Friday, 25 November 2016 20:07

Edward Dwite Debnam Sr.

Edward Dwite Debnam Sr., husband of the late Gloria Faye Massey Debnam, passed away Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 at the Duke Raleigh Hospital in Raleigh.


Edward Dwite Debnam was born Sept. 25, 1921 in Wake County.

He grew up in Zebulon, the son of the late Mallie Thurston Debnam and Lela Ann Weathersby Debnam and stepmother, Mary Mitchell Debnam. He was also predeceased in death by his sisters, Elise Debnam Marle and Mary Idaline Debnam and brothers, Mallie Clifford Debnam and Wilbur Thurston Debnam.

He married Gloria Faye Massey, also of Zebulon, Oct. 27, 1944 in Oakland, California, after returning from being wounded in the South Pacific during World War II. They were married for 66 years and nine months.

Dwite was a Captain in the Sixth Marine Division where he earned the Purple Heart Award. After the war he and his brother Wilbur Thurston Debnam Sr. returned to Wake County and both completed their degrees from the School of Textiles at North Carolina State University in 1949. Dwite also attended Georgia Tech in 1953 studying production control and The University of South Carolina in 1968 in the Executive Development Program.

In 1954 he moved to Rockingham where he served as the superintendent of J.P. Stevens & Co. Inc. textile mills, Hannah Picket Plant and the Martha Baum Plant. While in Rockingham he was an usher at the First Baptist Church for 20 years. He also supervised at American Yarn & Processing in Mount Holly, J.P. Stevens & Co. in Milledgeville, Georgia, Allendale, South Carolina, and in Roanoke Rapids at the Rosemary Plant. After retiring from J.P. Stevens, he and Gloria moved to Staunton, Virginia, where he was the superintendent of the Still Water Plant in Goshen, Virginia, until his retirement in 1992.

Dwite excelled in sports. He was an exceptional member of the baseball, football and track teams at Zebulon High School. He also had scholarship offers from numerous colleges in baseball and was also a professional baseball draft pick. He was a kind and generous man that loved family, God and country.

Dwite is survived by his son, Edward (Ed) Dwite Debnam Jr.; two daughters, Amy Elizabeth Debnam Boyd and Janet (Jan) Faye Debnam Green; one daughter-in-law, Carol Jones Debnam; two son-in-laws, Robert Lee Boyd and Michael E. Green; and seven grandchildren, Katie Elizabeth Debnam Dowens and her husband Robert William Dowens Sr., Matthew Edward Debnam and his wife Katherine Kahdy Debnam, Taylor Yates Debnam, Samantha Carol Debnam, Marcus Lofton Sledge, Lindsey Victoria Green and Alan Michael Green. Dwite also has three great-grandchildren, Robert William Dowens Jr., Bryant Dwite Dowens and Sarah Elizabeth Sledge. Dwite Debnam is survived by his brother, James Mitchell Debnam of Zebulon; and his cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Massey Funeral Home, 913 N. Arendell Ave., Zebulon.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday after the visitation in The Massey Chapel at the Massey Funeral Home followed by a graveside service at the Massey Family Cemetery with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Zebulon Baptist Church building fund.

Online condolences may be sent to

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