Charles Richard Preston, 78, passed away at his home on May 8, 2019, following a period of declining health.
Charles was born July 27, 1940 in Columbus, Ga. to the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Etheridge Preston (Vergie Fuller).
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carol Henry Preston; three children, Tatum Preston of Atlanta, Ga., Charlsye Preston-Briegel and husband Thomas of Charleston, S.C., and Whit Preston of Conover; three sisters, Janice Watkins and husband Foster of Atlanta, Ga., Rebecca Livingston of Louisville, Ky., and Jessie Ulvedal and husband Svain of Fairfax, Va.; and lifelong friend Lynn Page of Columbus, Ga.
Charles was civically engaged from a young age, serving at the Georgia state level in DeMolay International and 4-H International. He was a 32nd degree member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, a member of Yaarab Shriners (Atlanta, Ga.), and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
After moving to North Carolina in 1976, he continued to be active in his community, founding two businesses and serving one term in the North Carolina State House of Representatives. He served on many boards locally and across the State, including Catawba County Valley Medical Center and the Boy Scouts of America-Piedmont Council. He was chair of both the Catawba County Board of Elections and the Catawba County Tax Board of Equalization and Review, and was a Commissioner for the North Carolina Wildlife Commission. In 2015, he was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the Governor of the State of North Carolina.
For the past 12 years, his passion was Catawba Valley Community College, where he served most recently as Chair of the Board of Trustees. He was instrumental in the creation and construction of the Workforce Solutions Complex. In his free time, he enjoyed bird hunting with his English Setter Sam and watching Alabama football and Carolina basketball.
The family wishes to thank the friends and family who have supported us during this time, with special thanks to Charles’s caregivers Yolanda, Cierraa, and Mandy and especially Jeannie Godfrey.
A memorial service with Masonic Rites to celebrate Charles’s life will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 2103 Mt. Olive Church Road, Newton, NC 28658. Mr. Mitchell Setzer will officiate. The family will receive friends from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 2103 Mt. Olive Church Road, Newton, NC 28658.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Carolina Caring, 3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658 or the Catawba Valley Community College Foundation, 2550 US Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602.
Condolences may be sent to the Preston family at www.bennettfuneralservice.com.
Bennett Funeral Service of Conover, N.C. is serving the Preston family.
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