Cover photo for Thurza Holden McNair's Obituary
Thurza Holden McNair Profile Photo

Thurza Holden McNair

d. November 26, 2019

Thurza Holden McNair, 78, of Webster, passed away on November 26th. Thurza was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Mark Martin Kerr and Pauline Tice Kerr on October 24, 1941. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, and earned her Masters in early childhood education, curriculum and supervision, and administration from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. She taught for 3 years in Florida and 1 year in Georgia before moving to Jackson County. Before accepting a teaching position at Fairview Elementary School in the fall of 1974, Thurza was a head-start teacher for Mountain Projects. She became the Curriculum Coordinator at Fairview in 1997 and Assistant Principal in 1999.  Thurza retired in 2002 after 28 years of service. Thurza continued her passion for teaching as an elected Board of Education member for 8 years where she received the Silver Bell and Gold Bell awards. She also served on the Mountain Projects Board of Directors for 10 years.

Thurza loved spending time with her family by planning yearly beach trips, Nana-Poppa Camps, traveling with her husband, and making holidays special. She recorded all of these memories in a mountain of beautiful scrapbooks. In addition to spending time with her family Thurza loved spending hours tending to her numerous flower beds surrounding her Webster home.

Thurza is survived by her Husband of 56 years, Gabriel Banks McNair Jr, also of Sylva, her children Mark McNair, Gabe McNair, and Heather McNair Leahy, Son-in-Law Michael Leahy and Daughter-In-Law Andrea McNair, and her grandchildren, Justin McNair, Gabriel Banks McNair III, Courtney McNair, Ragen McNair, Ticelyn McDonald, and Allen McDonald.

Besides her parents Thurza was preceded in death by her sister Myra Holden Kerr.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Connie Franks, Beth Bickerstaff, Michelle Beadreau, Dr. Lisa Verges (retd) and her staff at MemoryCare, the staff of Franklin House and Four Seasons (Hospice Care) for taking such wonderful care of their mother.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 6th from 6-8pm at Appalachian Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at Webster United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 7th 2019 at 2pm.

Flowers may be sent to Appalachian Funeral Home, Sylva, NC. In lieu of flowers, donations in Thurza’s memory may be made to Webster United Methodist Church, MemoryCare (, Four Seasons, or any other charity of one’s choosing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thurza Holden McNair, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Receiving Friends

Friday, December 6, 2019

6:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)

Appalachian Funeral Services

165 Skyland Dr, Sylva, NC 28779


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Memorial Service

Saturday, December 7, 2019

2:00 - 3:00pm (Eastern time)

Webster United Methodist Church

Webster Rd, Webster, NC 28779

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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