HICKORY Mr. Larry Allen Wittenberg died peacefully at his home in Hickory, surrounded by loved ones, Saturday, July 13, 2019. Larry is survived by his devoted wife, Revonda R. Wittenberg of Hickory; sons, Edward Wittenberg of Pembroke, Allen Wittenberg and wife, Kara, of Hickory; sister, Judy Wittenberg Valentine and husband, Ron, of Statesville; brother, Bill Wittenberg and wife, Julia, of Asheboro; sisters-in-law, Polly Shook of Hickory, Frances Robinson of Conover; grandsons, Gabe and Cash Wittenberg of Hickory; nieces, LeeAnna Lott and husband, Brian, of Clemmons, Polly Johnston and husband, Keevan, of Hickory, Stacey Stalvey of Hickory; nephews, Will Wittenberg and wife, Betsy, of Asheboro, Aaron Wittenberg and wife, Rhys, of High Point, Matt Robinson and wife, Elaine, of Newton, Chris Shook and wife, Linda, of Hickory; and many loved great-nephews and -nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, Claud and AnnaLee (Bowman) Wittenberg. Larry was cared for by devoted long-term caregivers, Libby "Cookie" Brown, Loretta Hoover, Linda Matthews, Louise Branch and Joan Miller. Larry Wittenberg was born Sept. 8, 1939, in Hickory, to Claud and AnnaLee Wittenberg. He graduated from Hickory High School in 1957. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a degree in History in 1961, and then, later in his career, from North Carolina A&T with a master's degree in Driver's Safety Education. He married Revonda Robinson of Hickory, Dec. 19, 1964. They shared 55 years of marriage, building strong family bonds with the Lord and His service always at the center. They devoted their life together as a model of Christian marriage to their children, not only influencing their biological sons, but the many, many adopted sons Larry coached and mentored. It was a lifelong dedication to this example that made their union so special. His early coaching career began at Taylorsville High School and Bethlehem Elementary School, before moving on to Carolina Military Academy in Maxton. He also had teaching and coaching positions at Scotland County High School, and then closer to home, at Hildebran High School. In July 1970, he began his most beloved teaching and coaching position at Hickory High School. While at Hickory, he served the school in many capacities. He was a history and driver's safety educator for 28 years. He was a much admired and respected football coach, as well as a track and field coach. He was coach to several individual state champions in track and field. Many of those athletes still hold numerous state records. He led the football team through many successful seasons. During his time as head football coach, his teams won three conference titles; and he was named Northwestern 4A Conference Coach of the Year on three separate occasions. He was a respected member of his community and helped to mentor, encourage, and support many of his players, both on and off the field. He will be remembered for his unyielding support and nurturing of his players, whom he treasured. After retiring from official coaching duties at HHS in 1991, he continued his coaching career at the Hickory Recreational Department, 9-, 10-, 11- and 12-year-old divisions. He led them to an illustrious 42-2 record, all the while ingraining in them the base offense of the Hickory High School football team. Several of the young boys from those teams competed on the 1996 state championship team from Hickory High School, including his own nephew, Will Wittenberg. He was a devout Christian, believing that a strong faith in the Lord was the foundation for a successful life both on and off the field. He was long-time member of West Hickory Baptist Church in Hickory, and later, Christ United Baptist Church in Long View. He served both churches in many capacities and very much enjoyed teaching his Sunday morning Bible study class for over 30 years. Larry was inducted into the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Given his devotion to the sports of football, track and, especially, to all of his players, he considered this to be one of the greatest honors of his long career. Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church in Hickory at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 17, followed by a burial at Fairview Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., this evening (Tuesday, July 16), at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Northwestern North Carolina Fellowship of Christian Athletes, P.O. Box 2802, Hickory, NC 28603, or contact Lance Shealy by phone at 828-455-1637. Bass-Smith Funeral Home is serving the family of Larry Allen Wittenberg and online condolences may be sent at www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.
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