Oct. 10 Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Black Mountain News

Barbara Dale Jackson Higgins

Black Mountain

Barbara Higgins

Barbara Dale Jackson Higgins, 83, of Asheville, NC passed away Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019 at Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain.

She is preceded in death by her father, Frank George Jackson; mother, Florence Ingle Jackson; and husband, Oswald Kenneth Higgins.

Barbara earned a BS degree from UNC-Greensboro and after was a teacher with Asheville City Schools. She attended Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church and volunteered for many years with ABCCM and Mission Hospital.

Barbara was a beloved stepmother to Lisa Higgins Shugoll and Cynthia Ellen Higgins. She is also survived by 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church with reception to follow. Rev. Dr. Steve Runholt will be officiating.

The family would like to thank the caregivers on the Azalea Wing at Givens Highland Farms; their skill and loving kindness will never be forgotten. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Health Care Center at Givens Highland Farms.

Condolences can be made to the family at

Oscar Walker

Black Mountain

Oscar Walker, 84, of Black Mountain passed away Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.

Mr. Walker was born Aug. 29, 1935 in McDowell County to the late Ewart and Myrtle Walker.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of Swannanoa Heights Baptist Church.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Terri Miller; sister, Evelyn Bradley and brothers, Herbert and Frank Walker.

Oscar is survived by his wife, Louise Bridges Walker; children, Mike Walker, Kathy Moreno (Tony), and Amy Shelton (Roy); grandchildren, Michael Walker (Hannah) and Audrey Shelton; great granddaughter, Sophia Walker; sister, Martha Hudgins (Harold) and brother, Robert Walker (Virgie).

The family received friends at Harwood Home for Funerals on Oct. 3. A Celebration of Life Service, officiated by Rev. Bruce Robinson, followed. 

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals (

Karen Scheidler

Old Fort

Karen Scheidler

Karen M. Scheidler, 71 of Old Fort passed away Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

Mrs. Scheidler was born July 13, 1948 in Pennsylvania. She was the matriarch, honorably carrying the titles of Wife, Mom, Grandma, Teacher, and Soccer Coach to name a few. 

She enjoyed gardening, reading, painting and crafts.  Karen was an avid world traveler, who loved France, and passionately teaching her family and students about the French culture. She was a French teacher with Chapel Hill, High School in Chapel Hill, Texas for 20 years.  Karen was a member of Black Mountain United Methodist Church, volunteering her time with MANNA FoodBank and rescuing animals. After retiring, she became a collector of uniquely, beautiful “things”.   

Mrs. Scheidler is preceded in death by her parents, James and Ruth Dale and brother, Jeffrey Hess.

Karen is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Hal Scheidler in which the two of them together were amazing role models to their children and grandchildren; daughters, Michelle Ingle (Aaron) and Alison Bois (Brian); son, Evan Scheidler (Annie); and grandchildren, Edison, Gerard, Frederick, Parker, Sawyer and Scarlett.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials made to Karen’s passions: MANNA FoodBank, 627 Swannanoa River Road, Asheville, NC 28805 or Asheville Humane Society, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, NC 28806.

Arrangements by Harwood Home for Funerals (

Lockey Lawson

Black Mountain

Lockey Lawson

Lockey Burgin Lawson was born Nov. 19, 1920, a mere two weeks after the first presidential election where women were allowed to vote. As the youngest, by a significant margin, of four sisters she grew up alternately played with like a doll and left in a corner like a burden. But she had the woods of Black Mountain to escape into. 

As the youngest she was also a daddy's girl, following her father, George Aden, on his rounds around town taking care of his duties as a city councilman, while caging treats whenever she could. It was often said that, where you saw George, you saw his shadow, Lockey.

She spent much of her time riding horses or going to Myrtle Beach, S.C. with her friends. 

Lockey lived in a world of deep family traditions with a well respected father who taught her important values that helped her every day of her life, including the importance of listening to people and making them feel like they mattered. Family mattered a great deal to her and she kept in touch with them and childhood friends throughout her life. Her daughter Jody was raised on stories of her family and the people of the town where she was raised.

It was unusual for a young woman of the time to even finish high school, but Lockey went on to gain not one but two, two-year college degrees, and had a successful career as a librarian. She later found love with a good-looking WWII veteran named Willis "Blackie" Lawson. They were married on June 16, 1948. 

Their daughter, Josephine, was born in 1950, and not too long after that Lockey was hired as a librarian for the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., a job she held until retiring in 1973. The family first moved to D.C. from N.C., then moved to Falls Church, Virginia in 1955. In her role as librarian Lockey commanded the respect of everyone from junior officers all the way up to Admirals. She kept them in line either with a sharp quip, or, if necessary, a flung book. She routinely handled very important classified documents and was trusted by very important members of Naval Command. 

When Lockey retired from the Navy department, she and Blackie moved to Augusta, Georgia where she indulged her passion for gardening. Her yard varied from well controlled beds and pots to wild brambles, but she knew each plant by name, knew when they had been planted, and exactly what care they needed. Lockey was also a loving pet owner, crossword solver and an avid reader. Lockey was an excellent storyteller and conveyed a lot of her childhood and stories of her career and family.

Lockey lost Blackie in 1985 to kidney failure and congestive heart failure, but she made many friends in the neighborhood and was a regular in multiple garden centers around town where her Volvo station wagon was a common and welcome sight. They knew Lockey would be interested in the latest plants they had added to their stock. She worked to build a daily routine where she made friends with everyone she spoke to, remembering their names and little things about them that mattered.  

From 1990-1991 she spent a year taking care of her eldest grandson, Thomas Ricks while he went to school at Augusta College, shuttling him back and forth to school each day.  

In 1995 Lockey's daughter moved to Atlanta. Having her child close by was much more of a comfort than having her thousands of miles away.   

The family visited her as often as they could, usually on a monthly basis helping her maintain the house and continue her independence as long as she could. While this became a struggle at the end, her fierce and stubborn mountain spirit found many innovative solutions to very common problems and her work in her lovely garden kept her fit very late into her life. She enjoyed antiquing and collecting garden gnomes.

In 2009, at her daughter's insistence, Lockey moved in with her daughter and son in-law, Skip, in Atlanta, along with four grumpy cats and a sweet Chihuahua puppy named "Bones". Lockey loved Bones often feeding him spaghetti or other snacks right in her lap.  While in Atlanta, she reestablished her routine of a close circuit of friends from people she bought things from, especially at Macy’s department store and the bank.

They all knew her by name and loved to talk to her. She was able to help with a folklore project for her Daughter in law, recording interesting details of her life including one unusual anecdote about wanting an eye on the end of her finger so she could "spy on people."

When her son in-law took a job in California in 2015 she reluctantly went along. Crossing the country in a rented RV, along with four dogs and eight cats. Unfortunately later that year she was struck by a drunk driver while walking with Bones and a care assistant, and broke her hip, an injury that she never fully recovered from. 

On April 20, 2019, 34 years to the day of when she lost her beloved Blackie, Lockey passed away quietly in her sleep. She is survived by her only daughter Josie, son in-law Skip, six grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and her sister, Georgia Wilson, who is 104.

Her ashes will be laid to rest at noon on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Mountain View Memorial Park on Tabernacle Road at Blackie's side. Her family will hold a brief graveside remembrance followed by a reception at 1:30 p.m., at 406 Ivy Road, Black Mountain NC 28711

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, or your local animal shelter.