Winston Walden Pulliam

winston pulliam
Winston Pulliam has left Asheville for Greener Pastures! Winston Walden Pulliam was born September 12, 1930 at the old Biltmore Hospital located in Biltmore Village and he passed away on July, 27 2015 at the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center in Biltmore. During the 84 years in between, Winston traveled the nation and the world, but he made his mark from his business located in the heart of Biltmore Village. He liked to say that he was an old Biltmore boy and the folks of Shiloh, Oakley, and Biltmore were his neighbors, his friends, and his people. His gregarious nature and natural, open smile meant he never met a stranger and every person he met became a friend. Winston was the youngest of three sons born to Edwin Franklin Pulliam and his wife, Juanita Harrison Pulliam. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Lt. Col. Andrew Franklin "Col. Andy" Pulliam and Edwin Thomas "Bud" Pulliam. A child of the Great Depression, Winston's family made their home with his maternal grandparents, Dr. Nathan Andrew Harrison and his wife, Kittie Mae Poore Harrison. This necessary arrangement due to the times would have a lasting impact on his life and work as he was greatly influenced by his Grandfather Harrison, an entrepreneur and actual horse trader. Dr. Harrison owned an optometry business, sold jewelry, musical instruments, and traded in guns, horses, and other items of value. Winston went everywhere with his grandfather and learned from him the "art of the deal". He was named after his Godfather, Winston Walden, a close family friend and owner of the Pocahontas Coal Company located close to his maternal grandfather's business in downtown Asheville. Following Dr. Harrison's death in 1942, Winston had to go to work to help support the family. He began at Evans' Esso Service Station in Biltmore Village and worked there throughout his school years. Following graduation from high school, he worked for the Southern Railway until he decided to join the Air Force in (1950) where he went from Private to Staff Sergeant in 21 months. At the end of his four year commitment, he was headed from Pittsburgh, PA to Miami, FL to take a job with Eastern Airlines when he stopped off in Asheville to see his mother and grandmother. His friend, John Evans asked him to look at a small service station on Coxe Ave that was for sale. Winston put his cash of $284 in the cash register and became a business owner that morning. When asked later in life why he would give up a guaranteed job with the airline, he said that while growing up in Asheville, it was the independent business owner who was looked up to in the community. In the late 1950's, Winston moved his business back to Biltmore when he bought Tri-Co Service Station from his old friend, Trigger Powers. From that humble, small station, he created a business built on hard, honest work, credit for working people, and extended hours of service. As his business grew, Winston began to acquire real estate as a way to invest his money, most of it in South Asheville along the Hendersonville Road corridor. He became instrumental in the commercial development of that area as well as selling numerous parcels of land throughout the area. In 1983 he founded Executive Realty which became Pulliam Properties in 1999. While he has been known in recent years for his real estate acumen, he will be remembered for his generous nature, his willingness to mentor and support other small businesses as they got started, his stories, and his jokes. He just made people happy to be around him. Winston served on the Valley Springs School Advisory Council, The North Carolina Environmental Commission, the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission, Asheville Water Authority, the Finance Board of ABCCM. Raised in the Baptist Faith, he joined Saint Matthews Anglican Church in Reems Creek where he served on the Vestry, participated in helping the church with church planting, Mission work, and enjoyed a deep, rigorous, intellectual Bible Study on Sundays and Thursdays. He was a member of Biltmore Masonic Lodge #446, Oasis Shrine, Blue Ridge Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. He was proudest that he was elected an Honorary Member of the Asheville Chapter 104 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and loved to regale his friends that he was a "Daughter". Winston is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Candler Graham; three sons, Lawrence Calvin "Larry" Pulliam, Winston Walden "Rusty" Pulliam, Jr., and John Thomas "Johnny" Spake, Jr. and his wife, Billie Joyce Bunn Spake; and by four grandchildren, Dustin Calvin Pulliam, Parker Lawrence Pulliam, Ava Elizabeth Pulliam, and John David Spake and his wife, Holli Towe Spake; and by four great grandchildren, Talyn Beckett Pulliam, Reese Marie Pulliam, Walden Alexander Spake, and Oliver Seabury Spake. Winston Pulliam will lie in state at Trinity Baptist Church on Shelburne Road from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The funeral service will be 1:00 PM conducted by the Reverend Dr. Ralph Sexton and Father Greg Miller. Military Honors will be conducted by the Shaw Air Force Base Honor Guard. The family will receive friends at Trinity Baptist Church immediately following the service. A private family burial will be at Emma's Grove Baptist Church Cemetery with Masonic Rites conducted by the Masonic Lodge #446. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Winston's three favorite charities: Saint Matthews Anglican Church, 812 Reems Creek Rd, Weaverville, NC 28787; Tamassee DAR School, 1925 Bumgardner Drive, Tamassee, SC 29686; or the Veterans Restoration Quarters of ABCCM, 1329 Tunnel Rd., Asheville, NC 28805. The seeds of love and generosity that Winston sowed during his life will continue to bear abundant fruit throughout the Asheville-Buncombe community for years to come. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and the memorial register is available at

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Memories Timeline


  1. Elizabeth and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time he will not be forgotten. He was a great man.

  2. Elizabeth…Larry…Rusty…Johnny…Joyce, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Winston, Thank you for always being so good to me and my family! You are now an amazing Angel in heaven just like you were on Earth!. I wonder what your job will be in heaven? Something I sure that will make a lot of other angels smile & laugh. Thank you for the good times. I will really miss you…until another day!

  3. Mr. Pulliam set a standard for all businessmen to follow and lived as a role model. He will be greatly missed by all. Our condolences to the family.

  4. Larry, Rusty, Johnny, Elizabeth. Winston ‘Pully’ meant the world to our family for many years, especially Dad. I have many fond memories of your dad and Norma too.
    His generosity has been felt by many people within the Asheville community.
    May God give you a peace that passeth all understanding and strength for the difficult days ahead.
    What an amazing man. I loved him dearly. He WILL be missed.
    With sincere sympathy.

  5. From school days forward we shared many good times and memories though losing touch for several years we renewed our contacts and remembered our friendship of past years. You were a special friend. I will always remember you. May God bless your family in this difficult time.

  6. Winston was a great friend to the Mishoe family for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  7. Mr. Pulliam was such a kind, sweet man who will be missed by many! Larry, Rusty, Johnny and Mrs. Pulliam, you’ll be in my prayers during this difficult time. Rest asured, we’ll meet again in our futures. God Bless!

  8. God Bless you Larry and Rusty and the entire family !!! Winston was like a Dad to me growing up and I will always remember that !!!!

  9. Saddened to hear of Mr.Pulliams passing. Such a nice man, and enjoyed waiting on him as a teller in my earlier years at the bank. My deepest sympathies to the family. God bless you all during this time.

  10. Winston was a wonderful man I first met him in 1987. He never forgot who I was regardless of how much time had passed since we saw each other. Always called me by name. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. May your many memories carry you thru.

  11. Mr. Pulliam was a good man.He was a Asheville Icon. He will be missed by many! Larry,Rusty,Johnny and Mrs,Pulliam, You will be in our prayers. God Bless you all. Atlas Fox,Chris Fox and Kenan Fox.

  12. Elizabeth and family,

    Lou and I are saddened by the passing of Winston. I remember as a child stopping at his gas station in Biltmore with my Mother Helen Crawford. Also, Lou bought a lot from him on a handshake, which at the time was no longer acceptable. But, to Lou and Winston, it was fine.

    We appreciate all that you and Winston have done for others,

    Carol and Lou Higdon

  13. Winston Pulliam has made Asheville a better place to live and raise our families because of his love for everyone he came in contact with. I first met Winston at his Trico Station in Biltmore some forty years ago. Every visit was a homecoming! I remember every story (and there were many) so many stories about people we each knew,and a joke or two along the way. He had a great heart,and loved sharing and caring for so many people. Our love goes out to all the family, he for sure is with his creator and at perfect peace! Thanks for a great friendship buddy. Bill and Mary Dot Waddell

  14. So sorry to hear about you loss my prayers are with you and family he was always good to my dad Wink Parker

  15. I’m truly sorry to hear about pulley. We all have great memories of him from the days when he ran the gas station in biltmore.

  16. I am saddened to hear of Winston’s passing. He truly was an icon in this city and will be missed terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. God Bless.

  17. Words cannot describe my sorrow. I will be praying for his family and his many friends. He had a definate impact on my life.

  18. I met Mr. Pulliam briefly one day several years ago when I was his nurse for a minor procedure. I was struck by what a lovely person he was and never forgot him even though I never saw him again.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and will pray for comfort for your family.

  19. Pulley’, one of a KIND. And a very good, generous, honorable, caring, people loving KIND. First met him in the early ’70’s, last saw him in the early 2000’s.He was the same person the last time as he was the first.
    Two of his sons Rusty Pulliam & Johnny Spake, I also knew. To them & the rest of the family, I say, ‘Pulley was a great person, friend to many many people, helped many many people (including me) and his death is a great loss for the Asheville community. May God bless & comfort your families & may you guys strive to be the gentleman that he was.’

  20. Winston was an honest, friendly, kind hearted man. The Asheville area is much better for having him here. He was a good friend to me and I’ll miss him.

  21. Sorry to hear of his passing. He was a great man!! I know he will be missed by family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  22. Winston Pulliam was a great asset to our community. He touched my life through business as a straight forward, honorable businessman and I respected him greatly. I was not aware of his past until reading here, and his friendly nature is one we all should emulate..
    He will be greatly missed by us all. My prayers are with Ms. Graham, Rusty, Larry, John and the rest of the family.

  23. Such sad news today to hear of Winston’s passing. Our memories of years ago at the Station in Biltmore and Winston being there for all of our visits! He was a fine man and will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences to you all, his Family.

  24. Winston Pulliam was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed. He was an excellent businessman who cared for his family, constituents, and community. I admire his professionalism and ability to establish instant repoir. My prayers and condolences are with his family during this very sad time.

  25. Rusty, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I truly enjoyed working with you and your father when I was with the City of Asheville.

  26. To The Pulliam Family,

    Marvin and I are sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. I will always remember his smile each time I saw him. I know he will be missed.

    Deborah Johnson

  27. Pulley’ had such an influence on my family including my father Fletcher Brown for many years. His expertise in the business world has made a tremendous impact in Asheville and particularly south Asheville along Hendersonville Road.
    As important as this was, ‘Pulley’ was a man with deep convictions to help his fellow man and encourager to all who met him! In his personal life he found the secret to the abundant life – his faith, family, and giving away what God blessed him with. May God bless ‘Rusty’ and all the family. ‘Pulley’ and his legacy will live on and on!

    Rev. Gayle D. Brown

  28. Pully will be missed greatly. he was always so good to me and my family .my deepest condolences.

  29. Of the many people I have known I can think of no one more loved than
    Winston. I am blessed and privileged to have spent many wonderful
    times with this special man whose passing leaves a huge hole in my heart.

  30. We have lost a friend of many and I will always remember his kindness to me and my father Mark Cox who traded at the trico service station in Biltmore.. I lived a stone throw away from Winston on West view street. I remember several conversations through the years we had. I consider him as a friend and gentleman and I will never forget him. Good bye Winston

  31. Rusty
    Several years ago I retired from the City of Asheville Storm Water
    Erosion Central Division.
    Your late Father was a good communital trust worthy and good
    natured person.
    My condolence to you and your family.

  32. yes WINSTON PULLIAM never met a stranger even though i was a stranger born in bangkok,thailand, back then when i first met him at service station TRICO-EXXON in bliltmore village, when he started EXECUTIVE REALTY he gave me a chance to do the signs for his business, i got to know his sons…RUSTY PULLIAM, LARRY PULLIAM and JOHN SPAKE…later on. WINSTON was a good person indeed, i will surely miss him.

    our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of sorrow….God bless you ALL !!


    (Pat Thone-suwan).

  33. Pulley and his family have been in my life most of my life.He was friends with my grand parents and parents.I also helped him and Elizabeth at Tyson Furniture.He has always been a great friend.He never let his success go to his head,always being generous and never too busy to help whatever and whomever the situation called for. He had so many friends because of that.The Biltmore community has always claimed him and loved him.Rest in peace,dear friend, a job well done.

  34. Rusty and Family – Sorry to learn of the loss of your father. Barbra and I wish to express our sincere sympathy.

  35. Rusty, Larry and Family-I will miss your dad so much. I will always remember his stories and his warm smile. He has had a great influence on my life from both a Christian and business standpoint and how the two must work together for those of us who call Jesus Christ our Savior. Donna and I are sorry that we will be out of town this weekend and we are so sorry for your loss but believe that someday we will all see him again in Heaven.

  36. Miss u uncle Winston. I’m letting my two brothers know. Even though they’re far from Asheville. Mama name one after you. And Mary Juanita passed last yr. Sharon is also with Mary and mom in Heaven. Tell them hi. Ur neice Karen Pulliam Mickey.

  37. Winston was truly one of a kind…..we had many very good times together, and he was ALWAYS available to offer a hand in a time of need to me and many many others. Truly a man of his word! Thoughts and prayers to you and the family Rusty. Ron Gibson

  38. Winston was a very kind and generous man to many causes. I was introduced to ‘Pulley’ by Tommy Arakas and Norman Lewis. He was always supportive of The Land of The Sky Shrine Club in all its programs to help the Shriners Hospitals care for the crippled and burned children. I’m sure ‘Pulley’ is having a reunion with his GOOD friend Tommy and Norm right now. Rusty, may Gods blessing be with you and the family as you grieve the loss of such a fine, fine man.

  39. I am deeply saddened to learn of your loss, my thoughts and Prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

  40. So sorry to hear of Winston’s passing. He was a very kind man with a huge heart. He will be missed! Thinking of you…Rusty…during this trying time.

  41. Sending you thoughts of comfort and wishes that the many special memories you hold in your heart will help you through this sad time.

  42. Rusty, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. He was always such a positive person to be around. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. He will be missed by many people. He left a ‘great legacy’. What a blessing to have such a father.

  43. So sorry for you loss. Our thought and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

  44. thinking of you and family. Winston was not only a wonderful person, he was a role model for me and many others


  46. What a pleasure to have known such a wonderful man. His thoughtfulness and generosity will allways be remembered especially everyone who knew him at Tamassee-
    Elizabeth, my prayers are with you during this lonely time. Take care. A huge HUG! Mary Lu

  47. Dear Rusty, Larry and Juanita Pulliam and Family,I am so sorry for your loss!Winston was a great man who knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior.He helped us share the Gospel of Jesus!Therefore he is in heaven today with my dad!Jamie and I are out of the country ministering but please know our prayers are with you!God bless you all!

  48. Rusty,

    So very sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a true pillar of this community we call Western North Carolina. I remember delivering auto parts to his station in Biltmore (Trico) when I worked for my Dad and Grandfather at Hayes & Hopson while in high school. He was always very kind to me and would ask me if I was going to take over the company when I got older. He will be remembered for his many acts of kindness and will be missed by his family and friends.

  49. Winston was a neighbor at Givens Estates, always willing to share his life and experiences. I told him one day that I thought he missed his calling. He should have been a minister of the Gospel. He found ways to share his faith and to enable others in that journey. I loved his smile, his delightful stories, and his love of people.

  50. Elizabeth, Rusty, Larry and Johnny; Our Hearts go out to the Pulliam Family.With our deepest Sympathy for Such a Wonderful, Loving , Caring and Giving Man… he was such a gentleman always happy and truly loved people.TheWhole world will miss Winston Pulliam.
    Without Winston the ‘Apollo Flame’ wouldn’t be here today… he gave us a Place in Asheville. He believed in me and Always supported my business.He was Always good to us.. gone but Never will he be forgotten. His generosity and kindness will be remembered by Everyone.
    May you all find Comfort in knowing Winston is in Heaven and One Day we will meet again. He had a Special place in our hearts… You will be in our Thoughts and Prayers. With love to the family, John & Susan Poulos

  51. Dear Elizabeth,

    I was so sorry to learn about Winston’s death. I will be remembering you and him in my prayers. I know that he was a wonderful man, and I am grieving with you at his loss.
    With much love,
    Susan Thomas

  52. Dear Elizabeth, Rusty, Larry, Johnny, What a sad day for Asheville. I loved Winston, especially his many jokes and lively personality. There was never a dull moment when he was around. I know that he was proud of all of you and loved you all very much. He will be missed. My sincere condolences to all of you and may you find strength in sharing stories about Winston and all of the memories he has left all of us. Love, Marge

  53. Mr. Winston was absolutely a ‘Man to Match Our Mountains.’ I am proud to have known him my whole life and I believe I am a better person for knowing him. One of my earliest memories is him carrying me around the Trico when I was about 3 years old and him giving us truck inner tubes to float in. What a great man. He never missed an opportunity to help people. I saw him help so many people that I told him I’d never be able to refuse him. I was proud to help him a few times and it was a pleasure to me. I’m sad I won’t be able to see him in different places and stop and talk.

  54. Dear Elizabeth, Rusty, Larry and Johnny,
    Winston is in a much better place now. Winston was a very special man to me. He was also humble. He did so many wonderful things for people and did it out of love not recognition. Winston will live on through each of our very special memories of him. I will keep each of you in my prayers during this difficult time.
    Love always,
    Tera Buchanan

  55. Oh how my Dad, John Fisher loved this man he called Pulley and the wonderful stories the two could tell about the early years in Biltmore, their businesses, their friends, their many breakfasts together and politics! Then I came to know Pulley and truly admired him. Elizabeth and family – the Fisher family sends our love and prayers!

  56. Rusty and family. I am sorry for your loss. I remember the first time that I met Mr. Pulliam many years. I will never forget that smile and how he made everyone around feel special. You and your family are in my prayers.

  57. Please accept my deepest condolences on Winston’s passing. He touched many lives and left a great legacy to our entire community. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  58. Our condolences goes to Rusty Pulliam’s dad Winston. Also to the rest of the Pulliam’s families. With knowing how many lives he has touches and with bond of business people that evolved around him. Our prayers with you at this times of sorrows. Steve and Eva Wilson

  59. Heaven just received one of the most kind hearted men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. My prayers are with the Pulliam family. Such a loss to us here on Earth but Heaven is rejoicing.

  60. Such a great friend for over nearly eighty years, as Winston and I entered the first grade together at Biltmore Grammar School after we were both born in 1930 in Biltmore Hospital. In the mid 1970s my Uncle Rex Starnes had several business dealings with Winston and felt he was one of the brightest and most honest business man he ever met. Winston had a unique gift being a completely honest man in any business environment. I called on Winston several times after I retired to Tennessee from the Air Force in 1973, as my sister and I inherited the family land in Arden and needed his realty advice. Winston always went out of his way to help this grammar school classmate even until our last telephone contact before he became ill. My most sincere condolences to his family.

  61. I’ll never forget how gentle and caring Winston was when he would come to the nursing home to visit Juanita. He would push her around the halls in her w/c and talk to her even though she couldn’t answer.My condolences go out to all his family.

  62. To The Pulliam Family,
    I have known Winston most of my life. He was \one in a million\’. It was always so much fun to go to Trico because he would tell me all these stories about when him and my Mother were growing up in Oakely as kids. He never forgot where he came from and no one was a stranger to him! It wasn\’t about fame or money it was about helping his friends and neighbors. I lost my Dad last year so I hope him and Pulley are in Heaven having a good ole time!! My prayers are with his family. Lynn Praytor Crossman’

  63. Our deepest sympathy to Mr. Pulliam’s family. We feel truly privileged to have known this wonderful man!

  64. As a young man me and Rusty played baseball together, It was always Winston that bought us the drinks after the game and multiple times invited us to come play in his pool, he was a kind-hearted and caring man. Pulley , you will truly be missed and it was mine as many others priveledge to have known you. May you now help the Lord in his chores in heaven.

  65. It is hard to think of a world without Winston. He will truly be missed. He touched so many lives including ours. He made a difference to all who were fortunate enough to know and love him. It is a sad day for us and a celebrated day in heaven. One of God’s special people has gone home. Much love and many prayers to the family.

  66. Rest in peace my cousin. I did not see you often as the years passed along however I am proud of the great accomplishments that you made during your lifetime.

    Frank Perkins Jr
    Virgilina Virginia

  67. Rusty,very sorry for you and your family. A great loss but you will see him again! It’s wonderful to have that peace.prayers for you all.

  68. We mourn not Winston’s passing, but celebrate all he did and all those he helped, during his long life, to make this world a better place!

  69. Rusty, I just found out about Winston’s passing and I am so sorry. I was just talking about Winston on Friday at work about how he told me if someone can’t look you in the eyes you can’t trust them. He was a great man and will be truly be missed by many; myself included. I am thinking of you and the family.

  70. Dear Rusty and Family, May the God of all comfort draw near unto you as you draw near unto Him during this time of lose and grief. Know that you are in our prayers.

  71. My deepest sympathy to you on the loss of a wonderful man, Winston. What pleasure it was for me to have known him during our meetings at Tamassee.
    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. In DAR Friendshiip,
    Mary Lu Saavedra

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