Carl Furman Prince
Surrounded by loving family, Carl Furman Prince peacefully passed into the welcoming arms of our Lord on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Carl was 93 years old.
Born April 11, 1923 in Graham County to Hettie Millsap and Walter Prince, Carl entered this world in his parent’s simple home. Although today the exact location is unclear, the homestead is thought to be in one of the hollers that are now buried under the deep clear waters of Fontana Lake. Carl was from a large family with 10 brothers and sisters, who preceded him in death.
Carl came of age in the 1930s, a time when Western North Carolina was in the midst of the Great Depression. Under President Roosevelt’s New Deal, Carl went to work in the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC put thousands of men to work on public projects with environmental benefits: fighting erosion by planting over 3 billion trees, re‑stocking native trout and building national parks while learning engineering skills that were necessary for the building of our nation’s schools, hospitals, dams and infrastructure. To earn a little extra money, Carl was known to bare-knuckle box and on occasion “rassle a bear.”
During the 1940s, as an iron worker and millwright, he was employed by the TVA on the construction of the Fontana Dam where, due to his compact, muscular frame, Carl volunteered as a shaft inspector. With only a headlamp and flashlight, his job was to visually check for fissures prior to the concrete and steel footings being laid. Carl was manually lowered by harness and rope into the tight 30‑inch diameter footing shafts to depths of 300 feet.
As an iron worker he etched the sky with high‑rise buildings in the Southeast, just as nimbly as if he were working on a project in his backyard. He was innovative and in every way safety-conscious in his work, marking with pride his crew’s “accident free” days.
The love of Carl’s life was his wife of 62 years, Edna B. Prince (formerly of the Thomas family of Macon County.) After a long illness and with Carl a constant by her side, Edna made her way Home in 2005. Carl and Edna had seven children, including a daughter who passed in infancy. Carl raised his family between Salisbury and Franklin.
Carl loved his work; he nurtured a love for nature, farming and fishing. Fontana Lake is still enjoyed by his family, and many family celebrations are held at Prince Boat Dock. Carl could whip up dinner over an open campfire, or weld together a multi‑burner fish fryer that when cleaned doubled as a hot sink for cleaning up the dishes and silverware.
He taught his family to fish and respect the outdoors before it was “green” to do so. Low is the man who did not pack out more than he packed in on hunting or fishing trips.
The impression of his initials — CFP — can still be found on his many gadgets: carpentry and farming tools and camping and fishing gear. CFP was one of the greatest men of the Greatest Generation, and he made his mark widely during his time upon this earth.
To his surviving 14 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 12 great‑great grandchildren his initials stand for:
C – Christ, Carpenter, Camper
F – Father, Fisherman, Farmer
P – Stands for only one word – and that word is Papaw.
Carl is survived by three daughters, Mary Ellen Bowen (Harry) and Geraldine Wackenshaw, all of Franklin; and Annette King (Rick) of Burnsville; three sons, Dearl Prince of Franklin, and David Prince (Debbie) and Tony Prince (Lesa), all of Almond; friend, Sherry Crawford; 14 grandchildren; 22 great‑grandchildren; and 12 great‑great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Debbie, and son‑in‑law, Adam Wakenshaw.
A funeral service will be held at noon Saturday, March 18, 2017 in the chapel of Bryant‑Grant Funeral Home and Crematory with the Revs. Danny Cannon, Alan Waters, Cale Stancil and Don Moffitt officiating. Burial will follow in Black Mountain Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon prior to the service, at the funeral home.
This spring when you wet your first hook of the season, give a nod to Carl and his appreciation of the great outdoors, I promise it will bring you good luck.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the WNC Alzheimer’s Organization, 4600 Park Road, Suite 250, Charlotte, NC 28209 or to Black Mountain Baptist Church Building Fund, 1548 S. Skeenah Road, Franklin, NC 28734, or to Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation, 3195 Old Murphy Rd., Franklin, NC 28734 to be used to purchase chairs for the Spark Unit.
Bryant‑Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Prince family. Online condolences are available at bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.