October 7, 1932 ~ December 22, 2021

Born in: Fairview, NC
Resided in: Fairview, NC

Julian Woodburn McCracken, 89, passed away on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, with his daughter, Liz McCracken Baldwin, by his side, at the Flesher’s Healthcare Center in Fairview.

Born in Fairview, Julian was the third child of the late Dr. Cicero McAfee McCracken and Johnnie Ruth Turner McCracken Weatherly and was the husband of the late Sarah (Sally) Woodward McRae McCracken. A 1951 graduate of Christ School (Arden), he excelled in baseball, football and basketball, and was inducted into the Christ School Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2012. Julian had a lifelong, devout passion for Christ School. He attended Wake Forest University for one year and transferred to Clemson University for his final three years. Julian received a degree in Textile Manufacturing from Clemson in 1955, and, was a graduate of the Army ROTC program. He also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1972.

Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in October of 1955, Julian began his 28-year active duty career in the U.S. Army. His duty stations took him to Georgia, Korea, Virginia, Michigan, Thailand, Maryland, Alabama, Vietnam, California, Hawaii, New York, Germany and back to Georgia. He retired from the Army in September of 1983 at the rank of Colonel.

Throughout the many locales where he and his family lived (and during retirement), Julian was actively involved in his church as a lay reader, vestry member, senior and junior warden, and a member of numerous church committees. He instilled a faith in God, a love of country and devotion to family in his children.

Julian loved the game of baseball. He was a Little League coach in Thailand and Hawaii, could throw batting practice with both arms (as he was ambidextrous), was proud of the devastating knuckleball that he threw, and took his family to countless major and minor league baseball games. Other activities included running, walking and carpentry. Julian participated in numerous volksmarches while living in Germany, ran marathons in his 40s and 50s, and then became an avid walker.

Julian and Sally returned to western North Carolina after the conclusion of his Army career and lived the rest of their lives in the home in which he was born in Fairview. In retirement, he was a bus driver for the Buncombe County School District for nine years, a longtime volunteer at Habitat for Humanity in Asheville, a dedicated blood donor, and enjoyed being a gentleman farmer growing corn, beans and potatoes on his Fairview homestead.

Julian was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Sally, in April of 2020, and half-siblings Elizabeth Ann McCracken Croy, Beatrice Helen McCracken Hall, Marvin Howell McCracken, Clayton Houston McCracken, Joseph Franklin McCracken, Cicero McAfee McCracken, Joseph Glenn McCracken, Lura McCracken Marr Roberts; and siblings Ruth Brice McCracken Wells and John Turner McCracken. He is survived by sons Julian, Jr. of Phoenixville, PA (Joann), Stephen of Boise, ID, and Marvin of Fairview (Sara); and daughter Elizabeth Baldwin of Fairview (Christian). Julian is also survived by nine grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren.

The family is grateful and appreciative for the loving, compassionate care provided by the devoted staff of Flesher’s Healthcare Center. Julian’s memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 30 at Calvary Episcopal Church with burial of his ashes to follow in the Calvary’s scattering garden. Donations may be made in the memory of Julian McCracken to: Calvary Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 187, Fletcher, NC, 28732.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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  1. It was a pleasure being his son! A true gentleman, a fantastic role model and an outstanding citizen. I miss everything Dad stood for and can only hope to emulate him the rest of my days. I miss watching a baseball game with him whether it was in front of the television or live at a game. May you rest in Eternal Peace, Dad! Thanks for all of the wonderful memories I hold dear in my heart!!!


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