Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Meece Edmonds


Meece Iola Sprinkle Edmonds, 93, of Weaverville, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2016 in the comfort of her own home in the care of her loving family.

Born May 7, 1922 native and lifelong resident of Buncombe County, she was the daughter of the late Wig T Sprinkle and Bessie Gosnell Sprinkle.

She is also preceded in death by her late husband, Rev. James “Big Jim” Edmonds; daughter, Elizabeth Shook; brother, Hugh Sprinkle (Ruth); and brother-in-law, Willie James Cole.

Mrs. Edmonds graduated school at Flat Creek. She and her friend and future sister-in-law, Vistula Edmonds Robinson were NC Horseshoe Pitching Champions.

Later in life, Mrs. Edmonds enjoyed painting. She was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Woodfin.

Survivors include her children, Gary Edmonds (Wilma), Joyce Robinson (Carl), Patricia Edmonds, Craig Edmonds (Gayle), Wesley Edmonds (Lois), Lonnie Edmonds (Donna), Zane Edmonds (Lena), and Alan Edmonds (Donna); sister, Nina Cole; 17 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held 2 p.m. Friday, February 12 at Fellowship Baptist Church in Woodfin with Pastor Zane Edmonds, Rev. Jerry Kent, and Rev. Will Edmonds officiating. A visitation for family and friends was held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, February 11 at Penland Family Funeral Home Chapel in Swannanoa.

Committal services were at Sky View Memorial Park in Asheville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gideons International, and to the Fellowship Baptist Church building fund, 21 Elkmont Place, Asheville, NC 28804. Condolences may be made online at

Grace Evelyn Roland Morris

Black Mountain

Grace Evelyn Roland Morris, 87, of the North Fork Community in Black Mountain, NC passed away peacefully Friday, February 5, 2016 and was reunited with her Lord Jesus and her greatly missed husband, Thomas.

Grace was a lifelong resident of Buncombe County. She was a homemaker and farmer most of her life. Grace never knew a stranger and always responded to people as they were leaving “Don’t be strangers, we are peaceable.”

Grace recently survived her husband, Thomas Morris; and her last living sister, Ruth Stroud, who was one of her three siblings.

She is survived by three children, Gordon (Janelda) Morris, Gail (Fred) Shook, and Phillip (Kim) Morris Sr., and she joined her late daughter in Heaven, Janet Cordell. Grace had 4 children, 9 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. Grace “Granny” lived life to the fullest and will greatly be missed. She brought happiness to many and continues to do so in our memories.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Monday, February 8, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Church. Burial followed in the church cemetery. The family received friends one hour prior to the service time at the church.

Arrangements in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwodhomeforfuner

Betty Ownsbey Moores


Betty Ownsbey Moores, 71, of Swannanoa, passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

Mrs. Moores was born May 13, 1944 in Buncombe County to the late Charles and Blanche Burgin Ownsbey.

She was a 1962 graduate of Charles D. Owen High School and attended AB Tech. Betty retired as a quality control research developer from Beacon Manufacturing.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Richard C. Moores; and brother, Carroll Ownsbey.

Betty is survived by her sisters, Nancy Ownsbey of Swannanoa, and Charlene Marlowe of Hendersonville; brother, Charles Ownsbey of Swannanoa; niece, Michelle Lutz (John); great-niece and -nephew, Angela and Isaiah Lutz. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Regan Sue Wakelee


Regan Sue Wakelee, 45, of Swannanoa, passed away Monday, February 8, 2016 at Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville.

Born in Garfield Heights, OH she was daughter to Karen Lee Square Wakelee of Eden, NC and the late William Sheldon Wakelee (2008). Regan was a graduate of Morehead High School and Rockingham Community College. She was employed at the McDowell County Hospital as a Respiratory Therapist.

In addition to her mother, Regan is survived by her sister, Heather Travis and husband, Paul; and her niece, Eden Travis, all of Simpsonville, SC.

Celebration of life will be held at a later date. Thanks would like to be given by the family to the doctors and nursing staff at St. Joseph's Hospital and Mission Hospital. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be given to Rockingham County Hospice. Condolences may be made online at

Terry Douglas Pruett

Clearwater, FL

Terry Douglas Pruett, 64, of Clearwater, FL, formerly of Swannanoa, entered into eternal peace with his Lord, on January 31, 2016, at Suncoast Hospice, in Pinellas County FL after a hard fought 15 year battle with cancer. He was born December 25, 1951 in Asheville. He was determined to make a final visit home in July of last year to enjoy precious time with his family he loved so much.

Terry was raised in the Swannanoa Valley and attended Owen High School, but resided in Florida for over 30 years. While in Florida, he became an avid golf enthusiast playing many courses in Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg. Another passion was singing “Elvis” at various venues throughout the Florida Gulf. He even recorded a CD in a professional recording studio that was played at his memorial service. Terry always loved football. He would gather up the neighborhood kids for a Sunday afternoon game in the back yard. His love for football followed him to Florida where he became a huge Tampa Bucs fan. Terry loved to brag to his friends that Brad Johnson was from his hometown.

Terry also had a special place in his heart for abused and neglected animals. He made many donations to the Humane Society of the U.S., S.P.C.A. and others. His love for his own little dog “Shiner” was very evident. He always said his “little boy” was what gave him a reason to get up in the morning and to keep fighting.

Preceding him in death is his father, Walter S. Pruett, Sr., mother, Vergie Allen Pruett and brother, Walter S. Pruett, Jr.

Survivors include five sisters, Marilyn P. Walker of Black Mountain, Freida Ahmad, of Asheville, Judy Harris of Swannanoa, Phyllis Ayers, of Lincolnton and Jean Rollins of Chapel Hill. Also, several nieces and nephews he loved dearly: Lisa Byrd, Kristi Montgomery and Becky Ayers; Barry Rollins, Bryan and Phillip Todd Ayers, Tom, Steve and Tim Harris and Michael Keith Pruett; four great-nephews, Brandon Byrd, Truman Ayers, Justin and Tony Ayers; a stepdaughter, Linda Baker and stepgranddaughter, Latrell Baker.

A celebration of life was held at Harwood Home For Funerals on Saturday, February 6, from 1-2 p.m., and graveside services were at 2:30 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery. Per his wishes, “Peace in the Valley” by Elvis was played in his memory.

Memorials may be made to Here’s Hope Cancer Foundation ( in Asheville, Asheville Humane Society, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville or UnChain Buncombe/ChainFree Asheville.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Harwood Home for Funerals for their professionalism and kindness during this difficult time.

Margaret Edna “Sis” Lewis Smith

Black Mountain

Margaret Edna “Sis” Lewis Smith, 88, of Black Mountain and previous resident of Little Gasparilla Island, FL passed away peacefully on February 2, 2016 in her home surrounded by her family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert Lewis, Sr. and Sue Miller Lewis; her loving husband, Robert Coleman Smith; brothers, Robert Lewis, Jr. and George Lewis, MD.

Sis is survived by her daughters, Cindy Smith of Black Mountain and Sharon Smith White (Richard) of St. Simons Island, GA; son, Cole Smith (Cindy Costen) of Black Mountain; grandchildren, Carly White Pope of Atlanta, GA, Cody Smith of Black Mountain and Indy Smith of Charlotte, NC.

She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

Sis had a great life filled with friends, family, travel, adventures, and Florida sunshine. She was a loving grand-daughter, daughter, sister, wife, friend, mother, and grand-mommy.

Betty Padgett



Mrs. Betty Padgett Thompson, age 77, of Nebo, passed away Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at her home. A native of Buncombe County, she was born to the late Jess and Louise Fortune Padgett on March 23, 1938. She was a homemaker. A faithful member of Outreach Baptist Church, she loved the Lord and enjoyed the fellowship of her church family. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her first husband, Herman Floyd Wheeler, and her second husband, Howard Thompson.

Left to cherish Betty’s memory are her three sons, Terry Wheeler and wife Barbara of Marion, Michael Thompson and wife Teresa of Marion, and Kevin Thompson and wife Debbie of Nebo; three brothers, Mack Padgett, Charlie Padgett, and Jackie Padgett, all of Black Mountain; one sister, Barbara Penland of Concord; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and several stepchildren.

A service to celebrate Betty’s life was held on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion with Rev. Travis Toney officiating. An online register is available under Obituaries at estmorelandfuneralhome .com.

Charles Robinson

Black Mountain

Charles Robinson, 75, of Black Mountain, passed away Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Mr. Robinson was born December 2, 1940 in Maryland to the late Hiram and Myrtle Robinson. Charles was a volunteer Chaplain at Mission Hospital, he worked in the manufacturing industry for 35 years, and he owned a consulting business for 10 years. Charles loved spending his spare time in youth ministries and loved his chickens.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Dana Lynn Robinson; and 6 brothers.

Charles is survived by his wife, Betty Webb Robinson; daughter, Tammy Devotie (Duane) of Old Fort; and grandchildren, Andrew S. Oakes and Cameron S. Oakes.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. James Lamb officiating. Burial will be in Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service time at the funeral home. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Frank M. “Scotty” Washburn

Salem, Oregon

Frank was born February 28, 1926 in Portland, Oregon and first attended YMCA Camp Meehan on the shores of Spirit Lake, WA at age 12, which would lead to his career in the camping and YMCA field. It was also here that he selected his camp name to be “Scotty” which would stay with him for life.

He served in the Army Airforce in the Pacific Theater, WWII and later received his B.A. degree from Willamette University and Masters from Springfield College.

His Y career began in 1952 in Salem and continued with the YMCA of Greater Seattle before being appointed Executive Director of YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain in 1968 where he served for the next 17 years. He led a strong staff and volunteer team that saved the organization from financial default and went on to raise millions of dollars for new and renovated facilities that today serve thousands of youth and adults each year.

He was a leader in the resident camping field and served in a number of roles with the American Camping Association (ACA) including national president from 1968-1970.

He met his wife of 65 years, Buena (Stewart) Washburn, while at Willamette University and together they raised five children; Bonnie Belle Washburn, Mary Ann Schmidt, Terri Lee Nagahashi, Scott Washburn, and Nancy Schmidt. He also leaves behind 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. March 19 at the Capital Manor Auditorium in Salem, Oregon.

Wade Anthony Gragg

Black Mountain

Wade Anthony Gragg, 70, of Black Mountain, passed away Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Mr. Gragg was born November 12, 1945 in Buncombe County to the late Troy and Laura Gragg. Wade was a family man and loved to hunt. He retired from the JFK ADATC with 35 years of service.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brothers, Lloyd and Marion Gragg; and sister, Juanita Reynolds.

Wade is survived by his wife, Gail Nanney Gragg; children, Deniece, Doug, Tonya (David), Todd, Daphne and Tyler; brother, Jesse Lee Gragg; 9 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Monday, February 15, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the Chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. James Lamb officiating. Burial was in Bald Mountain Cemetery. The family received friends immediately following the service at the funeral home. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor