James Wheeler Kidd "J.W." HUNTERSVILLE - Mr. Kidd, 95, of Huntersville, passed away at home on Sunday, July 7, 2013. He was the son of James Barkley Kidd and Nettie Oliver Caldwell Kidd of the Hopewell community. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Long Creek School, having begun in first grade with the school's opening, following a few days attendance at Davidson Schoolhouse. He served in the National Guard during World War II. He worked alongside his siblings as his family built their farm into a large, successful dairy. He often said the story of their farm was a story of rock rocks that had to be cleared in back-breaking work so that the land could be farmed. He helped his father and older brother build the road through the farm, Jim Kidd Road, using the family's team of mules. He lived there until his death. J.W. was especially gifted in working with animals, both in caring for them and in designing breeding programs to establish good health and best qualities. He became an expert in calving, and learned methods of saving lives during difficult births. He was grateful to, and worked closely with, many area veterinarians over the years, learning all that he could. From early childhood he loved and admired beagles, and he established one of the most successful kennels of AKC beagles in the United States. He became a well-respected field trial judge, known throughout the country for the contributions he made to the sport of beagling. His kennel was dedicated to preserving the breed true to its heritage, with traits of gentleness and astonishing scent-tracking ability. More beagle field trial champions came from his kennel than from any other, and he was inducted into the brace beagling Hall of Fame in 1972 the most prestigious honor in the sport. He was a lifelong advocate of walking and hiking, and until the days before his death he still took half-mile walks with the family dog. He often counseled friends and family to stay active. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Josephine Blythe Kidd, by brothers Edward and Latta, and by son-in-law, Kenneth Spry. He is survived by his daughter, Harriet Kidd Spry McKenzie and husband, Jerry, grandchildren Mary Katherine Spry Bennett and husband, Troy, Kenneth Craig Spry and wife, Elizabeth, and Lillian Josephine McKenzie, great-grandchildren Darrell Troy Bennett, III "Trip", Aiden Kidd Bennett, Connor Garrison Bennett and James Wheeler Spry; by sisters Kathleen Parks and Frances Riley, brother William Puett Kidd and wife Polly, sister-in-law Sheila Kidd; and by fond step-grandson Joshua McKenzie, his wife Melissa and daughter Sydney. Memorials may be made to Gilead Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, where J. W. was a former deacon, and was the church's eldest member. The family will receive friends from 7-9 PM Wednesday, July 10 at James Funeral Home, 10520 Arahova Dr., Huntersville, NC. The funeral service will be held at 11 AM Thursday at Gilead A.R.P. Church with Rev. Robert Hunter officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. James Funeral Home is serving the family. www.jamesfuneralhomeLKN.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer on July 9, 2013