Ann Harwood

Obituary of Ann Harwood

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In the early morning hours of June 8th, 2023, Ann died in her sleep at the Western North Carolina Baptist Home Senior Living Community in Asheville, NC after battling cancer; she was 72. Named after her paternal grandmother Dora Laura Byrd Breedlove (1872 – 1942), Dora ‘Ann’ Breedlove Smith Harwood (1950 – 2023) was born in the home once owned by her namesake on a cold November day in 1950 in the sleepy mountain community of Needmore. Ann is the 5th child and second daughter of 6 children born to Robert Breedlove (1907 – 1957) and Florence Grant Breedlove (1913 – 1993). Ann was born during a period when rural mountain families earned livelihoods from farming, mining, and logging. When Ann was very young, her family had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. Water for cooking, bathing, and the like came from a spring located near the family farm. Ann’s family sought entertainment through reading, exploring the mountains, attending High Tower Baptist Church, and Ann even adopted two groundhogs she named Hog and Bones. When she was six, her father Robert passed away from cancer and her mother and siblings began to bounce between Bryson City and Asheville from 1957 until she permanently settled in Asheville in 1974. Ann attended Almond Elementary School in the mid-1950s, Sand Hill Elementary in Asheville in the late 1950s and early 1960s while attending Swain County High School from 1966 to 1968. In the early 1980s, she also attended secretary training at Cecil Junior College in Asheville. In 1967, Ann married Bobby Jack Smith and together they had two children: Matthew and Martha Smith. Ann worked for over 40 years, retiring in 2013. She supported her family by working in Asheville-area factories. She finished her career at the same place she died, the Western North Carolina Baptist Home. In 1999 Ann married Joseph Harwood, and they lived a largely peaceful life enjoying the company of family, friends, and especially the grandchildren. Surviving Ann are her husband of 24 years Joseph Harwood; her children from her first marriage, her son Matthew and daughter Martha Smith (with boyfriend Ron Hensley); three grandchildren: Benjamin ‘Ben’ Smith, Haleigh Smith Highsmith (with husband Konner Highsmith), and Madison Smith; a great-grandson: Greyson Highsmith; two sisters: Fay Breedlove Kopis and Cathy Breedlove Cloer (with husband Roger Cloer, Sr.); and two sisters-in-law: Linda Letterman Breedlove and Carolyn Stevens Breedlove Preceding Ann in death include her maternal grandfather: Nevil Grant (1889 – 1979) and maternal grandmother: Ruth Holden Grant (1888 – 1960), her father: Robert Breedlove (1907 – 1957) and mother: Florence Grant Breedlove (1913 – 1993); her brothers: Jay Breedlove (1944 – 2021), Nevil Breedlove (1946 – 2002), and Vietnam combat killed Army 2nd Lieutenant Curtis Breedlove (1937 – 1969); four paternal uncles: John Breedlove (1893 – 1964), George Breedlove (1898 – 1987), Virgil Breedlove (1902 – 1974), and Ferman Breedlove (1916 – 1979), and two paternal aunts: Laura Breedlove Southards (1905 – 1980) and Stella Breedlove DeHart (1910 – 1998), six maternal uncles: Arnold Grant (1916 – 1991), Ben Grant (1917 – 1985), Luke Grant (1919 – 1950), Mark Grant (1923 – 1995), Varnel Grant (1925 – 2010), and Verlin Grant (1929 – 1981), and three maternal aunts: Naomi Grant Barnett (1911 – 1993), Arizona “Bonnie” Grant McKinney (1921 – 2009), and Velma Louise Grant (1927 – 1984). To those who knew her, Ann had a loving and affectionate personality, especially to children. She was kind in her ways and always willing to help others. Ann’s older sister Fay described Ann as a “quiet” person while Ann’s younger sister, Cathy, described Ann as “a good kid.” She will be missed. Celebration of life services are scheduled to be conducted at Asheville Area Alternative Cremation on June 17th, 2023, from noon until 2:00pm. Flowers and the like can be sent to 702 Riverside Drive, Asheville, NC 28801. Ann’s ashes will be interred with her father, mother, and brother Curtis at the Grave Gap Cemetery in the Needmore Community.
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Ann Harwood

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Ann Harwood

Thursday, June 8, 2023

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