HICKORY Alexander Newton Corpening, loving husband, father, and grandpa, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Judson and Winnifred Hoyle Corpening; as well as his son, Judson Royster Corpening; grandson, Rick Spivey; and four-legged friend, partner. Alex was born in Statesville, Oct. 15, 1938. After graduating from Statesville High School, Class of 1956, and went on to earn a degree in ceramic engineering from Clemson in 1960. Alex remained a loyal fan of the Clemson Tigers, supporting his team through thick and thin, and to this day his family's blood runs orange. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army in the early 1960's, Alex managed several ceramic engineering facilities across the eastern United States and eventually took the position of plant manager at Hyalyn Porcelain in Hickory. He also filled in as a Sunday school teacher for the Joy Class at St. Luke's United Methodist Church and served as an usher for the church as well. After retiring, Alex took on the role of substitute teacher for the Hickory Public Schools in which he genuinely cared for his students and their futures. Anyone close to Alex knows he was a man of many passions. An avid reader, particularly drawn to lyrical poetry, he could captivate an unexpecting audience with lines from a Shakespearean sonnet or A.E. Housman poem, but he could also entertain a crowd with his wit, charm, and hilarious storytelling. He loved the outdoors, taking regular hikes in the mountains with his family and beloved dogs and biking around town almost every day. His dedication to helping others made him well-known and appreciated at the Red Cross in Huntersville, where he donated platelets 100 times. Alex is survived by his wife, Catherine Royster Corpening; son, Paul Corpening of Hickory; daughter, Wendy Corpening of Hickory; grandson, Judson Corpening of Greensboro; and dog, Buddy. Services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m., at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, officiated by the Rev. Joe Westfall and Monica Childers. Members of the Joy Class will serve as honorary pallbearers. Memorial contributions may be given to Clemson University Alumni Association, Class of 1960; or St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Child Development Center, 52 16th Ave., NW, Hickory, NC 28601. Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Alexander Newton Corpening. Online condolences may be sent to www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.

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