Obituaries for November 12, 2020

photo by Vickie Carpenter

Dana Bowen Chandler Jr.

Dana Bowen Chandler Jr., 73, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.

He was born June 5, 1947, in Charleston, W.Va., to the late Dana Bowen Chandler Sr. and Helen Hill Chandler. He was an insurance salesman and he loved to exercise.  He was a bail bondsman in Florida and a U.S. Army veteran.

He is survived by his wife, Tina Dale Chandler; a daughter, Jamie Devose; sons, Jason Chandler and Robert B. Chandler; sister, Susan Worth; and brother, James Chandler.

No services are planned at this time. Online condolences may be made at

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Chandler family.

Charles Lee Cassidy

Charles Lee Cassidy

It is with great sadness that the family of Charles Lee Cassidy announces his passing on Nov. 5, 2020. Known as Chuck by friends and family, he was a husband, dad, and grandad who enjoyed his family and encouraged large family gatherings for every occasion.

Born on Dec. 19, 1939,  a country boy raised on a six-acre farm near Indianapolis, he knew the meaning of hard work. He was a tinkerer who valued a dollar. Many times his family heard, “I’m not cheap, I’m practical.” Despite that practicality, he loved Corvettes and boats and owned several during his lifetime. He was down to earth, outgoing, caring, and a friend to those he met. He led a life of servitude. He held several positions including being a deputy in Indiana as a helicopter pilot and in Florida as airport security. He was active in the Army Reserve and, as a hobby, a private pilot that especially enjoyed piloting the Stearman biplane.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Merle Lee Cassidy and Gladys Zoe Reed Cassidy, and a brother, Wayne Cassidy. 

Left with wonderful memories is his wife, Maureen Patricia Mahoney Cassidy, who was the love of his life. Their shared values and mutual love never stopped giving Maureen butterflies when she looked into his blue eyes. He is also survived by his children, Steven Cassidy (Denise) of Beech Grove, Ind., and Melanie Allen (Robert) of Indianapolis, Ind.; two grandchildren, Katie Allen and Kyle Allen; and his sister, Maryanne Greeley, also of Indianapolis.

A funeral mass and celebration of life will be held Friday Nov. 13, at 11 a.m., at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Franklin. Social distancing will be observed and face masks will be required.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Research Hospital or Parkinson’s Research Foundation.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Dr. James Ernest Kitzner

Dr. James Ernest Kitzner, 69, passed away on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at the age of 69 with nary a gray hair on his head.  He was so fortunate to enjoy 22 years of retirement and a wonderful 17 years here in Franklin with his wife Carol and many dear friends.  He succumbed to the horrible ravages of Lewy Body Dementia and COVID pneumonia after an eight-year decline caused by Parkinson’s Disease.  It has been a long goodbye.  We will all miss his wit and brilliant mind and his kind and loving heart. Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

John Lyndon Wiggins

John Lyndon Wiggins

John Lyndon Wiggins, 88, of Salem, Va., went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

He was born in Swain County, North Carolina, on June 5, 1932, to the late Conely and Mayme Wiggins. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved brothers, Wayne and Clyde. He was the oldest of four siblings. He served his country with honor in the U.S. Army. He moved from North Carolina to Salem in 1964 and his career was spent working at General Electric, retiring in July 1991. He served his community as a lifetime member in the Fort Lewis Volunteer Fire Department and was also active in his church, CommUNITY Church in Salem, Va. He was a very easygoing, amiable person who loved to tell stories about his family, friends and the time he spent growing up in North Carolina. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Jo Waldroop Wiggins, of Salem; sister, Hattie Mae Potts, of Franklin; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ann (Larry) Norris; nephews, Ricky (Cristy) Potts and Michael Wiggins; and a host of other cousins and devoted friends.

A service celebrating his life and honoring this gentle, kind person was held at Macon Funeral Home Sunday, Nov. 8, with Rev. Steve Reeves officiating. Burial followed in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Pallbearers were Jimmy Wiggins, J.D. Sprouse, James Sprouse, Larry Norris, Furman Shook and Jackie Cook.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimers Association at or 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of the Virginia Veterans Center in Salem, Va.

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at

Roma Nell Mashburn

Roma Nell Mashburn

Roma Nell Mashburn, 85, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.

Born in Robbinsville, N.C., to the late Fred and Hester Gibson Hooper. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Cecil Lyman Mashburn; her siblings, Irene Carter, Fred Hooper Jr., Lawdy Hooper and Lloyd Hooper. She was a charter member of Mashburn Branch Baptist Church. She enjoyed quilting, sewing, cooking and spending time with family; Her favorite was being a Granny.

She is survived by her son, Alvin Mashburn and wife Vickie, of Franklin; siblings, Margie Gibson, Ruth Hooper and Olene Sanders, all of Franklin and Willa Faye Pendergrass of Nantahala; three grandchildren, Brenda Price (Bill), Tiffany McConnell (Matthew) f Franklin and Charles Mashburn (Kristy) of Clyde, N.C.; eight great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 9, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home with Rev. Travis Buchanan and Rev. Mike Chastain officiating. Burial will  followed in the Sugarfork Baptist Church Cemetery. 

Pallbearers were Charles Mashburn, Bradley Collins, Ryan Collins, Kyle Collins, Wesley Mashburn and Matthew McConnell. Honorary Pallbearers were Jenna Holden, Kadee Collins, Eli Collins and Levi McConnell.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mashburn Branch Baptist Church, c/o Tony Angel, 2119 Lakeside Dr., Ste D, Franklin, NC 28734

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made at

Sgt. John Wesley Murphy

Sgt. John Wesley Murphy, 93, passed away Nov. 4, 2020.  Born in Graham County, he was the son of late Merritt and Belle Pilkington Murphy. 

He proudly served in the U.S. Army 88th Blue Devil Division during1945-1947 in World War II. He was a member of Black Mountain Baptist Church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and just being outside working.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Vada Hodgins Murphy of Franklin; and daughters Peggy Murphy Ashe and Cory of Whittier, Terry Murphy Stamey and Dennis of Highlands, Judy Murphy Silverstein and David of Franklin, and Sylva Murphy Sprinkle and Lamar also of Franklin; five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren all of Franklin. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Novella Murphy Sawyer, James “Arthur” Murphy, Odell Murphy, Burdell Murphy Brackett, Annie Mae Murphy Bradley, Frances Murphy Sanders, Paul Murphy, and Harold Murphy; and dearest friends Carl Prince, Theodore Chambers, and John McClure.  

He was survived by siblings, Vonore Murphy Carpenter, Phil Murphy, Glen Murphy, and Dorothy Jean Murphy Tilley; many nieces and nephews, a special brother-in-law, Jack Hodges; and several hunting and fishing buddies.  

A funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 7, in the Chapel of Bryant Grant Funeral Home. Burial followed at Black Mountain Baptist Church, Franklin. Pallbearers were Lee Talley, William Shannon, Johnny Murphy, Lamon Brown, Rodney Cook and Jake Stamey

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the North Carolina State Veterans Home located 62 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC.  28711.

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

Robert ‘Doc’ Roger McMahan

Robert ‘Doc’ Roger McMahan

Robert “Doc” Roger McMahan, 85, of Franklin, N.C., died Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.

A native of Macon County, he was the son of the late Kelsie and Loreena Greene McMahan. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Carl, Clarence and Ted McMahan; and his sisters, Opal Sanders Brown, Marcella Wykle and Ruth Sult.

He retired from General Motors and was a member at Grace Baptist Church. He loved working at the flea market for many years.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Linda Conger McMahan; children, Roger Dale McMahan (Sandy), David McMahan (Cindy), Donna Shears (Randy), James “Dink” McMahan (Jan Rameriz), Jeff McMahan, Brenda Munger (Kelly) all of Franklin, and Carolyn Morgan (Gene Barry) of Tawas City, Mich.; sister, Tammy Lee of Clyde, N.C.; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 9, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home.  Rev. Wesley Price and Rev. Frank Rodriguez officiated. Burial was in the Watauga Baptist Church cemetery.

Pallbearers were Ronnie Collins, Blake McMahan, Michael McMahan, DJ McMahan, Austin McMahan and Josh McMahan.  Honorary pallbearers were Justin McMahan and Bradley Collins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Watauga Baptist Church cemetery fund.

Online condolences can be made at

Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Robert Mitchell Shepherd

Robert Mitchell Shepherd

Robert Mitchell Shepherd, 81, of Franklin, N.C., passed away Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Perry Soloman Shepherd and Lola Mae Messer Shepherd. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Minnie Talley, and a brother, John Shepherd. 

He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, stationed in the Panama Canal Zone during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Upon his discharge from the service, he was awarded a “Letter of Commendation,” commending him for his outstanding performance of duty, for accomplishing any assigned task with a maximum degree of efficiency and always being the first to volunteer for a task. His supervisors had nothing but praise for his performance and stated it was a pleasure to have an individual of that caliber serving under him and would welcome the opportunity again. He was a supervisor with General Motors before his retirement. He was a member of Liberty Baptist Church, the American Legion and the VFW. He enjoyed NASCAR and hanging out with the other Shepherd men at the fruit stand.

He is survived by his loving wife, Judith King Shepherd; daughter, Dori Coakley of Tiger, Ga.; step-children, Bob King, of Franklin, Mike King, of Omaha, Neb., Randy King, of Texas; siblings,  Roger Shepherd of Candler, Kenneth Shepherd, Raymond Shepherd, Ray Shepherd, and Steve Shepherd all of Franklin, Betty Tallent of Greenville, S.C., and Jan Yonce, of Murphy, N.C.; 12 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 6, in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home. Rev. Andy Cloer, Rev. Steve Reeves, Rev. Davis Hooper, Rev. Wesley Hooper and Randy King officiated. Burial followed in the Shepherd Cemetery. 

Pallbearers were Trevor Mason, Blake King, Bob King, Josh King, Ken Shepherd and Mike Shepherd. Honorary pallbearers were Darrell Carter, David Yonce, Jerry Jennings, Harold Barrett, Paul Shuler, R.V. Shields, Mike King, Randy King, Landy Pendergrass, Bruce Giles, Chandler Bryant, Bob King, Don Brown and Mitchell Owenby.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shepherd Cemetery C/O Josephine Jennings, PO Box 781, Franklin, NC  28744 and the American Cancer Society,

Macon Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Condolences may be made to the family at

Randall H. Jones

Randall H. Jones, 76, passed in his sleep on Nov. 4, 2020, at Angel Medical Center, Franklin, N.C., after a lengthy illness. He was born and raised in Tampa, Fla., but was a frequent visitor to the Franklin area and has been a permanent resident of Burningtown since 1998. He was an ardent salt-water fisherman and a retired HVAC technician both in Florida and Franklin. 

He leaves behind a daughter, Lori Jones-Keck of Tampa, Fla., and Franklin.

No services are planned this time and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

Elinor Metzger

Elinor Metzger

Elinor Metzger, 96, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who inspired others with her grace, strength and love, returned to her Creator, Savior and Lord Friday evening Oct. 30, 2020, at Eckerd Living Center in Highlands N.C. Her daughters Kathleen Shuford and Laura Doonan and son Harrison Metzger were at her side when her spirit departed this world. 

She was born Dec. 2, 1923, in Atlanta, Ga., the only daughter of the Rev. Elton and Lois Sauls. She was raised in Atlanta and graduated from the Washington Seminary. She attended Agnes Scott College for a year and then attended the Arts Student League in NYC. While she was in NYC and later in Panama City, Fla., she worked as a nurse’s aide due to the shortage of nurses during World War II. Her love of art inspired pursuits throughout her life, including drawing, photography, gourmet cooking, and singing and worshipping with her family at All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. That family had its genesis when Elinor as a young woman worked in a wartime factory with a striking redheaded woman from Rhode Island, whose husband and son were serving in World War II. Dorothy MacKaye Metzger told Elinor stories of her brave and handsome son, Earl H. Metzger Jr., who was then manning anti-aircraft artillery in North Africa and Sicily. Elinor agreed to meet Earl upon his return from the war, and thus began a romance that lasted more than 53 years. They were married Feb. 22, 1947, and raised their three children in Atlanta where Earl served as director of Model Cities for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. They had many friends, and she loved to entertain with her warm hospitality and culinary artistry. They traveled to France and the UK many times and instilled their children with a love of nature, people and social justice. They were supporters of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Elinor served as a volunteer and supporter of numerous civic and church organizations including as a board member of the Georgia Conservancy and president of the Atlanta Fulton chapter of the League of Women Voters. She went to work as the director of the VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America) during the 1960s. In 1981, they retired to Highlands, N.C., where they built a home surrounded by gardens that Elinor planted and tended. She helped found and was the first president of The Laurel Garden Club in Highlands. They continued to enjoy traveling and entertaining and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a glorious party. Even after his passing on Nov. 12, 2000, Elinor continued to live a vibrant and joy-filled life. She was active in her church, The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Highlands, as a licensed Lay Reader and Eucharistic Visitor, taking communion to seniors who were unable to attend services. She was a graduate of the University of the South, School of Theology’s Education for Ministry program, a four-year program of theological education that she enjoyed so much she participated another four years. She was beloved by her many friends for her sweet and affable nature, wit, intelligence, wisdom and loving care for those in need. She lived for several years at Chestnut Hill of Highlands before declining health required her to move to Eckerd Living Center. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her three children who sung to her, read her poetry, and laid hands upon her on her final day. 

Survivors include children, Kathleen and the Rev. Carlton Shuford of Augusta, Ga., Laura and Patrick Doonan of Atlanta; and Harrison and Jeanne Metzger of Mills River, N.C.; grandchildren, Josh and Laura Shuford of Marietta, Ga., Andy and Julie Shuford and Kevin Doonan of Los Angeles, Calif., Kristan and Paul Makl of Seattle, Wash., Charley Doonan of Denver, Colo., Anna and Daniella Metzger of Mills River, N.C.; four great-grandchildren; and beloved friend Helen Moore of Highlands, N.C., who ministered to the family with the same sort of grace and hospitality that Elinor shared her entire life. 

The family thanks Eckerd Living center for their loving care of Elinor, and asks that in lieu of flowers donations in her memory be made to Jubilee Partners, P.O. Box 68, Comer, GA 30629; Cashiers Highlands Humane Society, 200 Gable Drive, Sapphire, NC 28774; or MountainTrue, 121 Third Avenue West, Suite #1. Hendersonville, NC 28792. 

Services will be announced at a later date.

Ruth Helen Pruett McLean

Ruth Helen Pruett McLean, born to Willie and Clara Turner Pruett on Aug. 19, 1928, passed from this life on Nov. 3, 2020. Voted on by grandchildren and great grandchildren, she held a title she cherished more than anything—World’s Number One Nonna.

Known for her huge heart and generosity, her kindnesses and giving spirit did not stop with her family but extended to those in need who happened to enter the clothing stores she owned in both Wrightsville, Ga., and Valdosta, Ga. She was a successful businesswoman, but she never lost the quality of caring about and helping others. She was also an animal lover who gave a multitude of dogs a wonderful life. Even though she was sweet and kind, no one would have ever called her a pushover. She was strong willed and did not mind giving her opinion when she thought it was necessary.

She was one of God’s children. Church was very important to her, and she faithfully attended First Baptist Church in Wrightsville as long as she was able.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her spouse, A.D. Bracken; her first husband, Frank E. McLean; and four brothers. 

She is survived by her daughter, Tryvonne McLean Morgan (Bill); three grandchildren, Kelli, Andy, and Greer; six great-grandchildren, Deyton, Greylyn, Locklyn, Paiton, Pennley, and Hank; and three sisters.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to CareNet Food Bank, 130 Bidwell Street, Franklin, NC, 28734.

Moffitt Family Funeral Care is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Tanya Lee Blanchard Bryson

Tanya Lee Blanchard Bryson

Tanya Lee Blanchard Bryson, 45, passed away Saturday, Nov. 6, 2020. She was born Oct. 6, 1975 in Plattsburgh, N.Y., to Clayton Blanchard and the late Cathy W. Blanchard.

She worked as a CNA in the home health field. She loved the outdoors, sunflowers, fishing, football, and her dogs. Her greatest love was her children, grandchildren, family, and friends. She was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need. She was a member of Wells Grove Baptist Church.

Survivors include her husband, Timothy Allen Wells; three sons, Anthony Bryson, Trey Bryson, and Kendrick Bryson; father, Clayton Blanchard; three grandchildren, Kayson Isaiah Bryson, Myra Lyriq Bryson, and Isaiah Hilburn; and a sister, Lisa Blanchard.

In addition to her mother, she was preceded in death by two siblings, Nathan Blanchard and Bobbi Joe Vanhook; and a grandbaby, Kayden Isaiah Bryson.

A celebration of life service was held Wednesday, Nov. 11, in the chapel of Bryant-Grant Funeral Home. 

Online condolences can be left at

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