Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Garnett Harris

Black Mountain

Garnett Harris, 82, of Black Mountain passed away at home Saturday, August 15, 2015.

Mrs. Harris was born April 6, 1933 in Avery County to the late Walter and Mary Teaster Johnson. Garnett retired from Kearfott with 32 years as an assembly technician. She loved her husband and sons deeply; spending time with her family and enjoyed flowers and gardening.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by two sisters.

Garnett is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Glenn Harris; sons, Allen Harris and wife, Rebecca of Old Fort and Cecil Harris and wife Gay of Swannanoa; sister, Lorita Harris of Elk Park; brother, David Arthur Johnson of the home; grandchildren, Derek and Lyndsey Harris, Anna Harris Vanhorn (Alex), Andrew Harris, Jessica Perry (Adam) and Charise Beckham (Ryan); and great-grandchildren, Isaac, Kinley, and Palyn.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Ryan Beckham officiating. The family received friends immediately following the service.

Burial was held at a later date. In honor of Garnett’s love of flowers, they are accepted and appreciated. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Philip Jackson Davis

Mint Hill

Philip Jackson Davis, who was born and grew up in Black Mountain, passed away August 13, 2015, at home.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marie Allison Davis; daughter, Jacqui Mosteller (Kevin); two granddaughters, Morgan and Peyton Mosteller; and grandson, Logan Mosteller (Ellie). He is also survived by a brother, Albert Davis (Helen) of Sebastian, FL; a sister, Mary Mills (Bill) of Asheville, NC; and much loved cousins, Bob, T.J., Alvin and Ann Edwards and June Hyde.

A funeral service was held Monday, August 17, at 2 pm at Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte, NC 28226, where he was a member. Visitation was from noon until 2 p.m. in the Rea Room of the church. A private burial service was to be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mint Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 23065, Mint Hill, NC 28227-0272.

Condolences may be offered at

John “Ben” Pickard

Black Mountain

John “Ben” Pickard died August 19, at home at Givens Highland Farms. The service will be held in The Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain on Monday, September 24th at 4:30 p.m.

He was born in Newton, MA on Oct. 4, 1928. His parents were Greenleaf and Helen Liston Pickard. His Grandmother was a niece of John Greenleaf Whittier, and his grandfather had authored the definitive biography of Whittier. This led to Ben’s lifelong interest in American Literature and he has published or edited 13 books, mainly on Whittier and Emily Dickinson. In 1975 one of Ben’s books, “The Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier,” was selected as one of the 100 outstanding scholarly books of the year.

He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin. After serving in Korea, teaching non-coms basic English, he taught at Rice University in Houston before going to the University of Florida, where he spent the rest of his career teaching American Literature and Film.

From his home, the historic Pepper House in Gainesville, FL, he helped start and was very active in The Historic Gainesville, Inc.

He was also one of the founding directors of the Matheson Museum, and after retirement from teaching, he began to volunteer nearly full time there. He wrote several books about historic Gainesville and Alachua County, created the Alachua Press in 1999, and wrote and lead tours to surrounding towns. Also he has maintained a close relationship with the Whittier Home Assoc. in Amesbury, MA.

Ben was always an ardent hiker and in 1998 he completed hiking the Appalachian Trail. To be closer to the mountains after the death of his first wife, Suzanne, he moved to western North Carolina in 2003. There he met and married a fellow hiker, Carol. They moved to Highland Farms where he created a movie library, hosted a film classic series and edited the community newsletter.

In addition he taught at a local Elderhostel on Films, and gave talks on local history areas like Cataloochee Valley, the pioneer Palmer Family, and the history of the Old Settler’s Trail in Cosby,TN.

Ben leaves behind his wife, Carol, daughter Ellen and her 2 children, Ben and Kate, and sons Stephen, Thad, and John. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Resident Assistance Ministry, Givens Highland Farms, 200 Tabernacle Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Condolences may be made at AshevilleMortuary

Lee Freeman Davis

Black Mountain

Lee Freeman Davis, 98, of Black Mountain passed away Friday, August 21, 2015. Mrs. Davis was born May 27, 1917 in Henderson County to the late Tildon and Giva Freeman. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Rev. Clarence Davis; four brothers; and one sister.

Lee is survived by her daughter, Cynthia McGalliard (Conley) of Fletcher; grandson, DeWayne McGalliard (Windy); great-grandchildren, Jordan and Madison; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family received friends Monday, August 24, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals. A Celebration of Life Service was held Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals. Burial followed in Bald Mountain Cemetery. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor