March 28 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News

Alice Trantham

Black Mountain

Alice Trantham

Alice Walker Trantham, affectionately known as “Mama T”, was called home into the arms of Christ our Savior on March 11, 2019. She went peacefully to sleep surrounded by loving family. Our Mom was truly our “angel on earth.”

She was born May 16, 1923 to George and Rebecca Walker and was preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Bob” Trantham; sons, Kenneth Walker and Alan “Freck” Trantham; siblings, Edna Brookshire, Dorthea Walker, and Bud Walker. Recently deceased is her granddaughter, Melissa Anne Reems (03-13-2019).

She is survived by her children, Gayle Trantham, Lyn Reems (Ray) and Philip Trantham (Terri); grandchildren, Matthew Reems, Carmelita Trantham, and Jeremy Brown; great grandchildren, Chance Effler and Sawyer Brown.

Mom loved the Lord. She was always helping others. She dedicated herself to her children first and her nursing second. She always put everyone’s needs ahead of her own.

After our father passed in Miami (1965), she moved to the mountains to be closer to our family. 

She would provide a place to sleep, a meal, a shoulder to lean on, or just a glass of her famous sweet tea.

Mom loved the ocean and was most at home there. Recently, spending time on the beach brought a sparkle to her eyes and a beautiful smile on her face.

Such a beautiful soul full of love and patience, she will also be missed by her two four legged babies, Berkley and Bella. They loved sitting with her in her chair, content on her lap.

We pray God will navigate our lives now without our most precious Mother. She was such a beautiful lady so full of wisdom.

A celebration of life service was held March 22, in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals, with Rev. Jack Pierce officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals (

Gerald "Jerry" Sibbett


Gerald “Jerry” Wayne Sibbett, 74, of Swannanoa, NC passed away on March 16, 2019, at Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center. 

He was preceded in death by his parents James and Thelma Sibbett.  He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Pattie Talbot Sibbett; daughter, Renee Ball (Bill), son, Jerry Lynn Sibbett; stepdaughter, Alison Clapp White (Walt); stepson, Philip Clapp; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jerry grew up in the Swannanoa Valley. After spending many years coaching local baseball and softball teams in the Valley, he started playing men’s senior league baseball. He played in the league for many years making lasting friendships and memories.

A heartfelt thanks to all the staff at Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center for their care of Jerry; they became family.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 30, at Valley Hope Church (formerly Swannanoa Valley Presbyterian Church), 115 Rockdale Avenue, Swannanoa. Visitation will be one hour before the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Memory Care, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville NC 28803 or Black Mountain Foundation, Inc. 932 Old US 70 Hwy, Black Mountain NC 28711. Penland Family Funeral Home ( is honored to be caring for the Sibbett Family. 

Dana Cadwell

Dana Ogren Cadwell left her earthly home and moved to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior on March 16, 2019.

Dana was born in Roscommon, Michigan first child of Harold and Dagney Ogren. She is survived by her daughters Jeanne Way (Dennis) of Charlevoix Michigan and Susan Cadwell of Asheville; grandchildren Brandon Bullard (Stephanie), Andrew Bullard, Cameron Canupp (Brooke) and Blake Way (Patricia); great grandchildren Brandon Jr., Emma, Payton, Christian, Andrew Jr, Parker and Caroline; twin brothers Harold (Denise) and John (Chris); brother-in-law Robert Cadwell (Karen) and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by the “sons of her heart” in Bolivia Teo, Ronald, Ruben (Eulalia), Adrian (Devon), Miguel (Maryanka), Raul, Roger, David and Jorge.

Dana graduated from Gerrish Higgins High School as valedictorian and attended University of Michigan for two years. Then she met the love of her life, David Cadwell, married and raised a family. She returned to UNC-Charlotte when she was 40 and graduated in five years, Summa Cum Laude, with a degree in accounting. She passed her CPA and CIA certification exams and was employed as a financial services executive until she retired in 1999 at which time she and David moved to Black Mountain.

Dana and David became caregivers for her mother who had Alzheimer’s. During this time they became members at Christ Community Church-Montreat and volunteered at several charities in Black Mountain. Her passion was for Charity Knitting, a group serving local needs and sponsoring projects around the world. After her mother passed, missions became their call. She and Dave went to Bolivia in 2004 and continued annual trips to work at a camp, teach finance, mentor teens, and work with a group of weavers (weaving was second only to knitting among Dana’s craft skills). During this period she served on the missions committee at church.

After Dave passed in 2012 she continue annual trips to Bolivia for three more years until her health would not allow her to travel, but she continued her involvement with Bolivian friends through the internet.

Dana will be laid to rest at a later service in Roscommon, Michigan where she will be interred with Dave in a three generation Ogren funeral plot.

Melinda Gray

Chuckey, Tennessee

Melinda Gray

Melinda Fortune Gray, 71, of Chuckey, Tennessee formerly of Ridgecrest, N.C., passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at Johnson City Medical Center.

She is survived by her husband: Donald Skeeter Gray; three daughters: Anita White (Joe), Cindy Gray, Donna Pressley (Randall); grandchildren: Hayley, Tyler, Jacob, Rachel, Angyl, and Alex; three great grandsons; one sister: Mary Lou Ward of Virginia.

She is preceded in death by her parents: Annie Mae Fortune and Bill Fortune; one sister: Esther Landers; granddaughter: Kyra Stevens.

She was a member of Walkertown Presbyterian Church.

The family received friends on March 23, at Walkertown Presbyterian Church, Chuckey, Tennessee. 

Interim Pastor Raymond Conkin officiated. Jeffers Funeral and Cremation Service ( is in charge of arrangements.

Susan Holmes


Susan Janene Holmes of Swannanoa, passed away at Solace Center of Asheville on Friday, Feb. 22, 2109 while surrounded by her family after complications from multiple strokes and a viral infection. She was 60 years old.

Susan was born in Covington, Louisiana on July 4th, 1958 to Billie and Ralph Holmes, Sr. Sue was the older sister to Ralph, Jr. and Lisa. Growing up and through college she excelled in athletics. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in finance, earned her master’s degree in accounting at Bentley University in Boston, and most recently graduated with her MBA from University of Phoenix. She had a successful career in sales and marketing. 

She is survived by her daughter, Laura Emsley Pedrino (husband Donny) of Santa Ynez, CA, son Alex Horner (wife Katie) of Charleston, SC, father Ralph Holmes, Sr. of Swannanoa, NC, brother Ralph Holmes, Jr. of Rochester, NY, sister Lisa Holmes of Swannanoa, NC, and other loving relatives.

Susan was a dedicated mother, always teaching her kids the importance of helping others. She had a soft spot in her heart for animals and found it hard to say no when there was an opportunity to bring an animal home. Susan found enjoyment in simple things like her morning talks with her dad, going to the movies with her daughter, talking to her son-in-law about Crossfit, beach days with her son and daughter-in-law, and devouring a good book in one sitting. She also loved hiking and going out to eat with anyone that would go with her.

Susan was an active member of Swannanoa Biltmore Church where she enjoyed gatherings with her friends. She particularly enjoyed her participation with friends at Hard Exercise Works where she was like a mom to others there. Susan also enjoyed her Sunday evenings where she was part of a bowling team with her sister, Lisa. She had numerous friends and was an especially giving person, frequently providing transportation, animal care, and house sitting for her friends.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday,March 29, at First Baptist Church of Asheville In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory made be made to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Black Mountain Home for Children, or Meals on Wheels.

Sue is reunited with her mom, Billie, her very best friend, Holly Horner, and all of her animals. She will be sorely missed by everyone here.

Thea "Tepe" Straite


Thea “Tepe” I. Straite 60, of Charlotte, NC was born December 29, 1958.  She departed this life on March 17, 2019. Tepe was born in Asheville and graduated from Owen High School Class of “77”.

She retired as a Business Analytics from Family Dollar Corporate Office in Charlotte. While living in Black Mountain, she worked at Bussman’s for many years.

Left to cherish her memory are her parents Buford and Carolyn Copeland, daughters Tiffany and Teresa Fair, 3 sisters, 4-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and a host of relatives and friends.

A memorial service was held on March 24, at Thomas Chapel AME Zion Church.

Donations in Tepe’s honor maybe made to St. Jude’s Hospital.

Carroll Allen


Carroll Allen

Carroll Lynn Allen, 70, died unexpectedly after a brief illness at Rex Hospital in Raleigh,on March 11, 2019. He was known for his many accomplishments as a financial planner, his love for family and friends, and his love of golf.

A native of Swannanoa, he moved with his parents Charles and Sue Ford Allen to Ypsilanti, Michigan when he was 2 years old. In Michigan, he excelled in the classroom as well as in basketball and baseball. He attended Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University where he continued playing baseball while earning a teaching degree. He taught school and served as an administrator in the Ypsilanti Public School system.

He spent time living in Hawaii and Raleigh before eventually moving to Houston, Texas where he began a career in financial planning. In 1984, he returned to Raleigh. At the time of his death, he was serving as Senior Vice President, Wealth Management, of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC and had earned many industry awards for his contributions to his clients and his company. He was recently recognized as one of the Top Five Branch Managers for Janney and was named by "On Wall Street" magazine as one of the Top 75 Branch Managers in America.

Within Janney, Carroll was known for his excellent leadership skills and his ability to educate both his staff and his clients. He was in love with his work and had zero desire to retire.

Carroll was also known for his love of family and spent much of his free time with his own children and grandchild, as well as the children and grandchildren of his wife. Carroll was preceded in death by his father Charles L. Allen who died in 1962 and his step-father for 41 years, Bernard Crittenden who died in 2017. Carroll is survived by his wife Sharry Tripp Allen; his sons, Christopher Blake Allen (Leslie), Blake Allen, Charles Carroll Allen; his daughter, Page Hoover Allen; grandson, Cameron Gray Allen; Sharry's children, Ashlie Berry and Teague Tripp; and Sharry's grandchildren, Chase and Ireland Berry. Carroll  is also survived by his mother, Sue Ford Allen Crittenden of Chelsea, MI; siblings, Gary Ford Allen (Susan), Jennifer C. Rykowski and Cheryl C. Mueller, all of Michigan; as well as his best friend of 45 years, Jim Wales. Carroll and Jim spent a lifetime traveling together to all of the world's great golf courses. Just two weeks before his death, Carroll hit the iconic peninsula green at TPC Sawgrass for a par! He is also survived by two aunts, Ruth Ford Penland of Swannanoa and Inez Allen Powlas of Hendersonville, NC; several nieces and nephews; and numerous cousins. A man who had more friends at 70 than most of us are blessed with in a lifetime; his relaxed demeanor and joyful presence will surely be missed by many.

A celebration of life was held at North Ridge Country Club on March 16.City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremations, in Raleigh, assisted the family. Condolences may be made online at