Alan Wolf Cone passed away on February 6, 2019.
At his request his body will be cremated and interred in the Cone family cemetery. As Alan requested and out of consideration for the family, there will be no formal funeral or visitation.
Alan was born in Greensboro on February 13, 1926 to Herman and Louise Cone.
He graduated from Greensboro High School in May 1943 and enlisted in the Navy in the V-12 program. He was sent to UNC and graduated in October 1945, at the age of 19 with a degree from UNC and a commission in the Navy. He was assigned to duty in the Pacific theatre. On receiving an honorary discharge from the Navy, he returned home and started his career at Cone Mills.
After 14 years in various parts of the family controlled Company, he seized the opportunity to buy controlling interest in an apparel company in Greensboro, Blue Gem Manufacturing Company founded in 1934. After ten years of operating successfully, the demise of the textile and apparel business in the United States began to become apparent. Four plants were sold to Blue Bell and the two remaining plants continued to operate until they too were sold in the 1990’s. Blue Gem was turned into a real estate holding company. He continued to manage the company at his office on Banking Street.
A caring member of the community he was active on many community boards and foundations. He served in many rolls with the Boy Scout council and received the Silver Beaver award, the highest honor given by a Boy Scout Council. He served on the Moses Cone Hospital board for many years and at its chairman from 1978 until 1982. He was a board member of L. Richardson Memorial Hospital, Triad Health Project, United Way of Greater Greensboro, Family and Children Services, Oak Ridge Military Academy, Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and Temple Emanuel. He was also on the boards of NCNB Greensboro, Gate City Savings and Loan Association, Greensboro Rotary Club, and Greensboro Country Club. He and Sally received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the association of Fund Raising Professionals. They received the UNCG Holderness Weaver Award which honors individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the community and state, and The NCCJ Brotherhood/Sisterhood citation award, Greensboro’s highest citizenship award.
He followed the advice written to his great grandfather when he emigrated to America almost 200 years ago expressing hope that “if he became wealthy in that distant land do not let it make you proud and overbearing. Do not let anyone call you a miser, but be known as a philanthropist”. He was good to Greensboro, and Greensboro was good to him. He gave generously to charity, especially United Way, Community Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Salvation Army, Urban Ministry, Greensboro Jewish Federation, and many others. He and Sally established and funded a major scholarship at UNCG named for Sally and Alan Cone.
He received his pilot’s license in 1948, and enjoyed his Beechcraft Barons for the next 60 years. He especially loved flying his boys to the Bahamas and exploring many of the out islands. He and Sally took many flights, down to the Dominican Republic, north to Quebec, and west to the coast. He was an accomplished woodworker and an avid low handicap golfer. He was proud of winning the Cone Mills championship but never reached his goal of Country Club champion but was runner up in that tournament in 1957. He looked forward to the Saturday games with two high school friends for over sixty years.
Surviving are his beloved wife of forty-two years, Sally S. Cone; his four children, Elaine C. “Bunny” Bulluck (David), Alan Cone, Jr. (Suzanne), Stephen B. Cone (Caroline), and Louis (Billy) Cone. Step children, Sararlee Smithwick and Nance Smithwick (Roger Beebe). Also seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Louise Cone and his brother, Herman Cone, Jr.
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