Ned R. Lavengood Sr., 87, entrepreneur involved in many business ventures

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Ned R. Lavengood
Ned R. Lavengood

WILMINGTON — Ned R. Lavengood Sr. passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, 2016, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington, N.C.  He was born in Wabash, Ind., on Dec. 30, 1928.  He was a veteran of the Korean War, 1951 to 1953, 101st Airborne.

He attended Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he studied trumpet and conducting.  He graduated from International Business College in accounting, obtaining his B.S. from Indiana University and his MBA from New York University.

He considered himself an entrepreneur, involved in many types of business ventures in New York, Chicago and North Carolina. Among them, he was particularly proud of being a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable at Metropolitan Life in NYC, and his work with Keyes Fiber, where he was Midwest Regional Sales Manager.  He was more recently co-owner of Sibyl’s Antiques and Collectibles with his wife, Sibyl Lavengood.  He was an avid Heisey Glass collector and served as president of the North Carolina Heisey Glass Collectors.  He also served on the board of the National Heisey Collectors of America.

His church was always an important part of his life.  He was ordained an elder and sang in the choir at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City. He also served as elder and choir member in Downer’s Grove Christian Church in Illinois and First Christian Church in Wilson, N.C.  He was elder emeritus at First Christian Church in Wilmington, N.C.  He was appointed to and served as trustee on the Board of the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago for over 30 years.

A mason for over 60 years, last month he received his Diamond Jubilee pin from St. Johns Lodge #1 where he had been a member. He also played trumpet in the Sudan Temple Shrine Band for many years and was extremely proud of being a bugler for the American Legion, including Local Post 10.

He was a great believer in volunteer work. He felt you should leave a community better off than when you arrived. “Put more in than you take out!”  In New York, he was secretary of the Tri Faith Housing Authority, president of the Gramercy Town and Village Lions Club and night mayor every Wednesday night for Mayor Lindsay.  In Chicago, he was president of Toastmasters International, and started the first group home for boys in DuPage County.

In Wilson, N.C., he played French horn in the Wilson Brass Band, and started a program to feed the homeless. In Wilmington, he was involved with the Salvation Army Band, volunteered at Rachel Freeman Elementary School, was a guardian ad litem, and a tutor at the Cape Fear Literacy Council.  He and Sibyl were founding members of the Parents Council at UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington, where they served as co-presidents.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sibyl McCulloch Lavengood; daughter, Traci Lavengood Gemmell, and her husband, Nole; grandchildren, Carson and Callie Gemmell, of Roseville, Calif.; son, Ned Jr., and his wife, Melissa; and grandchildren, Liza and Levi Lavengood of Wilmington, N.C.  He is also survived by his nephews, Don Bussard, and his wife, Linda, of Sebring, Fla., Terry Bussard, and his wife, Elaine, and Kim Bussard, and his wife, Lani, of Warsaw, Ind.  He was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Lou Bussard of Warsaw, Ind.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at First Christian Church, Wilmington, N.C., with a reception following in the social hall. The family will receive visitors at that time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to First Christian Church or Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

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