Lillion Wingate Cain, III, 55, of Hickory passed away peacefully on November 8 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Wingate will always be remembered for his infectious laughter, razor sharp wit, and generous spirit. Every person he met was left better by his presence. He is survived by his mother, Irene Cain; sister, Jennifer Cain; half- brother Michael Cain; son, Nicholas Hamby; nieces Serena Cain and Dixie Cain; and his nephew Alexander Cain. He is predeceased by his father, Lillion Wingate Cain, Jr.
Wingate’s passions include creating works of art, reading fantasy books, and enjoying the sound of the ocean. His love of UNC basketball made him the truest of Tarheel fans, and as a graduate of Appalachian State University, he certainly cheered the Mountaineer football team to their many victories.
Wingate, a McDowell County native, dedicated his professional life to helping the underserved and believed education provided opportunity for success. He worked at McDowell Technical Community College for nine years, serving in the admissions office and then as the Director of the Student Enrichment Center. Prior to that, he worked at Western Piedmont Community College in student services. He also worked as a sentencing report specialist for the non-profit organization Repay, in child protective services for the McDowell Department of Social Services, and as a residential counselor at Crossnore School. He held a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Appalachian State University along with a master's degree in Community College Administration from Western Carolina University.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 20 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at Taylor’s Brewing in Marion. This will be a family friendly time to share stories and talk about the joy of Wingate’s life. A burial at sea will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Wingate Cain Scholarship at McDowell Technical Community College.