James David Carver Jr., 72, of Mt. Holly, NC, passed away on Friday, Jan. 8, at Gaston Memorial Hospital. Known better as “Sonny” by all who loved and adored him, nicknames were always a big part of his life. It started at birth in South Boston, Virginia, Feb. 4, 1948, when his mother, after she first laid eyes on his smile, said, “He looks just like a sunny boy!” It’s how Sonny will be best remembered: for his million-watt smile and infectious laugh. Sonny grew up in Charlotte, NC, and went to Harding High, and always had a joke to tell, funny remark to make, or story to share. He knew how to brighten a room and lighten the day for anyone who interacted with him. Sonny also had funny nicknames for everyone he loved. In return, his friends often called him “rubber legs" because of his smooth moves while dancing the Carolina shag. The dance is a great part of the love story he shared with his wife Judy, to whom he was married for 54 years. Together, they taught shag lessons across North Carolina, competed on the shag dance circuit, and were members of the Lake Norman Shag Club. Sonny also helped start the Gaston Shaggers in the late ‘80s and served as its first president. He was inducted into the Charlotte Area Shaggers Hall of Fame in 2006, and in May 2012, the Sand Flea Living Legend Association at North Myrtle Beach.
Sonny owned and operated a concrete contracting business for 35 years, and when he wasn’t working, dancing and cutting up with friends, he loved hot rods and building classic cars from the ground up. He also could be found on the golf course, another lifelong hobby, where he practiced daily at Green Meadows.
Sonny loved spending time with his family the most. He is survived by his wife Judy; his daughters, Michelle Carver Buchheit (husband Mike Buchheit), Crystal Carver Hartley (husband Gregg Hartley) and Shea Carver; his grandchildren, Brittany McCroskey (fiancé Cody Lang) and Joseph Thompson (wife Heather Thompson), and Gus and Lily Buchheit; and his great grandchildren, Skylar and Abbigail McCroskey, and Adalyn and Alayna Thompson. Sonny is survived by two older sisters, Carolyn Redies (husband Frankie Redies) and Patricia Knight, plus many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, James David and Willie Belle Carver.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date, when everyone can safely gather, dance, and share their fondest and funniest memories of a sunny boy, indeed.
Cards of condolence can be sent to Judy Carver, 341 Oakwood Dr., Mt. Holly, NC 28120. In lieu of flowers, please, consider a donation to Life Church, 501 Cramer Mountain Rd., Cramerton, NC 28032 or your favorite charity.
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