Published in Hickory
Daily Record on July 20, 2011
Joe Ray Abernethy,
77, of Newton, passed away on Monday, July 18, 2011, at his residence.
Born May 21, 1934, in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Robert
Franklin Abernethy and Sydnie Lominac Clark.
Joe was a graduate of Newton-Conover High School, where he was a star
athlete in football, basketball and baseball. After high school, he signed
with the Minnesota Twins to play minor league baseball. He played for
numerous teams until he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
After his military service, he became a play-er/manager for the Hickory
Rebels. He also was a player/manager for the Newton-Conover Twins. For
four consecutive years, he was named as an all-star manager for an all-star
After retiring from baseball, he opened his own business and worked on
the farm which he owned until his death. He was a member of the Veterans
of Foreign Wars, American Legion Post 16 and the Elks Lodge in Newton.
He leaves behind his daughter, Leigh Ann Abernethy, of Morganton; his
brothers, Jack Abernethy of Conover, and Robert Abernethy of Chipley,
Fla.; his aunt, Edith "Hon" Benton; and numerous cousins, nieces
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 21, at Catawba
Memorial Park in Hickory with military rites provided by the American
Legion Post 16 in Newton. The Rev. Fred Thompson will officiate.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20,
at Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home in Newton. Memorials may be made to Humane
Society of Catawba Valley, PO Box 63, Hickory, NC 28603.
Condolences may be sent to the Abernethy family at www. drumfuneralhome.com
The Abernethy family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds
Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.