John Andrew Spaulding completed this life’s journey on January 5, 2004. The first born son of Andrew Martin and Hattie Moore Spaulding, his journey began over 90 years ago in Columbus County, North Carolina.
John received his early education at Farmers Union School in Clarkton, N.C.. He graduated from Hillside High School in Durham. He continued his education at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, where he earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture; and subsequently received a M.S. degree from N.C. State University in Raleigh.
Following the completion of his education, he began a long and distinguished career where he never strayed far from his agricultural roots. He first taught agriculture at Booker T. Washington High School in Clarkton. He then served as Bladen County agricultural extension agent; then district agricultural extension agent for the state of N.C., stationed at N C A&T State University, Greensboro; and finally as district agricultural extension chairman for the Northwestern district of N.C., stationed at N.C. State University, for a total of 38 years of continuous service.
The love of God was an important ingredient in John’s life. He professed his faith in the Lord and joined Rehobeth AME Zion Church in his home town at the tender age of 11. Participation in the church was a significant portion of John’s life, no matter where he lived. He served in various leadership and religious capacities throughout his exemplary life, which included the distinction of having taught Sunday school for over 50 years. John also enjoyed varied service through the years as deacon, elder, member of the Men’s Council, Sunday School superintendent, Cub Scout troop leader, and member of the Synod of the Piedmont Presbyterian Churches to highlight a few roles.
A part of his full and productive life also included civic and community work. John was a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and a charter member of the Greensboro Alumni Chapter where he served as treasurer for over 30 years. He was a member of the Executive Board and Political Action Committee of the NAACP; executive board member for Hospice in Greensboro and later the Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington; Democratic Party chairman of Precinct 6 in Greensboro; member and founder of his Neighborhood Watch Program in Greensboro; and member of the Greensboro Planning & Community Development Board. Awards and recognition came abundantly as a result of his efforts, including more notably the Senior Citizen of the Year Award for Greensboro in 1985, the United Negro College Fund Award in 1997 in Whiteville, and the Older Adult Ministries Award for the Outstanding Older Adult in 2001, for the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina. At the 2002 Spaulding family reunion, which was held in Durham, John was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding leadership and illustrious family service, which has since been named the “John Spaulding Lifetime Achievement Award” for future recipients.
Perseverance was a strong trait of John’s that came in handy when he spent approximately 12 years, following his retirement, conducting genealogy research into the history and roots of the Spaulding family. He traveled thousands of miles, spent a lot of his own money, collected information, and interviewed approximately 86 family members. He collaborated with his cousin, Dr. Louis Mitchell, and they co-authored a book in 1989 entitled “A Story of the Descendants of Benjamin Spaulding (1773-1862)” .
ohn met and married Juanita Boone in 1938. To this union, four children were born: Vincent, Virgil, Valarie, and Vernon. John and “Neet” were happily married for over 49 years. They enjoyed the love of their children and grandchildren; spending time and socializing with their many friends; gardening; playing cards; working together in the church; and traveling extensively, both domestically and overseas, after their retirement. He was widowed by the death of Juanita in 1987. John later returned to his Columbus County roots and married a longtime family friend, Arthalia Bennett in 1991. John and Arthalia enjoyed almost 10 years of married life together, where he became actively involved in Arthalia’s business, Peoples Funeral Home in Whiteville, N.C. and served as the Public Relations Director. Arthalia pre-deceased him in 2000.
In addition to his children, John is survived by daughters-in-law Paula Spaulding and Diana Spaulding; son-in-law Ted Little; grandchildren, Scott Spaulding, Marti Spaulding, Tara Turner (Curtis), Darren Spaulding (Tish), Marcus Hughes, Nikolas Spaulding (Kyha), Jarrody Spaulding, Candace Spaulding Ragins, Ivan Pendleton; and great grand-daughter Chandler Devon Spaulding. He also leaves to mourn his loss a sister, Thelma Harmon (Tasker), two aunts Cecil Spaulding and Eleanor Spaulding, and a host of cousins and other relatives and friends.
OBITUARY "To Live forever in the hearts of family and friends is to never die."
MRS. JUANITA BOONE SPAULDING, daughter of the late John and Dora Boone was born on September 19, 1913 in Whiteville, North Carolina. Her earthly pilgrimage came to a close on Wednesday evening, November 25, at the Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. A product of the Redstone Academy (A Presbyterian Preparatory School) in Lumberton, North Carolina, she attened Fayetteville State Normal School, received the B.S. degree from Winston-Salem State University, and the M.S. degree from North Carolina A&T State University. She did further study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She began her career as a public school teacher in Columbus County, North Carolina, and later taught in Bladen County. Her family moved to Greensboro in 1944, and she began teaching before retiring in 1975. She was very active in the educational professional organizations, having served as president of the Classroom Teachers Association of the Greensboro Unit of the North Carolina Teachers Association (NCTA). The NCTA was the predecessor organization to the NCAE for Negro educators. Because of her many fine attributes as a teacher, she was named Ben L. Smith Teacher of the Year in Greensboro in 1969. She was active in a number of civic, social, professional and religious organizations. In the community, she was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, NAACP, YWCP, American Association of University Women, the Kappa Silhouettes, and the Azalea Garden Club, which she founded. At St. James Presbyterian Church, she was an elder, former deacon, former superintendent of the Sunday church school, Bible school teacher, kindergarten teacher in the Sunday church school for more than 40 years, cub scout leader, member of the Lucy Laney Missionary Circle, found of the Essie B. Meares Circle, and the former leader of Girl School Troup Number 17. She was honored on July 5, 1980 by 26 of her former scouts with a banquet and roast held at Holiday Inn Four Seasons. The theme for the occasion was, "Mrs. Spaulding: A Light in Our Lives." She also served as Presbyterial President for Yadkin Presbytery and Synodical President in the Catawba Synod of the former United Presbyterian Church. Surviving are her husband, John A. Spaulding of the home; daughter, Mrs. Valarie S. Grier of Greensboro; three sons, Vincent M. Spaulding of Washington, D.C., Virgil A. and Vernon L. Spaulding of Greensboro; eight grandchildren; three nieces; one nephew; a host of other relatives and friends. Her Spirit Lives On Her physical presence has left us, but her spirit lives on. Her spirit lives in the hearts of all of us who have known her and have been touched and influenced by her. What we loved most about her was her special attitude toward life, her conern for others, her courage, and her positive outlook on life. What we loved about her, we would have loved no matter what the body looked like that carried her soul and conveyed her sense of happiness, fairplay, and pride. Weep not, for her spirit still lives on within us and in everything that we do. She accomplished the mission of life that God delegated to her. He has called her now to come home and be by His side. Her departure was peaceful. We will miss her, but we were fortunate to have had her as long as we did. She is resting now. Her job has been well done. by Vincet Spaulding