The Transylvania Times -

By Matt McGregor
Staff Writer 

Friends Remember Jackie Whitmire – Brevard NC


March 16, 2017

Jackie Whitmire

Friends remember Jackie Whitmire, who died at age 72 on March 9, as someone who put others first, and met the world with a big smile and an even bigger heart.

"What I remember was an ear to ear smile, supportive words, and a heart bigger than North Carolina," said Norm Bossert, who served as chairman of the Transylvania County Democratic Party when Whitmire was an officer and a candidate for county commissioner.

She was all about her community, faith, and family and how she could help them, he said.

"I am grateful to have known Jackie, and I'm better for having known her," Bossert said. "We have all been enriched to have known her, and we are all diminished by the empty place her absence creates in our community."

Bart Renner, county extension director and extension agent, said he met Jackie when he was a local food agent, and that she supported him through a wide variety of activities, especially when it came to agricultural issues in Transylvania County.

"She taught me that farming and advocating for farmers is a 24/7 job, but she showed me how much fun it can be, and how treating everyone with respect can make everybody's life easier," Renner said.

More than anything, Renner added, Whitmire saw the importance of being involved in the community.

"She worked tirelessly because she saw how to make the community better," Renner said. "She knew the work that it would take to make that happen, and it really is rare and incredibly valuable to find someone who is involved in a very intentional way in the community in a respectful and meaningful way."

Mark Burrows, director of the county's Planning and Community Development Department, said he had worked with Jackie on several projects involving Transylvania County's economic process, but had gotten to know her best while collaborating on Transylvania County's 2025 Comprehensive Plan and even more so while working with her as a planning board member.

"She was very positive, even at board meetings that could be rather contentious," Burrows said. "Jackie was always there with a smile trying to help bring people together, and she had a great spirit."

She engaged people, Burrows said, and made put people at ease.

"With her wonderful smile," Burrows said, "she could connect with anyone."


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