Virgil "Jody" Harold Lance


August 7, 1932 ~ December 1, 2023

Born in: Transylvania County, North Carolina
Resided in: Mills River, North Carolina

Virgil Harold “Jody” Lance, 91, of Mills River went to be with Jesus on Friday, December 1st, 2023, after a period of declining health.

He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather (Paw) and will be deeply missed by all that loved him. He was preceded in death by his parents: Sam and Ina Lance, brothers Ernest (Red), Howard, Ralph, Henry, Charles, and sister Lois Mullenax.

He was a native of Brevard, NC but spent most of his adult life in the Mills River Community. He attended Fanning Chapel United Methodist Church. After many years of employment at Mountain Rug Mill in Fletcher, NC he retired and began enjoying his favorite past times, riding his lawn mower, and birdwatching from his front porch. He especially enjoyed family gatherings and spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Hilda Cairnes Lance; daughters Cindy Dalton (Tony) of Brevard, and Debbie Melton (Bill) of Asheville; brothers Bill Lance (Marlene) and Jack Lance (Jan) of Brevard and sister Linda Owen (Herman) of Brevard; grandchildren whom he cherished dearly: Addison Dalton of Charlotte, Adrienne Dalton (Johnny Tan) of Washington, DC, and Tyler Melton of Asheville; and several nephews, nieces, and family friends.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, December 4, 2023 at Fanning Chapel UMC, 5490 Old Haywood Rd., Mills River with Pastor Michael Phipps officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends will be received at the church one hour prior to the service, from 1 to 2 PM.

Flowers are appreciated, or memorial contributions in Jody’s memory may be made to the church.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.


For those who wish to pay their respects: December 4, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Room: Sanctuary

Fanning Chapel United Methodist Church

Arden, NC

Funeral Service: December 4, 2023 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Room: Sanctuary

Fanning Chapel United Methodist Church

Arden, NC

Graveside Service: December 4, 2023 3:15 pm

Fanning Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery

Arden, NC

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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Ms. Dalton,

    All of us at Brevard Academy are holding you in our hearts.

    With love,
    Your Bulldog Community

  2. So sorry to hear of Jody’s passing. We are praying for you all during this very sad time. Steve and Kathy Cairnes

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