Wayne Carringer, resident of Robbinsville, North Carolina, passed away on July 1, 2018, at the Asheville, NC VA Community Living Center at the age of 98, while surrounded by his family. His passing was peaceful, as he knew that his future was secured in Jesus Christ.
The manner of life he lived speaks more eloquently than words can convey in this limited space. Having grown up in poverty, he did not know that he was poor. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939. In 1941 he was given a plum assignment in the pearl of the orient, Manila, Philippine Islands. After two weeks, he found himself serving in a provisional infantry unit facing a well-trained, well-supplied, highly motivated Japanese invasion. His fellow defenders were the original “expendables.” These defenders were ordered onto the peninsula of Bataan ill-equipped with obsolete World War I weaponry and inadequate food. No assistance was ever sent. Wayne often said that the troops did not surrender but were surrendered by their commanding officers.
Following the surrender and the infamous “Bataan Death March,” Wayne endured three and one-half years as a prisoner of war under horrendous conditions. He was liberated at war’s end weighing 75 pounds. After the war, he dedicated himself to serving the Lord and his fellow man. He worked tirelessly helping fellow veterans get the care and benefits they deserved. He served as a deacon of the Robbinsville First Baptist Church, he was a Master Mason and a member of the Sojourners (an organization of masons who are or were in the military), a member of the American Legion, the VFW, and 40-year chairman of the Survivors of Bataan and Corregidor Reunion. Those who knew him can tell you about the man. He was a hero to many and especially to his family.
Wayne is survived by his wife of 71 years, WillaMae Orr Carringer, son Dr. Jerry Carringer (Margaret), daughter Pamela Moody (Morris), and son Clark “Chip” Carringer (Yvette). He leaves behind grandchildren, Robert and Russell Moody, Taylor and Tucker Carringer, Sara, Leah and Seth Carringer and 4 great-grandchildren, Sydney, Tori, Garrett and Koda Moody.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis Marion and Amanda Carringer, brothers Andy and Porter Carringer, sisters Ivy Millsaps, Flora Farr, and Fanny Prince.
Funeral services, complete with military honors, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Robbinsville First Baptist Church. Dr. Jerry Carringer will officiate with assistance from other family members and Rev. Jimmy Millsaps.
The family will receive friends from 12 noon until 2 p.m. at the church prior to the service. Committal services will follow at Old Mother Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the charity of your choice.
Townson-Smith Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Carringer family. An online register is available at www.townson-smithfuneralhome.com.