April 2021 Deaths in New Bern, NC

Cynthia Wiggins Davenport, 62, New Bern, NC

Ms. Cynthia Wiggins Davenport, 62, passed away Saturday, April 17, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. She was a devout Christian and faithful member of New Life Church. Cindy worked over 40 years in MSD (medical supplies distributing) for Carolina East Medical Center and enjoyed being with her sons. Sadly, she was preceded in death by her parents, Nina and David Wiggins, and her husband James M. “Jimmy” Martin, Sr.

The family will receive friends 10 – 11 a.m., Saturday, May 1, 2021 at New Life Church followed by her celebration of Cindy’s life ceremony at 11 a.m. with Pastor Scott Coghill officiating. Online condolences may be made at www.pollockbest.com.

Cindy is survived by her sons, James “Martin” Davenport, Jr. and Amos K. Davenport, of New Bern. She also leaves behind her sister, Janice W.Stotesbury, of New Bern; and her grandchildren, A.J. and Avery Davenport.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Davenport Family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111


Margaret E. Abenante (Marge), 71, New Bern, NC

Ms. Margaret E. Abenante (Marge), 71, of the River Bend community passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 4, 2021 at Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC.

Marge was born and grew up in Florida where she graduated from Fort Myers Sr. High and then went on to graduate from George Mason University in Virginia. She was a retired accountant who spent most of her professional life in the Washington, D.C. area before retiring to New Bern.

Marge enjoyed volunteering at Tryon Palace and with First Tee. She loved to play golf and work in her flower beds. She was quick with a smile and will be missed by all who knew her.

Marge is survived by her sister, Martha Bartlett (Michael), niece, Kari Power (Mark), nephew, Duke Martin (Joann),several great and great-great nieces and nephews, and her beloved Bichon, Gracie. She was a dearly loved sister and aunt who will be greatly missed.

Per Marge’s wishes, there will be no services. Online condolences may be made at www.pollockbest.com.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Abenante family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111


Thomas Randall Engle, 73, New Bern, NC

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather a skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson

Thomas Randall Engle, 73, of the Taberna community, passed away on Sunday, April 11th after a long and hard fought battle with Prostate Cancer.

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.” – Stuart Scott

Tom was born in Garrett, IN on September 11th, 1947. He graduated from Garrett High School with the class of 1965 and later earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University. Tom was married to Paula (Dembickie) Engle on July 13, 1968; they were married 52 years. Their journey together included stops in Long Beach, CA; Garrett, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Gardner MA, Middletown, RI and New Bern, NC. Tom proudly served in the Navy from 1967 to 1968 on the USS Alamo in Vietnam. He continued to serve in the Navy Reserve until 1990. His professional career after the Navy spanned almost 50 years, 20 of which were served in law enforcement culminating with a tenure as Public Safety Commissioner in Gardner, MA. He worked for several companies over the next 25+ years working in sales and customer support and retired in 2019.

Tom is survived by his wife Paula; daughter Lynn and her husband Kevin; son Todd and his wife Noelle; grandchildren Sydney, Jamie, Jake, Tom, Will and Lucas; his sidekick (dog) Stanley and countless other friends and family that he held close.

Tom enjoyed many different hobbies and activities including sailing, kayaking, flying (as a pilot) and cooking. He also once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane! He loved meeting new people, creating friendships and memories. Most of all he loved spending time with his grandchildren. He took great care in loving each one individually but also cherished his time with all of them together. His grandchildren meant everything to him!

Those wishing to offer words of hope and condolences may visit www.pollockbest.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Prostate Cancer Foundation 1250 Fourth St. Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Engle Family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111


Charles Adams Boatwright, 86, New Bern, NC

Lt. Col. Charles Adams Boatwright was born on September 20,1935 in Nashville, Georgia to the late Troy Veryl and Lucille Adams Boatwright.  Working at his father’s business as a boy, his love of aviation began by watching the planes from Moody Air Force Base flying overhead, causing him to say: “That’s what I’m going to do someday.” He ran away from home and began flight training at the Air Force Cadet program in Kinston, North Carolina.

Charles flew F-84 Thunderstreaks and F-100 Super Sabers with Chuck Yeager during the Cold War, then later the F-5 Freedom Fighter as a test pilot. Assigned to the 4th Air Commando Squadron in Vietnam, he flew an AC-47 gunship – “Spooky” – and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his outstanding close air support to Special Forces units. Charles Boatwright was awarded the Purple Heart after he was shot down immediately after taking off from Bien Hoa in March,1967. Although he was severely injured during the crash-landing, his aircrew was unharmed. His story was later featured on the front cover story of Aviation History magazine as the only AC47 Spooky pilot to be shot down over Vietnam-and survive.

After almost 30 years on Active Duty, Charles Boatwright served as a regional dispatcher for Roadway Trucking Company, but nothing ever compared to the honor of serving his country. By the time he passed away, he had lived in France, Germany, Vietnam, Thailand, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico and California. He moved to New Bern, North Carolina, in 2015 to be near his daughter.

His wife of 56 years, Carmen Etteinne Davis Boatwright, died in 2013. He is survived by his only child, Etteinne “ET” Boatwright Mitchell (Champ); his grandson, Morgan Benjamin Andreiev; his brother John Boatwright, and his nephew LCDR Robert Boatwright, USN.

Charles Boatwright loved airplanes, trucks, and automobiles, gun collecting, country music and playing cards with pretty ladies. He was known to frequent parties here and there, although he had been sober 35 years when he died. He had a merry heart. Two of his happiest days were when his daughter, Etteinne, was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1981, and when his beloved only grandson, Morgan, was born in 1992. Morgan learned to read on his grandfather’s aviation magazines, and his Pops taught him to drive and shoot long before he should have. Charles cherished his friendships, and no one ever forgot him.

Charles Boatwright passed away in New Bern on Sunday, 10 January 2021 with his daughter at his side. As his grandson Morgan observed, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky when he died. It was a perfect day for his beloved grandfather to set his last altitude record.
A celebration of Charles’ life will be 10:00 AM, Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Christ Episcopal Church with The Rev. Paul Canady officiating. Burial, with US Air Force Honors, will follow at New Bern Memorial Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.pollockbest.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Air Force Aid Society, www.afas.org/, or 4 FSS / FSFR 1200 Wright Brothers Ave #3602  Seymour Johnson AFB, NC 27531.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is honored to assist this veteran’s family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111


Charles Wesley Vandiford, Sr., 71, Vanceboro, NC

Mr. Charles Wesley Vandiford, Sr., 71, passed away Friday, April 2, 2021. A native of Craven County, Wesley was a proud veteran of the US Navy, having completed two tours in Vietnam, aboard the USS America, where he was a “Shell Back”. He was a faithful supporter of the DAV, VFW Post 1117, in Vanceboro, and was a member of the Doric Lodge, and was a Shriner. Wesley loved his boys, and enjoyed being with his grandchildren. He could often be found heading to his favorite fishing hole, or the ocean to cast a line.

The family will receive friends 6-8:00 PM, Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Pollock-Best Funeral Home. Those wishing to offer words of hope and condolences may visit www.pollockbest.com. Memorials, in Wesley’s name, may be made to DAV-New Bern, 1025 Harbour Pointe Dr, New Bern, NC 28560 or  www.dav.org/.

Wesley is survived by his two sons, Charles Wesley “J.B.” Vandiford, Jr. and Israel Shane Vandiford; his grandchildren, Jackson and Jayse; and his five sisters, Ruby, Linda, Shirley, Doris, and Sharon.

Pollock~Best Funerals & Cremations is entrusted with the Vandiford Family.

Submitted by: Bob Burns, Funeral Director, Manager, Pollock~Best, 2015 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC 252-637-5111