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Candler - Richard Neil McCracken, 72, of Candler passed away on August 24th, 2014 at home surrounded by his family and friends. Richard was born in Haywood County on July 7, 1942, to the late Hilda and William McCracken. He grew up in Long's Chapel United Methodist Church where he was active in UMYF.
Rich attended school in Clyde where he graduated in 1960 and then went on to graduate from Western Carolina University in 1965. He served in the Army for 2 years and dedicated the next 38 years to his employment with Square D Company. After he and Karen started their family, he returned to WCU and earned his MBA in 1975.
Richard will always be remembered by family as a loving and dedicated husband, father, papaw, and brother. Richard was a dedicated and active church family member at Snow Hill United Methodist Church , as well as an avid jogger, where he ran hundreds of miles, visiting with neighbors along the way in the past 43 years. He was a Civil War buff, and enjoyed collecting Native American artifacts. He enjoyed sharing his arrowhead collection with many visitors through the years. Richard always enjoyed maintaining his home, yard, and vehicles, however his dedication to his grandchildren and family took most of his free time.
Survivors include his wife and best friend of 45 years, Karen Poston McCracken, son Scott McCracken (Melinda), and daughters Juli Gerken (DJ) and Kristi Jones(Dana). Richard loved all of his grandchildren who knew him as "Papaw" - Edie, Coleman, Jordan, KiLee, Conner, Ruby, Meri, Kesley, Dylan, Brooke, Caylen, Trent, Kristin, Shannon, Eric and great-grandson Cole, age 4. He is also survived by brothers Jerry (Sue), Mike (Martha), Alan (Judy), and sister Linda Brown(Myrl). Other survivors include his sister-in-law Jan O'neil, brother-in-law David Poston(Susan), Aunts Evelyn Sutton, Mary Frances Gray, Peggy Briggs(Bruce), Kathy McCracken, Uncles Charlie McCracken(Polly), and Carrol Bryson. Many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins also survive Richard.
The family will receive friends at Wells Funeral Home in Canton from 6-8 pm on Tuesday, August 26th 2014. A celebration of Richard's life will be at his home church, Snow Hill United Methodist at 3 pm on Wednesday, August 27th. Officiating will be Revs. Carrol Lindsey, David Peeler and Dianne Johnston.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to Snow Hill United Methodist Church , 84 Snow Hill Church Road , Candler NC 28715, in memory of Richard Neil McCracken.
For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com
Wells Funeral Homes
296 West Main Street
Waynesville, NC 28786
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Aug. 26, 2014