Robert Cleve Mullinax, 76, passed away peacefully at Hendersonville Health & Rehabilitation on the evening of Monday, February 21, 2011 in the arms of his wife.
A native of Henderson County, he is the son of the late Lewis and Janie Shipman Mullinax. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Frankie Anders, Carolyn Brown and Betty Mock; eight brothers, Clifton Sr., Leslie, Steve, U.G., Morris, Max, Archie and Billy Dan.
Robert graduated from Flat Rock High School, attended NC State University for two years, and after two years in the US Army, he graduated from Western Carolina University with double majors in Business Administration and Education.
After jobs with GE Capital Corporation in Charleston, SC, WSPA-FM in Spartanburg, SC and Taylors Electronics in Arden, he decided to study Tool & Die. He graduated with high honors from Asheville- Buncombe Technical College with Associate Degrees in Tool & Die and Machine Shop. He accepted a job in the Tool Room at GE Lighting Systems and graduated from their four-year Tool & Die program. He retired from General Electric in 1992 with twenty eight years of service.
He loved to sing and play the piano from the time he was five or six years old. He loved Southern Gospel music, Pop/Rock and Jazz. He particularly liked Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Perry Como. He and Faye traveled from Virginia to Missouri to Florida to attend Gospel concerts. He loved The Cathedrals, The Stamps, The Spear Family and the Southern Gospel Music Convention.
As a senior at Western Carolina University, he decided that he wanted to learn to play the trumpet. After six lessons, his professor put him in the Western Carolina Marching Band. He said that Robert was a “natural-born trumpeteer.” From then, he enjoyed the trumpet and the piano and usually practiced daily.
He was as kind, loving and generous as he was smart and talented. He was usually singing, humming or whistling. He could do anything that he tried. His ever-present smile or grin always brightened the world around him and he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his loving wife of thirty nine years, Faye Bradley Mullinax; a son, Michael King of Concord, two grandchildren, Gage and Natalie of Concord; four sisters, Gladys Stairley and Gertrude Osteen of Greenville, SC, Jane Dennis and her husband Dan of Birmingham, AL and Ruby Smith and her husband Bradford of Savannah, GA; two sisters-in-law, Isabelle Mullinax of East Flat Rock and Johnnie Mullinax of Tallahassee, FL.; in-laws Willie Bradley Johnson of Saluda, Austin Bradley and his wife Juanita of Hendersonville, Harold Bradley and his wife Iola, Reverend Robert Bradley and his wife Sarah of Athens, TX, and Wayne Bradley and his wife Elizabeth of Saluda; several nieces and nephews; nieces-in-law and nephews-in-law and several cousins.
The family wishes to thank his nurses and nursing aides at Hendersonville Health & Rehabilitation for all of their kindness and support.
A service to celebrate his life will be at 3:00 PM Saturday in the chapel at Forest Lawn Funeral Home. Reverend Frank Landers will officiate. Entombment will follow the service in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. Family and former co-workers will serve as Pallbearers. The family will receive friends from 2-3:00 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contribution may be made to St. Jude Childrenís Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.