John Calvin "J.C." Sossoman, Jr., 90, of Wedgewood Court, Morganton, NC died Sunday, October 17, 2010 at his home following a period of declining health. Born in Midland, NC in southern Cabarrus County, he was the son of the late Dr. John Calvin Sossoman, Sr. and Lola Carol Hamilton Sossoman. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved sister and brother-in-law, Sara Sossoman Todderud and Richard E. "Dick" Todderud. He served during World War II as a medic with the U.S. Army in Europe and in the Phillipines and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. J.C attended the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Cincinnati, OH and the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN. During his early funeral service career, he worked at Vogler Funeral Home, Winston-Salem, NC and at Wells Funeral Home, Canton, NC. On February 28, 1949, he and his wife, Smaro, established Sossoman Funeral Home in Morganton which opened on Mother’s Day of that year. Known for his keen wit and humorous anecdotes, J.C was in great demand as a Master of Ceremonies and was always very active in community affairs. He was a tireless supporter of local veterans and was for many years a member and past commander of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In the early 1960’s, the U.S. Army Green Berets were in the Wilson Creek Gorge area for training and he was made an Honorary Colonel because of his efforts as the civilian liaison for the military. He was one of the organizers of the Burke County Rescue Squad and for over thirty years, he served as Director of the Burke County Civil Defense Agency.J.C. was a Mason for over sixty years and was a member of the Catawba Valley Masonic Lodge #217. He was a Shriner in the Oasis Shrine Temple in Charlotte and as a Shriner, he helped many area children receive orthopedic care in the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. He was also a member of the Loyal Order of Jesters. He was a member and past President of the Morganton Lions Club and in May of this year he was recognized by the club for sixty years of dedicated service to the blind and visually impaired.J.C. was devoted to his profession of funeral service and loved serving his community as a funeral director. J.C. was a member and past President of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association, which honored him with an honorary lifetime membership in June of 2002. He was a member and past District Governor of the National Funeral Directors Association and a past President of the North Carolina State Board of Mortuary Science.For over sixty years, he was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church in Morganton.Surviving are his wife of sixty-four years, Smaro Black Sossoman of the home; sons, Charles S. Sossoman and J. Calvin Sossoman, III and his wife, Mary Lou Dougher Sossoman all of Morganton; a daughter, Madelyn Sossoman Phillips and her husband, Fred of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Mark A. Sossoman of Morganton, Kathleen Sossoman Link and her husband, Edwin of Decatur, GA, Caroline Phillips and Eric Phillips of Greensboro; great grandchildren, Brendan, Conner, and Ian Sossoman and their mother, Heather Wiles Sossoman of Morganton and Elizabeth Link of Decatur.The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. C. Sydnor Thompson officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery with military honors by the N.C. National Guard. The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at Sossoman Funeral Home. Memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 N. King St., Morganton, NC 28655, to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607, or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.
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