A ‘Perfect Daddy’, Gone Too Soon - Carolina Country

A ‘Perfect Daddy’, Gone Too Soon

Recalling the life of a Pee Dee Electric lineman

A ‘Perfect Daddy’, Gone Too Soon

I grew up in the Beverly Hills community of Rockingham along with my two younger brothers. We certainly have wonderful childhood memories of our daddy.

He built a playground in our backyard, with a see-saw, tire swings and even an electric merry-go-round with three speeds. When it snowed, he pulled us, along with neighborhood kids, along the unpaved roads in the community on a huge wooden sled he built to hook up to his Carolina blue Studebaker truck. Daddy even added a room onto the house with a fireplace, where we gathered to warm our feet and hands, and drink some of mom’s hot cocoa. We also used the room for birthday parties and family gatherings. Our childhood is filled with beach, mountain and camping memories. Our first camping adventure took place on Lake Tillery.

Full of energy and a wonderful spirit, the only time I remember Daddy sitting still was to watch the “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Wagon Train” while my two brothers sat in his lap. The memories changed, however, on Monday, Feb. 13, 1967, which started as a normal, cold day.

Daddy, dressed in his lineman uniform, cooked our breakfast (he let Mom sleep a little later), kissed us goodbye and headed to work at 7 a.m. in the Pee Dee Electric work truck. We never dreamed that he wouldn’t return home again. That morning, at 9 a.m., he came in contact with a live wire while on top of a pole in the Roberdel Community. CPR was performed by his co-workers, which failed to restart his heart.

We never dreamed that he wouldn’t return home again.

All the Valentines that we had addressed on Sunday would need to wait, and the special one to Daddy would never be read.

Our lives completely changed that day. Mom was only 37 years old and could not bear going to work and seeing a Pee Dee Electric truck. She had to get away from Rockingham, so she bought a house on Lake Tillery and we moved.

I never understood God’s reasoning for taking daddy from us until a couple of years ago. My husband and I visited one of the co-workers who performed CPR on Daddy, who also was a good friend of his. His daughter shared a heart-warming story with me about her dad becoming a Christian. The day Daddy was killed, a man was saved, becoming a devout man who loved his church. I left in tears that day because I had finally learned why “our perfect Daddy” had been taken away to heaven.

Sharly Manfield Lowder, New London, a member of Union Power Cooperative

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Comments (2)

  • I was an employee of Pee Dee Electric and at work on the same job the day that this accident happened and remember this story very well. I have wondered so many times what happened to the family of this fellow coworker. would like to know more of your family.

    Edward Kirk | July 31, 2019 | reply

  • I loved this story. It brought tears to my eyes as I read and retold it to others. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt memory.

    Judy | August 01, 2019 | reply

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