Dr. W. Arthur Earp Sr., 84, died Tuesday, February 1, 2022, after a brief illness. A service celebrating Art’s life and faith was held Saturday, February 5, 2022 at First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro. A second memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 48 Meeting St., in Charleston, SC. Born on July 21, 1937, in Boomer, Art was the middle child of Topsy Lee Jones and William Johnson Earp. After graduating from Wilkes Central High School in 1954, he was drafted by the Army and served for 3 years in Germany. He attended Mars Hill College in North Carolina, where he fell in love with his wife of 55 years, Dianne Moore Price of Charleston, SC. On June 11, 1966, Art married Dianne in First Baptist Church on Meeting Street in Charleston, SC. He graduated from Mars Hill with a bachelor of arts in English and Greek in 1967. In 1972, he received his MA in education from The Citadel, and in 1975 he earned an EdD from the University of Tennessee. Though he originally intended to enter the ministry, Art found his true calling as an educator. After teaching at Rivers High School for one year, he applied to First Baptist School, where he became headmaster in 1968. Throughout his tenure as principal, Dr. Earp touched the lives of thousands of students. He regarded the First Baptist students, faculty and staff as family, enthusiastically following the careers of graduates and keeping in touch with former colleagues. The school saw tremendous growth during his 33-year career, expanding both academic and athletic programs. In 1993, he received the SC Independent School Association Leadership Award and was a recipient of the Alumni of the Year Education Award from Mars Hill College in 1999. Art and Dianne resided in Charleston from 1967 to 2001, when they moved to Boomer. In retirement, Art found great joy in working for nearly 15 years at Lowes Foods, where his servant leadership and cheerful countenance earned him the affection and deep respect of both coworkers and patrons. A devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, he instilled his strong values and faith in both his own children and in the students in his care. He loved to laugh, even though he could never tell a joke well, and a smile always graced his face. Art loved music, having begun singing in church choirs at a young age, and he especially enjoyed listening to old-time gospel hymns and singing along with his daughter. He was a gentle soul, described as “the sweetest man” by all who knew him. In addition to his wife, Dr. Earp is survived by son, W. Arthur “Artie” Earp Jr. (Kelly) of Fletcher; daughter, Caroline Earp of Columbia, SC; step-grandchildren, Carson, Hayden, and Meredith Waller; sisters, Linda Earp Bentley (the late James Worth) of Moravian Falls and Elizabeth “Libby” Earp Billings (Charles) of Boomer; sister-in-law, Mary Price Bolt (Ken) of Greenville, SC; and six nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to First Baptist School of Charleston, SC (Attn: Advancement Office, 48 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC, 29401) or Mountain Valley Hospice (401 Technology Lane, Suite 200, Mt. Airy, NC 27030). Online condolences may be left at www.greer-mcelveenfuneralhome.com . Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the Earp family.

Posted in: pbinfo.com

Posted on: 2022-02-14

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