Wendell Lovingood Jr.

    Lieutenant Commander Wendell Willard Lovingood Jr. died Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in Asheville.
    A native of Clay County, he was born Aug. 25, 1929, in Warne. He was a 1948 graduate of Andrews High School.
    He then joined the United States 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, 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 which retrieved Captain 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 United States 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 in combat.
    Wendell spent the next 20 years serving the western North Carolina community as a state employee who wrote grants and petitioned the federal government for funds to improve life in western N.C. 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 husband of the late Farida Dahdah Lovingood, who died July 18, 2007.
    Surviving are daughters, Lori Lovingood Jones and husband Eric of Boiling Springs, N.C., and  Sharon Lovingood Hathaway and her 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, N.C., 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 will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 7, in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy, with Deacon John Barrone officiating. Military rites will be conducted by Murphy American LegionPost 96, Hayesville VFW Post 6812 and Hayesville American Legion Post 532.
    The family will receive friends from 1-1:50 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at Ivie Funeral Home, Murphy, prior to the services.
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Wendell Willard Lovingood Jr. to The Charles George VA 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.