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James Cordell

1923 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
James Cordell Obituary
James Donald


Swannanoa - James Donald Cordell, of Swannanoa, passed away on September 17, 2013 at 90 years old as a result of an accident on his farm equipment. He was doing what he loved to do best on the day of his accident at his Creek Forks farm. Celebrating his birthday on September 10th, he was hoping to live a century. He was a graduate of Georgia Tech Institute of Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering and was retired from a long career with the US Forest Service where he made many lifelong friends. Don was a military veteran having served in both WW II and the Korean conflict and received a purple heart for injuries suffered in combat during WW II.

But it was his farm in the Riceville community that was his true passion. A lifelong resident of the Riceville community, he spent many days and hours working on his farm to sustain his beloved cattle. While he always worked hard, he also enjoyed the time spent talking with friends and neighbors that stopped by to keep up with the events of the community.

The son of Jack and Polly Cordell, whom also both enjoyed long lives in the community, he is survived by two sons, Donald (Bugs) Cordell and wife, Gail, of Zebulon, Steve Cordell and wife, Debra, of Charlotte; and daughter, Donna (Sissy) Cordell Bergstedt and her husband, Kevin, of Rolesville NC; two sisters, Elizabeth Marlowe and Christine Chapman; eight grandchildren, Vicki Hayter and husband, Chris, Apryl Frazier and her husband, Jarrett, Matt and Kelsey Bergstedt, Chad, Crosby, Elizabeth, and Tucker Cordell; and five great grandchildren, Grayson, Emerson and Madison Hayter, Reagan and Marigail Frazier.

He is predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Jean Smathers formerly of Canton in 2002; his parents; and three brothers Carl and Arnold and Cecil.

A special family friend, Dan Little and his wife, Jane, made his daily life on his farm possible as he aged. Their never ending friendship with him gave Dad the constant assurance he could go to the place he loved the most and continue to work on his farm. We will never forget your constant devotion.

We would like to acknowledge and very much thank all of you that had a part in any of his life by taking your time to help an "old man" maintain the ability to live out his life at home on Rowland Road and his farm. He was so grateful and spoke often of so many of you, both family and neighbors, that helped him as his physical abilities started to wane.

The family will receive friends Friday September 20th from 6-7:30 PM at Wilson Family Funeral Service in Black Mountain. Funeral services will be at 11 AM on Saturday at Berea Baptist Church with the Reverends James Lamb and Thomas Pethtel officiating. Burial will be following in the church cemetery.

For those who would like to leave words of comfort for the family may do so at



Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sept. 19, 2013
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