John D. Broyhill, Sr., 90, of Leon Coffey Road, Blowing Rock, N.C., passed away Saturday morning, May 25, 2019, at Firsthealth Hospice House in West End, N.C.
John was born November 16, 1928 in Triplett, N.C. He was the son of the late Thomas and Nora Carlton Broyhill.
His father died when he was 6 years old, leaving his mother to raise 6 children under the age of 10. He went to school in the Bamboo area and later graduated from Blowing Rock High School. He went to Detroit, MI to work to get money to go to college. His brothers, Glenn and Ralph were working there. He got two jobs and would work the first shift at Chrysler, jump into his car and drive to Briggs & Stratton for the second shift. He learned how to play billiards for money in the big city.
After serving two years in the Army during the Korean conflict, he attended Appalachian State Teachers College. While there, he helped to start the golf team and traveled the state playing for Appalachian. He graduated with honors from Appalachian State in 1957. John was instrumental in bringing Tweetsie to Watauga County and was even a conductor on the train. He began working in insurance and real estate and eventually bought Blowing Rock Realty & Ins from HP Holshouser. He ran a successful insurance business for many years. John also loved real estate and developing property.
Even though life was hard, he found the time to excel in sports and help his mother with the family farm. When he was growing up, he would run to Blowing Rock from their home at Tweetsie. He loved sports and basketball. He would practice till near dark, then run through the woods home. He said it was always scary running home.
Johns biggest passion was golf! He loved the game!! It was his dream to build his own golf course. The land was purchased, the plans were drawn, the fairways were cleared and then there were problems with the powers that be. He could not get the permits needed and then he had some health issues. He ended up selling the property, but never lost his interest in the game. He won many tournaments and championships over the years and even had 4 hole-in-ones. The winning of the Club Championship at Boone Golf Club was especially poignant. He was still playing golf at 89 with his long-time friend, Charles Coley. They loved to look for golf balls. During the last 4 years, they found more than 16,000 balls. Some were donated to Brunswick County and Moore County 1st Tee programs.
John is survived by one son, John D. Broyhill, Jr., and wife, Donna, of Summerfield, N.C.; two daughters, Noreen B. Sawyer and husband, Steve, of West End, N.C., and Terry B. Purvis and husband, Kermit, of Pinehurst, N.C.; his grandchildren, Mollie A. Markey and husband, Tom, Mitchell A. Wilcox, Lindsay F. Broyhill, Seth J. Purvis, A. Joel Purvis, Stephen N. Sawyer, Jr., and Sarah J. Broyhill; his great-grandchildren, Ben, Clark and Carson Markey. He is also survived by his special friend, Teresa Gillespie.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers: Glenn Broyhill, Ralph Broyhill and wife, Marie, and Taft Broyhill and wife, Catherin; and two sisters: Lydia Lentz and husband, Carter, and Cleo Ford and husband, Steve.
Funeral services for John D. Broyhill, Sr., will be conducted Friday afternoon, May 31, 2019, at 2 p.m., at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1:00 until 2:00 oclock. Military graveside rites and burial, provided by American Legion Post 130 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 90, will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Gardens.
The family will receive friends Friday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 oclock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Firsthealth Hospice House, 251 Campground Road, West End, NC 27376 or to Caring Hearts for Canines, PO Box 1219, Southern Pines, NC 28388
Online condolences may be sent to the Broyhill family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com