Billie Jean Smith, 65, of Bryson City, went home to be with the Lord, Sunday June 10, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Thomas and Margaret Kirkland Herron.

She was preceded in death by her grandson, Ronnie Brian Crawford Jr. and her sister, Evelyn Stroud.

“Mima” Hortencia Espinoza, 86, of Bryson City, formerly of San Antonio, TX went home to be with her Heavenly Father, her Flowers, and her Garden in the Sky, Saturday, June 2, 2018.

She leaves behind her daughter, Sandra Fortner and husband Mark H. Fortner of Bryson City; grandsons, Derek Fortner (Alexis) and Dustin Fortner of Bryson City and grandchildren Richard Espinoza, David Espinoza of Texas, and Tracy Espinoza of Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Isidoro Espinoza and her son, Joe Espinoza.

She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

Janella D. Verner, 58, of Murphy passed away Monday, May 28, 2018 at her residence.

 Funeral services were held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018 in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy.

A private inurnment will be in Bryson City Cemetery at a later date.

Ruth Day Wheeler, 95, of Andrews passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in a Murphy care facility.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2018 in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Andrews.

The inurnment will be in Valleytown Cemetery following the memorial service.

Darrell E. Hedges, 86, of Deerfield Beach, Florida, passed away, Thursday, May 17, 2018 at his home.

Darrell was born December 18, 1931 in Tarlton, Ohio to Clyde and Genevive Hedges. He married the late Dixie Lee Hook in 1954. Darrell served in the Air Force for four years and was employed by AT & T - Bell South for over 30 years.

Richard Evan William Ward, age 26, of Bryson City, died Tuesday morning May 22, 2018. 

Visitation was Friday, May 25th at 11 a.m. and funeral services were at 12 p.m. at Crisp Funeral Home. 

Services were followed by the burial at Laurel Branch Cemetery. 

He is survived by his Nana, Judy Collins; mother, Kymbery Burns and father John Burns; wife Jessica Ward; Sons, Trent, Eli, and Braydon Ward; daughters, Chimaera and Ashlynn Ward; sister Ciera Wiggins and husband Jeremiah Wiggins; and brother Nick Burns. 

Sidney Lee Myers, 78, of Camp Creek went to be with the Lord, Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at his residence. A native of Blount County TN, he was the son of the late Charles and Mary Wear Myers. He was a U.S. Army Veteran. He worked 50 Plus years for the Government at the Oconaluftee Job Corps.

NOVEMBER 17, 1940 – MAY 8, 2018


Boyd C. Greene, 77, of Simpsonville, SC passed away May 8, 2018 after a long battle with cancer. His family and friends were at his side when he departed this life to go home to be with the Lord.

He was the husband of Patricia Greene and son of the late Clinton and Ollie Greene of Bryson City, NC.

Leonard Kirkland, age 62, of Bryson City died Saturday, May 12, 2018. Leonard was born in Bryson City and was a lifelong resident. He owned and operated Kirklands Logging, Inc. Logging was his passion.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Clara Kirkland; brothers, Roy (Faye) and Jerry; and sister, Jessie Mae (Joe).

Surviving him are his wife, Patricia Lambert; sons, Matthew and daughter Morgan, Jason (Aleisha) and daughter Kendra Jae. 

Orene Muse DeBord, 95, passed away peacefully at her home after a long period of illness on Friday, May 11, 2018.  She was born on April 19, 1923 on Scary Branch in Swain County, NC to Harley Raymond Muse and Ida Belle Chambers Muse.  She and her husband, James Olin DeBord (Jim) had four children.

 Orene created Mountain SkilCraft in Bryson City, NC and for years, this was a haven for local crafts, fabric lovers and quilters.  She also had a ceramic studio in her home and taught this craft to many women.  She was an avid and respected gardener and artist in many forms.


Saturday, April 26, 1952 - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Dedicated Woman


Gloria Thompson Manzek, 66, of Bryson City, passed away May 1, 2018 at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.

Born April 26, 1952 in Trenton, New Jersey, she was a daughter of the late Clifford Thompson and Mildred Cook Thompson.

Evelyn (Pat) Sitton Biggs, 80, of Bryson City went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 2, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late Odis and Edna Brown Sitton. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Edith Camby, Harold Sitton, Tom Sitton and Kenneth Sitton.

Pat was a devoted mother, sister and strong democrat. She was a very kind person and worked at the Tee Pee Restaurant in Cherokee for 42 years.

David Alan Lowe, 67, of Bryson City, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 2, 2018. A native of Swain County, he was the son of the late Hasteon and Ruth Amburn Lowe.

He graduated from Swain County High School in 1968. He was also a graduate of the Auto Mechanics program at Southwestern Community College. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Helen Browning Reece, 95, of Bryson City went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, March 6, 2018. A native of Swain County, she was the daughter of the late John Franklin and Etta Bradley Browning. She was a member of Arlington Baptist Church and was a school teacher and taught for 39 years at local schools.

She was preceded in death by her former husband, J.D. Reece of Franklin; sister, Christine Loiry and brother, Charles L. Browning.

Betty Lou Bridges, 72, of Bryson City went home to be with the Lord Sunday, March 18, 2018. A native of Iredell County, she was the daughter of the late Wade and Mildred Griffin Roberson.

She was a member of the Whittier Church of God.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Leonard (Robey) Bridges; daughter, Ginger Roberson of Bryson City; granddaughter, Emily Harden of Bryson City; sister, Colletta Kennedy and husband Sonny of Pink Hill, NC; and several nieces and nephews.


Smoky Mountain Times

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