William Maner Ives
September 4, 1933 to April 20, 2011
William Maner Ives of Brevard, North Carolina, age 77, died on April 20th after a long battle with cancer. Bill Ives will be remembered by his family and numerous friends as a Renaissance man who left a lasting legacy in Western North Carolina as the owner of Keystone Camp for girls in Brevard, as a community leader and as a Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Although he was an avid reader with a strong intellectual curiosity, he was happiest outdoors working with his hands or indoors renovating and rewiring as he did with the two houses he shared with his second wife, Ann.
Mr. Ives was born on September 4, 1933 in Jacksonville, Florida to Anson Jesse Ives, Jr. and Catherine Ellis Ives. He attended Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville where he was active on the debate team. He went on to graduate from the University of Florida in 1954 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta and the Blue Key Society at Florida. Mr. Ives later served in Korea with the United States Army where he was in the Artillery.
Educator and Camp Owner
After returning to Jacksonville from Korea, Mr. Ives became a teacher at Lake Shore Junior High School. He taught Civics and became the Vice Principal there. He held this position until he moved his family to Brevard in 1966. While working at Lake Shore in 1959, Mr. Ives met Sue Howe, who was an Art teacher at the school. They married in 1960 and remained together until her death in 2003.
Mr. Ives started his lifelong relationship with Brevard almost immediately after he was born as he spent all of his childhood summers at Keystone Camp for Girls. The Camp, which began in 1916, is the oldest private summer camp in the Southeast and was founded by Mr. Ives’ Great Aunt, Florence Ellis, and later was run by his mother, Catherine Ives. Mr. Ives worked at Keystone during his summers growing up and later took over as Camp Director in the late 1950s. He finally succeeded his mother as the owner. His daughter, Page Ives Lemel, has followed him as Camp Director and owner.
Mr. Ives influenced the lives of thousands of children through his work as a teacher and camp owner. He believed education was a pathway to a better life. He was a difference-maker who did not need to receive public credit for helping others. Instead, he received quiet satisfaction from knowing that he was doing the right thing. Mr. Ives often reminded his children how lucky they were to be born with intelligence and to have the opportunity to receive a good education. He worked hard to make sure others would have those opportunities.
Politician and Community Leader
A natural leader, Mr. Ives became involved with community service upon moving to Brevard in the 1960s. After heading the Brevard Jaycees, Mr. Ives ran for County Commissioner in 1972. He served as Chairman of the Transylvania County Commission in a time of transition and growth, from 1972 to 1976, and again from 1980 to 1984. During this time he was also served as Chairman of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council. In 1992, he was elected to serve the people of Transylvania County, lower Buncombe County and the western half of Henderson County in the State House. Mr. Ives served a total of six years and retired from the Legislature in 1998. During his years in the Legislature, Mr. Ives was instrumental in the formation of the Gorges State Park and in launching the North Carolina Arboretum.
A long-time Republican, Mr. Ives should be remembered as someone who was willing to find the common ground between political parties. He valued the opinions of others and made sure to learn the facts behind an issue. He was a hard worker for just causes and sought to make Transylvania County and North Carolina better for all citizens. Affordable housing was one of his favorite causes, which he supported in government and privately through his involvement with Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Ives also was instrumental in the construction of two public libraries in Transylvania County, and in 1996 he received the North Carolina Public Library Director’s Association Library Champion Award for his tireless advocacy for public library funding.
Mr. Ives served as President of the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Vestry of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and took several turns as a Warden for the Church. Mr. Ives worked to make Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) a unit of local government after its original founding by the Brevard Jaycees. He was again involved in 1988 when TVS became its own free-standing, private, not for profit corporation. TVS awarded Mr. Ives the Lifetime Services Award for his dedication to individuals with disabilities.
In his later years, Mr. Ives served as a Trustee at the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina. He chaired the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Foundation and he served as Chairman of the Transylvania Endowment, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Even through illness, Mr. Ives served as the long-time Chairman of the Transylvania County Board of Equalization and Review. His family is sure that he had other community involvement that no one ever knew about.
Contractor and Gardner
Never one to let a challenge pass, Mr. Ives used his interest in building to pursue his licenses in the major construction fields. Beginning in the 1970’s, Mr. Ives became a licensed General Contractor, a licensed Plumbing Contractor, a licensed Electrical Contractor, and after a summer attending Blue Ridge Community College, he earned his HVAC license. He put these licenses to use as he built or re-built nearly every building at Keystone Camp. Those who knew him were used to seeing paint or tar on his clothes when he went to Harris Hardware or the Post Office in Brevard. He was a tireless worker and a constant innovator.
Mr. Ives also enjoyed gardening and was known for his love of flowers. He often would provide many of the County offices with blooming flowers he maintained in his greenhouse. In his later years, he developed a keen interest in raising orchids. He kept horses, cattle, sheep, ducks and chickens at various points during his life. He had a keen appreciation of steaks, corn and tomatoes that he had raised himself.
Mr. Ives fought a courageous battle with lung cancer for three years. During this time, his wife, Ann, was a tremendous comfort to him with her great sense of humor and unshakable love. Their friends, many from far beyond Brevard, were another source of wonderful support. The family wants to express their gratitude to Nathan Griffin who provided tremendous aide and companionship during Mr. Ives’ battle with cancer and to Hospice of Transylvania County for professionalism and dignity during the final days.
Mr. Ives is survived by his second wife, Ann Sanders Ives of Brevard, his sister, Naudain Ives Sellers of Lahaska, Pennsylvania, his daughter, Page Ives Lemel and her husband, Dr. Mark Steven Lemel, of Brevard and their children, Catherine Ellis Lemel, age 14, Hannah Cecile Lemel, age 11, and Samuel Ives Lemel, age 11, and his son, Anson Bradley Ives and his wife Debra Dickehuth Ives of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Brevard, and their children, Lawton Frederick Ives, age 12, and Emily Garnett Ives, age 12.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 30th at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 256 Main Street in Brevard. The family will receive friends afterwards in Miller Hall at St. Philip’s.
The Ives and Lemel families kindly request that, in lieu of flowers, donations please be made to the Bill and Sue Ives Campership fund to send girls from Transylvania County to summer camp. Donations should be made payable to the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC), P.O. Box 1888, Asheville, NC 28802, referencing the Bill and Sue Ives Campership Fund in the memo line. Additionally, gifts may be made to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Foundation, 256 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712, the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics Foundation, P.O. Box 2733, Durham, N.C. 27715-2733 referencing the Ives Endowment, Transylvania Vocational Services, 11 Mountain Industrial Drive, Brevard, NC 28712 or the Salvation Army.