In Memoriam

In Memoriam


 John Nerney  Waynesville, Dr. John Joseph Nerney, 72, died peacefully at his residence on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. John was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1944, but grew up in Atlanta. He was the son of the late Francis Xavier and Phyllis Wysocki Nerney. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Emmie Jones Phillips Nerney, and by his sister, Margaret Frances Nerney Stein. John was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia. He interned at the University of California at San Francisco’s Harkness Memorial Hospital. John served as a flight surgeon in the United States Navy and later acquired his training as an ophthalmologist at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1977, he established Mountain Eye Associates, where he worked until his retirement in 2001. A strong believer in giving back to his community, John was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and the Waynesville Rotary Club, serving as Rotary president in 1985 and receiving the Paul Harris award for service to the community. He was an Eagle Scout, a regular participant in volunteer medical expeditions in Bolivia, and served for a time on the Haywood Community College Foundation Board. He was a member of the Waynesville Country Club where he frequently played golf and gin rummy with many friends. He established the July 4th Red, White & Blue Tournament and enthusiastically supported the Rotary Tournament. He was a long time board member of the 10 Country Club Homeowners Association and served a term as its president. John loved the outdoors, spending summers camping, hiking and horseback riding with family and friends in America’s National Parks. He was never happier than when watching Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish play on a Saturday afternoon, beating an opponent at cribbage, or spending time with the people that he loved. His family wishes to thank Bayada Home Health Care, Four Seasons Hospice, and the many medical professionals who provided excellent care during his 16 year Parkinson’s illness. John is survived by his friend and companion of many years Rosalie “Bo” Prevost; daughters Sarah Agnes of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Elizabeth Jane of Chicago; sons John Andrew of Atlanta and Joseph Robert of Asheville; brother Thomas Nerney of Atlanta; sisters Mary Lyons of Melrose, Florida, Jane Burns of Gainesville, Florida, and Patricia Lewit of Atlanta; and many extended family members. Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 14th, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church with Father James Cahill officiating. A private interment will follow at Green Hill Cemetery at a later date. The family will greet friends on Wednesday, July 13th, from 5p.m. to 7pm at Wells Events & Reception Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the John and Emmie Nerney Scholarship Fund at Haywood Community College, 185 Freelander Drive, Clyde, North Carolina 28721 or to the Emmie Nerney Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556.
Stephen Charles Luce





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WAYNESVILLE – Stephen Charles Luce peacefully returned to his Father in Heaven on June 3, 2013 surrounded by his family members and the loving staff members of the Haywood ARC Woodlawn home. His passing came after dealing with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly three years.Stephen, a person with Down’s syndrome, was born on January 15, 1956 in the U.S. Army’s 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. He is survived by his parents, Dot and Chuck Luce of Waynesville, his sister Beth McKinney and husband Al of West Melbourne, FL, brother Bill Luce and wife Mary of Gilbert, SC, sister Cindy Bellamy of Cassatt, SC, and brother David and wife Lisa of Lugoff, SC. Steve was the proud uncle of Leah, Johnathan, Cameron, Kristina, Brooke, Amanda, Ally and step-uncle of Michelle and Nichole. Three aunts also survive Steve, Leda Fide (LeRoy) of Apache Junction, AZ, Dorothy Hoos of Big Flats, NY, and Roberta Luce of Detroit, MI.

During his twenty six years in Columbia, SC, Steve participated in the many activities available at Babcock Center in Columbia and in the annual Special Olympics competition. He was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and assisted in the Youth Ministry there. Everyone who knew Steve quickly discovered that he was a great “Gamecock” fan, supporting the University of South Carolina teams in all sports.

Since moving with his parents to Haywood County, NC, in 1997, Steve was employed at Haywood Vocational Opportunities while living in the ARC of Haywood County Homes. He looked forward each day to “going to work” and to receiving his paycheck. A dedicated participant in the Haywood County Special Olympics, he won numerous medals over the years. His room at his ARC Woodlawn Circle home in Clyde reflected his continuing love of the “Gamecocks” and the Special Olympics.

As an active member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Parish in Waynesville and Canton, Steve served God for many years as an usher and in bringing up the gifts during Mass. He used his God-given gift of love to spread happiness wherever he went. He was a Charter Member of the Knights of Columbus Council 15085 sponsored by the Church.

For a number of years Steve was a participating member of the National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry (NAfIM), a national organization dedicated to the inclusion of all persons with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) into the Church. He attended numerous national conferences and developed a wide circle of friends across the country.

The family will greet friends at Garrett Funerals and Cremations from 6PM until 8PM on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Fr. Larry LoMonaco will celebrate a Memorial Mass for Steve at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 234 Church St., Waynesville, at 11AM on Thursday, June 6, 2013. All interested persons are invited to attend and celebrate Steve’s life.

Interment will be at a later date at Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbia, SC. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ARC of Haywood County, 407 Welch Street, Waynesville, NC, 28786 or to Haywood County Special Olympics at 238 Equestrian Way, Waynesville, NC 28786. Garrett Funerals and Cremations is assisting the family with arrangements.

A message of comfort and sympathy may be left at

St Joseph the Carpenter WAYNESVILLE – Mr. Robert “Bob” D. Thornton, 81, passed away Saturday, October 6, surrounded by his loving family. Bob was born to the late Ira and Moina Crawford Thornton in Orange City, Florida.Bob retired from BWIA after 25years, and spent his retirement touring the country by motor home with his wife. He enjoyed living in the mountains, and playing his music; organ, piano, and dulcimer.Bob was an active member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, the church choir, and Knights of Columbus. He was the ultimate handyman and shade tree mechanic extraordinaire. Bob was a big hearted, humble man who loved his family and truly loved God.In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his brother, Edwin Thornton.Bob is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pilar Eiro Thornton; one son, Robert Thornton, Jr.; two daughters, Dianne Kinlen, and Pilar Elaine Lerch (husband Michael); six grandchildren, Carey Lerch Norton (husband Greg), Michael Lerch (wife Jennifer), Kristopher Kinlen (wife Ana Duarte), Janice Kinlen (husband Mark Covert), Chelsi Robinson (husband David), and Anna Thornton; and great-grandchildren Landon, Emily, and Aiden Robinson.A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, October 9, at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church with Father Larry LoMonaco officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Building Fund of Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 234 Church Street, Waynesville NC 28786.

A message of comfort and sympathy may be left at

Sir Knight Fred Cremer 1945-2012 WAYNESVILLE – Frederick James Cremer, 67, passed away on September 20, 2012.  Fred was born in Freeport, IL, and lived most of his life in Deerfield, IL, where he worked until moving to Waynesville in 2001.He was preceded in death by his father, Alfred James Cremer, his mother, Roberta O’Connor Cremer, sister, Barbara Cremer Greene, and his first wife, Joann Sleevar Cremer.Fred is a graduate of Aquin High School (1963), St John’s University (Collegeville, MN, 1967), and holds a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. At St. John’s, he played on two national championship football teams under Coach John Gagliardi, the winningest coach in college football history. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 12th round of the 1967 NFL draft but decided to go into teaching instead.He began his teaching and coaching career in Lena, IL before moving to Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL in 1970. During his years at Stevenson, he coached football, track and field, and golf in addition to teaching English. He retired in 2000.Fred was a respected teacher and coach who influenced the lives of many of his students and athletes. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Fred was a great storyteller with a passion for life. He leaves a legacy of hope and humor in the hearts of all whose lives he touched.Fred is survived by his wife, Sandra Fanning Tonnsen Cremer, a daughter, Sarah Cremer Bell, son-in-law Ian Stephen Bell, and grandchildren, Emily Charlotte and William James, as well as his uncle and aunt; and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Fred’s life was honored at a wake Thursday, September 27, 6:00 pm, at Wells Funeral Home, Waynesville, NC and funeral services Friday, September 28, 11:00 am, at St. John’s Catholic Church, Waynesville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to the MedWest Haywood Hospice & Palliative Care, 127 Sunset Ridge, Clyde, NC 28721 and the Little Star Foundation, 256 Rancho Milagro Way, Hesperus, Colorado 81326. (

An on-line memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at “





“Even in tragedy, God through His word offers hope for those who seek and believe. It starts with the promise of a better tomorrow, of life everlasting, of eternal peace. It’s called faith, and it offers hope where none existed.” – Zig Ziglar

AMDG Ad Majorum Dei Glorium


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