August 11, 1947 ~ February 12, 2021

Resided in: Dandridge, TN

Dandridge, TN – Harley Edward Shuford, 73, passed away Friday, February 12, 2021, in Dandridge.

He was born August 11, 1947, to the late Clyde Edgar Shuford and Myrtle Clark Shuford, and was also preceded in death by a brother, Robert (Bob) McGuinn and a cousin whom he considered a sister, Bearnice Estes Carmichael (Jack).

Harley is survived by his wife, Brenda Jolly Shuford; a daughter, Cynthia Shuford Sampson, son-in-law, Daryl Sampson; granddaughter, Abigail “Abby” Sampson, sister-in-law, Marian McGuinn Furlough and his 4-legged nurse, Bandi.

Mr. Shuford was an Army veteran and retired after 30 years with the Asheville Fire Department. He began with the department as a firefighter and driver for Ladder One, and later became the Asheville Fire Department’s first full-time Fire and Arson Investigator. For 18 years Harley investigated fires for many fire service agencies across Western North Carolina.

He was instrumental in creating and leading the Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force (ABATF) and he was a life member and former president of the NC International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc. As part of his investigation duties, Harley served as a Special Deputy with the Buncombe County Sheriff Department.

Following his retirement, he served as a fire investigator for EFI Global, as an Adjunct Instructor in the Fire Science Program at A-B Tech (for 12 years) and as a Board Member of the West Buncombe Fire Department.

He and his wife Brenda have enjoyed a number of retirement years on Douglas Lake in Dandridge where he has numerous friends.

A service with Fire Department honors will be scheduled at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Buncombe County Chapter of FFBCF (Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund), 74 Tipperary Drive, Asheville, NC 28806 (, or to a charity of your choosing.

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  1. What a man. Harley was loved by any and all who knew him. Harley was a humble human being and very compassionate with anyone he came into contact with. I counted Harley as a true friend. I am very happy that his suffering is now over with and he is now living with no pain or dread of tomorrow. Rest In Peace My Friend. Brenda, know that we will be praying for you and other members of your family. Should you need any assistance of any kind I am only a phone call away.!

  2. My family was so blessed to have Harley and his beautiful family as our neighbors for 17 years. They were like family to us. Harley was most certainly a special person in so many ways. He will be missed by so many but we hold on to the promise of seeing him again one day. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brenda, Cynthia and family.
    With Love,
    Marty, Jan, Martin and Lauren Cundiff

  3. We both feel your pain and grief and want you to know you are both loved, Brenda and Cynthia.
    Our thoughts are with you always. Kathy and Gordon

  4. Prayers for the family I knew Harley while working with APD and Sheriff’s office he was a great person to be around and to work with he will be greatly missed.

  5. When I was adjusting insurance claims for Nationwide, Aetna and Crawford & Company in the 1970s, 80s and 90s in Asheville Harley assisted me on several arson cases. He was always so thorough in his investigations. If there was fraud he could find it. He covered all the bases. I always looked forward to working with Harley due to his style, grace and search for the truth. I saw him not too many years ago at Fuddruckers in Asheville. That was a special moment. To his family and many friends my deepest sympathy. Gerry Huntley, CPCU. 828-318-4013.

  6. Dear Family, lt was always a pleasure to know the Shuford family and to pray for and with them. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. May the God of all Comfort Bless you in Jesus name.

  7. I first came to know Harley and Brenda as a patient at JMH, but over the past few years they became more like family. It’s speaks to the kind of people that Harley and Brenda are, the kind that just make everyone feel like family. Brenda, know my prayers are with you and your family. We know Harley is healed and splendid in all of God’s Glory. May you have Peace in your heart through the Hope and Love of Jesus Christ.

    2 Corinthians 4:17-18
    For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  8. So sorry to hear about Harley. He was such a great person! I have so many fond memories of him and the Erwin band. Harley and Brenda both worked so hard for the band program. It was always such a joy to be around them. Prayers out to Brenda, Cynthia, Daryl and the rest of the family

  9. So sorry to read of Harley passing. Brenda you and the family are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. I think the last time I saw you was when Calvin was on the 4th floor at St.Joseph you were getting ready to retire. Love you

  10. Brenda, I am sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I was saddened to learn of Harley’s death. He was one of my favorite people and I treasured our friendship. I hope you are doing as well as possible and know that you are in my thoughts. I have missed seeing you all. Please take care.

  11. Shuford Family,
    I’m so very sorry to learn of your loss. I met and worked with Harley from the 1980’s until we both retired. When I transferred from Charlotte to Asheville with S.B.I. Harley was one of the first to befriend and assist me as I was learning the Western N.C. area. He was always the “go-to-guy” when working major fire/arson cases in the Asheville/Buncombe area. I will miss him..

  12. Brenda, we are so glad Harley had you for the outstanding care taker job during his health issues. You hung in there.
    We are so sorry of his passing, he is at rest now. God bless.

  13. Brenda and family, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts, love and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Always cherish the memories and know he is gone but not forgotten.

  14. “The best”. Those are the words many people have used to remember Harley in these days after his death. His pioneering journey into arson investigation brought many others into his footsteps, and he was always glad to show them the path! Family: thank you for sharing Harley with us as he shared so much with others. May you soon find peace. -Clint Gorman, A-B Tech.


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