Felipe Aguilar Cantu, 95, of Snow Hill passed away at Wayne UNC Health Care on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. He was preceded in death by his first wife and the mother of his children Lora Belle Stroud Cantu; parents, Juan Rios Cantu and Petra Gonzales Cantu; sisters, Gloria Cantu Hamm, Juanita Cantu and grandsons, Timothy Bryan Cantu and Tracy Crouch.
Phil was born in Gonzales, Texas. He served in the United States Marine Corps, stationed in the South Pacific during World War II and after his discharge from the military he began his career as an airplane mechanic at Cherry Point becoming a supervisor. He was a shop foreman of O&R (Overhaul and Repair) and had top-secret clearance of the Marine One helicopter and retired after 32 years of service to his country. He was a member of Davis Grove Baptist Church and was loved by all and will be truly missed by many.
Phil was his family’s rock. He was strong and yet so gentle. He loved his family more than anything in life and taught them the true meaning of unconditional love. He never spoke an unkind word about anyone and never wanted to hear anything negative about anyone. He was always able to find the good in every situation. We thank you God for sharing him with us for 95 years. You will never find a greater man on Earth. Our family’s heart is broken. We love you, Daddy.
He is survived by his wife, Dixie Rae Mewborn Cantu; daughters, Teri C. Lavin and husband, John of Goldsboro and Vickie Smith and husband, Vince of Wilmington; sons, Juan Eric Cantu and wife, Carol of Kinston, Michael Cantu and wife Susan of Snow Hill and Kim Cantu and wife, Lorie Anne of Greenville; grandchildren, Michelle Cantu (Tee), Kris Cantu, Brandon Cantu, David Cantu (Amanda), Alicia Cannon, Michael Cannon, Shawn Cantu, Speight Caroon (Lindsey), Catherine Hill (Brett), Misti Cantu, Mandee Morgan (Dwayne) ,Jami Lavin (Brett) and Bryan Farmer (Dejah); granddaughter-in-law, Melanie Cantu; 26 great-grandchildren, and special feline companion, Albany.
Funeral services with military rites will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, November 23, 2020 at Westview Cemetery, with Pastor Steven Gay officiating. Family will receive friends following the service.
Due to COVID-19, the family requests that social distancing is practiced and face masks worn.
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