On May 17, 2021, Charles Donald Kernodle, Jr. went to be with the Lord at the age of 71. Born May 2, 1950 to the late Donald and Kathleen Kernodle, he was “raised on the Ridge” in Burlington, NC. He graduated from Eastern Alamance High School and Elon College.
At the age of 7, while watching wrestling on TV, he told his dad he wanted to be a Pro-wrestler. His dream came true in 1973. In later years, he was known to the wrestling fans as the Pride of USA. Throughout his career he was five times World Tag Team Champion. After that, he and his brother “Rocky” teamed up to wrestle for the remainder of their career. In the years following, he was a gas man on a Winston Cup Race Team and worked for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office where he retired January 2021.
Don was a member of Union Ridge Church and gave back to his community in many ways.
If you are fortunate enough to be acquainted with Don, you knew that he never met a stranger, encouraged you with his hugs, and was not ashamed to say he loved you.
He is survived and will be greatly missed by his brother, Wally; a sister, Jean Gaither and husband
W. T.; a niece, Michelle Stewart and husband Tony of High Point, NC; a nephew, Brian Gaither of Burlington; and a wealth of other family and friends.
Don was preceded in death by his father, Donald and his mother, Kathleen Kernodle.
Visitation will be Monday evening, May 24, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rich & Thompson Funeral Home in Burlington. Funeral services will be held at Union Ridge Church on Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. and will be conducted by Rev. Dan Ficklin and Nikita Koloff. Interment will follow at the church cemetery. Other times they will be at the residence of his sister, Jean Gaither, 916 Camden Crt, Elon, NC 27244.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations to Union Ridge Church and AuthoraCare Collective Hospice in Burlington.
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