On the morning of Saturday, March 2, 2019, while surrounded by his family, George Don Hemphill, age 96, went home to be with the Lord.
A native of Rutherford County, Don was born on November 2, 1922 to the late George and Effie Queen Hemphill. He is preceded in death by fourteen siblings. Don was the oldest member of Spencer Baptist Church. He retired from the United States Postal Service and was a member of American Legion, Post 56. Farming was his passion, and he loved working in his fields in Montford Cove. He was a proud veteran of the United States Army serving in the European Theatre. Don was a Corporal, Infantry, serving with the C Co, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, 3rd Army. He was wounded September 11, 1944 in France. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (BSM), Purple Heart (PH), Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB), World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Service Stars, American Campaign Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Pin, and Expert Marksman Badge. He was also awarded the Carnegie Hero Medal later in his life for attempting to save a fellow man's life.
Don is survived by his wife of seventy years, Athala Conner Hemphill; one daughter, Donna Hemphill Robbins (Rodney); one brother, James Britt Hemphill; one grandson, James Robbins (Whitney) and one great-granddaughter on the way.
A funeral service to celebrate Don's life will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Spencer Baptist Church with Reverend Bruce Caldwell officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., prior to the service at the church. Interment with military honors provided by the United States Army will take place following the service at Montford Cove Baptist Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Don's memory are asked to consider, Hospice of Carolina Foothills, Post Office Box 336, Forest City, North Carolina 28043; Spencer Baptist Church, 187 North Oak Street, Spindale, North Carolina 28160; Montford Cove Baptist Church, 4920 Cove Road, Union Mills, North Carolina 28167; American Legion Post 56/Van Fund, Post Office Box 457, Marion, North Carolina 28752 or your local High School/Future Farmers of America.
Beam Funeral Service is assisting the Hemphill family. For further information or to sign the online guestbook, please visit our website, www.beamfuneralservice.com, or call 828-559-8111.