Be There When Lightning Strikes

Obituaries

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Recent Obituaries

Irene Robertson

Irene Robertson of Hendersonville passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the age of 103. She was born on July 17, 1916 in Olten, Switzerland, daughter of Eugene and Mina Hildebrand. When she was seven years old her family emigrated to the United States. Irene spent her childhood and working life in New Jersey where she raised a family and was one of the first female employees of the Prudential Life Insurance Company to earn the credentials of Certified Life Underwriter.   Read More »

Bruce Wayne Maurer

Bruce Wayne Maurer

Bruce Wayne Maurer died on September 30 at Mission Hospital in Asheville after a short illness.   Read More »

Michael Douglas Layton, 64

Michael Douglas Layton, 64

Michael Douglas Layton, 64, of Horse Shoe, died Friday, September 27, 2019 at the UNC Pardee Health Care. He was born July 3, 1955 in Danville, Illinois; a son of Max and Charlotte Story Layton.   Read More »

Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85

Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85

Dr. Amy Fisher Pace, 85, died on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Pardee Hospital, UNC Health Care. She was a native of Henderson County and the daughter of the late Samuel Leander Fisher and Ada B. McCraw Fisher. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Daniel E. Pace.   Read More »

Thomas Patrick Ryan, 87

Thomas Patrick Ryan, 87

Thomas Patrick Ryan, 87, of Hendersonville died peacefully on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Aloysius and Isabelle Young Ryan, and his brothers, Jack Young and Michael Ryan.
Thomas grew up in Corning, New York and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tri-State University in Indiana and then completed a Masters of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. He was a loyal employee at the Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York for over 30 years. During that time, Tom was a dedicated runner and even completed the 1983 Boston Marathon. He proudly served his country in the United States Air Force in the Korean Conflict. He and his wife, Dorothy, re-located to Western North Carolina in 2000. He was an avid clogger for many years and performed in New York and North Carolina. He loved to read and enjoyed listening to country music. Thomas was also an active member of Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville.
He is survived by his loving wife of over 63 years, Dorothy, and one sister Joan and her husband, John. Two sons: Dennis and Edward, as well as three daughters: Eileen and her husband, Scott, Patricia and her husband, Raymond, and Susan and her husband, Walter. He is also survived by six grandchildren.
A mass in the memory of Thomas will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 14, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Thomas’ memory be directed to the Friends of the Henderson County Public Library – Main Branch, mailed to 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville, NC 29739.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of the arrangements.   Read More »

Paul Luther Hensley “Pops” 80

Paul Luther Hensley “Pops” 80, of Hendersonville, died Friday, August 23, 2019 at the Elizabeth House. He was born December 18, 1938 in Madison County, the son of the late Millard and Edna Hensley. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by Pauline Bowen Hensley, his wife of thirty-two years; four siblings, Geneva Rice, Christine Raidford, Sunny Hensley, and Ruby Roberts.   Read More »

Lawrence “Larry” Hazelhurst McKay, Jr., 84

Lawrence “Larry” Hazelhurst McKay, Jr., 84

Lawrence “Larry” Hazelhurst McKay, Jr., 84, went home to his Lord on Friday, August 23, 2019, surrounded by his family at home. A Henderson county native with deep roots in the community, he was a son of the late Laurence Hazlehurst and Mary Smyth McKay, Sr. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by two brothers, William McKay and Adger Smyth McKay as well as one sister, Mary McKay Williams. He was also a great- grandson of the late Captain Ellison Edgar Smyth, who established the Balfour Mills in 1923, and known as “the pioneer of the textile industry” which is currently in operation today as a Kimberly-Clark plant in Balfour.   Read More »

Bert Alvin Blair

Bert Alvin Blair passed away at the Self Regional Healthcare Medical Center in Greenwood, SC on July 9, 2019 from complications of old age. He was born on March 19, 1927 at Mason, OH. He was the son of Ethol and Pearl Gaskins Blair. He was a graduate of Amelia High School and earned his Bachelor's degree in music education at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati majoring in piano and minoring in viola. While in undergraduate school he served as president of the student council and president of the Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. He married Dorothy Jean Denman on June 23, 1951 at Bond Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, OH.

While teaching instrumental music in the Middletown and Hamilton OH school systems, he served a term as president of the Southwest Ohio District of the Ohio Music Education Association. He pursued graduate studies at the Univ of Michigan and Miami Univ of OH earning his master's degree in music in 1959. In 1966 he was on of forty chosen from over four hundred applicants to study at the Institute for the Study of Advanced Music Literature at the University of Iowa. His major work in music education moved the Blair family to Lima, OH where he was Coordinator of Strings and Orchestras for the city schools for nineteen yrs. During his tenure he and wife, Dottie, played first stand viola in the Lima Symphony where he also served as assistant conductor.

After retiring from his public school teaching he began a string instrument repair business which he ran for 15 yrs. He also made arrangements for piano trios and string quartets which he and Dottie played at weddings and receptions. This proved very successful when they moved to FL in 1994 and were very much in demand to play for various occasions there. As part of his playing career he and Dottie played 1st stand viola in the Northwest Florida Symphony for ten years, and were members of the Pensacola Symphony and the Choctahatchee Symphony. In 2004 they retired to Hendersonville, NC where they ended their playing careers but continued in the orchestral scene by restructuring the music library of the Hendersonville Symphony as well as serving as music librarians for the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestras for several yrs.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Jean Denman and their six children: son Tom Blair (Charlene) of Corbin, KY, daughters Karen DeLong (Craig) of Reading, PA, Marty Blair (James Heffel) of McCormick, SC, Nancy Lawrence of Colorado Springs, CO, Amy Blair of Ostrander, OH and Melissa Rucker (Jared) of Apple Valley, CA. He was "grandpa" to 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

Burial will be in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH.

Bert was born with a rare bleeding disorder called Hemophilia B. Some of his grandsons have also been affected. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Hemophilia Foundation at www.hemophilia.org or mail to Attn: Development Department, 7 Penn Plaza, Ste 1204, New York, NY 10001. Please indicate it is for Hemophilia B research. His other great love was the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. https://ccm.{weshareonline.org or mail to College-Conservatory of Music, Univ of Cincinnati, Attn: Development Office, PO Box 210003, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003. Please indicate it is for Music Education Dept.

For online condolences please visit www.blythfuneralhome.com.   Read More »

Bert Alvin Blair

Bert Alvin Blair passed away at the Self Regional Healthcare Medical Center in Greenwood, SC on July 9, 2019 from complications of old age. He was born on March 19, 1927 at Mason, OH. He was the son of Ethol and Pearl Gaskins Blair. He was a graduate of Amelia High School and earned his Bachelor's degree in music education at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati majoring in piano and minoring in viola. While in undergraduate school he served as president of the student council and president of the Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. He married Dorothy Jean Denman on June 23, 1951 at Bond Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, OH.

While teaching instrumental music in the Middletown and Hamilton OH school systems, he served a term as president of the Southwest Ohio District of the Ohio Music Education Association. He pursued graduate studies at the Univ of Michigan and Miami Univ of OH earning his master's degree in music in 1959. In 1966 he was on of forty chosen from over four hundred applicants to study at the Institute for the Study of Advanced Music Literature at the University of Iowa. His major work in music education moved the Blair family to Lima, OH where he was Coordinator of Strings and Orchestras for the city schools for nineteen yrs. During his tenure he and wife, Dottie, played first stand viola in the Lima Symphony where he also served as assistant conductor.

After retiring from his public school teaching he began a string instrument repair business which he ran for 15 yrs. He also made arrangements for piano trios and string quartets which he and Dottie played at weddings and receptions. This proved very successful when they moved to FL in 1994 and were very much in demand to play for various occasions there. As part of his playing career he and Dottie played 1st stand viola in the Northwest Florida Symphony for ten years, and were members of the Pensacola Symphony and the Choctahatchee Symphony. In 2004 they retired to Hendersonville, NC where they ended their playing careers but continued in the orchestral scene by restructuring the music library of the Hendersonville Symphony as well as serving as music librarians for the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestras for several yrs.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Jean Denman and their six children: son Tom Blair (Charlene) of Corbin, KY, daughters Karen DeLong (Craig) of Reading, PA, Marty Blair (James Heffel) of McCormick, SC, Nancy Lawrence of Colorado Springs, CO, Amy Blair of Ostrander, OH and Melissa Rucker (Jared) of Apple Valley, CA. He was "grandpa" to 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

Burial will be in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH.

Bert was born with a rare bleeding disorder called Hemophilia B. Some of his grandsons have also been affected. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Hemophilia Foundation at www.hemophilia.org or mail to Attn: Development Department, 7 Penn Plaza, Ste 1204, New York, NY 10001. Please indicate it is for Hemophilia B research. His other great love was the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. https://ccm.{weshareonline.org or mail to College-Conservatory of Music, Univ of Cincinnati, Attn: Development Office, PO Box 210003, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0003. Please indicate it is for Music Education Dept.

For online condolences please visit www.blythfuneralhome.com.   Read More »

Barbara Jean Hipwell, 88

Barbara Jean Hipwell, 88, of Hendersonville, died Monday, June 3, 2019 at the Elizabeth House.

Barbara was born in Floral Park, NY on June 19, 1930 to the late Luigi and Louise Pizzuto. She lived most of her life in Western New York in the Buffalo and Finger Lake Region. A graduate of Kenmore Senior High School, Barbara married the late Donald Hipwell and raised her two daughters with such love that they followed her to North Carolina. She is also preceded in death by her partner of 43 years, Jere Allen Johnson who died in 2016.

In 2006 after her oldest daughter Constance relocated to Mills River, they opened up The Conn-Artist Studio at Main & 5th Avenue above McCarter Gallery.
The next year they relocated to Atha Plaza where Publix is currently. Until 2015 Barbara was the featured artist along with her daughter. They offered Art Shows, Art Instruction & the legendary Open Studio where many local artists learned to become better painters in their warm & inspiring studio-Gallery.
Barbara had previously sold literally hundreds of paintings mostly from Harvest Mill Antique Shop in Canandaigua, NY.

Barbara first started art study with her father, Lewis who taught her the fundamentals of drawing. He provided her with invaluable lessons from Sylvia Sheridan of Orchard Park, NY.

Upon moving to NC, Barbara immediately joined the Art League of Henderson County and was named the 2007 Artist of the Year for her painting, “Under the Apple Tree.” Having artists as friends and enjoying studio time at least three days a week was a wonderful time in her life.

Barbara is survived by two loving daughters, Constance Hipwell Vlahoulis of New Baltimore, Michigan, and Catherine Ann Hipwell and her wonderful wife, Sandra Lively of Leicester, NC; son-in-law, William Vlahoulis of Mills River; a beloved brother, Alan B. Pizzuto and his wife Sandy; beloved nephews, David and Steven Pizzuto; two grandchildren, M. Cristopher Cercone and his wife Susy and David Alan Cercone and his wife Carrie all of Michigan; three great-grandchildren, Isabella Yue, Amelia Constance who was born on Barbara’s 85th birthday, and David Michael Cercone.

Her grandsons were the apple of her eye and they enjoyed countless summers together boating, fishing, and swimming at Gramma Barbs & Grandpa Jere’s in upstate New York.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 St. James Episcopal Church with Rev. Christie Olson officiating.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made in Barbara’s name to Elizabeth House, 581 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731. Barbara’s family wishes to thank the entire staff at Elizabeth House especially CNA Michelle and the incredible loving nurses and doctors.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.

Copyright 2019 Thos. Shepherd & Son All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the authors.   Read More »