Robert A. “Tony” Yancey, age 67, of Marion, passed away Thursday, October 11, 2018 at his home surrounded by those who loved him. Tony was a native of Catawba County, born on September 14, 1951 to Joyce Rockett Yancey and the late John A. “Lefty” Yancey of Morganton. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 26 years, Carol Lou Phillips Yancey (May 9, 2015) and his father, Lefty (November 1, 1981).
Growing up in a Newton Conover neighborhood described as a neighborhood of “small homes with big yards,” Tony spent all of his time outside playing sports in the backyard with his family and neighbors while his father, Lefty, would hit “pop ups” for everyone to catch. His love for sports remained strong throughout his life, as it does for all Yanceys. When his family moved to Morganton, NC, Tony was a standout in all sports at Morganton High School, but he was a fantastic basketball player. He was described by the Morganton News Herald as a “human goal post” due to his 6”4 stature and build.
Tony graduated from Morganton High in 1969, received his undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill and later earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina while raising his first born child, Jackie. He worked through summers to make ends meet as a law student and a father, even driving a Pepsi truck in Columbia, SC. This particular summer job resulted in a lucky portion of the city receiving an abundant amount of free Pepsi following Tony overturning the truck. After graduation from law school, Tony moved to Marion, NC with his young family, now including a son, Robert.
Although Tony served as a successful attorney in Marion for more than 40 years, he will be remembered for his life-of-the-party spirit, copious knowledge of music, generosity, kindness to all and love for his friends, family and Daisy (his beloved dog). A pillar of the community, Tony loved Marion and his friends and colleagues who resided there. He never missed a night at the local bar catching up on the day’s gossip and listening to his friends’ many stories. His zest for life, humor and respect for all human beings were passed down to his children, grandchildren and all of those who knew and loved him. He will never be forgotten.
Surviving, in addition to his mother, are his two children, Jackie Y. Jensen and husband Gary of Little Switzerland and Rev. Robert A. Yancey, Jr. and wife Elizabeth of Fairfax, VA; three brothers, John R. Yancey and wife Anne of Charleston, SC, Jeff Yancey and wife Cindy of Asheville, and Clay Yancey and wife Liz of Morganton; his sister, Lana Yancey Deal of Morganton; five grandchildren, Jessica (Andrew) Ketner, Jordan (Nathan) Gowan, Jaie Jensen and Ben and Will Yancey; two great-grandchildren, Ellie and Sawyer Gowan; nieces and nephews; John (McCall) Yancey, Catherine (Kevin) Brookes, Shane (Stephanie) Nelson, Brian Nelson, Sam (Abby) Yancey, Todd (Alicia) Yancey, Rainer, Rhiannon and Lansing Butler and his faithful canine companion, Daisy; and many other relatives and friends.
A service to celebrate his life will take place Friday, October 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. As Tony was a lover of rock music, please feel free to wear an item of clothing that represents a band Tony loved or one of your personal favorites. Remember Tony by spending more time with friends and family, toasting him with your favorite cocktail, participating in a pickup game of basketball or tennis, turning the volume up to dance to your favorite song and helping those around you. Additional memorials may be made to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills at PO Box 336, Forest City, NC 28043, or to the American Cancer Society at 120 Executive Park #1, Asheville, NC 28801.
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