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Viola Jane Cairnes Allison, 93

Viola Jane Cairnes Allison, 93


Viola Jane Cairnes Allison, 93, of Mills River died Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Tore’s Home in East Flat Rock. She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-nine years, James Edward Allison, who died in 2006.

She was born May 28, 1925, in Mills River, NC, the fourth of six children of Walter Partee Cairnes and Mary Eugenia Banning Cairnes. She was also preceded in death by all of her siblings, Edna Mae Gevedon, Hubert Cairnes, Olen Cairnes, Walter Lee Cairnes,, and Mary Jean Cairnes, and by her son-in-law of fifty years, Norman Gordon, who died in 2017.

After she graduated from Mills River High School in 1942, she lived in Los Angeles for a time with her sister Edna and her family before returning to Mills River. She worked at Parkland Chevrolet in Asheville before marrying James Allison in November 1946. Around 1950, she and her husband built a home in Mills River; about ten years later, they built another home on what she called “the old place,” on the same spot where she was born. She was a master maker of homemade jellies, using June apples from the trees beside their garden, grapes from the vines at the edge of the front yard, and blackberries from the wild vines on their farm. She loved feeding the birds, especially the cardinals, yellow finches, and hummingbirds, and watching the seasons change on Forge Mountain. She loved flowers: daffodils, tulips, lilies, lady slippers, and almost anything that bloomed. She loved dogs, with many beloved pets through the years, including Blackie, Chain Saw, and Ginger; when her pets were gone, she loved visits from the granddogs. She also loved reading, especially biographies, and enjoyed taking her children to the bookmobile at the old Longview Shell. Her greatest joy came from “taking care of the babies.” Even in her last days, she encouraged her children to take care of the babies.

She is survived by three children, Marilyn Gordon of Hendersonville, Martha Shoemaker and her husband, Don, of Hendersonville, and Mark Allison and his wife, Donna, of Mills River; seven grandchildren, Michael Gordon and Kenneth Gordon and his wife Stephanie of Hendersonville, Brad Shoemaker of San Francisco, CA, Stephanie Shoemaker and her husband Ben Williams of Washington, DC, Joshua Allison of Hendersonville, Jessica Allison of Granite Falls, NC, and Austin Allison of Mills River; and two great-grandchildren, Leah Gordon of Hendersonville and Oscar Williams of Washington, DC. Her third great-grandchild is due to arrive this month.

The family acknowledges with special thanks the staff at Tore’s Home for the kind, loving care they provided during her stay in her last months, and also the staff at The Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing.

A graveside service will be held 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Shepherd Memorial Park. Reverend Paige Ann Miller will officiate.

Memorials may be made to the cemetery fund at Boylston Baptist Church, 10642 Boylston Highway, Mills River, NC 28759.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.