July 19 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News

Roy Bradford Franklin, Jr. 


Roy Bradford “Brad” Franklin, Jr., 70, of Swannanoa, passed away at home on July 7, 2018.

Brad was born April 14, 1948 in Buncombe County to the late Roy Bradford Franklin, Sr. and Mary Sue Franklin. He was a graduate of Owen High School where he played basketball. He enjoyed restoring cars and basketball. Brad worked in textiles most of his life, and he was a member of Swannanoa United Methodist Church.

Brad is survived by his wife of 47 years, Kathy Franklin; children, Brad Franklin, III (Nicci), Bryan Franklin (Dudley), Kerri Carter (Michael), and Adam Franklin; brother, Pat Franklin (Susan); grandchildren, Nora, Celia, Emmaline, Olivia, Ivey, Vivienne, Marielle, David and Boone; and nieces, nephews, and other loving family and friends.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Harwood Home for Funerals.

Roy Bradford "Brad" Franklin, Jr.

A Celebration of Life Service will be Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm at First Baptist Church, Black Mountain. Burial will be in Mountain View Memorial Park. 

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals.

Deborah Gail Rogers

Black Mountain

Deborah Gail Rogers

Deborah Gail Rogers of Black Mountain died on July 9, 2018 at her home and has moved on to the next part of her journey.   Debbie was a daughter of the Earth, a sister to the stars, and a friend of nature. After over a year of mysterious issues, numerous medical appointments, ER visits, and inconclusive tests Debbie was eventually diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Debbie was born August 17, 1956 to Horace L. Rogers and Alice Grace Garrett Rogers. Debbie is survived by her brother Lewis, his wife Barbara, their children, and grandchildren.

Her life partner – “my Andy” will hold her eternally in his heart. Debbie embraced Andy’s sister Cathy, her husband Al, Andy’s son Bradley, his wife Elana, Andy’s daughter Kimberley, her husband Jon, along with their daughter Harper as though they were her own flesh and blood. Teaching Harper to finally say WILDEBEAST put many smiles on her face as well as Andy’s.

Debbie, assisted by ‘her Andy’ has been the human to Maizey Mae, Czara, Quaba, Minnie Pearl, Hitler, Itty Bitty, and the appropriately named Trouble. These four leggers along with their flock of hens have brought much joy daily into their lives.

Debbie was blessed with many special people in her life.  She loved people and many surpassed friendship and were indeed her family. Her broad family encompassed loved ones from her Lissa, Owen HS - particularly some of the Class of 74, former employees at Davidson Homes, the New World Celts, Celtic Heritage, many staff at the BMNTC, Whole Wheat radio, many from years of living in South Florida, and many, many others.

Thank you to all those who have loved her and shared their lives. Flowers and cards are nice, but Debbie would prefer people use their resources to support the living through whatever charitable organization they feel appropriate. Blessed be~

Visitation will be Friday, July 13, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 7:00pm with a memorial service immediately following at Harwood Home for Funerals, 208 West State Street Black Mountain, NC.  

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Lawrence Tom Branch, Sr. 

Connelly Springs 

Mr. Lawrence Tom Branch, Sr., 79, of Connelly Springs passed away Wednesday July 11, 2018 at his home following a period of declining health.

Lawrence was born October 2, 1938 in Black Mountain to the late Jesse James Branch and Rosie Inman Branch. He retired from Aiken and Black Tire Company after 30 years  and currently owned Hildebran Tire.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brothers, Bob Branch, John Branch, Sam Branch, Henry Branch, Robert Branch, and Bill Branch; and sister Josephine Branch Hinson.

Lawrence Branch, Sr.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Hazel McLaughlin Branch of the home;  children,  Thomas Branch and wife Leisa of Granite Falls, Ricky Branch of Connelly Springs, Tamie McLean and husband Barry, Kathy Chapman and husband Dave of Connelly Springs, Lawrence Tom Branch, Jr. of Connelly Springs, and Jesse Branch and girlfriend Nikki of Connelly Springs, and one sister, Moraine Price of Marshall, NC, and 15 special grandchildren, and 23 special great grandchildren.

 A funeral service will be held 1:00PM Sunday July 15, 2018 in the Chapel of Heritage Funeral Service with the Rev. Ken Jenkins officiating.

Interment will follow the service at Mountain View Memorial Park in Black Mountain.

The family will receive friend Saturday July 14, 2018 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at Heritage Funeral Service in Valdese, NC.

An online guestbook and obituary is available at

Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory is serving the Branch family.