Kris Buckner


Kristin Erin “Kris” Buckner, 47, of Franklin passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 24, 2021, at her residence.

A native of Sylva, “Kris” was the daughter of Patricia Whitaker Buckner and Bob and Donna Buckner. Kris was preceded in death by her brother, Michael Aaron Buckner; and her grandparents, Leo and Lois Buckner.

Kris is survived by her parents; her wife, Billie Harvey; her children, Emily, Erin and Andy Moore; her stepdaughter, Isabella Harvey; her brother, Andy (Shelli); her sisters, Ginger Zsambeky (Jonathan) and Lyn Metzger; her niece and nephews, Leah and Turner Zsambeky and Parish Metzger; her aunts, Brenda Dockery and Gloria Dupree; and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jerry and Sheila Shook.

Kris was a graduate of Smoky Mountain High School and went on to receive a degree in psychology at Appalachian State University. She later received a master’s degree in school counseling from Western Carolina University. Kris held several jobs throughout her life which almost always served children, including the positions of youth director at First United Methodist Church in Sylva, school counselor at Swain County Middle School, owner of and counselor at Keystone Behavioral Health, and counselor with Meridian Behavioral Health Services. At the time of her death, Kris served as a behavioral health specialist at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.

Kris was a passionate musician and dancer her entire life. Music held a special place in her life, and she was unquestionably the most talented member of a family full of musicians. Indeed, as everyone who ever heard her perform knows, Kris’ vocal talents were remarkable. She sang with the Smoky Mountain High School choral program throughout high school and continued singing while studying at Appalachian State. After moving back to Sylva, Kris performed with the Praise Band at First United Methodist in Sylva, and many other church services, weddings, and events. Kris’ love of music was perhaps only exceeded by her love of dance and choreography, particularly tap. She danced with her sisters, Ginger and Lyn, while growing up and began teaching dance while still in high school. Kris possessed a special gift for teaching young people and was a long-time instructor at Triple Threat Performing Arts Academy in Sylva. Her teaching touched the lives of many.

While Kris had many passions, the greatest of them was being a loving, fun and generous mother to her precious children. Emily, Erin and Andy filled Kris with boundless pride, and she treasured every moment she spent with them.

Kris possessed a uniquely beautiful and loving spirit, and many times she placed the needs of others above her own. But she also often bore her own burdens in silence. Kris’ family prays that all those experiencing thoughts of suicide find the willingness to share their pain and seek help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.

A celebration of life for Kris will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church of Sylva.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks everyone to consider making a gift to a scholarship fund in memory of Kris at Western Carolina University. Donations can be made at

The care of Mrs. Buckner has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville, and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at