Wilber Earl Rabon

September 12, 1935January 21, 2013

Wilber Earl Rabon, 77, of Leland, NC, died peacefully at his residence surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren on Monday, January 21, 2013. He was born September 12, 1935, in Brunswick County, the son of the late Frank Columbus Rabon and Cora Flowers Rabon.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings; James Roy Rabon, Elsie Manning, Emma Louise Major, Lillian Watkins, Daniel Rabon, Landis Rabon, and Frankie Rabon.

Wilber is survived by his beloved wife, Doris Anderson Rabon, who was his high school sweetheart and first and only love of 62 years. He also is survived by sons; Randy Rabon (Anita Bridgers), Wayne Rabon (Kim Medlin), daughters; Kathy Summerlin (Harvey), Melody Lugo (Rocky) all of Leland, NC, siblings; Elizabeth "Bill" Mercer, Carter Rabon, Tonda Henry, Cheryl Mintz, and Gayle Sullivan, grandchildren; Holly Summerlin Sellers (Michael), Erica Summerlin Kopp (Daniel), Adrianne Lugo Terzian (Eddy), Chad Summerlin (Candice), Christopher Rabon, Candice Rabon Jozak (Jon), Charles Brandon Rabon, and Morgan Lugo, great grandchildren; Macy Sellers, Brooke Rabon, Christian Summerlin, Gage Sellers, Sarah Katherine Kopp and Anna Kopp, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his mother in law, Alma Anderson, 98, whom he dearly loved and cherished.

Wilber will be remembered as a loving husband and a caring father, grandfather, and brother who valued his family and friends deeply. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed spending his time outdoors. He graduated from Bolivia High School and then attended NC State University. After graduation he worked at Federal Paper Co. in Riegelwood, NC where he retired after 40 years. He spent many years serving the state of North Carolina and Brunswick County. He was the recipient of the state's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Wilber served on the Brunswick County Board of Education, was a Brunswick County Commissioner, was appointed to the NC Highway Commission, served on the NC Department of Transportation Board, and was a member of the Southeastern Economic Development Commission and the Southeastern Mental Health Board. He was a member of the Orient Masonic Lodge 395 for 47 years, and an active member of the Sudan Temple of New Bern, and a charter member of the Brunswick County Shrine Club. He also served on the Board of Directors for Security Savings Bank since 1984. He is a lifelong member of Zion United Methodist Church.

A funeral service for Wilber will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 2919 Galloway Road Northeast, Bolivia, NC 28422 at 11:00am with the Reverend Anthony Clemmons officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 9:30 am to 11:00am at the church. Following the funeral service a burial service will be held at Zion United Methodist Church, 6864 Zion Church Road Northeast, Leland, NC 28451.

Pallbearers will be Sandy Dew, Vincent Driggers, Ed "Bud" Maultsby, Tom Maultsby, Scott Phillips and Gene Ward. Honorary Pallbearers will be Ralph Frazier, Louis Grissom, Tommy Harrelson, Frank Henry, Ronald Hewett, Barry Jethwa, Roy Mintz, Elbert Mobley, R.G. Sellers, and Greg Swain.

The family would like to thank Dr. Neill Musselwhite and his staff for the loving care and support they provided Wilber and his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane SE Bolivia, NC 28422, Zion United Methodist Church of Leland, NC, or a charity of one's choice .

Condolences may be sent to the family at

The staff of Coble Ward-Smith is honored to serve the family of Mr. Wilber Earl Rabon.


  • Visitation Saturday, January 26, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wilber Earl Rabon

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Fred & Cheryl Mintz

February 22, 2014

Hi Big Brother,
Can't believe it has been a year and one month since you left us to be with family and friends in Heaven. We have missed you deeply but know you are in a much better place. Keep watching over us and give our love to our other loved ones who are with you. Rest in peace.

Holly Sellers

February 24, 2013

You were a such a wondeful grandfather and a great role model to our whole family. We always had someone to look up to...I look up tonight and can see that wonderful smile you always had. Gage talks about you almost everyday. We miss you so much and we will meet again one day. Love you and miss you so much!

Brenda Clemmons

January 28, 2013

What an honor and privilege it was to call you Uncle. We know that life is a journey of sweetness and sorrows of yesterdays, of memories and our hopes for tomorrow; of pathways we choose and detours we will face. You taught me to face them with patience, humor, courage and grace. We have had some great times and shared some precious memories. I remember when you and Uncle Frankie used to pick me to volunteer at various political functions during the 70's & 80's. Little did I know then how much influence both of you would have on my decision to run for public office. You were always one of my biggest and most loyal supporters.

A recent memory that I will treasure forever occurred on December 3, 2012. Although you weren't feeling well, you somehow willed yourself to hold the Holy Bible at my swearing in as Register of Deeds that night. As always, you had that sweet, gentle smile on your face. The best part of the evening was that you had no idea that you were the one who was going to be the center of attention. There you were surrounded by your loving and proud family, who were there to publically recognize you as recipient of the Order of The Long Leaf Pine Award that was originally presented to you by Governor Holshouser in 1973. What a legacy you have left for your family and the community that you cared for so deeply.

Then on January 21, 2013, you lifted your wings and soared, heaven-bound, leaving a huge hole in the lives and hearts of so many. I know that somehow I'll get through this but my life will never be the same without you. What a blessing to know that you are free of any sickness and that someday, we will meet again. Until then, know that you will always live in my heart and I will always cherish the time spent knowing and loving you, My Sweet, Sweet Uncle Wilber. I love and miss you,

Your Special Niece,

Kayde Smith Brown and family~

January 28, 2013

To the WONDERFUL Rabon family: I could NEVER put into words ALL that I want to say to you!
Mr. Wilber was an INTERGRAL part of my life. He helped watch over me as I was growing up--while I watched over his own grandkids growing up.
Never did I see him that he didn't have a kind, uplifiting word; a smile and a hug. He always made me feel good, and his smile was contagious! Such an awesome man.
And he leaves behind a legacy. Kathy, Melody, Wayne, Randy, grandkids AND great grandkids: the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Love you guys more than you will EVER know......hoping you find a peace that surpasses ALL understanding.
God bless--

Anita Russo

January 28, 2013

Doris, Randy, Wayne, Mel, & Kathy Grief is a harrowing journey, a journey that changes people. But through it, we strengthen. Greif, we must not allow it to define who we are, but let it prepare us for who we will be. My thoughts and prayers are with each and everyone of you. Love you all.

Anita Russo

January 28, 2013

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998

Alma Anderson

January 27, 2013

To the greatest son-in-law a mother could ever hope to have I love you so much and I will always miss you dearly. Look after Charlie and give him my love. Happy and Baby will miss hearing that Red truck coming down the road. Love you always Alma

Cheryl Mintz

January 27, 2013

Doris, Randy, Kathy, Wayne, Melody and Family;

Wilber's memories will live forever in our hearts. His love and dedication for his family and everyone he knew is beyond words. He was a man willing to help anyone in need. His generosity was never ending.
We love our brother, Wilber, deeply and will miss him. The Service was Beautiful. "Wish You Were Here"

Love Until We Meet Again,

Your Brother & Sisters
Bill, Carter, Tonda, Cheryl and Gayle

January 27, 2013

My sincerest condolences on your loss. My prayers are with you and your family during this time of grief.

John Bordeaux, Orient Lodge 395

January 26, 2013

Our condolences to your family. Wilbur Earl was a fine man, a good citizen, and a good neighbor. He will be missed by many. Margaret and Chuck Shelton