Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Robert Jerry Rhinehart


Robert Jerry Rhinehart, 64, of Swannanoa went home to be with his Lord Friday, December 4, 2015.

Jerry was born April 26, 1951 in Buncombe County. He was a 1969 graduate of Owen High School. Jerry was a veteran of the US Air Force serving in Vietnam as a dog handler with the security police. He was a longtime member of Homer’s Chapel Baptist Church. Jerry retired from the US Postal Service with over 30 years of service.

Mr. Rhinehart is preceded in death by an infant sister, Mary Rhinehart.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Deborah Miller Rhinehart; son, Gregory Rhinehart (Jennifer) of Weaverville; parents, Robert and Martha Griffin Rhinehart of Black Mountain; brother, Stephen Rhinehart (Ann) of Black Mountain; two grandsons, Caleb and Joshua Rhinehart; and several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6 p.m. at Homer’s Chapel Baptist Church with Rev. Doug Mathis officiating. The family received friends immediately following the service. Burial was Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 12 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider: Homer’s Chapel Baptist Church, 202 Chapel Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711 or John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813. Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Joseph Neal Bartlett

Black Mountain

Joseph Neal Bartlett, 83, of Black Mountain passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

Mr. Bartlett was born September 5, 1932 in Buncombe County to the late Winnie and Burdell Gregory Bartlett. Neal retired from the Town of Black Mountain as a building inspector. He was a charter member and First Governor of the Black Mountain Moose Lodge.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Arlene Swann Bartlett; sister, Geraldine Webb and brother, Alva “Sonny” Bartlett.

Neal is survived by his daughter, Teresa Bartlett; son, Gary Bartlett and wife, Barbara, all of Black Mountain; sister, Alma Pullium of New London, NC; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

The family received friends Monday, December 7, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals. A private burial was to be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Eugene Byrd


Eugene Byrd, born 99 years ago in Black Mountain, was the youngest of five children.

Always an outstanding student, he entered college at the age of 15. He has served as public school teacher, a football coach, a basketball coach and a Baptist minister.

Eugene was predeceased by Jewel, his wife of 68 years.

He is survived by a daughter, Jackie, a son, Bob and his son Edward; another daughter, Judy (John) her son Jonathan (Susie) and his sons, Andrew and Thomas.

Memorial services for Eugene Byrd were conducted Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating were Rev. Mike Townsend. The family received friends following the service at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Meat Camp Baptist Church, in care of Barry Greene, 527 Jack Hayes Road, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the Byrd family at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Byrd family.

Helen H. Hawkins

Black Mountain

Helen H. Hawkins, 88, changed her earthly address to Heaven Dec. 5, 2015. Helen was born Sept. 24, 1927 to the late Elizabeth and Samuel Hattchet in Greensboro, N.C. She graduated from A&T University with a BA in Elm. Ed. and a minor in Art. She taught for 42 years.

She married Chester C. Hawkins and built a life in Jackson, N.C. centered around God and raised Sheila and Sonjah. She was a talented artist, seamstress, reading teacher and homemaker. She loved to try new things and take classes and applied to be the teacher for the Challenger Space Shuttle Mission in 1985.

Left to cherish her memory are Sheila Hawkins Showers (Carlos) of the home and Sonjah L. Hawkins (Special friend Donn Wyatt) of Carson CA; Grands Kisha Showers-Griffin (Pierre) of Greensboro and Alex X.H. Showers of Black Mountain; great-grands Adonis and Ivana; the rest of the family.

A celebration of her life will be Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 at 2 p.m. at Mills Chapel Baptist Church, Black Mountain, Rev. Bobby Hill officiating. Burial will take place at her home church, Piney Grove Baptist Church in Jackson, N.C. with Rev. Timothy Edwards. Viewing will be one hour prior to the service at Mills Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name for a scholarship fund at Mills Chapel or Piney Grove Church.

Final arrangements entrusted to Harwood Home for Funerals, Black Mountain.