Fred Lee Proctor, Sr.
GREENSBORO -- Mr. Proctor, Sr. died peacefully on Friday, November 7, 2008, at Moses Cone Hospital. His death marked the passing of one of the early leaders of the textile industry.
A memorial service will be held at 3pm Sunday, November 9, 2008, at West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro.
Mr. Proctor foresaw the migration of the production of textile raw materials and soft goods manufacturing from the Northeast to the South, the importance of new products based upon synthetic materials and the replacement of low-wage jobs in poor conditions to high productivity men and women managing machines which increased output, improved quality and reduced prices.
Fred Proctor was born in Tampa, FL to Charles Wesley Proctor and Etna Hagin Proctor, and grew up on Okeechobee, FL. After finishing high school, he worked in Okeechobee before moving to North Carolina in 1934. He returned to Florida briefly in 1937 to marry his childhood sweetheart, Myrtle Raulerson Proctor, and brought her to North Carolina.
Beginning his textile career in McCrary Hosiery Mill in Asheboro as an hourly worker, Mr. Proctor steadily advanced there, and later in Burlington Industries during World War II. In 1943, he bought eight warp knitting machines and co-founded Guilford Mills in the rear of James Hornaday's feed store on South Elm Street in Greensboro. In 1946, he sold his interest in that business and went to work for Madison Throwing Co. Shortly thereafter, he and other investors founded Hatteras Yacht Co. In 1962, Mr. Proctor and Joe Hamilton founded what later became Texfi Industries. While at Texfi, Mr. Proctor recognized the potential for covered elastic yarns in ladies hosiery and sports garments and funded Spanco Industries, Inc. which became one of the two largest producers in the world.
In all, Mr. Proctor founded three companies which were listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and, in addition, was involved in home construction, venture capital and hedge funds. By one count, he created over 7500 jobs which supported nearly 30,000 people.Throughout his life Fred Proctor always proclaimed that, when one plows a field and harvests crops, he has an obligation to fertilize the ground. As a result, his charitable causes were numerous. He and Mrs. Proctor donated the proctor School of Business at Greensboro College, where he received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities; he established the Proctor Scholarship at Duke Divinity School and, most recently, a graduate Scholarship at Duke University. He and Mrs. Proctor were also benefactors of the Guilford Day School, the Greensboro Day School and the Greensboro Foundation. They were faithful members and strong supporters of the West Market Street United Methodist Church for over 60 years.
Mr. Proctor was preceded in death by his wife Myrtle. He is survived by his children Charles Wesley and wife Judy of Aspen, Colorado; Fred, Jr. and wife Cindy of Greensboro; and Julie Proctor Lemley and husband Curt of Mooresville, North Carolina; his half brother Connie Simmons and wife Barbara of Inverness, Florida. Also surviving are six grandson and one granddaughter: Wes Proctor, Jr. and wife Natalie of Denver, Colorado; John Proctor and wife Corinna of Raleigh; Fred Lee Proctor, III of Greensboro; Charles Proctor of Wilmington, North Carolina; Betts Powell of Atlanta Julian Powell of Mooresville, North Carolina; and Annie Proctor of Greensboro; two great granddaughters, Toni and Isabelle of Denver, Colorado.
The family wishes to thank Dee Bryant and all of the loving caregivers for their dedication and loyalty.The family will visit with friends at his home 7-9 PM Saturday, 940 Country Club Dr.
Memorials may be made to W. Market Street United Methodist Church, 302 W. Market St., Greensboro, and NC 27401; or to Greensboro College, 1000 W. Market St., Greensboro, NC 27401.Hanes-Lineberry N. Elm Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published by Charlotte Observer on Nov. 9, 2008.