Robert Lee Gilchrist
Robert Lee Gilchrist was born on March 5th,1935, at Fryeside in Swain County, a community soon to be swallowed by Fontana Lake.
By the time he was eleven, he had learned to be self-reliant, building a commercial-sized brick chicken house and beginning the work that would provide for himself and his family for seventy-two years.
Stationed in Germany after World War II, Robert served as a military policeman in the United States Army from 1954 until 1957, returning to the United States to a mill village in North Carolina’s piedmont, where he met and married Wretha Diana Coggins, the mother of his five children.
Robert and Wretha remained married for fifty-nine years, celebrating their last anniversary on November 21, just five days before his death on November 26, 2018.
Robert leaves behind his wife, five children, fifteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind a legacy of faith in God, of the beauty in hard work, and of the good to be found in endless optimism.