John Thomas Painter, 81, died June 16, 2009, at the Robin Johnson Hospice House. A native of Gaston County, he was the son of the late Frank Thomas and Ruby Gilbert Painter.
Red was an U.S. Navy World War II veteran, former teacher/coach at Belmont Sr. High School and coached American Legion Post 144 baseball, mem-ber of the Belmont and West Jefferson, N. C. Optimist Clubs where he was the Past President of the Belmont Club and Lt. Governor and Governor of W. N.C. Optimist Clubs.
He was a recipient of the Optimist Lifetime Membership Award. He is a member of the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2003. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he was a Sunday School teacher and a Trustee of the church. He also served as a Trustee on the Board of Directors for Boys & Girls Home of Lake Waccamaw, NC and a member and Director of the local National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC)
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Ellen Clary Painter, three sons, Mark Painter and his wife, Anita of Belmont, Mike Painter and his wife, Joyce of Fairview, NC, Mitch Painter and his wife, Karen of Belmont, one brother, James Lee Painter and his wife, Willa of Gastonia, six grandchildren, Meredith, Morgan, Megan, Seth, Kaylee and Mitchell, two nieces, Luellen Williford and her husband, Eric of Gastonia and Jennie Watson of Inman, SC
In addition to his parents, Red was preceded in death by a son, Matthew Lewis Painter.