Harry Lee Wicker, Sr. 82 of Carthage passed away peacefully Monday, October 19, 2020 after a brief illness. Born in Lee County on January 6, 1938, son of Doyle Kenneth Wicker and Thelma Bruner Wicker. He was preceded in death by his parents and an older brother, Kenneth Cecil Wicker.
Harry was a North Carolina native, attending grammar and high school at Greenwood in Lee County. He played football, basketball, was a class officer, and FFA officer, drove a school bus, participated in the Drama Club and was in his Junior and Senior plays. His Senior Class Superlative was “Best All Around”.
Harry graduated from high school and worked nights at a machine shop in Sanford to earn college money and wait for his younger sister, Betty, so they could attend East Carolina together. He consulted his father and was given tractor keys and told he could earn the remainder of the college money on the family farm. He never shied away from responsibility or hard work. Always when you visited his home on cool days, he had a wood fire going for a warm welcome.
Harry graduated from East Carolina University in 1961 with a BA Degree in Business Administration and was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Here he was best known for his “story telling” and Southern accent. He earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill in 1970, after which he served 3 years in the United States Army supporting the Nike Hercules Missile Program.
His first professional positions were in Social Services including Director with Harnett County, then Lee County, after which he became Regional Director for the State Commission of the Blind until his retirement. He was active in the Lion’s Club supporting projects for the blind where he held the offices in his local chapter as well as District Office representing North Carolina with International Conventions.
Harry was born and raised on a farm and has been a lifelong farmer at heart, producing tobacco crops on multiple farms along with pumpkins, collards, and deer corn and will be long remembered for his bountiful gardens, fruit trees, blueberries and grapevines. He always produced to share with family and friends, frequently picked and delivered to your door. He was a grill master of note, making family gatherings memorable.
He was a lifelong member of White Hill Presbyterian Church. He grew up in the church and served in many roles over the years, including Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, Deacon, and Elder. Harry loved White Hill and his family history in the church.
Harry was a proud grandfather of 5. His phone calls to them on their special occasions always began with “This is your papa” and ended with some encouraging words of wisdom. Each time you were in his company, he told you a story with compelling details and dates.
Harry is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Alice Morgan Wicker, daughter Mary Ann Yauger (Robert) of Charlotte, sons Harry Lee Wicker, Jr. (Chris) of Sanford, Warren Kenneth Wicker of Carthage, sisters Betty Wicker Lynch of Pinehurst and Joy Wicker Blanton (Claude) of Wake Forest. His 5 grandchildren are Cameron and Mary Morgan Yauger of Charlotte and Samuel, Zebulon, and Eli Wicker of Sanford.
A celebration of life graveside service was held Friday October 23, 2020 at White Hill Presbyterian Church, 3335 White Hill Road, Sanford, NC 27332 at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Kathryn Dudley officiating. Memorial donation may be made to White Hill Presbyterian Church.
The family would like to thank Rasheema Kelly, Kim Gibson Fairley and Shareen McKenzie of Love In Care for their friendship, dedication and excellent care given to Harry each day.
The family was assisted by First Health Hospice, Palliative Care and Mid-State Cremation and Funeral Service of Asheboro.
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