Julius “Son” Creech passed away Monday, September 14, 2020. He was born in Tarboro on February 20, 1923 and was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Victor Herman Creech.
Son grew up with a lifelong love of music, starting with violin and saxophone before moving on to his favorite, the clarinet. He attended Tarboro High School, where he became well known for forming a band, “Scream n’ Screech with Sonny Creech.” He then attended Georgia Military Institute on a music scholarship where he had the honor of being chosen as one of the musicians for the Gone With The Wind movie premiere in Atlanta in 1939.
From there, he attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and became a member of the Marching Tar Heel band and the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. While in college, Son answered the call to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He became a Lieutenant and earned his flight wings in Pensacola, FL. His aircraft was a seaplane, the PBM Mariner.
Near the end of the war, he married his college sweetheart Betty Gray Parker and after the war, returned to Tarboro to start a family and begin a sixty-seven year career in printing and publishing, including his time as publisher of The Daily Southerner newspaper. Son and Betty Gray celebrated many things in life together, including their shared love of the big band sound; many afternoons were spent with he on clarinet and she on piano filling their home with music.
As an early pastime in Tarboro, Son continued his passion for flying. In fact, Tarboro native and golfing legend Harvie Ward once stated, “Sonny Creech scared the hell out of me!” when Son looped the airplane upside down on a joy ride.
Son was a lifelong member and supporter of Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, a longtime Tarboro Rotary member, and he remained a strong advocate for the well being of local businesses and his community.
Those close to him, including his beloved employees, will remember him best by his sense of humor, his kind and gentle spirit and his generosity.
Son is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Gray Parker Creech, his brother Victor Herman Creech, Jr., his sisters Dale Creech Brown and Dene Creech Williams, his son Paul Parker Creech, his daughter-in-law Ruth Howard Creech, and his grandson Thomas Jerome Creech, Jr.
He is survived by his son David W. Creech of Oriental, NC, his daughter Blair Creech Carlton of Raleigh, his son Thomas Jerome Creech and wife, Celia Vaughn Creech (“Lindy”) of Tarboro, his son Robert Gray Creech and wife, Betsy Reade Creech of Raleigh, eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
A private family graveside service is being planned. Memorials can be made to the Thomas Jerome Creech, Jr. Youth Fellowship Fund at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, 303 E. St. James Street, Tarboro, NC 27886.
Arrangements are entrusted to Carlisle Funeral Home, Inc., of Tarboro. Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting www.carlislefuneralhome.com.
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