Edward Phifer Pless, 79, of Eastwood Avenue in Morganton passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at Grace Hospital. He was born on April 1, 1929 in Morganton, and was the son of the late Joseph Willard Pless and Annie Causby Pless. Phifer was a veteran of the US Army and was stationed in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He was an avid sports fan with the Atlanta Braves and Carolina Tarheels being his favorite teams. Phifer also enjoyed East Burke football games with his friends.He grew up attending Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, usher, and Sunday school teacher. Phifer moved his membership to Hopewell Baptist Church in 1997 and enjoyed working in their tape ministry, visiting and delivering tapes to shut-ins. He was a man of faith and loved the Lord.Phifer lived and worked in Burke County his entire life. He worked in the furniture industry at the "Old Morganton Plant," Henredon, and Blackstone Wood Products. Through the years, he also had many part-time jobs at Hardee’s, General Electric, Dana, and Western Piedmont Community College.Eastwood Homes on Amherst Road was Phifer’s residence for 45 years and he loved his neighborhood. He has even been called "Mr. Eastwood Homes" as he knew nearly everyone who lived there. One of Phifer’s favorite activities was sitting on his front porch watching the neighborhood with his four-legged companion, Chipper Pless. He loved all of his neighbors, greatly appreciated their visits, and cherished their friendships.Phifer Pless was a kind, gentle Christian man, respected by all who knew him. He loved to make others laugh and never met a stranger. He spoke often of memories of his parents and growing up with three brothers and two sisters. The highlight of his week was a sausage biscuit breakfast with his siblings and his wonderful caregiver, Barbara Williams who was extremely important to him. Phifer’s greatest pride was in his family – his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchild. Phifer and his sweet personality will be greatly missed.He is survived by his daughters, Anne Pless Wright and husband, Martin, of Charlotte, NC, Vickie Jean Pless of Murfreesboro, TN, and Piper Pless Poteat of North Wilkesboro, NC; two brothers, , William Pless and wife, Relda of Morganton and Carl Pless and wife, Shirley of Lenoir, NC; two sisters, Mary Katherine Pless and Helen Pless Parris, both of Morganton; five grandchildren, Jeanna Poteat Foster and Nathan Poteat, both of North Wilkesboro, Heather Poteat Fisher and husband, Joseph, and Ben Johnson, all of Chapel Hill, and Matt Johnson of Valdese; and a great-granddaughter, Carrie Foster of North Wilkesboro.In addition to his parents, Phifer was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Jean Ledford Pless; and a brother, Robert Pless.Phifer’s daughters would like to express their deepest, heartfelt appreciation to Barbara Williams who has selflessly cared for their father in a way that enabled him to live his life in the comfort of his own home. The family would also like to express their gratitude to Phifer’s physician, Dr. Edward Plyler and his staff for their care and friendship for many years. Phifer actually looked forward to his visits with Dr. Plyler.Funeral services will be at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 15, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Homer Murdock officiating. Entombment will follow at Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum with military rites conducted by the Valdese American Legion Post #234. The family will receive friends Sunday from 2:30 until 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burke United Christian Ministries, 305-B West Union St., Morganton, NC 28655.
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