Henry "Fred" Fredrick Thurston, 80, of Gastonia passed away January 2, 2019 at Caromont Regional Medical Center. Fred was born on April 17, 1938 in Greenville, SC to the late William Henry and Dorea Emery Thurston. He is also preceded in death by his wife, Betty Bryant Thurston. Fred was a longtime member of McAdenville Wesleyan Church. He was also a member of the VFW and the American Legion Post 0023. After many years of service, Fred retired from Gaston County School Systems, Facility Services Division, as a Groundskeeper. He was a huge fan of Johnny Cash and his music, loved watching the birds on his bird feeders, loved woodworking in his shop and making bird houses. Fred was a very knowledgeable man full of all kinds of information. He loved guns, loved his country, and loved serving others. In fact, he loved his country so much he believed his blood was red, white, and blue. Fred served and retired after 35 years as a Master Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne and as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army where he served two tours in Vietnam.
Fred is survived by his children, Cindy Revis and husband Jeff and Jerry Pace Jr. and wife Sidney; brother and sister in laws, Charles Bryant and wife Claudia, Margaret Helton and husband Clyde; Helene Burnham and husband Kelly, and Louis Bryant and wife Barbara; sister, Bobbie Thurston Snipes; niece, Laura Stout; nephew, Brian Woolard; grandchildren, Jordan Brooks, Madison Brooks, Justin Pace, and Trevor Pace; and longtime special family friend, Katherine Calhoun.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Fred will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at McAdenville Wesleyan Church with Pastor Pat Hannon officiating with full military honors. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m. Inurnment services will be held privately at a later date.