Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Mary Jane Winfrey


Mary Jane Winfrey died October 1, 2023. She was born June 28, 1930 in Stocksville, N.C. which became part of Weaverville. Her parents were George and Thelma Winfrey, with much care from her Aunt Marie. Throughout her life, she remained a resident of western North Carolina. After graduation from Cecil Business College, she began her career in Asheville with General Electric. She then was hired as an Administrative Assistant at Asheville Biltmore College, which became the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After 30 years at UNCA, she retired.

At every step along the way, her outgoing personality brought her friends. An animal lover, she was a dedicated dog-mom. Memory Care for humans and Wild for Life Center for wildlife rehabilitation demonstrated her passions. Born and known in school as the red head, she always considered the other person, always was thoughtful and kind, full of energy and vivacious. She cared for "Auntie Re" in assisted living as if she were her mother. Susie Wright and Mary Beth Bryman from UNCA and Wild for Life were like her children. She called Charlie Slye her "pseudo-grandson." Her cousin, Suzanne Radcliffe was always on call. UNCA Biology Professor John C. Bernhardt was a long-time friend, companion, and dedicated caregiver in her final years. The list goes on and on, and she will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Wild for Life; 33 Possum Trot, Asheville, NC 28806 or Memory Care, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Ashville, NC 28803. A memorial service was held at St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern Street, Asheville, NC at 11:00 am, Friday, October 6. The reception followed at the church.