Williams Motes Jr.

William “Bill” James Motes Jr., 97, of Harlowe, died Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, at home.

His funeral service is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Harlowe United Methodist Church with Pastor Rochele Bailey officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.  Due to the novel coronavirus, space will be limited and social distancing and masks will be required at the service. The service will be livestreamed on the Noe-Brooks Funeral Home Facebook page at facebook.com/events/3560824827313862/.

Bill was born in Westerly, R.I., July 28, 1923, to the late William Motes Sr. and Lillian Dionne Motes. He had made Harlowe his home since 1947. He was a member of the Harlowe United Methodist Church, though he was not particularly religious, he was a very spiritual man. He studied the Bible, interpreted parts of it using symbology and wrote several small books on these interpretations. He was a past master of Franklin Masonic Lodge No. 109 in Beaufort and was a 32nd Degree Mason. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and during the Korean Conflict. He retired from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point as a supervisor production controller with 28 years of service. He attended schools in Westerly, received a two-year degree from Wentworth Institution in Boston, Mass., and attended Carteret Community College. While president of the Harlowe community organization, he received the governor’s award for outstanding community service. He enjoyed aircraft and had a private pilot’s license. Bill built and flew an amphibian airplane with a Mazda engine he modified. The airplane is now on display in the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer. In addition to the airplane, he also built a 30-foot fishing trawler equipped with full electronics and radar, as well as an airboat powered by a Chrysler engine. He was the first civilian mechanist to machine jet engines at MCAS Cherry Point.

Bill was a lapidary and enjoyed using this skill to make jewelry for charities to support the less fortunate. He made special pieces for Barbara and Laura Bush and Melania and Ivanka Trump. He designed and built a deep-sea scallop dredge and donated it to North Carolina commercial fisheries. He was a gunsmith and made custom stocks and repaired guns. His craftsmanship is dispersed throughout the U.S. He studied parapsychology and taught psychic phenomena, hypnosis and dream interpretation at CCC. He was a naturalist and believed healing must start from the inner self. He studied alternative medicine and worked with herbs for more than 50 years. He was a water dowser. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and taught hunter safety to youth. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the American Association of Retired Federal Employees, Association of Advanced Ethical Hypnosis and the Association of Research and Enlightenment.

He did many things and accomplished much during his lifetime, but he always said his greatest accomplishment was the family he and his wife raised.

Bill is survived by his wife of 72 years, Betty Ward Motes of the home; two sons, Gervase Motes of Newport and Brian Motes of Chesterfield, Va.; daughter-in-law, Sonya Motes of Lexington; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Lillian Dionne Motes; son, Steven Motes; daughters-in-law, Pat Motes and Teresa Motes; brothers, Charles Motes and wife Rita and Leroy Motes; and sisters, Lillian Motes, Marie Motes and Philomene Pragluski.

The family will receive friends the hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the Harlowe United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Jim Shady, 126 Shell Landing, Beaufort, NC 28516.

Arrangements are by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home and Crematory of Morehead City.

Arrangements are by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home and Crematory of Morehead City.

 (Paid obituary)

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