Arthur E. “Bill” Gantt, 89, of New London, NC went to abide with his Heavenly Father on August 31, 2012 at Stanly Regional Center in Albemarle, NC.
The family will receive friends Monday, September 3 from 1 – 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First Baptist Church of Albemarle, with the service following at 2 p.m. Burial will follow the service at New London Cemetery. Rev. Harold McDonald and Rev. William H. Faggart will officiate the services.
Arthur E. Gantt was born in Kings Mountain, NC on October 29, 1922 to the late Arthur Durham and Bessie May Turner Gantt. He was also preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Elliot and her husband, Packard, of Shelby and Clara Mae Almond and her husband, Keith, of Albemarle.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Wanda Mechling Gantt; son, Art Gantt and wife Lynn Gantt of Greenville, SC; daughter, Frances Gantt Avent and husband John of Andrews, NC; grandchildren: Brinkley and Barron Gantt, Will, John Michael, Rebecca Joy, Daniel and Anna Grace Avent; nieces and nephew: Ann & Tom Allgood, Linda & William Hill, Rosemary and Ed Thomas, Keith & Amber Almond and Mary Lillian & Dragan Stankovic and several great nieces and nephews.
Mr. Gantt spoke warmly of his childhood memories. He talked about Boy Scouts, sports, including football and riding his bike down Crowder Mountain.
He attended Western Carolina University before enlisting voluntarily in the U. S. Army during the WWII where he obtained the rank of Staff Sargent in Chemical Warfare Enemy Equipment Intelligence. He was honored for discovering, identifying and photographing nerve gas behind enemy lines in Europe (over 1,000 photos). It was understood that the plans would allow for the manufacturing nerve gas in America, but WWII ended first.
The French government awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Bronze to Gantt while he was a student at N.C. State pursuing his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering. The Croix de Guerre was awarded by the French government for “individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces.” Officially, Mr. Gantt served in Normandy, North France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. He received EAMET Campaign Medal with 5 Bronze Service Stars, American Theater Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal AR 600-68 and Victory Medal. Mr. Gantt took great pride in them being first in Paris (attached to TF). Mr. Gantt saw service in many areas during his time. In later years, Mr. Gantt opened up and fondly remembered personally having the pleasure of interacting with General Patton. He also talked about making a training film showing the use of a new gas mask for the army. Mr. Gantt was extremely concerned about the well-being of the U.S. Troops along with General Patton. He graduated from NC State University as a chemical engineer. He retired from Alcoa Aluminum where he was in procurement for 34 years also holding key positions in Safety, Personnel and Procurement for Construction.
Mr. Gantt was a great provider and supporter of his family. He loved golfing with his friends. He really enjoyed exercising, took excellent care of his health, loved his family, and enjoyed gardening and caring for his yard. He also loved to fish while spending time with his family.
Mr. Gantt really enjoyed fellowship through the Church, his church family at First Baptist Church of Albemarle and took great pleasure in his friends at the Saints Sunday School Class. He loved all sports including golf and especially N.C. State football and basketball and cherished the rivalry and ribbing with his Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Duke colleagues.
Mr. Gantt lived a long, fruitful blessed life full of dignity, good times, good stories and good memories. The family really wishes to express their appreciation to the nurses and staff of Stanly Regional Medical Center and Dr. Edward Kepp for the loving care and friendship.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 202 N. Second St., Albemarle, NC 28001, American Red Cross, 243 West Main Street, Albemarle, NC 28001 or Hospice of Stanly County, 960 North First Street, Albemarle, NC 28001.
Hartsell Funeral Home of Albemarle is serving the Gantt family.