Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Lois Minarik



Mrs. Lois Minarik Alexander, of Charlotte, passed away on April 21, 2016. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio January 15, 1929, a daughter of James Walter Minarik and Lucile Ahrens Minarik.

On December 27, 1952, she married John Brevard Alexander in Lakewood, OH. After living in Cleveland and Richmond, Virginia, they settled in Charlotte in 1963, where they raised three children together, sharing many adventures and joys. Lois taught at Eastover, Sharon, and Collinswood elementary schools. As a member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Lois was active in the Women of the Church, Sunday school programs, Montreat weekends, and other church activities.

Lois enjoyed 52 years in her house in Charlotte, tending her flower and vegetable gardens and watching the birds. She shared the beauty and the harvests with friends and those in need. She also loved her second home in Montreat, where she spent many long weekends relaxing and entertaining. She loved playing games and cooking with her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and anyone else willing to have some fun. She will be remembered as a kind-hearted, generous, sweet lady who always managed to see the best in others. She demonstrated her beliefs by example and spoke with soft words.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, her sister, and her husband John. She is survived by daughter, Nell Tortorich; son, J. Brevard Alexander Jr.; daughter, Elizabeth Hamilton and her husband Clay; and three grandchildren, Mary Morgan, Clara Elizabeth and John Charles Hamilton.

A Memorial Service was held at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, April 29 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Montreat Conference Center, Box 969 Montreat, N.C. or Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Harry & Bryant is serving the family.

Inez Putnam Brooke


Inez Putnam Brooke, 92, of Asheville passed away Friday, April 22, 2016.

Mrs. Brooke was born September 16, 1923 in Raleigh, NC to the late Floyd and Mozelle Putnam. Inez lived most of her life in Black Mountain where she was a member of the First Baptist Church. She enjoyed flowers, sewing, knitting and animals.

In addition to her parents, Inez is preceded in death by her first husband, John Hall; second husband, John Brooke; sister, Blanche Burnette; and brother, Floyd Putnam.

She is survived by her daughter, Betty Hall of Asheville and stepson, George Brooke of Arden.

A graveside service was held Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1 p.m. in Mountain View Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Asheville Humane Society, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, NC 28806. Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Andy Andrews


Andy Andrews, 92, of Montreat, died April 22 in his home at Highland Farms (see story on Page 1A).

For almost 60 years, he was married to Hellon, who preceded him in death, as did his brothers Karl, Don and Bill. He was a dedicated and loving father to his daughter Sarah, married to Bill Murray, and his son Al, married to Nita. He was a most extraordinary grandfather to Scott Murray and David Murray, married to Jade, and to Brent and Hunter Andrews.

Andy was a man of faith, dedicating his life to follow Christ and to live and love in a way that was honoring to the Lord he loved. He was a man of action and a man of prayer and faith. If you are reading this, there is a good chance he prayed for you by name.

In addition to his children and grandchildren, he is survived by his older brother Bennett and his younger sister Peggy, and a score of nephews, nieces and their children.

A public memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at Anderson Auditorium in Montreat. Andy will be buried in a private ceremony at the Western Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery in Black Mountain. Donations can be made to Memory Care of Asheville or a charity of your choice in his honor. Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhome

Barbara Dean Burrell Patterson

LaFayette, GA

Barbara Dean Burrell Patterson, 68, of LaFayette, GA passed away April 21, 2016.

She was born on September 26, 1947 to John Albert Burrell and Hazel Wooten Burrell in the Black Mountain area, North Carolina. Barbara was a member of the Welcome Hill Baptist Church in Trion, Georgia. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Harold Burrell and Gerald Burrell.

She is survived by sons, Brent (Patricia) Burrell and Greg (Nancy) Patterson, all of LaFayette; sisters, Peggy Davis of Swannanoa, NC; Joyce (James) Bradley of Hendersonville, NC; Sylvia (Robert) Waters of LaFayette; brother, Danny Burrell of Marion, NC; and sister-in-law, Barbara Ann Burrell of LaFayette; grandchildren, Breanna Watkins, James Patterson, Ryanna Patterson, Jerimiah Amador, Nicole Burns and Jake Brown; great- grandchildren, Maddox Watkins, Kannon Watkins, Bella Burns, Kayden Chaney, Cruise Brown and Fallyn Brown. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral from the Wallis Memorial Chapel was Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 2 p.m. with Pastor Terry Shores officiating. Pallbearers were Greg Patterson, Brent Burrell, James Patterson, Jerimiah Amador, Jake Brown, Dustin Watkins and James Bradley. Honorary pallbearers were Robert Waters, Danny Burrell and Chris Burrell

Interment was in the LaFayette Cemetery. The family received friends at the funeral home Saturday, April 23

from 6-8 p.m. Arrangements were by Wallis-Wilbanks Funeral Home, LaFayette.

Eunice Douglas

Black Mountain

The Douglas family announce with great sadness the loss of our beloved mother Eunice on April 26th, 2016.

She was born on May 13th, 1953 in Dublin, Ireland, to Christopher and Lois Murphy. She leaves behind two sons, James Douglas and Jonathan Douglas, and a daughter, Jacqui Howie. She is preceded in death by her husband, Richard Douglas.

As many of you know, she has been suffering from cancer for some time now. We are relieved that her passing was peaceful and painless.

A memorial service for the community will be held at Friendship Presbyterian Church in Black Mountain on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send any contributions to 401 South Oconeechee Avenue, Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Dennis Dean Sparks

Black Mountain

Dennis Dean Sparks, 70, a lifelong resident of Black Mountain, passed away on April 27, 2016 in an Asheville hospital.

He was a son of the late Foley Sparks, Sr. and Margaret Sparks. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Annie Sparks, Juanita Fender and Polly Fender; and brothers, Lee Roy, Robert and Ronnie Sparks.

He was a 1964 graduate of Owen High School and attended A-B Tech. He was a machinist at Kearfott and Rockwell.

Dennis loved God, his family, his friends and his country. He had a positive influence on everyone he met.

He was a lifelong outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing with his brothers and nephews. Dennis was an avid reader who sought to learn new things throughout his life. He enjoyed traveling and had become an accomplished artist later in life.

Dennis is survived by his best friend and love of his life, Mary Johnson of Black Mountain. God put them together and blessed them for 26 years. He is also survived by his sister, Shirley Wilson of Asheville; brothers, Paul and Grover Sparks of Black Mountain, and Foley Sparks Jr. of Asheville. Dennis also leaves behind many nieces and nephews who were blessed to have him as an uncle.

Dennis was a great man, this world is a better place because he was in it, and though we are very saddened to see him leave us, we know that he is in a far better place today.

He is now healthy again and walking with Jesus. We love you Dennis!

A Celebration of Life Service was held Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church. Burial was in Mountain View Memorial Park.

The family received friends one hour prior to the service time at the church. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwood