June 27, 1935 ~ October 13, 2023
Resided in: Asheville, NC
Harry J. Shotwell, 88, went to sing in the Heavenly Choir on October 13, 2023, at Mission Hospital following a fall.
Harry was born on June 27, 1935, in Asheville to the late L.T. and Annie B. Shotwell. He was also preceded in death by all of his siblings: Mattie, Sue, Margaret, Sarah, Mary, Louise, Barbara, Bill, Lonnie, John, George, and his twin brother, Larry.
As a youth at William Randolph Elementary School, David Miller Junior High, and at Lee H. Edwards High School (Class of 1953), Harry was on the square dance team. He danced at the 1st Annual Mountain Youth Jamboree at the City Auditorium (now Thomas Wolfe Auditorium), and at various mountain folk festivals. He met his wife, Betty Anne, at Lee H. Edwards and together they danced square and smooth with the Pisgah View Rance Square Dance Team. They later joined the Alemanders Western Square Dance Team. He also called many square dances for N.C. House Representative Jamie Clarke locally and in Washington, D.C., where Harry once met President Jimmy Carter personally.
He was a longtime member of West Asheville Presbyterian Church, joining in 1953. He served as Deacon and Elder, as well as many other roles, particularly with the youth. He was known as the “man with the golden voice,” despite the fact that he couldn’t read music. Harry was especially proud of singing for two Billy Graham Crusades and singing in the choir for Bev Shea’s funeral.
He retired as a letter carrier with the USPS with 32 years of service and was a proud member for over 50 years of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch #248. He held offices at local and state levels, and sang for many of their conventions, including national conventions. He and Betty Anne had worked at the Asheville Civic Center from 1953 to 2022.
Harry received a commendation for saving a child’s life one day on his mail route. After realizing a young girl had stopped breathing, Harry was able to resuscitate her and later said, “but for the grace of God, I would not have been there for the little girl.”
Harry was also a member of Nichols-West Asheville Masonic Lodge #0650 for over 50 years. He sang for many years at the Christmas program at the York Rite Masonic Bodies, downtown Asheville. He was also a member of the Aston Park/South French Broad Reunion Group, where he was able to reminisce with others who grew up in the area.
Harry enjoyed volunteering and helping others. He volunteered for many years at Bele Chere and for the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament in South Carolina. He also coached Little League baseball and was a fine pitcher himself in the church league. He enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves, and the Tar Heel basketball team, and loved listening to Southern Gospel music.
He was a Dandy! He will be remembered for his “golden voice,” giving the best devotions, praying the best prayers, and being the best Santa!
He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of almost 67 years, Betty Anne Shotwell, son, Mike Shotwell (Denise), and daughter, Kimberly Beasley (Ryan). He will be lovingly remembered as “Dandy” to his grandchildren, Christopher (Mackenzie) and Brady (Courtney), and a very special two-month-old great-granddaughter, Mya, whom he was able to hold and sing to. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Harry’s life will be held on Saturday, November 11, at 3:00 p.m. at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. Pastor Will Gaines will officiate. A livestream of the service will be broadcast below at service time. His family will receive friends at the funeral home immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you donate blood in Harry’s memory (he was a longtime donor to the American Red Cross) or make a donation to a charity of one’s choice.