Hennard Stephen Floyd (Sonny) was born January 18, 1929 to Soggie Winslow and Caroline Graham Nye Floyd in Fairmont, NC on tobacco road on a one horse (mule) tobacco farm of a little over 30 acres. They were very poor but so was everyone else. Since they grew about everything they ate, the great depression didn’t keep food from off the table. Sonny's father told him if you eat at and put your brogans under my table, you have to work and so it was. He was plowing the fields at 8 years old up and down the rows behind a mule as well as on the other side of a crosscut saw cutting enough firewood for the tobacco barns and wood stove for the year. When he was 10 years old, his mother would give hime a chicken to sell in town for a dollar. It was hard but a good life with his two sisters, Elgia and March Ray. In his youth, he would spend the entire day going to the movies twice, buying ice cream and popcorn and still would have change left over.
He entered the United States Marine Corp at 17 and weighed about 145 lbs. while being stationed for basic training at Paris Island.
After the war, he went to the Milwaukee School of Engineering on the GI bill. Then he worked in several diners as a short order cook with his brother in law, JP Riddle, and his sisters, March Ray and Elgia. He sold insurance with J.P. out in the country, sold refrigerators during tobacco season out the back of a truck to farmers at market, worked at the Atlantic Tobacco Company, ran a route for Baby Ruth candy bars (The Curtis Candy Company) and built his first house for sale in 1951 with his dad and JP Riddle here in Fayetteville.
Sonny met the love of his life in 8th grade at Fairmont School and came back after his service in the Marines to marry her. They enjoyed 67 years together until" Susie Q" went to heaven before him.
Sonny enjoyed hunting, fishing and especially golf, which became his real hobby and developed a great love for the game. Then in 1979 at 50 years old, Sonny began to feel a real emptiness in his life. He was tired of making money, and really everything else. He knew he was missing something in his life. He was under conviction by the Holy Spirit drawing him to his Savior, Jesus Christ. Sonny went out into his back yard on the 9th hole at Highland Country Club and knelt down beside a tree stump and called out to God with tears to show him what to do. Sonny would say later he never really felt anything and found out it was a matter of faith as we walk by faith and not sight. His mother in law, Lillian Page Johnson had witnessed to him and prayed for him for many years. His father was a very tough man, but one night as he walked to town by a short cut through the woods, a great light appeared to him and he was totally changed. Sonny told the story of how his dad went into the woods as one man but came out as a new creature a completely different person. These two people and what God had done in their lives had a strong influence on his life when the Lord called him to Himself. After his conversion, Sonny began to read the Bible constantly and found great peace, power and purpose to live each day as he told us the story. He also began to memorize Bible verses that meant the most to him and witnessed to as many people as he could in prisons, hospitals, the cleaners, gas stations, on the golf course and really everywhere.
He was very proud to have his wonderful wife by his side and to pray together each day for the rest of their lives. Lillian Ruth, his wife, made a place for him to pray as soon as he got out of the bed very early each morning in the living room by putting a white towel over the ottoman in front of the chair. So his habit each day was to get down on his knees to talk to the Lord. Sonny was very loving and patient with his bride, Lillian Ruth, during her long illness. For this his two sons will forever be grateful. We all are so very proud of our father and grandfather. He was loved by his adoring family and will forever be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. Well done thou good and faithful servant…Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 11:00 am at Village Baptist Church. The family will receive friends at the church on Saturday from 10-11:00 am. Private graveside services with family will be held on Saturday at Page’s Chapel Cemetery in Fairmont, NC.
Sonny is preceded in death by his wife, Lillian Ruth Floyd; granddaughter, Rachael Ann Floyd; daughters-in-law, Patricia Roberts Floyd and Mary Eleanor Williams Floyd and sisters, March Ray Riddle and Elgie Smith.
He is survived by his sons, Hennard Stephen Floyd, Jr. and Gregory Winslow Floyd; grandchildren, Christina Elizabeth Floyd, Kathryn Moore and husband Graham, Jonathan Winslow Floyd and wife Kelly, Laura Anne Floyd, Christopher Gregory Floyd, and Nathan Winslow Floyd; great-grandsons, Oliver Winslow Floyd and Eli Everett Floyd.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Operation Blessing, 1337 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301 or Village Baptist Church, 906 S. McPherson Church Rd. Fayetteville, NC 28303.
Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301
Online condolences may be sent to http://www.jerniganwarren.com
To send flowers to Hennard "Sonny" Stephen Floyd, Sr.'s family, please visit our floral section.
Village Baptist Church
906 S. McPherson Church Rd., Fayetteville NC 28303
1337 Ramsey St., Fayetteville NC 28301