Robert Edward Self, age 91, left this world peacefully on November 16, 2015, following a short illness. Ed grew up in Spring Hope, NC and after graduating from Spring Hope High School in 1942; he volunteered for the Army Air Service and served in Italy during WWII, serving on a B24. After the war, he returned home and married his love, Betty. He attended Lenoir Rhyne College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. While serving in the Reserves in Hickory, NC, he was activated for the Korean War, and served in the US Air Force. Following the war, he returned home and started work, where he found his passion for insurance and started working for Travelers, and then he headed up USF&G Life Insurance for NC and eventually opened Self Insurance Agency in Cary, where he worked until his first retirement. He received several honors in the insurance field and taught Certified Life Underwriters courses at NC State University. He then worked with his wife’s business, Hearthside Interiors in Cary, before coming out of retirement and going to work for JC Penney in Raleigh, NC. He retired from there and he and Betty moved to Smithfield from Cary, after living there since 1959. In Smithfield, he soon began working with Johnston County Community College in the audio-visual department, where he remained until Betty Self became ill. Ed served on the Smithfield Planning Board for over 15 years and ran for Town Council when he was 74 years old. He always took an interest in local government and participated in many ways, including working at the polls for the Board of Elections, and he never failed to vote. He was an active member of First Baptist Church in Smithfield, the Fellowship Masonic Lodge #84 in Smithfield, American Legion Post #132 in Smithfield, and one of his greatest pleasures was getting together with his friends at the AMEN Corner, at McDonalds in Smithfield. Last year, after Ed and Miley married, he moved to Rocky Mount and started attending First Presbyterian Church, and was just starting to attend meetings at the Masonic Lodge and American Legion in Rocky Mount.Ed is preceded in death by his loving wife of 66+ years, Elizabeth “Betty” Jeffries Self; his parents, Robert Daniel Self and Blanche Vick Self; his brother, Bobby Self.He is survived by his loving wife of one year, Miley Braswell-Self, of Rocky Mount, NC, whom he had known since they were in first grade together; his children, Cynthia Harper (Tom) of Hatteras, NC; Richard Self (Becky) of Cary, NC; Betty Sue Wigginton (Jim) of Clayton, NC; Herb Self (Mary) of Greensboro, NC; 10 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; his dear friends Jack and Kay Matthews, Billy McMahan and his sister Elizabeth, and many friends in Cary, Smithfield and Rocky Mount. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church, Smithfield, NC, on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 1:00 PM, and the family will receive friends at the church following the service. A private burial will be held on a later date at Riverside Cemetery, Smithfield, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in his memory to the SECU Hospice House, Box 1376, Smithfield, NC 27577.
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