Richard Whitehead Pickette, passed peacefully at The Homeplace on Sunday, October 31st, after a long, courageous battle with cancer. His partner, best friend, soulmate and caregiver, Brenda Riddick, was by his side.
A graveside will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 in Sunnyside Cemetery, Scotland Neck, NC with the Reverend Steve Herring officiating.
Richard was preceded in death by his Father, William L. Pickette and his Mother, Edna W. Pickette. His ex-wife, of 14 years, Margaret L. Wells.
Surviving family are his daughter, Aaron P. Totty and her husband Greg. His two grandchildren, Jacob and Layla Totty. Two brothers, William (Bill) L. Pickette, Jr., and his children, William L. (Lee) Pickette III and Meghan Pickette. Douglas T. Pickette and his wife Betty Jo, and their daughter, Ashley P. Bunnell. Their two children, Colton and Zoey Bunnell. One sister, Ann P. Davidson and husband, Mark. Their three children, Kenan, Stuart and Paul Davidson. Richard is also survived by his best little buddy and loyal companion, Boo Boo.
Richard graduated high school at Hobgood Academy. He went on to further his studies at Louisburg College and then on to ECU. It was nearing the end of his academic career, that he chose woodworking, that would become his lifelong passion. He went on to teach and train himself how to carve wood to make beautiful homemade pieces of heirloom furniture. His handmade pieces are in homes across the United States. He started with basic non mechanical hand tools and worked up from there. For many years, he worked from the Old Roseneath Methodist Church, located just beside his Homeplace on Hwy 258. He lost that old church shop to Hurricane Isabel in 2003. He eventually transformed a portion of his backyard barn into his shop, where he continued to produce high quality furniture. Richard had a heart of pure gold for many people that had no hopes of restoring family heirlooms when Hurricane Floyd hit in 1999. He made it his mission to help get those pieces brought back to their former glory for their owners to enjoy again. And most jobs he did for minimal pay. His love for furniture, especially antique. And not just furniture. If you were lucky enough, in his heyday, you were able to catch a glimpse of him hauling a load of lumber from an old house on that classic 1946 GMC truck. Richard was a true artist and to see his Homeplace before and after the transformation, you would see how talented he was. He and Margaret worked diligently to get moldings up and painted. To hang the perfect chandelier, and right on to the beautiful curtains. They made a good team, he and she. Richard suffered through many obstacles, but he never let that get him down. He loved walks by the water and to just sit and watch boats go by. He could tell you a little about everyone of them. He enjoyed long porch chat sessions, listening to the birds sing their songs and the windchimes blowing in the breeze. Boat rides and car rides up north, anywhere past the Roanoke River, north of Scotland Neck, where he spent much of his working career. He never knew a stranger and would help anyone who was down on their luck. He loved telling stories of days gone by and sharing memories that he kept stored. He lived a full life with heartfelt kindness and compassion for many.
He loved family and his heritage. He enjoyed meeting some of what he called, Long lost cousins. On the Whitehead side, Debbie Elmore Alston, who was more like a sister to Richard than a cousin. They connected about 5 years ago and became very close, chatting about what may have happened on a particular day or ancestors from long ago. He connected with a few Pickette cousins also. Julie McCullough, whom he chatted with often and Scott Pickette, whom he was able to visit once. It made Richard so very happy to finally meet them all. Richard was strong on heritage and very happy to get to know some of his family. Among his many friends, as he had too many to list, one special friend that helped Richard in his time of need, is Art Leggett. His many acts of kindness will never go unnoticed. He will truly be missed, but never forgotten.
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