Charles Ronald Rathbone

Wednesday, August 10, 1955 - Saturday, March 13, 2021

A Man with a Kind and Giving Heart

Photo of Charles Ronald Rathbone  - 1955-2021

Canton- Our hearts are saddened by the passing of a man who has touched many with his giving heart, Charles Ronald Rathbone, age 65, passed away Saturday, March 13, 2021 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Charles was born August 10, 1955 to the late Furman Rathbone and the late Mildred Harvey Rathbone Zimmerman. He was a lifelong native of Haywood County and he proudly and honorably served his country in the United States Army. Mr. Rathbone retired as the CEO of Mobile Imaging Services. He was also well-known throughout the community and the entire county for the various businesses that he has owned and been actively involved with, Sign World of WNC and Ann Davis Rest Home in Canton. Mr. Rathbone was also the owner of Chappell Valley Farms, where he raised, rode, and showed Tennessee Walking Horses that were admired by everyone in Western North Carolina. Charles was blessed with a wonderful outgoing personality and everyone was proud to be his friend. After his retirement, he drove a school bus for Clyde Elementary School and all the children delighted in seeing Charles and riding on his bus each day. He was also a devoted volunteer with the Folkmoot Festival that was held each year in Haywood County. In remembering Charles let us each think of his happy smile and the mischievous twinkle in his eye. He loved his family deeply and his memory will remain with each of them forever. Charles was a man of his word, a man who was a friend to everyone and a man that has truly made a difference in the lives of others. He shall be missed. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Glenda Zimmerman Rathbone; and his brother, Kenneth Rathbone.

Surviving are his loving wife of 27 years, Nancy Stanfield Rathbone of Canton; his daughter, Krystal Hullender and her husband, Darin of Canton; step-sons, Christopher Berry of Franklin, and Craig Berry of Franklin; grandchildren, Hillary Larson and her husband, Trevor of Fayetteville, Heidi Wheeler and her husband, Shane of Fayetteville, Joshua Hullender of Canton, Kane Parker of Canton, and Kasey Hullender of Canton; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Linda Fish and her husband, Reverend Lloyd “J.R.” Fish of Franklin; sisters-in-law, Betty and Barbara; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

A service of remembrance with military honors to celebrate the life of Mr. Rathbone will be held at 2:00 pm Friday, March 19, 2021 in the chapel of Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Reverend Daryl Shipman will be officiating. The family will be receiving friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the funeral service.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to someone in need or perform a random act of kindness. Charles would be pleased.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Rathbone family.


The live stream of the memorial service will be available by clicking or tapping here.




Condolences from family and friends

Mr. Charles was one of a kind! I met him when he and Nancy lived in New Bern for a short time. I will forever remember him with a big smile on his face, jumping in and helping with whatever was going on at the time, and telling stories that kept us laughing. Nancy was the one I worked with, but Charles was always there, too, running errands and doing things for our residents. That’s just who he was - never sitting still and always ready and willing to help. My world is a little darker just knowing that he’s no longer in it. Nancy, I am so sorry to hear this. The love between you two was palpable. My heart is broken for you. I’m sending lots of love and hugs. Also, prayers for peace, comfort & understanding. Anyone who has found a way into your heart never dies because they live in your heart. He will live on.
Dawn Metts
To all the family, There are some people in this world that just make it great. Charlie was one of them. While he will be greatly missed. He has left us with precious memories, that will keep me from being so sad. I can't think of any memory that we weren't laughing about something. Knowing him for almost 50 years has been a gift. It is sad to see such a cherished friend go, but I know he and God are having a great time. Charlie was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather. He was blessed that Krystal found a good man. Darin was never his son-in-law, he was his son. To Nancy and all the family, let all of your wonderful memories get you through this most difficult time. We love you! Walt and Cathy
Cathy DeWeese
I have had the great pleasure of meeting , knowing and living near by the Rathbone’s and my heart is filled with sorrow knowing this world has lost another good soul. Charlie was always full of life and spirit and pleasant to talk with and was always uplifting to others. You will be truly missed my friend. God Speed
Allen Hardin
I am sorry for your loss I am praying for y’all
Doris Brabson
Nancy and Family, My sincere condolences in the loss of your loved one, Charles. Prayers for all of you during this difficult time and in the days ahead.
Barbara Jennings
We are so sorry for your loss charle was a good man he would help anyone he's going to be missed alot we will see you one day
Brenda Mccannon
Sending hugs and prayers to your entire family. So sorry for your loss.
Patsy Parker
We are sorry for your loss. We will always remember his smile and wave as he drove by our house.
Mike & Rhonda Coulter
Charlie was so warm and welcoming. When Jen and I needed to find a place for about 12 horses in a few days, he generously opened his farm and took all of us in with a smile. Charlie was so sweet and kind that when you met him he made you feel like you'd known him all your life. Heaven has a great one up there now. My horse Taco and I are lucky to have known him. Rest in peace, Charlie. May God bless and keep you. :'-(
Sandy Dantone
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Charles for the first time at his grandsons birthday party .. then I had the pleasure of getting to see and talk with him when he was put on my unit at the va hospital . He was a very nice and sweet man .. my heart hurts for this family .
Karen Williams
Charlie was one of kind. As teenagers, we were tight, me, Charlie, and Gary DeWeese. I am so glad that Gary and I got to be with him last week. We had an interesting conversation. For that moment it was the three of us reliving the "golden" years. It was a miracle that we survived those times, the best part is that we laughed our way through most of them. We had great memories and I still believe old friends are always your best friends. They have seen you the way you truly arel, warts and all. We all accepted us for who we really were and in our case, that involved lots of laughter. In that final conversation, he still had the twinkle, still had his famous wit, still shared with love his generous love that brothers-in-arms always have. Nancy and family, you have our sincere condolences and if there is anything we can do, let us know. With friends like Charlie, you never move on, you move forward, but you don't move on. And sometimes when you hear Goose Creek Symphony,... you hear his laugh in the background.
Dean Russell
Charles was a wonderful person and a great friend. I rented a space below his sign shop and he was a great friend to me, always had something nice to say and was devoted to everyone in his family. He will always be in our hearts and will be missed.
William Whitner
We met this man at a time when we were struggling tremendously with the home care of a loved one. He and Nancy immediately provided a calming comfort along with words of wisdom for us. Through the years he has always had a quick smile and kind words for us each time we talked. Charles will be missed by many just as the number of lives he has touched through the years. Nancy, we send our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. He was truly "one of a kind"..
Donald and Lane Messer
I am so sorry to see that Uncle Ronnie has past away. My deepest condolences to the entire family. I am the daughter of Kenneth Rathebone Uncle Ronnie’s older brother. May he Rest In Peace. All my love Kimberley
Kimberley Velasco
Not enough space here to express the thoughts and memories of Charlie. I can say that he was a great fellow like a brother to all. I'm sure that we will see him when it's time. That smile and twinkle in his eye. May you rest well you good and faithful servant. My thoughts and prayers are with each family member. Rest high on your Mountain Buddy. G.Justice
Gary Justice
I graduated with Charlie from Tuscola in '73. He was one of the people you remember as always smiling and friendly. I didn't see him many times after we graduated, but not too many years ago I ran into him at the grocery store. In our conversation, he told me about the time he had a large brush pile to burn, somewhere near Canton. A friend saw it and asked if he could put his boat on there to get rid of it and Charlie said yes without thinking much more about it. When he went to burn, pushed up on to the pile was a full-sized fiberglass motorboat. Charlie said he had no choice but light it and it went up like tornado. Someone called the fire department, but by the time they got there you couldn't even tell it was a boat. Fire chief was mystified. I always laugh when I remember that story. Rest in Peace, Charlie.
Ed Kelley
Missing a dear Friend, He was like a brother.We had lots of good times together and worked together side buy side for many years.Praying for the family.
Gene Messer & Linda
When I think of Charles, I always think of his twinkling eyes, positive energy and the next new idea! He never hesitated to ask how could he help in any situation. His love of family was always first and foremost. I will always picture him riding his horse across the pasture at Chappell Valley Farm into the sunset with that beautiful smile on his face. Rest in peace, my friend.
Becky Anderson
Nancy, I am so very shocked and sorry to hear about Charlie. The love you two shared for each other was always so evident. Prayers, Diane
Diane Franklin
Charles was a good friend and astute businessman. He is missed.
Jim Sanders