Katherine L. Vance

katherine vance
Katherine went home to be with her Lord Jesus Saturday, May 5, 2012. A native of Washington, DC, Mrs. Vance was a daughter of the late Morris and Lottie Mae Sansing Lambert. She was a 1974 graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Elementary Education. She then became a certified teacher of Kindergarten through seventh grades. Early in their marriage, she and her husband, VA Chaplain Garland Vance, fostered 42 children and teens. Mrs. Vance taught for 15 years at Merrimon Christian School and at Asheville Christian Academy for seven years. She invested her life in educating children, not just in the practical matters of learning, but in the greater values of preparing them to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and to grow up loving Him. She was a member of New Life Community Church where she loved facilitating women's Bible studies; and she served as a keynote speaker at a number of women's conferences. Following her retirement from teaching, she enjoyed working with the staff and customers at Parkers' Karat Patch Jewelers. She also spent these years enjoying her wonderful and nearly perfect grandchildren. In addition to her husband, Garland Vance, her family includes a son, Garland Bryant Vance and wife Dorothy, and their three children, Calvin, Sophie and Toby, all of Rome, GA, a sister, Johnnie Butler and husband, John, of Richmond, VA; a mother-in-law, Mary Vance; two sisters-in-law, Mary M. Lewis and Charlene Worthy. She is survived by a number of nieces and nephews. A funeral service for Mrs. Vance will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday in the Patton Avenue chapel of Groce Funeral Home, with interment to follow at Green Hills Cemetery. The Revs. Barry Morgan, PhD, Steve Harris, D.Min. and Daniel Dockery, D.Min. will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Asheville Christian Academy Scholarship Fund, 74 Riverwood Road, Swannanoa, NC 28778, or to the Hope Chest - A Cancer Center for Women, PO Box 16948, Asheville, NC 28816.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Garland, Garland Bryant and family, praying for His comfort. Like so many, I am blessed to have known Kathy. Her zest for life and contagious laughter stand out in memory. She consistently witnessed in word and actions. Kathy was truly a master teacher who modeled Christ’s love. She is in the arms of Jesus. In His love, Joel Head

  2. I will always remember Mrs. Vance for the example she set for women,teachers, wives and children by her Godliness and faith in her Savior. The students she had carried away so much more than textbook learning, but found the love of Jesus through her.

  3. Garland and Family,
    I am so sad to hear of Katherine’s passing but joyous to know she is with Jesus. I will be praying for the Lord’s comfort to be prevalent in your lives in the coming days. Kristi Downing (New Life Church)

  4. Garland and family –
    We were so saddened to hear of your loss. Katherine was always such an encouragement. You are in our prayers.

  5. Our hearts share in your sorrow at the loss of a precious wife, mother and grandmother. May that peace that passes all understanding surround you, and may our Lord continue to comfort you now and in the days ahead.

    Sara and George Briggs

  6. Dear Garland, Tonight learning of the sickness and passing of my sister in Christ-I weep, but in my heart there is joy. Today, she is with our Savior and singing His praises. I will always treasure our times during the selling and buying of your homes. Your loyalty, trust, encouragement and friendship given to me, as a working mom,I will always be grateful. Katherine was a special friend and true blessing to me and our family. Please know I will pray for you, your Children and Grandchildren for this great loss. Our Love Debbie and Carl

  7. Dear Garland, Garland Bryant, Dorothy, and family,
    We are grateful for the privilege of knowing your beautiful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. You all are in our prayers in your tremendous loss of this outstanding Godly woman. Love, Bruce, Rachel, Maryanna, and Christina Jensen

  8. Garland, Garland & Dorothy and family,
    What a wonderful treasure of memories we have! Katherine was not only a master teacher, a caring co-worker, but a friend. While we know she is loving every moment of heaven – we are praying for you to know the comfort only HE can give at this time. Love and prayers for you, Sharon Riley

  9. Dear Vance Family,
    We are so saddened to hear of the loss of your precious Katherine. I will always remember her as a master teacher with impeccable articulation, a beautiful smile and a no-nonsense, loving manner that I found very refreshing. I will never forget her kindness in giving a former 3rd grade student, my son John, a giant candy bar when he was in the 6th grade for managing to get through his first year of Middle School with no discipline slips! She had the gift of encouragement and touched the lives of many 3rd graders at Asheville Christian Academy. Our thoughts prayers will be with you in the coming days and weeks.
    Mary Berger

  10. Garland and family,
    We know the absolute loss that you must be feeling at this point of your wonderful wife and mom – absolutely no words or people can replace that void but our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! What a comfort He must be for you! She has had an impact on so many people and will now start reaping the fruit of her harvest! Think of the stories she is telling in heaven!
    Much love and prayers,
    Todd and Colleen Gillespie

  11. May the Lord give you extra strength during this time. You and your family will contine to be in my prayers.

  12. Dear Garland, Garland Bryant and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Katherine’s homegoing. We remember her as a gracious, classy lady who loved the Lord and wasn’t ashamed to share her faith. She had a wonderful way of making you feel special. We are praying for your family.
    Joel, Laura, Drew, and Cameron Parker

  13. I send my condolences to the family,she will really be missed,but enjoy in the fact that she is not suffering anymore, and she is in a better place.

  14. Hi, this is Marianne, one of Becky Lewis Dayton’s friends. Just wanted to express my sympathy for your loss; it’ll be a great reunion in Heaven one day! Pete and I will be praying for all of you. Sending love. Marianne

  15. The sadness of knowing that Kathy is gone was expected, but shocking none-the-less. The joy of knowing that her pain is over and she is now with so many others who have gone before her provides the balance that helps ease the grief. My condolences to all as she was a very special person who we all know touched many lives, each in a different way. Rest in peace Aunt Kathy.

  16. I fondly remember Katherine for her exuberance and joy-filled heart. She taught me that 3rd and 4th grade students CAN do Arise My Love, and do it very well. Praying for those she has left behind knowing that she is resting in the presence of her sweet Savior.

  17. Dear Garland, Garland, Jr.,relatives and friends.
    Pam and I want to express our deepest sympathy to all of you in Katherine’s homegoing. However, we rejoice that she’s been promoted to Heaven, free from pain and the suffering she endured here, in the presence of Our Lord and Savior. We will long remember the services she and Garland conducted with Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship, and the sweet spirit in those services.

  18. Garland,
    My love and prayers are with you and your family. There are not many people in this world that I can say it was a privilege knowing, however, it WAS truelly a privilege that I got to meet and know Katherine. She was so good to me and a great friend. I will miss her and never forget the love she had for so many and her love for our Lord and Savior.

  19. We are grateful for Mrs. Vance’s commitment to ACA, 3rd graders, her family, and especially to Jesus. Thankful that she now lives for him in eternity.

  20. What wonderful memories I have of teaching with Katherine. I am praying that the comfort and peace of Jesus surrounds your family.
    Dru McClure

  21. We are very sorry for the loss of your wife but know her next life is just beginning and what joy that brings. Hope is eternal, her suffering is over, and she now waits for you. With love, prayers, and compassion, the Morgans

  22. Dear Garland,

    We are deeply saddened by the news of Katherine’s passing. We will always remember her radiant smile, her warmth and kindness. Till we meet her again in Heaven, she will be greatly missed. We want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Do take care.
    TK & Jessie

  23. Katherine filled God’s world with laughter and wonderful stories!! She blessed everyone whom she came in contact with and will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with Garland, his family, and their close friends.

  24. Garland and Family,

    Bob and I were saddened to hear of Katherine’s departure from this world and the loss it means to all of us. We will miss her greatly, but know that God is enjoying her company immensely!

    I met Katherine when we first moved to Asheville and I attended the ‘Experiencing God’ Bible study at New Life Community Church. Her teaching and that group of ladies had a big impact on my life. I will always treasure it.

    Our prayers for God’s comfort will continue to go out for you and your family during the coming days.

  25. Chaplain Vance my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of Kathryn s homegoing. She was a very caring and great lady. ‘Joy cometh in the morning’ we will all be united again with Kathryn and Michael in the presence of our King. Paula

  26. Dear Garland, Garland Jr., Dorothy, and children,
    What an outstanding woman was Katherine in every way! Not only did she have a beautiful face, but it radiated the love she had inside for her Lord! Always a brilliant smile along with entertaining stories that delighted as well as amazed us. Katherine could make what might seem ordinary to most, into teachable moments that would keep you hanging on to every word. Laughter was often a part of her stories, but always there was a deep insight into a life of faith in Christ. Her faith and love for others was evident in all parts of her life.
    Now she has finished the fight and finished it well! What great stories she will be able to tell us when we see her again; until then we will miss her. We share in your grief, but rejoice in the confidence that Katherine is finally at home!
    Love and peace to all of you,
    Robert and Pattie Brinkley


  28. She was a powerful woman in a lot of ways. Her stories, infectious laughter and love for her Lord will never be forgotten. We love and miss you Katherine.

  29. Katherine was a joy to be around and had a wonderful sense of humor as she shared her storytelling adventures with us. Her love of the Lord was evident in all she said and did and I know she is dancing in heavenly places right now. I know you will miss her so very much. Blessings to all of you as you rely on the Lord and heal from your grief. We will see her again!

  30. Garland & family, Katherine will forever be in our memory as a beautiful person inside and out. We will miss her and her wonderful stories. God bless you and keep you in the shelter of His peace. Ken & Jeanie Crum

  31. The bright spot of each visit to the Karat Patch was Katherine’s lovely smile. She sparkled brighter than any diamond in the store, because her heart and mind were wrapped up in the joy and peace of a daily relationship with her Lord. We grieve with you, and pray for peace during this season of loss. She touched our lives deeply with her prayers and support, and even in death, her life continues to inspire us to sparkle brightly with the Savior’s presence. Praying for the family. Lori & Kristi Brown

  32. Her life and marriage to Garland have been an inspiration to all of those who have known them.
    Hers was a life well lived.

  33. God Bless and hold your sorrowed hearts in his hands
    to the Vance family: our heartfelt sympathy
    to ‘Chaplain Vance’: you have been there for so many families throughout your years at the VA,especially for me and my son-Josh. You were there for my ‘Daddy’who loved,respected,and trusted you till the night he died.You were there for my mother-to console her and hold her hand.You were there for my brother to allow him to cry on a strong shoulder.You were there for Josh to tell him how proud and brave his Pappaw was. You have always been there for me even in your difficult hours,showing your compassion to all others and never asking for anything in return. Chaplain Vance you have my respect,admiration and heartfelt sympathy.Take the memories you and your family have made to console you till you see her again. She remains beautiful,is burden free, and watching over all of you. God Bless You

  34. Mrs.Vance was my 4th grade teacher at Merrimon Avenue Baptist Christian School. I am now 24years old but I still have such a fond memory of her because she was always one of my favorites teachers. One thing that I remember about her was she was crazy over her son Garland. She used to talk about him all the time to our class =) I am saddened that she is no longer with us but there is great comfort knowing she is with Someone and Somewhere much better. She is definitely enjoying time with Jesus in Heaven right now and I am looking forward to seeing her again one day. Praying for the family…

  35. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Katherine at Parkers’ Karat Patch. What a beautiful lady…inside and out. My condolences to Garland and the family. She will surely be missed.

  36. Garland,
    I never had the pleasure of meeting Katherine,but every time we talked,your face would glow when you talked about your lovely wife.How blessed you both were to have such a strong love and support.
    I pray that Katherine’s love will continue to guide and support you.

  37. What a beautiful lady on the inside and out. She will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers for the family. Garland you are the best of husbands, a example for all

  38. Garland and family,

    Thank you for keeping us updated as you and Katherine and the children made this journey together. You allowed us to speak of you, pray for you, and remember our days together with joy and gratitude. We will continue to lift you up to our Father of comfort.

  39. Mrs.vance was the best teacher i ever had. I came from all f’s to b’s and c’s..she was so fun.her son and i were best friends in middle school and she always welcomed me in her home. She will be missed…

  40. Mrs. Vance made a lasting impression on my son. He spoke well of her many years after he had the privilege of being in her class. The Bible asked ‘Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies’..I think we found that woman in Katherine Vance…God bless you and your family and give you a peace that passes all understanding.

  41. I was priviledge to have Mrs Vance as a teacher in the 4th grade at Merrimon Baptist Christian School. She was one of the best teachers I EVER had. She loved God, her family, and her students so much. She made a difference in my life, and I am sure many other children. I appreciate everything she did for us! Mr Vance and Garland, I pray for God to comfort you.

  42. Garland,
    Just read your email and then read Katherine’s obituary. I have a heavy heart and am grieving with you. Lots of memories going through my head right now of you and Kathy at Va Tech and the times we visited over the years. Wish I could have stopped by more! I remember your Maj Mahal appartment that you had at tech and remember how excited you were that God had provided for you as He provides for one of the Son’s of the King! I was honored to speak at your ordination and enjoyed catching up with you and Kathy (still have a hard time writing Katherine – as that was not what I called her). You arein my prayers and thoughts. If you get up to the DC area, let me know as I would love to see you. If I get down to your area I will look you up!

    ‘The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace’ Num 6:24-26

    Love you!
    Carl Fahrner

  43. I shall always cherish the Saturday I met with two college students from Virginia Tech and we talked about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

  44. It was with great saddness I read your email of your lose of Katherine. I shall always cherish the Saturday I met with two college students from Virginia Tech and we talked about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I will always treasure Katherines letters over the years reminding me of the anniversary of that time. You can be assured of my continued prayers for you, the children and grandchildren.

    Don and Carole Emerson
    Christiansburg, Virginia

  45. Chaplain, It is my Monday and I just heard the news….I am so very sorry……I’m in the Oncology clinic today…..I have no words….but I remember what you told me……to try even when it’s hard…even when there are no words……I will give my best to these patients today……extra best……I’ll look forward to seeing you……you are close to heart……Katherine will be remembered through our work….ca

  46. Dear Garland: So sorry to hear about Kathy’s passing. Was informed about it by Carl Fahrner. As you can see, we are also North Carolinians now also! Would love to catch up sometime. With deepest sympathy, Paul

  47. Our hearts were saddened to learn of Mrs. Vance’s passing. Heaven keeps getting sweeter! Our lives were blessed as Kathy taught our son, Richard at MABCS. She was a wonderful teacher, she loved The Lord and her students had a special place in her heart. When she spoke of her family she always had a extra sparkle in her eyes it seemed… Mrs. Vance was quite a lady and set a wonderful example before us as parents, and to her students. May God’s Grace Bring You Comfort and Peace in the coming days.

  48. Garland,
    I just learned of the passing of your mother. I am so sorry. However, I know that she is in Heaven rejoicing. She was a blessing to so many students, and especially to me in 4th grade. I have many fond memories of that year. I pray for God’s comfort and peace for you and your family.

  49. hey mom. I miss u so bad. I would give anything just to b able to see and talk to u in person. but I know u are in a better place. at least u r not in pain. I kknow u are watching from heaven and I feel u r my angel watching over me. again, I miss u terribly. your daughter jeannie

  50. I sure do miss u. There is not a day that goes by that i do not think of i. I miss i terribly. But i have hope in knowing that one day i will see u again. I love u. Your daughter, jeannie

  51. Garland, saw Kathy’s Obit as I was looking for information to write my Pop’s Obit. Pop died 17 Mar 2021. Mom died 18 December 2020. they were married for 72 years. Hard to believe they are gone. Love you!

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