Joe Billy Putnam, age 94, of Cherryville, NC passed away peacefully Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at his residence. He was born June 18, 1926, in Gaston County to the late Walter Bryan and Docia Harriet Mauney Putnam.
Mr. Putnam enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17 and served three years during World War II in the South Pacific Theater as a Signalman on the Destroyer Escort USS Stafford. He was Honorably Discharged on March 23, 1946. Following his naval service, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and graduated in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration. He began his career at Southern Bell and joined Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation in 1956. He was promoted throughout his career and concluded as Manager of National Accounts including Textile Sales. He retired around 1993 and was sought out by former competitors for consulting.
His family and farm were his pride and joy. Over three generations of Putnams grew up in his home. He raised 5 sons, welcomed delightful, lovely daughters-in-law, and lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He loved his church, where he taught Sunday School for over 20 years. His passions included serving his community and raising Black Angus cattle on Putnam Acres, the family farm, where the family hosted the Cherryville New Year Shooters each year. He served on the Gaston County School Board, actively participated in the American Legion Post 100 and the Masons, volunteered for Scouting and many others activities– seen and unseen – and was found from time to time on the golf course.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years, Frances Elizabeth Furr Putnam; brothers, Hugh, Raleigh, W.B., James, and Kenneth Putnam; sisters, Agnes Putnam, Theda Byrd and Juanita Warner.
He is survived by five sons, Dr. Bill Putnam (Jackie) of Jacksonville FL., Walter Putnam (Pamela) of Charlotte, Bob Putnam (Sharon) of Cherryville, Harry Putnam (Tanya) of Charlotte, and John Putnam (Anne) of Charlotte; 22 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; and sister, Martha Jane Zeitler of Wilmington, NC.
An outdoor memorial service, officiated by Reverend Zack Christy, will be held Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10:30 AM on the front lawn of the First United Methodist Church, 601 North Pink Street, Cherryville, NC 28021. Military honors will be presented by the United States Naval Honor Guard.
Guests are invited to visit with the family before the service from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Comfortable casual dress for outdoor service is recommended. Please respect all guests by using masks and social distancing.
Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 601 N. Pink St., Cherryville, NC 28021.
Condolences may be made to www.carpentersfuneralhome.net