On April 12, 2019 with his family by his side Kenneth Earle Abernethy died peacefully and was welcomed into the arms of his Creator and Lord and Savior. Earle was a beloved husband, dad, grandaddy, brother, and friend. He is survived by his wife of almost 25 years, Theresa Abernethy, his three daughters, Angie Cowan and her husband Coleman, Kristi Van Zyl and her husband Kevin, and Terri Burgess and her husband Joe, his two step-children, Edwin Braswell and his wife Caroline and Anna Lampman and her husband Robert, and seven grandchildren - Julian Cowan, Eleanor Braswell, William Lampman, Davis Braswell, Benjamin Lampman, Hayden Van Zyl, and Dalton Van Zyl. He is also survived by his sister, Anne Abernethy, and her two sons and her daughter.
Earle was born October 13, 1952 in Rocky Mount, and he attended East Carolina University. Earle worked in various roles with Aflac and enjoyed educating and training new associates.
Earle’s great passions centered around his love for his wife, his grandchildren and his music. Theresa was his beautiful dance partner, his trusted co-pilot on their countless travels, and his favorite student as he taught her all about his beloved jazz using his gift of perfect pitch. He was a gentle, patient and tireless grandfather when his precious little ones were born and as they grew into curious and precocious children.
But Earle’s first love, and one of his true gifts, was playing the drums. He was the backbone of a quartet of local jazz musicians for more than four decades, keeping the rhythm of their music as he kept the rhythm of his life and all those he touched.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the incredible staff at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for their tirelessness, compassion, love, and expertise during an incredibly challenging time.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday April 17th at Westminster United Methodist Church in Kinston, NC at 11:00a.m. A reception will be given in his honor following the service in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers the family asks you to give to the charities that touch your heart or to donate blood at a local blood drive.
Howard-Carter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
On-line condolences may be sent to howardandcarter.com