Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Nelson Allen Higgins


Nelson Allen Higgins, 63, of Asheville, NC went to be with the Lord on May 5, 2016. Nelson is survived by his lovely wife of 38 years, Ruth Hall Higgins; only son, Robert Edwin Allen Higgins (High Point, NC); daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Ann Higgins; and 2 grandsons, Declan Sean & Eli Tanner Higgins. Nelson is also survived by his 3 sisters, Claryce Sinclair (Joe), Statesville, NC; Cynthia Sevier (Ken), Germanton, NC; Joan Muse (Chuck), Asheville, NC; father-in-law, Stanley R. Hall, Hudson, NC; and 6 nieces and nephews, and many cousins. Nelson was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Edward Higgins; mother, Pauline Alexander Higgins; brother, Russell Edwin Higgins; son, Matthew Issac Higgins; and mother-in-law, Geneva Coffey Hall.

Nelson lived in Asheville his entire life. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976. Nelson had 26 years of public service between the US Army and a long career with the US Postal Service, where he honorably served as Postmaster for the Leicester, NC office for over a decade.

In 1995, Nelson and Ruth fulfilled a dream by opening Medicap Pharmacy (now HealthRidge Pharmacy) which still proudly serves the Black Mountain-Swannanoa community.

Nelson was a life-long devoted Christian, and for the past 28 years he served his Heavenly Father and Lord through the First Baptist Church of Asheville as a deacon and church leader. Prior to FBCA, he served many years in the same capacity at First Baptist Church of Black Mountain, and grew up in the Reed Memorial Baptist Church of Oakley.

Nelson loved his church community and wanted everyone he met to know how much God meant to him.

Nelson received his second-life through a liver transplant on May 3, 2005 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

Nelson was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Honorary Alumnus Certificate of UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce. Nelson was an avid Tar Heel; proud husband, brother, father, son, and grandfather.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 7, 2016 at First Baptist Church of Asheville with Rev. David Blackmon and Rev. Eddie Morgan officiating.

A private burial followed at Woodlawn Cemetery. The family received friends from noon-1:30 p.m. following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Baptist Church of Asheville (Local Missions TBD), 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC 28801. To sign Mr. Higgins’ guestbook online, visit “Memorials” at

Verno Wilson

Black Mountain

Verno Wilson, 80, of Black Mountain, passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Mr. Wilson was born May 11, 1935 in McDowell County to the late Roscoe and Mamie Wilson.

Verno was a resident of Black Mountain for most of his life.

He was a truck driver for 32 years.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Doris Wilson; son, Johnnie Ray Wilson; and four sisters.

Verno is survived by his children, Sheila Wilson, Karen Wilson, and Michael Wilson (Jennifer) all of Black Mountain; sister, Shirley Milcoff of Florida; grandchildren, Brandon Wilson, Amber Wilson, Stephen Wilson, and Brayden Brank; great-grandchildren, Landon and Jacob Wilson.

A graveside service was held Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Black Mountain City Cemetery. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

Marsha Loftis Philips

Gainesville, Florida

Marsha Philips, 63, passed away following a tragic car accident Friday, April 29, 2016. She is survived by her beloved husband Graham, mother Doris Loftis, sisters Melinda Christian, LuAnne Anderson, Becky Wilson, children Alison Austin, Dana Gadaire, Meg Wagoner, Drew Gadaire, and 8 grandchildren whom she adored.

The family has had ties to the Black Mountain/Montreat area for years.

Marsha, whose father (the late Warren T. Loftis Jr.) had a medical practice in Black Mountain for over 20 years, was a graduate of Plant High School (Tampa) and Queens College (Charlotte, NC).

She was a devoted teacher of 20 years at Gainesville Country Day School and dedicated the last 10 years to real estate with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Trend Realty.

She was an active member of Grace Methodist Church and participated in countless mission and charity activities locally and internationally.

She was a woman of great kindness, enthusiasm and compassion; passionate about her children, grandchildren and her husband. She lived her life with elegance, generosity, and determination. She brought comfort and joy to many.

Services were Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Grace at Fort Clarke United Methodist Church, 9325 W Newberry Road, Gainesville. In lieu of flowers, Marsha would wish for donations to World Vision International at

Robert Houston Moore


Robert Houston Moore, Jr., 72, of Asheville, passed away Friday, April 22, 2016 at Charles George V.A. Medical Center.

A native of Asheville, Robert was the son of the late Robert Houston Moore, Sr. and Dorothy Owensby Moore. He is also preceded in death by his sister, Shirley Hampton of Toccoa, GA.

Mr. Moore served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After his service to his country, he then provided service to his community by working for the Norfolk Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff Department, as well as working as a mechanic. He loved to go fishing and hunting.

Survivors include his two sisters, Linda Williams (Richard), and Barbara Reese (Warren) both of Swannanoa; nephews, Michael and Travis; and nieces, Kim, Mary, Melissa, and Andrea.

A memorial service with Military Honors was held 12 p.m. Thursday, May 5 at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain with the Rev. James Lamb officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. Moore's memory to the Wounded Warriors Project, or to Disabled Veterans National Foundation.

Condolences may be made online at

Robert Day Miller

Lake Lure

The Rev. Robert Day Miller, age 81, of Lake Lure, passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at Hospice of Rutherford County with his loving family by his side. Born in Washington, D.C., on October 23, 1934, Rev. Miller was the son of the late Francis and Helen Hill Miller.

Rev. Miller and his family had many colleagues in the Montreat and Black Mountain area.

A celebration to honor the life of Rev. Miller will be held in June and will be announced, along with a full obituary, at a later date.

Chad L. Beam Funeral Licensee is assisting the Miller family. To sign the online guestbook, visit chadbeamfuneral

Gary Ronald Treadway


Gary Ronald Treadway, 56, of Swannanoa passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Gary was born December 30, 1959 in Buncombe County to Jimmie and Kathleen Treadway where he had lived all of his life.

In addition to his parents, Gary is survived by his daughter, Chloe Treadway Riddle and husband, Trey; son, Jimmie Treadway; sisters, Marsha Burnette (Melton) and Martie Thomas (Jim); brothers, Randy Treadway, Jeff Treadway (Missy), and Mike Treadway (Kathy); grandchildren, William, Kira, Justice, and Jaxon; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Monday, May 9, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Tim Earwood officiating. The family received friends immediately following the service. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor

John Knox Wilson

Black Mountain

Dr. John Knox Wilson, age 99 years, 11 months and 4 days, of Black Mountain left this world Wednesday, May 4 in Black Mountain, NC.

John was born in Kwangju, Korea on May 29, 1916. He lived in Korea until he graduated from high school. His parents, Robert M. Wilson and Bess Knox Wilson were medical missionaries who met in Korea in 1908. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Stuart; and his brothers James, Robert, Ed, and Joe, and his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Seto.

His survivors include his wife of almost 68 years, Nancy Dupuy Wilson; daughter, Susan Mucci (Richard); sons, John Wilson Jr. (Mary), Dudley Wilson (Alice Coblentz), Peter Wilson, and Frank Wilson (Amy Fuller). Grandchildren left in awe include Lauren Seto, Katy Seto, Emily Wilson, Luke Wilson, Daniel Wilson, Rose Wilson, Tucker Wilson, Ruby Wilson, Maddy Wilson, Gretalyn Easler, Molly Dockery, Hannah Creel, Joe Fuller, and David Wilson; and great-grandson, Max Seto.

He married Nancy Dupuy in 1948 and set up a private pediatric medical practice in Greensboro, NC. In 1968 the family moved to Korea where he worked setting up rural clinics and at the leprosy hospital his father had started in 1911.

In 1971, the family moved to Scottsville, Virginia where John worked in a rural clinic in Buckingham County while also serving as an associate professor at the University of Virginia Medical School.

Then, in 1973 the family moved to Whitesburg, Kentucky where John worked in the Daniel Boone Clinic.

In 1975 he and Nancy moved to Black Mountain, NC where they became active members of the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church where he sang in the choir for many years. He set up his final private practice office and retired 10 years later.

Gardening was another passion of John’s. In Black Mountain, his front yard included Lake Tomahawk. He and Nancy worked to clean up the area around the lake, and he started garden beds there. The garden later became the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden off Blue Ridge Road.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Christian Friends of Korea ( or to the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden through the Black Mountain Parks and Greenways Foundation, Black Mountain Recreation and Parks, 101 Carver Ave., Black Mountain, NC 28711.

Services will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhomefor