May 31 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News
Kathleen Treadway

Kathleen Fowler Treadway, Swannanoa

  Kathleen Fowler Treadway, 82, of Swannanoa, passed away peacefully in her home on May 19, 2018 surrounded by her family. 

  Kathleen was born May 21, 1935 in Madison County to the late Otis and Mildred Fowler.

  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her son, Gary Treadway; brothers, R.K, Jimmie, and Clayton Fowler; sisters, Ornan Bishop, Wilma Sawyer, and Margaret McCarter; and grandson, Joshua Adam Treadway.

  Kathleen is survived by her husband of 64 years, Jimmy Lonnie Treadway; sons, Mike, Randy, and Jeff Treadway; daughters, Marsha Burnette and Martie Thomas; brother, Elbert Fowler; sisters, Annie Mae Stamey and Winnie Caldwell; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she was known to as Nanny.

  A Service was held Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals. Flowers are accepted and appreciated.  Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals,

Billy Ricketts

Billy Ray Ricketts, Jr., Black Mountain

Billy Ray Ricketts, Jr., 56, of Black Mountain, passed away unexpectedly on May 19, 2018.

  Billy was born September 17, 1961 in Florida to Billy Ray Ricketts, Sr. and Millie Parrish Brown. Billy loved life and lived each day to the fullest. He was always a free adventurous spirit that loved to laugh and have fun. He had a very loving and caring heart, and he never met a stranger. He was larger than life. Billy loved riding his Harley Davidson, horseback riding, camping, fishing, his Blue Heeler “Bandit,” and especially his sons and his brother.

Billy is survived by his sons, Billy Ray Ricketts, III and Cody Ricketts both of Black Mountain; brother, Barry Ricketts of Black Mountain; step-father, Michael Brown of Asheville; aunts, Lois Parrish of Cary, NC and Martha Kennedy (Sonny) of Concord, NC; and cousins, Lee Parrish of Durham, NC and Tracy DeMar of Wilmington, NC.

  The family received friends Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals.  A Celebration of Life Service was Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial was in Green Hills Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Harwood Home for Funerals. 

Earl Bittle

Rev. Earl Richard Bittle, Lowell

Early May 21, 2018, the Rev. Earl Richard Bittle drew his final breaths and made the journey he’d been shouting about for decades. He passed peacefully while his wife gave him a backrub and he simply fell to sleep.

He was born on June 7, 1937 in Chesterfield, SC. One of eight children, Rev. Bittle is preceded in death by his parents, Pearl Bittle and Fannie Jordan, two sisters Louise Killian and Margie Hodge, and brothers Grover Bittle and Rev. Charles Burris Bittle.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Dixie Lee Ervin Bittle, three brothers; Lloyd Bittle and wife Sheila of Landis, Ray Bittle and wife Maxine of Kannapolis, and Junior Bittle and wife Linda of Kannapolis; four children, Crystal Kelly and husband Wesley of Denver, NC, Sharon Potter and husband Tom of Lowell, Bobby Ray Bittle and wife Megan of Lowell, and Fred R. Bittle of Stanley, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Rev. Bittle, who pastored several churches in the Black Mountain area, began his work as a Freewill Baptist preacher after first holding a job as a humble millworker and spending time with the United States Army National Guard. He studied at Western Piedmont Bible College in Cramerton, NC and graduated in June 1963.

Remembrances may be sent to the family at

Clarence Fouse

Clarence Duncan Fouse, Jr., Black Mountain

Clarence Duncan Fouse, Jr., joined the Church Triumphant on May 22, 2018, after a long illness.

He was born August 31, 1942, in Wilkinsburg, PA, the only child of Clarence Duncan Fouse, Sr. and Clara Mae Jones Fouse.  Clarence graduated from Miami Senior High in Miami, FL, Stetson University in Deland, FL, Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA and earned his Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.  He also became a Colonel as an Army Reserve Chaplain for 23 years in South Carolina.

Clarence served several churches in South Carolina for 35 years: Uriel and Fishing Creek Presbyterian Churches in Chester County, McCarter Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC, and Great Falls and Cedar Shoals Presbyterian Churches in Chester County. He enjoyed playing tennis, basketball and softball and remained a sports enthusiast for many years, especially pulling for the Clemson Tigers. 

Clarence is survived by his wife of 45 years, Margaret Harper Fouse, of Black Mountain, NC; his two daughters Jennifer Fouse Sheorn (Dean), of Greenville, SC, and Mary Margaret Fouse Bishop (Brian) of Golden, CO; and son, Clarence “Clay” Duncan Fouse, III (Schaap Freeman), of Montreat, NC. Clarence is also survived by 10 awe-inspiring grandchildren: Ben Sheorn, Harper Day Freeman Fouse, Virginia Freeman Fouse, Andrew Bishop, Isadora Freeman Fouse, Eliza Bishop, Bailey Sheorn, Alice Freeman Fouse, Clara Bishop and Oscar Freeman Fouse. 

A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 8, at 3 p.m. at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, in Black Mountain, NC.  Memorials may be sent to Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 39, 117 Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711. The online register is at