Stephen Duane McCarson March 6, 1950 - January 11, 2021

“They great day in the morning!” Stephen Duane McCarson went to be home with the Lord on Monday morning, January 11, 2021. In his almost 71 years on this earth he taught us so much: the importance of family and hard work, how to throw a baseball, not to pay interest, to treat others the way we want to be treated and that this life is temporary, but we’ll have eternity in heaven with Jesus. His favorite verse was 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Born March 6, 1950, he lived his whole life in the Barker Heights community of Hendersonville, NC. He was a proud Vietnam veteran who loved his country and honored all those who serve. He and his wife of 48 years, Kathy Anderson McCarson of Chisholm, MN were pen pals while he was serving in Vietnam, they married upon his return and spent their lives in Hendersonville “being fruitful and multiplying.” He leaves behind a legacy of 7 children, plus 7 sons & daughters-in-law he loved greatly, who brought him the joy of 17 grandchildren.

His career was spent doing construction, building houses and hand crafting furniture. Duane was an expert woodworker. He also dedicated 40+ years to coaching Henderson County Little League Baseball where he led several teams to the championship. Duane said, “A pat on the back and an ‘atta boy goes a long way.”

Our Dad had a slow, southern drawl full of colloquial sayings. “I’ll be John Brown”, “They help my time.” He loved watching the corn grow in his garden, flea marketing, watching his favorite war movies and pulling for the Braves.

As a boy, Duane learned how to ride ponies from his Pawpaw George. Somehow, he was gifted at everything he did from horseback riding, training bird dogs, hunting, gardening and woodworking. He found joy in the simple things in life and shared many of those skills with his children.

But, there’s nothing he loved more than his family. He fought hard til the very end to stay with us. We will carry his love with us, always.

Duane is survived by his wife Kathy McCarson of Hendersonville, NC and his seven children and seventeen grandchildren: Kodi & Josh Staton and their children Gracie, Haley, Jaden, Ezra and Bryson; Kelly & Larry Stepp and their children Luke and Natalie, Caleb & Shelley McCarson and their children Ashley, Katelyn and Jeremiah; Stacy & Adam Calvert and their sons Sawyer & Samuel, Timothy & Carrie McCarson and their children Hudson and Bradleigh; Krystie & Jason Green and their children Reagan and Anderson; and JJ & Jennifer McCarson and their daughter Delilah. He is also survived by two sisters, Denise McCarson of Kentucky and Donna Bosack and her husband Michael of Colorado Springs and their children Cal Nix, Candi Peters, Mikey Bosack & Mathew Bosack. He had many beloved surviving relatives; uncle Carl “Pete” McCarson & family, his aunt Nancy Redmond & family and many cousins in Henderson County.

A graveside service with Military Honors will be held at 3pm on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at the McCarson Family Cemetery with the Rev. Terry Kidd officiating. The cemetery is located on Mistletoe Trail of Hwy 191 in Hendersonville.

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  1. Staci Blatt says

    Condolences to you and your family. I worked with Duane long ago at Green Construction. He was always a calming and laid back man and was devoted to family. His character was impeccable and I am glad I was able to know him. Thoughts to you and your family.

  2. Evelyn Nichols says

    Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Duane. Our prayers are with all of the family.

  3. Janice Parker says

    I will miss my friend Duane. He was a dear Christian brother to me. He was a man of broad interests and many books which I find unusual in a guy these days. I so enjoyed our conversations and I learned a lot. I remember a conversation between him, Kathy and myself discussing the history of Minnesota. He couldn’t quite remember the name of the historical person he was telling about, but it was important to him so he had Kathy look it up and read the article in the encyclopedia!

    He always had an interesting tale, a bit of history , and a hearty laugh to share. And what a memory! There wasn’t much that I could bring up that he couldn’t add something to. We also shared patriotism and love of America in common, and he was one of the few I could discuss current affairs with. In these days of tightening censorship, that’s a big thing I will miss about him.

    Duane could fix and make anything with his hands, and as a single mom I called on him a lot over the years. Like the proverbial “If you need something done, ask the busiest person you know”, he was always there to help, and I’m grateful for all the projects he did for me. One thing I asked him to make for me was a coffee table like the one he and Kathy have in their living room! Beautiful wood, sturdy, and practical.

    Duane was also my go-to vegetable garden guru and I learned things like “okra loves heat” and “plant winter rye as a cover crop”. I also went to him for advice when considering what kind of dog to get and what to look for when selecting a puppy. (I do wish he had known to tell me how much shedding German Shepherds do!) And as for his dog and hunting tales, I love the one of when he was hunting up near the parkway. His hunting dog didn’t return by the time it was getting dark, but Duane knew to leave his jacket on the ground. When he returned in the morning, there was the dog waiting for him on the jacket!

    And then there are the earlier days when he was so faithful and active at Barker Heights Baptist Church, and then when he was diligently studying for the ministry. He and Kathy, Mike and Beth, Guy and Dorothy, James and Sandy, Terry and I – what great fellowship we shared! His rich singing voice, his Bible studies, his prayers, his infectious laughter. And then there’s all the great work he did building the two-story Sunday School addition and fellowship hall with basement. Really nice work. And they are still being enjoyed and used to this day for the Lord. Kids, you can really be proud of your Dad.

    Speaking of kids, Duane loved his but others’ also. I remember him taking the neighborhood kids including BJ and Josh, for a snowy day horse and sleigh ride down Glover Street or take everyone on picnics to Big Hungry and Green River. And of course his years of coaching and pouring into the lives of all those kids. Then towards the end you could see how he enjoyed the visits of his kids and grandkids, and sought to pour bits of wisdom into their lives while he had the chance.

    And also towards the end it was beautiful to see his extra care and thoughtfulness for Kathy even as he was not feeling well himself towards the end. You did it right, brother.

    In fact, I witnessed both of their love and caring for each other swell towards the end. One Sunday I picked Kathy up and we went to church together at Barker Heights. When the service was over, after chatting a bit, I looked for her to give her a ride home, but she had already walked home, wanting to be right back with him.

    Respectful, humble. Generous. Duane was a true salt of the earth country boy and hard-working provider for his family. Perfect? No. He had his stubborn McCarson streak similar to what we all have. But in Jesus we all change and improve with the years – as the Bible says “changed into the same image from from glory to glory”. Looking back on his life I think we can honestly agree “you did a good job, Duane”. I’m confident at his first meeting with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that’s what Jesus said too.

  4. Stanley Hawkins says

    My condolences to the family – as a kid (2nd cousin) living in or visiting the Etowah / Big Willow community and later East Flat Rock, I remember Duane as a tenacious ball player. May God bless you all during this time of remembrance.

  5. Myrtle Marshall says

    Another note from Myrtle Marshall my email address is

  6. Myrtle Marshall says

    I am so sorry about my cousin Duane passing and send my condolences to all of you. I am Myrtle, Clyde McCarson’s daughter, your grandfather Calvin’s brother. special note to Kodi- send me an email giving me your phone number and your mailing address, cause I have some family info that you might want.

  7. Cheryl Luck says

    I am saddened to hear of Duane passing. Heartfelt condolences to you Kathy and your family. ??

  8. Ernestine (Bishop) Nagell says

    My heart felt sympathy goes out to Kathy and all the Family, during this time. Just try to remember, Duane seemed to always be confident he would join The Lord one day, and now he has.
    He was a Friend in High School, and he and Kathy were my very dear Friends, later on, when we all had Children that played together, and made us all happy.
    May God bless each of you and Duane’s many Friends, as we say “goodbye for now.”
    Now, Duane “walks with God.”

  9. Bill & Judy Case says

    We were so sorry to hear of Duane’s passing. He graduated with both of us. He will be missed. Sending our prayers and condolences to his family.

  10. Tommy Hill says

    So sorry to hear about Duane’s passing! he was always kind to me! Heaven surely got another good one! he will surely be missed!

  11. Alton Connor says

    My deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to Duane’s family. We grew up together in our younger years at Barker Heights Baptist Church. I have not seen Duane in years, but I am sorry to learn of his passing. May God’s grace sustain you all in this season of grief!

  12. Kirsten Hill Bunch says

    I wish I knew how many hours he spent on the baseball field coaching and how many of those kids that will never forget his patience and wisdom he shared, extending beyond baseball. “Duane’s cardiac kids” as he called them will never forget him! Prayers for the family during this time.