04/25/06 — CUYLER D. BEST JR.

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March 2, 1940-April 24, 2006

Cuyler Deems Best Jr., 66, of Wilson, died on April 24, 2006, after a lengthy illness.

A native of Wayne County, he was the youngest son of the late Cuyler Deems Best, Sr. and Frances Herring Best. He was a graduate of North Carolina State University and taught vocational agriculture in Nash County for over 30 years.

Mr. Best was well regarded for his contributions to agricultural education at the local, regional, state, and national levels. He began his teaching career in 1962 at Coopers High School in Nashville, N.C., and then taught at Southern Nash Senior High School in Bailey, NC., until his retirement in 2000. During his tenure at Coopers and Southern Nash as Future Farmers of America advisor, he led student teams to many awards at the county, state, and national level. He also directed many FFA rallies, leadership and agricultural education workshops, and helped develop the state curriculum in agriculture education. He served on the state FFA board of directors and the state FFA camp committee. Upon his retirement, the Southern Nash FFA Alumni created a scholarship in his honor which is presented annually.

Mr. Best was President of the North Carolina Agricultural Teachers Association and served as a District Officer and as an Advisory Committee member for several years. He also received the North Carolina Honorary Degree. At the national level, he received the American Honorary Degree and the Regional Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association.

Mr. Best was an active member of the Coopers Ruritan Club, serving as president in 1967, 1985, 1986, and 1990. He was named Ruritan of the Year in 1998. Recently, Mr. Best was the first recipient of the Tom Downing Fellowship from the Coopers Ruritan Club. This is an award few Ruritans have received honoring their years of service to the community.

Mr. Best was a former member of Sandy Cross Methodist Church in Nashville, N.C., and was an active member at Winstead United Methodist Church in Wilson, N.C. He held many offices during his membership at these churches.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home Chapel in Goldsboro, with Rev. John Wenberg officiating. Burial will follow at Wayne Memorial Park.

Mr. Best is survived by his wife, Nellie Overman Best; two sons, Jeffrey Glenn Best, and his wife, Elizabeth, of Greer, S.C., and Terry Deems Best and his wife, Melissa, of Wake Forest, N.C. He is also survived by his two stepsons, Eric Westbrook, and his wife, Ramona, of Sims, N.C., and Chip Westbrook of Greenville, N.C. In addition, he is survived by seven grandchildren, Brittany Leighanne Best, Ashley Elizabeth Best, Colin Deems Best, Lorena Elizabeth Best, Ryan Westbrook, Daniel Westbrook, and Rachel Westbrook; two sisters, Elizabeth Best Biggerstaff, and her husband, Daries Biggerstaff, of Youngsville, N.C., and Frances Best Smith of Asheville, N.C.; and a sister-in-law, Lillie F. Best of Goldsboro.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Karl M. Best.

Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions may be made to the Cuyler Best Scholarship Fund, care of Southern Nash FFA, 6446 Southern Nash Road, Bailey, NC 27807.

The family will receive relatives and friends Wednesday, April 26, 2006, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro, and other times at his home.

(Written & Paid by the Family)

Published in Obituaries on April 25, 2006 2:03 PM