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William Robert McCracken
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Obituary for William Robert McCracken

"1921 - 2018"

Waynesville, William Robert McCracken, 96, passed peacefully on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Autumn Care of Waynesville.

A native and resident of Haywood County, he was the son of the late William Crawford and Mollie Ferguson McCracken of Waynesville. He was also preceded
in death by his wife, Stella Sumner McCracken, who died in 1997; and a sister, Wilma Shackleton.

Mr. McCracken grew up and worked on his family dairy farm, McCracken Dairy, which encompassed the ‘Ninevah’ area of Waynesville. The business served the local community, including many boarding houses and hotels, for many years until being destroyed by fire in the late 30s. He was a stand-out athlete at Waynesville High School, lettering in football and track & field, always remembering his coach, C. E. Weatherby, fondly. He began his studies at Mars Hill College, but transferred to N. C. State University, and joined its Officers Candidate Program. He also "walked on" to the college football team, and played 2 seasons as half back. After 2 years in college, he was called to serve in WWII, joining the Army. He was assigned to the 30th Infantry Division, as a Second Lieutenant, earning multiple service medals, including the Bronze Star, for combat in the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach, Battle of the Hedgerows, Battle of the Bulge and the Philippines Liberation. After the war, he graduated from Clemson University with a B. S. in Agriculture. He was also a member of the football program, until a shoulder injury left him unable to compete.

He retired from the Army Corps of Engineers at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland with 35 years of service. Upon returning to Waynesville after retirement, he obtained his Assisted Living Administrator License, and ran his family business, McCracken Rest Home, for 2 years. He attended First United Methodist Church of Waynesville, was a member of the American Legion Post #47, and the Pisgah Promenaders Square Dance Club. He enjoyed dancing, watching college football and the Atlanta Braves, spending winters in Vero Beach, Florida, gardening, horse racing, big band music, classic movies and visiting with friends.

He is survived by a son, William R. McCracken, Jr. "Billy" of Asheville; a step-daughter, Elaine Cook (Tom) of Jarrettsville, Maryland; a stepson, Steven Huff of Street, Maryland; seven step-grandchildren; and seven step-great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the Waynesville chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend Dr. Robert Blackburn, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hill Cemetery with Military honors. The family will receive friends from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Pigeon Community Development Center, 450 Pigeon Street Waynesville, NC 28786 in his honor.

The care of Mr. McCracken has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of William Robert McCracken, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Wells Funeral Home - Waynesville

296 North Main Street
Waynesville, NC 28786





2:30 PM
Waynesville Chapel of Wells Funeral Home

296 N. Main Street
Waynesville, NC 28786

Cemetery Details



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Memorial Contribution

Pigeon Community Development Center

450 Pigeon Street
Waynesville, NC 28786

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