Swannanoa - Dessie Mae Wright McMahan, 91, of Swannanoa, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 14, 2013 after a brief illness, at the residence of her son, Jerry McMahan. She resided in the Swannanoa area since 1964. A native of Letcher County, Kentucky, she was born May 8, 1921 and was the daughter of the late George W. Wright and Matilda Mullins. She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Edward Burton McMahan, who died in 1993.
Also preceding her in death was a whole brother, Orville; two half-brothers, Auldon and Corbin; four half-sisters, Blanche, Zelma, Verlin and Shelby; and a step sister, Evelyn.
Dessie is survived by a son, Jerry McMahan and wife Linda, of Roswell, GA; three grandchildren, Jeffery McMahan and wife Lora, of Lexington, NC, April Hoover of Asheville, NC, and Kelly Francisco and husband, Tyler of Duluth, GA; four great grandchildren, Nathaniel Hoover, Ariana McMahan, Zazie Francisco, and Josef Francisco; two half-brothers, Chester Wright and Lentena Wright; and three half-sisters, Lola Choinski, Olivia Browder and Lakie McCown.
Mrs. McMahan worked as a telephone operator for Southern Bell and various independent companies for several years. She was a licensed minister in the Church of God for over 50 years and maintained her long-time membership in the Parkview Church of God in Newport News, VA. She was steadfast in her faith and a spiritual leader who many people turned to for prayer and guidance. She touched and inspired many lives over the years.
She loved children and her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She also loved gardening and maintained a large garden for many years.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm in the Chapel of the Harwood Home for Funerals in Black Mountain, NC, with Rev. Kevin Chapman, Lead Pastor of the West Asheville Church of God officiating.
The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the funeral home.
Her final resting place will be in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, NC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, P.O. Box 235, Black Mountain NC 28711.
Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, 828-669-2977, www.harwoodhomeforfunerals.com