On March 1, 1950 God sent an amazingly talented, caring soul to walk the Earth and grace our lives: Hugh Leroy Rockwell, Jr. He was the consummate family man and homebody, married nearly 48 years to the love of his life, Joyce Dawson Rockwell who survives in Winston-Salem, NC. He adored his sons Patrick (Kelly) of Marietta, GA, and Jeffrey (who preceded him in death); his grandsons, Nolan and Maddon Rockwell were the light of his life. Hugh was an amazing dad, carrying his boys in a backpack when he got home from work when they were small – just one example of how precious they were to him and how involved he was as a dad.
We were blessed for seventy years to enjoy Hugh’s love which was expressed through every day actions, kindness, his devastatingly droll wit and endless building projects that enhanced our lives.
Hugh was an artist in the highest sense: creating lasting beauty in every day, useful ways. He was a master craftsman whose woodworking skills were second to none. He could repair or build anything: furniture, remodel homes (several), create architectural features, decks. Each creation was perfection; Hugh did not settle for less. His photography, which he framed himself, was stunning. As a youth, his musical talent was so prodigious that he was encouraged to attend Julliard. The lasting beauty he created in his projects continues to enrich our lives from beyond the grave.
Hugh was a graduate of Morris Harvey College. He began his life long career in management in the coal industry at Bethlehem Coal and retired from Patriot Coal as Senior Transportation Manager. His work ethic and attention to detail were legendary. Upon retirement he and his beloved wife Joyce moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Hugh continued working as a consultant for Blackhawk Mining until his passing.
Hugh was a former member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, WV, and a current member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston Salem, NC. A memorial service will be held later in the spring.
Also surviving to cherish his memory are a sister, Rebecca Rockwell Wallace, for whom Hugh’s wisdom and good humor were a guiding light; brother in law, Joe Dawson (Sarah), of Borrego Springs, CA; nieces Chaffee (Tom) Tommarello, Liberty Wallace and nephew John J. Wallace, IV (Mary).
We mourn the passing of Hugh Rockwell and imagine he and Jeff are watching from Above and trading one liners. Godspeed, Hugh. Your passing leaves a hole in our lives that cannot be filled.
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