Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Elizabeth McMeans Walker

Black Mountain

Elizabeth McMeans Walker, 101, of Black Mountain, North Carolina, widow of the late John Bowman Walker Sr., went home to be with the Lord on December 15, 2015.

Betty Walker epitomized life to the fullest from her simple upbringing in Philadelphia, PA chasing horse drawn fire wagons as a child to visiting Ireland at 92, the country of her heritage. She was a devoted Christian woman and active member of First Baptist Church in Black Mountain, NC for 50 years and taught Sunday School many Sundays well into her 90s.

She attributed her longevity to her unyielding faith in God and strong work ethic. She was active and busy until her last days, working until 85 years of age and then some.

When widowed in 1960, Betty raised her four children by herself and provided them the absolute best. She relocated from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Black Mountain in 1965 to build she and her late husband’s dream home on the family named “Camel Back Mountain” on Camp Branch Acres, property which she and her husband had developed.

Betty’s life’s work was one of continual learning and giving back. Much of what she learned and accomplished, whether as a devoted and hardworking business woman, an instructor of WWII pilots, serving as a cook, or teaching preschool children and as a crafts teacher. The majority of her work was as co-owner of Town Hardware with her brother, Bob McMeans.

Remarkable in her seventies with no thoughts of slowing down, Betty will be remembered for founding and operating Lillibette’s Country basket, a sandwich and craft store in Black Mountain where many people enjoyed her chicken salad, Hello Dollies and other delicacies. She also worked for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, at Callaway Gardens, Georgia training facility in the winter as a preschool teacher, and during the summers at Camp Rockmont as a craft instructor.

An adventurer by nature, she enjoyed life each and every day leaving her family with many fond memories and tales to tell. Betty’s life was about giving and serving others while making countless sacrifices for herself. She was a remarkable woman who leaves a legacy of faith for her family and friends.

She is survived by two sons, William Gray (Lois), and John Walker Jr. (Joy); two daughters, Linda Fox (Charles), and Marsha Walker (Jerry Reynolds), 10 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews who she loved dearly.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday January 9 at 11 a.m. at Black Mountain First Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Black Mountain First Baptist Church in honor of Betty Walker. Condolences may be made to the family at

Rogers Tomblin


Rogers Tomblin, Sr., 86, of Asheville, passed away December 12, 2015.

Rogers was born December 9, 1929 in Rutherford County to the late Clarence and Vashtie Ball Tomblin. He was a 1961 graduate of Clemson University with a degree in engineering. Rogers was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard and he retired from the Charles George VA Medical Center in 1990. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Swannanoa and he loved his Sunday School class.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by two brothers and one sister.

Rogers is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Beam Tomblin; sons, Rogers Tomblin, Jr. (Cindy) of Rutherfordton and Louis Tomblin (Amanda) of Asheville; grandchildren, Jeffrey Tomblin (Andrea), Becky Dodge (Cody), Jacob Tomblin and Jessica Tomblin; and six great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Swannanoa. Burial followed at 12 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

The family received friends Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, PO Box 336, Forest City, NC 28043 or CarePartners Hospice, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813, or First Baptist Church, Swannanoa, 503 Park Street, Swannanoa, NC 28778.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor