Joseph Maurice Souther, Jr. ’74

Joseph “Joe” Maurice Souther, Jr., 67, of Asheville, died Monday, July 29, 2019, at St. Joseph Campus of Mission Hospitals.

A native of Buncombe County, he was a son of the late Joseph Maurice Souther, Sr. and Frances Dotson Souther.

Joe was a 1970 graduate of Asheville High School where he excelled in academics, particularly math and science.

He graduated from Davidson College in 1974. After working with his father in home design and construction for several years, he returned to school and graduated with honors in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1983. His enthusiasm for the Tennessee Volunteers developed during his time at UT and everyone who knew him knew what a loyal fan he was. The next year he began a career in the paper industry in Canton, NC where he worked until his retirement.

An avid golfer, Joe enjoyed the game and his many friends at Asheville Country Club where he was a member for over 25 years.

His true passion was recreational target shooting. He earned many accolades and awards for his excellence in the sport. He was a member of the Biltmore Estate Sporting Clays Club, Buncombe County Wildlife Club and the Polk County Gun Club. Joe gained much pleasure from playing his guitars and listening to guitar music. He was a member of Central United Methodist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Diane S. Souther; one daughter, Kiana Miles (Jeff) of Rabun Gap, GA; one son, Kirkland Ahrens (Jackie) of Boston, MA; one sister, Brenda Waugh (Randy) of Winston-Salem, NC; five grandchildren, Adelaide, Max and Eloise Ahrens and Lia and Ali Miles; two nephews, Brian and Mark Waugh; one niece, Kathryn Ruckart as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Celebration of Joe’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. His family will receive friends at the funeral home immediately following the service

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Joe’s memory to either The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society ( or to Cancer Care of Western North Carolina (

To leave a message of comfort or to share a memory with the family, please visit Joe’s obituary at

Published in Asheville Citizen-Times on Jul. 31, 2019.