Blanche Millsaps completed her earthly journey and entered her Heavenly Kingdom on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 64 years Wayne Millsaps; daughters, Janet Millsaps, Pam Ensley and Jennifer Abshire; son in law Bill Ensley; grandson Seth Millsaps, wife Zae and great granddaughter Nola and special canine companions Doby and Tinkey.  She was the daughter of the late Wesley and Bertha Totherow of Murphy, NC and had 8 brothers and sisters. Surviving sisters are Geneva Hayth, Helen Farner and Brothers Dempsey and ML Totherow. Blanche was a resident of the Addie community in Jackson County for 54 years and a member of Buff Creek Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by sisters, Nancy Stiles, Willa Nell Laney, and brothers JD and Talmadge Totherow. Blanche was known throughout the community for her positive spirit, dedication to her family and a remarkable green thumb. She was a familiar friendly face behind the snack bar at Eastgate Pharmacy and seemed to have never met a stranger in her path. Blanche was an excellent seamstress making a lot of clothing for family and friends and also a very naturally talented hair stylist.

Visitation and Services will be Friday, January 16, 2015 at Appalachian Funeral Services in Sylva with visitation beginning at 2:00pm and services at 3:00.  Reverend Earl Holden will officiate and burial will be in Addie Cemetery.

Pall bearers are Seth Millsaps, Bill Ensley,  Kim Cowan,  Mark Laney, Ethan

Dickey, Shane   Danner.

An online registry is available at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com




Barbara Witte, 74, of Sylva passed away Wednesday January 14, 2015 at Harris Regional Hospital.

No formal services are planned at this time.

Melton Funeral Home is assisting the family.



Ella Frances Bryson Hyatt, age 87, passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015. Mrs. Hyatt was born in Jackson County on April 20, 1927 to the late June and Lydia (Buchanan) Bryson.

Raised in Jackson County, she was a teacher in Cherokee for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and she and her husband, the late John Hyatt, Sr., raised their five children on Shoal Creek Road. After Mr. Hyatt passed away, she moved to Bowling Green and then to Athens, GA.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Mrs. Hyatt is preceded in death by her three brothers; Herbert, Clyde and Lloyd Bryson and her sister, Irene McClure.

She is survived by her five children; John (BJ) Hyatt of Woodbine, GA, Sharon (John) Shearouse of Ocala, FL, Eric (Carol) Hyatt of Athens, GA, James Hyatt of San José, CA, and Charles (Kourtni) Hyatt of Asheville. Eight grandchildren; Jef, Drew, Daniel, Christie, Laura, Jessie, Corrynne and Alex, and three great grandchildren, Wesley, Aaralyn and Roman, also survive.

A funeral service will be on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 11:00 am at Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Whittier with the Revs. Steve Jamison and Charles Stephens officiating. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Thomas Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 310, White Plains, NY 10605 or by going to their website.

An online registry is available at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com



Pearl Owen, age 85, of Tuckasegee went to be with her Lord on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at Skyland Care Center of  Sylva, NC.  Pearl was born December 23, 1929. A lifelong resident of Jackson County, she is the daughter of the late John H. and the late Nora L. (Owen) Harris. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Vaughn Owen; brothers, Lon, Jess, and Charlie Harris; sisters, Florence and Lorena Harris, Elsie May Mathis; and an infant daughter, Rebecca Jean Owen.

Pearl was a traditional mountain woman who loved her Lord, her children and her grandchildren.  She also loved cooking, farming, gardening, growing flowers, and taking care of her grandbabies. She was the oldest member of Wolf Creek Baptist Church. 

She is survived by her children, Rose Lavern and Don Payne, William Lee and Virginia Owen, Barbara Nell and George Stephens, James Mack and Sherry Owen, John Harlan and Glenda E. Owen, and Anthony Vaughn Owen; two sisters, Lucille Brown and Mildred Dowell; and two brothers, Luther Spurgeon and Grady Harris.  She had 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren.

A celebration of Pearl’s life will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 21 at Wolf Creek Baptist Church, with Rev. Don Riddle, Rev. Claude Nicholson, Rev. Tommy Owen, and Rev. Patrick Owen officiating.  Burial will be in Wolf Mountain Cemetery following the service. Her grandsons will serve as pall bearers.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, January 20 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Appalachian Funeral Services, 165 Skyland Drive, Sylva, NC. An online registry is available at www.appalachianfuneralservices.com.



Ruby Lonis Shuler Nicholson, 79, of Sylva, passed to her Heavenly home on Monday January 26, 2015 after a long illness.

Born in Jackson County, she was the daughter of the late Roy Shuler and Lucille Mathis Shuler. She was married to Charles Lyman Nicholson who passed away September 5, 1996. Ruby Lonis retired from Harris Regional Hospital, where she had worked in the dietary department. She had been among the first cooks at Mountain Trace Nursing Center when it first opened in Jackson County. Ruby Lonis had also been a resident at Mountain Trace for the past few years. She enjoyed Bible reading and her doll collection. She was a member of New Hope Baptist Church where she had held various other jobs in the Church in previous years. She was a loving mother and grandmother who loved all her family and friends.

She is survived by 2 Sons- Charles Nicholson and his wife Dottie

                                            David Nicholson and his wife Sheila

3 Grandchildren- Misty Colton, Crystal Smith and Brent Nicholson

6 Great Grandchildren

5 Sisters- Betty May, Martha Bishop, Virginia Ammons, Nellie Buchanan and Gladys Wood

She was preceded in death in addition to her parents and husband by her son Baxter Nicholson, sister Annie Pearl Shuler and a brother Luther Shuler.

Funeral Services will be held 11:00 am Friday January 30 at New Hope Baptist Church with the Revs. Ernie Jamison and Mike Moore officiating. Burial will follow in the Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday evening January 29 from 6 until 8:00 PM at Appalachian Funeral Services.

Pallbearers will be Rod Colton, Katdim Smith, Brent Nicholson, Norman Nicholson, Bill Bishop and Brian Bishop



Thomas Anthony Newton, 55, of Tuckasegee, passed away Wednesday January 28, 2015.

Services will be private and held at a later date. Appalachian Funeral Services is assisting the family with arrangements