Wendell Willard Lovingood Jr.

    Lt. Commander Wendell Willard Lovingood Jr. died Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in Asheville.
    A native of Clay County, he was born on Aug. 25, 1929, in Warne. He was a 1948 graduate of Andrews High School.
    Lovingood then joined the U.S. Navy. His career spanned 24 years and was part of some of the most significant events of the 20th century. He served on more than five submarines during the 1950s, including patrols in the North Atlantic and tailing Soviet submarines during the beginning decade of the Cold War. He also served on numerous destroyers and aircraft carriers.
    He was a part of the naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. He was aboard the Naval vessel that retrieved Capt. John Glenn and the astronauts from their first landing on the moon.
    In 1968, he was sent to Vietnam shortly after the Tet Offensive, and served in the Mekong Delta as a supply officer, supplying Navy Seals and other U.S. Armed Forces the equipment needed to engage Vietcong in isolated rural outposts.
    In 1971, he retired from the Navy, earning the rank of lieutenant commander, was a Bronze Star with a combat “V” and Navy Achievement Medal for meritorious service while in combat.
    Wendell spent the next 20 years serving western North Carolina as a state employee who wrote grants and petitioned the federal government for funds to improve life across the region. He was directly responsible for the acquiring of funds for numerous libraries, dams, water treatment facilities, public buildings, and recreational facilities all over southwestern North Carolina.
    Wendell was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Hayesville.
    He was the son of the late Wendell and Edna West Lovingood, and the husband of the late Farida Dahdah Lovingood, who died July 18, 2007.
    Surviving are daughters, Lori Lovingood Jones and husband Eric of Boiling Springs, and  Sharon Lovingood Hathaway and husband Bill of Greensboro; two sons, Robert Lovingood and wife Melissa of Madison, Ga., and Stephen Lovingood and wife Linda of Hayesville; a sister, Jean Lovingood Ladd of Kernersville; five grandchildren, Derrick Lovingood and wife Caitlin of Hayesville; Layla Jones and husband Clay Champion of Cliffside, Charlie Jones of Sylva, Billy Hathaway of Greensboro and Lucy Jones of Cullowhee; and three great grandchildren, Grady Lovingood, and Jack and Jasper Champion.
    A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 7, 2018, in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home in Murphy with Deacon John Barrone officiating. Military rites were conducted by Murphy American Legion Post 96, Hayesville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6812 and  Hayesville American Legion Post 532.
    The family received friends from 1-1:50 p.m. Saturday at Ivie Funeral Home in Murphy prior to the services.
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Wendell Willard Lovingood Jr. to:
    Charles George Veterans Affairs Medical Center Valor Hospice unit, 1000 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805.
    Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy, is in charge of all arrangements.
    An online guest register is available at www.iviefuneralhomeinc.com.

 

The Andrews Journal

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