WAYNESVILLE — James Webster Cathey, 97, passed away Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at Haywood Lodge and Retirement Center.
James was a native and lifelong resident of Haywood County, and the son of the late Grady and Emma Smathers Cathey. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Aileen Fulbright Cathey; a daughter, Brenda Cathey; two sisters, Rena Cathey and Teri Hall; and brother, Charles Cathey.
James was saved when he was 40 years old at the Free Methodist Church. He and his wife, Aileen, became members of Barberville Baptist Church where they worked in the children’s worship department. He also dedicated his time to the Vacation Bible School program where he built bird houses and other items for the children to paint. He enjoyed wood working in his shop, hand crafting items like clocks, picture frames and bookends.
James retired from Bell South Telephone Company where he had 35 years of dedicated service as a supervisor at the Clyde office. He was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.
James served four years in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. This year, March of 2019, he was served with a 70-year membership certificate from the Masonic Lodge #259 AF&AM in Waynesville.
He and Aileen made many trips to the Holy Land and also to Prague, where he helped the North Carolina Baptists build a building for seminary students. He and Aileen also enjoyed hiking with several of their friends.
James is survived by two sisters-in-law, Carolyn McElroy, and her husband, Edgar, and Hazel Fulbright, who were his caregivers, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Waynesville Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Rev. Jeffrey Moore officiating. The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Inurnment will follow at Green Hill Cemetery.
A special thanks to Aaron Crawford and all the staff at Haywood Lodge and Retirement for the excellent care James received there.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Activity Department of Haywood Lodge and Retirement, 251 Shelton Street, Waynesville, North Carolina 28786.
The care of Mr. Cathey has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.