Robert "Earl" Mace, 84, of Burkemont Rd., Morganton, NC died Wednesday February 27, 2008 following a period of declining health. He was born on March 14, 1923 in Lincoln County, NC and was a son of the late Columbus and Florence Walker Mace. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline Causby Mace; a son, James Leon Mace; brothers, Leslie, Paul, and Fred Mace; and by sisters, Ruby Duvall and Donnie Saulman. Mr. Mace was a U. S. Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and completed 33 missions as a waist gunner on a B-17. He was a retired employee of the U. S. Postal Service and following his retirement he operated Mace Grocery near Burkemont Baptist Church where he was a member. Earl was an avid hunter and fisherman.Surviving are sons, Karl L. Mace of Concord, NC, Ron Mace and his wife, Adelia, and Bruce A. Mace, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Richard Mace and his wife, Tammy, Sharon Mace, Diane Work and her husband, David, and Dustin Mace and his wife, Shannon; great-grandchildren, James Earl Mace and his wife, Cybill and Samantha Mace; great-great-grandson, James Earl Mace, Jr.; and daughter-in-law, Linda Mace.The funeral will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2008, at Burkemont Baptist Church with Rev. Eddy Bunton officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. Friday at Burkemont Baptist Church. The body will lie in state from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. Saturday At other times the family will be at the home of Ron and Adelia Mace, 4219 Burkemont Rd., Memorial contributions may be made to Burkemont Baptist Church, 4668 Burkemont Rd., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

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