Charlene Noland

charlene noland

April 30, 1929 ~ December 18, 2021

Born in: Bristol, VA
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Charlene Willis Noland, 92, passed away Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Brookdale Asheville Overlook.

How do you describe the impact that a woman, who never was famous or genius or particularly creative, had on others? LOVING. What a gift Charlene Willis Noland gave to those who were lucky enough to have been her friend or family.

From the stories of children at Oakley and Reynolds who experienced her teacher-assisting care and concern, when they were sick or distressed and needing a motherly touch, or to her own children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who reveled firsthand in her generous example of LOVE, what a legacy she shared! What freedom and joy she instilled, often through Music and Dancing, with every child in the family! What an infectious laugh she had that made everyone feel special!

Charlene was born April 30, 1929, the daughter of a railroad man, Charlie Lee Willis, and his wife, Ruth Sales Willis in Bristol, Virginia. Her teen years were spent in Appalachia, Virginia where coal dust flew, where friends could walk to neighbors’ houses, and where she could hang with friends at the soda fountain of their local drug store. She was greatly distressed (and miffed) to leave and come to her parents’ family home in Asheville at age 16; friends were miles apart in remote farmhouses in the area now known as the Reynolds district of Asheville.

Her unhappiness didn’t last long. Before she knew it, she fell for the handsome James Hubert Noland with whom she eloped at age 18! (His jalopy/rebuilt T-Model Ford had a sign on the back window that said, “Don’t laugh, your daughter could be inside!) They had 50+ years together raising and providing for a family in the Consistent Classic Ways of the ‘50’s. We must say, they did it passionately well.

Today, she is survived by three daughters; Sandra Noland Jackson (Eddie Jackson, always repairing this-and-that for her), Deborah Noland Witherington (widow of Rick), and Shirley Noland Morrow (Ron Morrow, Charlene’s winning Canasta partner). Also in this lucky chain are Sandra’s and Eddie’s children, Jennifer Jackson Ward (Bryan, her wonderful contractor), James Jackson (Kim, her favorite hairdresser), as well as Deborah’s actor daughter, Sibel Turkdamar. Finally, the youthful presence of her great grandchildren, Jackson Ward and Blake Jackson gave her renewed joy with every visit.

She is also survived by her loving Church Body at Reynolds Baptist Church, her pastor Bobby Smith, and her long-time choir friends. Pastor Bobby has been ever faithful in his visits to Charlene at Brookdale Asheville Overlook, where Virginia Morrow and the rest of the staff cared for her lovingly for the last five years.

Will she be remembered? A friend wrote “Your Mama is an Angel flying to her eternal bliss.” We agree, and shall, here and in-the-hereafter, honor her forever, glad that she is soaring free of her tired and broken body!

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at Reynolds Baptist Church at 2:00 pm with Pastor Bobby Smith officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow at Gashes Creek Baptist Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Baptist Children’s Home of NC; 111 Sneed Drive, Clyde, NC 28721.


Funeral Service: December 23, 2021 2:00 pm

Reynolds Baptist Church
520 Rose Hill Road
Asheville, NC 28803


Visitation: December 23, 2021 1:00 pm - June 12, 2024 2:00 pm

Reynolds Baptist Church
520 Rose Hill Road
Asheville, NC 28803



Gashes Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
Gashes Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. I remember back, more years than I like too, 63 or so, and Charlene’s beautiful face comes to mind. Always smiling and friendly to me, as one of her daughters, Sandra, Deborah, and sweet baby Shirley’s, friend in the small community of Castle Hayne, N.C. She was loving and kind, and I missed the whole family when they moved away. My love and prayers are with each one of you during this time of grief, but I rejoice in knowing she is with our Lord Jesus Christ. Rest in Peace dearest Lady! ❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️

  2. Dear Sandra: My deepest sympathy to you and your family in your dear Mom’s passing. I got to know your family through my dearly departed friend Gary Sorrells, your cousin, and when we were all at Reynolds in the mid 60s. Many fond memories abound. May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead. Once again, my deepest sympathy. Gerry Huntley. 828-318-4013. Reynolds High Class of 1965.

  3. I remember many years growing up with Charlene and Sandra and Deborah and Shirley. All those fun trips packed in one car to the beach. And then those sandy trips back home! Charlene’s famous biscuits gravy and applesauce were my favorite. So many fun times together. Our moms putting up with all of us. Charlene was always a beautiful lady but I will always remember her infectious laugh. She will be missed. My mom is missing her very much today! I bet she is riding around with Hubert and my dad in a studebaker! And looking beautiful as always!! Love and prayers are going your way! Miss all of you!

    • Cindy, thank you for sharing such beautiful memories of our fun Mom! Dancing in the living room in Castle a Hayne comes to mind! Come visit!!

    • Terry, thank you for sharing our best memories together…we really must get together at the beach again, in honor of those wonderful times we one had with our Moms. It’s now or never, Friend!!! Let’s do it!

  4. My deepest sympathy to Shirley,Sandra,and Deborah. Charlene always had a smile and a welcoming heart. My daughter “Cricket” adored her . May God’s peace comfort you during this difficult time.

  5. Deborah and family – I can just see and hear your mama and daddy speaking and carrying on through the words in this obituary. Beautifully written to honor your mother and her life.

    • Thank you, Deborah!! I am glad these pictures we paint with words are doing the job! Much love to you and thank you!

  6. Deb,

    My heart goes out to you and to Sandra and Shirley and to the entire surviving extended family. My deepest heartfelt sympathy. I know how much you all loved your Mom and what a tightly knit family you have. I realize there is a huge void but she will live on in your memories and your DNA.

    Peace and love to you all.

    • Hi Dear Friend,
      You hit the mail on the head! We are so lucky to have some of that DNA!!😇😁🙏🏻

  7. Shirley and family.
    I am truly sorry to hear of your great loss. Coming to your home as a teen was an incredible gift to me! Oh my goodness….Spice Cake, biscuits and honey and that applesauce. Sending you so much love!

  8. I remember Charlene and my mama used to get together frequently when we lived on Rose Hill Rd. She was a special lady.

    • They both had a really good time together! May the party continue in heaven and hopefully, they are sewing garments of fairy fibers!

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