John W. Barksdale

Dec 05, 2013

CANTON — John William Barksdale, 66, of Pisgah Creek Road, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation.

John was born April 3, 1947 in Danville, Virginia. He was the son of the late Joseph T. and Amy Talbott Barksdale.

John graduated from Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, South Carolina and attended Gardner Webb University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in a hospital unit at Ft. Sam in Houston, Texas.

John was an optician and had owned Haywood Opticians in Hazelwood. He worked at several optical locations in the Haywood County area and most recently worked at Visionworks in Asheville.

He is survived by a brother, Joe Barksdale Jr. and his wife Judy of Greer, South Carolina; nephew, Kevin Barksdale and his wife Kelli and their son Fisher of Barboursville, West Virginia; special friends Fred and Jackie Spencer, Dr. Bob Dickey; and his dog and best buddy, Pete. He loved, and was loved by, all his family and friends.

John loved and respected nature and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a voracious reader, reading multiple books at the same time. He was a musician and a music lover. One of his favorite pastimes was feeding his mountain birds at home in Cruso.

John was a wonderful friend, brother, uncle and brother-in-law.  He was always kind, caring, sincere and ready to help anyone in need. He will be greatly missed by all those lucky to have known him. As a close friend remarked when learning of John’s death: “the world just got a lot smaller for me.”

Private services will be held at a later date in Gretna, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to an animal shelter or animal rescue group of your choice.

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements. An online memorial register is available at