Mr. Richard W. Gaylord went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ February 3, 2015. Born in Greenville, NC on June 24th, 1920 at the family home on Green Street, Richard was 94 years old. He recently resided at Cypress Glen in Greenville, NC and leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Mary Agnes Dawson Gaylord.
The funeral service will be conducted Saturday at 2:30 pm at First Christian Church. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery.
Richard's parents were Louis Woodson Gaylord and Mattie Moye King Gaylord. His siblings were Mattie Moye Gaylord Hagarty, Julia Woodson Gaylord Painter, Harriet Gaylord Whitehurst (all deceased) and younger sister Virginia Gaylord Scales and older brother Louis Woodson Gaylord Jr., both of Cypress Glen in Greenville.
Richard attended Greenville High School. After 2 years attending ECTC (currently East Carolina University), he enlisted in the US Army to serve in World War II. He served as an artillery forward observer, with Battery A 113 Field Artillery Battalion 30th Infantry Division. During his service among other medals, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star, and The French Croix de Guerre.
He also fought in five battles of the European Theater, including the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded five Battle Stars. He later was awarded a battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant for his heroic efforts in holding off a German tank assault. He left behind on the field of battle two close childhood friends, one, 2nd Lieutenant Preston C. Clark, who died beside him during a German assault.
After the war Richard was offered and accepted a job offer from Person Garrett Tobacco Company in Greenville, North Carolina. When Person Garrett was purchased by Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Richard stayed on in a buying capacity. He rose through the ranks from buyer to market supervisor and later to vice president handling the firm's English and Irish accounts. With the vice president promotion, he and Mary moved to Richmond, Virginia where they lived for eight years. Before returning back to Greenville, North Carolina.
Retiring early at age 60 from the tobacco industry after 32 years, Richard began a second career with his son Mont in home building. He worked actively in and greatly enjoyed this second career, coming to the office almost every day until he was 90.
Richard was active in the First Christian Church of Greenville. Aside from numerous committees and functions he also served as Deacon, Elder and Chairman of the Church Board. He was recently elected Elder Emeritus.
His children are Mont Dawson Gaylord (wife Elizabeth Stetson) of Greenville and Richard Warren Gaylord, Jr (wife Bonnie Webb) of Raleigh; Grandchildren are Richard Warren Gaylord III (wife Katie Watson), Todd Webb Gaylord (wife Shannon McCorkle) , Bonner Gardner Gaylord (wife Ashley Barber) and Brittain Dawson Gaylord (wife Elizabeth King), Erin Reines Einbender, Bennett Stetson Einbender and Brooke Jaquelin Einbender. Great grandchildren are Vail Webb Gaylord, Mary Haven Gaylord, Carson Railing Gaylord, Boone Mathis Gaylord, Richard Warren (Ren) Gaylord IV, Katie Lee McKinnon Gaylord, Hazel Gardner (Gigi) Gaylord, Demetrius Webb (Metri) Gaylord, Almont Barber (Mont) Gaylord, Norvej King (Vej) Gaylord and Sydney Elizabeth Gaylord.
The family will receive friends on Friday from 5 to 7 pm at Wilkerson Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church, 2810 East 14th Street, Greenville, NC 27858 or Cypress Glen Benevolent Fund, 100 Hickory Street, Greenville, NC 27858.
Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com