In Memory of




Obituary for Roland Joseph Owenby

Rev. Roland Joseph Owenby, 81, of Swannanoa passed away Thursday, November 9, 2023.

Roland was born October 8, 1942 in Buncombe County to the late Raymond and Viola Tweed Owenby. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by eight brothers and sisters leaving behind his brother Ray and sister, Annette.

On Nov. 14, 1964 Roland married the love of his life, Lavada Mae Hopson. Lavada, his two daughters Cindy Riley (Dennis), Angie Stucker (Todd); four grandchildren, Melissa Ruge (Taylor), Jessica Simao (Michael), Jeremy Wilson, Katie Stucker; and his five great grandchildren, Damon, Charlotte, Declan, Samantha, and Hazel cherish their memories of his love and witty humor.

Roland retired from Asheville Transit Authority after over 25 years. Known as “RJ” he enjoyed his friendships with passengers and fellow bus drivers
In the late 1980’s Roland followed God’s call as an ordained minister pastoring and evangelizing throughout the mountains of WNC for over 35 years. During his last days at Swannanoa Valley Rehab, he was heard preaching and sharing the gospel with all the staff and residents within earshot.

The family is very grateful to the staff at Swannanoa Valley Health & Rehab for their kindness in caring for Roland in recent years. Special thanks to Rebecca who brought him coffee every morning.

Friends and Family will be received Sunday, November 19, 2023 from 1:00 to 2:00pm in the chapel of Harwood Home for Funerals & Cremation Services in Black Mountain with a celebration of life service immediately following.

Burial will be in Sky View Memorial Park.