William “Bill” James Motes Jr., 97, of Harlowe, died at home on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
A funeral service will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Harlowe United Methodist Church with Pastor Rochele Bailey officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Due to Covid 19, space will be limited as social distancing and masks will be required at the service. The service will be live-streamed on the Noe-Brooks Funeral Home Facebook page at this link https://www.facebook.com/events/3560824827313862/
Bill was born in Westerly, Rhode Island on July 28, 1923 to the late William Motes Sr. and Lillian Dionne Motes. He has made Harlowe, NC his home since 1947. He was a member of the Harlowe United Methodist Church, though he was not particularly religious, he was a very spiritual man. He studied the Bible, interpreted parts of it using symbology, and wrote several small books on these interpretations. He was a past Master of Franklin Masonic Lodge #109 in Beaufort, NC and he was a 32nd Degree Mason. He served in the US Navy during World War II and during the Korean conflict. He retired from MCAS Cherry Point as a Supervisor Production Controller with 28 years of service. He attended schools in Westerly, RI, received a two year degree from Wentworth Institution in Boston, MA, and attended Carteret Community College. While President of the Harlowe community organization, he received the Governor’s Award for outstanding community service. He enjoyed aircraft and had a private pilot’s license. Bill built and flew an amphibian airplane with a Mazda engine he had modified. The airplane is now on display in the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. In addition to the airplane, he also built a 30’ fishing trawler equipped with full electronics and radar, as well as an airboat powered by a Chrysler engine. He was the first civilian mechanist to machine jet engines at MCAS Cherry point.
Bill was a lapidary and enjoyed using this skill to make jewelry for charities to support the less fortunate. He made special pieces for Barbara and Laura Bush and Melania and Ivanka Trump. He designed and built a deep-sea scallop dredge and donated it to the North Carolina State Commercial Fisheries. He was a gunsmith and made custom stocks and repaired guns. His craftsmanship is dispersed throughout the United States. He studied parapsychology and taught psychic phenomena, hypnosis and dream interpretation at Carteret Community College. He was a naturalist and believed that healing must start from the inner self. He studied alternative medicine and worked with herbs for over 50 years. He was a water dowser. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and taught hunter safety to the youth. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the American Association of Retired Federal Employees and Association of Advanced Ethical Hypnosis, and the Association of Research and Enlightenment.
He did many things and accomplished much during his lifetime, but he always said his greatest accomplishment was the family that he and his wife raised. Bill is survived by his wife of 72 years, Betty Ward Motes of the home; two sons, Gervase Motes of Newport, NC; and Brian Motes of Chesterfield, VA; and daughter-in-law, Sonya Motes of Lexington, SC; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Lillian Dionne Motes; son, Steven Motes; daughters-in-law, Pat Motes; and Teresa Motes; brothers, Charles Motes and his wife Rita; and Leroy Motes; sisters, Lillian Motes; Marie Motes; and Philomene Pragluski.
The family will receive friends the hour prior to the service at the church.
In Lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the Harlowe United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund C/O Jim Shady, 126 Shell Landing, Beaufort, NC 28516
Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noebrooks.net
Arrangements are by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home and Crematory of Morehead City, NC.
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