The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Obituaries Archives

February 14, 2014

EARL D. WOOTEN

TARBORO — Earl Dozier Wooten, 88, a humble, self-effacing man, devoted husband, father and friend, went to be with his Lord on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. He was born in Goldsboro, N.C., on Oct. 7, 1925, the third son of the late Joseph Allen Wooten, Sr. and Mary Tempie Dozier. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Allen Wooten, Jr. and his wife Hazel Knight Garris, brothers-in-law Robert Hatton Rogers and Henry Alton Rodgers, Alton’s wife Idell, and granddaughter Judylynn Jean Zamber.

Earl attended West Edgecombe School before transferring to Rocky Mount High School and graduating. He enlisted in the US Navy the day before his 18th birthday and served primarily in the Philippines during WWII. After separation from the navy in 1946, he attended Rocky Mount College Center for one year then transferred to NC State College where in June, 1950 he received his BS degree in Engineering. Following his graduation, he went to work for Carolina Telephone and Telegraph remained there until his retirement Dec. 31, 1989. While with CT&T, he worked in engineering and then in the Commercial Department specializing in Rates and Tariffs. After retirement, he could often be found in Raleigh helping his daughter Mary Lu in her restaurant Side Street or in Durham helping his son Rick rehab a house.

In addition to his work life, he was also intensely involved in church and community affairs. He attended Second Presbyterian Church until the church was dissolved in 2009. While a member of the Second Church, he served as a deacon and as an elder. He was also head of the men’s group at one time. Upon the closing of the Second Church, he transferred his membership to Englewood Presbyterian Church.

In the West Edgecombe community he was an active member of the West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department and upon resigning from active status, he remained involved as a member of the board of directors until he stepped down in 2009. He also served for several years as a board member for the West Edgecombe Rescue Squad. Earl was an active member of the West Edgecombe Ruritan Club where he served as president for two terms. The fire department and the Ruritan Club each cooked brunswick stew twice a year as fundraisers and he participated in the production and sale of the stew. In his later years, he decided to leave much of the heavy lifting to the younger members and focused on the sales end.

In 1960 he became a member of the Rocky Mount Planning and Zoning Board and for 13 years he worked for the betterment of Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County. When Edgecombe County decided to install a countywide water system, Earl worked tirelessly recruiting West Edgecombe community households to hook up to the system.

Earl spent several summers volunteering as a coach for Robbie’s small fry baseball team at the Rocky Mount YMCA and later he spent Saturday mornings in the fall and winter coaching his sons and others in basketball at West Edgecombe School. In addition he loved to take his family on fishing trips and summer trips to the beach or all across the USA. Family get-togethers where he was involved in the cooking were a great joy for him.

Left to cherish Earl’s memory are Alva Hope Rogers, the love of his life whom he married on June 8, 1947 and by whose side he remained for 66 years, his sons Robert Earl (Sheila), Richard Alton (Judy), daughter Mary Lucretius Wooten, brother William Chapman (Dorothy Merlyn Davis ), sister-in-law Wilma Faye Moore Rogers, four grandchildren (Jeff Langston [Elysia], Michael Langston [Tiffiany], Bobby Jim Zamber, and Lora Dodge [John]), six great grandchildren (Regan and Madison Langston, McKenzie and Ariana Langston, Preston Campbell and Silas Dodge), numerous nieces and nephews especially Joe and Corinee, children of Earl’s late brother who were treated as his own, and countless “adopted”  children and adults who called him Papa Earl.

The family thanks all the doctors, nurses and staff who looked after our husband/Daddy in his final struggle to get well especially those who looked after him, as well as Mother, at Nash General Hospital and Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center, Rocky Mount, NC. We also thank all the family, friends, and neighbors who extended their hands and hearts in help and support during his effort to recover.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the education fund at the West Edgecombe Ruritan Club, to the West Edgecombe Fire Department or to the charity of your choice. Helping others always gave Earl/Daddy great joy!

 The family will receive visitors at the funeral home today from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Englewood Presbyterian Church noon Saturday Feb. 15 with burial following at Pineview Cemetery, Rocky Mount.

Arrangements are being handled by Wheeler & Woodlief Funeral Home, Rocky Mount.

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