March 31, 1935 ~ July 11, 2022

Born in: Yancey County, NC
Resided in: Fairview, NC

Harley Fender, 87, of Fairview passed away July 11, 2022 at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, N.C.

Harley was born March 31, 1935 in Yancey County to the late William McKinley Fender and Bertha Mae Ledford Fender. He was also preceded in death by his sons mother, Annie Lou Butler Fender and his sisters, Christine Stanley and Clella Ann Otey.

Harley had a long career in the dairy business starting as a young boy, living and working on The Biltmore Estate with his dad, Kin. He joined the Navy in the early 50’s and was a proud Navy Seabee, “We build, We fight.”

He returned to Biltmore Dairy after his enlistment and continued his dairy career. He also rejoined the Navy as a reservist, proudly serving in Desert Storm in Kuwait.

After his retirement from Biltmore, he went back to the trucking business with Morgan Trucking and also Roseway Trucking.

Harley is survived by his wife, Judy Hensley Fender; his sons, William McKinley Fender “Mack” of Fletcher, Mark Harley Fender (Ricci) of Fletcher and Donald Preston Fender (Judith) of Fairview; step-children, Rickey Hensley (Dawn) and Sheila Shelton; six grandchildren, EmmaRae and Joshua Fender, Rickey and Shawn Hensley and Kayla and Jessica Creasman; two brothers, Bill and Britt Fender and many nieces and nephews.

A burial with military honors will be held at the WNC State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s or The Shriners.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Graveside Service: July 26, 2022 2:00 pm

Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery Chapel
962 Old US Hwy 70
Black Mountain, NC 28711


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  1. Harley, you were the life of the party. You will be surely missed. Our condolences to Judy, Mack, Britt, and the rest of the family. I’ll miss you when I come down to the reunions. 💖💖💖😪

  2. Your laugh, warm hugs and gentle nature will be missed. We always enjoyed our time with you and will keep your family in our prayers. All our love Harley,

  3. Harley knew my dad and uncle from the Biltmore Dairy and also from the cb radio days…the days of the coffee breaks…the days before things became so violent.
    Sincerely sorry for your loss, may God give you comfort and peace during this time.

  4. Sorry for your loss. My family knew Harley from the coffee break days and he worked with my dad and uncle at Biltmore dairy….those were the days

  5. I am distant Fender kin from McDowell County, NC.
    Sending sincere condolences to Harleys family at this time. Greatful I made it to two Fender Reunions in Burnsville to meet kinfolk.
    I know Harley is in a better place. But, losing someone is never easy. Earnest prayers.

  6. Rest in peace brother Seabee. You were the best Muster Petty Officer an AOIC could ask for. I always knew I could count on you. You will be missed. SKCS Kell

  7. Harley was always so good to me…always made me laugh and had the best hugs…my thoughts and prayers for the family…Much love to you ALL!!!

  8. Thank you for your Leadership, compassion and Comraderie you showed me on all those years.. You will always be remembered as One of the ‘Finest’ Shipmate everyone would love to have. I’ll miss you Brother Bee.

  9. You will be greatly missed Seabee, You were a great friend to all in NMCB 24

    BU2 Bob Rothweiler RET.

  10. Prayers to the family during this sad time. Harley was a good friend for many years and happy memories of times shared on the road will live on. Rest easy my friend… we will never forget you.

  11. Harley and Judy were my neighbors in Oakley. We spent many days enjoying walks and friendship. Love to Judy and his family ❤️

  12. I have missed all the CB’s since I moved away. Very glad I was able to help Harley get his VA Disability up to 100%. Loss & grief are full of sadness for those left behind. Trusting GOD to bring comfort & peace to each family member.

  13. Thinking of the family. I worked with Harley at Roseway and grew up with him. Sending special thoughts to the family. Harley was a special friend and coworker.

  14. To Judy & family. Our love & prayers to all of you for comfort today. We love Harley & will miss seeing his smiling face at our Seabee dinners & at Bonnie & Clydes. Rest In Peace fellow Seabee.

    Marvin & Janice Jones.


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