Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Bobby Joe Morrow


Bobby Joe Morrow, age 56, a lifelong resident of Buncombe County, died Sunday, November 15, 2015 at Mission Hospital. He was a son of the late Bud Morrow and his wife, Pansy, and Helen Calloway.

Bobby cherished his time with family, and he was always happy to give a helping hand. He was a caring, loving, and compassionate father, grandfather, brother and friend, and will be greatly missed.

Bobby is survived by fiancée, Debbie Queen; daughters, Elena Powers (Erik), and Moriah Queen; son, Beau Wright; grandsons, Erik and Evander Powers; siblings, Juanita Boston, Amy Osborne, Angie Martin, Viola Willis, Stephanie Livingston. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a sister, Vickie Ellerton (Clint).

A Celebration of life service was held at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2015 at Penland Family Funeral Home (125 South Avenue Swannanoa, NC) with the Pastor Steve Oxner officiating.

Condolences may be made to the family at penlandfamilyfuneral

Dave Kenneth


Sacramento, CA

Dave Kenneth Bashaw was born in Hendersonville, N.C to Kenneth and Ruth (Capps) Bashaw on June 23, 1944. Dave, who has ties to Flat Rock, is survived by his mother, wife Helen Whelan, prior wife Sharon Cook Butler (Robert), siblings Jean Presley (Guy) and Lloyd (Cathy), children Kym Prouty (Paul) and Darin, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and his pets.

Dave attended Owen High School in 1962, Brevard Jr. College, and graduated in 1966 from the University of North Carolina, and completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Utah.

Dave served in the Air Force from 1966–1986, married Sharon in 1967, met Helen in 1982 while both were stationed in Korea and they transferred to Sacramento in 1982.

Dave was a “Life Time Member” of Capital City Motor Cycle Club and a docent at the California Automobile Museum. Dave made his final RV trip to North Carolina with Lulu his Yorkie in April 2015 for his Mom’s 91st birthday.

Dave passed on October 31, 2015 at home from cancer. As Robert Ono put it “To know Dave is to love Dave.”

David Kenneth Bashaw, Major (Retired) USAF, was laid to rest at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in North Carolina on November 19, 2015.

Myrtle Brookshire


Clarkesville, GA

Funeral services for Myrtle Brookshire Nichols, 95, Clarkesville, Georgia, were held November 4, 2015 at Hillside Memorial Chapel, with Rev. Kenneth McEntire officiating. Burial was at Yonah Memorial Garden.

Mrs. Nichols passed away November 1, 2015 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia.

Born January 6, 1920 in Canton, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Charles William and Ila Bolden Brookshire, Black Mountain.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John Brady Nichols; sisters Genevieve Payne, Mildred Russell; and brothers Grover Brookshire and Charles Brookshire, all of Black Mountain.

Mrs. Nichols was a retired seamstress and a homemaker. She was of Baptist faith and was a huge Braves baseball fan.

Survivors include daughters and son-in-law Cairethel Nichols of Clarkseville, Georgia; Launia and L.C. Hurt of Mount Airy, Georgia, stepson and stepdaughter-in-law Grady and Margie Nichols of Alpharetta, Georgia; sister-in-law Elsie (Charles) Brookshire of Old Fort, North Carolina; two stepgrandchildren and four stepgreat-grandchildren.

Survivors also include nieces and nephews Shirley and Jake Gardner; Pat and Carolyn Russell and Carroll Russell, all of Black Mountain; Sharon Parsons, Dana and Charlie Robinson, Elaine and David Wright, all of Old Fort.

Hillside Memorial Chapel, Clarkesville, Georgia, was in charge of arrangements.

Janet Sue Haigler



Janet Sue Haigler Hoen, 69, of Asheville passed away Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

She was born July 15, 1946 in Mecklenburg County to the late Rachel and Louis Wilson Haigler. Janet was a loving wife, mother, homemaker and longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by four brothers, Terry, Jackie, Jeffrey and Johnny Haigler, and one sister, Jewel Harris.

She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Arthur John Hoen; sons, Louie (Teena) and Greg (Pam); special grandson, Aaron, all of Asheville; two brothers, James and Jerry (Shirley) Haigler; two sisters, Joyce Plummer and Jill (Jackie) Meadows all of Charlotte.

A Celebration of Life Service was Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Frank Cantrell officiating. The family received friends immediately following the service. Burial was Friday, November 20, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the physicians and nurses of the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center and Mission Hospital ICU. Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider John F. Keever Solace Center, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813. Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Mary Ratchford Pierce


Mary Ratchford Pierce, 79, of Arden, passed away Monday, November 16, 2015.

Mrs. Pierce was born August 19, 1936 in Philadelphia to the late Raymond and Elizabeth Vincent Ratchford. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Swannanoa where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

Mary was an avid gardener, and she enjoyed crafts, sewing and reading.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, James E. Pierce; and brother, Raymond Ratchford.

Mary is survived by her daughters, Terri Powell, Libby Pierce, and Kathy Pierce of Arden, and Debbie Sclater (Dave) of Winter Springs, FL; son, Jamie Pierce (Jen) of Kannapolis, NC; sister, Betty Warburton (Harry) of Archdale, NC; and grandchildren, William and Dylan Sclater.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Friday, November 20, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Swannanoa with Rev. Jeff Dowdy officiating. Burial followed at 2 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. The family received friends Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals.

Flowers are accepted and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider the Elizabeth House, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

James Thomas Burris


James Thomas Burris was born on April 28, 1945, in Swannanoa, NC, to the late James Burris and Minnie Sullivan Burris. He passed away November 16, 2015.

James was the oldest of five children, and preceded in death also, by his brother, Caesar "Pap" Burris of Black Mountain, NC.

Mr. Burris is survived by two sisters, Pansy Burris of Los Angeles, CA, and Sharron Burris Barnard of Asheville, NC; and one brother, Michael Burris and (Jean) of Decatur, GA; along with the Matriarch of the family, Mrs. Bernice Spencer; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends and especially Ms. Venita Spencer Brown.

James attended Carver Elementary School in Black Mountain, NC; Hillstreet School, Asheville, NC and graduated from Stephen Lee High School in Asheville, NC, where he was the head drum major and also played in the marching band. He loved music, dancing and traveling (especially to Las Vegas). James went on to attend Technical colleges where he received his CNA licenses. He worked in several different capacities of Health Care. He also lived in Los Angeles, CA where he worked in private care for many years; then returned to North Carolina where he worked in Health Care for several Nursing Facilities. James had a very fun loving spirit, was a kind-hearted, and caring man for his family and others. Always helping out others when needed. Even in his sickness he wanted to help others.

James joined New Salem Baptist Church and received Christ when he was 12 years old; faithfully attended church no matter where he resided.

A celebration of life service for Mr. Burris was held at noon Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 at New Salem Baptist Church, Swannanoa, NC with Elder Herbert Grant officiating. Burial followed at the church cemetery.

Final arrangements are entrusted to Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

William "Bill"

Eugene Geisler


William "Bill" Eugene Geisler, 62, passed away November 16, 2015 unexpectedly.

Bill was born January 29, 1953 in South Bend, Indiana to Robert Geisler and the late Evelyn Oaks Geisler. He was also preceded in death by a grandson Ayden Geisler and a brother Rich Geisler. Bill enjoyed his family and his pet border collies. Bill was employed at PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC.

Surviving are his sons, Nathan Geisler of Raleigh, NC, Cory Geisler of Black Mountain, NC; grandchildren Addyson Geisler, Ryder Geisler; his father and stepmother Robert Geisler and his wife Cheryl of South Bend, Indiana; sisters, Cindy Dickens and her husband Mark of Ortonville, Michigan and Vicky Bartone and her husband James of Hampton, VA; an aunt, Nancy Geisler and her husband Bernie of LaPorte, Indiana; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family received friends Friday Nov. 20, 2015 from 12:30-1:45 p.m. at Swannanoa Valley Presbyterian Church, Swannanoa, NC. The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Swannanoa Valley Presbyterian Church with Reverend Edwin H. Olsen Jr. and Reverend Stephen Owen officiating. Interment immediately followed at Mountain View Memorial Park, Black Mountain.

Condolences may be made at Hickory Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.