Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Steven Joe Jones

Joe Jones

Black Mountain

Joe Jones, 66, of Marion and Black Mountain, passed away July 20, 2016.

Joe was born January 12, 1950 in Buncombe County to the late Harold Walker Jones, Sr. and Hazel Rhymer Jones.

He loved his family and friends, and spending time with his grandsons. Joe was the manager of Sky City from the time it opened until it closed, a former McDowell County Sheriff Deputy, and the owner of McDowell Distributing for over 30 years. Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force reserve. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Swannanoa.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brothers, Buzz Jones and Elbert Jones.

Joe is survived by his daughters, Mandy Jones Effler and Stephanie Jones; sisters, Candy Jones Williams and Debbie Jones Hursey (Kev); grandsons, Collin Effler, Joel Effler, and Jackson Jones; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Monday, July 25, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, with Marshall Blankenship officiating. A Celebration of Joe’s life followed at Lake Tomahawk Clubhouse in Black Mountain.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to support Mission Work in Haiti, C/O Marshall Blankenship, PO Box 596, Black Mountain, NC 28711, to which Joe was an avid supporter for over 30 years. Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Kenneth Bradley Orr


From love and grace, Kenneth Bradley Orr passed to love and peace on July 18, 2016, after a long courageous battle with cruel Alzheimer’s disease. He was born March 15, 1933 in Charlotte, NC, the son of Frank Wylie and Kate Hannah Orr, predeceased by his parents and siblings, Wylie and Katherine Orr.

He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Ruth Douglas Currie of Montreat; also, three sons and seven grandchildren from his prior marriage to Janice Jarrett Orr, now deceased. Sons are Kevin Hunter Orr of Erie, PA, Jeffrey Hill Orr of Pittsburgh, PA, and Jonathan Jarrett Orr of Richmond, VA.

Ken was a 1950 graduate of Central High School in Charlotte, where he excelled on the football field, as well as in playing violin with the student orchestra. From 1954-1957, after ROTC at Duke University, where he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, he served as a pilot. In 1960-1961, he earned the Master of Divinity and Th.M degrees from Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond, VA.

After three years as pastor of the West End Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, VA, he returned to Union as Assistant to the President, after some years becoming a vice president. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1976. In 1979, he accepted the call to become President of Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he served until 1997. In recognition of his outstanding service, the Governor of South Carolina awarded him the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor.

A memorial service in celebration of Dr. Orr’s life will be held at the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in Black Mountain, NC on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2 p.m., with reception immediately following. After the reception, a private family interment service will be held at the Columbarium in Montreat, NC.

Memorial gifts may be made to Presbyterian College for the President Emeritus Dr. Kenneth B. Orr Memorial Endowment: Faculty Research Fellowship. Address: Presbyterian College, Office of Advancement, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, SC 29325. Contact:

Condolences may be offered online at

Gladys Pressley

Gladys Mable Pressley


Gladys Mable Pressley, 75, of Swannanoa, passed away July 20, 2016.

Gladys was born January 24, 1941 in Buncombe County to the late Zeb and Mary Pressley. She was a member of Victory Baptist Church. Gladys was a loving mother, grandmother and sister. She will be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her sisters, Billie Haynie and Pauline Hughes; brother, Weldon Pressley; and nieces and nephews.

Gladys is survived by her children, Ronnie and Sherri Moss, Ricky and Shannon Moss, David and Sandra Moss, Sharon and Mark Riddle, Bill and Angie Sartor, and Tina Dalton; sister, Shirley and Austin Brown; brothers, George and Frances Pressley, and David and Janice Pressley; 16 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren; and special nieces, Carolyn Russell, Krystal Dalton, and Teresa Honeycutt.

The family  received friends on Friday, July 22, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals.  A Celebration of Life Service was held Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Victory Baptist Church with Reverends Tommy Hall, Randy Gregg, Andrew Parker, and James Lamb officiating. Burial followed in Mountain View Memorial Park.

Arrangements were by Harwood Home for

Mary Jo Brown

 Mary Jo “Jody” Brown

 Black Mountain

Mary Jo “Jody” Brown, 85, of Black Mountain passed away July 15, 2016.

Ms. Brown was born in Black Mountain to the late Cline and Bessie Atkins.  Jody was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years.  She then worked as a MedTech at Highland Farms for 14 years where she later resided.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her brother, David Cline Atkins.

Jody is survived by her sons, Jeff Brown of Asheville and Eddie Brown and wife, Brenda of Charleston; granddaughters, Lauren Eftink, Lauren Tolley and Katie Brundage.

The family celebrated her life Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 1:30pm in the Assembly Room of Highland Farms.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for