Dr. Zane Emerson Eargle, Sr. passed away on Oct. 12, 2021 after a lengthy and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 86 years old. Zane will be remembered as a man who lived his faith, loved his family, and showed kindness and compassion to others as a true public servant. Born in Waxhaw, NC to the late Joseph Irvie and Ruth Burgess Eargle, he was preceded in death by his son Zane Eargle, Jr. He is survived by his wife Joan and daughter Joni (Cole), his siblings Haskell and Louie Eargle, and many adoring grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Zane was a member of The Order of the Old Well, which recognizes student leadership, and The Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest honor of service at the university. He began his career as a teacher while he completed his master’s degree. Upon earning his PhD, he was named Associate Dean of the School of Education in Chapel Hill. For 31 years Zane worked in public education, serving as superintendent of schools in Danville, Virginia, as well as Gaston and Winston-Salem/Forsyth counties in North Carolina. In 1988, he moved into the private sector serving as Pfeiffer College’s 7th president, becoming an integral part of its growth from a college to a university.
A lifelong United Methodist, Zane served on the Western NC Conference Council of Higher Education. He was active in many different organizations including the NC Public School Forum, Rotary Club, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, University of North Carolina General Alumni Association, and the Museum of the Waxhaws. He believed in giving back to the community and viewed public service as an opportunity and a privilege.
An unassuming and humble man, Zane loved the simple things in life — spending time watching the boats along the intracoastal waterway, telling tales of “Chief White Cloud” to the grandchildren he loved so much, Big Sunday at Pleasant Grove Campground, and always pulling for the Tar Heels.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be sent to the Zane Eargle, Jr. Scholarship Fund designation #202061, PO Box 309 Chapel Hill, NC 28109; Zane and Joan Eargle Endowed Fund Pfeiffer University PO Box 960 Misenheimer, NC 28109; Pleasant Grove Campground, PO Box 6 Mineral Springs, NC 28108; and Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region 7845 Little Avenue, Charlotte NC 28226.
Gordon Funeral and Cremation Service is serving the Eargle family. Online condolences may be made at www.gordonfuneralservice.com.