View Archive


Aug. 3, 1943-Dec. 14, 2013

WARSAW -- Following a courageous battle with cancer, Dec. 14, 2013, William Graham Hood III departed this earth and went to spend eternity with his savior, Jesus Christ.

He was born the son of William G. Hood Jr. and Doris Harris Hood in Goldsboro, N.C., Aug. 3, 1943.

A graduate of Goldsboro High School in 1961, he received an Associate of Arts degree from Mars Hill College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Atlantic Christian College.

After entering the United States Navy's aviation officer candidate program, he earned the coveted gold wings as a naval aviator. Graham proudly served his country with tours of duty as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Fla., transport pilot based in Hawaii, tactical C-130 pilot based in Guam, as the aviation officer recruiter for the state of South Carolina and Western North Carolina and as a reserve officer in Naval Control of Shipping in Wilmington, N.C. He was a Vietnam veteran, and wore that badge with pride.

In 1977, Graham opened a Western Auto store in Warsaw, and ran a successful business for the next 24 years.

During these years, he served the community of Warsaw as an active member of Warsaw Baptist Church, town commissioner, in VFW and in Rotary.

One of his most memorable years of service was as president of Warsaw-Kenansville Rotary Club, whose motto is, "Service Above Self." He was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for his dedication to the values of Rotary.

A turning point in Graham's life occurred in 1976 when he accepted Christ. From that moment on, he sought how best to serve his Lord. Several years later, he became involved with the Aviation Ministry of the North Carolina Baptist Men, and flew his airplane to help others through Angel Flight.

When unable to fly due to his illness, he served as treasurer of Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic. Graham was also the contact person for anyone requiring the services of Angel Flight in North Carolina.

May 15, 2000, Graham was diagnosed with multiple myeloma as a result of contact with Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. Throughout his lengthy illness, he maintained a positive attitude, and enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends.

Graham was blessed in his world with a loving family and many friends.

He is survived by his wife and help mate, Vickie O'Tuel Hood, and his children, Suzanne Elizabeth Sanford of Gastonia, Angela Hood Vestal and husband, Ellis, of Charlotte and Christopher Graham Hood and wife, Lisa, of Kenansville.

Graham was the proud grandfather of six granddaughters, two grandsons and a great-grandson.

He is also survived by his sister, Gayle Hood Davis of Goldsboro.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Atkins and the staff of Southeastern Medical Oncology and the staff of the fourth floor of Wayne Memorial Hospital for their compassionate care during Graham's illness.

Visitation will be at Warsaw Baptist Church Tuesday, Dec. 17, between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m.

Funeral and praise service at Warsaw Baptist Church will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, with a graveside service to follow.


Published in Obituaries on December 16, 2013 1:48 PM