Major Carol James “CJ” Leatherman, (Ret.) 85, passed away on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 surrounded by members of his loving family. Carol was a native North Carolinian from Newton, NC. He was the son of the late James Boyd Leatherman and Georgia Reinhardt Leatherman. Carol is survived by his wife of 63 years, Janice Parrish Leatherman of Newton, NC; daughter Sandy Lynn Leatherman of Pittsboro, NC; son Todd Alan Leatherman, wife Jill Smith Leatherman, grandchildren Jaden Rebecca Leatherman and Janson Robert Pope, all from Blowing Rock, NC. His sister, Joyce Leatherman, lives in Newton, NC.
Carol graduated from Fred T. Foard High School in 1955 and held a Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles from North Carolina State University. Carol and Janice wed while Carol was enrolled in the ROTC program. After graduation, he was commissioned into the US Air Force as a second lieutenant and completed pilot training in McAllen, TX. Carol flew the C-124 Globemaster at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville, SC and Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah, GA. He flew the C-141 at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernadino, CA and flew the O-2 Skymaster in the Vietnam War. He received a Bronze Star and an Air Medal, along with numerous decorations for his distinguished service. After the war, Carol resumed his career flying the C-141 at Charleston Air Force Base in Charleston, SC. Although his experience as an Air Force pilot gave him the opportunity for worldwide travels and adventures, Carol never forgot his North Carolina roots. Carol was a true patriot.
After retiring from the US Air Force in 1980, Carol and Janice returned to the Leatherman family farm and built a home where they lived together happily until his death. They built a lumber transportation business, CJ Leatherman Lumber, and started the Catawba Valley Charolais cattle farm. Carol later converted the cattle farm into growing hay and crops. Carol served on the Catawba County Planning Board for 13 years and on the Board of Directors at the local Propst Fire Department. He was a faithful member of Plateau United Methodist Church and an active part of the community for more than 40 years.
Carol enjoyed traveling with Janice, playing golf, and spending time with family. His favorite trip was spending their 50th wedding anniversary on the Greek island of Mykonos on a Mediterranean cruise. His most enjoyable activity was working on his family farm, which was always dear to his heart.
A service to celebrate Carol’s life was held on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at Plateau United Methodist Church in Vale. Rev. Peter Brown will officiated. Burial with full military honors followed in the church cemetery. Those serving as pallbearers were; Dusty Wilfong, Gary Smith, Van Proctor, Lucas Richard, Clifton Smith and Steve Shull.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Plateau United Methodist Church, 3315 Scronce Rd, Vale, NC 28168
Condolences may be sent to the Leatherman family at www.bennettfuneralservice.com
The Leatherman family is in the care of Bennett Funeral Service of Newton, 828-465-2111.