CONOVER Paul Eugene Gaither Jr., 74, of Conover, passed away Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Born Sept. 28, 1945, in Surry County, he was the son of the late Annie Mae Simmons Gaither and Paul Eugene Gaither Sr. A U.S. Army veteran from 1968 to 1970, Paul served in Vietnam, deployment from Nov. 8, 1968 to Nov. 9, 1969, in the 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Wolfhounds of the 25th Infantry division. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart (1st OLC), Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his uncle, Franklin Martin "Moe" Gaither; brothers, Charles Eugene Gaither, William Jerry Gaither; nephews, Mike Gaither and Mark Cockerham. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Beth Hedrick Gaither; sons, Charles Eugene Gaither and fiancée, Jessica Schiefelbein, Paul Vernon Gaither and wife, Sarah; grandchildren, Charlotte Gaither, August Gaither; nephews and nieces, Greg Gaither, Raymond Leatherman, Matthew Hedrick, Tracey Hedrick, Amanda Hedrick, Grace Mecimore; and sister, Marie Cockerham. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 4420 County Home Rd. in Conover, with the Rev. Scott Bollinger officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive family and friends at the church, one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Purple Heart Homes, 755 Washington Ave., Statesville, NC 28677; or Camp Bud Schiele, 668 Boy Scout Rd., Rutherfordton, NC 28139. Condolences may be sent to the Gaither family at www.willisreynoldsfh.com. Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton is honored to serve the Gaither family.
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