J.T. Cloninger, 96, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday February 16, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 7, 1925 in Stanley, NC, son of the late Blaine Pilgreth Cloninger and Stella Clark Cloninger. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Doris Ann Besse Cloninger of only 3 weeks, 2 infant sons Michael Alan and Jeffrey Todd, a sister Margarite Clippard and a brother Max Cloninger.
JT joined the navy at 17 on March 3, 1943 after training at Naval Air Station in Florida , then to Norfolk, VA to board the USS Guadacanal aircraft carrier along with Air Squadron 8 and 5 destroyer escorts. They started German sub hunting in the North Atlantic and sank some before capturing the U505 German sub and crew on 6-4-1944. He left the USS Guadacanal for the USS Randolph in 1945. He received the Presidential Unit Citation. He was a member of the Battle Task Group 22.3, Stanley Masonic Lodge #713, and Stanley American Legion #266. After the service, J.T. became a long haul truck driver for over 40 years.
He is survived by his daughters Janice Cloninger, Becki Perkins and husband Steve, his son Todd Cloninger and wife Linda all of Stanley, 4 grandchildren Marsha, Stacy, Brittany and Haley and 9 great grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mr. Cloninger will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday February 21, 2022 at Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery. The family will receive friends after the service at the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gaston Hospice or to the American Legion.
Painter Funeral and Cremation is serving the Cloninger family.