Dr. Neil Worden

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Neil Worden

Hope Mills - Doctor Neil Ashton Worden, 96, of Hope Mills passed away July 29th after a short illness. Dr. Worden was a resident of Hope Mills for 64 years. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 18, 1922. He was attending the University of Louisville on December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. On December 8, 1941, he joined the United States Marine Corps as a pilot. Through 1942 and 1943, Worden was a Marine Corps pilot trainer stationed in Norman, Oklahoma. From 1944 to the end of the war, Worden was stationed in the Pacific, most notably on the island of Peleliu, where he was a squadron commander. After the war, Worden returned to Louisville and his studies at the University of Louisville. In 1947 he married the late Bette Richards Murray. Their marriage lasted 57 years until her death in 2004. Dr. Worden graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1951, and after a residency in Charleston, West Virginia, moved to Hope Mills in 1954. He began a practice with Dr. Grayson Davis at the Hope Mills General Hospital. Over the years, he moved his practice to Fayetteville. His first office was originally located in the Market Square area downtown. He eventually built his own office on Rowan Street and practiced Family Medicine there. Worden served on the staffs of both Highsmith-Rainey Hospital and Cape Fear Valley Hospital. He was a member of the original staff of Cape Fear Valley. In 1972, Worden served as President of the Cumberland County Medical Society, from 1979-1981 he was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Cumberland County Hospital System, and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Highsmith-Rainey from 1984-1986. He also served as Chief of Staff at Highsmith-Rainey from 1983-1984. After retirement, Dr. Worden continued to work with the Veteran's Hospital, McCain Hospital, and various local clinics for several years. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; by 4 children, Dee (Karen) of Raleigh, NC, Harry (Erika), of Newport, NC, Neil Jr. (Dawn) of Lenoir NC, and Patti (Holden Thorp) of St. Louis, Mo. He also has eight grand-children; Michael Worden (Aimee), Seth Worden (Darlene), Elizabeth Worden, Brie Worden (Rob Davis), Trevor Worden (Bartley Mullin), Tara Worden (Matt Grace), John Thorp and Emma Thorp as well as 4 great-grandchildren; Evan Davis, Hollis Davis, Olivia Worden and Jacob Worden. There will be a visitation at Reeves Funeral Home, 3308 N. Main St. Hope Mills, NC, from 6-8 PM on Thursday, August 2. A funeral service will be held on Friday, August 3 at 1 PM, with a graveside service immediately following in Hope Mills Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Cape Fear Valley Hospice, whose wonderful efforts are greatly appreciated.


  • Michael Worden, Active Pallbearer
  • Seth Worden, Active Pallbearer
  • John Thorp, Active Pallbearer
  • Trevor Worden, Active Pallbearer
  • Bartley Mullin, Active Pallbearer
  • Ben Keys, Active Pallbearer
  • Joe Hulon, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Craig Thompkins, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Bob Henley, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Doug Watts, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Tommy Payne, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joe Arrant, Honorary Pallbearer

  • Cape Fear Valley Hospice


  • Funeral Service Friday, August 3, 2018

Dr. Neil Worden

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Mickey Ray

February 24, 2019

A true ICON in Cumberland County.
My Mother (Hazel) worked with him at the Rowan St office for probably 20+ years. Never missed a day of work, He would treat me on the spur of the moment and I would be feeling well within a day, He was a true blessing to my mom as he was to everyone he cane in contact with. My mom had stage 4 cancer and passed away in Sept. 2007. I called Dr Worden and let him know Mom was about to cross over. He was very grateful for letting him know.. He will be truly missed by all. He loved to dance and now he can dance forever I spoke to Dr Henley before he retired and said I should stop by and see him. Something I truly wished I had done.

My blessing go out to his family and all I can say, you were the lucky one to have him in your lives.

God Bless and a real good hearted man is now in Heaven - God Bless his family.

Dr Worden, a man who wanted to heal people. Thank you for all you did. We have lost a good one.

Mickey Ray on behalf of my mother; Hazel Warner-Ray-Burgess

Elister Harris

August 11, 2018

Dr. Worden was our family doctor for many years. He was a frank, outspoken man. He would make you cry with his bluntness which was a characteristic that you already knew was coming. I dare you to come back to him and not have kept up the regiment that he requested of you! get ready for the blunt message from our favorite doctor. As the Bible says, he was a man skillful in his work as is noted at Proverbs 22:29, " Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men." He helped our family of mother, father and 12 children who prospered even though we came from a poor, Black background. We are honored to have two who are doctors who have taken up the gauntlet. We have others who are educators and good, kind people. So our family also carries a proud legacy! We always left him smiling, reminiscing of our favorite Dr. Worden memories. RIP my Doctor.

Pat Bledsoe Nichols

August 2, 2018

Benny & I extend our deepest condolences to the Worden family. Dr. Worden cared for our family many years. He provided valuable opportunities for nurses’ training to our Mom over the years she worked in his practice. My earliest memories of Dr. Worden were of him chasing me around the kitchen table to give me a shot back when he made house calls. And, when my sister, Faye, would call Mom at work, because I wasn’t minding her, he’d get on the phone and tell me I had better behave. My last memory is Dr. Worden and Mom sitting on the bench together at Hope Mills Walmart. Who knows what they were talking about!

Roy Weaver

August 1, 2018

Neil was a close friend and colleague of mine since my arrival in Fayetteville in 1971..
We enjoyed conversations in the hospital coffee lounge, at staff meetings, hallway consultations,
and social occasions. Neil was a
true gentleman and an excellent practitioner of medicine. I will miss him.
Roy Weaver


July 31, 2018

What a wonderful life spent in the caring of others. You can be sure the work Dr. Worden did is not forgotten by friends, family, clients and colleagues. Most importantly is that the work we do while alive is the best way to fondly cherish his life. Death is not welcomed no matter our age, but we can be sure Jesus' words at John 5:28,29 will come true. My deepest condolences for your loss. I hope the memories of Dr. Worden comfort you.