Jan. 4 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
Lardner Moore

Lardner Charles Moore, Sr.

Black Mountain

  Lardner Charles Moore, Sr., 91, died at home on December 20, 2017 after a long battle with lung cancer. Lardner was born in Kurume, Japan, a fourth generation missionary in Japan on his mother's side and third generation on his father's side. The Moore/McAlpine/Ballagh family line dates back over 150 years from 1861 when his great-grandparents, Margaret and James Ballagh, arrived in Yokohama as some of the early pioneer missionaries. They helped found the Yokohama Kaigan Church in 1872, the first Protestant Japanese Church. Both of Lardner's parents, Anna McAlpine and Boude Chambers Moore, had also been born in Japan. The family had to return to the US at the beginning of World War ll.

  After high school graduation Lardner served in the U. S. Army. He studied Japanese language at the University of Michigan, and served as a 2nd Lieutenant in postwar Japan. During his college years at the University of Southern California Lardner was active in the Hollywood Presbyterian Church. While there he was privileged to serve two summers on teams from that Church engaging in youth work camps in Europe and in building Agape, a retreat center in Italy. After graduation from Columbia Seminary, in May 1953 Lardner married Mollie Anne Boney of Wallace, NC., and they have been married for nearly 65 years. In 1953 Lardner was ordained by Wilmington Presbytery, now known as Coastal Carolina Presbytery, and served for one year as pastor of the Cape Fear Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, North Carolina.

  Following the commissioning service at the World Missions Conference in Montreat in the summer of 1954, Lardner and Mollie sailed by freighter to Japan. After two years of language study, they served at Yodogawa Christian Hospital (YCH) in Osaka with Lardner as Missionary Chaplain. They served together there in hospital and hospice work for 44 years. Built originally by the 1955 Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering, YCH is now one of the leading Christian hospitals in Japan and is known throughout the country for its model hospice unit and for the first children's hospice in Asia.  Lardner worked with a team of Japanese chaplains there and he also served as a liaison between the hospital and various local churches. Later he became affiliated with the Reformed Church of Japan, and he also served as a member of the boards of several Christian institutions in Japan.

  Music was an important part of Lardner’s ministry, and he frequently sang and spoke at the hospital for services, at the bedside of patients, in many churches and meetings all over Japan, and occasionally in Christian concerts. Lardner's “He Touched Me” is a solo cassette recording made by Shalom Company which was circulated widely throughout Japan. He loved tennis and sailing, and during summer vacations led the Evening Hymn Sings at Lake Nojiri for 40 years. When time came in 1991 for retirement, the hospital staff, Board of Directors of Yodogawa Christian Hospital, and the Reformed Church asked the Moores to continue their work, and Lardner served for nine more years until their retirement in 2000, after 46 years of service in Japan.

  The Moores retired in Black Mountain, NC 17 years ago. However, they have returned to Japan each year after retirement and have continued contacts with Yodogawa Christian Hospital and with churches in Japan. In 2005 the Moores and their children and spouses were invited back for the 50th anniversary celebration of Yodogawa Christian Hospital. In 2009 Lardner represented the PC(USA) when they were guests of the Japan Bible Society at the 150th anniversary celebration of Protestant Missions in Japan. In 2010, the Moores were presented with the Bell McKay award at the Presbyterians for Renewal Conference in Montreat, N. C. Lardner also very much enjoyed gardening in retirement.  He has been an active member of the Black Mountain Kiwanis Club and the choir at Christ Community Church-Montreat.

  After a family burial service, the Memorial Servicetook place at 2 p.m. on Friday December 29 in Graham Chapel (formerly called Gaither Chapel) in Montreat.

  In addition to his wife Mollie, surviving are children Lardner C. Moore, Jr. (Melanie), Anne Klessig (Richard), and Josephine Haynes (John); brother, Dan Moore; sisters-in-law, Roberta Moore and Leigh Moore; grandchildren, Elizabeth Klessig, Scott and Michael Haynes, Rebecca Moore, and Mary Kate Bashaw (James); and great-granddaughter, Guinevere Bashaw.

  “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” was the theme song of Lardner's life, and his favorite verse was the words of Jesus “I stand at the door and knock and if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in.”

  For those who choose, memorials may be given to the Keystone Scholarship Fund for Montreat College Students:  Montreat College, P. O. Box 1267, Montreat, NC 28757. Or Moore Memorial Fund for Yodogawa Christian Hospital (YCH).  Checks can be made to Christ Community Church Montreat (CCCM), P. O. Box 279, Montreat, NC 28757 and marked in the memo line "YCH Moore Memorial Fund".

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Jimmie Roe Reid


Jimmie Roe Reid, 82, of Swannanoa, went to be with the Lord on December 22, 2017 at the Charles George VA Medical Center after a long illness.

  Jimmie was born March 7, 1935 in Jackson County to the late William Ralph and Dorothy Gibson Reid.  He grew up in the Swannanoa Valley and was a 1954 graduate of Black Mountain High School. Jimmie served in the US Navy aboard the USS Philippine Sea. He loved blue grass music and played with James Carson and the Countrymen for many years. Jimmie retired from National Medical Enterprises formerly known as Appalachian Hall Hospital after 27 years, and then retired from Montreat College after 13 years. He was a kind man and he enjoyed helping others.

  In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his son, James Ralph Reid; and sister, Shirlea Nicholson.

  Jimmie is survived by his wife, Hazel Brandon Reid; stepson, Martin Merrick (Machille); stepgrandson, Brent Merrick (Jessica); stepgreat-grandson, Tate Merrick all of Knoxville, TN; stepgranddaughter, Shelby Carter of Charlotte, NC; and niece, Sheila Cockrell of Black Mountain, NC.

  The family will receive friends Thursday, January 4, 2018 from noon to 1 p.m. at Swannanoa United Methodist Church, with a memorial service immediately following with Rev. Michael Harrill, Jr. officiating.  Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.

  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to assist a family or child of your choice this Christmas season. Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.

Jessie Painter Hensley

Black Mountain

  Jessie Painter Hensley, 89, of Black Mountain, passed away Wednesday December 27, 2017.

  Mrs. Hensley was born May 21, 1928 in Lincolnton, NC, moving to Buncombe County in 1972.  She was a member of Berea Baptist Church.

  Jessie is preceded in death by her husband, Rex Hensley; mother, Ella Painter; son, Billy Ray “Pete” Taylor; infant daughter, Jean Carol Taylor; granddaughter, Michelle Taylor; brother, Johnny Painter; and father of her children, Vance Taylor.

  Mrs. Hensley is survived by her sons, Sidney “Bud” Cunningham, Calvin Taylor (Regina), and James Taylor; daughters, Sue Lucas and Mary Lunsford (Roger); daughter-in-law, Peggy Taylor; 14 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

  A Celebration of Life Service was held Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals with Rev. Allen Rash officiating.  Burial was in Berea Baptist Church Cemetery.

  The family received friends one hour prior to the service time at the funeral home.  Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals. 

Jesse Lee Gragg


Jesse Lee Gragg, 78, of Swannanoa passed away on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at his home in Swannanoa. He was born on July 31, 1939 in Buncombe County to the late Troy Anthony and Laura White Gragg. He worked as a mechanic at an auto repair shop and was a member of Bee Tree Christian Church in Swannanoa.

Jesse was widowed by his wife, Claudia Rice Gragg who passed away on April 24, 2015. He is also preceded in death by his son, Jesse Lee Gragg Jr. Jesse is survived by his daughter, Sherry Gragg Allen of Leicester; son, Mike Gragg (Twee) of Fayetteville, NC; step-children, Joe Hart of Swannanoa, Tommy Hart of Swannanoa and Teresa Hart of Fairview; as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

                A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Bee Tree Christian Church, 1185 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa at 2 p.m. Jan. 7. Penland Family Funeral Home is serving the family. The online register is available at

Charlotte Chesnutt

Charlotte Chestnutt


Charlotte June Frist Faucette Chesnutt, born on March 4, 1938 in Starkville, Mississippi, will be remembered and honored at a celebration of life service at Montreat Presbyterian Church in Anderson Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2018. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in her honor to the Presbytery of WNC Building H.O.P.E. Campaign via Montreat Presbyterian Church (828-664-9212, PO Box 577, Montreat, North Carolina 28757), Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry (101 N Ridgeway Ave, Black Mountain, NC 28711), or Montreat Conference Center (PO Box 969, Montreat, NC 28757).