ALTAPASS -- Clay William Lusk, 59, of the Altapass Community, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Johnson City Medical Center. A native of Avery County, he was a son of the late Harry and Edna Griffith Lusk. 

Clay loved the outdoors, hiking and fishing. He was an avid reader of science-fiction novels and more recently had a great interest in genealogy.  

Joyce Jean Vance, 88, passed away Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, at the Sunnybrook Rehabilitation Center in Raleigh.

A native of Mitchell County, Joyce was the daughter of the late Merritt and Lilly Buchanan Young. Joyce was a longtime member of Martins Chapel United Methodist Church in Newdale and once served as its financial secretary. She belonged to a local sewing group and was skilled at making intricate crochet creations. Joyce was an avid gardener, enjoyed canning foods, and loved cooking for family and friends.

MARION -- Dennis Ward, 66, of Marion, went home to be with the Lord Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, at Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation in Nebo. Dennis was born March 8, 1950, in Mitchell County to the late Jeff and Daisy Mae Stevenson Ward.  

Known as a Godly man who had touched many lives, Dennis was employed as a product engineer for more than 23 years with Janesville Acoustics in Old Fort.  He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Yancey Street Baptist Church and formerly attended Mt. Calvary Freewill Baptist Church.  

BAKERSVILLE -- Alice B. Garland, 88, of Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, at her home. She was the daughter of the late Ted and Zella Buchanan Byrd and the wife of the late Fred Garland. Alice was a loving wife, mother and grandmother who was dedicated to her family. She was a member of the Bad Creek Baptist Church.

On Oct. 27, 2016, Fonda Borders Harris was suddenly called from her earthly home to be with her family in her heavenly home. She was 64 years old.

Fonda was the daughter of the late Rev. Hugh and Dorothy Smith Borders. She graduated from Harris High School with honors, where she was also quite an athlete, receiving numerous awards, including MVP in basketball. Fonda went on to college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she also graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing.

SPRUCE PINE -- Karl Edward Kuchta, 53, of the Swiss Pine Lake Community in Spruce Pine, died Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, at Memorial Campus of the Mission Hospital in Asheville.

Born Nov. 17, 1962, in Wadsworth, Ohio, he was the son of the late Ernest Mark and Emma Elisabeth Fritts Kuchta.

BAKERSVILLE -- Doris Miller Guier, 81, of Highway 226 North, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Oct. 21, 2016. She was a native of Mitchell County and the daughter of the late Winton and Zula Gortney Miller. 

Doris was a member of Ridgeview Presbyterian Church and enjoyed cooking. Her pies that she prepared at Helen’s Restaurant were famous and won several blue ribbons. She dearly loved her nieces and nephews. 

SPRUCE PINE -- Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Brannigan, 88, passed away peacefully at her home Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.  Betty was born Feb. 28, 1928, in Mohawk, New York, the daughter of Earl Kenneth and Ethel Marguerite (Schaufler) Palmer.  

On July 18, 1947, she married the love of her life, James Edward Brannigan Sr.  They had six children together, Christina, John, James, Thomas, Robert and Jeff.  Betty was a wonderful wife, devoted mother, and family and friends were her love and joy.   

BAKERSVILLE -- Charles William “Bill” Loven, 73, of Hwy 261, Bakersville, passed away Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, at his home. He was a native of Mitchell County and the son of the late Edmund T. and Nora Masters Loven.

He was a graduate of Bowman High in 1961 and Mars Hill College in 1965. He received a full scholarship to Mars Hill College and was awarded the school record for most points scored in a basketball game, and also had several other scoring records.

LITTLE SWITZERLAND -- William Marcus (Bill) Queen Jr., 68, of Little Switzerland, passed away Sept. 29, 2016, at the V.A. Medical Center in Asheville. He was the son of William Marcus Queen Sr. and Betty Jean (Hickey) Queen. He was born on Dec. 8, 1948, in Spruce Pine.

Bill was a highly decorated veteran serving our country in the United States Marine Corps for 23 years. He received the Purple Heart during the Vietnam War as well as the National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Sharpshooter Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and was a distinguished leader of the Marine Expert Sniper Team. 

NEBO -- Claudine Carpenter Butner, 83, of Nebo, went home to be with the Lord Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, at Deer Park Health & Rehabilitation in Nebo. A native of Mitchell County, born Aug. 4, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Lennie Carpenter.

Claudine volunteered most of her time at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. A member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, she loved spending time with her family and friends.

In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Junior Butner; and one brother, Harry Lee Carpenter.

BAKERSVILLE -- Randy Lee Burleson, 57, of Bakersville, passed away Oct. 7, 2016, at his home. A native of Mitchell County, he was a son of the late Henry and Wilma Gardner Burleson. He attended Roan Mountain Baptist Church and was employed as a millwright worker. 

Survivors include his stepmother, Darlene Burleson; two daughters, Mirana Reneé Boseman, of Morganton, and Margaret Burleson, of Charlotte; two sisters, Deborah Burleson, of Charlotte, and Janet Street, of Bakersville; one brother, Ronnie Burleson, of Bakersville; and one grandson, Latavian Boseman.

JONESBOROUGH, TENN. -- Dr. Danny “Dan” Anderson Brown, Ph.D., 70, of Jonesborough, Tennessee, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, at Vanderbilt Hospital following a short, but courageous battle with cancer. A native of Western North Carolina, he was the son of the late William Yarbrough and Elizabeth Anderson Brown.  

BAKERSVILLE -- Robert Wayne Ledford, 94, of NC 261, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord Oct. 1, 2016. He was a native of Mitchell County and a son of the late Amos Waits and Melissa Edney Ledford. 

Wayne was a member of Roan Valley Baptist Church and was retired from Mitchell County Schools after working 41 years as a custodian and bus driver. Wayne enjoyed going to church, being with friends and playing the guitar. 

BAKERSVILLE -- Mary Emily Hoilman, 82 of Laurel Street, Bakersville, went home to be with the Lord, Sept. 29, 2016. She was a native of Johnson City, Tennessee, and the daughter of the late Dave and Rosa Lee Livingston Walker. 

She attended Mine Creek Baptist Church. Mary loved taking care of her family and friends and was known for her excellent cooking. She was retired as a cook at Mitchell County Senior Center, formerly worked as Lunchroom Manager at Gouge School and later at Appalachian Christian Village in Johnson City.  


The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616