Former Woodfin Mayor Passes - TribPapers
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Former Woodfin Mayor Passes

Homer Honeycutt.

Woodfinn – Life is but a vapor and no matter who you are and what your station is in life when your appointed time rolls around, its time to go. Such was the case last week when former Woodfin Mayor and resident Homer Alvin “Sonny” Honeycutt, 79, passed away.

To say I’ve known Homer for a long time would be an understatement. I first met Homer when I was repairing cash registers and he was a manager for Bi-Lo. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Homer is cigarettes, as he was forever smoking one. Whether as a grocery store manager or mayor its seemed he always had one in his hand or mouth. 

According to his obituary, Homer was a “lifelong resident of Woodfin, he formerly served as Manager of Atlantic & Pacific (A&P) and Bi-Lo Grocery Stores and served as Mayor of Woodfin from 2001-2003 and was employed by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department.”

After I left repairing cash registers for the newspaper business in 1995, I lost track of Homer until 2001 when he resurfaced as mayor of Woodfin amid a controversial time when that I refer to as “Diaper-gate.” “Diaper-gate” was a little-known incident covered by the infamous Lewis Green in his Independent Torch. 

To give you some idea of what Green’s publication was about, here was the motto printed each week in his newspaper:  “This is a political (and sometimes literary) journal of opinion, satire, criticism, carping, taxpayer complaint, rumor, expose, cajolery, larger truth, snide remark, innuendo, some occasional objectivity, a fact now and then, selective omissions, some high standard yellow journalism mixed with scandal sheetism, deadpan innocence and little or no praise for public servants doing what they are supposed to be doing.” Despite this motto, Lewis was never sued over his reporting, but you also knew what side Green was on. 

A former DMV officer, Bradley was exposed in a DMV investigation for loving to hang with men who liked to wear diapers. At the time of the article, Bradley had left DMV for the top cop position at Woodfin. Needless to say, Woodfin, led by Honeycutt, fired Bradley, which led Bradley to sue and, rumor has it, won against the town.

I went to Woodfin to cover the story. Homer was being hounded by reporters left and right, but I was the only reporter he let back in his office to interview him. He was definitely chain-smoking that night. 

After that incident and the fire he went through, I sympathized with my fellow Erwin High alumni (Class of 1959) when he took a beating over that occurrence in the next election. 

His obituary said he, “was the son of the late Blake and Margaret Honeycutt. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Shelby Jean Rice Honeycutt who died May 19, 2019; sisters, Bleaka Bishop and Barbara Perry, and brother, Donald Russell Honeycutt.” 

My condolences go out to the Honeycutt family. They include, “…his sons, Col. (R) Rodney Homer Honeycutt (Lisa) of Alexander, Jeffrey Blake Honeycutt (Kim) and Preston Gregory Honeycutt (Missy) all of Asheville and Nathan Ryan Honeycutt (Jessica) of Leicester; grandchildren, Blake, Collin, Austin, Noah, Gavin, Hannah, Alexa, Josh, Levi, Haley and Rylee Honeycutt and Haley and Chloe Deaton; great-grandsons, Blake & Tristin Honeycutt, and several nieces and nephews.” 

Funeral services will be held at 11 am Saturday, August 14, at Richland Baptist Church in Woodfin, with Rev. Jack Gassaway and Rev. Ricky Bishop officiating. Burial will follow in Ashelawn Gardens of Memory. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren. The family will receive friends from 10 am to 11 am Saturday at the church.

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