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Vann Edward Winfree Jr., 87, of Wilson, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, with his wife of 60 years by his side.
Vann was a beloved son, husband, father, brother and grandfather who dedicated his life to his family. Affectionately known by his close friends and family as “Buddy” and to his grandchildren as “PaPa,” Vann’s life on earth was an amazing journey of hard work, accomplishment, love and joy.
Vann attended North Carolina State College on the GI Bill and graduated in 1954 with a textile engineering degree. Joining the military after college, Vann served his country for four years as a ranger with the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. Vann loved serving his country, but it wasn’t until he met Juanna Joy Mitchell that he knew the true love of his life. Vann asked Juanna to be his wife after just six months of courting, and the wedding followed in 1959. Vann and his bride soon moved to Kinston where he began his career with Dupont, and it was here that they made their home together and started a family. Two children later and many years with Dupont, Vann not only endeared himself to his family with his commitment as a husband and father, but he also became a well-respected process engineer at Dupont and a well-loved citizen in the community.
The last eight years of Vann’s life were spent in Wilson, with his wife, living next door to his daughter and her family. It was no secret that watching his grandchildren grow up was Vann’s greatest treasure in life and that being close to both his daughter and her family, along with his son and his family in Cary, completed his circle in the end. Vann had a full and wonderful life worth celebrating. Everyone who had the honor of knowing him knew that Vann was a blessed man, and if you really knew him, you knew that “Buddy” was, most of all, a happy man.
Dear Buddy, I will love you forever; Dear Dad, thank you. Words cannot express our love for you; Dear PaPa, you were our sunshine, and we will always love and keep you in our hearts.
Vann is survived by his wife, Juanna Winfree; his daughter, Jan Lee, and her husband, Joel; and his son, Mitchell Winfree, and his wife, Tracey; his seven grandchildren, Zack Lee, and his wife, Natalie, Jacob Lee, Evan Lee, Bryson Lee, Taylor Winfree, Perry Winfree and Gray Winfree; his sister, Marguerite Carter; and his sister-in-law, Jackie Cole.
Vann was preceded in death by his parents, Vann and Myrtle Winfree; and his sister, Florence Averitt.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, 809 W. Gannon Ave. in Zebulon. The ceremony will be conducted by Vann’s nephew, the Rev. Grant Carter, and following the service, the family is hosting a celebration of life reception between the hours of 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. in the home of Jan Lee at 3302 Geneva Place in Wilson. All friends and family are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to be given to Hospice and Palliative Care of Nash General, 2460 Curtis Ellis Drive, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
Funeral preparations and services are being provided by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary’s St., Raleigh.
THE WILSON TIMES publishes brief death notices at no charge. Full obituaries are published on a paid basis. The obituary deadline is 4 p.m. the day before the obituary is to be published. Contact Lori Parrish at 252-265-7850 with questions.