Cover photo for Richard Ellis Faulkner's Obituary
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1938 Richard 2024

Richard Ellis Faulkner

December 19, 1938 — May 16, 2024


Richard Ellis Faulkner completed his earthly journey on May 16, 2024, at the age of 85 years. Born on December 19, 1938 in Jacksonville, Florida, he was the son of the late Nathaniel Quentin Faulkner and Esther Ellis Faulkner.  
He is survived by his cherished wife of 61 years, Patricia Shuman Faulkner; his children Julie Faulkner Connelly (Christopher) and John Richard Faulkner (Mark Groeninger); and his adored grandchildren Julia Ernst (Ryan), Scott Connelly, and Robert Connelly. Also surviving are his brother Ronald Faulkner (Kay), his niece Donna Faulkner, nephew Steven Faulkner (Troy Larkin), and great-niece Sydney Dewey. Additionally, he loved and adored his family gained through marriage, adopting the McKenzie family as his own. 

Richard spent his early life in Henderson, NC, where he met his beloved wife Pat at Henderson High School. He graduated from Presbyterian College before marrying Pat in 1962. Richard served as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army and was stationed in Munich, Germany for two years before starting a family in Charlotte, NC. He worked tirelessly to provide for his family, moving to Marion, NC in 1975, where he worked as controller of Currier Piano Company, business director and co-owner of the McDowell Express newspaper, accounting controller for Etta Packaging, and personnel director for Broughton Hospital. Richard served as Office Director for the United States 11th District Congressman Charles Taylor, where he specialized in Veteran Affairs and addressed citizen needs in Western North Carolina.  Richard loved participating in local politics and was a true patriot.  

Richard’s life was filled with service to his community. He was an active member at First Baptist Church of Marion for nearly 50 years. In addition to serving as a deacon and church treasurer, he sang in the bass section of the adult choir nearly every Sunday. He was a co-director of the 1985 youth choir trip to Europe, creating lifetime memories for sixty youth and inspiring them along their faith journeys. Before moving to Marion, he and Pat were members of Park Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, where he also served as a deacon and choir member. They started the Journey Sunday School class in 1964, a part of which later became the “Bridge Club,” a beloved family of lifelong friends. Upon moving to Concord in 2021 to be near their daughter, Richard and Pat enjoyed returning to Park Road Church, where he sang in the choir just weeks before his passing. 

Richard impacted the lives of others in countless ways. As chairman of the McDowell County Recreation Board, he led the county in building its first competition lap pool, allowing the formation of the first swim team, the McDowell Mariners. He was chairman of the McDowell County Red Cross during the blizzard of 1993 and spent days in shelters helping those impacted by the storm. Richard was always willing to give a teenager an odd job- mostly pulling the endless supply of weeds from his yard- only to take them out fishing or to get a pizza and talk about life. His favorite pastime, however, was spending time with his grandchildren, who named him “Papa.” He was intensely interested in all their endeavors and loved them unconditionally. He was immensely proud of them and did not hesitate to share a Papa brag or two.   

Richard’s legacy is one of love, kindness, and generosity. He was the bedrock of the Faulkner family, teaching his family the value of hard work, integrity, and compassion. His memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). 

A celebration of life service will be held at Stafford Baptist Church in Furman, SC, at 11am on June 1, 2024. Memorials in Richard’s memory can be made to the Stafford Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Robert Mixon, PO Box 85, Furman, SC 29921; to First Baptist Church of Marion, 99 N Main Street, Marion, NC 28752; or to Park Road Baptist Church, 3900 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209. 

Hartsell Funeral Home of Concord is serving the Faulkner family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Ellis Faulkner, please visit our flower store.


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