Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Robert “Bobby” G. Ward Jr.


Robert “Bobby” G. Ward Jr., 66, of Swannanoa went home to be with his Lord on Friday, December 4, 2015.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Robert G. Ward Sr., and Faye Ola Davis Ward; his loving wife, Alice Faye Ward of 48 years; loving son, Michael Ward, and granddaughter, Jessica Haynie.

Bobby worked for Grove Stone in Black Mountain for many years. He was a partner in running Ward’s Carp Lake, and then ran Ward’s Catfish Lake for many years. Bobby and Faye passed many hours in conversation with the cat fishermen.

Surviving is his loving daughters, Trisha (Bruce) Ward Masters, and Angie Ward; grandsons, Michael Masters, Bubba Haynie, JR Haynie, and Blake Masters; siblings, Steve Ward, Gail Roberts, and Jeff Ward, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Bobby had a special talent with gardening. He loved to hunt and fish, and he always took care of and maintained all of the Wards’ properties.

A funeral service was at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 12, 2015 in the chapel of Penland Family Funeral Home in Swannanoa with Rev. James Lamb officiating. The family received friends and hour prior to the service. Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Cemetery.

Condolences may be made to the family at

Dorothy “Dot” Longenecker Hopper


Dorothy “Dot” Longenecker Hopper, age 95, went to be with her Savior on Friday, December 4, 2015 in Hillsborough, NC, surrounded by her children and loved ones.

She was born March 26, 1920 in the Belgian Congo to Jay Hershey and Minnie Hauhart Longenecker. Dot grew up as a missionary kid in the Belgian Congo. She earned her B.A. in English at Queens College and received her Master’s in Christian Education at the Presbyterian School for Christian Education in Richmond. She married Joseph Barron Hopper, whom she met at Collegiate Home in Montreat, NC. She and Joe served as Presbyterian missionaries under the Board of World Missions, Presbyterian Church in the U.S., in South Korea for 38 years before retiring to Montreat.

Dot was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother; a prayer warrior; a painter; and a dear friend to many people around the world. She was known as an excellent storyteller of her childhood adventures in the Congo and her adult years in Korea.

She is survived by her four children, Alice Hopper Dokter of Stone Mountain, GA, J. Barron Hopper of Kingsport, TN, David Hershey Hopper of Greensboro, NC, and Margaret Hopper Faircloth of Hillsborough, NC; her nine grandchildren, Joseph Hopper, Justin Dokter, Betsy Herman, Jacqueline James, Lydia Hopper, Rachel Caughran, Martha Theilacker, Tim Hopper, and Laura Faircloth; and her 11 great-grandchildren.

Dot was predeceased by her husband, Joe; her parents; her stepmother, Ruth Engler Longenecker; her sisters, Alice Longenecker Vail and Roberta Longenecker; and her brother, Hershey James “Jim” Longenecker.

Her family is grateful to the staff at her home, Brookshire Senior Living in Hillsborough, for their excellent care of her in recent years.

A memorial service was held at Gaither/Graham Chapel in Montreat, NC on Saturday, December 12, at 4 pm; a reception followed. A private burial precedes the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dot Hopper Africa Memorial Fund, c/o Preston Hills Presbyterian Church, 4701 Orebank Rd., Kingsport, TN, USA.

Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwodhomefor .

William “Bill” Edward Pressley


William “Bill” Edward Pressley, Jr., 74, of Claremont passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

He was born January 18, 1941 in Buncombe County to the late William E. Pressley Sr. and Edith Worley Pressley. Bill retired after many years from Carving Craft Furniture and was a member of Wayside Baptist Church in Taylorsville.

Those left to cherish his memory are wife Blanche Breeden Pressley; daughters Vickie Pressley of Hickory and Tonia Ammons and husband Bill of Claremont; step-son Douglas Rosenbalm and wife Rebecca of Rhodhiss; grandchildren Sydnie Ammons, Lacie Gilson, Jessica Godwin and Charles Daniel Rosenbalm; numerous family and friends and his loving dog, Tippie.

The family received friends Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 1-2 p.m. at Wayside Baptist Church in Taylorsville. A memorial service immediately followed the visitation. Rev. Sammy Kiser and Rev. Tom Lambert officiated.

Memorials may be made to Humane Society of Catawba County, 3224 20th Ave. SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Condolences may be sent to the Pressley family at The Pressley family is in the care of Bennett Funeral Service of Conover.