Turner Bartlett (Barry) Thackston

August 27, 2018

CHARLOTTE – Turner Bartlett (Barry) Thackston III,  86, of Charlotte departed this life on August 27, 2018 at home in the arms of his loving wife of almost 58 years.  Barry was born on February 29, 1932 and raised in Spartanburg, SC. He was the son of LeNoir Dryer and Turner B. Thackston, Jr.  Barry graduated high school from Sewanee Military Academy after attending Spartanburg High. He continued his education at N.C. State where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and graduated with an engineering degree in 1954.  Barry became a pilot in the US Air Force flying T-33 jets and B-25 bombers while stationed in Texas.  He continued his love of flying after the Air Force by owning several planes.  After the Air Force, Barry started his career in Heating and Air Conditioning in Greenville, SC and moved to Charlotte in 1962.  Barry was a Master Mason for sixty years and very active in the Shriner’s Roadrunners Unit.

Barry’s true passion was youth sports and Little League Baseball in particular.  The baseball fields of Myers Park Trinity Little League were his second home for the last 43 years.  His love of America’s pastime and passion for coaching touched multiple generations of Charlotte families including his own children and grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Barry was predeceased by a son, Major Turner B. Thackston, IV; his sister, Margaret (Peggy) White and her husband, Farrell; and his brother, Percy Lewis Dryer Thackston and his wife, Legare. He is survived by his wife, Frances Moffett Thackston; two sons, William Stuart Moffett Thackston (Connie) of Eden, NC and Fayette Quarles Thackston (Lindy) of Manakin Sabot, VA and one daughter, Nancy Cornelia Thackston Deel (Barry) of Charlotte; eleven grandchildren, Ty, Chance, Gage, Elizabeth, Emily, William, Taylor, Billy, Frances, Gracie and Eva Stuart, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.  A true southern gentleman, he will be missed by many.

A celebration of life and resurrection will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 4:00 PM with visitation following in the Fellowship Hall.  Honorary pallbearers will include all former players and those who coached with him. Interment will be on Friday at 3:00 PM at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Capital Campaign at Myers Park Trinity Little League, PO Box 11556, Charlotte, NC 28220.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.


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  • Tyler Graham

    Coach Thackston was the man. He coached a team I was on from '92-'94 and I still hear his voice in my head. He made us "kiss the fence" before and after every practice and every single time someone made an error. Some practices were nothing but running! But one memory really stands out for me: in a scoreless game, probably in '93, I was at bat, fighting off so many pitches that the catcher started getting bored, so he started taunting me. I was a pretty sensitive kid, so I embarrassingly started crying. Coach Thackson was the 3rd base coach, and Coach Rice was the 1st base coach. I walked out of the batter's box after another foul tip and Coach Rice, in his gentle way, encouraged me to get back in there and just "swing naturally." Coach Thackson hollered out similar words of encouragement from 3rd. It proved to be the exact pep talk I needed. The very next pitch was low and inside, and I crushed it to left. I took off running as hard as I could around the bases without turkey-neckin' like Coach taught us, but when I got to 3rd, Coach Thackston smiled and said "walk home." I was confused. Was I out? Why is he smiling? It took me the whole 60 feet home to realize what had happened. I had hit the ball out of the park. This was the first and only time I did this. Later that game (which we ended up winning 24-10 if memory serves), Coach Thackston went out to the woods beyond left field and found a ball, which he declared was the very same one I had blistered into outer space. He pointed out a "dent" in the ball and not only gave me the ball to keep, but gave me one of the happiest memories of my life. Rest in peace Coach!!

  • Steve and Debora Martin

    We are deeply saddened for your loss… Please celebrate his life and always cherish the memories you have

  • Annette Brown

    Frances, my condolences and prayers to you and your family on the loss of your loved one.

  • Ted, Melanie and Edward McGavran

    We will miss Coach Thackston but treasure the memories from those special years and T. R. Lawing teams of 2009 and 10. Coach Thackston taught Edward so much about what it takes to win not only at baseball but in life. Thank you Coach!