ROCKINGHAM — Charles Bennett Deane Jr. passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Feb. 6, 2022.
Charles was born in Rockingham, Feb. 21, 1937, the son of Congressman C.B. Deane and Agnes Cree Deane. He graduated from Rockingham High School in 1955 and went on to attend Wake Forest College, class of 1959. He then attended Wake Forest Law School and graduated in 1962 and remained an avid Wake Forest fan all his days. It is in law school where he met the love of his life, Myra Upchurch Deane, to whom he was married for 58 years. They were married and honeymooned after Naval Officer Candidate/JAG schools and before his first duty station.
He honorably served four years in the Navy attaining the rank of lieutenant. After his stint in the Navy, Charles and Myra returned to Rockingham where he began his law practice In 1970, Charles was elected to the N.C. Senate. After serving in the Senate, he returned to full-time practice of law in Rockingham where he and Myra raised four sons. Over the years, he coached all four of his sons in little league basketball as well as countless other boys from Rockingham. He would drive his station wagon around town picking up his team for practice and then drive them back home afterwards.
Giving back to the community was always important to Charles. By the end of his life, in addition to his time in the Senate, he had served 16 years on the Richmond County School Board, search committees for a new superintendent of schools and pastor of First Baptist Church, trustee of Baptist Hospital, chairman of Keep Richmond County Beautiful, first vice president of the Baptist State Convention, a member of the Cole Foundation, and was named Citizen of the Year for Richmond County.
Of all his accomplishments, his greatest pride was his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He relished spending time with each and every one of them. They were the joy of his life.
Charles was an avid tennis player and gardener and he thoroughly enjoyed traveling with his wife and family. He was passionate about birds and loved his dogs. Charles also thoroughly enjoyed live theatre and even participated in the local community theater. He continued to practice law until the day he had the stroke that disabled him in 2010. Myra, his loving and dutiful wife, cared for him at their home from the day of his stroke until his death.
Charles is survived by his wife of 58 years, Myra Upchurch Deane; sisters, Cree Deane Sherman of Southern Pines and Carol Deane Becker of Edenton; sister-in-law Norma Upchurch Davis (Jim) of Greensboro; children C. Bennett Deane III (wife Heather) of Rockingham; Winston Deane (wife Amy) of Apex; Matthew Deane (wife Jenna) of Charlotte; Jason Deane (wife Courtney) of Rockingham; grandchildren Christian Joy (husband Lovelle), Charles B. Deane IV, Cole Deane, Madison Deane, Julia Deane, Trent Deane, Noah Deane and Rhett Deane; and great-grandchildren, Brynleigh Joy and Lincoln Joy.
Contributions would be encouraged to the Richmond Community Theater, the Richmond County Humane Society or a charity of your choice.
His funeral will be held at First United Methodist Church in Rockingham on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. Visitation with the family will be held at the First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 9 from 6-8 p.m.
Condolences may be made online at carterfuneral.net.
Carter Funeral Home of Rockingham is assisting the Deane family.