Obituaries

Abraham Wachacha, 61, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Saturday, December 15, 2018.

He was the son of the late Rhiley Wachacha and Lucinda Axe Wachacha. He was also preceded in death by his niece, Maggie Lynn Wachacha; siblings, JD Wachacha, Emily Wachacha Reed, Catherine Wachacha Long; and his grandparents, Jarrett and Maggie Axe Wachacha “Beloved Woman”.

Abraham served for 18 years on Tribal Council and served as vice chairman. He was an avid Chicago Cubs and Buffalo Bills fan. He was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church.

Iris Stevenson Waters, 90 on December 10, 2018 passed from this earthly world to be with her Lord and Savior in His Heavenly Kingdom. Born to Bright Livingston Stevenson and Edna Staton on February 20, 1928 in Columbia, SC, Iris spent most of her adult life in Lighthouse Point, FL and Bryson City, NC before moving to Bonners Ferry, ID in 2012 to live with her daughter, Blair Willis, and son-in-law, Dr Stu Willis.

Martha “Molly” Pierce, age 85, of New Smyrna Beach, FL., passed away peacefully at home early December 9, 2018. 

Martha was born and grew up in Council Bluffs, IA and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1951.  As the 4th of 5 children in a large Irish-Swedish clan, Martha deeply loved her family and church.  Even then she was recognized for her artistic interests and talent.

Vonnie Lee Oliver Manning, 85, of Clover, SC passed away on Friday, November 23, 2018 at Harbor Chase of Rock Hill, SC.

The funeral service was at 2 PM Monday, November 26, 2018 at Bratton Funeral Home with the Reverend Ray Loftis officiating. Burial was at Lakeview Memory Gardens. 

Born September 30, 1933 in Bryson City, NC, Vonnie was the daughter of the late James Robert Oliver and Nettie Brendle Oliver. She was a Cafeteria Manager for the Clover School District and a member of East Clover Church of God.

Maxine Monteith Bivens, 83, of Bryson City passed away Friday, December 7, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Herman and Mae Shook Monteith and wife of the late Weldon Ginn and James Bivens.

She was a member of Deep Creek Missionary Baptist Church, and the Order of the Eastern Star, East LaPort. She retired from Buster Brown Corp. Maxine was active in the Women Mission Union and was the ladies adult Sunday School Teacher.

Georgia Annabelle Cochran passed away Saturday, December 8, 2018. 

She was a native of Swain County and was the daughter of Neavil Cochran and Inez Bowers Cochran. 

Tracy Renee Swimmer, residence of the Big Cove Community, went home to be with the Lord, Tuesday, December 4, 2018.

Tracy was preceded in death by her mother, Jessie Ross Swimmer, Grandparents: Lillie Mae Wahnetah, John Wahnetah, McKinley Ross, Amanda Swimmer, and Luke Swimmer. Uncles: Ronald, John Wesley, Herbert,  McKinley Swimmer, and Bob Ross. Aunt: Mary Ellen Wolfe.

Louise Edwards Stephenson Willis, 86, of Bryson City took her first flight Tuesday, December 4, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Maurice and Naomi Carson Edwards.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Dallas Stephenson, second husband, McKinley Willis, and her son, McKay Stephenson.

She was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Peggy Jo Hayes, 79, of Bryson City passed peacefully on Monday December 3, 2018. She was the daughter of the late Carl and Flora Watson of Cherokee. She is preceded in death by , sister, Jean Morris, Jasper and Grady Garrett; a son Bobby C. Hayes.

She is survived by daughters, Trina Larson, and PJ Butler (Rick) both of Bryson City, and Judy Hurt of FL. Also proud of raising a Grandson, Dustin J. (Samantha); granddaughters, Wendy (Jon), Stephanie, Cherokee, and Jessee; great grandsons, Josiah, and Hezakiah; great granddaughters Journey and Karma.

 Robert Lee Gilchrist was born on March 5th,1935, at Fryeside in Swain County, a community soon to be swallowed by Fontana Lake.  

By the time he was eleven, he had learned to be self-reliant, building a commercial-sized brick chicken house and beginning the work that would provide for himself and his family for seventy-two years. 

Lonnie Herron, 67, formerly of Bryson City and currently of Waynesville, passed away Thursday, November 29, 2018 in a Buncombe County hospital.

A native of Swain County, he was the son of Dave Herron of Belmont and the late Lassie Smith Herron.

He was a former store manager of Ingles in Waynesville and Bryson City. Prior to his employment with Ingles, he was police officer with the Bryson City Police Department.

Heaven welcomed angel Dale Spence on Sunday, November 11, 2018 as Dale went home to be with his Lord and Savior.  Dale unexpectedly passed away at his residence after returning from a weekend of pheasant hunting with his son.  

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 10:30 am at Horan & McConaty Funeral Home, (9998 Grant Street, Thornton, Colorado 80229) with Pastor Jim Zastrocky officiating.  

Willie Mae Gunter, 92, of the Franklin Grove Community, went home to be with the Lord, Sunday November 25, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Vallie Cochran Buchanan, and wife of the late Vincent David Gunter SR. In addition to her husband and parents, she was also preceded in death by her daughter, Caroline Gunter, two brothers, Cecil, and Hastings (Buck) Buchanan and two sisters, Lois Sorrells, and Frankie Buchanan.

She was a longtime member of Franklin Grove Baptist Church.

Rev. Winford D. Sanders, 87, of Cherokee went home to be with the Lord Saturday, November 24, 2018. A native of Little River, TN, he was the son of the late James and Berthie Winchester Sanders. He was a member of Towstring Baptist Church.

 He was preceded in death by his brothers, Floyd, Don, Edward, Carl, and Ira; and his sister, Opal. 

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Tinsa Sanders; daughter, Cora Sanders Crowe; granddaughter, Kristin; two brothers, Mark and Wayne Sanders; one sister, Mary Davis; and many nieces and nephews. 

Dorothy Jean Chambers, 76, of Bryson City passed away Monday, November 19, 2018. 

A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Lawson and Florence Duncan Stevenson; wife of the late John Ray Chambers; mother of the late, Travis Chambers; and sister of the late Ruby Buchanan, Tommy and Donald Stevenson, Deanie Cook, and Ralph Stevenson. 

She was a member of Big Witch Baptist Church. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother. 

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Smoky Mountain Times

Mailing Address:
PO Box 730
1 River Street
Bryson City, NC 28713 
Phone: 828-488-2189
Fax: 828-488-0315