Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley


Anita Mattison

Black Mountain

Anita Mattison, retired school teacher and volunteer of Black Mountain, NC passed away October 19, 2015.

Born to Arthur and Hazel Mattison on September 6, 1933 in rural Wisconsin, Anita is survived by her beloved dog, Coco. She is also survived by her brother James (Laverne) Mattison of Arkansas, by nephew Michael Mattison of Arkansas, by cousin Charles (Darlene) Sanders of Colorado, by longtime friends Lynn and Eduard Wiescholek of Orlando, FL, by children Martha (Steve) Koomar of New Jersey and Marianne Vickery of Michigan, and by grandchildren Joseph, Katherine Don and Michael Koomar and Caitlin, Cody and Chloe Makinson. She is preceded in death by her parents, for whom she gave loving care in their final years.

Anita was a hard worker with a great sense of humor. She taught school in Pensacola, FL for 12 years before relocating to Kissimmee where she taught First Grade and Kindergarten for 28 years. She retired in 1996 and moved to Black Mountain, NC in 2006.

She was a member of Christ Community Church in Montreat, NC. She served as a volunteer at the church preschool. She also dedicated many years of volunteer service to prison ministry at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women, where she facilitated Bible Studies and worked with women “in transition” by taking them on 6-hour passes. She was a generous soul with a heart of gold.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Christ Community Church in Montreat, NC on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 3 p.m. A reception with the family will follow in the church Fellowship Hall. All are invited.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Christ Community Church, Inmate/Ex-Offender Fund. 396 Geneva Place, P.O. Box 279, Montreat, NC 28757.

Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomeforfunerals. com.

Harold “Vance”


Sevierville, TN

Harold "Vance" Martin, 76, of Sevierville, TN, passed away Friday, October 16, 2015 at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN.

Born January 24, 1939 in Swannanoa, he was the son of the late Phillip Harrison Martin and Flora Mae Bryant Martin. He is also preceded in death by his brothers and sister, Phillip “Sonny” Martin, Bobby Allen Martin, Bruce Martin, Sharon Martin and Jack Martin.

Vance attended Owen High School, then joined the US Marine Corps during the Korean War. He worked as a mechanic for Sparky Cadillac and Oldsmobile, and as a heavy equipment mechanic. He was a member of the American Legion Post 104 in Sevierville, TN. Mr. Martin was a wonderful artist who had a particular love for oil painting, as well as playing music.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Betsy Stamey Martin of the home; daughter, Christina Martin of Sevierville; and 2 grandchildren, Lucy May Chavis (6), and Isaiah James Chavis (3).

A graveside funeral service was held Monday, October 19, 2015 at Mountain View Memorial Park in Black Mountain with Chaplain Steve Oxner officiating.

Condolences may be made online at

Mary K. Bennett


Mary K. Bennett, 86, of Swannanoa, passed away Wednesday, October 21, 2015.

Mrs. Bennett was born September 29, 1929 in Spartanburg, SC to the late Elbert and Eunice Wood Pierce. Mary was a member of First Baptist Church, Swannanoa.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Jay Lewis Bennett; daughters, Barbara Mitchell and Lynne Fox; brother, James Pierce; and sisters, Carrie Addis and Ella Ruth Bradley.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Vicki McKnight (Jimmy); son, Jack Bennett (Joyce); sister, Betty Jane Holcombe; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Swannanoa with Rev. Dan Snyder and Jeff Dowdy officiating.

Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park. The family received friends immediately following the service at the church.

Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhome

“Jean” E. Moore


Jean” E. Moore, 76, of Swannanoa went home to be with her Lord on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at her home with her husband by her side.

A native of McDowell county, she was a daughter of the late Jess and Sina Johnson Owensby. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings, Hazel Camby, Wade Owensby, and Lois Honeycutt.

Surviving is her devoted husband, Walter Moore; brother, Howard “Jess” Owensby of Swannanoa, and many extended family members.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Skyview Memorial Park in Swannanoa.

Condolences may be made to the family at