PILOT MOUNTAIN — Robert Wayne Hunter passed away at home on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. A native of Surry County, Wayne was born Sept. 14, 1933, to the late Glenn and Vergie Hill Hunter. He graduated from Pilot Mountain High School in 1951 and continued his education at North Carolina State College, where he graduated in 1956 with a B.S. degree from the College of Agriculture and Engineering. While a student at State, he enlisted with the United States Army and served in Schweinfurt, Germany, during the implementation of The Marshall Plan. While on patrol as a member of Company C, 714 Tank Battalion US Army, Wayne discovered a loaded M-41 tank ablaze. He climbed onto the tank, extinguished the fire and then entered the smoldering vehicle to avoid further damage. His actions prevented the possible loss of life and destruction of millions of dollars’ worth of government equipment. Wayne was honorably discharged in 1958. Upon returning to civilian life, he began his career in finance and agricultural loans. He worked as a buyer at Swift and Company in Wilson. He was manager of Graham Production Credit Association in Reidsville and later a manager of the Federal Land Bank in Winston-Salem. He retired after 30 years of federal service as the Surry County and Yadkin County supervisor of Farmer’s Home Administration, United States Department of Agriculture. In retirement, Wayne and his wife, Phyllis, moved back to the Hunter family farm to raise registered Polled Hertford cattle with their beloved beagle, Ham, and Mama Cat. Wayne was a member and past elder at Hills Presbyterian Church. While Man may plan his life, God’s Plan is always greater and perfect. On Nov. 16, 2000, Wayne fell while cleaning out leaves from the house gutters and was a paraplegic. As was his way, Wayne met this challenge with quiet determination and inner strength and never gave up his independence. Wayne’s family rejoices that he now walks freely with joy in the Lord’s presence. Wayne is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Vergie Hill Hunter; and brother, John Kenneth Hunter. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis of 41 years; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy Hunter Winstead and Mark Winstead; son and daughter-in-law, Robert Wayne Hunter Jr. and Jennifer Hunter; grandchild, Jake Reynolds Winstead; sister and brother-in-law, Glenda Covington and R.M. Covington; and sister-in-law, Jean Hunter, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at 1 p.m. at Hills Presbyterian Church conducted by the Rev. Mandy Santolla and Dr. Bill Greenwood with interment to follow in the Pilot Mountain City Cemetery. Mr. Hunter will be placed in the church one hour prior to the service. The family will receive friends on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Howell-Nelson Funeral Service of Pilot Mountain. Flowers are welcomed, or memorials may be made to Hills Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 1720, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041. Online condolences may be made at www.howellfuneralservices.com.