avenue Christian Church, Jacksonville, Florida. A memorial service was also held July 15 at First Christian Church, Black Mountain.

Memorials in Mrs. Wells' honor may be made to the First Christian Church of Black Mountain.

Sandra Jeanne

Spencer Jividen

Black Mountain

Sandra Jeanne Spencer Jividen, 77, passed away peacefully at home in Black Mountain, NC on July 4, 2015.

Born in Huntington, WV, she graduated Marshall University cum laude in 3 years, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and the Center for the Study of Human Systems. As a Christian Educator she served churches in MD and VA.

She was assistant and then associate for nurture for the Nat’l. Capital Presbytery in Washington, DC and taught Christian Human Sexuality in the DC area. In Western NC, Sandy served as Director of Programming at Montreat Conf. Center and with the Presbytery of Western NC.

She was active in mission and choir at Grace Covenant Presby. Church (GCPC). Sandy was preceded in death by daughter, Michelle Diane and foster daughter Gina L. Britton.

Survivors include her husband of almost 55 years, Cecil, daughter, son-in-law, and belovedgrandson, Leslie, Glenn, & Kai Luxenberg. Sandy's great passions were her family, Christian ed and helping others.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. July 18 at Grace Covenant Presb. Church (Asheville, NC). Memorials may be given to the Michelle Jividen Grant Fund, Louisa Education Foundation, PO Box 130, Mineral VA 23117; Black Mtn. Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund (BMSVEF) 103 Richardson Blvd, Black Mtn NC 28711; or GCPC (Missions & Music).

Refer to www.penland for complete obituary and condolence book.

Elizabeth Whatley


Black Mountain

Elizabeth Whatley Osgood (Beth), of Black Mountain, North Carolina, passed into glory after a brief battle with cancer. Her husband of 62 years, Dick, preceded her into heaven this past September. All who know them can be happy that the dynamic duo has been reunited. Beth is survived by her four children, Rick (Cathy), Katherine, Julie (Carl) and David (Susan), as well as her eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson; siblings, Ann Ledsinger (Louis) and brother, Julian Anthony Whatley (Linda).

Beth was born in Atlanta, Georgia on October 18, 1931. She is a graduate of Napsonian High School, and attended Mary Washington College and the University of Georgia, before marrying Dick in 1952. The family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1958, where she raised her four children before moving to North Carolina after Dick retired from business in 1982.

Beth lived her life here on earth with great faith, determination, and resolve. A wonderful example of her character is the fact that while in her 40s, she went back to school and completed not only her bachelor’s degree, but also received her nursing degree.

Dick and Beth spent much of the last 30 years pouring into various Christian ministries. Israel and the Jewish people were particularly close to their hearts, and they worked tirelessly to both aid the persecuted, as well as embrace the Jewish heritage of their faith in Jesus. This work involved a significant amount of international travel, especially to Eastern Europe and Israel.

A Memorial Service was held Saturday, July 11, at 2 p.m. in Gaither Chapel, Montreat, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Lawrence Albert


Stuart, VA

Mr. Lawrence Albert Allen, age 80 of Stuart, passed away Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection in Stuart. He was born in Black Mountain on April 29, 1935 to the late Lawton and Cornelia Ensley Allen. He had attended Stuart Baptist Church, and had served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. After retiring from the Water Treatment Plant in Asheville, North Carolina, he enjoyed working in maintenance at Fairystone State Park.

Mr. Allen is survived by one son, Lee Allen of South New Berlin, New York; two daughters, Renée Overby of Stuart and Bronté Miller and husband, Johnny of Bassett; and four grandchildren, Caitlin Allen, Lane Allen, Laurel Overby and Zack Overby.

A memorial service was held Friday, July 10, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Moody Funeral Home in Stuart with Rev. Jim Churchwell. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Patrick County Chapter, P.O. Box 1301, Stuart, Virginia 24171. Online condolences may be sent by visiting moodyfuneralservices. com.

Charles Isaac Buckner

Punta Gorda, FL

Charles Isaac Buckner, age 83 of Punta Gorda, FL and formerly of Asheville died Monday, July 6, 2015.

Charlie was born April 27, 1932 in Buncombe County to the late Vernon and Mary Sue Mundy Buckner. Charles was raised in the Reems Creek Community of Weaverville. He and his wife had retired to Punta Gorda, FL in 2012. A US Army Veteran he served during the Korean Conflict and later retired from Wright’s Machine & Tool Company in Swannanoa. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by sister, Helen Jones of Weaverville.

Surviving are his wife of 44 years, Brenda L. Gardner Buckner; daughters, Lisa Meadows, Dianne Raines, Linda Lumston, Joyce Fox; sons, Jeffrey Cox and Jerry Cox; sister, Betty Jean Cross; brother, Jay Buckner; nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren

His funeral service was held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, July 14, 2015, in Meadowbrook Free Will Baptist Church, 204 Blue Bird Ridge Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711, with Reverends Randy Stone and Frank Cantrell officiating. Burial was in Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. The family received friends 6-8 p.m., Monday at West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Charlie may be made to The Tidewell Hospice House in Charlotte County, FL., The passionate care that he received the last days of his life from this facility was filled with love, comfort and compassion. For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Mr. Buckner’s obituary at

James Roy King


James Roy King, of Weaverville, formerly of Swannanoa, passed away Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at J. F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Asheville.

Mr. King was born January 12 in Yancey County to the late Richard Andrew King and Thelma Letta Mathis King. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his son, Michael King; brother, William Jay King; and sisters, June Randolph, Maebelle King, and Dora Faye King.

Mr. King was a Master Sergeant in the Korean War in the United States Army in the 2nd Infantry Division and 30th Tank Battalion. He was the owner of King's Produce in Swannanoa. He was a member of Mission St. Joseph's Heart Path. He loved landscaping with his John Deere tractor.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Sandra Kay Aiken King of the home; daughters, Janett Lynn King of Fletcher and her boyfriend, Shannon Middleton of Tuckasegee, and Susan Yvonne Miller and her husband, Andy of Candler; 3 step-children, Celia, Graham, and Sharren Cauble; and seven grandchildren, C.J. and Cayla Burris, Colby Herren, Dillon Letourneau, Marley Pressley, Drew and Adalyn Miller.

A visitation for friends and family was 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 13 at Penland Family Funeral Home Chapel in Swannanoa. Funeral services was 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 14 at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain with Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to J. F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Asheville. Condolences may be made online at