12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Robert Claywell English, Jr. stepped into heaven on May 15th, 2023. His wife, partner, and best friend of 57 years, Glenda Tallent English, was by his side until the end. Robert lived a long life – faithful to God, his family, his country, and his community.
He was born on June 4th, 1941, to Robert Claywell English, Sr. and Sibyl Harris English, both of Valdese, NC, both predeceased. He was the oldest of three children. One sister, Rebecca Stamey, also preceded him in death. His youngest sister, Pat Stroud, survives him and resides in Valdese with husband Dean.
He placed his faith in Christ at the age of 12 years old at Valdese First Baptist Church. Robert developed a love of God’s Word and faithfully studied it all his life. He had a love of the outdoors and the North Carolina mountains that began at a young age as well.
He graduated from Valdese High School in 1959. Not long after high school, he joined the United States Air Force. He worked in the air defense command center and spent the largest amount of his enlisted time on base in Okinawa. He loved his country and proudly served it, which he considered a privilege that he cherished all his life.
After leaving the military, he returned to Burke County and settled in Morganton, where he married Glenda, whom he knew from Cross Memorial Baptist Church. They were married December 19th, 1965.
Robert began working in textiles after returning from the military but also pursued a passion of preaching God’s Word and ministering to God’s people. He surrendered to the call to preach in 1967 at South Mountain Baptist Church while under the pastoral oversight of his father-in-law, Reverend Howard Tallent. He received theological education at Fruitland Baptist Bible College and Campbell University.
He served at three churches during his pastorate: Smyrna Baptist Church in Morganton, Faith Chapel Baptist Church in Valdese, and Eagle Springs Baptist Church in Eagle Springs. In all, Robert pastored for approximately 30 years. Though he faithfully served many people during his ministry, he had a special place in his heart for those who were overlooked or forgotten in his community, faithfully visiting widows/widowers/sick of the community, whether members of his churches or not.
He is survived by each of his three children, their spouses, and his five grandchildren – Sam English of Morganton; Eric and Dawn (English) Finley of Phoenix, AZ; and Andy and Hope English, as well as their five children, Cruz, Jude, John Mac, Mallie, and Campbell, all of Raleigh, NC. He loved each of them with all his heart and prayed for them daily.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at Sossoman Funeral Home. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. in the Colonial Chapel of the funeral home with Rev. Danny McNeilly officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park with military honors provided by the US Air Force.
Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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Pat, I am so sorry about your Dad. I remember him well and taking care of him at Grace Heights. He was a fine man.