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The Daily Planet's Opinion: December 2017
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:22

William Cecil, wife Mimi leave lasting, lovely legacy

We join the greater Asheville community in mourning the recent deaths of two shining stars — William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil and his wife Mary “Mimi” Ryan Cecil.— for lighting up Asheville (the “Paris of the South”) in so many wonderful ways through their hard work, persistence and providing good examples over the years.

William died on Oct. 31 at age 89, while his wife Mimi died less than three weeks later — on Nov. 17 — at age 85.

He was lauded by those in the know as a champion of the Biltmore Estate’s preservation and success. William gave it his all to make the 8,000-acre estate — with its inimitable French-style chateau and on-site attractions (including its winery and Antler Hill Village retail area) — self-supporting.

Basides supporting her husband’s efforts to turn the estate from a money-loser to a money-maker, Mimi was a leader and supporter of area nonprofits and became known within the Asheville community for her relaxed and approachable manner.

She devoted her life to making a difference in the areas of education, social inequities, the environment and the arts.

The Cecils managed to save Biltmore, whule putting Asheville on the national and world tourism maps, which, in turn, gave the city an incalculable economic boost.



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