June 20 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

Marvin Rickman

Rock Hall, Maryland

Marvin Rickman

Marvin Odell Rickman of Rock Hall, Maryland passed away on May 23, 2019. He was born in Asheville on Oct. 8, 1955 to Clyde and Grethel Davis Rickman.

He is survived by his wife Elke Colon Rickman and son Daniel Rickman of Rock Hall, his mother Grethel Davis Rickman of Swannanoa, three sisters Noman and Robert Cordell of Swannanoa, Jan Rickman of Swannanoa and Grethel Jane Rickman of Zirconia, one uncle and three aunts.

Marvin was a 1973 Charles D. Owen High School graduate and band member. He was enlisted in 1974 in the U.S. Army, where he served as a military fife and rum corp member. 

A service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21 at the Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain. Pastor George Davis will officiate. 

Al Mojonnier


Al Mojonnier (a.k.a Poppy Seed, Alphonso Mango, Big Al, etc.), died on June 5, 2019, just shy of his 85th Birthday. 

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 54 years, Ann, his daughters Carolyn and Laura and their husbands (Charlie and Armin), his four grandchildren, his sisters Ellie and Emmorette, his dog Mocha, and many dear friends as well as extended family.

Al was born and raised in the Chicago area. He graduated from Northwestern University and served in the Navy in Seattle and Japan. 

He and Ann moved to Asheville following retirement and absolutely loved it here. Al had several careers before finding his way back to his calling as a teacher. He even loved substitute teaching!  

Al was active with church groups and volunteer organizations all of his life – most recently at First Congregational UCC and Manna Food Bank in Asheville. He enjoyed advocacy work for the peace movement and affordable housing. One favorite memory is his glowing smile while being arrested during the Moral Monday protests.  

We miss Al’s smile, his kindness, his gentle spirit, his quiet determination, his droll sense of humor, his flair for storytelling even with all the tangents, and his amazingly detailed memory. Al loved hiking, nature, dogs, adventuresome eating, and travel - especially when shared with family and friends. 

Al was buried in a beautiful wooded site at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary on June 8th.  We are grateful to the John Keever Solace Center Hospice, the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, and the Death Doula Collective for giving all of us the best possible care and guidance these past few weeks.  

We are also grateful to the entire staff at Memory Care and the chaplain and social worker at Givens Highland Farms for their loving care, and to the pastor and loving congregation of First Congregational UCC in Asheville.

Memorial donations in honor of Al may be made to a charity of your choice.