Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Winnie Miller

Winnie Bell Raffield Miller

Black Mountain

Winnie Bell Raffield Miller, 87, of Black Mountain went to be with the Lord on August 16, 2016 at Mountain Ridge Health and Wellness Center.

She was born on February 13, 1929 to the late Tom and Maggie Raffield of Old Fort. She was a member of Mountain View Baptist Church. Winnie retired from Beacon Manufacturing and was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 years, Jack Miller; grandson, Michael Vanover; great-grandson, Lucas Vanover; seven brothers and three sisters,

Winnie is survived by her three sons, Roger Miller and wife, Sally of Black Mountain; Glen Miller and wife, Clara of Marion; and Ricky Miller and wife, Janice of Old Fort; four daughters, Gail Worley and husband, Dale and Brenda Vanover and husband, Mike, all of Black Mountain; Robin Calloway and husband, Johnny and Sharon Myers and husband, Kelly, all of Old Fort; sister, Bonnie Jackson of Marion; 26 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; 21 great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of life service was held Friday, August 19, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Meadowbrook Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Randy Stone and Rev. Frank Cantrell officiating. The family received friends one hour prior to the service. Burial was in Mountain View Church Cemetery.

The family would like to thank everyone at Mountain Ridge Health and Wellness and Four Seasons Hospice for the love and care that was provided. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

James P. Hootman

Black Mountain

James P. Hootman died on August 15, 2016 at his residence in Black Mountain. He had been in declining health for several years.

He was predeceased by parents Harry Herbert and Mildred May Hootman, of Washington, Pa. He was also predeceased by brothers Gordon L. Hootman and Vance A. Hootman, and sisters Janice Ann Flemming and Shirley Hootman. He was also predeceased by wife Claudia Hootman, of Washington, Pa., and Sonja Hootman, of Germany and Lincolnton.

James is survived by Barbara Hootman, a writer for the Black Mountain News. Until declining health prevented him, he was an avid wildlife photographer. He served in the Marine Corps, and after retirement he moved to North Carolina.

He had a special love of domestic and wild creatures, and especially appreciated the beauty of the mountains. As his health declined he spent most of his time with his dogs, Cookie and Muff-Fe, and watched the birds outside his window.

For the past 30 months he was cared for daily by CNA Lora Crowley, with whom he had a special bond. He was a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Black Mountain for the past 10 years. No services were held.

Betty Ann McGee Hughey


Betty Ann McGee Hughey, 81, went home to be with the Lord, August 10, 2016, at the Brian Center in Brevard, North Carolina.

She was born in Bison, Oklahoma, on September, 21, 1934, the eldest child of the late George Roy McGee and Mary Ann Neufeld McGee.

Betty accepted the Lord as her personal savior at the age of 36.

She will be remembered by her many friends and family as one who was concerned about the spiritual welfare of others.

She was predeceased by her sons, David A. Leslie and Douglas E. Leslie; and her siblings, Charles E. McGee, Clifford L. McGee, Frances M. Rauch and Jack L. McGee.

Surviving is her sister, Kathy M. Fetsch (Larry); her four children, Dwight E. Whitney (Ann), Ronda W. Davis (Dennis), Robert A. Leslie (Marla), and David C. Jones (Kristi); five grandchildren, Sara W. Wolford (Seth), Callie W. Hutchens (Sam), Whitney D. Pyles (Seth), Stephen D. Jones (Niki), and Joanna C. Leslie; and four great-grandchildren, Penelope Wolford, Eleanor Wolford, Maxwell Wolford and Ezra Jones.

A private memorial service will be held.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff at the Brian Center for their care, compassion, and kindness towards Betty.

Memorial gifts may be made to CarePartners Hospice, 1266 Asheville Highway, Suite 5, Brevard, North Carolina 28712. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwood

Clyde W. Curtis


Clyde W. Curtis, 86, died Aug. 8. Born in Black Mountain, he was the son of the late Addie and Thomas Curtis.

He was preceded in death by his late wife, Blanche, as well as three brothers, three sisters and one nephew.

He is survived by his loving wife, Margaret, two sisters-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and -nephews and great-great-nieces and -nephews.

He retired from the U.S. Forest Service after 37 years’ employment.

Patricia Ruth Luther Moss


Patricia Ruth Luther Moss, 69, of Swannanoa, passed away August 6, 2016.

Patricia was born January 24, 1947 in Buncombe County to the late Edward Louis and Abbie Luther.

She was a loving wife, sister and friend who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Surviving Patricia are her husband, Richard Moss; siblings, Ella Mae Jackson (Stanley), Anita Nanney (Jerry), Alvin Luther (Lynn), Jeannie McMahan (Ronnie), and Edward Luther (Sharon); and special family member, Ricky Humphries.

A Celebration of Life Service was held Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals, harwoodhome

James McElrath

James Oliver McElrath


James Oliver McElrath passed away on August 16th 2016, he was 93.

Oliver was born in Swannanoa, North Carolina, on June 27th, 1923 to the late George, Sr. and Lula Kent McElrath.

Oliver is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Mickey Chapman McElrath of Black Mountain; their children, Dean McElrath (wife Judy, daughter Jennifer and husband Tim, son Clint and wife Melissa) all of Black Mountain; Terry McElrath of Black Mountain; Dale McElrath (Penny) of Graham, North Carolina; and 2 beautiful great-granddaughters, Keira Madison Johnson and Jade Melissa McElrath; also numerous nieces, nephews; and extended family.

Oliver grew up in Patton Cove of Swannanoa.  Oliver enlisted in The Army of the United States on January 16, 1943 at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.

After he returned from the war he met the love of his life, Mickey.  Married in 1947, they began a life together that lasted 69 years.  Oliver began his federal career at Moore General Hospital and transferred later to the VA Hospital in Asheville.  He became a real estate agent later in his career.

A huge Owen Warhorse and Warlassie fan his entire life, he loved to watch his grandchildren play for the school and almost never missed a game. Oliver was the 'rock' of his family, a man who willingly gave of his time and efforts to others with no strings attached. His caring will be missed by those whose lives he touched.

There was a private graveside service, followed by a Celebration of Life at First Baptist Church, Black Mountain at noon Friday, August 19, 2016. Visitation followed.

The family requests donations in lieu of flowers be made in memory of James Oliver McElrath to the Owen High School Warlassie Softball Program, c/o Owen High School, 99 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711.  Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Carolyn Clark

Carolyn Colombe Clark

Black Mountain

Carolyn Colombe Clark, formerly of Augusta, GA, was born on June 29, 1928 and died on August 12, 2016 surrounded by family at Givens Highland Farms where she lived for the past nine years.

Preceded in death by parents, Hazel and George Colombe, and husband, James William Clark.  Survived by three daughters, Dr. Colleen Clark of Tampa, Gwen C. Skelley (Luke) of Nashville, and Julia C.  Burr (Jessica Klarp) of Black Mountain; sister, Elaine C. Lanier (Don) of Colorado Springs; four grandchildren, Selena Lee, Katie Lee, Brian Skelley, Julia Byron and three great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Caroline, and Audrey Kate; and nieces and nephews.

Carolyn was born in Fairfax, OK, graduated as valedictorian in San Antonio, and attended the University of Texas before her 58 year marriage to Dr. James W. Clark. Carolyn was instrumental in Jim’s pursuits in the dental and academic world, while also making every house a home with beautiful gardens through their multiple moves in the South.

Carolyn loved reading, good food and nature’s beauty, particularly the gardens of Highland Farms’ and Julia and Jessica’s.  She found a true home and wonderful friendships living in Black Mountain and as a member of St. James Episcopal Church.  She was brave, strong minded, and sharp witted. She left this world the same way in which she lived: on her own terms. She will be missed.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 27 at 3 p.m. in the Assembly Room at Givens Highland Farms. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries, St. James Episcopal Fund, Black Mountain or Clark Family Trust for Selena Clark Lee: C1 Bank 100 5th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

 Ronald A. Morris 

Virginia Beach, VA 

Ronald A. Morris, 74, passed away peacefully at home on August 9, 2016.

Ronald was born May 12, 1942 as the oldest son of Evelyn & Wiley Morris. He grew up in Black Mountain and graduated from Montreat College in 1962. Ronald married his college sweetheart, Jeanne McAnnally. He moved to Virginia Beach and began work at C & P Telephone. In 1966, Ronald enlisted in the US Air Force as a Navigation Tech. and served during the Vietnam War. In 1989, he moved to New Kent County, VA when promoted to Area Mgr. of 3 states. He retired after 33 yrs. of service. On September 30, 2000, He married Nancy Y. Cable.

Ronald is preceded in death by his parents, Uncle Zeke and numerous relatives.

Ronald is survived by his wife; son, Ronald A. Morris, Jr.; daughter, Kimberly J. Kelly (Roger); grandson, Gregory S. Morris; siblings: Sharon M. DeHart, Ralph Morris, Donna Hunnicutt, and Dale Morris.

A private Military Service was held on August 12, 2016, at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to or United Cerebral Palsy, 5825 Arrowhead Drive, #201, VA Beach, VA 23462.