In Memoriam: Ned R. Lavengood Sr, 1928-2016
Ned R Lavengood Sr, a former and long-serving trustee, died December 29, 2016 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington, NC.
Born in Wabash, Indiana, on December 30, 1928, he attended Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he studied trumpet and conducting. He graduated from International Business College in accounting, earned his BS from Indiana University and an MBA at New York University. He was a veteran of the Korean War, 1951 to 1953 (101st Airborne).
He considered himself an entrepreneur, and was involved in many types of business ventures in New York, Chicago, and North Carolina. He was particularly proud of being a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable at Metropolitan Life NYC and of his work with Keyes Fiber, where he was Midwest Regional Sales Manager. He was more recently co-owner of Sibyl’s Antiques and Collectables with his wife, Sibyl Lavengood. An avid Heisey Glass collector, he served as President of the NC Heisey Glass Collectors and on the board of the National Heisey Collectors of America.
He served as a trustee of the Disciples Divinity House for 28 years until he stepped down in 2006. He commented that he came to each meeting looking to bring or make one significant contribution to each meeting. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was always an important part of his life. He served as Elder and sang in the choir at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City, and later at the First Christian Churches in Downers Grove, Illinois, and in Wilson, NC. He was Elder Emeritus at First Christian Church in Wilmington, NC. In addition, he was a Mason for over 60 years, played trumpet in the Sudan Temple Shrine Band for many years, and was a bugler for the American Legion.
A great believer in volunteer work, he felt you should leave a community better off than when you arrived: “Put more in than you take out!” In New York, he was Secretary of the Tri Faith Housing Authority, President of the Gramercy Town and Village Lions Club and night mayor every Wednesday night for Mayor Lindsay. In Chicago, he was President of Toastmasters International, and started the first group home for boys in DuPage County. In Wilson, NC, he played French Horn in the Wilson Brass Band, and started a program to feed the homeless. In Wilmington, he was involved with the Salvation Army Band, volunteered at Rachel Freeman Elementary School, was a Guardian Ad Litem, and a tutor at the Cape Fear Literacy Council. He and Sibyl were founding members of the Parents Council at UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington, where they served as Co-Presidents.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sibyl McCulloch Lavengood, daughter Traci Lavengood Gemmell (Nole Gemmell), son Ned Jr (Melissa), and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held January 6 at First Christian Church, Wilmington, NC.