John Henry Hearne, 76, of Pittsboro, stepped peacefully through the heavenly gates on May 31, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his family. John was born November 6, 1942 in Durham, NC, but lived in Chatham County nearly all his life.
John served three years in the US Army stationed at The Presidio of San Francisco and in Saumur, France, specializing in nucleonic calibration repair. After an honorable discharge, he served an additional three years in the Army Reserve. John worked as a salesman for Sears, Roebuck & Co. in Chapel Hill for about 15 years and later owned and operated the famous “Hearne’s BBQ” restaurant in Pittsboro. Then, John was recruited to work for a convenience store chain, where he rose to the position of vice president of real estate and development. After retirement in 2000, he served several years as a bailiff for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.
John enjoyed riding his motorcycle, golfing, gardening, mapping trip routes and traveling around the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska with his wife, Sally and parrot, Ben, in their motorhome. He was active in the Baptist Church for many years and was devoted to God and his family.
John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sally Barrett Hearne, one son, John Hearne, Jr. and wife Robin of Kitty Hawk, daughter Loraine Timmons and husband Mike of Pittsboro, and daughter Etta Blankenship and husband Gary, also of Pittsboro. Six grandchildren include Lt. Matthew Hearne, USN (currently stationed in France), Kristi Hearne of Fairfax, VA, Jeremy Timmons and wife Annie, of Sanford, Dr. Sierra Timmons of Raleigh, Kyle Lemons and wife, Katie of Holly Springs, Kayli Blankenship of Pittsboro, and one great-grandson, Elijah Lemons.
John is also survived by sisters Gertrude Horton of Apex, Linda Slone and husband Larry of Pittsboro, and brother Dennis Hearne and wife, Ann, of Pittsboro, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Elsie Hearne, brothers Lee and Tommy Hearne, and sisters Margaret Cooper, Hilda Hearne and Sylvia Martin.
A memorial service will be held at New Salem Baptist Church on Friday, June 7, at 2:00 pm, followed by internment in the church cemetery. The family invites friends to greet them in the church fellowship hall after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in John’s honor to the New Salem Baptist Church building fund or UNC Hospice.
Condolences may be made at www.donaldsonfunerals.com
Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation is honored to serve the Hearne family.