Larry Stephen Hedrick, 79, of Statesville, N.C., passed away Monday, August 31, 2020, with his family by his side following a battle with Acute Leukemia. Larry was born December 12, 1940, in Iredell County and was the son of the late P.P. Hedrick and Grace Johnson Hedrick. He is survived by Sue Goforth Hedrick, his wife of 58 years; his son Chris Hedrick; his daughter Suzanne Hedrick Osborne (Derek); four grandchildren, Brandon Hedrick, Bradley Hedrick, Taylor Osborne, and Nicole Osborne; and sister Vickie Hedrick.
Larry enrolled in the Newport News (Va.) School of Ship Construction following graduation from Harmony High School to study hull structure and design. He served as a hull structure designer for several years before returning home to work in North Carolina with his father-in-law, Dwight Goforth, in his farm machinery business.
While attending a farm machinery auction, Larry became interested in the inner workings of the auction business. He commented “I believe I could do that” to his father-in-law Dwight, to which he replied back “Check it out.”
Larry quickly enrolled in the next class of 1967 at Missouri Auction School. He soon became an Auctioneer at High Point Auto Auction. Together Dwight and Larry started Tarheel Auction & Realty in 1967 and conducted hundreds of auctions over the years in Farm Machinery, Business Liquidations, Estates and Real Estate Auctions. Larry was appointed to the founding licensing board in 1973 for the N.C. Association of Auctioneers and helped establish the original laws. He holds NC Auctioneer license # 4.
Together, Larry & Dwight dreamed of starting their own auto auction company. That dream became a reality when they purchased land and built the Statesville Auto Auction in April 1976. As a member of the National Auto Auction Association, he was elected president from 1991-1992. In 1993 they sold the auction to Manheim Auctions, the highest volume automobile auction company in the world. He was honored to be later inducted into the National Auto Auction Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
Deeply involved in the community of Iredell County, Larry honorably served on the Board of the Iredell County Commissioners, (Vice Chairman 1972-1974) and Chairman (1984-1990).
In 1990 Larry formed Larry Hedrick Motorsports, a NASCAR race team, and fielded his first Winston Cup race car. The team competed full-time in the circuit until 2000.
In 1993 Larry purchased the Spartanburg Phillies, a minor league baseball team, which later became an affiliate of the White Sox, and was renamed the Kannapolis Intimidators, which honored Dale Earnhardt.
Larry was very active in many charities & fundraisers serving as lead auctioneer over the years, including the Speedway Children’s Charities, Heart Ball Association, Grandfather Home for Children, RJ Reynolds Winston Cup Preview & Media Day, Field of Dreams, Hospice of Iredell County, High Country Charitable Foundation and many more.
In his spare time, Larry enjoyed playing golf with his many longtime friends at the Elk River Golf Club, The Dunes and Statesville Country Club.
Larry spent the last years of his life enjoying his grandchildren and being actively involved in his family businesses, Statesville Collision Center and Tarheel Realty.
A Celebration of Life will be held on September 11, 2020, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Statesville, followed by a graveside burial at Oakwood Cemetery with Masonic rites. The service will be officiated by Dr. Nelson Granade and Dr. Jeff Porter. The church is requesting all who attend the service to wear a mask. Due to limited seating, overflow seating will be available in the Family Life Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Statesville, 815 Davie Avenue, Statesville NC 28677; Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone NC 28607; Shriners Hospital for Children, 950 W. Farris Road, Greenville SC 29605.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.
The family has entrusted Troutman Funeral Home in Troutman, N.C., with the arrangements.