Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Aleen Curtis Reed

Black Mountain

Aleen Curtis Reed, age 86, of Black Mountain, NC passed away on April 2, 2016. Aleen was born on February 2, 1930 in Burnsville, NC.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Lawrence Curtis, the father of her four children, and Edward Reed; and sister, Lillian Melin.

Aleen was a dedicated and hard worker. She worked at Kearfott and retired as a tax preparer. Aleen was a devoted and loving mother. She was proud of her family and was excited to become a grandmother to 6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Aleen loved holidays and family get-togethers. She would spend hours cooking and preparing. In her spare time, she enjoyed her flower garden in the spring time. Aleen was a member of Friendship Presbyterian Church on Montreat Road. She was the most generous person and never knew a stranger. She was known for her feisty, yet good sense of humor! Aleen was known as grandmother, grandma, gigi and granny bingo. She will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

Aleen was a devoted mother of Jerry Curtis, Linda Curtis Bridges, Dennis Curtis and Doris Curtis Lee.

Aleen may not have won an Oscar, but she did get the grammy award of her grandchildren, Michael Curtis, Tonya Lee Ryan, Mark Bridges, Carrie Curtis Poteat, Jonathan Lee, and Jennifer Bridges Riggs; and great-grandchildren, Jordyn, Ava, Corbyn, Pierce, Parker, Maylin, Ellie, Landon and Jaxon.

Aleen was also a second mom to David Tipton.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals in Black Mountain, NC. Burial was in Ashelawn Gardens of Memory.

The family received friends at 10 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Margaret Jane

Provost Perley


Margaret Jane Provost Perley passed away at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., on April 1, 2016, after a short illness. She was 86.

“Peggy” was born on Aug. 22, 1929, in Asheville to Allen Clare Provost and Alice Dunn Provost. Her family moved to Chicago, where she began her schooling, and she finished high school at the Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. She attended Duke University until moving to New York City and subsequently married Franklin Terry Perley of Black Mountain on Dec. 30, 1948. She and her husband raised four children on Long Island, N.Y., before retiring to Black Mountain in 1973.

Mrs. Perley served as secretary at St. James Episcopal Church in the 1980s. Her volunteer work was wide-ranging, but her most rewarding achievement was supervision of the library at Highland Farms.

Following the death of her second husband, Neil Feinstein, Mrs. Perley moved to Brevard, N.C., in 2010, where she enjoyed concerts at Brevard Music Center with her partner, Gary Semlak.

She is survived by her children, Helen Campbell (Chuck) of Black Mountain, Franklin Perley Jr. (Marianne) of Fountain Inn, S.C., Jean Sagar (Will) of Brevard, and Julia Perley of Swannanoa, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be made to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, Post Office Box 235, Black Mountain, N.C. 28711; and Skydancer, Inc., a foundation established to fund flights transporting critically ill patients, P.O. Box 235, Brevard, N.C. 28712.

A memorial service was held at St. James Episcopal Church, 424 West State St., Black Mountain, on Saturday, April 9, at 11 a.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at

William Joseph Stepp

Monsey, New York

William Joseph Stepp died on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 in Monsey, N.Y. He was born in Black Mountain, N.C. on July 8, 1947, son of Gladys Fortune Smith and Joseph Stepp, and grandson of Mary and Frank Fortune. Services will be held at the Salisbury National Cemetary in Salisbury, N.C. on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 11 a.m.

Dorcas Bridges



Dorcas Bridges Hollifield, 79, of Swannanoa, passed away Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Mrs. Hollifield was born February 12, 1937 in Buncombe County to the late Clifford and Annie Bridges. She retired from the Black Mountain Center after 36 years of service as bookkeeper. Dorcas was a member of Swannanoa Free Will Baptist Church. Her ministry to others was decorating the church with flowers and for the holidays. She also enjoyed shopping.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her sisters, Pauline Gragg and Doris Owensby; brothers, Hugh Bridges, Carl Bridges, James Fay Bridges and Tommie Bridges.

Dorcas is survived by her husband of 57 years, Jay L. Hollifield; son, Michael Jay Hollifield (Deanna Lynn) of Thompson’s Station, TN; sisters, Joan Dunlop of Hobe Sound, FL and Margaret Bryant of Swannanoa; brother, Jerry Bridges of New Bern, NC; grandchildren, Audrey Lynn Hollifield and Nicholas Tyler Hollifield; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Swannanoa Free Will Baptist Church with Revs. Jack Ward and Michael Hollifield officiating. Burial followed in Sky View Memorial Park. The family received friends from 12:30-2 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Arrangements were by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Glenna M. Schwenn

Black Mountain

On April 7, 2016, Glenna M. Schwenn, daughter of Ed and Edith Mehne, passed away of complications from cancer.

Born January 30, 1926 in Almond, Wisconsin, she and her older sister (Kathleen), were raised in farm life. She met Lee W. Schwenn at a dance, and they were married January 16, 1947. After their son, William (Skip), was born on Lee’s birthday (December 23, 1948), she elected to devote herself full-time to making and nurturing her family’s home life. She injected her own unique style of enthusiasm and adventure into her marriage and parenthood, shaping ordinary activities into fun events. After Skip moved into adulthood, she learned and performed volunteer nursing assistance duties at a local hospital.

Always a champion for the underdog, she sought opportunities to help others by doing, saying, or giving whatever was needed at the time — hers was a lifelong, daily practice in community and personal ministry. She will be missed for her gentle friendship, uncommon wisdom, and easy humor.

Surviving Glenna are her son, (William/Skip Schwenn) and daughter-in-law, (Mary Schwenn) of Warrensville, North Carolina; a sister-in-law, (Hazel Boom) of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; nephews, (Larry Ammel) of Kewaskum, Wisconsin, (Jerry Ammel and John Ammel) of Almond, Wisconsin; and niece, (Diane Ammel) of Spring Valley, California. Her sister, (Kathleen Ammel) of Almond, Wisconsin, predeceased her.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 2 p.m. in the Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain, North Carolina, with Rev. Cynthia Arnold and Rev. Tammy Bales officiating. A eulogy will be offered by Rev. H. D. Houck.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any gift offerings in Glenna’s honor and memory be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

“…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor