STANLEY - Alfred Mason Rhyne, 95, was Born on Feb. 19, 1919 in Stanley. He died in his home on Ju-ly 12 after a long life of good health that gradually declined over recent years. His body was failing him but he was of sound mind until the end.
He was a native of Gaston County, the son of the late Fred Rhyne and Alice Pegram Mason. He was a graduate of Stanley High School, attended Belmont Abbey College, and then graduated from North Caro-lina State University where he earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.
World War II had begun before his graduation so he joined the Navy and was sent immediately to MIT in Boston, MA and then to Jacksonville, FL for airplane engine design and maintenance training. He was then deployed for service on the south Pacific island of Espiritu Santo where he led a team of plane me-chanics in support of the naval air campaign against Japanese forces.
He returned home after the war and became the first engineer hired by Gaston County Dyeing Ma-chine Company in Stanley. He worked there for 40 years, retiring as their Director of Engineering.
He was a life-long member of First Presbyterian Church in Stanley where he served many years as a deacon, an elder, the clerk of the session, and a building committee chairman. Alfred was a godly man who lived an humble Christian life through his faith in Jesus' saving grace. He was also a little man with a big heart, readily sharing a smile, a greeting, and a handshake with those whom he met. He was also known for sending thoughtful cards to friends and new acquaintances in his unique Old English style of handwriting, readily recognized or remembered by recipients.
Alfred once won a town contest in the 1960s to create the Stanley town slogan: A Friendly Place. He loved to tell everyone the history of town life and events since he lived during so much of it. Many peo-ple around town will recall Alfred for his habit of wearing hats or caps jauntily cocked to the right side.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Doris Austin Rhyne of McAdenville. He is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. Timothy Brett Rhyne and wife Donna Ingold Rhyne of Greenville, SC and their son Brett Thomas Rhyne of Charlotte. Robert Kevin Rhyne and wife Catherine Mooney Rhyne of Stanley and their children; Carly Rhyne White and husband Andrew White of Winston-Salem, NC; Anna Catherine Rhyne of Raleigh, NC; and Patrick Austin Rhyne of the home. He is survived by one sister, Janet Rhyne Devir of Stanley, niece Beth Devir Hatley and grandniece Alice Mason Hatley, both of Hickory, NC.
The family wishes to thank long time caregivers Mary Blackman, Emma Sheets, and more recently Jeff Ward for their service to the family by their devoted and loving care of Alfred. They became friends who gave the family a peace of mind that Alfred was always in good hands and they certainly made his life easier and longer by their in-home care.
The burial with military honors will be held 3 p.m. Wednesday at Hillcrest Gardens cemetery on High-way 27 in Mount Holly. It is open to all friends and family.
Visitation with the family will follow beginning at 4:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 512 Old Mount Holly Road in Stanley, followed by a 6:30 p.m. memorial service to celebrate his life and homego-ing. Reverend Dan King will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Stanley, 512 Old Mount Holly Road, Stanley, NC 28164.
Condolence messages may be sent to the family at www.woodlawnfuneral.org.
Woodlawn Funeral Home in Mount Holly is serving the family.
Published in Gaston Gazette on July 15, 2014
Woodlawn Funeral Home
375 Woodlawn Avenue Mount Holly, NC 28120