Meet The Author
These “sketches” are pages from an as-yet-unpublished book on Rutherford county and its people by JoAnn Atkinson Prewitt Huskey. They are stories, profiles, tales and anecdotes of her Cliffside kin and their neighbors and friends.
Although JoAnn was born in Cherokee county, South Carolina, she spent so much time in Cliffside while growing up that she feels she deserves at least Honorary Cliffside Native status. Her parents, Ernest and Malleree Atkinson Prewitt, both lived in Cliffside during the 1920s and 1930s. When they moved to Forest City in 1935, they left many relatives behind in Cliffside, whom JoAnn visited at every opportunity.
JoAnn grew up with a brother and two sisters on the “mill hill” surrounding Florence Mill in Forest City. She married Roy Huskey and they had two children, Rick and Sherry. Roy, a Rutherford County Deputy Sheriff, was killed in the line of duty in 1979. Sherry is a veterinarian, practicing in Charlotte and living in nearby Matthews, North Carolina, with JoAnn’s two grandsons, Jordan and Jesse. Rick is a civil engineer, living in Atlanta with his wife, Jan.
When her mother, along with her Aunt Nell Atkinson Hill Israel, died in 1994 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident on Caroleen’s Broad River Bridge, JoAnn was in the process of writing her mother’s life story for her grandchildren. While talking with other family members to gain information she needed to complete it, she realized that there were many family stories.
When her Uncle Ferrell Atkinson suggested that she make her mother’s story into a family story or history, his daughter, Joyce Atkinson Hunter, agreed to help with the genealogy and dates if JoAnn would write the stories. Thus, they embarked on a lifetime undertaking to record the genealogy and preserve the memories and stories of the family.
While some of the stories presented here are JoAnn’s own, most of them are from the memories and stories that others shared with her. She retired from First Charter Bank in 2001 and now devotes her time to researching and writing, working with the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County, painting and doing crafts, and visiting with her Grandsons.
We were shocked and deeply saddened at the passing of JoAnn Huskey on May 31, 2015. She was a loyal friend of the society and a talented contributor to our website. JoAnn was a skilled and prolific writer, preserving memories of her childhood and of her long-passed relatives, most of whom lived in and around Cliffside. She did it for her grandchildren and other young descendants, she said. Otherwise they would never know where and how older generations spent their lives.
But she was so much more. We have adapted her obituary to this short profile:
JoAnn was born on November 5, 1934 in Cherokee County, S.C. but was a longtime resident of Rutherfordton, living in the Green Hill community. She was the daughter of the late Malleree Atkinson Prewitt and Ernest Edward Prewitt. She was also preceded in death by her loving husband Capt. Roy Huskey of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department.
JoAnn was a skilled genealogist who provided many people their family history information. She also was a talented artist, crafter, and storyteller. She loved to read, was intelligent, funny and a friend to all.
Ironically, she died on the same day, May 31, on which, exactly 36 years earlier, her husband Roy and two other lawmen were gunned down when responding to a domestic dispute. This memorial to the three men stands on the Square on Forest City’s Main Street.
The left third of the monument reads: “Captain Roy Huskey, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department. Born May 25, 1931. Shot and killed in the line of duty in rural Rutherford County, May 31, 1979.”