(My father passed away yesterday on Nov. 29th after 92 years of life. Thank you for your prayers, especially for my mother who was married to him for nearly 60 years) BW III
There are so many things you meant to me over so many years, and the sign I saw today said it all-- "I have a super hero in my life, and its my Dad". I realize you've gone to be with the Lord, but I also know that you are more alive now than when I last saw you Saturday laboring for breath in Mercy hospital. Thank God you are in a place where there is no more sufffering, sin, and sorrow, no more disease, decay and death. Here is the obituary I helped write for you:
Mr. Witherington of Charlotte died peacefully on Saturday November 29th, 2008 at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy. He was the son of the late Ben Witherington, Sr. and Mildred Patrick Witherington and was born on May 31, 1916 in Goldsboro, N.C. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mildred Witherington Grotland.
Ben's father's death and military service in WWII interrupted his college career at UNC-CH. Having joined the Army Air Corps, he completed advanced training at the Army Finance School at Wake Forest College. After serving several Army finance offices, he was transferred into the infantry and sent to Germany where he was assigned to the 94th Division of Patton's Third Army. He received a Combat Infantry Badge and two battle stars. Between 1947-86 he worked as a credit manager and an accountant in various firms including Tomlinson's Furniture Company and Factors Inc. in High Point N.C. and then NCNB (now Bank of America) in Charlotte.
A loyal life long member of the Methodist Church, he served in many ways at St. Paul's UMC Goldsboro, West Market Street UMC Greensboro, Wesley Memorial UMC in High Point, and Myers Park UMC in Charlotte. He was on the Administrative Board, President of Owenby Sunday School Class, and was a UMYF sponsor. An Eagle Scout, he inspired both his son and his grandson to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout as well.
After WWII Ben returned to UNC-Chapel Hill where he earned a B.S. degree in Commerce with an accounting major. An ardent Carolina sports fan and an athlete, he ran track and was a cheerleader at Carolina. He also enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and was an avid watcher of Carolina football and basketball.
Ben is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Joyce, his daughter Laura of Jacksonville Fla., his son Ben, III and his wife Ann of Lexington, Kentucky and their children Christy Ann of Morrisville N.C. and David Benjamin of Silver Spring, Md. He is also survived by his brother M. Patrick Witherington and his wife Patty and many nephews and nieces.
The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, at Myers Park United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends following the service in Jubilee Hall. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 4, in Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. Pallbearers will be Don Redding, Lou Bledsoe, Patrick Witherington, J. A. West, David Witherington, and Rick Witherington. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Owenby Class.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Myers Park United Methodist Church Jubilee Plus Fund, 1501 Queens Road West, Charlotte, NC 28207, Grace United Methodist Church, 401 Grace Street, Wilmington, N.C. 28402, or the Tuscarora Council, Boy Scouts of America, 316 East Walnut Street, Goldsboro N.C. 27530.
'Blessed are those who die in the Lord'.
Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, 1111 East Blvd. Online at www.hankinsandwhittington.com.
Dad, there are so many things I will miss. I woke up this morning and realized this is the first time in my life I don't have a father on earth. You were always there for me... always. Such a self-sacrificial person, and so gentle and loving like Jesus. If I ever grow up fully, I hope to be more like you. I remember all those ball games you took me to, especially Carolina games, and all those church services we went to. I remember you teaching Sunday school and helping lead my scout troop until I managed to get my Eagle award. You were never too busy for me. I remember all those fun trips to the beach, and so many wonderful holidays. Do you remember the day our cat Yellowball climbed the Christmas tree at night when all were sleeping and broke our bubble lights? Or how about the day I went off to Carolina just like you, and when you left me there, I felt so alone and lost. Do you remember the day we went to Spruce Pine and I taught Adults Plus the Gospel of Mark, and all your Sunday school friends were there? Or how about those hot summer days at Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska? Or the time you took me on your business trip to Morehead City? I miss all the times you read to me those Henry Ware stories when I was small, and how you taught me to drive on that old 55 Chevy that was column shift? I will never forget the day you took me downtown in High Point to get the conscientious objector papers during the Vietnam war, and even though you totally disagreed, you respected my choice and were right there with me? So many memories come flooding back. Most of all I will miss all that love and Christian nurture you gave me over all those years.
I know your not gone, nor are you lost, as I know right where to find you, up there with Jesus, but still it will be hard not to see you again until the resurrection. I just wanted you to know that in your honor on Nov. 29th those ole Tar Heels won their annual grudge match with Duke 28-20 at Duke and are going to a bowl game, and it won't be the toilet bowl. At least you won't need to yell at those ACC refs in the sky over that one. Here's a big hug, one more time.... ( ). You can count on me to go on serving the Lord, and being faithful to Him, to my church, to my family, to our Tar Heels. As you used to sing as a cheerleader "I'm a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred, and the day I die, I'm a Tar Heel dead....so its ra ra Carolina, 'lina..."