April 27, 1953 ~ November 13, 2018

Born in: Asheville, NC,
Resided in: Weaverville, NC

Wilton Henry “Pug” Moore, Jr., 65, of Weaverville, passed away on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at the CarePartners Solace Center. A native of Asheville, Pug was a son of the late Wilton Henry Moore, Sr., and Emma Jean Freeman. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Cheryle Lynch, his grandmother, Lizzie Moore, and granddaddy, Theodore Moore, who taught Pug many valuable life lessons and how to be a jack of all trades. Pug was a graduate of Asheville High School. He played first string middle guard on defense for the football team all three years. He excelled on the wrestling team in the 185-pound weight class, achieving very successful records, and earning runner up in the state finals for two years. An outstanding athlete, Pug also participated on the track team. He worked at Dave Steel for several years and has been a loyal and valued staff member at Groce Funeral Home since 1977. Following high school, he received a scholarship from the American Red Cross to attend Aquatic School at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain to earn certification to teach swimming. He taught swimming and lifeguarding at the Walton Street Park, the YWCA, and then at the YMCA, where he was a member of the water polo team. Pug began volunteering with the Asheville Police Department in 1978, riding with patrolmen, and maintained a close relationship with APD and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department up until his passing. Pug believed that even though a few “bad apples” could make a whole department look bad, there are many men and women serving in law enforcement who have great integrity and character, all of whom Pug respected and held in high regard. Pug started lifting weights in high school, and continued weight training throughout his life. He began competitive weight lifting in 1986 on the local and state level. He received many best lifter awards and trophies, and twice was ranked #2 in North Carolina at the 242-weight class. Surviving are his wife, Angie Cowan Moore; daughter, Janice Moore; sons, Wilton H. Moore, III, Payton Moore, Richard Moore, and Andrew Moore; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Diane Thomas, of Durham, and Dollie Coxton, of Asheville; brothers, André Freeman, Fernando Freeman, and Willie Hase Tobe; cousins, Vicky Waters, Wilton Waters and family, and Priscilla Robinson and family; and the Cowan family. He is also survived by the staff and family of Groce Funeral Home; the staff of Asheville Wilbert Vault Co.; owner Greg Pressley and the family of WNC Bar Bell Club; owner Jeff Flynn and the Jeff Flynn Fitness Center family; Asheville area funeral homes and florists; his family at the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe Co. Sheriff’s Department, Woodfin PD, Weaverville PD, the NC Highway Patrol, and the surrounding law enforcement community; Terry Felkel, Scotty at West Asheville Exxon, and his friends at Cox Auto Service. Special thanks and appreciation is expressed to Pug’s workout partner, Big John Hamilton; Asheville Urological Group and staff, especially Dr. Ricky Bare; Asheville Hematology & Oncology and staff, especially Dr. Praveen Vashist; Dr. Ronald Caldwell at Park Ridge Health; Drs. Gottfried and Mann Dentistry and staff; the staff of the CarePartners Solace Center; and to all the churches that supported and prayed for Pug. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19, at Trinity Baptist Church of Asheville, with Pastor Leslie Hines, Rev. Allen Rash, Pastor William Robertson, and Rev. Louis Grant officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hills Cemetery, with the Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guards serving as pallbearers. The family will receive friends at the church for two hours prior to the service. Memorials may be made to the Little Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 21 Hillside St., Weaverville, NC 28787.

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Guestbook

  1. I have a vivid memory of the raw grief displayed by Pug when his friend, Trooper Giles Harmon was killed in the line of duty. I knew of his law enforcement support when we worked together, but didn’t realize his impact on the law enforcement community until recently.
    With sympathy from the staff of Washburn & Dorsey, Bostic, NC.

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  2. Thank you for your hugs,talks & always loving smile & heart. I miss you. I wish the world could see & live through your heart and outlook on life, it would be a better place. My heart goes out & condolences to your family.

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  3. Words can not express how heartbroken we are. Our Prayers are with your family. Pug was always such a loving and caring person. He will be missed by so many. Everybody that knew Pug loved him. No matter what Pug was going through, his first concern was you and how you were doing. He will remain in our hearts forever.

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  4. My friend, you are in the hands of God
    You are at peace and you will never be forgotten. David and I will smile ea h time we look at your picture. To the family may God be with you

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  5. My deepest love and prayers to his family. Words can never exspress the love i have for my dear friend, brother Pug. My life has been blessed and ive been honor to have had him in my life. He meant so much to so many. He’s love for his law enforcement family was and is never ending. He consoled and comforted me during the passing of my famiy and our friend Jeannie. He even knowning his situation and the outcome he would console me as I cried for him. His words will comfort me and I pray it comforts his family as well. ‘Sister dont cry, be strong for me, Ive had a good life.’ I just wasnt ready for him to leave, selfish i know but they just dont make men like Pug nowadays. See you soon. Its. Never goodbye, its see you later. I love you my dear friend. Always

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  6. Pug was a special man, and I am so glad I got to spend three years of my life with him in high school getting to know him for the awesome person he was.
    He touched so many lives during his 65 years on this earth, and brought joy to so many. I send my condolences to the family, and will continue to pray for you. Heaven has called a gentle giant home.

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  7. I am so heartbroken, I grew up with Pug, He lived with His Grandmother Lizzie behind me on Woodlawn Ave, He lived on Elizabeth Street, I am gonna miss My Hugs, and Smiles, and when I passed by Groce FH, and look over there, my thoughts will be on Him, REST IN PEASE My FRIEND, I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU, NO MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING. MY MEMORIES ARE MY TREASUE. One Day I will HUG you again. Love, Janet Scott

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  8. I’ve known Pug for as long as I have memory. When we moved in to the house behind the funeral home he became one of my best friends. He was always there to answer my random questions, to listen to my complaints, and to give advice when I needed it.
    Once I moved out he would always catch me on my visits back home to let me know how proud he was of me. He was excited for my engagement, marriage, pregnancy and finally to meet my son. He’s always been a big part of my life and I’m not sure how to continue without him. I know his presence will continue to be with me.

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  9. Pug was a very special caring man who loved his fellow man.Always upbeat and happy with a kind word for everyone.Pug will be miss by all but remain in spirit to all who knew him.God bless my friend and brother!!

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  10. I met Pug when I was almost 15 years old . I started going to the gym with my mom and Dad, Pete and Trish Messina. I then began to work there in the daycare watching children as there parents would work out. I saw Pug every day and he always had a smile on his face and the biggest hugs ever. He was there for me when I was having a hard time in high school. He was like another father figure for me. He would always give me good advice and always let me know that it was okay and I was loved. Pug and my dad and many others would always lift weights together and would win all kinds of trophies . I was always so excited to see Pug and talk to him. I talked to him a few months ago about his cancer and you would of never knew he had it. He had such a bright out look on things. I’m so heart broken to know that such a sweet man has left us. I’m so happy that I got to meet him and know him for 16 years . I’m happy he got to meet my five children, he was my parents friends and I know they are hurting about his lose as well. But we know that Pug was a man of faith and he is in heaven waiting on the rest of us to be with him. I pray for his family and all his friends during this difficult time. We love you Pug and I thank you for being apart of my life and I can’t wait to see and hug you again.

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  11. I am going to miss my friend it going to be hard to look over at the funeral home and not see him and his son working out front. You meet people in life that u know that will impact u some kind of way and Pugs did that for me it wasn’t a time that he seen me he always gave me a encourage word I will always be grateful that we cross pass here and looking forward to seen him again. To the family I know it hard to loose a love one but look what haven has gained a angel that will forever look over family and friends. You can rest now my friend and enjoy the heavens.

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  12. I miss you sooooo much buddy. I know you are pain free and happy to be rid of all that nasty cancer that had invaded your body. Praise the LORD that we all will get to see you again soon and you will be grinning from ear to ear and I can hear you now ….’? Shucks what took you so long to get here baby girl ‘.
    Pug you were my best friend buddy and I am going to miss all those long talks we had for hours and hours and we never ran out of things to talk about. I am gonna miss talking to you at 4:30 in the morning while listening to the birds sing and both of us saying Thank you LORD for another beautiful day of life. I am going to miss everything about you. You promised me you would let me know everyday that you were still around so I’m going to be looking for those signs.
    Thank you LORD for BLESSING me with such a wonderful man in my life since the late 80’s. Pug there will never be another friend like you. I will be so lost without you ….this hurts soooooo bad. I will love you forever and a day cos loving you forever isn’t long enough. Until we meet again my friend …..

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  13. Pug you were such a dear man. Always going the extra mile to make sure any job you did was done well. I will miss our constant handshakes that you made me do over and over cause we had that same pop. lol. You were a great friend and everyone around you loved you. Your family is one of the best in Asheville. Such sweet, graceful people and yall have touched thousands of lives. You will be dearly missed. May God comfort the family during this time. Love you.

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  14. Pug was a great man and certainly a great friend. I will miss him, as will many, many other people who knew him. He will never be forgotten!

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  15. We are sorry for your loss. Pug was a friend to the Hembree family for many years. Sincerely, Mike and Peggy Hembree. Robert and Cindy Reeves

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  16. Many moments do we face in life, but one of the hardest, is the lost of a love one. I pray for your and your families comfort in this time of heart ache. May The LORD continue to cover you and yours. Our greatest Condolences.

    Feed My Sheep Ministries, Inc.
    Oxford, North Carolina
    Memphis, Tennessee

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  17. {m have known Pug since my days working for APD and Buncombe Co Sheriff Dept, a true friend and all around wonderful person., he will be great missed, my sincere condolences to his family

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  18. Dear Family, l am praying for you as you go through these days and times ahead. Your journey has been tough. The Lord will give you comfort and peace during this time of grief. Pug was always willing to help in any way he could and give words of encouragement. May the God of all Comfort keep you in Spirit.

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  19. The last time I saw Pug and spoke with him he was as caring, friendly and outgoing as always. What I didn’t know, and he didn’t mention, was his ongoing battle with cancer. Pug was a great friend to law enforcement and a wonderful asset to the community. Just a very special person.

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  20. I had the honor and privilege to meet Pug when I was a rookie with the Asheville Police Department in 1988. We were friends ever since. I remember doing escorts at Groce, seeing Pug there and talking to him. We had some really good ones. Sometimes I would just drive by and talk. He rode with me a few times even doing a video one time. When I went to the Sheriff’s Office we still stayed in touch and talked. My daughters thought the world off him too.
    I remember the morning I found out he was ‘Casper’ when he did a broadcast on the Chuck Finley Morning Show on KISS FM. It was always about the antics of the police department and boy did he do some good ones. I still have a recording of one show. You all readers should remember that one. We have all retired.
    To his family, I know you miss him. He talked about you all and I know he loved you too.
    Pug, I know you are in a beautiful place now. We love you!

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  21. I met Pug close to 40 years ago when my dad ‘Jack Rice ‘ owned Rice Exxon down on Haywood Rd. Pug would holler out the window of Groce Funeral homes van one of our sayings ‘ Hear something or I know it!’ And still did up till his final weeks. Pug has been doing business with our family every since. Pug was not just a customer to me but a good friend, you will be missed dearly, from your kindness and your smiles. All of us at West Asheville Exxon are sending prayers to the family.

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  22. My dearest friend Angie
    Daddy & I are sadden by the loss of Pug. I cannot find the words my friend to express to you & the family but you know that God has a plan and God knows how to heal a broken body and even more the broken hearts of the loved ones left to cherish his memory. We love you & may the Lord bless you & the family with peace and comfort not only for today but for the days to follow.

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  23. I met Pug right after I started working for the Asheville Police Dept. in 1979. When I first saw Pug I thought my goodness what a big man this is. Over the years we became really good friends and every time I had the chance to go by Groce Funeral Home on Patton I would stop and chat with Pug. He would never let me get lost when I would lead a funeral procession for the funeral home. He is a special friend whom I will always hold close to my heart. Always faithful, up beat and happy only begins to describe Pug’s personality. He is a true man of God and now rests in the arms of his Heavenly Father. You will be missed by many my friend and I for one look forward to the day we meet again. I pray that God blesses your family and holds them close during these trying times ahead and may they have comfort in knowing we will all see you again soon.

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  24. So sorry to hear of the loss of Pug. Pug and go back over 45 years of friendship. We had a motorcycle group that we all took off on Sundays after church and ride. I thank God for our friendship. May he rest qell in the bosom of the Almighty. Praying your strength through the days ahead. Hold steadfast to your faith

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  25. Pug touched so many lives for the good. We are grateful that we had a chance to know him. Our daughter , Kendall, always thought of him as a superhero and would often point things out and say, ‘Pug could pick that up, he is SO strong’. We will keep your entire family in our thoughts and prayers. Love , Russell, Lorie and Kendall Dula

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  26. Pug was a wonderful person, he was kind, caring and so funny. I have known him more that thirty five years and every time I saw him, he acted like it was just yesterday. He will be missed. He was really loved by his friends.

    To his family, I send my sympathy and I know how sad you are. You WILL see this GOOD, KIND Man in Heaven.

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  27. The White family would like to send our most sincere condolences to Pug’s family.He was an amazing person with a great big heart full of love.We thank God for sharing him with us because he made the world a better place.God has called him home to rest now and to wear his crown in glory!.May the family find strength in knowing that he is resting in complete peace.He will be missed but his spirit will live on with us each and every day.Love one another,be kind to one another,help each other and take care of each other that keeps his legacy alive.

    Renee’ White and family

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  28. May you forever rest in peace my friend, now you have earned the wings you missed here on earth. I enjoyed working and seeing you come by wilbert vault, until we met again.

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  29. I really liked Pug. I was one of the new employees he helped Mike Rice initiate at Charlotte Street Exxon back in 1985. Loved his sense of humor and the fact that what you saw was what you got. I will be praying for your family. May God bless and comfort you.

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  30. Our family would like to express our deep sympathy to the family of Pug. We have known Pug since 1977. He was a genuine person, a gentleman, a hard worker and a model citizen. He always greeted us with a big smile and kind words. My late husband, Dr. James Johnson, and Pug had a special friendship and they always enjoyed fellowship together. My husband admired Pug’s strong arms and that was often the topic of conversation. But even more so, he admired Pug’s gentle spirit. Perhaps they are having fellowship once again in heaven. We will be praying for your family as you go through this time of sorrow. ‘Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.’
    Ellen Johnson and Family

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  31. Wilton Moore and I attended Asheville High School. After years of not seeing him we talked briefly at a funeral. He still had that positive attitude about life experiences. He will always be remembered for his kindness. Rest in Heaven my friend.

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  32. I was so saddened by the unexpected news. Pug was a dear man, and a frequent customer at the Subway I once owned. He was such a joy to be around, and never met a stranger. Please know your family is in my thoughts and prayers for comfort and peace. Blessings.

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  33. Was so very sad to hear of Pugs passing. We will miss him. Life was better because he was here. I was honored to call Pug my friend. He was a gentleman of the highest regard, and we were all better for knowing him. Gods speed Pug, thinking of your family with love, and praying for comfort for them, as they were already blessed to have a presence like you in their mist. May your family find comfort in your life and legacy, as you touched the lives of so many. I love you my friend, Good by

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  34. The WLOS News 13 piece was so honoring and special as it brought light to make you feel close to who Pug was. We will continue prayers for the family and sending our love to each.

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  35. Our Heartfelt Prayers of Strength Comfort and Peace be upon his family and list of ongoing friend IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN! ATrue Gentle and humble giant. Hilarious Witty and Smart. His Spirit was and is as bright as the noon day sun. Driving by Groce or seeing the white Groce van will never be the same. Our Faith tells us we will see him again on that Great Reunion Day! Les Dutcher and family.

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  36. I met Pug in 1977. He was a new employee at Groce Funeral Home and I was a new employee at Wells Funeral Home. I was honored to have a 41 year friendship with him. I saw him working in front of the chapel in September and turned around and we visited in the yard for 30 or 45 minutes. He told me then that everything was going to be alright because it was in God’s hands. We hugged and he called me his brother and I called him the same. I know that I am richer for having him as my friend. My love and prayers to all of the family.

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  37. Pug helped me with weightlifting events at the Salvation Army, YMCA and Rick’s Gym. He was an inspiration and friend for many years. May Pug rest in peace and may God bless his.

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  38. My husband Scott & I, Vicki ‘Gardner’ Anderson were so saddened to hear of Pug’s passing & express our deepest sympathy to his family! When Pug began at Groce Funeral Home, I met him, since I lived across the street from the garages & he was in 12th grade along with my husband when I was in 10th. I didn’t meet Pug until 1977 & my hubby in 1979, even though they were at Asheville High at the same time. By the time I met Scott, I knew what an awesome person Pug was & he recognized Scott & vice versa & they got to know each other again! Pug new I was to meet Scott, but at the time didn’t know who I was to meet, so it was funny when he knew him. Pug always seemed like a big brother to me along with Dale Groce! Pug was watching to make sure things went well when I met Scott, I think, or he was watching as he was working! He could do both! Keeping an eye out for all of us that lived there & working keeping everything beautiful at Groce’s! When I would go back to Asheville when Mother was still alive, I’d have to go see Dale & Pug! His family is in my prayers!

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  39. Wilton ‘Pug’ Moore was one of the finest people I have ever known. I was a sophomore when Pug was a senior at AHS. He was a natural leader and he took all the younger kids on the wrestling team ‘under his wing’. Tough but the most caring, thoughtful man, with an infectious smile. I saw Pug, it seems, just a year ago or so, stopped said hello, and he remembered me, he gave me a big hug and we talked for a long while.
    Much love to you, Angie and all your family.

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  40. My thoughts and prayers are with you all and everyone who knew and loved Pug. I can honestly say I’ve never known a finer person. In the physical he was made of steel but in the spirit he was full of kindness, love and respect. My kids and I knew Pug as he was a close friend of their dad Sgt. Randy Davis, APD. I’ll always remember that whenever we were with Pug and Randy said a bad word he met with a quick and stern scolding about talking like that in front of his wife and kids. Of course Randy loved Pug and loved to get a rise out if him so he did it all the more. This world was such a better place with Pug in it and my family was honored and blessed to have been touched by him. God bless!

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  41. If you didn’t like Pug Moore then you should take a long look at yourself. I think he is one of God’s angels. I don’t know how a person can grow up to be so selfless. I doubt God ever made a stronger man. Pug was a giant not just physically, but in the ways that are truly important. He was a super human being. I respect, and look up to, Pug Moore. He is a hero of mine. It was an honor to have known him. I’m glad he was a friend of mine. He always made me feel like I was special, but as a person I was a weak next to him, as my arms were weak next to his. We have lost a good man, and I will miss him.

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  42. To The Family of Pug:
    We are sorry for the loss of Pug..Pug and I lifted weights back in the day and he was a great guy..Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. Rest in Peace Pug!!

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  43. I have known Pug for over 40 years and was a law enforcement friend of his. He touched so many people and was a inspiration to all that knew him. I attended his service today and it was a wonderful experience. I have talked to or texted Pug almost everyday over the last 6 months and it was a blessing. He was always so positive and thankful for all the support from his family and friends. He never complained about his circumstance. What impressed me the most was his love for God and his faith in his Savior Jesus Christ. I will miss him as I know many will. Rest in peace my brother.

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  44. To the Family,
    I met Pug shortly after I began work at APD. Pug often rode with me on patrol and we had some great times and conversations. I didn’t see him much after I moved from Asheville. I saw him at a funeral last year and we talked about old times. Pug did not mention he was battling cancer and he was upbeat and positive as usual. Pug was a great man with a big heart. I, along with many others, will miss him. Wishing peace and comfort for Pug’s family during this difficult time.

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  45. My husband has worked with Pug through the yrs well The whole Smith Family We all lived that man He was great friend This has really hurt my hubby He went saw him at solace : Pug told him he is ready to go An wanted to see him on other side Fly night Pug We love youDebbie an Sid (kim ) Smith

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  46. My husband has worked with Pug through the yrs well The whole Smith Family We all loved that man He was great friend This has really hurt my hubby He went saw him at solace : Pug told him he is ready to go An wanted to see him on other side Fly high Pug ! We love youDebbie an Sid (kim ) Smith

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  47. Thought of you today with the passing of another local legend. Just wanted to let you know you are still talked about and remembered. They don’t make them like you anymore. A gentle giant with a heart of gold and a friend to all. Miss seeing you around Weaverville and just catching up. Rest easy my friend.

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