CHAFIN, Robert Neil


Family Links

1. COUNCILMAN, Emily Mae

CHAFIN, Robert Neil 5913

  • Born: 16 Oct 1936, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States 5913
  • Marriage (1): COUNCILMAN, Emily Mae on 20 Dec 1958 5913
  • Died: 16 Jan 2010, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States 5913
  • Buried: 29 Jan 2010, St. Paul's Episcopal Dalton Memorial Garden, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina 5913

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Obituary. 5913 Winston-Salem - Robert Neil Chafin, 73, died peacefully, in the company of loved ones, Saturday, January 16, 2010 at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Neil was born on October 16, 1936 to the late William Cornelius and Elizabeth Futrell Chafin in Winston-Salem. He graduated from Old Town High School in 1954. He attended Duke University for two years on an ROTC scholarship and graduated from Wake Forest College in 1960. He married the late Emily Mae Councilman of Burlington on December 20, 1958. He married Martha Linn Murray of Winston-Salem on April 9, 1988. Following graduation from Wake Forest, Neil worked for several years with J.S. Sargeant & Co., a family owned business, in Burlington, NC. In 1961, he began teaching Social Studies and coached in the Caswell County School System. As Neil had been an active Boy Scout volunteer while in Burlington, he was invited to join the staff of the Cherokee Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1963. He participated in numerous regional and national training events as instructor of national outdoor training schools, Philmont Scout Ranch expeditions, and the International Wood Badge course. He served as Assistant District Scout Executive in Alamance County for two years and in 1965 was transferred to Reidsville, NC as the District Scout Executive. In 1967, Neil was named Executive Vice-President of the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce and served that organization through 1969. He then accepted the position of Executive Vice-President of the Rocky Mount, NC Chamber of Commerce, serving in that role for eight years. During his tenure, Neil played an integral part in Rocky Mount being named an "All-America City" and was asked to consider a move to join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. However, Neil accepted the position of Director of Human Enrichment and Development in the Department of Pastoral Care at Baptist Hospital in 1977. In this capacity, much of Neil's work began to mirror his personal convictions regarding the importance of "intentional" human development. Along with his administrative responsibilities, he consulted with and trained numerous individuals and groups in many areas of development over the next two decades. As he moved into the position of Executive Director of the Pastoral Care Foundation in the mid 1980's, he developed a particular passion for working with churches in crisis. Utilizing an innovative "interim-ministry" model, he consulted with numerous churches in transition and was instrumental in developing training for healthy interim ministry. From this seminal work, the Center for Congregational Health was established in 1992 as a department of the Division of Pastoral Care. Neil excelled in organizational leadership and development. He had the vision to recognize the changing behavioral/mental health care system and its implications on Pastoral Counseling. Keeping with his core desire to provide quality care to those who needed it most, he worked diligently to lead the department to the forefront of the counseling field as it entered the new millenium. This resulted in the creation of CareNet, Inc. in 1997. CareNet is also a department within the Division of Pastoral Care and currently has 21 counseling centers state-wide. Neil served as President of CareNet from its inception until his retirement in 2002. Since that time, he has continued to consult with and help numerous individuals and groups. Neil's talents extended far beyond those he displayed in his professional career. He excelled in art. His framed paper/pencil still-lifes and landscapes adorn the homes of many family members. He thoroughly enjoyed the beach, cooking, reading, music, traveling, sailing, camping, fishing, and Wake Forest athletics. He was a master of "do-it yourself" projects and loved to help others in this area. Many can attest that his teachings and guidance reached far beyond the particular "home repair" problem at hand. Regardless of what activity he found himself engaged, Neil most loved sharing the experience with his family and friends. He recently stated that one of his most cherished memories of the past 30 years was spending time with his children and grandchildren camping at Hanging Rock. In his formative years, Neil's family was very active in Burkhead United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem. After college, he joined the Baptist church and served as a deacon at churches in Burlington, Reidsville, and Rocky Mount, NC. In 1976, Neil and his family were confirmed into the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Rocky Mount, NC. Upon moving to Winston-Salem, the family joined St. Paul's Episcopal Church where he remained. Throughout his life, Neil treasured and rejoiced in his evolving faith. This was evident in his love for deep spiritual discussion but was reflected even moreso in his consistent gentle demeanor and kind treatment of others. Neil is survived by his wife, Martha Hanson-Chafin of the home. His children: Chris Chafin of Burlington, Betsy (Mitch) Kye of King, Rick (Carole) Murray and Tom (Perrin) Murray of Winston-Salem, David (Sarah) Murray of Raleigh, and Cassie (John) Ragsdale of Pfafftown. His treasured and beloved grandchildren: Ashley and Alex Chafin, Erin and Pierson Kye, Ana Linn, Sarah, David, Virginia, William, Evie, and Sophie Murray, and Tommy Ragsdale. He also leaves one sister, Beth (Dick) Cudworth, of Greensboro and niece, Leah Holt, of Summerfield. Neil leaves behind a multitude of extended family members, friends, colleagues, students, and loved ones. All will deeply miss his love, guidance, and calming presence. A memorial service celebrating Neil's life will be held at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2010 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The Rev. David Hodges will officiate. Interment at Dalton Gardens at St. Paul's will follow the service. The family will receive friends from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2010, at the church. In lieu of flowers, and in accordance with Neil's wishes, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of ones choice.

Posted by Salem Funerals & Cremations


Robert married Emily Mae COUNCILMAN, daughter of Rev. Robert Lacy COUNCILMAN and Emily Mae SARGENT, on 20 Dec 1958.5913 (Emily Mae COUNCILMAN was born on 30 Dec 1936 in Burke County, North Carolina, United States, died in 1987 5411 and was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Hendersonville, Henderson County, North Carolina 5411.)

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