Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Frances M. Miller

Black Mountain

Frances M. Miller, age 98, of Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain, North Carolina, died Friday, September 4, 2015 at her home.

Born in Jamestown, New York, Mrs. Miller was the daughter of the late Glenn A. and Alice Blanchard Miller. She graduated from Jamestown High School and the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio with Phi Beta Kappa honors. In 1941, she married the late Robert M. Miller. His work as an industrial engineer took them back to Jamestown, New York where they made their home for over 40 years. In 1988, they relocated to Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community where she remained until her death. Mrs. Miller was a founding member of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and served on its first Board of Directors. Her leadership in the American Association of University Women was recognized by naming a scholarship in her honor. Mrs. Miller served for many years as a deacon in the First Presbyterian Church in Jamestown, New York where her great-great grandfather had been a founding member. She continued her spiritual activities through her membership in She was a member of Black Mountain Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Miller was a teacher with the steadfast goal of learning how to learn. She approached life believing that the “glass is always half-full,” and had a personal commitment to always leave a situation better than she found it. Her sharp wit, deep caring and genuine warmth will be missed by her family and friends.

She is survived by her daughter, Judy Miller of Englewood, Florida. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 2001; and her cousin, Clark D. West, M.D. of Cincinnati, Ohio in 2014.

Her daughter would like to extend a special appreciation and thanks to Interim healthcare and Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community for their excellent, loving, and compassionate care.

A memorial service was held in the Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms at 3 p.m. September 12. Burial will be in her grandparent's family plot in Jamestown, New York.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, 201 North Ridgeway Avenue, Black Mountain, NC 28711.The days are more than days of separation, for our hearts are made that way. Above all let them be days of Faith. Condolences may be made online at

Jeffrey Albert



Jeffrey Albert Duncan, age 53, of the Buckeye Cove Community, passed away late Sept. 4.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Virginia Gaye Duncan; brother-in-law, Mike Blankenship; and nephew, Ian Blankenship.

Jeff is survived by three amazing daughters, Katelyn Michele Duncan, Samantha Gayle Duncan, and Stephanie Lee Duncan; father, Samuel Albert Duncan; sisters, Sheila Blankenship of Boise, Idaho, and Judy Coltrane of Snellville, GA; brother, Steve Duncan; nieces, Kerrigan Duncan and Sarah Forte; and nephew, Kyle Coltrane.

Jeff had such a fun and gentle soul. He was a friend to many in the community and a father figure to all of his daughter’s close friends and life-long teammates. Jeff was a loving family man, an amazing father, son, and brother.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Christian Creek Baptist Church, 124 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC. The family received friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family will accept donations through his account or directly to the family.

The Duncan family gives great gratitude for all of the support and prayers. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Richard L. Godfrey


Richard L. Godfrey died in Raleigh, NC on Friday, September 4, 2015 at age 64.

Richard was born April 7, 1951 in Buncombe County, NC, the son of the late Marion D. Godfrey and of Marjorie Eller Godfrey. He was a descendant of several pioneer families of Western North Carolina. He grew up in Black Mountain, NC where he attended school, beginning with Mrs. Gregory’s Sunshine School, and graduated from Charles D. Owen High School (’69) where he was in the Owen High Marching Band.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Visual Education from Western Carolina University and a Masters of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. He retired from Durham Technical Community College where he had been a Media Specialist and instructor. After retiring, he worked part-time for the State Employees Federal Credit Union of Raleigh. Richard was a gifted musician who studied piano, saxophone and clarinet when he was growing up. He was also an accomplished woodworker and photographer. He loved to ride his Harley on extended trips and was a dedicated member of the Patriot Guards.

Richard is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sherri Sluder Godfrey and daughter, Ashley Grace Godfrey, both of Raleigh, NC; his mother, Marjorie Eller Godfrey and sister, Marian Theresa (Terri) Godfrey, both of Black Mountain, NC. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Shirley B. Sluder, brother-in-law Rusty Sluder and wife Trudy, brother-in-law Philip Sluder and wife Sherry, and their families. In addition, he is survived by an extended Eller and Godfrey family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service will be planned for the family at a later date. Renaissance Funeral Home and Cremation, Raleigh, NC assisted the family.

Mary Ann Sudduth


Black Mountain

Mary Ann Sudduth Miller, age 79, of Givens Highland Farms Black Mountain, North Carolina died on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 in her home after a long illness.

Born in Winchester, KY, she was the daughter of the late Reverend Joseph T. Sudduth (1987) and Eva Belle Gordon Sudduth (2010).

Mary Ann earned her Bachelor’s degree from Centre College and her M.R.E. from Presbyterian School of Christian Education, and was a member of Black Mountain Presbyterian Church. During her lifetime, Mary Ann served as the Director of Christian Education, Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond VA, Union Presbyterian Seminary Bookstore Manager, and also an Administrator of New Grange School in Trenton, NJ.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, the Reverend Dr. Patrick D. Miller, Jr. of Givens Highland Farms; sons, Jonathan Sudduth Miller of San Jose, CA, and Patrick James Miller of Memphis, TN; brother, Joe T. Sudduth, Jr.; and grandchildren, Jessica Nicole Miller, Rachael Grace Miller, Robert Alex Miller, Isaac Benjamin Brooks Miller, and Claudia Johanna Brooks Miller.

A memorial service was held 10 a.m. Monday, September 14, 2015 at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Mary Katherine Robinson officiating.

Mary Ann was a devoted lover of music, and a musician herself who blessed her family with the same love. She loved to spend time playing piano and singing with her husband and two sons, and enjoyed singing in her church choir. An amateur naturalist, who read avidly, Mary Ann rejoiced in applying and sharing what she learned outdoors on hikes and during the daily walks she took with her husband or friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Montreat Conference Center, PO Box 969, Montreat, NC 28757, or gifts may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215. Please add that the gift comes in memory of Mary Ann S. Miller, (200 Tabernacle Rd., Apt J-113, Black Mountain, NC 28711). Condolences may be made online at