Charles Weldon Gidney, Jr.

Apr 09, 2017

1926 – 2017

CANDLER — Charles Weldon Gidney, Jr., 90, son of Charles Weldon and Margaret Davis Gidney of Canton, passed away April 8, 2017, at Pisgah Valley Retirement Community. He had been a resident there for a number of years.

He was father to three children: Mark Gidney and his wife, Julia, of Frisco, Colorado; Laura Jenkins and her husband, Bill, of Candler; and Maggie Tilley and her husband, Harold, of Boone; grandfather to four granddaughters and great-grandfather of three great grandsons, as well as brother to three sisters, Dot Wells of Canton; Margaret Ann Terrell and her husband, Bill, of Canton; and Frances Hannah of Clyde.

Mr. Gidney was preceded in death by his second wife, Polly Rickards Gidney.

He graduated from Canton High School in 1944. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, he became an entrepreneur. He eventually owned a chain of Thrif-tee Discount Stores and later owned Plaza Jewelry & Gifts in Canton before retiring. He was a 32nd degree Master Mason of the Junaluskee Lodge, in Franklin.

Charles was best known as a musician and supporter of traditional music and dance. As a member of his uncle Luke Smathers’ String Band, he performed with David Holt and Laura Boosinger. The band received the National Heritage Award. He was a longtime member of the Folk Heritage Committee of Asheville and helped organize Shindig on the Green, as well as the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. In 1979, Charles received the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of the Mountains award.

Charles said he wanted, “ … a service giving thanks to the Lord for the many blessings He gave me and for his Son Jesus Christ, who gave his life that I might have eternal life with Him and those who have gone before and those who will follow later.”

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at Francis Asbury United Methodist Church with the Revs. Dr. Michael Kurtz and William “Bill” Terrell officiating. Military rites will be conducted by the United States Air Force. Burial will follow at Bon-A-Venture Cemetery on Old Clyde Road with Masonic Rites. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 2 p.m. prior to the service at the church.

Memorials can be made to the Folk Heritage Committee to support Shindig on the Green and the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Checks should be made payable to the Folk Heritage Committee, P.O. Box 1010, Asheville, NC  28802.

Wells Funeral Home of Canton is in charge of the arrangements.

An online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at