Obituaries for January 14, 2021

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Cindy Grable Miles

Cindy Grable Miles

Cindy Grable Miles, 68, died Dec. 25, 2020. 

She was born April 29, 1952, in Little Rock, Ark., to Kenneth and Margaret Grable. She married Stephen Miles as a young adult and over 20 years they fostered 22 children, often with special needs.

Her last job before she retired was working as Family Caregiver Resource Coordinator at Southwestern Commission, the regional council of government for Western North Carolina. She was extremely compassionate and in touch with the needs of seniors, who appreciated her kindness.

Music and the arts were central to her life. She was very active in the Macon County Arts Council and served as board president for several terms. She received a scholarship to attend the Stetson University School of Music, where she was a double major in flute and piano. She’ll always be known for her rousing gospel renditions. She was the music director for many different churches and denominations throughout her life.

She was a laughter yoga instructor and was trained by the creator of the technique, Dr. Madan Kataria of Mumbai, India.

She was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth (Pete) Grable. She is survived by her stepmother, Billie C. Grable; and by her longtime friend, Linda Mathias.

A celebration of life will be held later in 2021.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice House Foundation of Western North Carolina, PO Box 815, Franklin NC 28744; or to Appalachian Animal Rescue Center, 851 Lake Emory Road, Franklin NC 28734.

Hristos Fotopoulos

Hristos Fotopoulos, 63, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, surrounded by his family at home. He was born in Tripolis, Greece, on March 31, 1957, to the late Haralambos and Irene T. Fotopoulos. He owned and operated Mountain Man Pizza and Grill in Dillard, Ga. and he was of the Christian faith. 

Survivors include his wife, Niki Fotopoulos; two sons, Bobby Fotopoulos and Perry Fotopoulos; a daughter, Nina Fotopoulos; two sisters, Lea (Pete) Spentzos and Helen Panagiotidou; and a sister-in-law, Marina Fotopoulos. 

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers, Fotis and Dimitrios Fotopoulos.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. 

Online condolences at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Fotopoulos family. 

Daniel Teslow

Daniel Teslow

Daniel Teslow, 74, loving husband and father of three daughters passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Franklin, N.C. 

He was born Nov. 22, 1946 in Rockford, Ill., to Virgil and Lily Teslow.  He graduated from Guilford high school and served in Alaska in the Army Signal Corps during the Vietnam War. When he returned, he earned his degree in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and continued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. 

He loved teaching his daughters to cook and taking each to the Swedish bakery for special dad and daughter time with delicious treats. It was his joy to share hugs and to post a hug-of-the-day on his Facebook page. He believed that hugs make us stronger. He will be remembered as a proud and honorable man with a deep faith in his heart, not just for show.

He was a master journeyman carpenter and real estate developer. He was a storyteller known for his quick wit, and his infectious smile. He was a committed Unitarian Universalist who was a cornerstone member of his fellowship, contributing his many talents: speaker, playwright, service leader, educator, initiator, board member, craftsman, linguist … friend. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lily. 

He is survived by his wife, Mary; his three daughters, Rebecca, Lisa, and Danielle; grandchildren, Gabriella, AJ, and Sully; his sister, Di Ann; and nieces and a nephew. 

A celebration of his life will be planned at a later time. 

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

Condolences can be sent to the family at

Floyd Virgil Sigler

Floyd Virgil Sigler, 93, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.  He was born Sept. 17, 1927, in Hudson, N.Y., to the late Harvey and Alma Stickles Sigler. He worked for General Electric for 38 years and was a volunteer at Cannon New York Fire Company where he left as captain of the Fire Police. He also volunteered at the Valusia County, Florida Sheriff’s office as a courier; and his volunteer work for the Deltona, Fla., civic center by creating a park for the community.  He moved to Franklin permanently eight years ago and was a member of Hickory Knoll United Methodist Church.  He loved his family and put them first, he also had tremendous love for all his pets.  His smile was the window to his soul.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara Hocking Sigler; son, Ken Sigler of Sky Valley, Ga.; daughter, Margaret Dey (Deryl) of New Hill, N.C.; grandson, Christopher Dey; great-grandson, Aiden Sigler; former daughter-in-law, Tammy Sigler of Otto, N.C.; sister, Nicole Margulies; and brother, Andrew Sigler; three nieces, Denise Hocking, Diane Hobbs, and Michelle Hocking.

No services are planned at this time.

Memorials may be made to Animal House Vet Clinic, PO Box 509, Franklin, NC  28734.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Sigler family.  Online condolences may be made at

 Joseph Richman (Rich) Brooks Jr.

 Joseph Richman (Rich) Brooks Jr. , 87, of Franklin, N.C., entered into eternal rest to join our Savior in Heaven on Dec. 19, 2020. He was born in Bridgeton, N.J., on June 28, 1933, to the late Joseph Richman and Bessie Abigail Brooks. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Mary Pauline (Polly) Rice Brooks and his brother Beach Smith Brooks.  

He was a veteran of the United States Navy and served during the Korean War. After serving his country, he went to trade school to become a barber. He owned and operated Rich’s Barber Shop in Port St. Lucie, Fla., for 40 years. Upon retirement, he moved to the mountains with his beloved wife, Polly.

He was a devout husband, supportive father, and a loving grandfather. In his spare time, he enjoyed talking and telling tales to family and friends, fishing, gold mining, gardening, and wood carving. 

Being of the Christian faith, he was ordained as a deacon and was a charter member at First Baptist Church of Port St. Lucie where he also served as a Sunday School teacher, was on many committees, and sang in the choir.  He continued to serve his Lord when moving to the mountains. He was a member at Windy Gap Baptist Church where he liked to sing in the church choir.  Two of his favorite songs that he would sing frequently were “His Name is Wonderful” and “How Great Thou Art.” 

He is survived by his three children, Joseph Richman Brooks III (Sharon) of Franklin, Christina Brooks Hoeffner (Raymond) of Fort Pierce, Fla., and Kathryn Brooks Hyams (Jimmy) of Charleston, S.C.; 11 grandchildren, Jacob Brooks (Misty), Elizabeth Padgett (Shawn), Jeremy Brooks (Kira), Cody Brooks (Lulu), Candace Wickham (Jay), Christina Floyd (Graham), Shari Orr (Brian), Adam Hoeffner, Clayton Hyams (Naomi), Amy Bearden (Hunter), Ashley Grace Hyams; and nine great grandchildren, Kanisha Brooks, Ean Brooks, Kylie Brooks, Jonah Brooks, Nick Padgett, Tyler Padgett, Emma Wickham, Cole Wickham, and Grayson Floyd; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by one great granddaughter, Macy Tate Brooks. 

A private burial service was held by his children and a memorial service will be held next summer in his honor. 

Virgie McConnell Southard

Virgie McConnell Southard, 62, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.

Born in Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Omah and Harley McConnell. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her best friend and husband of 39 years, Willard Southard; three brothers, Wade McConnell, Wayne McConnell, and Alvin Tallent; and two sisters, Dovie McConnell and Gennell Fouts. 

She is survived by her son, Jeff Southard; grandson, J.D. Southard; brother, Harley Lee McConnell; sister, Betty Sue McConnell; sister-in-law, Pat Bell (Bobby); brother-in-law, Stanley Southard (Evelyn); and several nieces and nephews. 

She was employed by Ingles Markets for 40-plus years where she served as the front-end manager and then book keeper later after semi-retirement. There, she touched the lives of many coworkers and young men and women as they entered the work force many of them for the first time. She enjoyed baking cookies and cakes for others especially at Christmas time. She loved her friends and family and would do most anything she could if one of them was in need. Her biggest joy in life came when her grandson J.D. was born, and she became “Nana.” She was a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church. 

Funeral services were held Sunday, Jan. 10,  in the Chapel at Macon Funeral Home. Burial followed in Woodlawn Cemetery. Rev. Phillip Cochran, Rev. Robert Dryman, and Rev. Guy Duvall officiated. 

Pallbearers were Rob Bell, Adam Tallent, Keith Lewis, Mark Pruitt, Greg Hall, Jeremy Hurst and Mike Stamey. Honorary pallbearers were Marty Southard, Stanley Southard, Bobby Bell, Ricky Scott, Jeff Dockery and J.D. Southard. 

Condolences may be made at 

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Maurice George ‘Biff’ Keener

Maurice George ‘Biff’ Keener

Maurice George “Biff” Keener, 80, a good man, a good father, a good brother, left us for a better place on Jan. 5, 2021.

He was born to Grover Lee and Vesta Pauline Peek Keener on Nov. 10, 1940.  He was predeceased by both parents, a brother, Jackson Lee Keener, and a sister, Vesta Susan Walker.

He is survived by a brother, Frederick M. Keener (MaryAnn); a daughter, Kelli Keener Holland (Tim); two sons, Daniel Lee Keener (Robyn), and Brannon Jeffrey Keener; five grandchildren, April Tippett (Shane), Daniel Sanders (Jessica), Jessica Keener Dragoo, Tori Dragoo, Aaron Keener; and five great grandchildren. 

How can a life well lived be summed up in just a few words?  He was a family man who loved his family.  He was a licensed builder whose word was his bond and whose work was a testament to his skill and integrity.  He loved the outdoors, shared that love and treasured moments with family and lifelong friends, and passed that love on to his children.  We love you Biff, and we will miss you.

A graveside service was held Sunday, Jan. 10, at the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in the Goldmine Community in Highlands, N.C. 

Online condolences at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Keener family.

James ‘Jimmy’ Shaver

James ‘Jimmy’ Shaver

James “Jimmy” Shaver, 82, of Franklin, N.C.,  passed away Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 .

He was born in Dallas, Texas, to the late James Roger and Dorothy Smith Shaver. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers and sisters.   

He enjoyed fishing, camping, boating and woodworking. He was a family man and was of the Catholic faith. He served in the United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard for a combined 24 years. Some of  his military accomplishments were in 1970 placing third in pistol on the U.S.C.G. rifle team. In 1966, he crossed the equator with the 180th Meridian on their way to the Arctic Circle. He was also a master electrician in the Coast Guard. He served on the Ice breakers, buoy tenders and rescue ships. After retiring from the military in 1978, he started his own cabinet making business before moving to Franklin.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie Pilkerton Shaver; children, Patricia (Felipe) Lara  of Santa Rosa, Calif., Teresa Shaver (Chip Coleman) of China Grove, N.C., Chad (Missa) Pilkerton, Charlie (Robin) Pilkerton, Tommy (Tasha) Pilkerton, all of Franklin; Jeannie Conte of Fonda, N.Y., and Lynne Dunlavey of Fort Myers, Fla.; 12 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; and a sister, Patsy Weber of Arlington, Texas.

No services are planned at this time.    

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Hospice House Foundation of WNC.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family at

Pearl Angel Holland

Pearl Angel Holland

Pearl Angel Holland, 88 of Franklin, N.C., went to her heavenly home on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, after a period of declining health.

A native of Macon County, she was the daughter of the late Fred and Cordie Gibson Angel.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, VL Holland; a son, Mike Holland; and a brother, Carl Angel. 

She was a member of Mashburn Branch Baptist Church; her hobbies included, embroidering, adult coloring, puzzles, and crocheting.

She is survived by her daughter, Bonnie Manogue of Jefferson City, Tenn.; six grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one great great grandson.

Funeral service was held Thursday, Jan. 7, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Mike Chastain officiated. Burial was in the Sugarfork Baptist Church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Thomas Ramey, RL Gibson, Casey Holland, John Click, Mike Bingham, and Doug Angel.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Cheera Lona Soper Roadarmel

Cheera Lona Soper Roadarmel

Cheera Lona Soper Roadarmel, 101, passed away on Jan. 5, 2021, after a brief illness.

Daughter of the late Elsie and Marcus Soper, she was preceded in death by husband, George Lehman (killed at Saipan during WWII, 1944) and husband Willard F. “Bud” Roadarmel, 1992.

Her life is celebrated by her children, Bonnie Cromley (Carl) of Quitman, Pa., Eileen Hess (Sheldon) of Westerville, Ohio, Mark Roadarmel (Cindy) of Macon, Ga., and Jan Ledford of Franklin; eight grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; five step great grandchildren, and additional family including Jim Ledford, Cheryl Pelham, Tammy Grimshaw; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was raised in Everett, Wash., and eventually moved to Warner Robins, Ga., in the late ’60s. While there she worked at the local newspaper in various roles but most notably as the author of It Wonders Me, a slice-of-life column for which she is still remembered. She used the venue to express her musings on everything from patriotism to religion to family and community happenings. She moved to Franklin, N.C., in 2010.

She was an avid cross-stitcher, and most everyone she knew received a piece of her needlework. She completed hundreds of pieces, from little pins and bookmarks to large complex pictures. She loved music, was a self-taught pianist, and sang in various choirs. She especially enjoyed sing-alongs at family get-togethers. She passed her love of words and reading to the family as well. Reunions always included rapid-fire word play and favorite family stories.

She was proud of her Scottish heritage and belonged to Clan Gordon. She obtained the Scottish title of Lady Cheera and enjoyed the annual Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans celebration at her church, First Presbyterian of Franklin.

Donations may be made in her memory to Clarity Ohio (2602 Oakstone Dr, Columbus, OH 43231; counseling center founded by one of her granddaughters), First Presbyterian Church of Franklin, or a charity of your choice. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. 

“With needle, pen, and music note

She stitched her world

She sang and wrote

Steadfast Soper Woman she

Bearer of the Fleur-de-lis”

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. 

Condolences   at

Cheryl ‘Cher’ Jean Spring

Cheryl ‘Cher’ Jean Spring

On Jan. 5, 2021, surrounded with love at home, the heavens gained an angel, Cheryl “Cher” Jean Spring, 75.

Born in Michigan, she and her husband Ted, resided in Missouri, Florida and then settling in the majestic Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. 

She worked for the Brown Shoe Co. in Missouri, the Florida Turnpike and the City of Highlands in North Carolina. She loved to cook and always had fresh baked cakes, pies, and cookies. You could always find her leaning on the counter cutting bite size pieces with her cup of coffee.

Her love for the outdoors was like no other. From the thousands of hand carried rocks landscaped throughout her property, gorgeous flowers and hand planted trees, to rafting down the river and even ziplining. At the age of 65, she competed in the Warrior Dash. Up at the crack of dawn enjoying her coffee was her favorite time of the day. 

Her greatest love is her husband, Eugene “Ted” Spring. Married for 34 years, their love story was full of respect and admiration, one to be modeled after. They shared their love of animals, dancing, and peaceful moments on their porch. Her other great loves were her four-legged babies and of course, her children and grandchildren. She also always looked forward to her Fridays with Sandy and Jean, having breakfast, playing Bingo and Thrift Store shopping. 

To sum up this beautiful woman in a few words, she is an amazing wife, mother, sister, friend and all around “Bad Ass.”

She was born to Woodie Phillips and Helen Shankland; had a sister, Marlene Wood; four sons, James Heberger (Laura); Scott Heberger (Michelle), Michael Spring (Karen), Kirk Spring (Karen); a daughter, Sandy Harvey (Tim); and grandchildren, Colin, Eric, Hannah, and Jade; pets, Bella, Zeus, Willow and Holly

Bryant Grant Funeral Home and Cremation is serving the Spring family. Online condolences can be made at

Rev. Roger Wayne Alewine Sr.

Rev. Roger Wayne Alewine Sr.

Rev. Roger Wayne Alewine Sr., 83, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Thursday, January 7, 2021.

Born in Red Bank S.C., he was the son of the late Lonnie and Ileen Goodwin Alewine. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Larry Alewine and sisters, Miriam Alewine, Evelyn Alewine and Lois Alewine.

Rev. Alewine, a Franklin resident since 2016, was a minister of music and senior adults at First Baptist Gulfport in Gulfport Miss. He served in the National Guard until 1957 and enjoyed playing golf in his free time. He also served as minister of music at First Baptist Franklin, Franklin from 1980-1985.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia “Anne” Sox Alewine; daughter, Lindy (Jerry) Blanton of Franklin; son, Wayne (DeAnn) Alewine of Gulfport Miss.; sisters, Pat Miles of Lexington, S.C. and Nettie Alewine of Lexington, S.C.; five grandchildren, Tyler (April) Blanton, Logan (Rebekah) Blanton, Ryland Alewine, Savannah Alewine, Skylar Alewine; and two great grandchildren, Charlie and Camilla.

A celebration of life will be held at First Baptist Gulfport, Miss., at a later date.     

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Hospice House Foundation of WNC, PO Box 815, Franklin, NC 28744.

Condolences may be made to the family at

Ronnie Dean Stiwinter Lowing

Ronnie Dean Stiwinter Lowing

Ronnie Dean Stiwinter Lowing, 84, of Franklin, N.C., passed away at the Franklin House on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

She was born Aug. 6, 1936, to the late L.C. and Ruby Fox Stiwinter. She is also predeceased by her life partner, George Shook; son, Tommy Mauldin; daughters, Robin Dawn “Princess” Mauldin Coggins, Mary Alice Mauldin; sister and brother in-law, Lola Mae and Odell Stewart; brother and sister in-law, T.W. and Carolyn Stiwinter; and sister in-law, Doris Stiwinter.

Surviving is the father of her children, William Robert Mauldin; sons, William Robert “Mark” (Sheila) Mauldin, John “Eric” (Carla) Mauldin; son in-law, Allan Coggins; brother, Jack Stiwinter; grandchildren, Amanda, Mary Alice, Nathan, Logan, Jeanna, Jake, Joey, Tommy, Travis, Xander and Krissi; great grandchildren, Coleman, Ethan, Jeremiah, Dylan, Kaid, Kinley, Kasyn, Charleigh Jo, KC, Abby, Allie, Ruby, Erica, Erin, Aubrey, Leah and Gwyn.

She worked many years and retired from Cashiers Plastic, but in her away from work time, she was an avid flower and vegetable gardener. She planted and nurtured many flowers and trees. She also enjoyed harvesting the summer vegetables she had lovingly planted in the spring. She loved her family. In the earlier days, she and her sisters would take long walks together which brought them all a lot of joy. She collected rocks for her flower beds, and shopped and smiled when she found a bargain.

A graveside funeral service was held Monday, Jan. 11, at Stewart Cemetery in Cashiers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Stewart cemetery fund, c/o of Carl Stewart.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Gay Eldridge Fouts

Gay Eldridge Fouts, 91 of Franklin, N.C., passed away on Jan. 4, 2021.

A native of Macon County, he was the son of the late Ralph and Lola Holbrooks Fouts.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Maude Fouts; sister, Palma Maslin; and brother, Dolpha Fouts.

He lived most of his life in Franklin, and was a member of Iotla Baptist Church. He would very much be considered a mountain man and enjoyed most of his time being outdoors and gardening.

Surviving are children, Wanda Fouts and Gerald (Karen) Fouts and a brother, Nick Fouts, all of Franklin; grandchildren, Amanda, Zachary, Angie and Tiffany; nine great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Services were held Thursday, Jan. 7, at Fouts Cemetery with Rev. Guy Duvall officiating.

Pallbearers were David Sherwood, Zachary Fouts, Gerald Fouts, Cody Rogers, Shawn Cruise, Eli Mercier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Fouts Cemetery, C/O Nancy Krag, 3339 Burningtown Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.

Patricia Anderson Pittari

Patricia Anderson Pittari

Patricia Anderson Pittari, 88, died on Jan. 7, 2021, at her home on Amelia Island, Fla., after an extended illness. 

He is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, John Joseph Pittari, M.D.; her five living children, Carolyn Ann (Kurt Marasco) of Amelia Island, John Joseph Jr. (Kathleen) of Auburn, Ala., Jeanne Marie (Paul Hanna) of Sugar Land, Texas, Patricia Ann (John Voss) of Jacksonville, Fla., and Michael Christopher (Karen Beall) of Lebanon, Pa. 

She is preceded in death by her eldest daughter, Mary Catherine, and her youngest child, Natalie Christine.

Patricia “Patsy Ann” Anderson was born on Nov. 1, 1932, in Bronx, N.Y., the daughter of Catherine Kelly Anderson (1901-89) and Joseph Paul Anderson (1900-61). She had two older brothers, Joseph Anderson Jr., and George Anderson, and is survived by a younger sister, Caryl Cunningham of Millsboro, Del. 

She graduated from Saint Simon Stock School and attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent, where she studied nursing and graduated with highest honors (B.S.) in 1954. She joined the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City, where she worked until her marriage to John Pittari on May 26, 1956. 

The couple moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., where John began his medical residency at Kings County Hospital. In the ensuing 12 years, the couple would live in four different cities and Patricia would give birth to seven children, Mary, Carolyn, John, Jeanne, Tricia, Michael and Natalie, who was born in 1969 but died in infancy the following year. Throughout the 1960s and early-1970s, she was active in a number of organizations in Reading, Pa., and was a member of Saint Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church.

The Pittari’s moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1974, where Patricia was a member of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, singing in the choir and later serving as a lector and Eucharistic minister. She was especially proud to sing with the Archdiocese of Miami choir for Pope John Paul II during his Mass in Tamiami Park in 1987. She was committed to social causes, actively working for the right-to-life movement and supporting homeless shelters for runaway teens. 

The couple bought a house in Highlands, N.C., in 1982, where Patricia spent several months each summer. She was a devoted member of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church and was a regular supporter of the Highlands Biological Center, the Hudson Library, and the Center for Life Enrichment, where she volunteered for a number of years.

In 1987, Patricia and John moved to Bainbridge, Ga., where John While there, she volunteered for a literacy project teaching young unwed mothers to read and she took college courses in history and literature. In 1996, she and John established their primary residence on Amelia Island but continued to spend several months in Highlands each year until Patricia’s health began to decline in 2017. 

She was a devoted mother, grandmother, and, great-grandmother. She was an avid singer and a voracious reader and book collector with a deep love of literature and a keen interest in current events. She loved travel and participated in numerous pilgrimages to religious sites around the world. Regardless of where she lived, she was a devoted supporter of art, music, and regional culture. Above all, she was a deeply compassionate person whose selflessness was an integral part of who she was and she will be remembered by all who experienced her generosity of spirit.

In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by eight grandchildren, John Joseph Pittari III (Stephanie) of Belcamp, Md., and Francesca Lane Pittari of Auburn, Ala., John Madison Voss Jr. (Kelsy) of Jacksonville, Fla., Emma Catherine Voss of Atlanta, Ga., Peter Anderson Voss of Jacksonville, Fla., Elizabeth Marie Hanna of Atlanta, Ga., Asa Maren Pittari of Lebanon, Pa., and Nina Beall Pittari of Lebanon, Pa.; one great-grandchild: Zachary John Pittari of Belcamp, Md. 

A funeral mass will be held on Jan. 14 at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Highlands, followed by the Rite of Christian Burial at Highlands Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maryknoll Sisters. 

Online condolences at Bryant-Grant Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Pittari family. 

A. Jane Huffman

A. Jane Huffman

A. Jane Huffman, 77 of Franklin, N.C., passed away Jan. 3, 2021.

She was born on Nov. 8, 1943, in Des Moines, Iowa, to the late Lucille and Jim Redman. Also preceding her in death was sister Jean Redman Kurtz.

She graduated from Janesville Sr. high school in Janesville, Wisc., in 1961; and received her associate of science degree from Sullins College in Bristol, Va., in 1963. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin, receiving her B.S. in Physical Medicine in 1967. She worked two years at the Cripple Childrens Hospital & School in Sioux Falls, S.D., and acted as Chief Physical Therapist at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Greenville, S.C. She later moved back to Iowa where she married her childhood sweetheart, David Huffman on May 16, 1970. She worked several years for the United Cerebral Palsy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She continued her career in Lynn County working as a pediatric physical therapist for the Cedar Rapids school system. In 1977, she and her family moved to Vero Beach, Fla., where she became a certified middle school instructor for ESOL, Math and Science and taught for 21 years in the Indian River County School District before retiring in 2005 and moving to Otto, N.C. She was active in theater and opera and sang in her church choir for many years as a soprano and soloist. She was a co-founder of Chapter CL in Franklin in 2006, a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, DAR, Red Hats, Republican Women, served for several years on the Board of Heritage Mountain Estates Owners Association and a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church where she served on the board as the financial secretary.

Surviving is her husband of 50 years, David Huffman of Otto; daughter, Terri (Robert) Nichol of Tampa, Fla.;  a sister, Joan Redman Boyce of San Anselma, Calif.; sister-in-Law Kathy Karr of Traer, Iowa; five nephews, two nieces, and their families. 

No services are planned at this time.

Interment will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery and Mausoleum in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

Bernice Moselle Keir (Welch)

Bernice Moselle Keir (Welch)

Bernice Moselle Keir (Welch), 94, passed peacefully from this life to her eternal home on Jan. 4, 2021, to join her beloved husband John to whom she was married for 71 years

A native of Waco Texas, she was the daughter of the late Addie and Frank Welch. She lived most of her adult life in St. Cloud, Fla., before moving to Franklin, N.C., six years ago to live with her son (Jack) and granddaughter (Paula)

 She enjoyed gardening, shopping, car rides, keeping up with current fashions and cooking. One of her favorite dishes was chicken and dumplings. She loved having friends to visit and talking about “the good old days.” She was a strong, outspoken lady who had a smile for everyone. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

She is preceded in death by her husband, John Keir Sr., who passed away in 2015, three sisters and seven brothers.

She is survived by two sons, John Keir Jr. of the home, and Frank Keir (Lawanda) of Mt. Dora, Fla.; three grandchildren, Paula Keir (Travis) of the home, Heather Critchfield (Aaron) of Braselton Ga. Wesley Keir of Mt. Dora, Fla.; two great grandchildren, Cody and Kaycie Critchfield; niece, Kathy (Jimmy) Keir; and nephew, Dennis (Donna) Everette; and her two grand cats, Dozey and Squeakerz.

No services are planned.

Burial will be at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Ocoee, Fla.

Calvin Woodrow Cowart

Calvin Woodrow Cowart

Calvin Woodrow Cowart, 77, of Otto, N.C., passed away Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Franklin, N.C. He was born July 12, 1943, in Rabun County, Georgia, to the late Ned and Violet Ruth Ledford Cowart.

He was a CDL “Over the Road” truck driver for many years and even drove as a team with his wife, Patsy. In the later years he drove a dump truck for Rhodes paving company. He was also very active with the WNC Wagon Train and owned a team of mules and wagon that he used to participate in the yearly events. He really enjoyed his three fur babies, Blaze, Bobo and Ginger and could often be seen selling firewood for Macon Program for Progress.

Surviving is his wife, Patsy Taylor Cowart; son, Calvin “Edward” (Barbara) Cowart; step-son, James Stacy Passmore and partner Carl Sly; grandchild, Brandy (Randy) Webb; great grandchild, Skla Cowart; sister, Nancy (Charles) Chidester; and brother, Don Cowart.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Wayne Jackson Coleman

Wayne Jackson Coleman

Wayne Jackson Coleman, 83, passed away on Jan. 8, 2021.

He was born in Eastman, Ga., on April 13, 1937, to Braudus (BJ) and Verma Coleman, but spent most of his formative years in Reidsville, Ga.

In eighth grade, he was recruited for the high-school one-act play at Reidsville High.  It was there he met a cute, bossy tenth-grader named Annette.  They would go on to marry and spend the next 60 years together. 

He studied journalism, history and French at Mercer University and the University of Georgia.  He began his career on a newspaper in Anderson, S.C., but eventually found success in furniture sales at Rich’s and Mangurians.  In the mid 1970s, he partnered with two friends to form Omni Manufacturing (Basic America Medical today), a firm that designed and manufactured furniture for nursing homes.

Wayne and Annette were deeply involved in Clairmont Baptist Church and Dunwoody Baptist Church (both in Atlanta), and First Presbyterian Church of Highlands (North Carolina).  He was a popular Sunday School teacher in each congregation and had a knack for weaving historical context into a compelling story.  He was never afraid to challenge traditional thinking.  He sang in choirs in each church and was a sought-after soloist.

The theme of performance never left his journey.  Over the years he acted in plays at Dunwoody Baptist Church, Stage Door Players, Highlands Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Actor’s Express, Highlands Performing Arts Center, and others.  Favorite roles included Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Pseudolus in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” (which he played twice).

The couple spent most of their adult years in Atlanta, but retired to Highlands, N.C., in 1997.  In retirement, Wayne remained active in the Highlands Men’s Chorale, a local writer’s group, and the architecture committee at First Presbyterian.

He loved to argue, politics in particular, and was quite adept at taking a contrary position to most anyone in the room.  And, he always wore red socks.

He is survived by three generations of boisterous and opinionated family members in Atlanta, Ga., Knoxville, Tenn., and Denver, Colo.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Coleman family. Online condolences can be made at

James William (Bill) Fuchs

James William (Bill) Fuchs

James William (Bill) Fuchs, 71, devoted husband, father of two, passed away January 8, 2021 after a brave battle with cancer. He was born March 11, 1949, to Fred and Barbara Fuchs of Homestead, Fla. His first grade report card described his personality best: “He is a great student, but he must S-L-O-W down!” Slow down, he did not! He had an intense zest for life. Even during the throes of cancer, he managed to continue his travels to Africa, Costa Rica, Alaska, the Amazon, and his treasured Wyoming. He never wanted to “burn daylight.” He was known for his folksy, humorous expressions – some could be repeated and some should not, but many will be remembered by all who knew him.

His love for adventure was deeply ingrained. He came from a family of world travelers, nature lovers, outdoorsmen, agriculturists, and horticulturists. He was a 1967 graduate of South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla., where he was Senior Class President, a track and football athlete, a natural leader – charismatic and well liked. He loved growing up in South Florida, enjoying the ocean, with its beautiful coral reefs, and the wonders of the Everglades. It was while diving on the coral reefs that he had an accident that left his left hand with only three fingers. That injury never limited him. In a matter of seconds, he could intricately tie a beautiful Adams Dry Fly while sitting at his fly tying bench. His “special” hand was a favorite to hold by his children and grandsons. Ultimately, he became an award winning taxidermist, creating beautiful wildlife art with those unique hands.

He graduated from the University of South Alabama where he “majored” in hunting and fishing and minored in Biology and Chemistry. He was also a member of Sigma Tau Kappa. It was in Mobile, Ala., where he met the beautiful Linda Jane Johnson who became the devoted love of his life for 47 years. If time allowed, he spent it in the woods or on the water and always wanted his best friend, Linda, by his side every step of their life together. After graduating from college, he taught biology and chemistry and was also a noteworthy football coach at McGill-Toolen Institute in Mobile.

In 1978, Bill and Linda moved from Mobile to Franklin, where they purchased his grandfather and grandmother Williams’ summer home. Growing up, he, his siblings, and cousins had enjoyed their vacations at this home. His first jobs in Franklin were teaching at L.B.J. Job Corps and holding an adjunct faculty position at Western Carolina University. While teaching and farming, he and Linda started what would become their life’s work: Wilderness Taxidermy and Outfitters, later to become the largest taxidermy and outfitting business in North America. He was passionate about adventure and wanted to encourage everyone he met to explore new places, the outdoors and, of course, hunting and fishing. He was a master salesman and by the time you finished listening to him you were ready to “get in the game of life” or buy whatever it was he was selling. He was unapologetic when it came to his conservative political views, Alabama football, and the conservation and preservation of hunting and fishing for future generations.

There will never be another Bill Fuchs, JW, Billy, Fuchs, or Wild Bill. However, his legacy will be in all those who have met him and were inspired to enjoy God’s natural creations and not take this life for granted. He loved life and lived it fully.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred Fuchs Jr. and Barbara Williams Fuchs of Homestead, Fla.; and his brother Charles (Judy) Fuchs also of Homestead. 

He is survived by his beloved wife, Linda Jane Fuchs of Franklin; daughter, Corie Fuchs (Chris) Carr and grandsons, Colton and Cooper Carr of Mooresville, N.C.; son, Jason Fuchs and grandson, Bryton Fuchs of Missoula, Mont.; his brothers, Robert (Michael) Fuchs of Homestead; Richard (Linda S.) Fuchs of Jacksonville, Fla.; sister, Susan (Rhonda) Fuchs of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and many nephews and nieces.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring and announced at a later date. Thank you to our community and all who have stood with us in prayer and support.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the Fuchs family. Online condolences at

Robert L. Lahmers

Robert L. Lahmers

Robert l. Lahmers, 93, of Franklin, N.C., passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born June 21, 1927, in Reedurban, Ohio, to the late Fredrick and Grace Horne Lahmers, he is also predeceased by his sisters, Ethel, Margaret, Jeanette and Nellie.

Surviving is his wife of 72 years, Patricia Clepper Lahmers; children, Robert D. (Debbie) Lahmers, Carol (Mark) Smith, Joanie (Jimmy) Signore; grandchildren, Heather Lahmers, Crissi Lahmers, David Lahmers, Mike Kacprowicz, Rex Kacprowicz, Wendy Dewitt and Adam Odzic; 11 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Robert and his wife Patricia moved from Dellroy, Ohio, to Sarasota, Fla., then to Franklin more than 30 years ago. Back in Dellroy, the couple lived on a working family farm, raising cows, pigs, chicken, row crops, hay and their children. He was an automobile mechanic. He loved cars, he even at one time worked on stock cars.  In his later years, he loved to feed the birds. He enjoyed spending time with his family, and he will be sorely missed. 

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m., at Macon Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Tempe Fussell officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

Condolences may be sent to the family at